Adjustable dumbbell recommendations

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ThankYouJack
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Adjustable dumbbell recommendations

Post by ThankYouJack » Sat Mar 23, 2019 9:25 am

I'm looking to lift just occasionally to maintain muscle mass. I'm thinking some adjustable dumbbells may be all I need. Any recommendations?

BradJ
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Re: Adjustable dumbbell recommendations

Post by BradJ » Sat Mar 23, 2019 9:29 am

I bought some power blocks recently and I think they work just fine. I think at the end of the day though, nothing beats a good set of dumbbells.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/PowerBlock-C ... gI3YfD_BwE

stoptothink
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Re: Adjustable dumbbell recommendations

Post by stoptothink » Sat Mar 23, 2019 9:33 am

We have powerblocks, got a good deal on an open box return from Amazon. They do the trick and I can't imagine them breaking in my lifetime.

livesoft
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Re: Adjustable dumbbell recommendations

Post by livesoft » Sat Mar 23, 2019 9:34 am

I have a free weights set with dumbbells that I can change the weight and some non-adjustable dumbbells, too.

Guess what? I use the non-adjustable dumbbells every day and do not use the adjustable ones. That's because I started with one pair that I could use, then after months, I bought a higher weight pair, then after months I bought another higher weight pair. That is, the reward for getting stronger was to go spend $20 and get another pair. They are just very convenient and safe with no lose parts and they don't make any noise either.

Thus, I do not recommend adjustable dumbbells. The non-adjustable ones are cheap and comfortable to use. I recommend ones with polygon shape, so that they do not roll at all.

And yes, I realize that others will recommend something else.
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ThankYouJack
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Re: Adjustable dumbbell recommendations

Post by ThankYouJack » Sat Mar 23, 2019 10:48 am

livesoft wrote:
Sat Mar 23, 2019 9:34 am
I have a free weights set with dumbbells that I can change the weight and some non-adjustable dumbbells, too.

Guess what? I use the non-adjustable dumbbells every day and do not use the adjustable ones. That's because I started with one pair that I could use, then after months, I bought a higher weight pair, then after months I bought another higher weight pair. That is, the reward for getting stronger was to go spend $20 and get another pair. They are just very convenient and safe with no lose parts and they don't make any noise either.

Thus, I do not recommend adjustable dumbbells. The non-adjustable ones are cheap and comfortable to use. I recommend ones with polygon shape, so that they do not roll at all.

And yes, I realize that others will recommend something else.
That would be better but I'd probably want to go up to 50+ pounds per dumbbell. So seems like it could get costly. And they'll take up more space.

GAAP
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Re: Adjustable dumbbell recommendations

Post by GAAP » Sat Mar 23, 2019 10:58 am

I used to use PowerBlocks. The biggest issue I had with them is the limited flexibility for increasing workload over time in small amounts. The jumps were just too big -- especially at the bottom of the scale. At the time, there was only one model -- now they make several in different ranges that should address that concern.
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pdavi21
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Re: Adjustable dumbbell recommendations

Post by pdavi21 » Sat Mar 23, 2019 11:03 am

Cheapest is just the 4lb bar (set is 20 lbs each), then buy 10 lb plates to go up to 84 lb each or so.

EDIT: I actually use the 20 lb set and just put barbell weights between the dumbell plates. Weird, but works. Of course, this takes time to adjust weights between sets, but you could get two sets with the cost savings.
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Strayshot
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Re: Adjustable dumbbell recommendations

Post by Strayshot » Sat Mar 23, 2019 11:26 am

I really like my Bowflex 552 selectech dumbbells. Adjustable from 5 to 52.5 lbs each, very sturdy. If you catch them on sale they can be had for around 200ish with shipping. Only place I feel limited is in chest press and shoulder press but if someone were really desperate they could get some 70’s or 80’s or whatever just for that. I just do more reps if I have to home gym it that day.

wbrianwhite
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Re: Adjustable dumbbell recommendations

Post by wbrianwhite » Sat Mar 23, 2019 11:36 am

We have a dumbbell rack similar to this: https://www.amazon.com/CAP-Barbell-RK-1 ... mbb&sr=8-4

You can fit 5 pairs of dumbbells with minimal floor space. More floor space than the power blocks, but I'm cheap. You could get a home gym for the price of some of the adjustable dumbbells

Hockey10
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Re: Adjustable dumbbell recommendations

Post by Hockey10 » Sat Mar 23, 2019 11:45 am

These are not adjustable, but they work fine for me. The last time I bought some in the store, they were $1 per pound.

