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Dumbbells: Light Weight, High Reps Workout For Weight Loss

Updated on June 26, 2013
Light weight and medium weight dumbbells
Light weight and medium weight dumbbells | Source

Light Weights

When working out with weights you can choose to lift heavy weights and do less than 8 repetitions, moderately heavy weights and do between 8 and 15 repetitions or light weights with a high number of repetitions. This time I choose to focus on light weights with a high number of reps.

Working with light dumbbells has some advantages. You are less likely to injure yourself and it usually takes less time to recover. There is also less pain. However a good workout using light dumbbells takes a lot longer than a good workout with heavy or moderately heavy weights. You need to do more repetitions. If the routine it too easy you should add more repetitions or increase the weight.


I decided to workout with 5 pound dumbbells while watching TV. Since I watch TV anyway it would not matter that the workout would take longer than it would with heavier weights. The exercises consisted of curls, shrugs, floor press, standing press, overhead tricep extension, seated single leg calf raises and seated leg raises.

For the seated single leg calf raises you sit down and put a dumbbell across your upper thigh near your knee and use your hand to hold it in place. Quickly push up with your toes so you are on the tips of your toes. Hold it for a second then put your foot back down. Do as many repetitions as you want and then switch legs. The leg lift is similar but instead of pushing with your toes you slowly lift your leg up so your foot is off the ground.

The workout routine lasted about an hour. Each set consisted of 30 to 40 repetitions with a very short break when I switched exercises. It did not take me long to recover from the workouts. When I was done I was not as tired or as hot as I get when doing shorter more intense 20 minute weightlifting workouts. I also did not feel sore. However I did not feel a sense of accomplishment and I did not feel I was improving my body.


After working out for an hour a day for 7 days using light weights I lost around 1/2 a pound. Based on the circumference of my stomach I lost 9/16 inches of fat. So I lost just over half an inch of fat and I barely lost any weight. It certainly was not a very efficient way to get rid of fat and not very good for building muscle.

If you do not like intense workouts that leave you feeling tired and sore I would recommend working out with light weights. The workouts need to be longer to get results but you can do them while watching TV. However I did not feel a sense of accomplishment and it felt like I was wasting my time. It can be hard to stick with an exercise routine when you do not feel you are accomplishing anything. Personally I prefer shorter more intense workouts.

With a routine like this I would recommend walking.


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