I've started weight training a few weeks ago with light weights. 39 years, 189cm, 89kg, never trained before.

Right now I'm doing 2 sets of 10 reps with 6.5kg dumbells in bench press. I can do more, but taking it slowly.

I would like ask what progress should be realistic in 6 month. What should be my aim with dumbell bench press? Dumbell curl? Etc.

I know there are lots of variables, but to be motivated it would help to have some idea where I can go.


  • This is pretty broad, and I'm not sure what your direct question is.. and do you mean 2 sets of 10? And your progress is hard to answer based off only knowing the one exercise you do or the frequency. I'm also not sure what you mean by etc..
    – user32213
    Commented May 4, 2020 at 0:54
  • Curls is a stupid vanity exercise in my opinion. It is mor time efficient to train the biceps indirectly by rows and chin-ups. What other exercises do you do? You should study a popular strength training program such as Starting Strength and use that as a basis. You can substitute push-ups or dumbell press for bench press. Likewise you can substitute goblet squat for back squat. The important part is to cover the same movement patterns at roughly the same frequency and volume as Starting Strength or Stronglifts. That way you will train almost all the muscles.
    – Andy
    Commented May 4, 2020 at 7:50
  • 1
    My program includes: squat to overhead raise, dumbbell shoulder press, resistance band pull apart, dumbbell curl, russian twist, dumbbell bench press, plank. It's a program I'm doing at home
    – Albert T
    Commented May 4, 2020 at 8:09
  • You should take out the curls and instead add bent over dumbell rows. It is important to train the back. I would do push-ups instead of dumbell bench press. You should also look for a way to train your hamstrings. Unfortunately it is difficult to find a good substitute for maybe the most important exercise the deadlift at home. Nordic hamstring may work.
    – Andy
    Commented May 4, 2020 at 8:21
  • Thank you Andy, you;re right about bent over dumbbell rows. I'll add push-ups once I'm strong enough.
    – Albert T
    Commented May 4, 2020 at 9:18

1 Answer 1


The number of variables does make this a difficult question to answer. However, perhaps the most important variable is frequency. If your training is regular and consistent—say, once or twice a week—and if you have no glaring deficiencies in your diet and recovery, you should reasonably be able to expect to be lifting 20 to 25 kilograms for the same number of repetitions after six months. Much of that strength gain will be due to neural development, so you should not expect enormous hypertrophy (gain in muscle size) during that time. And particularly with dumbbell press, so much of your strength depends on stability; the movement itself is produced almost entirely with the pectoral and anterior deltoid muscles once perfected, but that depends on stability provided by the trapezius, latissimus dorsi, deltoids, biceps, and triceps, to name a few. Thus, significant effort should be given to perfecting the motion.

I hope that helps.

  • I understand that it's difficult to answer, but your answer provides what I was looking for. I'm training twice per week at home and the program includes squat to overhead raise, dumbbell shoulder press, resistance band pull apart, dumbbell curl, russian twist, dumbbell bench press, plank (~30 minutes in total). I guess doing 2x10 with 25kg dumbbells in bench press, it's a reasonable and achievable target. Thanks
    – Albert T
    Commented May 4, 2020 at 8:12
  • I am glad you found my answer helpful. Also keep in mind the need for recovery time as your progress. For a beginner, a single heavy set to failure can produce a training stimulus that will require a week or more to recover from. Twice a week for a measured number of repetitions is a pretty safe bet; you are unlikely to under- or over-train with such a workload. If you are getting sore—so-called "delayed onset" soreness—a good general heuristic is to allow one full day without soreness before training the same muscle group again. Good luck.
    – POD
    Commented May 4, 2020 at 22:28
  • Thank you for the recommendations, appreciated
    – Albert T
    Commented May 5, 2020 at 7:51

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