Table of Contents
Because of that, we’ve decided to put together the ultimate guide with the intention of introducing you to the world of dumbbell weights and how they can help you sculpt that perfect body you have been dreaming of. We’ll cover some of the best models n the market and discuss what they have to offer.
Later, we will dig deeper into the subject of dumbbells and talk about their pros and cons.
Adjustable dumbbells are a pretty saturated segment of the market. There is only so many ways you can reinvent the wheel, yet Bowflex has found a great design that truly makes life easier. You may know this brand for their full body workout machines. SelectTech 552 brings that same level of ingenuity to the table, only in a very compact package. The way these work is simple.
You get two sets of dumbbells in their respective trays. Each dumbbell packs up to 52.5 pounds of weight. In order to select how much weight you want to put on, all you have to do is turn the knobs located on each end of the dumbbell. Once you select your desired weight and go to lift the dumbbell, only the plates that total that weight are going to stay on the dumbbell. Every other plate gets left behind on the tray.
As you can probably tell, it is a very simple system that makes those whole body workouts a blast. On top of a great design, Bowflex has offers that trademark build quality which means that you have a semi professional piece of heavy duty fitness equipment in front of you.
Much like Bowflex, Merax has also found a way to implement a knob system to make weight selection easier. Merax Deluxe 71.5 is based on a fairly similar design like the one we have just talked about. There are generally two differences which we have to mention right off the start. For one, Merax has used a whole different approach to aesthetics. It’s obvious that you don’t go shopping for dumbbells based solely on their looks.
On the other hand, if we are being real, aesthetics definitely play a part in the choice making process of many. The other main difference is the weight. Merax went with a 71.5 lbs of total weight available in 5.5 lbs increments. This makes the Merax Deluxe a more suitable option for those who are looking to get more bang for their buck. The build quality is awesome to say the least.
We’re talking premium materials, great balance on the plates and a robust enough mechanism that ensures consistent and repeatable performance during frequent use. One thing worth pointing out is that Merax uses kilogram labels instead of pounds. Although it’s a non-issue, some might find it confusing for a while.
As far as adjustable dumbbells go, Power Block is probably one of the most unique options you have available at the moment. They have used a completely different design that goes against just about everything out there. Their system is interesting for a number of reasons but the organization of plates has to be the number one. The while thing is quite simple. Instead of adding circular plates on each end of the dumbbell, you are adding slotted plates.
The main benefit of this system is that you don’t have to do anything twice as both plates are linked together. Another great thing about said design is the upgrade path. Where a standard dumbbell has only so much room for additional plates, the Power Block Elite allows you to add complete expansion packs of plates. So, that makes this set, which is nominally 50 lbs, capable of reaching much heavier weights.
Since there isn’t a singular bar that accepts plates but rather a complex system of slotted panels, build quality tends to be the most logical concern for many. There’s no need to worry about any of it, though. These dumbbells are rock solid and capable of withstanding daily grind.
Next on our list we are going back to the roots of dumbbell design, the old school version. At this point you’re probably wondering if there is even any room for such old designs next to the three awesome ones we have just talked about? Well, the answer is a rock solid yes. Not only are people instantly familiar with how a standard adjustable dumbbell works, but you will also find these to be much cheaper than the stuff that sits on the top of our list.
That alone could be a big factor for budget users who can’t afford to go all out on higher end stuff. Fortunately for us, weight is weight no matter what form it comes in. CAP’s adjustable dumbbells feature two 5lb bars and a complement of 40lb plates. There is room for some upgrades but keep in mind that you have to stick to CAP’s brand of plates for best results.
One thing that CAP is doing right are the collar nuts which feature a rubber insert. That insert ensures that plates aren’t rattling around during use but also that the collar itself doesn’t become loose over time. Overall, this is an awesome setup.
Moving into non adjustable weights we run into Yes4All color coded deluxe vinyl coated dumbbells. This brand is among the most popular ones in this segment of the market thanks to their simple approach to dumbbells, a good eye for innovation and a general ability to create a good product. Oh, and they definitely know how to price their gear competitively. With Yes4All, you are getting the best bang for your buck, that much is guaranteed.
The weights we are looking at here come in a variety of sizes. You can get anything from a 2lb to a 15lb weight. A closer look at the vinyl used reveals a very durable compound. Usually with vinyl coated dumbbells you really need to watch out for chipping, especially after a few years of use. That is not an issue with Yes4All dumbbells.
At their very core is a cast iron weight which is well balanced and feels great in hand. Aside from the competitive price, these dumbbells are great for beginners who want to gradually approach building their collection of weights. The whole color coded layout makes it very easy to reach for the right pair of dumbbells when you need them.
CAP offers a whole lot more than just a basic adjustable dumbbell setup. On the contrary, their offer is packed with all kinds of awesome dumbbells. CAP barbell cast iron hex series are about as old school as it gets. These are the true cast iron weights that can take any kind of beating you are capable of dishing out. The finish is a simple protective coat that keeps the iron protected from the elements.