https://www.dickssportinggoods.com/p/fi ... bnprndmdmb

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camillus
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Re: Adjustable dumbbell recommendations

Post by camillus » Sat Mar 23, 2019 12:06 pm

It’s worth scanning craigslist or visiting play it again sports. A set of adjustable standard (1”) dumbbells should be had rather cheaply.

livesoft
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Re: Adjustable dumbbell recommendations

Post by livesoft » Sat Mar 23, 2019 12:18 pm

ThankYouJack wrote:
Sat Mar 23, 2019 10:48 am
That would be better but I'd probably want to go up to 50+ pounds per dumbbell. So seems like it could get costly. And they'll take up more space.
I've never seen anyone using 50+ lbs per dumbbell. Sounds dangerous.

Did you notice that the link to Dick's dumbbells had no dumbbell greater than 20 lbs?
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hand
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Re: Adjustable dumbbell recommendations

Post by hand » Sat Mar 23, 2019 12:21 pm

Also take a look at Ironmaster, the other "high end" option typically mentioned in the same sentence as PowerBlock.
Ironmasters are slightly more time consuming to adjust than PowerBlock, but a more traditional dumbbell look, feel and user experience.

For occasional use, there are possibly lower cost options that would be acceptable, but if you’re considering overhead use where quality is a safety issue, or care about resale value, anything other than these two options represents a false economy (except perhaps loadable dumbbell handles).

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ThankYouJack
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Re: Adjustable dumbbell recommendations

Post by ThankYouJack » Sat Mar 23, 2019 12:28 pm

livesoft wrote:
Sat Mar 23, 2019 12:18 pm
ThankYouJack wrote:
Sat Mar 23, 2019 10:48 am
That would be better but I'd probably want to go up to 50+ pounds per dumbbell. So seems like it could get costly. And they'll take up more space.
I've never seen anyone using 50+ lbs per dumbbell. Sounds dangerous.

Did you notice that the link to Dick's dumbbells had no dumbbell greater than 20 lbs?
Not sure if you to a gym but plenty of people are using 50+ pound dumbbells. I'd like that much to do flys, deadlifts, farmer's walk, etc

80125
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Re: Adjustable dumbbell recommendations

Post by 80125 » Sat Mar 23, 2019 12:43 pm

BradJ wrote:
Sat Mar 23, 2019 9:29 am
"...power blocks...
+1 Been tossing my old classics around for a decade+.
--cbu

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rocket354
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Re: Adjustable dumbbell recommendations

Post by rocket354 » Sat Mar 23, 2019 5:12 pm

ThankYouJack wrote:
Sat Mar 23, 2019 12:28 pm

Not sure if you to a gym but plenty of people are using 50+ pound dumbbells. I'd like that much to do flys, deadlifts, farmer's walk, etc
I hope you get some meaningful answers, although bodybuilding and weight training websites might be a better place to ask. I'm an avid lifter and have been searching for a financially prudent solution for dumbbells, so I'm following this thread with interest.

So far I continue to pay to go to the gym. I've resigned myself to the fact that I will likely have to find deals on craigslist and build my own home gym piecemeal.

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Re: Adjustable dumbbell recommendations

Post by smitcat » Sat Mar 23, 2019 5:46 pm

Our daughter has used her Bowflex 552 adjustable dumbbells for a half dozen years and likes them a lot - no issues at all.

stoptothink
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Re: Adjustable dumbbell recommendations

Post by stoptothink » Sat Mar 23, 2019 6:07 pm

ThankYouJack wrote:
Sat Mar 23, 2019 10:48 am
livesoft wrote:
Sat Mar 23, 2019 9:34 am
I have a free weights set with dumbbells that I can change the weight and some non-adjustable dumbbells, too.

Guess what? I use the non-adjustable dumbbells every day and do not use the adjustable ones. That's because I started with one pair that I could use, then after months, I bought a higher weight pair, then after months I bought another higher weight pair. That is, the reward for getting stronger was to go spend $20 and get another pair. They are just very convenient and safe with no lose parts and they don't make any noise either.

Thus, I do not recommend adjustable dumbbells. The non-adjustable ones are cheap and comfortable to use. I recommend ones with polygon shape, so that they do not roll at all.

And yes, I realize that others will recommend something else.
That would be better but I'd probably want to go up to 50+ pounds per dumbbell. So seems like it could get costly. And they'll take up more space.
DBs get really expensive, really fast. Anything <35lbs. is essentially useless for my wife, and you'd be lucky to find a decent pair for <$45. We were able to get a powerblock elite set (up to 90lbs.) for ~$400 for an open box. That's several thousand dollars in individual DBs, and then you have to store them all.

