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Equipment Suggestions for a Noob: Adjustable Dumbbells?

phenter012phenter012 Posts: 5Member Member Posts: 5Member Member
Hi! Long-time lurker, first-time poster, here. :)

I'm wondering if anyone can share their experience with / recommendations for adjustable dumbbells.

I'm a relative noob with weights, so I'm making quick beginner strength gains and it's getting pretty pricey having to buy new dumbbells each week. Getting a gym membership is not an option for me right now. I have some plates and handles, which I'm using on some exercises, but I shy away from using them for any exercises where the weight is over my head because I'm paranoid about safety. Are the adjustable kind any safer?

Should an adjustable set that goes up to 50 lb be enough to last me a while? (For reference's sake, I'm a female who's really pretty new to this (about 6 weeks), and my 'heavy' is probably most people's light or warm-up weight ... the 20 lb set I bought last week is just too light now for back exercises and way way too light for legs, if that helps)

There are a few adjustable sets on my local Kijiji, including Powerblocks and SelectTech at a good-ish price right now. I'm leaning towards the SelectTech, but the Powerblocks are more in my price range. Anyone have experience with either of these?

I'm loving working with weights and can't wait to see just how far I can push my body, so thanks in advance for any suggestions / feedback anyone might have!

Replies

  • feisty_bucketfeisty_bucket Posts: 988Member Member Posts: 988Member Member
    I used the dumbbell handles with spinning screw-on collars for many years and they worked great. It would take dozens of spins in the loosening direction for them to fall off, and that never happened. I would just tighten them now & then during the session (they'd work maybe a half-turn loose); no problem.

    I've never used those fancier ones you mentioned, but I've never heard of them falling apart in use either.

    Just don't drop things on your head, and I think you'll be fine. ;)
  • phenter012phenter012 Posts: 5Member Member Posts: 5Member Member
    Thanks. I hadn’t considered just getting the threaded handles and collars to replace my shoddy ones. I’ll remain nervous of overhead tricep extensions, though, but will heed your advice and not drop things on my head. :)
  • trochantertrochanter Posts: 74Member Member Posts: 74Member Member
  • Justin_7272Justin_7272 Posts: 134Member Member Posts: 134Member Member
    Buy a set like this;

    https://www.academy.com/shop/pdp/bcg-40-lb-plate-dumbbell-set#repChildCatid=5425015

    Pick up a set of 1.25 lb plates, and with a solid workout program with progressive lifting (I recommend All Pros) you will be off to a great start.

    BCG makes adjustable dumbbells to 60 lbs a piece that also work well once you advance;

    https://www.academy.com/shop/pdp/bcg-120-lbs-adjustable-dumbbell-set#repChildCatid=3478002

  • phenter012phenter012 Posts: 5Member Member Posts: 5Member Member
    trochanter wrote: »

    Thank you! I'll look into that brand. Yes, they're not the cheapest, but they look like they could be worth the investment.
  • phenter012phenter012 Posts: 5Member Member Posts: 5Member Member
    Buy a set like this;

    https://www.academy.com/shop/pdp/bcg-40-lb-plate-dumbbell-set#repChildCatid=5425015

    Pick up a set of 1.25 lb plates, and with a solid workout program with progressive lifting (I recommend All Pros) you will be off to a great start.

    BCG makes adjustable dumbbells to 60 lbs a piece that also work well once you advance;

    https://www.academy.com/shop/pdp/bcg-120-lbs-adjustable-dumbbell-set#repChildCatid=3478002

    Thanks! The BCG set looks like it may just be what I need and the price seems reasonable. It's great that they start at 25 lb since I already have dumbbells in most sizes up to 20 lb. (and the 20's are getting too light to offer me enough resistance on most exercises.)

    I'll definitely check out All Pros. Thanks for the recommendation!
  • sgt1372sgt1372 Posts: 3,119Member Member Posts: 3,119Member Member
    If you have the space in your garage, bedroom or elsewhere and you want to build strength, forget about dumbells (adjustable or not) and go w/barbells and free weights.

    All you need to start is a bench and 120# 1" bar set. No racks and all that other stuff until you've outgrown this starter set.

    I have a full Olympic gym setup and an adjustable 50x50 barbell set and never use it.
    edited August 7
  • steveko89steveko89 Posts: 1,255Member Member Posts: 1,255Member Member
    It sounds like you're going the barbell route first, which you really can't go wrong with. Dumbbells are nice to have for supersets and accessory movements, especially once you outgrow Stronglifts. I've had a set of Bowflex 5-52.5lbs DBs since late 2011 and they've held up great.
  • BecomingBaneBecomingBane Posts: 3,600Member Member Posts: 3,600Member Member
    I use the bowflex adjustable dumbbells. That said, many also really prefer and enjoy the power blocks sets.
  • sgt1372sgt1372 Posts: 3,119Member Member Posts: 3,119Member Member
    phenter012 wrote: »
    sgt1372 wrote: »
    If you have the space in your garage, bedroom or elsewhere and you want to build strength, forget about dumbells (adjustable or not) and go w/barbells and free weights.

    All you need to start is a bench and 120# 1" bar set. No racks and all that other stuff until you've outgrown this starter set.

    I have a full Olympic gym setup and an adjustable 50x50 barbell set and never use it.

    Thanks for the suggestion! I ultimately decided to forgo the dumbbells and go with a barbell. I was able to pick up a power rack, a 7’ 45# Olympic bar, an EZ Curl bar and a bunch of plates for next to nothing at a garage sale. I was intimidated by the bar at first, but have been pleasantly surprised at how much stronger I am than I thought! Gonna start Stronglifts 5x5 this week!

    Congrats!

    Wasn't sure you were ready or had the space to make the move to full sized Olympic gear.

    Great choice, you won't regret it.
  • Justin_7272Justin_7272 Posts: 134Member Member Posts: 134Member Member
    sgt1372 wrote: »
    phenter012 wrote: »
    sgt1372 wrote: »
    If you have the space in your garage, bedroom or elsewhere and you want to build strength, forget about dumbells (adjustable or not) and go w/barbells and free weights.

    All you need to start is a bench and 120# 1" bar set. No racks and all that other stuff until you've outgrown this starter set.

    I have a full Olympic gym setup and an adjustable 50x50 barbell set and never use it.

    Thanks for the suggestion! I ultimately decided to forgo the dumbbells and go with a barbell. I was able to pick up a power rack, a 7’ 45# Olympic bar, an EZ Curl bar and a bunch of plates for next to nothing at a garage sale. I was intimidated by the bar at first, but have been pleasantly surprised at how much stronger I am than I thought! Gonna start Stronglifts 5x5 this week!

    Congrats!

    Wasn't sure you were ready or had the space to make the move to full sized Olympic gear.

    Great choice, you won't regret it.

    Agreed - this should be far superior to dumbbells, especially if you're running SL 5x5. I'd love to have a power rack but unfortunately I'm limited on space so I have to make due.

    I'm running All-Pros, and the progression is quite different, so I've been able to make it work (for now). SL 5x5 has a very aggressive progression structure, which is one (of many) reason the creator harps on requiring a barbell setup.

    Good luck!
  • zebasschickzebasschick Posts: 51Member Member Posts: 51Member Member
    phenter012 wrote: »
    trochanter wrote: »

    Thank you! I'll look into that brand. Yes, they're not the cheapest, but they look like they could be worth the investment.

    check out posts about ironmaster on bodybuilding.com's forum. people really like them - they make good stuff.
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