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30-Min DB Quickie

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Paragon Training Methods = the life-changing workouts, coaching, and online community you’ve been searching for to build muscle, achieve your goals, and look great in just 30-75 minutes a day, depending on your lifestyle and program needs. We have workouts for all goals, skill levels, and time/equipment constraints.

By signing up for the Paragon Dumbbell Bundle, you’ll get access to two DB-Only Physique workout programs plus this bonus program, 30-Minute DB Quickie. Our DB workouts still have progressive overload and are perfect for at-home workouts, travel, or for those with minimal gym equipment.

DB Program Deets

Are you working out from home, don’t have access to a gym, or work out with minimal equipment? We’ve got you fam!

Dumbbell workouts can be insanely effective with the right programming.

You can still look great, feel great, get strong, and work towards your goals — regardless of how much workout equipment you do or don’t have (:

30-Min DB Quickie Deets

General Info

  • 4 days per week + 1 optional 5th conditioning day
  • 30-min workouts
  • 6-week Metabolic/Hypertrophy cycles
  • Part of the DB-Only Bundle

Equipment Needed

Who is This Program For?

  • Busy parents
  • Students
  • Badasses who work a lot (or work long hours)
  • Those who don’t have (or want to) spend hours and hours in the gym
  • Also a great option for those traveling and in hotel gyms frequently

How Quickie is Different

While the Quickie program has many similarities to the other Dumbbell programs, there are also some big differences. 

The expectation is still that you have only 3 sets of DBs (light, medium, and heavy for you) as well as some resistance bands. 

Due to this low buy-in of equipment required, the rep ranges will be large (such as 8-20 reps). Make sure you refer to the DB Physique blog for insights on how to progress week to week with these rep ranges. 

The major differences: 

1. Quickie is only 30 minutes long. It will generally contain 2 or 3 different “sections” (Part A, B, and C). We expect between 8-15 minutes per section (depending on how many sections are included). 

2. Quickie will usually have one section of “repeating movements.” These are the exercises that stay the SAME week to week so that you can properly assess progress and determine if you are getting stronger! 

3. Quickie involves “conditioning” sequences. These will appear often as “AMRAP” (As Many Rounds as Possible in a given time period), as an EMOM (Every Minute on the Minute), or simply as a circuit that is completed “for time.” Whenever we work out with a clock dictating the start and end of a workout, we must ensure that the quality of the movement doesn’t suffer. Unfortunately, this is a common mistake for many. We tend to move too fast in an attempt to do more work and end up getting less out of each exercise in the program. Approach each set and rep with focus and intent. 

4. Quickie will have an optional conditioning day on Saturday each week. These sessions will be a mix of outdoor running-type workouts, as well as DB or bodyweight-based circuits. 

Sample Workout

*In our app, we have over 400+ movement demo videos so you know exactly how to perform your movements and lifts

Tips For Our DB Programs

1. Choose weights in Week 1 so you’re lifting ~4-5 reps from failure the first week. Then 2-3 reps from failure the rest of the cycle.

Reps from failure = what you have “left in the tank” after you finish lifting that set. If you were building to a set of 10-12 reps (2-3 reps from failure), that would mean you could actually lift that weight for 13-15 reps if needed.

Remember that movements should be done with a 2-3 second tempo: one-one-thousand. two-one-thousand…

Choose your starting weight wisely. Each week, the goal would be to increase weight/difficulty on the repeating movements (parts A & B) from the previous week.

More on this here soon, but this might include increasing weight, increasing reps, increasing tempo, adding pauses, etc. Progressive Overload = gradual increase of stress and difficulty on the body over time.

2. Repeating Movements Have a Large Rep Range (Ex: 6-20 Reps) 

Every week, parts A or A/B in the workouts will repeat, as we’re trying to increase/improve those lifts by the end of the training cycle.

You’ll see a large rep range programmed for these since everyone will have access to slightly different amounts of weight and dumbbells.

Meaning some people might only have 2-3 pairs of dumbbells. Some might have access to pairs of 5-100 lb dumbbells. 

