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Best Dumbbells 2018 – [Buyer’s Guide]Last Updated February 1, 2018
Best Dumbbells of 2018
I must say I am quite a fan of dumbbells, so when the question “What are the best dumbbells available on the market?” came to my mind, I excitedly started gathering information together with personal experience to write this article in the hope that it may help you find the suitable dumbbells. There is a wide range of products available on the market today, and below I have reviewed 3 of the very best options. The table below summarizes features, and below you’ll find more detailed reviews of each good. Not all dumbbells are created equal though.
Test Results and Ratings
Why did this dumbbells win the first place?
The material is stylish, but it smells for the first couple of days. I really enjoy the design. It is compact, comfortable and reliable. And it looks amazing! I am very happy with the purchase. It is definitely worth its money. The product is top-notch! I don’t know anything about other models from this brand, but I am fully satisfied with this product.
Why did this dumbbells come in second place?
I like this product. For such a low price, I didn’t even hope it to be any better. It’s decently made. Managers explained me all the details about the product range, price, and delivery. Seems that the material is good. It has a very beautiful color but I don’t really like the texture. This is a pretty decent product that perfectly fitted the interior of our office.
№3 – Adjustable Dumbbell Weight Set By Core Fitness – Affordable Dumbbells – Adjustable Weights – Space Saver – Weights – Dumbbells For Your Home –
Why did this dumbbells take third place?
It doesn’t squeaks nor bents. Looks great in my apartment. This price is appropriate since the product is very well built. We are very pleased with the purchase — the product is great! It is inconvenient to use due to the size. I am going to get something different next time.
Dumbbells Buyer’s Guide
These are adjustable, but feel more like a regular dumbbell. It may take longer to change the weight compared with the competition, but they top out at a whopping 34kg. If you use the available add-on kits you can take the weight up to 75kg, which is as exciting as it is unnecessary. £589, buy on ironmaster.co.uk
Opti Cast 20kg Dumbbell Set
This durable set of cast-iron weights is an absolute bargain at £31.99, and if 20kg of weight isn’t enough, you can get extra cast-iron plates from the Argos Opti range and pile them on up to a maximum of 35kg for each. £31.99, buy on argos.co.uk
TurnerMAX 30kg set
Fixed Rubber Dumbbells
Fixed Rubber dumbbells tend to best meet the needs of someone looking for a hard wearing, robust dumbbell for their commercial gym which will withstand the daily abuse of a busy facility. They would also make a great addition to a premium home gym because the quality and feel you get from these dumbbells is exceptional.
One of the main benefits of a rubber dumbbell over bare chrome or cast iron is that the rubber offers a protective outer coating that protects both the dumbbell, the storage stand and the surrounding lifting area. Scratches, chips and dents are easily noticeable on metal weights, but are far less common on rubber dumbbells. Rubber dumbbells also help to reduce noise when they are dropped by the user.
Rubber dumbbells tend to have more attractive, colourful designs and clearer numbering of weight denominations. They are also readily customisable so you can display a company or team logo on each end.
Fixed Hex Dumbbells
Hex Dumbbells are named after their unique shape. Thanks to their many facets, the dumbbells will not roll around once placed on the floor. This is a great advantage if you are switching between weights or exercises and are constantly picking them up and putting them down. They are also excellent for floor based circuits, such as dumbbell push-ups because of their added stability.
The Hex Dumbbell usually comes cheaper than a standard rubber or urethane dumbbell which makes it a great budget option. Next to this, the facets make them easy to store if you happen to be missing a rack.
Fixed Chrome Dumbbells
Metal dumbbells have been popular in the past and are often a cheaper alternative to more modern rubber or urethane dumbbells. Cast iron weights are often found in older, more old school gyms and are readily available for great value second hand. These also come in classic and ‘hex’ shapes and are strong, solid products which stand up to a heavy lifting environments, the risk of chips and scratches is still there.
You will see many gyms using steel, chrome plated dumbbells which are very stylish products. They are all made with toughened metals and anti chip chrome but they are not as robust as dumbbells coated in rubber or urethane. Having said that, for home gyms and facilities which don’t see enormous footfall through their free weights area chrome dumbbells can look great and deliver their function perfectly well.
Dumbbell Plate Sets
Another popular dumbbell solution for home users is a dumbbell set, consisting of small bar with plates which attach on either end. These are a very cost effective option for people looking for a range of weights and to save on space.