I am limited with what I can with our Powerblocks because they only go up to 90lbs. Most commercial gyms are going to have DBs 120+, and they get used quite often.

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Re: Adjustable dumbbell recommendations

Post by PineBayGuy » Sat Mar 23, 2019 6:53 pm

+1 Bowflex.

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Re: Adjustable dumbbell recommendations

Post by Bacchus01 » Sat Mar 23, 2019 6:58 pm

livesoft wrote:
Sat Mar 23, 2019 12:18 pm
ThankYouJack wrote:
Sat Mar 23, 2019 10:48 am
That would be better but I'd probably want to go up to 50+ pounds per dumbbell. So seems like it could get costly. And they'll take up more space.
I've never seen anyone using 50+ lbs per dumbbell. Sounds dangerous.

Did you notice that the link to Dick's dumbbells had no dumbbell greater than 20 lbs?
What? I have up to 60s at home and use them all the time.

And I bought them at Dick’s.

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Re: Adjustable dumbbell recommendations

Post by livesoft » Sat Mar 23, 2019 7:01 pm

Lots of Supermen and Superwomen on this forum. :) Some are even professionals.
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Re: Adjustable dumbbell recommendations

Post by ThankYouJack » Sat Mar 23, 2019 7:37 pm

livesoft wrote:
Sat Mar 23, 2019 7:01 pm
Lots of Supermen and Superwomen on this forum. :) Some are even professionals.
Aren't you the one with 6 pack abs from eating oatmeal? :wink:

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Re: Adjustable dumbbell recommendations

Post by livesoft » Sat Mar 23, 2019 7:41 pm

ThankYouJack wrote:
Sat Mar 23, 2019 7:37 pm
livesoft wrote:
Sat Mar 23, 2019 7:01 pm
Lots of Supermen and Superwomen on this forum. :) Some are even professionals.
Aren't you the one with 6 pack abs from eating oatmeal? :wink:
Yes, indeed, but a side effect is that I have tiny T-rex arms that cannot lift anything and I weigh about 145 lbs.
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Re: Adjustable dumbbell recommendations

Post by c.coyle » Sun Mar 24, 2019 7:17 am

Strayshot wrote:
Sat Mar 23, 2019 11:26 am
I really like my Bowflex 552 selectech dumbbells. Adjustable from 5 to 52.5 lbs each, very sturdy. If you catch them on sale they can be had for around 200ish with shipping. Only place I feel limited is in chest press and shoulder press but if someone were really desperate they could get some 70’s or 80’s or whatever just for that. I just do more reps if I have to home gym it that day.
Gym equipment such as barbells, dumbbells, and almost-never-used treadmills and bowflexes regularly shows up on my local Craigslist for low prices compared to new, because lots of people buy the stuff then quickly lose interest. Inert gear like dumbbells, bars, and plates never wears out and is hard to damage, so your chances of getting ripped off are low. And, weight is weight, so why pay new?
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Re: Adjustable dumbbell recommendations

Post by Blues » Sun Mar 24, 2019 7:25 am

I've owned and used PowerBlocks since the 90's and they're great. My set goes up to 125 lbs for each of the two dumbbells.

You can use Platemates or various magnets which can be found online to jump weights in quarter lb to 1.25 lb increments for each dumbbell.

I've had nothing but an excellent experience with this equipment for over 20 years now. I use them in concert with an olympic weight bars and a Concept2 rower in my home workout area.
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Re: Adjustable dumbbell recommendations

Post by Cycle » Sun Mar 24, 2019 7:47 am

Since some folks here are into free weights I must recommend the 5x5 stonglifts app and website. I've been using if for 2 years now. Shows u proper form for various lifts.

I use 90lb dumbells for bench press, and only lift 1.5 times a week. But I also bike to work every day and jog occasionally, which helps. Surprisingly little is required to build and maintain muscle, but most folks don't know what they are doing or aren't consistent.... Which the 5x5 stonglifts solves. I had been using wrong squat form for over a decade

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Re: Adjustable dumbbell recommendations

Post by Slacker » Sun Mar 24, 2019 7:50 am

I own and use powerblocks that go up to 90lbs.
Right now I'm using chains or bands plus wrist weights added on to the dumbbells when I'm bench pressing over 90.
1. They aren't indestructible and I've broken one of the welds dropping them.
2. I use wrist weights to make up for small weight jumps (they miss some of the 2.5lb jumps like between 20 and 25 and then again between 30 and 35... All the way up to 80 to 85 jump)
3. 10lb changes are fast and easy.
4. 2.5lb or 5lb changes are a bit slower
5. I bought mine off Craigslist and Amazon open box for the expansions. Total cost is about $420 instead of the $5000 I would have spent collecting dumbbells and I don't have to set up a 7' long two tier solid steel rack to hold the 37 pairs of dumbbells I'd have to otherwise own to have the same thing powerblocks give me.

