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Thread: How Much Weight are we Using with Dumbbells?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2008

    Default How Much Weight are we Using with Dumbbells?

    Hi WaterART Ladies! I am an aquatic fitness instructor with the City of St Albert (WaterART Certified) and have had a few people ask me the same question in the last few days. We have 2 different sizes of foam barbells at the pool and people are asking me what the resistance of them would be equivalent to that on land. (lbs of pressure) If you have that information could you please send me a list of barbell size and lbs of pressure. Thank you!
    Stacey Rose

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010

    Default Not so easy as land to predict


    This is always a common question -but not so easy to comprehend in water ( or with buoyancy). It is easy on land with free weights and not so easy with tubing or bands or variable weight.

    Water and pushing dumbbells through the water is variable load or weight.
    So there isnt an exact calculation. Water is truly unique to land training ( and gravity) as dumbbells dont even weight anything on land as they are foam weight.

    So, because water is so much more variable and different exercise modality than land exercise - you can never "exactly" figure this out.

    You would have to do muscle biopsies to see strength gains and it really depends on what exercise not to mention working position, force and speed too!

    What your people should really know is that there is a big difference between buoyancy and resistive equipment (Like paddles or boxers) . So equipment that floats is different also to equipment that sinks...

    and how much they are working or LOAD on the muscles may be changed by increased surface area, lever length, direction of pull and power, force and speedo. These factors are not always equal for any one person & in fact, in water how weights work ( or don't work) largely depend on the exercise that is choosen.

    In other words = pushing down into the water works. Pushing laterally through the water on top of the water (doesnt work or has very little intensity) and pushing weights over the head are really dangerous and ineffective.

    My experience is that most women may not use 6 inch dumbbells properly (in order to work safely and properly, they should be able to submerge and protect the joint as well as maximize resistance)

    I see too many people pushing the resistance on top of the water - and there really isn't any resistance or protection for the joint there.

    Remember the "most" important thing in terms of strength training to consider is progressive overload and safety.

    It really doesn't matter how much weight you are lifting ( or pushing and pulling) unless you hypertrophy the muscle's size. Hypertrophy or changing the size of the muscle is key for effecacy.

    And keeping the exercise safe ( shoulders dont do certain actions well ) is key so they may continue to progress and benefit with movement and exercise.

    Hope that helps - let me know if there are any other questions.

    Gracie McCausland

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