If you have decided on purchasing Dumbbells for working out at home, congratulations! Dumbbells are one of the most versatile piece of equipment for building muscle, losing weight and keeping fit. They are inexpensive, take up very little space and can target every part of your body and help you in getting fit. Today, we will focus on some of the important considerations you should keep in mind before buying your next set of Dumbbells.

Top Buying Considerations for Dumbbells

Before you buy your set of Dumbbells, keep the following guidelines in mind.

What weight Dumbbells should I buy?

In general, the weight guidelines for your set of dumbbells are

  • For Men: 10 – 20 pound (5 – 10 kg approx) individual Dumbbell
  • For Women: 5 – 10 pound (2.5 – 5 kg approx) individual Dumbbell

The range is dependent on your present level of fitness and your prior experience with working out. If you are unsure whether you can handle a particular weight, I would recommend getting a lower weight to start off with. For men, a 5 kg or 10 pound dumbbell is a great weight to start, especially if you are just beginning. Keep in mind that you will be purchasing two 5 kg dumbbells so the total weight that you will be handling will be 10 kg. Even if you weigh 100 kg, that is still 10% of your body weight. This is a challenging level for beginners and will be sufficient for many months if you workout regularly.

For women, 5 pound Dumbbells (2.5 kg) are a very good starting weight. With 2 Dumbbells, the total weight being handled will be about 5 kg. While you may feel that you can handle a larger weight, the lower weight is great to start off with, especially when you are learning the right form and technique for the exercises. Once you are more proficient, you can move on to heavier weights.

Another reason why it is a good idea to start off with lower weights is to do with the type of exercises you can do with dumbbells. With dumbbells, you can target every single body part, including smaller muscle groups like the shoulders. For these smaller groups, lower weights are beneficial and you will have a much lower risk of injury which is a common concern for beginners who lift too much weight too soon. Remember its not your muscles which have to deal with the weight. Your tendons, ligaments, cartilage also have to support the weight and it takes time for them to get used to lifting additional loads.

Should I buy 1 or 2 Dumbbells?

You should definitely purchase a set of 2 dumbbells. Using dumbbells, you can perform multiple exercises with weights held in both hands. All shoulder exercises, arm exercises and leg exercises are much better when you have 2 dumbbells. Having a dumbbell in each hand while working out will also keep you more balanced which again reduces the chance of injury.

There are some exercises which require that you use just 1 dumbbell. Side bends with a dumbbell for example. By and large however, 90% of exercises will be improved by having 2 dumbbells available.

Should I buy Metallic or Rubber Dumbbells?

Rubber Dumbbells have not been around for long and many of us remember a time when the only option available for Dumbbells was either cast iron or Steel. Today, however Rubber dumbbells are very easily available and are the best choice for your home workouts. The main advantage of rubber dumbbells is the fact that their material makes them very safe. The outer rubber coating makes sure that the dumbbells do not damage your floor, your storage area or even your body parts if you should accidentally bump against the dumbbell. Rubber dumbbells are also usually available in a variety of designs and colors and have clear weight markings on them.

Apart from Rubber, you also Poly Urethane dumbbells available today. PU dumbbells have the same advantages as Rubber dumbbells with the added advantage that PolyUrethane material is tougher and less resistant to scratching and damage. Rubber also has a typical smell while PU dumbbells do not smell at all. PU Dumbbells are also the most expensive among all dumbbell materials.

The other most common options available for dumbbell materials is purely metallic dumbbells. These dumbbells can be made out of cast iron, steel or chrome. The advantage of metallic dumbbells is that they are usually cheaper as compared to Rubber. The disadvantage is that metallic dumbbells can damage your floor and storage area. If improperly handled, they can also cause injuries to you. The advantage of metallic dumbbells is that they are usually the cheapest kind of dumbbell available.

My recommendation would be to get rubber or PU dumbbells except you have a severe budget constraint.

Should I buy Round or Hex Dumbbells?

Dumbbell heads are available in different shapes. Round dumbbells are very commonly seen in gyms. When placed on the floor, these dumbbells have a tendency to roll. To combat this, dumbbells today are also available in a hexagonal head shape, commonly known as hex dumbbells.

The added advantage of Hex dumbbells is that they can be stacked on top of each other. Larger hex dumbbells can also be effectively used as pushup stands.

In general, the shape of the dumbbells should not make a big difference, especially to anyone new to exercise. That being said, hex dumbbells definitely have advantages over round dumbbells and I would advise you to get them if possible.

Should I buy Adjustable Dumbbells?

For home gyms, today there are options available to purchase adjustable dumbbells. Adjustable dumbbells have plates or weights in them which can be added or removed to change their weight. This is a great solution if you are looking for a range of weights but do not want to buy multiple sets of dumbbells due to space constraints.

For a home gym, I would advise against getting adjustable dumbbells as a beginner. If you have substantial experience in working out, getting an adjustable dumbbell makes sense since you can load different exercises based on your strength level. While starting out however, this can be a hassle in itself.

How expensive are Dumbbells?

Dumbbells are among the most cost effective exercise equipment available. Depending on their quality, you can expect to pay between 150 – 350/kg for the dumbbell. If you are purchasing 2 dumbbells of 5 kg each, the total weight comes up to 10 kg. You can expect to pay between INR 1500 – 3000 for a set. Prices for different materials of dumbbells also varies. Cast Iron dumbbells are the cheapest while PU coated/Vinyl dumbbells are the most expensive material.

Do I need any other equipment along with Dumbbells?

If you are just starting out with exercise, the only other equipment you will need along with Dumbbells is an exercise/yoga mat. There are multiple other pieces of equipment that you can add in later but while starting out, a pair of dumbbells is sufficient for getting a full body workout.

Dumbbell Workouts – Commonly Asked Questions

Now that we have covered some of most commonly asked question in buying dumbbells, lets also look at questions related to exercising with dumbbells itself.

Will Dumbbells help in building Muscle?

YES, Dumbbells are one of the best ways to build muscle at home. Most fitness professionals will agree that a full size barbell is probably the best tool for building muscle. However, it is highly impractical to have a full size barbell at home since it also requires allied equipment like a workout bench, barbell rack, safety clips and more.

Compare this with dumbbells where all you need to get started is the dumbbells themselves. Dumbbells can be used to perform a wide variety of exercises that target all major body parts. Lifting weights against the force of gravity will build up muscles fast.

Will Dumbbells help in losing weight?

YES, Dumbbells will help you in losing weight. However, if you are trying to lose weight, please remember that your diet and caloric intake is the most important determinant of losing or gaining weight.

Dumbbells will help in losing weight because you will be burning calories while you work out. After you are done working out, the muscle that gets built from exericising will burn more calories when you are not working out. In this way, having more muscle will improve your basal metabolic rate which when combined with a healthy diet, will help you in losing weight.

Dumbbell Buying Guide – Conclusion

So that was our quick guide to buying your next set of dumbbells. I hope this guide was useful. Please let me know your thoughts in the comments section.

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