I've used Olympic DB handles with stacks of 10lb plates (could go up to 120lbs per hand), but I find powerblocks to be more convenient and comfortable. Imagine sitting at the bench with a 1" round end pressing 100lbs into your thigh as you set up for benching vs the large end of the powerblocks.

If I were to do it all over again I'd go with the Ironmaster Quicklock adjustable dumbbells. They may be a bit slower to change weight, but the more solid construction and easier design for heavy weights is more appealing to me.

BTW - for those of you who plan to just use 15lb or less dbs, don't waste money on adjustable. For those who are planning to do serious resistance training, I highly recommend adjustable unless you have a very large gym and lots of money to burn.

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Re: Adjustable dumbbell recommendations

Post by Deadwood » Sun Mar 24, 2019 7:53 am

I found this article very helpful when looking for adjustable dumbbells

https://thewirecutter.com/reviews/the-b ... dumbbells/

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Re: Adjustable dumbbell recommendations

Post by Slacker » Sun Mar 24, 2019 7:59 am

c.coyle wrote:
Sun Mar 24, 2019 7:17 am
Strayshot wrote:
Sat Mar 23, 2019 11:26 am
I really like my Bowflex 552 selectech dumbbells. Adjustable from 5 to 52.5 lbs each, very sturdy. If you catch them on sale they can be had for around 200ish with shipping. Only place I feel limited is in chest press and shoulder press but if someone were really desperate they could get some 70’s or 80’s or whatever just for that. I just do more reps if I have to home gym it that day.
Gym equipment such as barbells, dumbbells, and almost-never-used treadmills and bowflexes regularly shows up on my local Craigslist for low prices compared to new, because lots of people buy the stuff then quickly lose interest. Inert gear like dumbbells, bars, and plates never wears out and is hard to damage, so your chances of getting ripped off are low. And, weight is weight, so why pay new?
I remember when Craigslist had great deals. In the triangle area of NC, it seems there are several groups that immediately but any used equipment the minute it is posted and then resell it on Craigslist for double the price. Now, even some regular Joe's selling used fitness gear are asking for those inflated prices (ex:. Almost impossible to find used Olympic plates for less than $1 per pound here which is double the reasonable asking price, especially when they are covered in rust). Got fed up after 5weeks of looking and just bought new when I needed more weight (paying $0.77 per pound from Dick's and I was able to check and weigh all the plates to find a matched set as close to 45lbs as possible).

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Re: Adjustable dumbbell recommendations

Post by Slacker » Sun Mar 24, 2019 8:02 am

Blues wrote:
Sun Mar 24, 2019 7:25 am
I've owned and used PowerBlocks since the 90's and they're great. My set goes up to 125 lbs for each of the two dumbbells.

You can use Platemates or various magnets which can be found online to jump weights in quarter lb to 1.25 lb increments for each dumbbell.

I've had nothing but an excellent experience with this equipment for over 20 years now. I use them in concert with an olympic weight bars and a Concept2 rower in my home workout area.
My solution was adjustable wrist weights. Doesn't put the weight in your hand unfortunately, but about 1/4 the price of 2 sets of plate mates.

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Re: Adjustable dumbbell recommendations

Post by Slacker » Sun Mar 24, 2019 8:06 am

livesoft wrote:
Sat Mar 23, 2019 12:18 pm
ThankYouJack wrote:
Sat Mar 23, 2019 10:48 am
That would be better but I'd probably want to go up to 50+ pounds per dumbbell. So seems like it could get costly. And they'll take up more space.
I've never seen anyone using 50+ lbs per dumbbell. Sounds dangerous.

Did you notice that the link to Dick's dumbbells had no dumbbell greater than 20 lbs?
Not dangerous in the slightest for working out and Dick's sells much larger dumbbells.