Plate sets will normally utilise a spinlock collar, which isn’t always the most secure method of fastening plates to the bar, but it is quick and easy to fasten and remove. Plate sets allow you to adjust the weight of the dumbbell by adding or removing weight plates to the bar, which normally come in weights between 0.5kg to 2.5kg. This kind of plate can’t normally be used on a barbell and is predominantly a home solution. It’s highly unusual for a commercial gym to use these as fixed dumbbells are a more convenient alternative. However, you can get Olympic sized dumbbell handles, which use larger collars and weights. The only issue with this is the handles are wide and restrict some movements. Fixed dumbbells allow you to be far more dynamic.
Many popular studio classes use light resistance work as part of their programme of activity. These are cheap to buy in large quantities and normally include a studio storage unit. They also tend to be colour coded by weight for easy identification during classes.
Studio dumbbells are fully coated; meaning the whole dumbbell (including the handle) is covered in a layer of textured rubber or neoprene to protect the product against the regular use and abuse it will be subject to. The full coating makes the dumbbells easier to grip especially during cardio-heavy group exercise classes. Studio dumbbells have an anti-roll shape, to ensure that during classes, equipment on the floor doesn’t cause a hazard.
Studio dumbbells are usually sold in pairs and are a perfectly good home dumbbell solution if you are looking for very low weight denominations. Studio dumbbells typically range from 0.5kg – 10kg and for commercial purposes can normally be purchased in sets of between 40-50 pairs.
Dumbbell Racks & Storage
A sure fire way to irritate a gym manager is to leave the weights room with dumbbells and plates strewn across the floor, so to avoid this it’s important to have adequate storage and dumbbell rack facilities. Rubber, Urethane and cast iron dumbbells are normally racked on either horizontal or vertical stands. Horizontal racks will normally be able to hold 10-1pairs of dumbbells over either two or three tiers and upright racks can often hold a similar number. Studio dumbbell racks hold pairs of dumbbells in separate vertical slots for each weight.
Dumbbell Racks and Stands
If you’re looking at free weights, you may want to consider purchasing one that comes with a dumbbell rack or a weight stand. This will help keep your weights off of the floor. Additionally, the rack can help you store your weights in an organized and efficient manner. It keeps them off the floor and out of your way.
If you’ve ever stubbed your toe on a weight, you’ll understand the reason to keep them up off the floor. It’s a good way to break your toe or foot. Not all dumbbells come with stands or racks. And, of course, the weights that do come with a rack cost a bit more. It may be worth the additional price if you value organization and you like to be able to easily find the right weight.
The Shape and Grip
You might notice that some dumbbells have rounded ends while others are square or hexagonal. The hexagon shape prevents your dumbbell from rolling. If you’ve ever set your weight down on an uneven floor you’ll know that the last thing you want to have to do is chase your weights around the room.
A hexagon prevents this from happening. If you’re going to put the weights right back on the rack between sets, then a rounded end is just fine.
We talked a bit about the grip when we discussed rubber versus metal weights. The grip is important because that’s how you handle your weights. IF the grip hurts your hand then you won’t want to exercise. If it slips out of your hand you might break something.
Remember, it’s not just the material the grip is made from but also the circumference. If the grip is too wide for your hand you risk injuring your wrist and/or dropping the weight. Make sure the weight feels comfortable in your hand. We’ll talk a bit about weight lifting gloves in just a bit because they can help you increase your hand comfort.
Tips for Buying the Dumbbell Setup That’s Perfect for You
As you might have noticed by now, there are many different types of dumbbells. It may seem a little silly to have so much variety for such a simple device; however the variances are to your benefit. When you find the dumbbell setup that’s right for you, you’ll use them more often and you’ll be happier with your purchase.
The easy side dial switch is quick and easy.
It’s also reliable, allowing you to make your change in just a few seconds.
You also get a handy tray to house the set and keep everything together.
The handle grips of the Bowflex 55feature tapered sides to enhance the feel along with a non-slip palm grip to prevent your hand from sliding around.
As the original designer of the selectorized adjustable dumbbell system, Bowflex are the most trusted and reliable supplier on the market.
Ironmaster 75lb QuickLock
The Ironmaster 75lb Quicklock adjustable dumbbell system is the fastest change system that we have come across, as well as being among the most reliable.
This set provides up to times as many pounds of weight as many other systems on the market.
They go up in increments of 2.pounds, giving you a wide range of selection options.
This set comes with a full cabinet to allow you to securely and smartly store the weights.
