The Benefits of a Dumbbell Set
The age of widespread dumbbell acceptance is here at last, and there are few instruments that are more advantageous in anyone’s strength training tool chest. Resembling smaller, single piece barbells, dumbbells can be purchased inexpensively at different weight sizes, used in a wide variety of different workouts, and have multiple health benefits. Depending on the amount of weight you use and the pace at which you do your repetitions, dumbbells can be used for more than just building muscle: they are also great for burning calories, cardio, or increasing your endurance.
Compared to barbells, dumbbells offer exercises that are far more joint friendly, with more flexibility allowed to your shoulders and elbows, while also still allowing you to push your strength to the next level.
For those after my opinion:
Muscle-building aside, dumbbells increase bone density so that fractures less likely, which makes them an ideal fitness choice for seniors. They are a good way to improve your cardio stamina and bring up your muscular endurance, as well as having many cardio benefits.
Those who have had previous injuries are advised to use mostly dumbbells in their training, but by no means should they be the only ones. Dumbbells are great for everybody.
Pricewise, it is hard to beat the deal that dumbbells offer, since they lend the same workout benefits as heavier, more expensive equipment for a fraction of the price. They can be used at home, at the gym, at a friend’s house, or pretty much anywhere you want to take them.
The small size and flexibility of dumbbells also means that many of the more strenuous exercises are actually safer when performed with dumbbells, since they allow more manoeuvrability. Worst case, if something goes wrong or you get in an awkward position, dumbbells can be easily dropped them without any damage to either the equipment or the floor — which, if you have downstairs neighbors, is definitely a good thing.
Plus, for apartment dwellers with limited space or those who spend a lot of time on the road, dumbbells are a great buy. This only leaves one question: which dumbbells should you choose?
The AmazonBasics 20-Pound Dumbbell Set with Stand
One of the first options you should look at for your arm exercises is the AmazonBasics 20-Pound Dumbbell Set with Stand, coming in with at a great price, the wonder of free Amazon Prime shipping, and three sets of weights. With this deal, Amazon is offering what essentially amounts to a complete starter package, including three pairs of dumbbells in 2-pound, 3-pound, and 5-pound sizes, giving the beginning the option to try out different weights and figure out what suits them. In addition, the package includes a handy little weight stand for all of them.
The weights in this weight bench set come in a neoprene coating that is easy to grip and hard to slip, which anyone who has ever dropped a weight due to a slippery hand will thank them for that. These coatings pop out with bright colors, a different one for each weight class, so that you can easily pick up and drop whatever weight suits your need without a second thought.
Reviews are extremely positive, with hundreds of five star ratings from newbies and experienced lifters alike. Reviewers praise the hexagonal ends on each weight, which make them less likely to roll around the floor, and say that the combination of the weights and stand is a great deal for the price Amazon is asking. In addition, the stand is easy to assemble, so you won’t have to waste much time putting it together before you can get started on your arm exercises, and you have an easy built-in storage solution.
There are a handful of poor reviews citing such issues as missing screws, with some calling the stand “flimsy,” but these seem to be dramatically outweighed by the overwhelming majority of positive experiences that most home workout enthusiasts have for this weight set. For what money can buy you, this is probably one of the best all-around package deals you’re going to find, and it deserves a look for anyone interested in getting their dumbbell fitness routines started, or for the already-experienced looking to pick up a new set for an especially good price.
CAP Barbell Color Coated Hex Dumbbell, Single
Next up on the conveyer belt of arm exercising options, we have CAP Barbell’s single dumbbell option, with prices that range. This is because you’re going to be ordering a single dumbbell, which you pick the size of, ranging from the regular 5-pound dumbbells to the heavy metal 50-pounders.
Since the company is selling individual dumbbells, where you select the size and order each barbell one at a time, it’s not a package deal like the one Amazon is offering. But the quality is high, which makes this option worth checking out. CAP Barbell’s dumbbells are made of solid cast iron with a protective coating to preserve their exteriors, along with chrome handles that are contoured to improve the grips. Like the prior entry, these dumbbells also have hexagonally shaped dumbbell heads, so they won’t go rolling all over the place.
Though easy to grip, some reviewers have complained that the purely metal bar can become painful, since they offer no cushion, and can create calluses. Since each barbell must be ordered individuality, a second order doesn’t always quite match the first, resulting in differences between the two barbells. These are also some aesthetic complains concerning black markings or scratches, but since the barbells themselves do the job, these are largely irrelevant.
For those who are experienced with using weight lifting equipment and know what they want, this could be a good choice; some people swear by metal. On the other hand, the price-point of these barbells, of which you can only order one a time, doesn’t cater as much to new customers, who might be unsure what size they want to order, or might want a few different sizes right off the bad. Many customers have made the mistake of ordering this product and expecting two barbells to arrive, but that will require an additional purchase.
