I got a set of dumbbells and an incline bench, and just started some basic exercises.

I used only 2.5kg per arm but found difficult to do set of 3 x 12. I noticed my hands were not moving under 100% control.

I then decided to do 1 x 12 of following exercises.

  • Bench press
  • Incline press
  • Incline fly
  • Seated shoulder press
  • Bent row
  • Seated curl
  • Side bend
  • Pull over
  • Triceps extension


I assumed I should able to lift more weight than that!

What changes I can do for above mentioned routine? Is it normal to not be able to complete a routine like this, even with a lighter weight?

  • Is what normal?
    – Ryan
    Jul 29, 2015 at 14:56
  • Sorry , what I meant is unable to compete a set even in a lighter weight ? (I removed that part form the question to avoid any confusions)
    – nish1013
    Jul 29, 2015 at 15:28

1 Answer 1


Have you never lifted weights before? If so, it might be perfectly reasonable that you'd have difficulty, even with a lower weight. Everyone has to start somewhere, and sometimes, it's not as much as you might think, particularly for some arm exercises where you've never practiced that motion. Is this your smallest dumbbell? If not, I'd say try a lower weight until you can perform the full set with control. If it is your smallest weight, consider reducing the number of reps initially and working them up. Alternately, buy smaller weights or improvise some. One liter of water weighs 1 kg. If you improvise a handle with tape, you can make yourself a set of 1 kg weights to start out with (if you can grasp the bottle without those grips, that works too.

The other question I'd ask is, are you unable to complete the full number of reps on every exercise or just some of them? Some arm exercises will be much more difficult to start with. Most people start out curling more weight then they can do with a fly, for example. I would advise using whatever weight is challenging for each exercise, even if it's different amounts. That's normal.

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