How To Pick The Best Adjustable Dumbbell Set 2016
Before I show you how to pick the top rated adjustable dumbbell set to workout at home with, it is essential that you know the basics about them to pick the correct one.
If you are working out at home then you are probably struggling with very little space to store them in your home gym and you do not want to spend a lot of money purchasing 10-20 sets of individual dumbbells you will need to complete your workouts.
I’m going to break this down into 5 simple steps that will guide you into picking out the best set for your own personal goals below.
Storage Issues And Costing Too Much
If you are like most, you are one of those individuals who have a small room dedicated to their workout area or they are hiding the free weights behind the couch working out in the living room? Don’t worry we have you covered!
Maybe you are a person like me, who already has 2-3 sets around, but they are not even close to the weight I need to do my chest exercises. When I figured out how many single sets I needed to buy, I didn’t have the room to store them and it was going to cost me a fortune. So, I went searching for a new set and documented my research below.
The Real Reason You Want To Buy Adjustable Dumbbells?
The beauty of adjustable dumbbells is that they literally take up very little room at all, so you solve your storage issue if that is a concern. You can easily stick them in the closet when you are done or fit in a small area in your home gym nicely.
The second best part about them is that they will save you money by not having to buy several regular solid dumbbells that cost $1.00-1.25 per pound. So, a 50lb dumbbell set would literally cost $100 just for that set.
Now, let me do the math for you so you can really see the value of an adjustable set that ranges from 5lbs – 55lbs in total weight and increments in 5lb increments. That gives you 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55 regular dumbbell sets totally 670lbs x $1.25 cents = $837.50 cents. That my friend is exactly why you want to buy a set to save money period! 🙂
The 3rd part I love about them is that you can literally do 100’s of exercises with them. So, with an affordable adjustable bench and a set of these you can totally rock a ton of different exercises at home and have great workouts in the comfort of your own home!
Who Are the Popular Manufactures?
Here are the company websites for each manufacturer:
- Bowflex – bowflex.com
- PowerBlock – powerblock.com
- Ironmaster – ironmaster.com
- Gold’s Gym – www.goldsgym.com
- Universal – universalhomefitness.com
There are also other companies that I would recommend as well to aware of: Bayou Fitness, Pro Iron Adjustable and Weider that offer them as well.
What Are The Different Styles To Select The Weight?
The manufactures for adjustable dumbbells have come up with 3 ways to select the weight in which the dumbbell will be used to exercise with.
They are the following:
- Dial system – the dumbbell sits in a store case or all together, you then turn a dial to the desired weight and lift it off to exercise with. Bowflex SelectTech 552’s are a great example of this.
- Selector pin – Again the dumbbell sits all together in a case or on the floor, you move the selector pin to the desired weight and then lift up the dumbbell to exercise. The dumbbell only comes up with the set weight you put the weight on and the others are left behind. The powerblock classic is a great example of this style.
- Collar Clamp or Spin-Lock clamp – this style has tradition weighted plates that go on the dumbbell bar and a collar is used to secure the weights to the dumbbell bar or a spin color is used to tighten the adjustable weights to the bar. Pro Iron dumbbells are a great example of this style.
5 Step Guide To Picking The Dumbbell Set For You
Ok, now it’s time to give you the steps to picking an adjustable set that will work for your home gym or workouts at home. After the last step, I will give you the top 3 adjustable dumbbell sets to choose from in each category and you will be ready to get ripped and pump some iron! J
Step 1: The first thing I suggest you do is to determine the maximum amount of weight you will need to workout with. So, in your head ask yourself how much weight will I need to do lunges, squats, shoulder press and most off all bench press, since that is probably where you will end up needing the most weight. Now write that weight down or take a mental note of it.
Step 2: Now ask yourself, where will I store these? Is it ok to store them in my existing room that is dedicated to working out? Do I have space for it?
If so, will I sit them on the floor or will I need a stand to put them on? If you don’t have a room, figure out the space you will need to put them in and how big it is. So, keep a mental idea or write down how much space you have to store them.
