Ask Heather

Model Trainer Marr advises what to do when the dumbbells get too heavy to hold and more.

By Heather Marr

In this third installment of her regular q & a column, model trainer Heather Marr answers questions from our Facebook page and website. If you are following The Model Trainer Method and have a question for Heather, leave it on our Instagram or Facebook pages or send it to us via the contact form on this site.


Q: I have been working out more regularly and getting stronger and more fit. The dumbbells are starting to get too heavy to hold when I am doing exercises like lunges and Bulgarian split squats. Often I cannot finish my set because I can’t continue to hold the dumbbells. What should I do?


A-This is a very common problem with people who workout.  I will answer this from an aesthetics standpoint whereby your goal would not be functional training and improving grip strength. There are several ways to approach this problem. If you have access to a gym with more equipment you can use a barbell on your back with added weight in place of the dumbbells. Another option is to purchase a weighted vest that you can wear while holding dumbbells that you can manage.  Finally, you can use weightlifting straps (see below for the link). These are the straps that I personally use. They allow you to focus on and fatigue the target muscle without your grip failing.




Q: Do I have to split my cardio and my workout into two different times during the day or can they be performed together?


A: The most important factor in any program is whether or not you actually do it. You can have the most perfectly laid out program plan but if it is not realistic with your schedule you won’t be able to consistently do it over the long term. Many busy professionals, people with children and other responsibilities simply do not have the time to invest in going to the gym twice a day. It isn’t realistic. If you have lots of spare time or are preparing for a competition and making that a priority to split your cardio and training and that works for you and your schedule, that’s great. If this is not the case, however, you can always do them together in order to fit it into your schedule. I recommend doing your workout followed by your cardio in those situations.

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