You’re looking at hex shaped heads which prevents rolling and actually improves the functionality of the dumbbell. That hex structure makes them a great for doing pushups. The grips are absolutely the most important thing to check out when going for old school cast iron weights. CAP went with a standard diamond grid pattern which retains decent enough grip even if your hands start to sweat excessively during your workout.
Naturally, a pair of gloves really solves that issue. As far as available sizes go, you have 3, 5, 8, 10, 12 and 15 lbs available among the non standardized sizes. From 15lb you can go all the way up to 120lbs in 5lb increments. If you want that old school look, this is it.
One of the more popular ways to shop for dumbbells, especially the smaller size neoprene or vinyl coated ones, is to get three pars with a rack. Many brands are offering these packages, including j/fit. Their dumbbell set is definitely one of the better out there as the overall quality is on par with commercially used equipment. In other words, these are definitely on par with gear used in gyms. The setup is pretty simple.
You get three pairs of color coded weights which are easy to store, don’t take too much space and are overall comfortable for use. The sizes included in the pack are 3lb, 5lb and 8lb. Although these weights are good enough for beginner level muscle building, you will find these much more suitable for aerobic exercises. Here is why these packs are becoming so popular.
Working out on the road is hard, especially if you don’t have an access to a gym. This complete set is light enough for you bring along on road trips, vacations, you name it. If you feel particularly bold, you could also take them along for longer trips. What j/fit offers here is well worth the asking price.
Unipac offers a great selection of neoprene dumbbells which have managed to stand out in a well saturated market. They have achieved this mainly by refusing to compromise when it comes to quality of materials used and the overall design. They are far from the cheapest option available, but not the most expensive either. You know what they say, though? Buy once, cry once. Or many times depending on how your workout routine works out for you.
The thing that makes this particular pack interesting are the sizes it offers. You are looking at 6lb, 8lb and 10lb pairs. With that said, you can go and order lighter sets as well. The neoprene they have used is rock solid. It is good to go even if you are rough with your dumbbells.
We haven’t had the chance to play wit these for too much, but from what we can gather Unipac doesn’t have issues with chipping or any similar issues that tend to plague the neoprene coated segment of the market. If you are looking for good aerobic weights that can do a bit more, these are definitely worth looking into. Again, the whole setup is very compact and flexible.
Our next pick come from Yes4All. This time around we are looking at adjustable weights. Once again it is a simple adjustable setup, like the ones you get to see in gyms all around the world. There are several redeeming features which make this particular set stand out. Yes4All didn’t skimp out on materials, that’s the first thing we have noticed. Despite looking fairly generic, these weights are the real deal.
The plates are nicely balanced, came from good molds and generally show high quality of fit and finish. The real surprise was the bar. Yes4All went with that same rubber insert on the collar nut as well as the receiving end on the bar. When you set your weights and tighten everything down, you will not ice that nothing rattles or moves during use.
Speaking of weight, you can get these in configurations that range from 40lbs to 200lbs. That’s right, a 200lbs set is pretty much all you need for a home gym. Again, the bang for the buck value these bring to the table is hard to top. If you’re just starting out and want an affordable yet efficient adjustable set, you need not look any further.
Last but not least we have an awesome set of neoprene dumbbells from Gold’s Gym. If you recognize this name it is because they are one of the main brands in the fitness business when it comes to more affordable equipment. The cool thing about this particular set of dumbbells is their design, as well as the design of the tray. Before we go any further, it is worth mentioning that you are getting three pairs of dumbbells which weigh 3lb, 5lb and 8lb respectively.
That puts them right up there with beginner sets and dumbbells suitable for aerobic exercises. Where Gold’s Gym took a different route compared to other brands is the shape of the dumbbell as well as the inclusion of a tray, instead of a rack. Dumbbells have a more curved hourglass shape which in our opinion make them easier to properly grip.
On top of that, the neoprene material they have used for this setup is really good at preventing your hands from slipping. The tray we’ve mentioned is much easier to store, pack and transport should you need to. The only quirk we can point out is the lack of more aggressive color coding pattern.
Best Adjustable Dumbbell Weights – Dumbbell weights have been around for a very long time. Despite them being a rather simple piece of gear, people have found different ways to optimize them even further.
Most dumbbells are made out of cast iron. When you want to cover the entire range of sizes, chances are that your wallet will start to feel it sooner or later. With adjustable dumbbells, you are getting the same efficiency and performance, but in a package that is not only cheaper on average, but also takes up much less space.
Adjustable dumbbells come in a variety of different shapes and sizes, featuring all kinds of unique options. More on these further down in the guide.
Best Dumbbell Weights for Women – Dumbbells are most often associated with raw muscle building, body builders and generally people who are looking to increase their muscle mass. However, dumbbell weights can be used for much more than that which is what majority of women are actually after.
