Reason’s to consider buying adjustable dumbbells:
Space savings – In this tough economy many people need to downsize for various reasons or stay in that apartment or condo, placing emphasis on storage and efficiency. Adjustable dumbbells take up much less space compared to several pairs of fixed dumbbells and are easier to relocate when needed. Also, limited space, combined with fixed dumbbells, may prevent you from progressing in your workout program by influencing you to stick with the now “lighter” dumbbells because you don’t have the room to add a new heavier set.
Self consciousness and the “big gym” – Whether you are a beginning weightlifter or someone with plenty of experience, many of us have felt either intimidated or insecure going to a large fitness facility, as if “all eyes” are watching our every move or mistake, etc. Or maybe it’s things at the gym like: the person working out next to you that forgot deodorant, the loud obnoxious music, the grunting of the gym rat or someone hogging “your” weight. Whatever the case may be, sometimes there is “no place like home” when it comes to working out.
Time is money (and so is distance) – It is not always practical to make it to the gym or buy a fitness membership even though you are committed to staying in shape. Sometimes that work day is longer than expected and you just need to get home. Or maybe your residence is several miles from the nearest fitness center and you don’t have the time or the gas money to make it there and back.
Flexibility and efficiency– Dumbbells, in general, provide numerous ways to change up your workout routine and isolate areas of weakness. Additionally, if you are still pressed for time while working out at home and need a short intense and effective workout or you follow a program like P90X or P90X2, many of the adjustable dumbbells available will allow you to change the weight setting quickly between exercises.
Cost – Tired of sending your money to a fitness facility that you only use during cold or bad weather days? A good set of adjustable dumbbells will often cost about the same or less than a year at a fitness facility when you factor in all the fees. Also, typically adjustable dumbbells cost about the same or less per pound than fixed dumbbells.
What to Look For
Adjustability: Look at what weight increment the weights can be changed. For some, jumping 10 or even 5 pounds may be too much, particularly if you are recovering from an injury or surgery. If you can change by 2.5 or 5 pound increments, check to see if that means causing the dumbbell to be a little off balance by having an odd number of weights on one side.
Ease of use: How long does it take to change from one weight to another? This may be a particular concern if you need to do drop sets or increase weight quickly, such as with the P90X or P90X2 programs.
Cost: Although everyone would like to get a bargain, do not let that mindset over rule potentially spending a little more for the peace of mind in getting a safe product you know you will be happy with for years to come.
Fit and Finish: If the dumbbells incorporate a lot of plastic in the design, chances are they will not hold up over time and you will have to be fairly careful not to drop them from more than a few inches off the ground. The issue with plastic is of utmost concern in regards to the locking mechanism for the sake of safety and preventing the weights from accidentally falling off. Also, what type of grip do you prefer? Ergonomic (larger in the middle) or regular? If you don’t wear workout gloves you may want to avoid grips with ridges (might be uncomfortable) or smooth metal (may become too slippery to hold when sweating). Lastly, for some, how the dumbbells look is also important.
Quality: What type of warranties comes with the product? You hope you never have to deal with things breaking or going wrong with the product, but it’s reassuring when a company stands behind their product with a good warranty. Typically you will find this with the better known names in this area. At the same time do not rule out the lesser known companies. Just make sure and do your research.
Extras and Expandability: Look at what else is included with the dumbbells and whether or not that is important to you. Many of the adjustable dumbbells come with some type of storage tray or container. Also, many come with exercise posters or DVDs to aid you in your workouts. Lastly, consider whether or not you might need heavier weights down the road or additional workout equipment such as kettle bells or curl bars. Some companies sell additional weight kits or equipment that is specifically designed to expand the capabilities of the adjustable dumbbells.