The Smart Way to Lift: A Comprehensive Buying Guide to Adjustable Dumbbells

Written by Powertrain Sports,  19th June 2023 | Updated: 13th September 2023
Adjustable Dumbbell Buying Guide Header
In the market for adjustable dumbbells? Our guide can help you choose the best option for your home gym.

No matter what fitness level you're in, there’s no question that adjustable dumbbells are an excellent addition to any home gym. Compact and versatile, they allow you to switch between different weights with ease, saving you time when you’re switching between sets.

However, with different varieties on the market today, it's really important to do your research before making a purchase so you'll know for sure that what you buy are the right ones for your current skill and preference. Luckily for you, we curated a guide that will walk you through all the bases to help you make a decision.

Fixed Vs. Adjustable Dumbbells

Fixed vs adjustable dumbbells

Before we start digging into adjustable dumbbells, let's take a look at the difference it has with the traditional dumbbell. Although there are pros and cons to both, choosing between them ultimately depends on the person’s preference. Here are the key differences between the two:

Fixed Dumbbells

Fixed dumbbells are perfect for those who know exactly what weight they want to use. They're great if you have the space for them and want a more traditional gym feel. They also take up less time as you don’t need to spend time removing or adding weights, and they usually go up in increments of 2.5 or 5 lbs.

Adjustable Dumbbells

If you're someone who likes to switch up their workout routines or increase weights over time, then adjustable dumbbells might be a better choice for you. They are easy to adjust as they come with pins or dials that allow you to quickly change the weight without having to stop your workout. Adjustable dumbbells can offer anywhere from 5-100 pounds of weight and allow you the flexibility to change your resistance

Before You Start Training

Before you begin training with adjustable dumbbells, you need to know your fitness goals and tailor your workouts accordingly. Adjustable dumbbells allow for a wide range of weight options, so it's crucial to gradually increase the weight as your strength improves. Additionally, proper form is critical in avoiding injury during your workout.

What to Consider in an Adjustable Dumbbell

Woman doing shoulder presses with adjustable dumbbells

When deciding on an adjustable dumbbell, there are a few key factors that you would want to keep in mind:


One of the most important features to look out for is the weight range. Some sets may have a smaller range, while others can go up to 50 or even 100 pounds per dumbbell. You'll want to think about your current fitness level and any goals you have for increasing strength or muscle mass when choosing a weight range. Ultimately, finding a set of adjustable dumbbells with a versatile and convenient weight range can be a game-changer for at-home workouts.


Many adjustable models come with increments that allow you to modify the weight of each dumbbell according to your preference or routine. Smaller increments mean more precise weight adjustments, which can be beneficial for those who want to increase gradually. On the other hand, larger increments can save time during your workout and are more ideal for those who already have a solid strength training foundation.

Shape & Material

Adjustable dumbbells come in various shapes and materials. The most common shape is the traditional round design, but there are also hexagonal and square-shaped varieties. As for material, you can find adjustable dumbbells made of metal like steel or chrome-plated iron, as well as those made of rubber-coated iron or plastic.

Storage Space

Adjustable dumbbells are a great way to save space in your home gym. Unlike traditional dumbbells, one adjustable dumbbell, with its many weight plates, will only take up the space of a single fixed dumbbell as opposed to a single rack of fixed dumbbells that would take up way more space. Adjustable dumbbell sets can also come with their own stands that can take up a little more room.

Adjustable Dumbbell Workouts for Beginners

Man in gym doing adjustable dumbbell rows

If you're just starting out on your fitness journey, then adjustable dumbbell workouts are a great way to ease into weightlifting. Here is a sample workout that you can do with adjustable dumbbells:


  • 5 minutes of cardio, such as walking or jogging.
  • 5 minutes of dynamic stretching, such as arm circles and leg swings.


  • Dumbbell bench press: 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions.
  • Dumbbell row: 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions.
  • Dumbbell shoulder press: 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions.
  • Dumbbell bicep curl: 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions.
  • Dumbbell tricep extension: 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions.


  • 5 minutes of static stretching, such as holding each stretch for 30 seconds.

You can try this workout around three to four times a week. As you get stronger, you can increase the weight and the number of repetitions.

Thinking of getting adjustable dumbbells now? At Powertrain, we offer a range of adjustable dumbbells for all levels of fitness in a variety of weight increments, so you can find the perfect one that suits your skill and preference!

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