A heavy duty construction makes this a very durable, hard wearing set that will handle whatever punishment you throw at it.
It features a welded steel core, along with chrome plated handles that are extremely comfortable and highly grippable.
Nautilus Universal PowerPak 445
The Nautilus Universal PowerPak 44allows you to change weights in increments from to 4pounds.
It comes with a plastic workout stand, manual and workout guide.
The system uses a knob turn device that allows you to select the weight in the increments that you want to use.
The Stairmaster Twistlock Adjustable dumbbell set provides you with a very user friendly option.
A major advantage of this set is that you are able to change the weight setting without taking your hand off the handle grip.
This greatly speeds up your time to change, which is especially beneficial if you are doing down the rack style training.
The Stairmaster Twistlock also features handy weight selection window, allowing you to easily see what weight the system is set at.
This system also features enhanced safety, as the weights are firmly locked in place until you place the handle in the dock of the plate tray.
It has soft, comfort grip handles that are so comfy that you won’t even need to wear workout gloves.
Ironmaster 7lb Quick-Lock with Stand
This is another well-rated equipment which provides better features even for hard core users. It can be used up to 7pound and can be set by 2.lbs.
The weight setting function is really simple because of the quick lock function. Besides it provides quit workouts because the plates lock up very tightly. I also have to mention that it comes with a really space efficient design. These weights are built to last.
Highly durable and stand is included. Perfect for professionals
PowerBlock is a company focusing on adjustable free weights, benches and other accessories for exercises that involve the use of free weights. Their adjustable dumbbells feature an unconventional construction and adjustment system, involving several sets of weight plates connected by metallic rods, which attach to the handle via a connector pin.
Yes4All Adjustable Dumbbells 40, 50, 52.5, 60, 10to 200 lbs
This is kind of regular dumbbell which everyone use and the perfect thing here is it allows people to have a perfect grip while using. This is one of the simplest and easiest dumbbell which I would love to use again. The weights are also very easily adjustable as per people’s choice.
CAP Barbell RSWB-40TP 40 lb. Dumbbell Set
CAP Barbell is one of the leading distributors of all the fitness equipment from almost more than 20 years. So the quality of the product is highly guaranteed. They developed more than 600 products related to fitness for the past 20 years and I personally love this brand to use. It makes people ease while using and I would suggest this for people.
Bowflex SelectTech 1090 Adjustable Dumbbell (Single)
This is one of the best inventions from this company and most of the people completely loved using them. Even strong weightlifters loved this product and use on regular basis. The speciality of this is it is a single dumbbell but it does work as both of them. This is one of the highly used and also recommendable products for everyone especially for a fitness freak.
Ironmaster Quick Lock Dumbbell 120 lb Add on Kit
These are not dumbbells, but an add-on kit for your dumbbells by Ironmaster. They are simply not easy to ignore. They bring the best quality and design. These weights are square shaped, and they are very secure to use. Now you don’t have to worry about rolling of the weights because of their shape; there is no chance of rolling.
They can add approximately forty-five pounds of weight to the dumbbells. You don’t have to be a professional in order to use them; they are very simple to use. This kit is perfect for that extra strength you require. It is available at an economical price. It truly deserves a try!
Before your purchase, you must consider the amount of weight you require to begin your workouts. Adjustable dumbbells are available in various weight ranges, the commonest being 5-50lbs. According to world researchers, the average athletes should go for the 50 pounds dumbbells. Honestly, a large percentage of the world population will find that such sets provide every weight option they might need. What if you require more weight?
Most models provide easier-to-install expansion kits, which allow users to increase the weight on their best adjustable dumbbells. If you need more than what the standardized weight, ensure that it is expandable before purchase.
Considerations if you want to lift heavy
If you need to lift heavy weights, the Bayou Fitness Adjustable Dumbbell is more convenient and you can use it in any apartment or home. The weight increment is somehow limited because you can only change pounds at a time – from pounds to 50 pounds. In fact, the weight adjustment process is easier and you can do it using the adjustment knob.
Before the introduction of the best adjustable dumbbells, people used to purchase separate sets of dumbbells for every weight amount the needed. In other words, they would purchase a single set for pounds, another set for 1pounds, another for 20 pounds and so on. Today, the average set will provide you with weight options ranging from to 50 pounds.