As a whole, these barbells are a pretty good bargain, though the customer should make sure to know some of the basics going in, including what weight size they want, and how many they want to order.
CAP Barbell 40-pound Adjustable Dumbbell Set with Case
Luckily for those who want to get more of a full package in one go, CAP Barbell also offers a 40-pound Adjustable Dumbbell Set with Case, allowing you to get two of CAP Barbell’s great matching dumbbells in one purchase. What makes this deal really pop, though, is that these dumbbells have adjustable weights.
What does that mean? Basically, this 40-pound set can be adjusted according to your weight preference, an advantage that will save you time and money every time you want to change weight sizes without buying a new dumbbell set. In addition, these dumbbells are accented by ergonomic grips and comfort handles. The cast iron plates have a semi-gloss finish, to prevent the growth of long term rust.
This set includes four 2.5-pound plates, four 5-pound plates, and two handles and collars. The weights are easily interchangeable, so you can up the ante, or loan your barbell to a friend who does his workouts with more (or less) weight than you. As far as customizability goes, these adjustable weights have that game in the bag.
This dumbbell set also comes with a plastic carry case that is easily portable, measuring just 20 inches long by 9 inches wide, coming in at a total weight of 41.15. The carry case is sturdy, organized, and perfect for you if you’re wanting to keep your personal space in clean, neat shape.
These dumbbells also come with great reviews, many reviewers commenting on the ease of the adjustable weights helping them bring arm exercises to the next level. Unfortunately, not all of the news is good, as these weights and barbells come with a major disclaimer: they have been found to contain phthalate chemicals, which are known to potentially cause reproductive harm to women, including birth defects. Luckily, the company has tackled this problem by allowing customers to return the product for a full refund, so even those worried about contamination can sigh with relief.
As a whole, most reviews agree that while these aren’t top-notch materials, they seem to serve their purpose quite well—other than the health problems.
Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells
On the high end of things, we have the Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells, a set that contains pretty much anything and everything you’ll ever need. With a brand new design, these 552 SelectTech Dumbbells combine 15 sets of weights into a single dumbbell, all of which can be adjusted with the simple turn of a dial. All it takes is a quick motion to alter the resistance on one of these dumbbells from 5 pounds to 52.5.
These adjustments can also be made in 2.5-pound increments up to the first 25 pounds, so that you can increase your strength training more gradually. This allows you to switch in no time from a stationary lunge to a twisting side crunch, all without even grabbing a different dumbbell.
As far as saving space, this makes the Bowflex option the most effective one here as far as space and organization, since all you require is two of them to suit all of your dumbbell needs. No clutter, no rack needed, just one purchase, the twist of a dial, and you’re all set to go. The fact that Bowflex also offers a two year warranty on all weight plates and parts is a pretty nice bonus, as if a deal this good needed any more sprucing up.
Of course, anything this nice isn’t going to be the cheapest option, and all of this fun comes with a higher price tag. You can get the Bowflex SelectTech 552 dumbbells for $289. This definitely puts them on a different scale from the other options listed here, but for those who are short on time, can afford a little extra, and don’t want to clutter up their whole living room with different size dumbbells, these may be the best way to go.
The other downside to a multitalented, adjustable weight dumbbell like this one is that it’s something you want to be a little more careful about not dropping. Whereas one of the smaller-scale dumbbells will easily survive any fall, and these ones are pretty sturdy, reviewers recommend not dropping them any more than five feet.
Conclusion – The Best Dumbbell Set Is…
Every human body is unique, and so is every weightlifting exercise routine. What works for one person doesn’t work for another, so there’s no one size fits all recommendation when it comes to deciding which dumbbell suits your needs. Do you want to start small and work your way up? Or would you plunge into the deep end? That’s up to you, and the dumbbells listed above are just a handy guide to get you started.
There are a lot of options. That said, for those looking to get started in a cheap and easy way, the AmazonBasics deal, complete with a stand, will get you started the right way. More experienced lifters, or at least those who know which size they want, can look into the two CAP Barbell options. And finally, those who are willing to shell out some extra dough to get something that suits all of their needs simultaneously would be best off if they go with the Bowflex SelectTech 552.
The most important thing, of course, is to listen to your body, know what works best for you, and never push it to the breaking point. Using dumbbells is an exercise that will improve your muscular endurance and cardio, build muscle, and make your stronger. They’re safe, great for everyone, and can be found in many different weight sizes — or, as we’ve seen, many are adjustable, so you’ll only need to get one. Find the dumbbell that best suits your purposes, and go from there.