Are Dumbbells worth it?

Dumbbells play a huge role in weight training, they can be used to work on all parts of the body including your shoulders, chest, arms, back, legs, glutes, and so on. Proper use of dumbbells and barbells could open you up to alternative methods of weight training that will produce amazing results.

To be effective in weight training, you have to master your technique and form. To do this it is best to use a personal trainer put you through the basics. This is very important as performing weight training incorrectly, or using a dangerous technique could lead to strains, sprains, fractures or other terrible injuries that will put a stop to your weight training journey.

Are dumbbells worth investing in?

With COVID-19 not showing signs of leaving anytime soon, a lot of people are investing in home workout equipment to keep them going and help them stay fit. As you decide to set up your personal home gym, knowing the perfect equipment to purchase might be puzzling. Generally, fitness coaches advise that when purchasing equipment for your home gym, dumbbells should be close to the top of the list and fixed weights are best for starters.

One of the big factors for investing in dumbbells is the fact that they can blow your entire budget when starting your homegym so its advisable to get these after you have the basics like a barbell, weights, rack and bench.

Benefits of investing in dumbbells;

  1. Dumbbells are known to elicit the two main classes of overload that can cause rapid muscle growth: metabolic and mechanical overload.

Metabolic overload happens when you over stress your muscle, leading to muscle fatigue. This then leads to over-storing of glycogen by the cells in the muscles, which cause the muscles to increase in size. Moderately weighing dumbbells and more reps can lead to metabolic overload.

Mechanical overload, on the hand, is caused by damage to the muscle cell as a result of vigorous muscle contractions. The damage then stimulates repair of these cells, leading to an increase in size. To generate this type of overload, heavy dumbbells are often used.

  • There are almost no limits to the number of exercises you can do with a dumbbell. While weight training machines allow for movement in one specific direction to strengthen a particular muscle, dumbbells can be held in each hand and used for complex movements in one particular plane at a time. They are also used to produce a variety of patterns that elicit a task or strength in a particular muscle.
  • If you are wanting to increase your grip strength, while doing leg exercises, row variations or an exercise that involves holding onto the weight; it will indirectly increase your grip strength. Especially as you increase the weight.


In setting up your home gym, chances are you are clueless when it comes to pricing for dumbbells. It depends largely on a couple of factors- whether you want to buy a full dumbbell set or just a single pair or whether you want fixed weight dumbbells or an adjustable pair. On average, dumbbells cost around $2.50 – $4.00 per pound. However, factors like weight, brand, material, adjustability, etc, may affect the pricing. It should also be noted that hex weights are usually cheaper than the round weights

Storage space

Space is a major factor to consider when purchasing gym equipment for your home. The amount of free space you have for storage will determine, to an extent, the type of gym equipment you can buy. When dealing with dumbbells, storage space is a major contributor to the type of dumbbell you can buy. This is because, even if you neatly stack up your dumbbells in storage, they are still sure to take up some cubic feet of space. However, purchasing adjustable dumbbells may help you save a lot of space, as they can be detached and stored after use.

You can buy a dumbbell rack but again that is going to chew through your budget when building your home gym and that is when adjustable dumbbells shine as a better option

Why are Dumbbells so expensive?

Dumbbells may have pocket draining prices as a result of the following:

  • Originally, most dumbbells are manufactured abroad. Shipping them into the country might cost a lot more as a result of their weight.
  • One of the most important characteristics of dumbbells is durability. To achieve this, only quality materials are often used in its production, and this might make it a little more expensive.
  • The raw materials used in production of dumbbells may also be one of the reasons they cost so much. Iron, which is a principal raw material, costs more than other materials that might be used in similar products.

Adjustable dumbbells vs Fixed weight dumbbells

If you are currently setting up your gym at home, or have future plans to do so, the confounding decision whether to invest in adjustable dumbbells or fixed weight dumbbells might be tough for you to make. Fortunately, you really can’t go wrong in selecting either of them, as they both have their merits. However, there are some important things to note before buying any one of them so as to ensure you buy the right one.

An adjustable dumbbell is a type of dumbbell in which its weight can be changed to suit your workout demands. The maximum weight each adjustable dumbbell can carry may depend on the type you purchase, and with adjustable dumbbells, you can work with heavy and light weights without having to purchase a different set of dumbbells. Additionally, they are relatively cheaper than fixed weight dumbbells, and they give you the option of increasing or reducing the weight you’re working with.

Fixed dumbbells, on the other hand, do not have the adjustable function and as a result, have a ‘grab and go’ effect. Although they may cost more, they are great for drop sets or supersets. They are more compact than adjustable dumbbells and take less room, they also are more durable and offer longevity.

Personally I prefer fixed dumbbells as you can place them on your knees when you need to kick them up for a bench press and I have noticed that some adjustable dumbbells cannot be used above head due to the mechanisms inside the adjustable dumbbell

When should you buy dumbbells?

Like I said before dumbbells are usually among the first workout equipment to invest in when you want to set up your home gym. They offer an array of exercises you can engage in and are sufficient if they are the only weight training equipment you start off with. Generally, you should buy your first set of dumbbells when you have decided to begin weight training, as they are relatively cheap when bought second hand and readily available. You do not have to break the bank for them if they are second hand

Starting your home gym

The decision to begin your home gym is a very crucial one. Having your home gym eliminates the inconvenience you get from walking miles to your nearest public gym. To begin, you first have to create sufficient space for workout and storage of your equipment. Then, it is important you have a mental picture of all the equipment you will need to effectively workout. Some of these essentials might include; Squat rack, Plates, Barbells, Dumbbells, Bench, etc. You may then proceed to stacking up on advanced essentials like Resistance bands, exercise mats, Kettlebells, Medicine balls, machines and so on

Final thoughts…

Dumbbells are essential to weight training and general fitness. It is, however, not advisable to begin with heavy dumbbells when you’re just starting out. You may start with lighter dumbbells and slowly work towards much heavier ones as they can be more expensive. The secret to using dumbbells successfully is to understand your body, know at what level to begin and grow gradually into the expert bodybuilder you always wanted to be.

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