Step 3: What type of weight increments will I need or want to use in my strength training workouts. Basically you will be looking at 1.5lbs to 5lb increments. This will matter for some. For me, I would want the largest. This is also very important for shoulder exercises where going up from 10 to 15lbs could be just too much and it would be awesome to have 12.5lb dumbbell. So, in this case you would want something like 1.5 or 2.5lb increments. Now, write that down.
Step 4: Now get a price range in your head from 100-700 that you can afford or that you want to spend. Basically prepare yourself to what you really can afford so you keep within your budget. Now write that number down.
Step 5: Think about the type of weight selection system you would prefer. I really believe this will be mostly a personal preference unless you need a lot of weight which you only have a few choices to choose from in that case. Do you want to use a dial system to change the weight, a pin selection to move to the weight you want or go with something more tradition that uses regular weights with a collar to tighten them to the dumbbell bar? Nothing to write down here just take a mental note of it as it will become more clear as we look at the options below.
Top 3 Dial System Dumbbells
Universal Power Pak 445 – These are great for beginners and athletes who need a weight range up to 45 pound dumbbells. It does increment in 5lbs so you turn the dial to the desired weight which are 4, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40 or 45lbs. You life the weight off the stand and begin your exercise. It comes with a 1 year warranty.
Bowflex SelectTech 552 By Bowflex – this dumbbell set has been around a while and is extremely popular with thousands of reviews on amazon about it. Bowflex designed it to increment in 2.5lbs so you have more weight options to choose from in your workout which gives you a combination of 15 different weight settings which are the following: 5, 7.5, 10, 12.5, 15, 17.5, 20, 22.5, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, and 52.5 pounds. Again at 52.5lbs for the maximum weight, these would work for the majority of people out there.
Note: The bwflex select tech 1090 reaches from 10 to 90lbs with 5lb increments. I snuck this one in there just so you know about it. If you like the the bowflex model and need more that 52lbs in your workouts.
Ironmaster Quick-Lock – this system adjusts from 10 to 75lbs in 2.5lb increments. Very well put together with welded steel and the bars are chrome plated. No plastic parts here to worry about breaking! These can be dropped. It does come with a stand as well. You can also buy and add-on kit that will take you to 120lbs each. The handles actually weight 5lbs and the locking screws weigh in at 2.5lbs a piece.
|Universal Power Pak 445||Ironmaster Quick-Lock||SelectTech 552 By Bowflex|
|Replaces # Sets||9||20 plus||15|
|Warranty||1 Year||Life time limited warranty|
|Dimensions||14” long x 15” wide x 7” tall||14.5” long x 6” wide x 6” tall (at 75lbs)||15.75” long x 8” wide x 9” tall|
|Notes||rubber handle||Has add on kit for 120lbs||stand costs extra, do not drop|
|Material||Plastic plates, rubber coated handle||Welded Steel||plastic weights|
Top 3 Pin Selection Dumbbells
Powerblock dumbbells – has a lot of options to choose from to make a set that fits your home gym needs. Which are the Powerblock Sport, classic and Powerblock Elite. To be honest it is a bit confusing to see the differences. The sport handle is more open and has not padded supports where the classic has padded wrists supports. The sport also has a rounded handle where the classic is a straight handle. The sport has a 15 year warranty and the classic has a 10 year warranty.
Now, these sets can be bought in a wide variety of weight sets. You can get a small 2.5-20lb set to a 5-125lb kit. They also have expansion kits as well that you can easily grow into as you get stronger. The elite has a 50, 70, 90 lb sets and has expansion kits to go up to 130lbs.
Bayou Fitness BF-0150 – These have a pin that you move to the weight that you want to lift with which is every 5lbs. There were comments about how sturdy these are given the fact that the plates are metal. You will have a little off balance in the weight by doing 5lb increments. Customers just moved their grip on the bar to counter it.
