If you’re buying a beginner dumbbell set for the first time, there’s a good chance that you might be overwhelmed by your options. Don’t worry, there’s a dumbbell set for nearly everyone and every experience level. Whether you used to own a few dumbbells or you’ve never used them, we can help you find the right set.
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Types of Dumbbells to Choose From
Using just one size or type of dumbbell is typically not sufficient for meeting your training needs. You will need a diverse set that you can use as you progress in terms of your fitness abilities. This means collecting dumbbells that vary in weights and choosing between fixed-weight or adjustable dumbbells.
Fixed-weight dumbbells are iron or rigid plastic shells filled on the inside with concrete and covered with either rubber or neoprene.
Adjustable dumbbells are metal bars with a knurling pattern, consisting of lines etched into the metal, in the center that allows you to grip firmly. Weight plates can be attached to the outside of the dumbbell to adjust its overall weight.
Benefits of Dumbbell Training
Overall, dumbbells allow for a more strategic approach to exercising. Dumbbells also minimize joint pain and are useful for rehabilitation needs. They give you more excellent stabilization, precisely because dumbbell presses activate more muscle fibers.
Dumbbells allow you to isolate one part of your body. This is opposed to the barbell, for example, which requires both your arms to lift the weights. Besides, the dumbbells’ smaller size allows for a quick workout. This is good if you are also looking to workout in different places around the house or even the office.
What To Look For in a Beginner Dumbbell Set
Budget is always an important factor in purchasing gym equipment. Even so, top-quality products are a good reason for you to splurge a little. If you spend less, you may need to replace your dumbbell set sooner.
Weight capacity is essential. Investing in dumbbells that cover various weights is smart when thinking about your future fitness progress. An interchangeable dumbbell set is also useful when you need to break from individual weights for an extended time. These are also great if you’re working out in a small space.
You also need to consider durability. A sturdy dumbbell will have a longer lifespan and experience less wear and tear. They also need to be able to withstand impact when dropped on the ground repeatedly. Peeling neoprene is a hassle, so make sure the coating is in good condition and top-quality.
Selecting Dumbbell Weights & Size
Before selecting any dumbbell weights, it’s important to consider what your goals are. Larger weights are geared towards muscle buildup. Smaller weights are better for just stabilizing your muscles.
While beginner sets may seem too easy or lightweight, don’t hesitate to start out light. It’s always easier to increase your weight lifting capacity as you continue your fitness journey.
Asking a fitness expert to evaluate your fitness abilities is an excellent step to take. This way, you can avoid any health risks from carrying a weight that your body cannot handle.
A great strategy is to start from five pounds and work your way up to the appropriate amount. You can always add a few extra pounds as you go through your exercise routine in a session.
The length of your dumbbells is another factor to keep in mind. Shorter dumbbells are better for exercises like the overhead press. Shorter length dumbbells are also more space-efficient. Maybe you already have lots of bulky equipment, or there is just limited space in your house. In any case, consider portability and compactness to be essential.
Questions to Ask Before Buying a Beginner Dumbbell Set
You may still have questions about which beginner dumbbell set to go with, and we’ve got answers for you.
What Weight Dumbbells Should a Beginner Use?
A beginner in weight training should start with adjustable dumbbells. This way, you have more flexibility in lifting weights. This is good when you need to remove some plates and aim for a lower-intensity workout.
Studio dumbbells are naturally extremely light. This characteristic of theirs is great if you are a novice. Still, you should purchase some heavier ones for more significant progress. Studio dumbbells are also typically more budget-friendly.
Steel dumbbells are good for durability, but sweaty palms can make it hard to hold on to steel. Neoprene is a more suitable material if you want a better grip.
How Do You Use Adjustable Dumbbells?
Some adjustable dumbbells come with a thread to place the weight discs on a handle. Others use nuts or pins to secure the discs. Each disc represents a particular weight increment. This design is smart because the adjustable dumbbell combines the size of two dumbbells in one.
Before training with adjustable dumbbells, ensure that the discs do not exceed your weight limit. Warm-up your muscles before starting. Adjustable dumbbells are good for crunches and squats, as well as training your calf muscles, forearms, and biceps.
Many fitness enthusiasts love adjustable dumbbells because these engage multiple muscles at the same time. They also don’t require a large dumbbell rack. Adjustable dumbbells are often picked over weight machines. Weight machines only work out a few muscle groups at the same time. The best beginner adjustable dumbbell set will offer many weight disc options for when you graduate each fitness level.
It is good to periodically clean your adjustable dumbbells with products that do not contain harsh chemicals, to prevent dirt and grime from building up.
Our Favorite Beginner Dumbbell Sets
Affordability and quality are the main factors in choosing our top choice for beginner dumbbell sets. Keep reading for an in-depth look at each set.
