How Do We Log Single Limb Exercises?

How do we log single limb exercises? Short answer: however makes sense for you and you can be consistent with!

One of the most common/frequent questions I get is “if I’m logging single leg/arm exercises, do I log it as the weight of one or both of the dumbbells?

⁣This is totally up to you and honestly, it depends. If you are doing a one-sided exercise such as bicep curls 3×10 @ 25lbs, each bicep is technically only experiencing 25lbs. Same for things like DB shoulder presses, single-arm rows, etc.

⁣However, for something like step-ups or lunges that your whole body/ each side is moving against the weight of both dumbbells you could track 3×10 lunges with 25’s in each hand as 50lbs OR 25lbs.

I personally always just track whatever the individual DB weight is. Which can seem confusing because when you’re doing a say single arm lift only one arm is moving the weight. Where maybe a lunge or split squat with two weights your leg is “experiencing all the weight”
I personally just think it’s easier — track the weight of the DB’s you used. This removed the step of having to multiply and divide by 2 (very hard trust me) every time I go to the gym.⁣

But truly, this is up to you. If you prefer to do it the other way or half one way half the other. Just stay consistent in how you do it. Aim to progressively overload in that over time.⁣

Just make sure it makes sense to you. ⁣

Don’t over complicate it.⁣
I promise little things like this in fitness are not that big of a deal.⁣

Hey, I'm Lyss!

I’m Exercise Physiologist, sports nutritionist, weight lifter, and ultra runner. I am here to bring science to your training in a no-nonsense way. I have helped thousands of women crush big lifting goals, cross race finish lines, and even do both. I’m here to help you do the same!

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Exercise Scientist, ultra runner, lifter, human.