XMark Adjustable – these are available in 25 or 50lb dumbbell sets. We’ll look at the 25lbs set to get started which has 9 sets total that you can use. I like these because they are made out of chrome plated steel and not plastic. They come in 5lb increments using a selector style weight selector. You can use 10-15, 20 and 25lb settings to exercise with. They are smaller in length so they will be easy to hide away and store.
|Bayou Fitness BF-0150||Powerblock Elite||Xmark 25lbs|
|Replaces # Sets||9||22||5|
|Warranty||180 day all parts||10-15 year||not available|
|Dimensions||15.75″ long by 8″ wide by 9″ tall||14″L x 6.25″W x 6″H||15.75″ long by 8″ wide by 9″ tall|
|Storage||sits in a case||Not Included||sits in a case|
|Notes||Lots of variety for sets, add-on kit for 90lbs. Can buy a stand.||very durable|
|Material||chrome plated weights||Urethene||Chrome plated|
Top 3 Collar Lock Dumbbells
Yes4All Adjustable Dumbbells – can be bought in 40, 50, 52.5 and 105lb sets. So, pick the set that fits the amount of weight you want to lift. The basic dimensions are 16” long x 6.5” wide x 6.5” tall. You tighten the weights with a spin collar that buts up against a small piece of rubber so they don’t clang. Now these are cast iron so you can be hard on these guys and not worry about breaking them like the plastic kind. These are the type of dumbbells you would find at a gym!
The kit 40lb kit includes 4x3lb plates, 4x5lb plates, 2 handles and 4 collars. This is a very light weight kit that would be for someone just starting out or women who would want a light weight set for a cheap price. So the most you will get is 20lb dumbbells on each side.
Note: the 50 and 52lb sets are individual orders. So, you need to order 2 or look at the 105 lb set to get 2 dumbbell sets for that type of weight. It’s still cheaper than the other adjustable sets you see that are all inclusive like the selectTech 552 set. It’s also have the price and more.
Unipack 105lb dumbbells – These are really solid and give you the real feel you find at commercial gyms. They are cast iron and have solid chrome handles. You will need to watch out how you order these. The options I have see are for individual dumbbells. This is fine just look at the description, it will say one chrome handle included. So, just order 2 of them for a kick butt set.
The 52.5lb set includes 1 chrome handle, 2x 5lb collars, 8x 5lb plates, 2 x 2.5lb plates and 2 x 1.25 plates. So, it has more options to create various weights than the Yes4all set. They are 14” in total length so they are smaller as well.
Pro Iron Product Overview – this is the set I would recommend to most people and especially to guys who are serious about strength training. There is a set that is 200 lbs which essentially lets you build up to 100lbs per dumbbell. They are cast iron, rust and oil proof. They have chrome handles and spin-lock chrome collars.
The set includes 16 x 10lbs, 4 x 5lbs, 4 x 2.5lbs 2 handles, and 4 collars. These are also made by Unipack just to set the record straight. You will just not find an adjustable set with this amount of weight for this cheap of a price period. What’s awesome about these is that the bars are 1″ and are not proprietary at all. So, you can buy more plates or even use different bars for other purpose which allow you to build up your home gym using the existing weight set!
|Yes4All||UniPack 52 lbs||Pro Iron 200lbs|
|Weight Increments||1.25 to 5lbs||2.25-5lbs||5lbs|
|Replaces # Sets||a lot depends on purchase||a lot depends on purchase||A lot!|
|Warranty||60 day satisfaction, 5 year workmanship||not available||not available|
|Dimensions||16″ long x 6.5″ wide x 6.5″tall||14″ in total length||14″-16″|
|Storage||none||none||can buy a case to sit in|
|Notes||52.5lb set is half the price of bowflex 552||handle weights 5lbs||comments saying doesn’t chip like others did|
|Material||gym quality cast iron||cast iron chrome handles||cast iron, rust proof, chrome handles|
Congrats You Made It!
Congratulations for getting all the way through this how to guide on picking the best adjustable dumbbell to workout at home! I hope you can now successfully decide what will work for your workouts at home.
Remember, it comes down to your maximum weight needed, storage space, price and the weight increments you need to do your workouts to create the weight you need for your workout.
My personal set that I like that won’t break the bank can be purchased here at amazon for the best discounted price.
Please ask any questions you have below and I will do my best to answer them. If you have a set that you just love and want others to know about please comment on that below as well so we can help others find the best adjustable set.