This short review was designed for people who are looking to create a sustainable, space-sparing training ground in the comfort of their own home. Based on our years-long experience in the field of fitness, we will give you recommendations for the best adjustable dumbbells.
For many people, getting to that top shape and staying there seems to be impossible.
Just at the thought of having to pack your stuff and go to a gym, you lose all your motivation and get back to your previous, fat-generating habits.
Well, that doesn’t really have to always be the case.
Getting in shape can be fun and easy to do, more so a stress-relieving activity, rather than something that feels like a torture.
And that is especially true if you decide to create a home gym for yourself.
Creating a Home Gym
We know for a fact that not many people have big, free spaces in their apartments or houses, which is why we need to think outside of the box.
Generally, a good gym would consist of a squat rack, a bench, a pull-up & dip bar, as well as weight.
But that equipment just demands too much room and a big investment, which is why, getting a gym membership is pretty much the best you can do if you want a HUGE variety of equipments.
You can build yourself an AMAZING and functional home gym, by simply choosing the right, space-sparing equipment!
In this case, one of the ways to save space is by purchasing adjustable weights.
And so, instead of having two 20 lbs. dumbbells, two 40 lbs. dumbbells and two 50 lbs. dumbbells, you will have ONE SINGLE DUMBBELL, that is adjustable to all the weights listed above.
Furthermore, you can add other types of equipment, such as resistance bands, ab rollers and maybe a small barbell.
Best Adjustable Dumbbells 2019
For this review, we will give you our BEST PICKS for adjustable dumbbells, which you can easily order and make use of.
#1. Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells (Pair)
Odds are that whether you are a beginner, intermediate or an advanced trainee, you’ve heard the brand name “Bowflex” at one point or another.
Bowflex is a brand that manufactures a vast variety of training equipment.
This is an internationally-recognized brand, as it has been in the business for over 3 decades, starting in 1986 with their first ever product, called “Bowflex 2000X”.
Needless to say, the company also makes adjustable dumbbells!
The SelectTech 552 is a pair of adjustable dumbbells, that allows for a wide range of weights.
This product also has a well-integrated, easy to use system for a convenient and quick change of the weight, which allows you to choose anywhere from 5 to 52.5 pounds of weight.
Many people have chosen the SelectTech 552, simply because it is one of the most convenient ways to get a dumbbell workout in, while also going through all the ranges of intensity (weight).
Here’s how the adjustable system works:
- Each dumbbell comes with a tray
- Each dumbbell has selection knobs on each side
- When the desired weight is selected, the mechanism leaves the unnecessary weights in the tray, as you pick the dumbbell for your set.
The best thing about these? You can go from one exercise to another in the blink of an eye, as the changes in weight are QUICK, thanks to the well-integrated mechanism that the SelectTech 552 have!
The build quality and functionality of this Bowflex product is unmatched, which is why these dumbbells take the #1 spot on our list!
#2. Merax Deluxe 71.5
The reason that the market offers quality, well-designed products to the fitness masses, is because the niche is quite competitive.
In this case, we see the rivalry between the above-mentioned Bowflex, and another fitness equipment brand – Merax.
Merax offers a set of adjustable dumbbells, called the “Merax Deluxe 71.5”.
These are easy to use dumbbells with a well-integrated weight selection system, which allows you to add or remove load in the blink of an eye.
When it comes to the functionality, both Merax and Bowflex offer top-notch quality.
Even though there is no substantial difference in the mechanisms of both products, the main difference comes from how the Merax dumbbells look!
The Deluxe 71.5 look like they are designed for batman himself, as they are all black, unlike Bowflex’s product, that has red accents, besides the all-black theme.
Another essential difference between the two is that Merax simply has more weight to offer.
Each Merax dumbbell can provide you with up to 71.5 lbs. of weight, compared to Bowflex’s 52.5 lbs.
Something else to consider is that the Merax Deluxe 71.5 dumbbells are better for more intermediate and advanced trainees, as the increments in which you can increase or decrease weight, are bigger – 5.5 lbs.
Ultimately, if you are a beginner, our best advice is to pull the trigger on our top pick!
#3. Power Block Elite Dumbbells
This next product is perhaps one of the best-known adjustable training equipments around the fitness community.
Just by looking at them, you can straight away tell that they look rather like bricks, more so than dumbbells.
The power block elite has a couple of variations:
- Base model – 5~50 lbs per dumbbell, 2.5 lbs. Increments.
- Expanded model – Up to 90 lbs per dumbbell
Unlike the previous two models, this one offers more variety and it can be purchased by trainees of all experience – Beginners, Intermediates & advanced.
