Adjustable dumbbells vs standard dumbbells

Adjustable Dumbbells vs. Standard Dumbbells

Adjustable or Standard Dumbbells: Which Is Right For You?


Making a home gym because of lockdown? You’ve come to the right place. We’re here to guide (Adjustable dumbbells vs standard dumbbells) you and help you make the right purchases for your home gym. 


If you want to strength train from home and actually make progress with your strength and physique goals, you’re going to need to budget a good amount for your home gym. At the bare minimum, you’ll need a good bench and a high quality set of dumbbells.


There are two types of dumbbells for you to consider: those that are adjustable and those that are not. 

Adjustable Dumbbells 

These dumbbells are great for home gyms because they save space and time. This is a single set of weights that allows you to quickly adjust the weight in each unit, making changing from your warmup weight to your maximum load almost hassle free. 

Regular Dumbbells

These are your standard dumbbells found in gyms and most sports equipment stores. You can probably even pick some up in your local supermarket if you’re on a tight budget and don’t much care for quality. Each set weight has a different pair of dumbbells, making them great if you have multiple people needing to share weights.

Adjustable Dumbbells vs Standard Dumbbells – Pros & Cons


This might be the single most important factor when starting to build your home gym. If you’re on a tight budget, adjustable dumbbells might be a hard no for you. They cost quite a lot more than their standard counterparts too. Expect to pay several hundred dollars, minimum, for a complete set. 

Regular dumbbells, on the other hand, can be bought relatively cheaply. Heavier weights get pricier and can still add up quickly, but they’ll typically be better built and last longer than their adjustable counterparts. This can be important if you plan on sticking with home workouts for years. 

Also consider that regular dumbbells are sometimes sold as a single unit, making it easy to replace a single weight. Adjustables, however, are sold in pairs only. If you break or misplace one weight, you’ll have to purchase an entire new set. 


The next thing you’ll want to consider is how practical it would be to own either kind of weight. If you’re working out and your routine calls for you to frequently switch up your weights, a set of adjustables can be handy. 

If your workout is the kind where you are, for the most part, only using a set or two of weights, getting a set of adjustables is probably not the wisest choice. If, however, you know you’re going to be moving up in weight rather quickly, it might be practical to buy the adjustable set, even if you’re only using one or two weights at once. 

Lastly, if you’re using a ton of weights but want a quicker workout that’s both faster to complete and easier to clean up, adjustables might be the most practical option. 

Structure – Adjustable dumbbells vs Standard dumbbells

The next thing you really need to consider when shopping for a set of dumbbells for your home gym is durability. Do you want the best of the best, something that will last you for years or decades? Or is a product that’s only going to last a few years at most something that doesn’t bother you?

There are exceptions to every rule, however, an adjustable set of dumbbells probably isn’t going to be constructed as well as a set of standards. Even if the quality and workmanship is good, the materials are going to be subpar since plastic may be used to construct the device that lets weight be easily changed. 

If you’d prefer something made of pure iron, rubber, or other special material, your standard set of dumbbells might be right for you, though adjustables will serve you well for a time. 

Space – Adjustable Dumbbells vs Standard Dumbbells

Setting up a home gym can take up a lot of space. If you have an entire garage in which to do so, getting an entire rack of standard dumbbells might be something to look into. This can help you ensure you have the proper weights for different exercises, so you can train every muscle group in the body. 

If, however, you’re in a closet or other small and confined area, a set of adjustables might be warranted. These allow you to create a small, but well-functioning home gym setup. 


This matters a lot more for those interested in strength sports, not just lifting for health or weight loss. If you’re powerlifting or otherwise planning on lifting decently heavy weights, you’re going to want to factor that into your purchasing decisions. 

Even the best adjustable dumbbells don’t go heavy enough for elite lifters. If you max out the set of weights, you’re limiting your potential. Most people who get into lifting do so with progressive overload in mind, always trying to increase strength and lift numbers. 

If you don’t think you’ll go past the maximum weight on adjustables, they might be a good option for you. However, since they’re a big ticket item that’s pricey to purchase, you may want to consider standard weights if you think their use will expire for you. 

Conclusion – Adjustable Dumbbells vs Standard Dumbbells

Making the decision whether to buy adjustable or standard dumbbells can take a while, but after you carefully weigh the pros and cons of each type of weight, you should be able to make an educated decision. After looking at price point and other factors, the right choice for you should become evident. 

A set of standard dumbbells is probably going to be best for you if you’re planning on lifting heavy in the future, or if you already have a significant amount of strength under your belt. By buying standard weights, you’ll get something that’s well crafted and meant to stand the test of time. 

If, however, you don’t think you’ll ever lift heavy, adjustables might be appropriate. The best adjustable dumbbells will allow you to workout in a fairly small space, without creating a cluttered environment. If you shop for the cream of the crop, you might just find a set that lasts.

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