Wrapping it up
So, which are the best adjustable dumbbells to go for? Well, it will depend on your needs. The Bowflex SelectTech 55Adjustable Dumbbells are the best overall. They provide a wider weight range for advanced and beginner users alike and they are also the easiest and fastest dumbbells to adjust. However, their user-friendly design has made them both safe and durable, and they are covered by a money-back guarantee – you can get your money back if you are unhappy with the product. You will also benefit from the warranty. The SelectTech 55is ideal for people who want to lift heavy. They are easier and faster to adjust beyond the 52.pound mark. If you are a beginner, you might need to consider the PowerBlock Elite Dumbbells. With the magnetic selector pin, you will have an easier time reducing or adding weight to the adjustable dumbbells.
Added in Gym Equipment Articles
With the addition of the Power Maxx Dumbbell Sets to our range, I thought I would give you a quick rundown on what I believe what dumbbells work best in a home gym environment.The combatants in this battle are as follows: – Spinlock Dumbbells – – I will be referring to the Ironmaster
Quick Lock Dumbbells as they are my favourite for serious weight training.
10-40kg Dumbbell Set which is great in that it gives you a good spread of weights. The big downside is that you are jumping in 5kg increments after 25kg. Sometimes it can be like hitting a brick wall when trying to jump 5kg when using dumbbells.
Adjustable Dumbbells Adjustable Dumbbells are a happy medium between the two above. Basically they are much more affordable than a rack of fixed dumbbells and take up a lot less space. Plus they have been designed to change weight quickly. In the case of the
Ironmaster Quick Lock Dumbbells, they have such a great number of weight combinations. You can go up in 5lb increments all the way to 54kg or 120lb if you have the
Ironmaster Add on Kit. We sell the Power Maxx
When buying weight plates and bars for home use it’s crucial to understand the two different sizes they come in. Standard weight plates have a inch diameter hole in their centre therefore they are only compatible with standard bars, Olympic weight plates follow the same principle but they have a inch diameter centre hole so you can’t interchange between the two sizes. This is the only real way that they vary from a compatibility perspective, certain gyms and weight benches will be designed to take either standard or Olympic sizes so it’s important to make sure that you get the correct corresponding weights to match that specific piece of equipment.
We have a selection of packages in both standard and Olympic that consists of a series of weight plates and a barbell; these packages are perfect to combine with a bench that features a rack, just be careful to make sure that the length of the bar will be wide enough to fit onto the rack on the bench. We always try to provide a range of large and small plates so that you can interchange depending on what muscle group you’re training.
Barbells are great for pushing heavy weights because you use compound exercises that are perfect for exhausting larger muscle groups such as your chest or legs, the only downside is that you can struggle with isolation exercises for definition.
The most versatile training tool you could ask for, dumbbells dish out a close to limitless expanse of exercises for you. They are ideal to put with an adjustable utility bench for upper body training but they’re plenty useful without too. Our adjustable dumbbells are your most cost effective option where you simply slide weight plates on and off a pair of dumbbell bars to tailor the weight to your needs; they don’t take up a lot of space and can easily be stored away making them perfect for home training.
If you’re looking for a full body workout then the Kettlebell is the tool for you, they’ve recently taken the fitness industry by storm exploding back into fashion and for good reason too. The unique design provides new realms of training possibilities that conventional weights simply can’t provide so if you’re looking to mix up your training and try something new then these come highly recommended.
Kettlebells are available like most weights in either vinyl or cast iron, the cast iron versions are a bit more expensive but worth paying the extra. The vinyl handles can really grate away at your hands making them uncomfortable and unpleasant to use.
I believe to have a safe workout environment, and it’s always important to go for dumbbells that have designs that prevents them from rolling. A lot of women love dumbbells with either hexagon or oblong designs that make the dumbbells impossible to roll.
Some women love using the dumbbells for heavy weight exercises which will build their muscles and for this case the dumbbells to go for is the heavy weight dumbbells that have more weights. But for light weight exercises such as yoga and jogging dumbbells with less weight will do.
Depending on the dumbbells price, some women go for the cheaper dumbbells while other prefer the expensive one. Your financial situation will determine the price, and it’s always advised always to go for what is affordable to you.
Wacces Neoprene Dipped Coated Set of Hand Dumbbells
Great For Use In Any Fitness Class
The dumbbells can easily fit any fitness class use which makes it very effective and popular among women. It gives amazing results when it is used for muscles toning and also when it comes to cardio it gives the required high intensity for the workouts.
