Anyone who has tried to work out from home knows that it can be challenging to establish a viable home gym. In most cases, you will be dealing with a lack of space that makes it nearly impossible to fit all of the equipment you normally use. However, there are a few items that can help with this issue. In addition to space saving cardio equipment, you may also want to consider adjustable dumbbells. In addition to saving space, adjustable dumbbells are also a great way to save money.
If you have never heard of adjustable dumbbells, you have come to the right place. In this article, we will explain everything you need to know about this exercise tool so that you can add it to your home gym.
How Do Adjustable Dumbbells Work?
Before we dive into some of the details, let’s take a broad view of how adjustable dumbbells work. The functionality we are about to describe is the main reason why these weights are so convenient to use.
An adjustable dumbbell is a single dumbbell that allows you to alter the weight as you please. Typically, you will accomplish this weight change by connecting the dumbbell to different amounts of weighted pieces that come with the dumbbell set.
These weights come with simple mechanisms that make it easy for you to raise or lower the weight of the dumbbell quickly as you transition between exercises. While these dumbbells can come in a few different varieties, the basic concept behind these weights remains the same regardless of the model you use.
Adjustable dumbbells will have a minimum weight as well as a maximum weight. They will also include a set of weighted increments between those two extremes. Those increments give you greater control over the weight you use for each exercise and the quality of your workout overall.
Can Adjustable Dumbbells Be Dropped?
If you have spent time in the gym, you know that it is fairly common practice for weightlifters to drop their weights to the floor after a set. At times this can be nothing more than a dramatic flair. In other instances, dropping the weight is a way to end a set safely when you reach a level of extreme fatigue.
A traditional dumbbell consists of one single piece of material. Often that material is a sturdy metal that can withstand the impact of a sudden drop to the floor.
Adjustable dumbbells have an entirely different means of construction. To allow you to change the weight at your whim, adjustable dumbbells include several different pieces. They also include components that facilitate that weight change and are somewhat complex.
The inner complexity of adjustable dumbbells means that you should not drop them to the floor. By dropping an adjustable dumbbell, you are risking damage that could make your dumbbells unusable in the future. To avoid that issue, make sure that you place your adjustable dumbbells on the floor or rack with care after each time you use them.
How Long Do Adjustable Dumbbells Last?
How long your adjustable dumbbells last depends on the type you have and how you use them. In general, an adjustable dumbbell will never be as long-lasting as a standard dumbbell.
This is mainly due to the complexity of the inner mechanisms that we mentioned earlier. With so much complexity, there is a much higher chance that these dumbbells will malfunction compared to a simple piece of metal.
The brand and model of adjustable dumbbell that you select will matter as well. Just as you would expect with any product, there are some companies with a reputation for making adjustable dumbbells that are highly reliable. Simultaneously, there are some cheaper options that are more likely to break down.
Because of those factors, it is difficult to predict the lifetime of an adjustable dumbbell. However, if you select a quality set and treat them with care, there is no reason why you can’t enjoy your adjustable dumbbells for multiple years.
How Heavy Should My Dumbbells Be?
Before you select your dumbbell weight, you should consider your fitness goals and the exercises you intend to complete in your workouts. As you probably know, there are some exercises during which your body can support more weight while the opposite is true for other exercises.
The weight you choose will also relate to your overall goals. For example, those whose primary focus is to lose weight will typically use a lighter dumbbell than those that wish to add significant muscle mass.
Those two factors make it clear that a complete home gym should include dumbbells of multiple weights. This is where having an adjustable dumbbell can be so advantageous. Rather than filling a room in your house with several dumbbells to match the many exercises you do, you can use one adjustable set for countless routines.
Adjustable dumbbells simplify the question of how much weight you should use. But let’s get a bit more specific before we conclude this section. Let’s assume that you are a beginner who is trying to determine what weight to use.
Women who are just starting out should use dumbbells that weigh between five and ten pounds. Novice men should select a dumbbell that is between ten and 20 pounds. After you are comfortable with those weights, you can move up. Again, an adjustable dumbbell is one of the easiest ways to make that increase.
How Long Does it Take to See Results from Lifting Dumbbells?
Whether you see them or not, the effects of lifting take place almost immediately. As soon as you begin exercising, you are also taxing your muscles and firing the neural pathways that control those muscles. Both those phenomena can make you more proficient in the movement very quickly.
However, if you are interested in altering your physical appearance, that can take longer. Usually, it takes about four to six weeks to see a visible difference in muscle growth and overall body composition.
Does Lifting Weights Burn Fat?
Many people begin working out with the goal of losing fat. However, the fat loss effect of exercise is a bit more indirect than you might expect. Working out does not automatically reduce body fat. Instead, it burns through your energy stores.
When you are sedentary, your body often has more energy than it needs to perform its basic functions. Your body then stores that unused energy as fat.
On the other hand, when you engage in an intense exercise, your body has no choice but to use the energy that is available. That means that less of your bodily energy will go into storage. Over time, this can lead to a decrease in your overall body fat.
In this regard, lifting weights can be extremely beneficial. In some cases, it is more effective than the steady-state cardio sessions that many people associate with weight loss.
However, it is important to know that exercise is not the only factor in weight loss. Your lifestyle and especially your diet are two other major influences. Still, a regular workout routine can help immensely with weight loss goals as long as you engage in healthy habits for the rest of the day as well.
What’s the Difference Between PowerBlock and Bowflex Dumbbells?
Now that you know some of the benefits of lifting with dumbbells and the advantages of adjustable dumbbells let’s take a look at some companies that make these products. The two companies we will evaluate are PowerBlock and Bowflex, both of which have a significant presence in the home fitness market.
Let’s begin with PowerBlock adjustable dumbbells. These dumbbells are a great option, and they come in one of three weight ranges. That gives you greater latitude to increase the heaviness of your weights. These dumbbells are also surprisingly durable and have a design that protects your hands during use.
Unlike PowerBlock, Bowflex dumbbells come with a single weight range. But despite that limitation, the Bowflex dumbbells offer you control in other ways that the PowerBlock does not. For example, the Bowflex dumbbells allow you to have a different weight on either side. They also come with Bluetooth compatibility and a more sleek exterior appearance.
What is the Difference Between Bowflex 552 and 1090?
The Bowflex 552 is a set that may be better for beginners. It has a weight range of five to 52.5 pounds and includes 15 increments in between. It is also a very small model with just 16 inches in total length.
The Bowflex 1090 is a larger set that reaches about 17.5 inches in length and ten inches in width. These dumbbells also have a larger weight range of ten to 90 with 17 different intermediary settings.
Overall, the 552 is a small item that is great for those who want to perform upper body exercises. The 1090 is a bit larger and will accommodate heavier lifts. But either way, both of these models are top-of-the-line options that will give you all the benefits that a set of adjustable dumbbells can afford you.
Can you buy adjustable dumbbells for under $100?
Yes, despite adjustable dumbbells having a reputation for being expensive, there are some options available for under $100. In fact, we’ve put together a list of the best adjustable dumbbells under $100.