Take a minute to think about all of the good things that will happen to your body when you start working out and adding in strength training to your daily routine? If you begin lifting weights (like you should!), not only will you improve and grow your muscles, but studies have also shown heart benefits, increase in the strength of your bones, great balance, and certainly the loss of weight. Let’s not sugar coat it. Gym equipment is very expensive, and buying a gym membership is not always the best choice if you want to get in a great workout. Instead, there is a lot better option. You can chose to workout at home with a pair of the best adjustable dumbbells which allows you to pick the weight you want to work out with. There is an incredible amount of different exercises you can do with just one piece of simple equipment so you can make sure you will get a cost effective lift session in, each and every day.
Comparison Table: My pick of the Best Adjustable Dumbbells in 2015
|Bowflex SelectTech 552||2.5 lbs (52.5 lbs max)||$$||4.7/5||Read Review|
|Bowflex SelectTech 1090||5 lbs (90 lbs max)||$$$||4.6/5||Read Review|
|Bayou Fitness BF-1050||5 lbs (50 lbs max)||$||4.4/5||Read Review|
|Universal Power Pak||5 lbs (45 lbs max)||$$||4.3/5||Read Review|
|PowerBlock Elite||2.5 lbs (90 lbs max)||$$$||4.9/5||Read Review|
|Ironmaster Quick Lock||2.5 lbs (75 lbs max)||$$$||4.8/5||Read Review|
|XMark||5 lbs (50 lbs max)||$||4.2/5||Read Review|
|Stairmaster Twist Lock||5 lbs (50 lbs max)||$$$||4.5/5||Read Review|
|Weider Core||5 lbs (50 lbs max)||$$$||4.2/5||Read Review|
3 Reasons To Buy Adjustable Dumbbells
- Convenience: You know, for some people, getting a work out in at the gym is just not an option for them. Perhaps for time constraints, or they do not feel comfortable in a gym setting. Whatever the reason is, with a pair of the best adjustable dumbbells, you can workout in the comfort and safety of your own home. They can be used almost anywhere. Use them in your office, your basement, or your garage! The great thing about them is that they barely take up any room at all so if you do not have a room dedicated to weight lifting, all you need to do is store them in your closet after each session.
- Cost Effective: People who are serious about their lifting will often spend hundreds of even thousands of dollars on gym memberships of home gym equipment. I hate to break it to you, but no amount of money to spend is going to get you results! You have to work for your results. Going with your own choice of the best adjustable dumbbells, if you put in the work, you can get these same results that someone who would spend all this money could get but pay out much less. All you need to do is purchase an entry level kit. If you grow beyond that kit and start to get stronger, you can still just purchase more weight plates. Take the time to think about replacing your gym membership with a simple piece of equipment. If you stick with it, in the long run, you will save a LOT more money.
- Self Customized: Depending on your strength level, you will start in a different place than other people. Adjustable dumbbells will allow your lifting to progress with your body. You do not need to buy a complete set of dumbbells to set up in your garage or basement. These take up a ton of space and are generally more of a clutter than a helpful tool. instead, adjustable dumbbells have a single dumbbell with multiple plates that you can remove or add for the desired weight, perfect for any fitness level.
When it comes to adjustable dumbbells, there are three types or styles that you pick out of when looking for your first set. There are spin lock adjustable weight sets, dial weight dumbbells, and then there are the different selector pin weights. Each is going to give you different features, so it is important you have a general understanding of what these are and how they differ from each other.
Spin Lock: This is the face of the modern best adjustable dumbbell. All the plates are held together by a cylinder that you can spin to lock and unlock the weight plates contained in the dumbbell. To use it, you will put the desired amount of weight at each end of the dumbbell. Then you will twist the lock to one side until it is very tight and the weight plates are held in place. These do take a little more time to put together and change increments than other varieties, but they are typically a lot more affordable than other models.
Dial Weight:Dial weight best adjustable dumbbells are probably my favorite out of all the selections you can make (personal preference!). These typically come in a box like fashion. You simply dial a knob to the weight you want to lift, and then lift the barbell out of the enclosure. The weight you have selected will be attached to the dumbbell, while the non selected weight will be left behind. While these can often be the more expensive variety, I like them a lot because they come in much higher weight sizes which will last you longer and not outgrow them than other choies for the best adjustable dumbbells on the market.