Since dumbbells are designed for hand use only, the grip matters a lot. Mostly having a non-slip grip enables one to work out without the dumbbell slipping form the hands easily. Easy to Use
I think the dumbbells are the easiest workout equipment. It doesn’t need professional expertise, and even workout beginners can easily use them without experiencing any challenges whatsoever.
Sold In Pairs
The dumbbells are always sold in pairs because it effectively performs when they are both used during a workout session. They have different weight configurations, and one has to choose the suitable weight which is between 2, 3, 5, and pounds.
Cats Iron Wrap
The cast iron wrap of this dumbbell is quite impressive. It also has a thick coat of the most reliable and long lasting neoprene which gives it the required comfort. I never see the need of even using gloves whenever am using it to work out.
The dumbbells are always used for performing heavy weight exercises that usually strengthen the cores. If you want to build muscles, then this is the best model brand for you. I love its much lighter aerobic workouts such as yoga and jogging.
When it comes to women and multi-purposing, they are the best. And so does these dumbbells, they can be used in very many worksout sessions. They are always great when it comes to any fitness conditions, and yet they still manage to fit in perfectly
The dumbbells enable one to retain their weights without necessarily having to undergo the troubles of going to the gym. So it saves one the extra dimes that would have been used as gym fee. Plus its small size makes it very easy to transport and store.
CAP Solid Hex Dumbbells are well shaped and easy to store. It is 35.pounds weight. It has some extra features that listed below:
Made of high polished chrome with straight knurled handles that works in a chest, arms, back, and shoulders.
CAP Barbell Hex Dumbbell Exercise Options
Your exercise will greatly work if you combine workout bench program with CAP Barbell Solid Hex Dumbbell. It is such an amazing dumbbell that will create some additional value in your workout. To make your exercise more effective we’ve listed few dumbbells exercise here:
Back support positions
One negative feature in these comparisons was the range of back support positions. The PowerBlock gives you settings to choose from, while the other two benches give you 7.
If you need a decline setting, or want a more compact weight bench, we recommend the Body Solid PFID125X. Its 500 lb capacity is similar to the PowerBlock, and the leg brace means decline exercises are now an option.
It’s a competitive price range, featuring big name brands, such as Bowflex, Valor Fitness, XMark, Nautilus, and Body Solid. The Ironmaster Super Bench is also a popular bestseller.
Likewise, the Valor Fitness DD-FID bench has some excellent attachment options, high quality padding, and full range of positions. But its 650 lb capacity is still lower than many benches in this price range.
However, if this weight capacity supports years of future strength gains for you, then it could be the perfect choice.
Gold’s Gym is a name synonymous with bodybuilding. But their weight benches have never gained the same popularity as Bowflex or Body Solid.
Their bestseller is the XRS20 Weight Bench, with a steel tube frame and preacher curl pad for bicep exercises. You also benefit from a freestanding squat rack with adjustable safety spotters, which accompanies the workout bench.
Gold’s produce several other adjustable weight benches, including the XR 6.1, XR 6.0, and XR 5.They also produce an Olympic weight bench (XR10.1) and a Slant Bench (XR 5.9), which features a range of decline positions for ab workouts.
Although they only produce one workout bench, the Ironmaster Super Bench is a careful balance of strength and affordability.
The back support can be adjusted from decline to upright, and features heavy-duty padding for added comfort.
But what makes this weight bench special is the range of attachment options. You can buy a crunch sit-up attachment, dip handle attachment, preacher curl attachment, and even a hypercore attachment. This is useful for performing hyperextensions, to strengthen your core and lower back.
A chin-up attachment, leg curl attachment, and cable tower attachment are also available for added upper body exercises.
Marcy are perhaps best known for their MD-9010G Smith Machine, which also includes one of their multi-function weight benches.
Marcy have an excellent reputation for customer service and build quality. Their fitness equipment line includes folding weight benches, Olympic weight benches (MD-857), and even a bench with a pec fly attachment (MD-389).
Weider SpeedWeight 120
Just like I said in my “about us page”, I do discuss with friends who have spent years in buying adjustable dumbbells and building weights, I always see the name of this product popup whenever am discussing and analysing the top dumbbells.
Weider SpeedWeight is supposed and should be here on this list, because it provide us with one of the best packs we ever need in a set.
One quality that makes this product stands out is it’s six inch diameter, which makes it the smallest in diameter of the three reviewed products here.
However, because of this, it’s also the smallest in appearance than the two other best ones.
Ironmaster 7lb Quick-Lock
I made the Ironmaster to be the 3rd and last on my list of the top favourite dumbbells.