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Re: Adjustable dumbbell recommendations

Post by Slacker » Sun Mar 24, 2019 8:09 am

ThankYouJack wrote:
Sat Mar 23, 2019 12:28 pm
livesoft wrote:
Sat Mar 23, 2019 12:18 pm
ThankYouJack wrote:
Sat Mar 23, 2019 10:48 am
That would be better but I'd probably want to go up to 50+ pounds per dumbbell. So seems like it could get costly. And they'll take up more space.
I've never seen anyone using 50+ lbs per dumbbell. Sounds dangerous.

Did you notice that the link to Dick's dumbbells had no dumbbell greater than 20 lbs?
Not sure if you to a gym but plenty of people are using 50+ pound dumbbells. I'd like that much to do flys, deadlifts, farmer's walk, etc
I would caution against doing flys. Too much risk vs benefit. If you do flys, at least do them lying on the floor and not on a bench. Look for athleanx YouTube videos on chest flys for more on why they can be dangerous.

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Re: Adjustable dumbbell recommendations

Post by livesoft » Sun Mar 24, 2019 8:34 am

ThankYouJack wrote:
Sat Mar 23, 2019 9:25 am
I'm looking to lift just occasionally to maintain muscle mass.
Slacker wrote:
Sun Mar 24, 2019 7:50 am
BTW - for those of you who plan to just use 15lb or less dbs, don't waste money on adjustable. For those who are planning to do serious resistance training, I highly recommend adjustable unless you have a very large gym and lots of money to burn.
It didn't read to me like the OP was considering serious resistance training at all.

But I learned something from reading this thread which is always good.
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Re: Adjustable dumbbell recommendations

Post by c.coyle » Sun Mar 24, 2019 8:39 am

The crucial feature of adjustable or non-adjustable dumbbells is being able to change weight in small increments. I would want no less than 1.25 pounds at a time. If you get strong enough to do 10 presses at 10 pounds, a 2.5 pound increase is 25%, and that means, at the best, your form will deteriorate and you won't get stronger, or at the worst, you'll hurt yourself and you won't get stronger. 1 pound increments are what I would look for.

You can always improvise small increases by using chains, magnets, or whatever else you can dream up.
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Re: Adjustable dumbbell recommendations

Post by Blues » Sun Mar 24, 2019 9:13 am

Slacker wrote:
Sun Mar 24, 2019 8:02 am
Blues wrote:
Sun Mar 24, 2019 7:25 am
I've owned and used PowerBlocks since the 90's and they're great. My set goes up to 125 lbs for each of the two dumbbells.

You can use Platemates or various magnets which can be found online to jump weights in quarter lb to 1.25 lb increments for each dumbbell.

I've had nothing but an excellent experience with this equipment for over 20 years now. I use them in concert with an olympic weight bars and a Concept2 rower in my home workout area.
My solution was adjustable wrist weights. Doesn't put the weight in your hand unfortunately, but about 1/4 the price of 2 sets of plate mates.
I've had my Platemates since they first came out. They were probably much cheaper then. I have two pair of each in 5/8 and 1.25 lb sizes.

The cheapest solution I've found was purchasing donut type speaker magnets that range from 1/4 lb to 1.25 lbs each but I don't recall where I purchased them online anymore. The info came from one of the training sites I used to participate on. I bought two pair of each size and other than a little chipping they've lasted for years.

For olympic bar I purchase 2" plumbing washers online. A package of 8 weighs 5 lbs., or 5/8 lbs each. I have two packs of 8 I've owned for many years. Great for making small adjustments to an olympic bar.
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Re: Adjustable dumbbell recommendations

Post by Slacker » Sun Mar 24, 2019 6:30 pm

Blues wrote:
Sun Mar 24, 2019 9:13 am
Slacker wrote:
Sun Mar 24, 2019 8:02 am
Blues wrote:
Sun Mar 24, 2019 7:25 am
I've owned and used PowerBlocks since the 90's and they're great. My set goes up to 125 lbs for each of the two dumbbells.

You can use Platemates or various magnets which can be found online to jump weights in quarter lb to 1.25 lb increments for each dumbbell.

I've had nothing but an excellent experience with this equipment for over 20 years now. I use them in concert with an olympic weight bars and a Concept2 rower in my home workout area.
My solution was adjustable wrist weights. Doesn't put the weight in your hand unfortunately, but about 1/4 the price of 2 sets of plate mates.
I've had my Platemates since they first came out. They were probably much cheaper then. I have two pair of each in 5/8 and 1.25 lb sizes.

The cheapest solution I've found was purchasing donut type speaker magnets that range from 1/4 lb to 1.25 lbs each but I don't recall where I purchased them online anymore. The info came from one of the training sites I used to participate on. I bought two pair of each size and other than a little chipping they've lasted for years.