Select Pin: These adjustable dumbbells are very close to the dial weight. You will not need to remove or place weight on the bar, because these are kept in a casing. They are different because instead of a dial, you have a selector pin like you would find in the gym. Simply place the pin on the amount of weight you want to lift, and then remove the dumbbell from its holder. The remaining weight will be left behind in the casing until you want to increase. These will generally be right in the middle of the price range as they do not have as many moving parts but will take a tad bit longer to change the weight (not by much though).
The Big Brands
So by now you have an understanding of what kind of dumbbell you want to look for and what kind will probably be best suited to your variety of workouts. How do you go about picking which to choose from though? There are a lot of dumbbell brands that are out there, and each one is going to cater to a different niche of people. Some of the more popular brands when it comes to producing the best adjustable dumbbells are as follows: PowerBlock, Performance Fitness, Iron Master, Bowflex, XMark, StairMaster, Universal Power Pak, and Bayou Fitness.
Out of all these brands, if you are looking to purchase some dial weight dumbbells, you will want to have a look at Universal Power Pak and Bowflex as your main brands. The adjustable dumbbells from PowerBlock, IronMaster, Performance Fitness, Bayou Fitness, Stairmaster and Xmark are for the most part, going to be brands that use the select pin style. While different brands will often offer different types of units, this can be used for a simple guide of what they are well known for.
What Should You Consider Before Purchasing?
Like I mentioned way up above, buying a pair of adjustable dumbbells can be hard and there are a lot of things you need to keep in mind while searching for the perfect fit. Cost, weight, quality and size should be your main concerns. You will also need to keep in mind where you are going to store these things and if they come with a warranty. If they come with a warranty, how long is it for? If you are going to be dropping a lot of money, you sure want them to last a long time. If you take the time to do the research and find a high quality product, you will be happy with your decision and use your fitness equipment more often! Lets go over a few things.
The more moving parts and the more weight your adjustable dumbbell set comes with, the more money it is going to cost. You will need to spend a few hundred dollars to get a pair that is going to last a long time and not face any problems. That being said, only purchase what you actually need. There is no reason to purchase a set that comes with a stand if you are not going to use it and instead store them in your closet or in your office. Look at the features that every adjustable dumbbell you are considering comes with. You want to pick out a model that comes with what you want, and not much else (do not overspend). Chose a budget for yourself and stick to it. Just keep your budget at a high enough price point where you can buy a quality product.
Adjustable dumbbells are going to vary a LOT with what the maximum weight is. The norm seems to be around 50 pounds per dumbbell for a maximum weight of 100 pounds. That does not mean they do not come in heavier sets if that is what you need. These will end up costing more but it really depends on what you need as an individual. Try not to think about the amount of weight you will be lifting now, or a week from now, not even a month from now. You want to be thinking long term here so that the equipment can improve with you! Get a set where the maximum weight is something you think you will never get to, and then prove yourself wrong by working out with those dumbbells everyday until you reach your goal.
A lot of people simply do not think about the size of the best adjustable dumbbells but the truth is, this should be one of the first things that crosses your mind. Before you buy, you are going to need a place to put these when they are not in use. If you are more of a pro at lifting, your set is automatically going to be bigger than someone who is just starting out. I like to store mine in my home office (since I work at home), but other people I know put them in their closet. Some sets come with a holder and I know a few people have told me they keep their weights in the holder in their garage. Whatever you do, pick a set you will be able to store somewhere conveniently.
My favorite aspect of the adjustable dumbbells is that it lets everyone improve their lifting at their own pace by using small weight increments. This allows people using the dumbbell to workout more safely, but also progress faster. You want to get a set that allows you to make small and large adjustments to the amount of weight on the bar. If you go with a set that has large increments only, you may not be able to progress in your lifts as fast because there is no in between you need. Most of the adjustable dumbbells I have gone over will have one of the following increments: 1.5 pounds, 2.5 pounds, or 5 pounds.
