I am sure that many of you heard of adjustable dumbbells, but I don't think they're so popular yet.
I know a few people that bought them and I think the trend is going in that direction. More and more people that decide to workout from home choose this type of equipment.
Adjustable Cast Iron Dumbbells
I don't have "the real" adjustable dumbbells, but I wish I spent some more money when I bought my set of dumbbells, to get the adjustable ones instead. I have this type:
Update Jan 2015: I finally switched to Bowflex SelectTech 552, click here to know why
They're called adjustable cast iron dumbbells.
I mean they're nice because you can load the desired weight each time, save room and you don't have a set of 30 or more dumbbells around.
These are pictures of my own dumbbells set, EZ bar and bench:
The only issue I found with them is that you might get tired of loading/unloading the dumbbells every time you want to change the weight. But they're not even too expensive at least.
Adjustable Cast Iron Dumbbells Pros:
- Fair price
- Save room
- Can do very small increments if you buy the smallest plates (1.25 lbs)
- Weights (plates) can be used on barbells too
Adjustable Cast Iron Dumbbells Cons:
- Loading/unloading every time you need different
- weight can waste some time
Overall they're a pretty good deal, I am fine with these. Of course you need a stand to put your plates away (do you call them discs instead?).
I suggest you to buy plates of different measures. This is what I have:
- 10 lbs
- 5 lbs
- 2.5 lbs
- 1.25 lbs
The smaller ones are so handy because you can increase weight step by step.
Imagine that last time you did bicep curls with 25 lbs. If your smallest weight is 2.5 lbs it comes hard to start doing curls with 30 lbs right (25 lbs + 2.5 lbs on each side)?
Biceps are small muscles and they need small increments otherwise you can't even lift the dumbbell.
The 1.25 are ideal in this case, they allow you to move up with weight gradually. This is the feature I like the most about the adjustable cast iron dumbbells.
I bought my set on Amazon, they have good prices and wide choice.
For sure they're cheaper than any fitness store around here...
The Weights Are Compatible with Any Adjustable Barbell
This is another advantage of this type of adjustable dumbbells: once you get a barbell of the same type (adjustable barbell) you can switch any time and load it with the same plates.
Here's an example of what I mean:
After you have the dumbbells it comes natural to get a barbell, even if you are planning on that 😉
Barbells don't cost much and allow you to do some exercises like
- Barbell curls
- Barbell military press
- Bent over rows
- Upright rows
and these are only the exercises that you can do without a bench...
My Favorite: Bowflex Adjustable Dumbbells
As I said, I am completely fine with my set of dumbbells, but with hindsight I should have bought the Bowflex adjustable dumbbells, the ones that allow you to select the weight by just turning a dial, I've seen them and I fell in love with these guys.
Let me tell you they are very very...very handy. I mean, the comfort of having to deal with only two dumbbells, not having a bunch of weights around and the possibility to change weight in 2 seconds would definitely make my day.
It's worth it, trust me.
Downside? They are a little expensive and the 5 pound increment doesn't give you all the flexibility that I described above with the adjustable cast iron dumbbells.
I would still buy them, I love to see my basement all free from weights, and changing weight by just turning the dial is such a treat!
- Save room
- Save time (change weight with a turn of a dial)
- Two dumbbells do the work of over 30 classic dumbbells
- More motivation as you don't have to spend your time between sets changing the weights
- 5 lbs increment
- Higher price
You can find them on the Bowflex website, or on Amazon (.ca or .com). Let me embed some link images right here:
These are directly from the Bowflex website:
On Amazon you can find the same ones, sometimes at better prices and sometimes even used. I think that used dumbbells are still a good deal:
Other Adjustable Dumbbells
Bowflex is not the only manufacturer that produces adjustable dumbbells. There are other brands out there that follow, more or less, the same idea.
The only thing that really changes sometimes is the price. Sometimes you pay the brand name and not so much the quality.
I saw the Bowflex dumbbells and I liked them a lot, but I just want to point out some other options, just for your information.
Examples of different brands could be these ones:
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