Dumbbells Buying Guide

We all know that dumbbells are simple yet effective for workouts. It would be somewhat a difficult task to grab the dumbbell (that suits your requirement like for muscle building or strong bones or to enhance endurance) for your regular workouts. So, here we are providing you all the information essential to choose and buy the best dumbbell.

Types of Dumbbell

Do you know that till 17th century, the most common shape of dumbbell is the one which carry two equal weights on both sides? In general, there are two main types of dumbbells available in the market. Let’s know about them in detail.

1.Fixed Dumbbells

After reading the name, you will get a clarity that these type of dumbbells don’t need any assembly and that comes with fixed weights. These can either made with a same material (cast iron) completely or a combination of materials (cast iron with rubber or neoprene). These are durable dumbbells and difficult to detach the disc from the rod. The usage of fixed dumbbells will reduce the risk of getting injury due to the breaking off of the dumbbells while exercising. There are a wide variety of fixed dumbbell styles.

Fixed Rubber Dumbbells Suitable for people looking for a hard wearing or robust dumbbell for commercial gym. It offers a protective outer coating that protects both the dumbbell, storage stand and its surrounding lifting area. Also reduces noise and looks attractive with colourful designs.

Fixed Urethane Dumbbells It is a more premium commercial equipment option and also stronger than rubber. The outer layers are tough and resistant to the scratches, marks, especially when dropped on the new wooden or vinyl floor. The urethane won’t produce any odour.

Fixed Hex Dumbbells These dumbbells will not roll around when placed on the floor due to their facets and unique shape. This works best when you’re switching between weights or exercise and or constantly picking up and putting down or dumbbell push – ups. Also, easy to store and cost effective.

Fixed Chrome Dumbbells Chrome plated dumbbells are becoming popular due to their stylish and made with toughened metals and anti – chip chrome. These are not as robust as dumbbells coated in urethane or rubber. They look great and deliver their function perfectly. 

Pros

  • They come in different sizes, weights and designs.
  • Easy to carry as it won’t require any further adjustments 
  • Strong, durable and firm when compared with adjustable dumbbells, as these are less prone to breaks.
  • Won’t make too much sound and don’t even shiver while you’re using them.

Cons

  • It may consume more space and also keep in a proper place to prevent them from rolling away.
  • A set of fixed pairs of dumbbells weighs somewhat more when compared with a set of adjustable dumbbells because it is mostly packed with iron.

2. Adjustable Dumbbells

This innovation of having multiple dumbbells option is a single pair is made easier for fitness freaks. In this type, you can adjust the length of the bars and weight (either by adding or reducing the number of disks on both sides). The weight plates of adjustable one are made with iron and have a specific coating to make it strong and durable. It is mainly of two types – classic and selectorized dumbbells. 

Classic dumbbells contains bars and the plates which are locked with spring collars. In this dumbbell type, we can only add and remove the weight plates whereas in the adjustable selectorized dumbbells you can adjust weight more quickly.

The only thing you have to do is to assemble and fix them properly in every time you want to make some moderation in the training routine. In case, if you want to save your time in assembling, you can opt for selectorized adjustable dumbbells.

Selectorized Adjustable Dumbbells:

As the name suggests, this are similar to adjustable dumbbells but the difference is that the weights of this dumbbell can be altered while resting the dumbbell stand – seems automated rather than manual like adjustable dumbbells. Just punch in the number of plates needed for dumbbell to lift, so that it will help you in focusing more on the exercise and thereby make you fit and healthy. 

Pros

  • Safe and reliable in which the plates are held very tight on the bars and thereby prevents fall off.
  • Portable in which you can remove the weight plates and carry it easily
  • Have a choice of changing the weight range with extra plates

Cons

  • They might be a problem in unloading and loading the weight plates
  • If the weight are not set properly with their spring locks then it becomes a difficult or annoying task for some users. 

Advantages or Benefits of Working out with the Dumbbell:

When done regularly workouts with dumbbells correctly then you can see various changes in your body that helps to keep you fit.

Muscle Building – Most people use dumbbells to build their muscles. When you lift the weight, it increases the mass of the muscles and thereby burn calories or fat in your body. You can build muscles or just tone then muscles with the effective dumbbell exercises.

Stabilization & Activation – A consistent dumbbell exercise will help to improve stability and also activates your muscles to make you fit and healthy.