I have said many times that you can put your adjustable dumbbells almost anywhere you want because they are small enough to be out of sight. That being said, you will need to consider where you are going to put them. Some of the products I have gone over are not as easy to store as some of the others. The ones that do not store very easily are typically more expensive but they come with an essential piece of equipment; a stand! These stands are sturdy and are meant to be used in a home gym setting. The best adjustable dumbbells will always be more costly if they come with a stand, but these not only look great, they provide a place to keep your equipment safe, and off the floor so no one stubs a toe or gets hurt. Only go with this option if you have a home gym in your garage or your basement would be my opinion on this matter.
I went over three different type of best adjustable dumbbells before this section of this article. You need to pick out which one you want to use and then look at products in that category. If you want something that is going to be extremely easy and fast to change weights with, you want to go with a dial weight system or a variety of the pin lock. These will be more expensive, but they can save you a bit of time and frustration. If your budget is a bit lower, spin locks work very well but you will just need to take a minute or two to change the weight before you go on to your next set. I would suggest that if you have the money, you pay the little bit of extra money to buy a better piece of equipment. After all, this is an investment in your health is it not?
If you are anything like me, you want your equipment to last you forever. However, things are not always going to last a lifetime, so it is important to take a look at the warranty offered on all your exercise equipment. When it comes to most of these best adjustable dumbbells, you will notice that a lot of the manufactures will offer full lifetime warranties on their equipment while others will provide a limited lifetime. Take the time to look up what this includes. It may include the product, parts, and or labor. It is not likely than any of your equipment will not function properly, but it is always good to know they have your back.
Finally, we have quality which is of the utmost importance when it comes to purchasing your first set of adjustable dumbbells. Go with a brand that is trusted and not just coming to market. Remember, you want to keep it safe during your workout and you want a set that is going to be reliable with each and every use. Take the time to read what other people are saying in each of the reviews that you see. A lot of the time, you will notice that two sets are from two different companies but offer the same features. If this is the case, I would say that you go with the option that is not as expensive as you want to save money but also get a good quality product. Check to see what the customer service is, if it comes with a stand, and see if people are reviewing the quality kindly. Take all of this into consideration.
Reviews Of Our Favorite Dumbbells
There are literally hundreds of different variations of adjustable dumbbells on the market. To go through all of these would take you a very long time. To help you save time and narrow down your choices, we are going tor review our favorites that we think offer you the best bang for your buck.
Ironmaster 75 lb Quick Lock
This great adjustable dumbbell is a full set packed full of different features that will you will attractive. The weight is adjustable from a small 5 pounds up to a whopping 75 pounds per dumbbell. You are able to increase the weight in as small of increments as 2.5 pounds each. This set comes with a stand, which adds a fair bit to the price. If you do not want to go with the stand, you can always buy the same set without. This will come in a few hundred dollars cheaper.
My favorite aspect of the Ironmaster dumbbells is that they have a system that is credibly fast to switch the weights. With other brands, you can spend over a minute trying to put on or take off weight before your next set. With their quick lock system, in just 10 seconds, I can have a new weight on the bar and be lifting without taking an unwanted break. I really love how you can increase in very small increments but that there is such a large variation. For example, I might want to warm up with 10 pounds, but then my working set is 50 pounds. This is possible with this set. This set by Ironmaster is 75 pounds, but you can choose to purchase a different kit that comes in at 45 pounds. You will seriously never outgrow this dumbbell. If you do, there is an ad on to increase the weight to 120 pounds if you become a gains monster.
The only real downside to this product is that at the maximum amount of weight, some people have said they are not as secure. Just take the time to make sure you get the weight secured properly before lifting and this should not be a problem. Stay safe out there!
While a bit expensive, I would say that the price is well woth it for this set of adjustable dumbbells. If you want to invest the money into your life and fitness or are creating a home gym, the Ironmaster will be at home. You can change plates at lighting speed, and even increase the weight with an add on set if you surpass the already great weight it comes with. Keep the weight secure at higher weights, and you are left with an amazing piece of home gym equipment you will be using for the next century.