For olympic bar I purchase 2" plumbing washers online. A package of 8 weighs 5 lbs., or 5/8 lbs each. I have two packs of 8 I've owned for many years. Great for making small adjustments to an olympic bar.
Yes, washers are a very elegant solution for fractional loading of a barbell.

I would suggest that if you are at a commercial gym, fractional loading may not make as much sense from workout to workout (though it would make sense in the middle of a workout). This is because cheap mass manufactured weights are rarely even close to the stated weight. Especially bad at cheap commercial gyms...now if you go to a hardcore gym that has calibrated Ivanko competition plates, that would be different. (those cheap 45lb plates can sometimes be anywhere from 40lb to 50lb...when I need to buy new plates, I always bring my scale with me to the sporting goods store and keep checking until I find some close to 45lbs +/- 0.5lb)

Perfectly fine for a home gym though.

Living Free
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Re: Adjustable dumbbell recommendations

Post by Living Free » Sun Mar 24, 2019 6:43 pm

Could you get a barbell set instead? Those are of course adjustable and you could get a cheap 300lb set for between $200 and $250.

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Re: Adjustable dumbbell recommendations

Post by LadyGeek » Sun Mar 24, 2019 6:48 pm

Add me to the list of Bowflex 552 adjustable dumbbell users.

I'd say the Bowflex 552 is designed for those just starting out - or for women with low upper body strength. The weight steps in 2.5 pound increments up to 25 pounds, then 5 pound steps up to 55.2 pounds. It's perfect for me.

The fact that I can dial-in a different weight for each exercise makes exercising at home possible. For example, I start with squats at 40 pounds in each dumbbell. After some pushups, I dial it back to 30 pounds for leg thrusts.

Upper-body exercises are set at 22.5 pounds. 20 is too low, 25 is too high.

The dumbbells are here: Bowflex SelectTech 552 Dumbbells | Bowflex. The price is the same as it was last summer. Pay attention to the "Free standard shipping", as the box is 117 pounds. (The free shipping expires 3/25/2019, but I've seen free shipping listed since last year.) Be very careful unpacking it.

BTW, I had first tried the PowerBlocks, but they did not fit my form.
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Re: Adjustable dumbbell recommendations

Post by Rondo » Sun Mar 24, 2019 6:55 pm

If you’re looking to buy dumbbells or weights you can usually find them super cheap on craigslist. A lot of people just want to get rid of that stuff and sell it for pennies on the dollar.

One nice option that I do is buy a few sets of cheap dumbbell handles and just build your own with free weights.

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Re: Adjustable dumbbell recommendations

Post by whodidntante » Sun Mar 24, 2019 6:58 pm

Fitness equipment should often be bought used. I bought a set of powerblock 90's that were good as new from some hippie on Craigslist for nearly nothing. He even delivered them.

Buying them from a hippie is optional.

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Re: Adjustable dumbbell recommendations

Post by leehamster » Sun Mar 24, 2019 6:59 pm

Merax Adjustable 71.5 lbs. They work well, are easy to switch weights, and have nice little bases to sit on when not in use.

https://www.amazon.com/Merax-Deluxe-Pou ... 075K5Q21K/

The only downside to adjustable dumbbells for us is that the bar and weight stack are longer than nonadjustable. But we don't have space in the basement to store the full range of dumbbells that my wife, son and I would use. This set of adjustables covers the range.

MJD
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Re: Adjustable dumbbell recommendations

Post by MJD » Mon Mar 25, 2019 7:18 am

You've already gotten good recommendations on adjustable dumbbells. I'd throw in an alternate suggestion - get a standalone pullup bar, one of those power towers that allows multiple types of pullups and a dip station.

Pushups, pullups, and dips by themselves will build and maintain an extraordinary amount of muscle mass.
If you purchase a set of adjustable DB or have a few different weights of regular DB, combining them with a pullup/dip bar will give you everything you need.

There are a lot out there, here is one example:
https://www.amazon.com/Weider-Power-Tower/dp/B07BV5FN9Q

But if you want to go the cheapest possible route....bodyweight exercises (mixing up different pushup varieties, squats/lunges, dynamic movements) will get you fitter than the vast majority of your peers.

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sunny_socal
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Re: Adjustable dumbbell recommendations

Post by sunny_socal » Mon Mar 25, 2019 10:24 am

livesoft wrote:
Sat Mar 23, 2019 12:18 pm
ThankYouJack wrote:
Sat Mar 23, 2019 10:48 am
That would be better but I'd probably want to go up to 50+ pounds per dumbbell. So seems like it could get costly. And they'll take up more space.
I've never seen anyone using 50+ lbs per dumbbell. Sounds dangerous.

