Dumbells

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Thread: Dumbells

  1. #1
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    Dumbells

    I'm thinking about getting a set of dumbbells for home use, and I'm curious if there is any reason I'd want to go with the solid one piece dumbells vs a set using plates. I was considering a "dial a weight" set like the bowflex ones, however in reading reviews it looks like it isn't uncommon for the plates to slip off the handle, so I don't think I'd go that route.

    I like the space savings of a modular set of dumbells, however I'd consider going with the solid one-piece style if there was a good reason for it.

    Really the only reason I can think of is the hex ends on the dumbells allow them to be used while doing push ups or burpees. However I don't know that this is enough reason to spend the extra money vs a more flexible modular system. Costco currently has a set of rubber coated hex dumbbells for 190, however it only has weights from 10 to 30 pounds, and I'd likely never use the 10 or 15 pound weights. I can get a set of modular dumbells with 200 pounds of plates for about the same price on amazon.

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  3. #2
    I had the bow flex ones that I used regularly for a good year. Never had any issues. I joined a gym so haven't had the need for them the last few years


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  5. #3
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    get a set of power blocks off craigslist they are great

    google "power block dumbbell"

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  7. #4
    I'd go with resistance bands.

  8. #5
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    Mine are solid hex, because I don't trust adjustable stuff. (Yes, barbell is the exception that makes the rule.)

    I have a vertical stand that holds several pairs without taking up a lot of floor area. Space saving is one reason for adjustable dumbbells.

    Hardly ever use mine since getting my cast iron kettlebells over a dozen years ago. If I had to do it again with present knowledge, I'd save the money and just get the two pairs of kettlebells. Your Mileage Will Vary.

    My kettlebells are old school Russian: 1 pood = 16Kg = 35lbs and 1.5 pood = 24Kg = 55lbs.
    The realization of personal power is the best insurance policy against manipulation, control and programming. - Paula M Parker

  9. #6
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    I'm considering getting some kettle bells as well.

    I've never heard of a pood before.....and here I thought our pounds made things difficult....

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  10. #7
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    Yeah, a system of 16 kilograms = 1 pood can be complicated, even for those of us used to 16 ounces = 1 pound.

    What I prefer about kettlebells is they work muscle, cardiovascular, and connective tissue, simultaneously. A good kb workout can take less than 30 minutes. No, you won't build bodybuilder-type mass. You also won't hurt two days later like when isolating muscles.

    One potentially injurious fact of kettlebells is you must have personal instruction from a real certified professional.

    For example, Management has a vid in which Jillian's kb swings are done with shoulders forward -- yikes. Gotta swing from the hips, not the knees. When the kb is chest high, imagine squeezing your fingers between your shoulder blades and a coin between your butt cheeks. There's more to it, and many more exercises to learn. Pay a pro for personal instruction.

    Archery specific -- after doing this workout the first time I suddenly had rhomboids, the small back muscles so important to archery. I've done it three winters in a row. This is the first year I decided not to do it.

    That said, I still have a barbell so I can do the usual stuff, still do pullups every workout, use my Nordic Trak in the winter and Versa Climber in the summer for intervals, ride my bike whenever possible... IMO changing workouts never lets my body get used to anything, making it difficult every time. When feeling particularly adventuresome I may do only getups and snatches, because I frakking hate getups, yet they are terrific for abs and fat loss, among other things.
    The realization of personal power is the best insurance policy against manipulation, control and programming. - Paula M Parker

  11. #8
    Buy cheap......buy twice
    Kettle bells are a good way to go for conditioning work. I am not sure what your workout plan is but dumbbells don't offer much in the form of resistance.

    Barbell and plates are your better bet. The only time I ever touch the dumbbells we have is when I have to move them out of the way.

  12. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brock-80 View Post
    I am not sure what your workout plan is but dumbbells don't offer much in the form of resistance.
    How do you figure? Not arguing... curious. If it's 'cause you can load more iron on a barbell than a dumbbell, I agree completely.

    For most guys who merely want to fight off age-related entropy dumbbells are ok. Those of us with injuries on one side -- wrists for example -- who have difficulty with barbells can benefit from dumbbells.

    In his book The strength of Samson and how to attain it Mike Brown discusses using dumbbells. There's vid of him benching two 115-pound dumbbells at age 64, and it doesn't look easy to me.

    More of Brown's story in this interview w Mike Mahler.
    The realization of personal power is the best insurance policy against manipulation, control and programming. - Paula M Parker

  13. #10
    In a commercial gym you have access to a lot more dumbbells but the OP is referencing a bowflex adjustable or other small sets that typically only go up to 60 to 70lbs. It wont take long to max those weights out for arm type workouts but when it comes to full body compound workouts 120lbs to 140 lbs just isn't very much and it puts the ceiling pretty low. It can also be difficult to get heavy weight dumbbells up to do a proper squat.

    I am really just thinking in terms of an entire workout program and not just the arms.

  14. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4 Fletch View Post
    How do you figure? Not arguing... curious. If it's 'cause you can load more iron on a barbell than a dumbbell, I agree completely.

    For most guys who merely want to fight off age-related entropy dumbbells are ok. Those of us with injuries on one side -- wrists for example -- who have difficulty with barbells can benefit from dumbbells.

    In his book The strength of Samson and how to attain it Mike Brown discusses using dumbbells. There's vid of him benching two 115-pound dumbbells at age 64, and it doesn't look easy to me.

    More of Brown's story in this interview w Mike Mahler.
    I suspect he means dumbbells are often light weight. Only up to 30 or 40 pounds.

    I figure I'd hit the end stop on the 50 pound bowflex dumbells before long, and already would for benching. And for about the same price I can get a 200 pound set of plate dumbbells. Which seems the most economical route in terms of both money and space used.

    I'm after something to primarily improve my performance in the obstacles in ocr events. I struggle with anything that involves overhead strength, such as climbing walls that are more than 5 feet tall, climbing rope, monkey bars, and the like.

    I also have resistance straps/bands for when I travel. I'm planning to get a set of suspension straps as well.




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  15. #12
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    For overhead strength nothing like pull-ups. Seriously I if I was only allowed two pieces of equipment one would be a pull-up bar for sure.

    If you're gonna buy commercial straps, look into Jungle Gym. I know TRX is the BFD, but look into jungle gym, which was first, despite the marketing bullshoney spewed.

    There are vids on YT that show how to make suspension straps from tow straps and some pvc. That's what I did.
    The realization of personal power is the best insurance policy against manipulation, control and programming. - Paula M Parker

  16. #13
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    My vote is for plates. This way, you can make a dumbbell to be whatever weight you want it to be, plus you don't have a bunch of dumbbells just lying around.
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  17. #14
    plates will never work as anticipated

  18. #15
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    Most gyms have dumbbell that go up to 120lbs. The advantage to dumbbells is the freedom of movement that it allows for your joints. When I was experiencing shoulder pains, my doctor told me to change to dumbbells, it allows a more natural range of motion, whereas a barbell will force you to follow a specific movement. the best work outs will incorporate some of all these different pieces of equipment.
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