If you are looking for a full rack replacement of dumbbells, then this is the unit you want to consider. These are pretty large, but that is because they are an adjustable dumbbell set that is meant to replace over 16 different single weight dumbbells. The range of weight goes from 50-130 pounds for each block. This will of course depend if you decide to purchase the additional weight set that they sell separately. On top of all of that, you will get a warranty of 10 years but only if these are used in a home gym (sorry gym owners!). Depending on the a mount of weight you want, these can go up to almost 600 dollars. Do not worry though, they come in different weight increments so you can purchase what is in your price range.
These best adjustable dumbbells work on a pin selector system that we discussed above. While these can take just a little longer to select the weight, these are similar to any equipment in a gym so should be familiar to anyone who has been lifting for a while and has some experience. It is very easy to use and you can tell from the construction that it will holdup for a long time. These are really built to take a beating. The PowerBlock comes with a stand and the brand is well known in the fitness arena so you can be sure you are purchasing something of quality.
Do keep in mind that this is probably not a set for a beginner. The weights go up in 10 pound increments which may be way too much for someone who is just starting to lift weights. This is only for the Elite model. PowerBlock sells a lot of different models of adjustable dumbbells and some of them go up in much smaller increments. Just take the time to look around and find one that has the weight and increments you want to be using during your home workout. These are large, so make sure you have a place to put them. Ultimately, these would fit best in a home gym of some sort.
Overall, the PowerBlock Elite Adjustable Dumbbell Set is probably one of the biggest, yet most versatile sets you can purchase. It uses a pin system so it is easy to use but also helps cut down on moving parts and cost. The reviews speak for themselves and with the mass amount of weight available to you, there is a good chance you will not be outgrowing these any time soon. Read exactly what you are buying before you leap in and make your purchase so you can ensure you are buying the model that has exactly what you are looking for.
Universal Power Pak
The universal power Pak is a dial weight system that allows you to move up in 5 pound increments. The weight goes from a small 4 pounds for beginners up to 45 pounds per bar by just using their dial system. I really like the handles on these dumbbells because they feel great and rarely slip. This unit also comes with its own storage rack and funny enough, a guide to working out and how you can get the most out of this little set. I really should not say little as these dumbbells will cost you a few hundred dollars and if you want to get the bench that is sold alongside it, you will need to fork out even some more money.
When it comes down to it, the price on the Universal Power Pak is probably one of the nicest you will find in the adjustable dumbbell category. A lot of other sets will go up to half a grand, but with this one only being a few hundred dollars, still allowing you to get in a great lifting session, you really cannot go wrong. I love the dial system because of how easy it makes it to change the weights on the fly. You can pick a new weight you want in as little as a few seconds and you will be on to your next set. No waiting time, just pure lifting! The warranty that comes with these is much less than other models at only a single year, but I still believe this is a high quality product and one you should seriously consider.
Almost everything I have read about these dumbbells has been great but there are a few complains people seem to have. Other sets go a lot higher in weight and at only 45 pounds, non beginners may be looking for a little more than that. If this is you, I would suggest going with one of the two sets that I have already gone over. If you want the weight to increase in smaller increments, you may also want to look elsewhere as there is only 9 settings for weight on this dumbbell.
That being said, the Universal Power pak is a great pair of best adjustable dumbbells. If you want to do more reps at a lower weight, this is probably the best cost effective solution. With a dial weight system, you can change the weights fast, while saving money! Just make sure that the 45 pound maximum weight will be enough for you. If it is, then by all means give it a look and perhaps buy it. These are great for any beginner!
We have finally come to the best selling brand on the market currently. There is a reason that this is also one of my favorites! These dumbbells are adjustable from 5 pounds up to a little over 50 pounds and go up in small 2.5 pound increments. You can also chose a version that starts at 10 pounds and goes up to 90 pounds per dumbbell. When you think about it, since these go up at 5 pound increments, there is just so much room for growth it is incredible. What makes this product even BETTER is that it uses a dial weight system. This means you can change weights very quickly. The best selling version is the 52.5 pound version which is priced at a few hundred dollars, or you can go for the 90 pound set, which is a few hundred per dumbbell.