Did you notice that the link to Dick's dumbbells had no dumbbell greater than 20 lbs?
LOL, it's easy to do 80lbs when doing rows. And I'm a soft office worker! I can totally see people using more.

For this thread: I don't recommend the powerblocks. They are flimsy and the plates tend to bend on the skinny little arms they are welded to. Impossible to align again.

pacodelostigres
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Re: Adjustable dumbbell recommendations

Post by pacodelostigres » Mon Mar 25, 2019 10:36 am

livesoft wrote:
Sat Mar 23, 2019 12:18 pm
ThankYouJack wrote:
Sat Mar 23, 2019 10:48 am
That would be better but I'd probably want to go up to 50+ pounds per dumbbell. So seems like it could get costly. And they'll take up more space.
I've never seen anyone using 50+ lbs per dumbbell. Sounds dangerous.

Did you notice that the link to Dick's dumbbells had no dumbbell greater than 20 lbs?
I routinely use 100's. Buying sets of individual dumbbell pairs for every weight gets expensive very quickly once you're using anything more than about 25 lbs per.

pacodelostigres
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Re: Adjustable dumbbell recommendations

Post by pacodelostigres » Mon Mar 25, 2019 10:53 am

c.coyle wrote:
Sun Mar 24, 2019 8:39 am
The crucial feature of adjustable or non-adjustable dumbbells is being able to change weight in small increments. I would want no less than 1.25 pounds at a time. If you get strong enough to do 10 presses at 10 pounds, a 2.5 pound increase is 25%, and that means, at the best, your form will deteriorate and you won't get stronger, or at the worst, you'll hurt yourself and you won't get stronger. 1 pound increments are what I would look for.

You can always improvise small increases by using chains, magnets, or whatever else you can dream up.
Respectfully, this is not good advice. If you're lifting 2*10 lb dumbbells for a few sets of 10 (which is a pretty extreme example on the low end) and want to move up in weight, you're going to still be able to lift 2*12.5 for at least 5 reps. Extend your rest breaks a little to allow for the heavier load and you can get a few sets. There's no danger in strength training in a 5 rep range. Your form isn't going to deteriorate and you're not going to hurt yourself, unless you still try to do 10 reps or if you scrap focusing on form because you weren't really ready for more weight.

Further, you will focus on getting strong BETTER with the lower rep range.

The math is much more favorable when working with heavier weights. Moving from 30's to 35's is going to permit you to get more than 5 reps in this example. That's why the weights at a well stocked gym increment in 2.5 to 25 or so, then 5 to 100, then often in 10's past that. I can't tell much difference between 200 and 210 with a compound lift (bench, rows, squats), similar to how I'll just grab 20's or 15's or whatever is available if I'm doing rotator cuff work or something. I'm not micro loading my weights because how I feel that day, how much I ate, or my sleep quality has a bigger impact that adding 1 lb at a time would.

Unless you're totally inexperienced at lifting, you'd probably be fine going as low as 3 rep sets as long as you have decent technique. I wouldn't advise doing singles if you're still working with 10's for compound lifts, and you should probably never do isolation exercises with max load unless you have a really specific reason, but no one is doing that in practice. I've not seen anyone except teenage boys trying to do a 1RM without a good foundation.

Source - CSCS certified for 8 years and owned a personal training business. Disclaimer: ask your doctor, get a trainer, don't be reckless, etc. Everything I'm saying assumes you're not the guy in the squat rack quarter repping three plates with no belt. That guy is gonna die and needs more help than an internet forum.

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rocket354
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Re: Adjustable dumbbell recommendations

Post by rocket354 » Mon Mar 25, 2019 11:02 am

A lot of responses all over the map here. Aside from some a couple jabs at people trying to learn, it's a good discussion for the most part.

Powerblock looks expensive, and still only go up to 90. It appears as though cost-effective adjustable dumbbells might be best for people focusing mainly in the <50lb range. For OP, who listed deadlifts and farmer's walks (two fairly heavy-weight exercises) as intended uses, he might be best served by scavenging on craigslist for people trying to get rid of heavier dumbbells. If his desires allow, going to barbells might be an option.