Best Single Pairs: AmazonBasics Neoprene Dumbbell Hand Weights
The AmazonBasics Neoprene Dumbbell Hand Weights come in incremental sizes and can be purchased one set as a time as you get stronger. This size and weight is perfect for weight-training novices. They have a neoprene coating for easy grip. In addition, their hexagonal shape design provides a no-roll design.
It’s important to note that these dumbbells may not be quite as durable as some other choices. After frequent use, the coating could begin to break down or disintegrate.
If you have smaller hands, you may find that the grip is a little big. Even so, the dumbbells are still easy to hold on to, and you shouldn’t need to worry about dropping them. Speaking of grip, many beginners may enjoy the soft neoprene padding, which doesn’t chafe or leave marks after a long workout.
- No rigid parts
- Thick center
- Easy to grip
Most Versatile: Bowflex SelectTech 552 – Two Adjustable Dumbbells
The two adjustable Bowflex SelectTech 552 dumbbells can be adjusted from five to 52.5 pounds. This pair combines 15 sets of weights by utilizing a dial system. 2.5-pound increments adjust each weight. This system ensures that you can gradually work your way up to a heavier load.
We like that the grip is comfortable and that changing the weights is simple. While the five-pound weights might still be too heavy for some, the weight range offers a lot of versatility and room to grow with weight lifting routines.
Bulkiness is the main issue with this dumbbell set and it may interfere with certain exercises or techniques. The set should still be compact enough that it’s easy to store when you’re not using them. If you’re completely unfamiliar with using dumbbells, this set might feel a little too heavy. It’s perfect for those that are beginning to get the hang of training with dumbbells.
- Wide range of adjustable weight settings
- Two-year limited warranty on all components
- Maybe a little heavy for weight-training beginners
Best Lightweight Set: BalanceFrom GoFit All-Purpose Dumbbells
The BalanceFrom GoFit All-Purpose Dumbbells consist of three pairs of hexagonal dumbbells: three-pound, five-pound, and eight-pound sizes. The neoprene material adds durability and longevity to this set.
This dumbbell set also includes an assembly tool and a weight stand, which is a great option for storing your dumbbells safely. Try to balance the weight out evenly if you use the weight stand to avoid tipping over or weights falling on the floor.
The neoprene coating makes it easier to grip if your palms sweat when you work out. With a solid grip, you can move through your workout more quickly and increase the intensity. We also love the small weight increments to add a little variety and build up your workout more comfortably.
- Two-year warranty
- Firm grip
- Includes weight stand and assembly tool
- Hexagonal shape
Best For Strength: CAP Barbell 150-Pound Dumbbell Set with Rack
The CAP Barbell 150-Pound Dumbbell Set contains pairs of 5-pound, 10-pound, 15-pound, 20-pound, and 25-pound rubber hex dumbbells. The dumbbell rack included has an A-frame design and is made of steel with a durable black powder coat over it. Each dumbbell has a hexagonal shape to prevent rolling.
The CAP set is an ideal choice if you’re looking for a beginner set that’s a little heavier and you also need a rack. While some racks are cumbersome, this one has a space-saving design. The “A” shape rack will maximize your floor space while keeping your dumbbells organized and off the ground.
While this is a solid dumbbell set on its own, you might want to choose one of our other top picks if you don’t want a rack. It’s also important to note that you will need to assemble this rack.
We like the versatility of this set and especially the knurling on the barbell for a better grip. The raised weight numbers makes it easier to grab off the rack rather than guessing the weight. Due to the materials, this set may need a little time to off-gas. It’s best to set this up in a workout space with good ventilation or even in the garage. You might need to wait a day or two before you can use the set.
- Diverse weight capacity range
- Dumbbell rack included
- Rack assembly required
- Good price for its condition
Our topic choices for beginner dumbbells sets are the perfect option for people who have never used dumbbells, but will also “grow” with you as you continue your fitness journey. These beginner sets will continue to get used even when you learn more or expand on your techniques.
Of the four dumbbell sets, our winner is a tie between the BalanceFrom GoFit All-Purpose Dumbbells and the two adjustable Bowflex SelectTech 552 dumbbells. We appreciate the versatility and the various weight increments to help with adding weight to your workout. These are both excellent options if you’re looking for a set that can offer you more as you increase your weight.
The CAP Barbell 150-Pound Dumbbell Set is your best choice if you’re looking for a heavier weight set that comes with a rack. If you’re looking for something light and simple or want to add a pair to your existing set, the AmazonBasics Neoprene Dumbbell Hand Weights is a great option. You have the option to buy different weight increments, but the downside is that you have to purchase separately.