The Bowflex SelectTech really is my favorite best adjustable dumbbell on the market. They are an amazing brand. They offer a good amount of weight, lots of small increments, incredible pricing, and they even give you some workouts to get started. With so many different settings per unit, you can really do every sort of lifting exercise you can think of with light or heavy weight. Bowflex knows that some people are on a budget so they even give you the option to purchase just a single dumbbell if that would be more suited to your workouts. While this is a much cheaper option, I would suggest you get both of them if you are serious about your fitness. I really love that they give you a DVD with your purchase of this set to go over lifts and how to perform them safely. They really go a long way to get people started with honest information which is hard to find now days.
With all products that are best sellers, there are always going to be some people that are not that happy with what they are getting. Some people have said that they do not feel the weights are as secure as they would like them. However, they have never broken during a workout so this is more of a “feeling” thing, versus functionality. It does come with a great warranty, but this warranty will only cover certain parts. Make sure you give it a look over and see what all it will cover before you make a purchase. BowFlex is a massive company that has been around for ages so I am sure if you contact them, they would be better able to give you an answer than I would.
After reading and then writing this review, the Bowflex SelectTech is probably the highest quality best adjustable dumbbell on this list for the cheapest price. You can use it in any workout you want, light or heavy, and since they are not very large, you can store them conveniently. These are great for the complete beginner, or a more advanced lifter who has a little bit of experience. Just make sure when using the dial weight system, you tighten them so they are secure and lift with proper form to make sure you are safe. I would seriously consider purchasing this one as I have been very pleased.
I have always really liked the Weider brand and all of their products. The Weider core is a massive set. It comes with 100 pounds per dumbbell and comes with a tray as well as a stand. You will see that this offers a lot of room for growth. First, it has a small diameter of the bar, so you will be able to get a solid grip on it. It also goes up in small 5 pound increments while having a lot of weight on each side.
This set comes with a locking system sort of like the dial weight system that we have gone over. This makes it very easy to change weights in between sets but will not be as fast as a true dial weight system. I love how it comes with a stand. By looking at the stand and the tray, you can tell that this is a quality product that is produced by a company that has been in business for a while. These are also really light on the wallet compared to some of the other sets I have mentioned here. I do not like it as much as the BowFlex SelectTech but if you like this one, it will only run you a few hundred dollars as well.
While this product has a ton of great reviews, the one thing I noticed was that a few people have said that the company has been a bit slow to respond to issues customers are having. In the end though, everyone did manage to get in contact with them. If you are ever having an issue, just pick up the phone and try to talk to someone. Do note that these come with a very good warranty and they stand behind their products.
If you are looking for a cheaper adjustable dumbbell that will support a lot of weight and go up in small increments that ALSO comes with a stand included in the price, the Weider core is probably an option you should explore. It comes with a great warranty, is produced by a well known company, and will look great in any home gym.
When it comes to the Xmark adjustable dumbbells, you have a ton of options. You can pick out the 25 pound dumbbells that come in a set and are fully adjustable, a 50 pound set, or you can buy just a single 50 pound dumbbell if that is more suited to you. No matter what option you decide to go with, each one will have a quick knob you need to turn to get to the weight you want to lift with. These simply look great and come with this chrome plated steel on the outside. These are also pretty cheap compared to the other options. Most of them will be under the 200 dollar range but you will have to check the page and see what they are going for currently. With the set of 25 pound dumbbells, the weight will increase by 5 pound increments, where the heavier set will go up by 10s.
I really like how Xmark is giving people the option to only buy a single adjustable dumbbell if they want. Some people only like to do exercises that require a single unit, so why would you waste your money buying both? With Xmark, you will be able to save your money while getting exactly what you want! This product is also really high quality from what I can see. Some people have reported dropping them from large heights and no one ever said they broke! Pretty good for a cheap product! Cheap does not always mean it is not quality as is the case when you are buying from Xmark.
