Dumbbell Buying Guide 2021
The demand for home gym equipment has increased tenfold because of the pandemic. People have been buying gym equipment left, right and centre for their rooms, home gyms and garages. Today, well discuss the most popular kind of gym equipment - the Dumbbell.
The dumbbell has got to be the most versatile tool in the gym when it comes to building strength and losing fat. Dumbbells are used not only by people who have newly started lifting but also by people who have been lifting all their life. We'll be discussing the primary factors to consider while making an informed choice on purchasing a new pair of dumbbells.
Should you even buy dumbbells?
Dumbbells are a great choice for people looking to improve their shape and I'll tell you why. When we go to the gym, we start jumping on machines and what we don't realise is that we are missing out on a lot of range of motion and muscle building.
Machines are great for new lifters and they do a great job of introducing people to the world of weight-lifting but dumbbells and rods are the true heroes when it comes to weight-lifting. This is because dumbbells allow us to isometrically target various muscle groups, whether it is bigger muscle groups like your chest and back whilst allowing you to also work your triceps and your traps.
Dumbbells also allow you to have a greater range of motion allowing you to work all your muscle fibres and build strength. Another reason to choose dumbbells over machines is the size and investment factor. Machines are big and expensive and usually only target 1 to 2 muscle groups whereas dumbbells are multi-purpose, cheaper and take up way less area-space.
Which dumbbells should I buy?
Before we jump into brands, well discuss the basic groundwork for buying dumbbells. I'm talking about type and weight criteria. Dumbbell sets come in 3 main types, either they are round or hexagonal, in kilograms or pounds and either selectorised or plate loaded. Now let's dive into it.
Dumbbell set come in round and hexagonal variants and the basic premise to consider is, round dumbbells roll away which makes it an appropriate choice for gyms and gym dumbbells of higher weight category as in the gym you can simply roll the dumbbells to the rack and greater weights are easier to roll then to be lifted and kept.
Hence, if you are looking to buy dumbbells for a home gym or you are buying gym dumbbells of weights exceeding 25 kilograms, round dumbbells are a better choice. Hexagonal dumbbells are the more appropriate choice for dumbbells that are not that heavy and are for smaller spaces where you don't want your dumbbells to roll away.
Now the second criteria, kilograms or pounds? We can answer this question in a simple and complicated way. The simple answer would be that it doesn't matter, what matters is that 1 kilogram equals 2.2 pounds. So whichever you buy, you can simply do your maths and start lifting.
The complicated answer states that dumbbells that come in kilograms come in variants such as 2.5kg, 5kg, 7.5kg, 10kg and so on. Gym Dumbbells that come in pounds start at 3 pounds and go to 120 pounds. What I'm trying to explain here is that, if you purchase a kilogram set you will have to jump from 2.5kg to 5kg which is a 5.5-pound jump but dumbbells coming in pound variants allow you to progress from 3 pounds to 5 pounds to 8 pounds and so on.
Another factor is that this metric is also country-specific, meaning, Indians are accustomed to the kilogram metric system and pounds may seem confusing to the Indian user. The US user, however, would vice-versa be confused at the kilogram metric system.
Lastly, should we be buying the selectorized or plate-loaded variants? Selectorized dumbbells are adjustable dumbbells with adjustable plates. Plate loaded dumbbells are merely smaller rods with small plates that you can manually attach and detach and lock in using a rod-locking tool.
Selectorized dumbbells will save you space, will be easier to use, operate and be greatly more efficient. However, an important factor to consider is that selectorized plates are highly expensive and their availability in India is very limited.
Another factor worth considering is the material used. Dumbbells come in plastic, rubber and chrome variants. Chrome variants are my favourite as I used to love watching Arnold and his buddies clang weights and drop dumbbells on the floor making elusive noise. It really reminded me of the hard work they put in and just the clanging noise used to make me feel amazing.
However, chrome dumbbells are old and inferior now they make a lot of noise, are easy to damage and can get rusted pretty easily. Rubberised dumbbells usually come in lighter weight categories and are safe and plastic dumbbells are now the most popular choice amongst users. Another key factor to consider is the dumbbell price.
Which weight should I buy?
Which dumbbells to purchase is probably the trickiest and most confusing part for customers looking to buy dumbbells online. The answer to this question is also highly subjective as dumbbell needs are different for every weight-lifter. Experienced weight-lifters know exactly what weight categories to pick but what about new lifters? I will try to provide a basic template that should be highly useful and easy to understand.
When starting to work out, you will need lighter weights and as you get stronger and your muscles get accustomed to that weight, you will need to move onto a heavier category of dumbbells. If you are someone looking to just be fit and don't care much about muscle building, I would suggest grabbing 2 variants of dumbbells, one for smaller muscle groups and one for larger muscle groups.
If you are someone looking to get stronger by the day, I would suggest buying weights (using the example of kilograms) in gaps, such as buying a 5kg variant along with a 7.5kg, 12.5kg and 17.5kg variants. Another key factor to consider is the dumbbell price.
This might seem excessive but I'll explain. When you start lifting, you target smaller muscle groups and larger muscle groups. Smaller muscle groups require lighter weight and more form and range of motion-oriented muscle training. Larger muscle groups such as your chest, back and legs, require heavy lifting as they need greater resistance to grow.
Now you would ask, what's the need for such dumbbells variants? As you grow your muscles you don't need every single variant of dumbbells, you can simply increase the number of reps and when you are incredibly comfortable with that weight-range, you can go to the next category of dumbbells weights. Another key factor to consider is the dumbbell price.
Which dumbbells should I buy in the market?
Dumbbells online in India come in various brands and variants. Some of the best brands to buy dumbbells online in India are Sportsoul, kore, Aurion chrome dumbbells, RUBX, protoner, kore PVC-DM, Bodygrip, Kakss Vinyl, skera and cockatoo.
These dumbbells online are available to buy dumbbells online on Amazon, Flipkart and their respective native websites. You can buy dumbbells in physical stores as well. When you buy dumbbells in an offline store, you get a better idea of your needs and wants. Another key factor to consider is the dumbbell price.
Making a change for the better starts within yourself, you should be proud that you are investing in your health and body and it will reap great fruits in the near future. Dumbbells are the best choice and best of luck with your new healthy lifestyle!