What made this set to stand out of other sets is that it is the most sturdy of the three which are mentioned here, it is also made and manufactured in USA, which makes it to have a balanced feeling when you start bodybuilding.
Don’t ever be carried away by the ratings of products when you decide to buy one, don’t just look at the product ratings, go further to read reviews, which offer much more indepth explanation to you, rather than so ratings.
However, never under-rate the power of ratings, because since we would not have that patience/time to read hundreds, or thousands of reviews, which would surely be positive and negative, but simply looking at customers rating would give us, within few seconds, all we need to know about the product, because when positive ratings is much more greater than the negative ratings, then go for the product, but ensure than positive rating is way way above the negative ratings.
Your Time: Simply Way to Choose the Best Product Anytime:
I believe that most of us don’t have the time to read reviews, so the best option is to look at customers rating of the product. I promise you, when you decide to look at the highest rated reviews and their values, this would most beneficial to your time and your money.
If a product is rated as five stars, this may not mean that it is the best choice. For example, Weider would appear to be the best based on ratings only, but this does not tell us the whole story when it comes to positive reviews from customers.
The number of ratings and reviews can also be helpful. Using Weider as an example, this product has a 100% 5-star rating but upon closer review, only one customer has provided input.
The IronMaster and BowFlex have a 4.and 4.star rating respectively with a higher number of positive review.
So, if we were to follow the rating trends, the BowFlex set would appear to be the least favored product, which I tell you, is purely a lie, when you consider the fact that this product has the most reviews of all three weight sets (564, compared to for Weider and 7review for IronMaster).
But the Choice is Your’s to Make!
Okay, I have done my best in reviewing and explaining in great detail, the meaning or ratings, reviews and others, but the ultimate choice is yours to make, and that is, which one of them would you purchase?
Will you go for the 560 reviews on bowflex? or the 7review on Ironmaster? Or maybe, the single review on Weider? Which one of these will convince you?
Why you should add free weights to your workouts
You can use dumbbells to strength train your arms, back, core, and legs. Additionally, you can use them while doing cardio exercises to make your workouts more challenging.
The versatility and small size of free weights means that you can get a total body workout in a small space.
Muscles acting in a stabilizing role aren’t directly involved in lifting a weight, but instead keep certain parts of the body steady so that the primary working muscles can do their job properly, according to Women Fitness.
Dumbbells are a great choice for home fitness equipment for the price conscious fitness fan who is looking to start, update, or add to their home gym. For a smaller investment than larger cardio or strength equipment, you can build an arsenal of workout tools.
Additionally, you can gradually increase your collection of weights as you gain strength and endurance.
If you are working out with dumbbells and they are too heavy, don’t fear. Simply drop the dumbbells without the need for additional assistance.
Types of dumbbells “Selectorized dumbbells” like PowerBlocks is an adjustable dumbbell that provides a range of weight in a single dumbbell set. To use adjustable dumbbells, you use a selector pin to choose the amount of weight you want to lift.
Key features to look for
Despite their relatively simple design, modern weights benches can actually have a surprising amount of features. As this guide is designed for anyone looking to buy a bench for their own home gym, this includes attachment options, back support settings, and perhaps most importantly, safety features.
Confidence AB MASTER Pro Series AB Trainer
Where most ab benches are designed to be stationary, this is a bench that can be adjusted to create a range of motion that best suits your own physical ability.
Providing complete support for your lower back throughout the exercise, the padded back support follows your upper body through the complete 200 degree range of motion as you perform your sit ups and crunches.
The bar that arcs over the bench also performs a similar function to using an ab harness on a multi gym, creating added resistance which can be adjusted to suit your own personal strength level.
My answer is a fast and definite ‘NO!’.
There are huge differences between the quality weights produced by the biggest brands, and the cheaper knock-offs. Fortunately you do not have to spend a fortune to get a decent quality set of weights. What you are paying for with the brand name is a uniform distribution of weight, tight fit and no rattles for the adjustable weights – and those little extras like comfortable grips or sometimes vinyl coverings.
You’ll probably only invest in a weight set once (though you might well expand it!) – so make sure you make the smartest choice.
You have main choices.
Either you get an adjustable set, where you add more weight to the bars as needed. Or you go for a set of fixed weights and pick up the one you need depending on the exercise. For many people the adjustable set looks like a good option, since it takes up less space – and many of the weights can also be used with your barbell.