Improved Cardio Health – The usage of dumbbells will definitely increase your heart beat and thereby it may turn into a form of aerobic exercises to improve your cardiovascular health and burns your calories along with reducing the risk of getting diseases like back pain, blood pressure, heart problems, etc.

Stronger Bones – Regular workouts with dumbbell will help to increase the density of the bones and thereby make it less prone to fractures.

Endurance – The prolonged use of dumbbells will help your muscles develop the endurance to keep it active for a longer time. 

Things to Consider While Buying Dumbbells:

Here are a few important factors that you have to consider before purchasing a pair of dumbbells.

1. Material of Dumbbells:

We can differentiate the dumbbells based on the material that used in them. Here are some of the popular materials that are widely used for creating or coating the dumbbells.

  • Solid Metal Dumbbells

The most common type of dumbbells used for fitness for a long time. These have a silver metallic rod with disc or discs in black. Remember that the type of grip this rod has will vary from one brand to another. So, be cautious while using, as they may cause damage if you drop accidentally on the floor. 

  • Rubber Dumbbells

It has a rubber coating over the discs or plates which makes them look better. This coating protect the dumbbells from rust, as it covers the metal plates for not to get exposed to moisture. Also, these dumbbells protect the floor from getting ugly scratches that caused by accidental dropping of these dumbbells on the floor. A small disadvantage is that you can’t escape from the pungent smell of the rubber while using these dumbbells at the initial days. 

  • Vinyl Coated Dumbbells

These dumbbells come with a vinyl coating over them and are made of cast iron. In general, they come in multiple colors to make you easier to identify the weight of dumbbells, if you have too many pairs. Avoid using this vinyl coated dumbbells, if you have sweaty hands why because it may be difficult for you to maintain proper grip on them and also don’t go for cheap painted dumbbells.

  • Chrome Coated Dumbbells

When a dumbbell is made of metal and coated with chromed then it works more durable than plastic ones, even if you’re going to use these dumbbells at home. 

Also, remember that the material used in making the handles will also matters. The dumbbells are knurled (cross – hatched) to give a perfect grip even if you have sweaty hands. It works great if the dumbbell are made of metal. All you need is to choose the material that suits your need most. 

2. Hand Grip

While buying dumbbells, you should definitely consider this factor. If you get sweaty palms while working out then simply avoid choosing the dumbbells that have smooth rods otherwise it will make your training session somewhat difficult. The dumbbells must be shaped to fit your hand easily. 

The optimum diameter of a normal dumbbell should be 1 inch and for a higher weight dumbbells, it can be up to 2 inches in diameter. To get proper grip of the hands, choose the rough ones which will increase friction and thereby won’t affect your grip.

3. Training Routine

The type of training routine (like bench press, weighted squats, etc. different exercises need different types of dumbbells) will be considered before buying dumbbells. But before making the final decision, you have to discuss with your fitness trainer why because it depends up on the body frame, exercise routine, strength and capacity. 

4. Dumbbells Shape

In general, we find dumbbell discs either round or hexagonal in shape. Prefer buying hexagonal dumbbells to prevent rolling away when placed on the floor. If you can afford a dumbbell rack then you can go with a round dumbbells, so that it will stay in place without rolling away. 

5. Accessories

You should check whether to spend money in buying accessories like storage racks, gym gloves (for proper grip and easy lifting), mats (designed withstand the weight of dumbbells to protect the floor), dumbbell bench (to get proper workouts on the chest and shoulders) or others along with this dumbbells. Or you can simply look for combo offers in which you can save money. 

6. Space

It is another important aspect to consider before buying dumbbells. Check the availability of space at your home or gym area. The space available for workout area will determine the size of the dumbbells (large space – dumbbells of larger rods or else short length rods). Better go with adjustable dumbbells, if you have a shortage of space in which you can dismantle the dumbbells if not using them. 

7. Weights

Finding the ideal weight depending on the training levels will definitely help you to keep fit and healthy. You should be very careful in choosing the weight, especially if you’re choosing a fixed dumbbells. Simply start with smaller weights and then increase the weights. 

Also, for what you are using the dumbbells (for whole body strength or upper body or curls) will determine what weight you should consider, especially for those who are not beginners at weight lifting. 

8. Budget / Cost

Keeping the required features and available budget in your mind will definitely prevent you from overspending. Also, helps you in choosing the best dumbbells that comes at the best value of your money.