The Power Block elite also offer an easy to use weight change system, based on simple pins.
Something interesting – The pin-based system takes weight off of BOTH sides of the dumbbell, which ultimately helps us spare time!
This product is used by some of the top athletes on fitness and bodybuilding stages, which is why it takes a respectable 3rd place in our list!
#4. Core Fitness Adjustable Dumbbells
Alright we saw similar versions of rivals, we saw a brick-like version that’s a bit fancier, and now, let’s take a look at the dumbbells “Core Fitness” has to offer.
What makes this product different is the weight changing system, which is a tad bit easier to use.
The system utilizes selection rings that are placed much closer to the grips of the dumbbells.
This product is so well-designed that even a toddler could recognize the selected weight!
There are a couple of reason why we decided to purchase this product for our home gym.
Number one, the design – The all-black dumbbells are just pleasing for the eye and they look good, whether you’re in natural or room lighting!
Number two – The price tag.
These budget dumbbells offer weights as low as 5 lbs per dumbbell and as high as 50 lbs, with the minimum increment being 5 lbs.
On top of that, instead of a plastic tray, Core Fitness offers a light, aluminum frame.
#5. Power Block GF-SPDBLK24
When it comes to budget dumbbells that are on the lower end of our list of recommendations, some of the brands have more than 1 product to offer.
If you think that the Power Block Elite dumbbells are not the right choice for you, then maybe these ones will be.
We know that the name of this product sounds like something you’d get if you were looking for weaponry on the black market but listen…
The Power Block GF dumbbells are without a doubt the MOST AFFORDABLE product on this list, and on the market as a whole.
This set of adjustable dumbbells is PERFECT for you if you’re just starting out.
What you have at your disposal, are two dumbbells, each of which can handle as low as 3 lbs and as high as 24 lbs.
It is also good to know that the increments here are significantly smaller, at 3 lbs, making this perfect for beginner males, as well as regular female trainees.
There are no significant differences in the design of these power blocks, but the main thing, as we mentioned in the beginning, is the price tag.
#6. Unipack Cast Iron Adjustable Dumbbells
If you’re someone who’s not looking for the fanciest dumbbells, but just need something to get a workout in, then this is probably your BEST choice out of all 7 options we offer.
Needless to say, a better-looking, well-designed product will be more expensive.
Unipack however offers a plain, black set of dumbbells, made of an affordable material – Cast iron.
This product is simple, as it has:
- Two dumbbell bars
- Plates from 5 to 52.lbs per side- 5 lbs increments
- Four collar nuts that secure the plates
- 2x 2.5 lbs plates, 2x 1.25 lbs plates
Using these dumbbells requires a bit more time, when it comes to switching up the weights.
But as a whole, it is a product of great quality that can always get you a good workout.
If you are on a budget, we certainly recommend you to pull the trigger on this set of dumbbells!
#7. CAP Adjustable Barbell
Even though these dumbbells are on the last spot in our list, they are actually very popular!
Odds are that at one point of your training experience, you’ve seen these dumbbells somewhere.
If the Unipack option we gave you above is still beyond your budget, then this number 7 is the best deal for you, especially if you are just starting out.
The CAP dumbbells top out at 40 lbs, with well-balanced plates.
Just like number 6 on our list, the set here is simple – Two dumbbell bars with a perfect grip & good threads for the collar nuts.
That’s about it!
The simplistic design of this product is exactly what allows you to keep your fitness plain and simple!
Ultimately, as you advance, you can add more plates onto your 40 lbs. dumbbells, in order to keep the body progressing!
This product offers perfect build quality and plenty of space for further progress.
At the price of a week’s worth of coffee, you’re getting something that will LAST, while helping you on your way to the best shape of your life!
Alright, before we make this a wrap, let’s do two things – First off, we’re going to see what are the factors you should consider when buying your set of adjustable dumbbells.
Secondly, we will give you a nice little workout which you can do with your newly acquired equipment!
So, let’s get started!
1. Product design
Whenever you’re spending money on something, you want it to be at the top of its game.
Our eyes give the vast majority of sensory information, meaning that a nice-looking pair of dumbbells will not only be pleasing for the eye, but may also motivate us to push further.
This is exactly why the overall outlook of your set of dumbbells should be one of the considerable factors when you are making that purchase.
We personally love all-black matte dumbbells with subtle, red details.
One of the more important factors when it comes to the actual use of the dumbbells is the grip.
Some dumbbells have rough grips, designed for heavy duty, while others, have borderline smooth grips, which were specifically made for use by female trainees.
Ultimately, you should look for something in-between – Not too rough, but not too smooth either.