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Re: Adjustable dumbbell recommendations

Post by livesoft » Mon Mar 25, 2019 11:07 am

rocket354 wrote:
Mon Mar 25, 2019 11:02 am
A lot of responses all over the map here. Aside from some a couple jabs at people trying to learn, it's a good discussion for the most part.
I'd like to see the end result of all this. I think craigslist will be the end result: The OP will dump whatever they buy on craigslist after not using them much. That is, all the serious responses are for people who are really into this stuff. If the OP was into it, then I don't think they would have posted about it at bogleheads.org. And if the OP takes that as a challenge to get into it, then that's a good outcome.
Wiki This signature message sponsored by sscritic: Learn to fish.

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camillus
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Re: Adjustable dumbbell recommendations

Post by camillus » Mon Mar 25, 2019 11:10 am

ThankYouJack wrote:
Sat Mar 23, 2019 9:25 am
I'm looking to lift just occasionally to maintain muscle mass.
Before jumping to dumbbells, you could consider if other equipment could (better) meet your goals. Examples would be bands, or a small barbell set.

The shortcoming of dumbbells is that they might not be the most efficient & effective way to do what you want to do - maintain muscle mass. Personally, I am taken with the idea that barbell training is better way to preserve muscle mass: the squat (sitting down, getting of the toilet) and deadlift (picking something off the ground while maintaining balance), being the most important. They are efficient because they use a LOT of muscle mass, which means you can lift a LOT.

*Added: barbell plates are often cast with hand-holds if you are interested in farmer's walks. My 45 plates have holds like this.

I purchased my weights & barbell(s) off craigslist. They are slightly rusty and leaned up against the wall of my garage. Doesn't take too much room.

You might want to get some squat stands. With just these things you can do the following exercises: squat, overhead press, floor press (bench press from the floor - no bench), standing barbell row, deadlift.

Dumbbells have a lot of advantages. It's worth thinking about doing some heavier work, and if dumbbells can do that.

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camillus
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Re: Adjustable dumbbell recommendations

Post by camillus » Mon Mar 25, 2019 11:15 am

livesoft wrote:
Mon Mar 25, 2019 11:07 am
rocket354 wrote:
Mon Mar 25, 2019 11:02 am
A lot of responses all over the map here. Aside from some a couple jabs at people trying to learn, it's a good discussion for the most part.
I'd like to see the end result of all this. I think craigslist will be the end result: The OP will dump whatever they buy on craigslist after not using them much. That is, all the serious responses are for people who are really into this stuff. If the OP was into it, then I don't think they would have posted about it at bogleheads.org. And if the OP takes that as a challenge to get into it, then that's a good outcome.
I've bought and then sold exercise equipment a lot over the years, usually selling equipment on craigslist in disgust after failed attempts to get a habit going.

I'm having a different experience though, lately. I've been exercising regularly since May - and I have become the strongest I have ever been in my life. How did I finally make this a habit? I have no idea. I think being willing to try things out was a prerequisite, even though most of those attempts failed. I know that forming a healthy habit has incredible value, and so I think it's okay to submit yourself to some foolishness in pursuit of a single healthy habit.

And I think it's natural that passionate people want to share. What could ignite passion and form a habit in the OP's life? Who knows.

stoptothink
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Re: Adjustable dumbbell recommendations

Post by stoptothink » Mon Mar 25, 2019 11:25 am

camillus wrote:
Mon Mar 25, 2019 11:10 am
ThankYouJack wrote:
Sat Mar 23, 2019 9:25 am
I'm looking to lift just occasionally to maintain muscle mass.
Before jumping to dumbbells, you could consider if other equipment could (better) meet your goals. Examples would be bands, or a small barbell set.

The shortcoming of dumbbells is that they might not be the most efficient & effective way to do what you want to do - maintain muscle mass. Personally, I am taken with the idea that barbell training is better way to preserve muscle mass: the squat (sitting down, getting of the toilet) and deadlift (picking something off the ground while maintaining balance), being the most important. They are efficient because they use a LOT of muscle mass, which means you can lift a LOT.

*Added: barbell plates are often cast with hand-holds if you are interested in farmer's walks. My 45 plates have holds like this.

I purchased my weights & barbell(s) off craigslist. They are slightly rusty and leaned up against the wall of my garage. Doesn't take too much room.

You might want to get some squat stands. With just these things you can do the following exercises: squat, overhead press, floor press (bench press from the floor - no bench), standing barbell row, deadlift.

Dumbbells have a lot of advantages. It's worth thinking about doing some heavier work, and if dumbbells can do that.
I glanced over the part about doing farmer's walks. There are several easier and significantly cheaper ways (I have both): a hex bar or farmer's walk straps https://www.gopherperformance.com/stren ... alk-straps.

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