What you might want to factor in is whether the space saved is worth the trouble of continually adding / removing weights for different exercises. This can become a serious annoyance after just a few workouts.
With the fixed weight sets you get to choose from metal or vinyl / rubber. It’s still going to hurt if you drop one on your toes – though at least rubber will usually leave less of a dint in the flooring. I also like the hexagonal design of many modern dumbbell sets. You’ll find plenty of reviews of these here at Fitness Review.
Here are reviews of of the best Dumbbell sets you can currently buy online (the prices and specs will depend on how many pieces you buy). Below that is the most popular of all.
DKN Vinyl Kettlebell Set
Colourful vinyl covered kettlebell set which is perfect to get you started.
There are plenty of accessories which can replace many of the activities you’ll get up to with free weights. These include (elasticated ropes), machines such as bullworkers and bigger devices including power towers.
You can see all of the different reviews of free weights here at Fitness Review in list form via this link
Better for conditioning
If superquick weight changes for rapidly paced conditioning workouts (think P90X or CrossFit) is what you’re after, there’s nothing quicker than our runner-up, the StairMaster TwistLock Adjustable Dumbbells. Instead of twin dials that must be adjusted independently, like those on the Bowflex set, with the StairMasters, you simply twist the barbell handle in either direction to adjust the weight up or down. In literally two seconds you can adjust the weight from to 50 pounds (in 5-pound increments). Unfortunately, what you gain in speed, you lose in variety, since the handle-adjustment mechanism means you can’t adjust the sides independently like you can with the Bowflex set. But most of our testers found this to be a worthy trade-off in terms of usability. Another highlight is that among all of the dial-adjusting dumbbells we tested, the StairMasters are the only ones that change their length as you increase or decrease weight. That means they’re pretty consistent in length with a traditional single-weight dumbbell of the same load,
Better for strength training
On the other hand, if you’re primarily focused on strength training, consider our upgrade pick, the Ironmaster 45-Pound Quick-Lock Adjustable Dumbbells, or if you want more weight, get the 75-pound version (includes a stand). Either set is expandable up to 120 pounds per handle for real heavy lifting, should you ever get to that point. This set was my personal favorite because I loved its smart design, traditional feel, and all-metal construction. However, it’s much slower to adjust, and will take you about 1to 20 seconds to fiddle with the screw-in pin lock as opposed to to for the dial-based picks. That makes them ill-suited for conditioning workouts that rely on rapid weight changes, but if you primarily want dumbbells for bodybuilding and/or stand-alone exercises, these are the better buy because they’re more durable and can be bought in heavier configurations. They also come backed by a limited lifetime warranty as opposed to the two-year affair provided by our other picks.
The adjustable dumbbells we tested allow users to easily scale up the difficulty of their workouts so that they continue to produce “adaptation” (fitness jargon for progress).
But why bother with a full set of dumbbells? Pick up any copy of a fitness magazine at the grocery store, and you’ll find a guide to increasing “tone” with the simple use of a pair of dumbbells. The catch, of course, is the law of diminishing returns. While using a pair of dumbbells will produce results in the short term (if you haven’t been using them before as part of your exercise routine), the limitations of a single pair of dumbbells will quickly reveal themselves once your body has adjusted to the resistance provided by the single pair. If you want to continue to produce results, you’ll have to buy a heavier pair of dumbbells. This is due to the principle of progressive overload, which basically states that to make improvements in muscle size, strength, or endurance, you must make your muscles work harder than they are accustomed to. Vladimir Zatsiorsky and William Kraemer, in their classic work
Science and Practice of Strength Training
However, that doesn’t preclude committed and experienced weightlifters from benefiting from our advice. In that spirit, we tested models like the Ironmaster Quick-Lock Adjustable Dumbbells and the PowerBlock U-90 (Stage set), which offer higher load-bearing possibilities (and use slightly more involved weight-adjustment methods), in order to present a thorough assessment of the major players in the field.
Kettlebells have become incredibly popular since CrossFit exploded onto the scene, but these weights aren’t ideal for at-home use. And I say this as someone who’s been working with kettlebells since 2003—in fact, they are the most-used weight equipment in my gym. But kettlebells require specific technique in both Olympic lifting and powerlifting to avoid injury, which you should really learn from a trained and certified instructor. They are great if you know how to use proper form, but I have seen very few self-taught (or YouTube-trained) kettlebell users with proper form. In addition, kettlebells typically aren’t adjustable and can actually take up more space than a full set of dumbbells. Meanwhile, dumbbells allow for more isolation movements (with less range of motion required across multiple joints), and they include a wealth of easily accessible, solid support materials, which make them better suited for at-home users.