3. Weight Range
Are you a beginner, intermediate or advanced? All of the products on our list are specifically designed for trainees of certain levels.
And so, for example, the Power block elite expanded dumbbells are made for people who train heavily, as they can fit up to 90 lbs. PER SIDE!
On the flipside, we have the Power Block GF dumbbells, which are designed for beginners, as they only handle up to 24 lbs. per side.
We recommend you to do an objective assessment of your current levels of fitness and based on that, choose the correct weight range!
Now this is something we need to pay specific attention on – How much can you overload?
Yet again, this is a factor, dependent on your current level of fitness.
For example, a beginner will probably find it a bit hard to consistently increase the weight with 5 lbs.
That is exactly why we recommend beginners and intermediate trainees to pick dumbbells that allow for smaller increments, that are less than 5 lbs.
The perfect choice in that case would be the Unipack cast iron dumbbell set, or even the Power Block Elite dumbbells.
Last but not least – The price range. When it comes to investing in your health and fitness, it is of prime importance for the investment to be adequate and not too big.
This is exactly why we made sure to give you a list of products that offers a vast variety of AFFORDABLE equipment.
Whichever product you choose, you won’t be in the wrong, as none of these brands sacrifice build quality for the ability to offer a cheaper price!
Goals as a Beginner
We’ve all been to the point where all we want is a nice, chiseled set of abs and maybe some muscle definition.
But when it comes to the beginner stage, is it actually adequate to place such specific goals, or should the training be oriented otherwise?
On our team, we have personal trainers with years of experience in the field, to answer that question.
The MAIN goals of a beginner should be:
- Building a good base
- Focusing on improving basic physical properties (strength, strength endurance, cardio endurance, explosiveness)
- Focus on learning the correct execution of each exercise
- Establish a good mind-body connection
- Establish good eating and sleeping habits
To establish that baseline level of strength, strength endurance and so on, you are going to need a properly structured workout plan.
The workout plan must allow each muscle group to get a good amount of work volume in, while also allowing it to recover optimally from workout to workout.
The workout structure is simple – For beginners, the best option is full body workouts with about 3 to 4 working sets for each muscle group.
We follow an “antagonistic” structure, which simply means that the order of the muscle groups is opposing.
Note – Antagonistic muscle groups are two muscle groups attached in the same joint, that are opposite in placing and function. A classic example here are the biceps and the triceps. While the biceps receives contraction signals and shortens, its antagonist, the tricep, gets a relaxation signal and stretches. This is the so-called ‘Active rest’.
And so, here’s how the workout is structured:
Beginners can start with a mix of bodyweight & dumbbell exercises, as follows:
- Chest – Push-ups – 4 sets of 15 repetitions
- Back – One arm dumbbell rows – 4 sets of 12 repetitions
- Shoulders – Dumbbell lateral raises – 3 sets of 10 repetitions
- Biceps – Standing dumbbell curls – 3 sets of 10 repetitions
- Triceps – Standing overhead dumbbell extension with two arms – 3 sets of 10 repetitions
- Quadriceps – Bodyweight squats – 3 sets of 15 repetitions
- Hamstrings – Dumbbell Romanian deadlift – 3 sets of 10 repetitions
- Calves – Standing calf raises 6 sets of 12 repetitions
Optionally, you can include exercises for another, often ignored antagonistic pair – The abs & the spinal erectors (lower back).
Such exercises can be hyperextensions, conventional deadlifts, crunches, leg raises, etc.
As you advance, you can switch up exercises and furthermore, add sets and reps to each exercise, to create that progressive overload, required for consistent progress.
Note that it is of prime importance to progressively increase the intensity from the start of the workout, in order to avoid injuries and premature fatigue.
To Wrap it Up
If you’re looking to get in shape but prefer to train at home, instead of going to a gym, then purchasing a set of adjustable dumbbells is the best investment in your fitness.
Creating a nice training corner at the comfort of your own home is something everyone should try and do at one point or another.
Granted, dumbbells are not the only part a home gym should have, but they certainly do allow for a vast variety of exercises for the WHOLE body.
That is exactly why we decided to emphasize on this review, and give you the best possible choices, including those that we made ourselves!
We made sure to suggest a diversity of products, as everyone has different needs and taste.
Some people like the fancy design, others like the grip and then others, simply only care about the load on the bar
Your choice depends on your taste and last but not least, your budget!
If you already have a set of best adjustable dumbbells, but are not sure where to start with your training, make sure to contact us for a free consultation!
Looking for the best adjustable dumbbells? Find one that fits your budget and needs with our detailed adjustable dumbbells reviews and comparison charts.