The real downside you can probably already guess is if you opt for the larger set of dumbbells, they go up by 10 pounds every time you change the weight. Many of the competitors to Xmark go up by much smaller increments such as the BowFlex SelechTech. As with all products, before lifting, make sure everything is secured properly and the adjustment knobs are tight before you pick the weight off the floor. You want to be safe and not cause an injury just because you overlooked something small.
If you want a product that is going to be an affordable option, not go too heavy, with a maximum weight of 50 pounds per dumbbell, then the adjustable dumbbells from Xmark are right up your alley. Just keep in mind that the weight does go up by 10s for the larger unit so this may not be ideal. If you are trying to save some money though, this may be something you can look past.
Here, I bring to you one of my favorite single adjustable dumbbells. This product goes from just 10 pounds all the way to 50 pounds while look great in its chrome plate. There is a simple knob used to change the weight plates quickly and leave the rest right where you want it, in the tray. This is a great budget option at just over a hundred dollars and is good for people who want to get a single dumbbell for their workouts or arm curls but do not need two.
From what I can tell by reading other reviews, this product is very durable. Some people have dropped them, but they did not break at all or show signs that they had been dropped. The pins in the weight changing system are spring loaded and I really like that it helps with the speed at which you can change the weight. Affordable is an understatement, these are a steal! If you really do want to get a set of dumbbells though, you may even consider purchasing two of these because they would end up being less expensive than competing products.
I keep coming across the same gripe here it seems. This one as well goes up by 10 pounds each time you want to change the weight. This is oftentimes too much weight to increase for beginning lifters. If anything ever breaks, which it might since they are a cheaper unit, you may want to take a look at the warranty on the manufacturers website to make sure you know what can be replaced.
All of that being said, this dumbbell is a great choice for you. You may want a single unit, and Bayou Fitness delivers! If you want to lift more than 50 pounds, think about something else. This dumbbell is easy to change weights, looks great, and is great for any budget home gym!
StairMaster Twist Lock
Finally we come to the last pair of best adjustable dumbbells that I will be going over and those are the StairMaster Twist Lock. These come with an awesome technology for changing the weights at a high rate of speed. All you need to do is twist the handle of the dumbbell and that will change the amount of weight that is used. This is a full set of dumbbells that will cost close to 500 dollars. Do not let the price deter you though, this set of dumbbells starts at 5 pounds, and goes up to 50 pounds per bar.
After taking a look at these dumbbells, you will see that the twist lock technology is completely new. This is not put into any other products out there on the market. It is also very easy to use and will ensure you are safe when trying to change the weight. The grip that you do end up turning has a great soft feel to it and gives you the confidence you need while you are lifting the weight. It may seem strange at first, but the bar that the weight is attached to is much shorter than other varieties you may be used to using. I like this and it feels great while lifting.
Some people may see the price point of this product as a big con. I would disagree. If you can afford it, this is one of the best products on this list. You want to make a substantial investment into your health because it is important! They are extremely durable and while yes, there are more affordable options out there, they probably do not have the features that this set of adjustable dumbbells has! Along with every other set, make sure you are changing weights properly and taking your time. You want to make sure the weight is selected and secured before you lift it to ensure you do not get an injury.
To sum it all up, the Stairmaster Twist Lock is an adjustable dumbbell that is packed full of options, lots of weight, and what I think is a competitive price. The smaller bar makes it feel like you are using a smaller weight than you actually are. The grips are great and give you confidence allowing you lift like you were meant to, which if you were wondering, is a lot of weight. Make sure to read some reviews, check out the price, and see if these are the right ones for you!
Wrapping It Up
To conclude this long article where I try to cover all the aspects of the adjustable dumbbell, they are hands down an investment you should be making for the good of your body. They are perfect for any home workout and if you dig deep enough, you will be able to find workouts that can work out your entire body, not just your arms. Get a good picture in your mind of what kind of dumbbells you want to buy. This may be a dial weight system, a pin selector, or a spin model. Each one has its pros and cons so you need to decide what will work best for your style of workouts.
Always make sure to keep a few things in mind. You need to be thinking about how much space they will be taking up, where you will put them, how much weight they come with, and of course the cost. Go ahead and purchase some. You will soon be surprised how you were lifting without them!