9. Brand

No one wants to waste their time and money while purchasing a product. So, prefer to choose the popular and trusted brand products, which comes in your budget to use the dumbbells for a long time.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Which one is best – Fixed or Adjustable Weight Dumbbells?

Although, both work with same functionality but when we compare both of these, the adjustable dumbbells have a little bit upper hand over the fixed ones. The reason is that unlike fixed dumbbells, you can easily adjust the weight of the dumbbells with a set of weighted plates in adjustable dumbbells. For proper exercise, you need dumbbells of different weight. So, choose adjustable dumbbells with a set of weighted plates rather than purchasing different dumbbells of various weights. 

2. Are there any accessories to buy while purchasing these dumbbells?

The accessories will definitely add a value to our purchase. Here are some accessories you should consider while buying the dumbbells.
*Gym gloves – Use it to get a good grip while you’re using the dumbbells and rods.
*Gym ropes – Used for work outs with ropes.
*Gym towel – Use it when you sweat during workout sessions.
*Bolts – Used to tighten the different weighted plates on the dumbbells, used exclusively for adjustable dumbbells. 

3. Can I use dumbbells to tone muscle?

Most of the people start lifting weights (using dumbbells) for muscle toning. But make sure to use a lightweight and easy to handle beginner dumbbell set. Muscle toning is somewhat different from building large muscles. If you want to tone your muscle with a beginner dumbbell set, then simply focus on the form and work by increasing the number of repetitions you can do at each exercise. 
Avoid choosing a heavy weights and also perform 10 – 15 repetitions of each exercise for multiple sets without muscle failing.  If you’re a complete novice then simply start work out with 3 lb and 5 lb to tone your muscles and thereby increase the weights gradually, as you gain experience and strength.

4. How many repetitions should I do for body building?

Although, there is no magical count of how many repetitions you should do but it depends on certain factors like your goals (either to build new muscles or tone the existing muscles) and the exercises you’re working on will influence the magical number.
*For building muscle strength – Lift the dumbbells for 4 – 7 reps (repetitions)
*For muscle growth – Go for 8 – 12 reps
*For muscular endurance – Aim for 12 – 20 reps
If you’re able to lift a weight for more than 20 reps then try to lift a heavier pair of dumbbells for the next set.

5. Can dumbbells help to burn fat?

Most of us think that cardio exercise is the best way to burn the body fat but lifting weights when done properly will also help in burning more calories in less time than cardio exercises do. The mechanism is that weightlifting forces the body to spend more energy on each rep than this cardio exercises. 
So, if you combine a different sets of dumbbell exercises (compound exercises or circuit workouts) for a rapid fire workout then you can easily burn a large number of calories in a shorter time. Finally, you came to know that dumbbells are an outstanding tool used to burn your fat while you exercise and all you need to spend some time and effort in planning your workout creatively.

6. What are the different dumbbell exercises?

There are various forms of dumbbell exercises that affect different muscles of the body. Scroll down to see those dumbbell workouts you can do for overall health.
*Dumbbell bench press
*Dumbbell shrug 
*Dumbbell curls 
*Bent over rows
*Dumbbell calf raise
*Dumbbell lunges

7. How often should I clean the dumbbells?

Some people says that the amount of dirt on the dumbbell’s surface will affect its weight. So, it is not advisable to deep clean the weight regularly with solvent cleaning agents. This is because they tend to change the surface chemistry of the weights and thereby disturb the equilibrium. 
In simple words, cleaning will make the dumbbell less stable in terms of mass. You can note down the prior weight of the dumbbell before cleaning and after done cleaning to ascertain the change in their weight. 

8. How to properly clean the dumbbells?

Cleaning dumbbells will change their equilibrium in the weight. Have a look on the detailed cleaning process to know how to clean them.
*Take a clean soft brush / soft clean cloth and use it to dust the dumbbells lightly.
*If you find any stain not removed completely, then consider using solvent cleaning.
*Or simply go for professional cleaning procedures that include ultrasonic baths and soxhlet apparatus.
*After cleaning, you must leave it for a while to get dried completely (recalibrated) and then you can weigh it again to know the weight difference.

9. Is it necessary to have a dumbbell racks?

Of course, the dumbbell rack is necessary to keep your gym room or space to look neat and well arranged. It prevent the damage to persons or properties that caused due to dumbbells rolling around or littering the ground. So, consider getting a right dumbbell rack is essential (especially for fixed dumbbells) to keep them stay in position but not roll around and also easy to handle it.

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