The difference between strength training and conditioning
Conditioning consists of exercises that require a person to work hard or move fast for a limited amount of time to increase their cardiovascular health. You have heard of many conditioning exercises: aerobics, short runs or sprints, jumping rope, and a lot of gym exercises that people consider to be cardio. All conditioning exercises burn fat as a result. You can also use weights (like a pair of dumbbells) for conditioning work. These workouts typically involve circuit training (exercises conducted in rapid succession and targeting different parts of your body). There’s usually only a 20- to 30-second break between exercises. That’s why it’s important to be able to change weight settings quickly. If your muscles start to tire, it’s better to complete the circuit using lighter weights than risk injury. But the only way to do that while keeping your heart rate up (without switching to a different, lighter set of weights) is to have weights that can adjust on the fly.
Strength training and conditioning each has its benefits, which is why so many experts recommend a program that combines a bit of both. Therefore, it’s nice if you can have one set of weights that excel at both types of training.
For a more detailed rundown of the two types of training, check out this breakdown at Livestrong.
How we picked
While adjustable dumbbells have been around for more than 50 years, it wasn’t until the 200release of the home workout craze P90X that the market exploded with variations on the classic barbell design. That design, which includes a bar, loose weight plates, and screw-on collars to secure them, was incredibly unwieldy for the quick transitions between exercises and weights that were a staple of P90X. Producers took note, developed new designs, and years later we have a market glutted with options in adjustable dumbbells.
Each of the experts commended the advantages of a strength program built upon a variety of resistance levels and exercises. They all agreed that the new wave of adjustable dumbbell technology had provided a convenient alternative to the screw-collar adjustable variety of yore. Read remembers that adjustable dumbbells were what brought him into weightlifting, and he “fondly” remembers his dad complaining about the “piles of weight plates strewn about everywhere in the garage.” The smaller footprint of these newer adjustable weights is a huge plus for him. Schoenfeld, whose book The M.A.X. Muscle Plan uses dumbbells for strength gains, loves the scalability of adjustable dumbbells because “having a wide range of weights facilitates the ability to derive superior results.” McDowell believes in using simple strength programs to supplement cardio training programs, and she thinks that adjustable dumbbells offer an easy solution for strength needs. She and her husband have a set of Bowflex SelectTech 552s at their house.
How we tested
Testing dumbbells “for most people” is a bit difficult to do because different people will want to do different things with them. This is why I wanted to test for both strength and conditioning, and with a variety of users of all sorts of body types to make sure we covered all the necessary bases.
I tested each of the models in three ways. First, I took them through a battery of traditional dumbbell exercises like curls, triceps extensions, shoulder presses, bench presses, rows, squats, and lunges. I did each of these as stand-alone exercises, so the emphasis was on strength work and isolation instead of conditioning. In these strength tests, I was checking to make sure that the dimensions of the dumbbells didn’t compromise my range of motion, that they felt comfortable and stable through different movements, and that they allowed lots of variability in loading options (when doing isolation exercises, especially of smaller muscle groups, it’s important that users can move up in small increments).
Then, to add a more conditioning-oriented component that was in line with the currently trendy approach used by CrossFit and other methods, I used each of the dumbbells in a “complex.” These combine multiple exercises in one work set without putting down the weights. For these conditioning workouts, I was looking for a weight that was broadly functional (showing no problems with range of motion, offering quiet and stable operation, and allowing for very easy manipulation in between work sets when I was shaky and tired). Complexes allow a user to combine strength and conditioning in taxing workouts that last no more than 20 minutes. This makes them particularly well-suited to a home user who has trouble finding a workout that fits into their busy schedule. I used the following complex: five bent-over rows, five hang cleans, five squat/presses, five bent-over rows. I found this by searching Dumbbell WOD (workout of the day). The 2reps took me about 5seconds to complete.
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your Dumbbells wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of Dumbbells
- №1 — Wacces Neoprene Dipped Coated Set of 2 Dumbbells Hand Weights Sets Non Slip Grip
- №2 — ZELUS Heavy Rubber Dumbbells Hand Weights with Metal Handles
- №3 — Adjustable Dumbbell Weight Set By Core Fitness – Affordable Dumbbells – Adjustable Weights – Space Saver – Weights – Dumbbells For Your Home –