Most women aren’t interested in growing their muscles. Instead, they are interested in toning what their have or getting to the next level byt not much further than that.
Dumbbells are great for this. When combined with different aerobic weights, you can get awesome results with very basic dumbbell weights.
Best Dumbbell Weights for Beginners – Everyone has to start somewhere. As obvious as this sounds, we need to reiterate this because many beginners often tend to overestimate themselves when they first get into weightlifting. That wouldn’t be an issue if it didn’t greatly increase the risk of serious injuries.
Because of that, it is imperative that you start off with a set of dumbbells which are suitable for your level of fitness, strength and abilities. In this particular guide we’ve tried to find the most optimal set of weights you can get as a beginner.
As you can imagine, there are many different types and features to choose from.
Most of those who are interested in being fit or growing their muscle mass are promptly pointed towards the closest local gym which is chock full of different fitness machines. While there is definitely nothing bad about that, we are slowly starting to forget about one of the most effective tools you can have on your arsenal, the dumbbell weights.
In today’s fitness community, dumbbells are viewed as a piece of weight you use to build those biceps through endless repetitions of biceps curls. Despite dumbbells feeling rather rugged and crude, they are capable of offering so much more than that. Dumbbells are the Swiss army knife of fitness equipment and the sooner you figure that out, the better.
Before we start discussing different kinds of dumbbells, lets take a minute to discuss the most obvious benefits that dumbbells bring to the table. Some of these are well known even among beginners, but some are definitely are not.
As you have probably gathered by now, there is much more to dumbbell weights than they let on. When you take a closer look at the price, the functionality and hidden benefits, it’s hard not to wonder why any fitness aware person isn’t stocking up on them.
Here is what it all comes down to. We can divide the benefits into two main categories: convenience and health benefits.
What people often forget is that dumbbells can be the basis for a home gym. When we say the basis, we mean that dumbbells can literally replace your entire need for weights up until you step into really high numbers. With that said, basing your home gym on dumbbells instead of various machines is much, much cheaper.
If you are on a tight budget, this is a very big factor. On top of simple economics, we also have to mention the space savings. Fitness gear is almost always bulky and hard to allocate space for. With dumbbells, especially adjustable ones, you can bring that economy of storage to a whole new level of awesome.
One of the by far best things about dumbbells is that they can be used in so many different ways. We are talking straight up muscle building or cardio. In other words, aerobic and anaerobic exercises. Everyone knows that.
What many don’t know, however is that dumbbells work your joints as well as your connective tissue alongside your muscles. It all comes down to the fact that nothing is guiding those weights as you’re working out. There are no rails, no coordinate movement along a predetermined axis.
Instead, you have to stabilize the weights and keep them in line as you push through the full range of motion. That right there is one of the main health related benefits of dumbbell weights.
Starting out can be difficult but it doesn’t have to be. We strongly suggest that you get one of the starter sets from our guide above, and get comfortable with it. At this stage, especially if you haven’t done any weightlifting before, the actual weight of the dumbbells isn’t that much of a factor.
For one, any weight you start working with is going to inspire muscle growth. Call it beginner gains or whatever you like, but it is true. More importantly, your goal as a beginner is to learn proper form. This is imperative to a point where it’s worth sacrificing some gains just so you could make sure that you’re doing every exercise the right way.
Learning proper technique and form is essential because it prevents injuries, which are very easy to run into otherwise, and optimizes your gains.
There are several types of dumbbell weights you will run into on the market. You’ve got standard cast iron dumbbells, adjustable dumbbells and a whole plethora of composite hybrids.
Cast iron dumbbells are the most basic kind and you generally can’t go wrong with them. The only thing to keep in mind is that these may be cheap initially, but can become pretty expensive as you grow your collection.
Cast iron dumbbells are good for people who expect their gear to go to hell and back with them, all with minimal maintenance.
The most popular type of dumbbell weights are the adjustable ones. In all honesty, they are the modern representative of this fitness device and if we were to be asked, adjustable dumbbells should be the golden standard.
The whole idea behind these weights is that you can add or remove weight as you go. This means that you will be spending less money on dumbbells as well as less space to store them.
There are numerous different designs out there, from simple bars and plates to more complicated systems such as the Power Block.
Last but not the least we have composite hybrids. These are nothing more than cast iron weights which have been coated with either neoprene, vinyl, PVC or some other kind of material.
As far as their functionality goes, they are about the same as standard cast iron dumbbells. However, it is worth noting that hybrid dumbbells tend to be cheaper on average.
Dumbbells are by far one of the most amazing fitness tools you can have in your home gym. They are extremely versatile, capable of exercising all of your main muscle groups and more. You can work your entire body with nothing more than a pair of adjustable dumbbells.
The models we have listed above are by far some of the best you will find on the market right now, that’s for sure. We have included representatives of all relevant categories and price ranges. That way you’re just about guaranteed to find something that suits your needs, style and general requirements.