  • Have tons of dumbbells? Go heavier and aim for the lower end of the rep range programmed (where you’re ~2-3 reps from failure)
  • Have access to a barbell? Feel free to sub it in where possible if it lets you hit heavier weights on movements + lifts!
  • Working with limited equipment? Aim for the higher end of the rep range (~10-20 reps) so you can still hit that ~2-3 reps from the failure goal.

Ways To Increase Difficulty

  • Increase Weight
  • Increase Reps 
  • Increase Time Under Tension (aka increasing tempo)
  • Add Pauses (ex: 1-second hold at contraction during DB Row)
  • Increase Quality of Movement (working to improve movement patterns and maximize the mind-muscle connection with muscles being worked)

Example: Access to Tons of DBs

DB Split Squats = 3 Sets x 6-25 Reps

Access to Tons of Weights = aim for the lower end of the rep range (6-8 Reps)

  • Week 1: 3 Sets x 6-8 Reps  = 15 lbs 
  • Week 2: 3 Sets x 6-8 Reps  = 20 lbs
  • Week 3: 3 Sets x 6-8 Reps  = 25 lbs
  • Week 4: 3 Sets x 6-8 Reps  = 30 lbs
  • Week 5: 3 Sets x 6-8 Reps  = 30 lbs
  • Week 6: 3 Sets x 6-8 Reps  = 35 lbs 

Example: Only Have 2-3 Pairs of DBs

DB Split Squats = 3 Sets x 6-25 Reps

Limited Equipment = aim for the higher end of the rep range (15-25 Reps)

  • Week 1: 15 lbs = 3 Sets x 13-15 Reps 
  • Week 2: 15 lbs = 3 Sets x 15-17 Reps 
  • Week 3: 15 lbs = 3 Sets x 17-19 Reps 
  • Week 4: 15 lbs = 3 Sets x 19-21 Reps 
  • Week 5: 15 lbs = 3 Sets x 21-23 Reps 
  • Week 6: 15 lbs = 3 Sets x 23-25 Reps 

How Hard You Should Be Working

Let’s define “failure” as lifting to the point that we can no longer perform a rep with the same technique.

If you’re suddenly folding your body like a taco, losing form and technique, etc – you have likely reached failure or close to failure.

We do NOT want to max out, hit failure, or redline ourselves every day in the gym. On a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being hardly working, 10 being maxing out or working as hard as humanly possible), we actually want to spend most of our workouts training in the ~7-9 effort range.

The goal is for our first rep to hopefully look pretty similar to our last rep. Just maybe a slower grind and some shakes.

Begin each cycle so that you can easily increase weight and/or difficulty easily each week and end the cycle lifting much heavier than you started. We don’t want to bite off more than we can chew later (:

A Good Rule of Thumb:

  • Week 1 = at least ~3-4 reps from failure. Then work to be closer to ~2-3 reps from failure the rest of the weeks during the cycle.
  • If you hit weeks 2-5 in the cycle and suddenly can’t add weight that weight – you likely came out too hot and started too heavy. We’ve all been there!

If new to lifting or have mobility restrictions, it can be hard to gauge how hard you’re working or what you have “left in the tank,” especially since so much confidence and body awareness simply comes with time and experience lifting.

You can always drastically increase weight towards the later weeks of the cycle. However, if you come out hard and start too heavy – there’s no way to really remedy it. Consequently, you’re just gonna have to drop weight, cut your losses, and then resume increasing each week.

Ready to Join the Fun?

@paragontrainingmethods = fun and effective bodybuilding and strength training workouts (you can do from home or at a gym) that will help you build muscle, achieve your goals, and look d*mn good in 45-60 minutes a day.

Whether your goal is:

  • to run AND lift
  • workout 3 days per week
  • lift from home
  • enjoy things you love (CrossFit, Olympic lifting, Peloton)
  • or just look/feel your best

We have amazing hypertrophy workouts with progressive overload that will get you there! 

Click here to read more about our Paragon workouts!

LCK and Bryan from Paragon Training Methods

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– Paragon Founder, LCK 

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