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A Woman’s Fast (& Thorough) Guide to Buying Dumbbells for Home Exercise

  1. Amy says:

    Thanks for the guide! Followed your link to Amazon and the rubber ones have gone up to $50 for a pair of 5’s! Bummer!

    • Holy cow! I’m sorry to hear that. Have you tried a Google search off of Amazon? There might be a private seller who still has a lot of inventory and isn’t price gouging. Thanks for posting here and letting me know about the price.

  2. meenal says:

    Thanks for a great review. I am actively looking for dumbbells since we are all exercising at home now. I really like your suggestion. I do have one question. how is the metal grip on your hands? Did they ever give you any calluses. Do you have to wear a glove to lift these?

    • That’s a great question! No, I’ve never developed calluses from the metal handles (and I don’t have any weight lifting gloves). However, if you’re prone to developing calluses then I’d get some gloves. I’ve always been really happy with the metal/chrome grip on the rubber coated dumbbells. It’s the perfect size for my hands. Let me know if you have anymore questions!

  3. MommieP says:

    LOve this article- perfect timing! Trying to create our home gym, you’ve answered all my questions ! Thank you for this! Any info on how to start with kettlebells? I bought the bowflex adjustable kettlebell.

    • I’m so happy to hear that my article helped you! I don’t regularly use kettlebells so I don’t have any recommendations for those. I’ll reach out to you if that changes! Thank you so much for taking the time to ask a great question and give me feedback on my article. Have a great day!

  4. Tanja Tudhope says:

    HI There,
    Great article. Any advice for barbells?

    • Hi Tanja! I’m so glad you found the article helpful. My favorite women’s barbell is called the ‘Troy Barbell Tlw-40G Lite Workout Set, One Size’ on Amazon. If you type that into the search bar you’ll find it. The weight capacity of that barbell is 65 lbs. I’ve found it to be the perfect size and weight for women. It’s the barbell that Cathe Friedrich uses in her workouts. Thanks for asking a great question! Best, Mickie

  5. Hannah says:

    Great article; wish I had found it when I was first starting out! Might you know where to find neoprene dumbbells over 20 lbs? I have looked everywhere online and I cannot find them anywhere. I already use neoprene and have them in sizes ranging from 5 – 20 lbs so I don’t really want to switch to a new style if I can avoid it.

    • Hi Hannah! Thank you! I’m so glad you thought the article was informative. That’s a great question! I’ve never seen neoprene dumbbells over 15 lbs. I’m surprised you found some in 20’s. Unfortunately, I don’t think they make them in heavier sizes. I know that’s a bummer! Someone needs to make them in heavier sizes. I totally understand not wanting to switch to a different style. Thank you for taking the time to ask a great question and leave feedback! Best, Mickie

  6. Laura Lee says:

    After researching it appears that the ones you chose are made of PVC not rubber. So now I’m wondering if your top choice is rubber through research. Or literally the PVC of which the pictured dumbbells are made. I’m thinking the article should be updated with a corrected picture and link to rubber weights or corrected to say PVC as opposed to rubber. If it is PVC as pictured is that not harder than rubber or did it seem soft enough not to damage cheap apartment linoleum floors? I ask because I do like the color distinction in the weights but if they aren’t soft enough to prevent floor damage I’d have to go with the neoprene. Let me know what you think.

    • Hi Laura! The colored dumbbells I recommend in the post are rubber with a PVC coating. They’re awesome and I stand by the recommendation. They’re durable and won’t peel or flake. I can’t imagine they’d damage your floors like a cast iron dumbbell would do but as with anything I’d say go with your gut. There’s nothing wrong with the neoprene dumbbells. Thanks for your feedback! Best, Mickie

      • Laura Lee says:

        So you would recommend these over just rubber? I had no idea they were both. I do currently have the CAP neoprene BUT after stacking them the colors bled/stained the others. The neoprene weights still work fine. I just HATE that they’re not one solid color anymore. It’s just not pretty. I would think rubber might do the same but was thinking that PVC probably wouldn’t. But now I’m understanding that these are both rubber and PVC. I could try colored again with these you mentioned and risk it. Or I did see that CAP also sells the PVC type in black. If I just go with black at least black bleeding on black wouldn’t be a problem. Or hopefully not.
        Also do you prefer the rubber with the PVC over just the rubber? Or would you prefer rubber without the PVC if they offered strictly rubber in colors also? Thank you for your time and advice. Including the article. Very informative, thank you.

        • Hi Laura! I had that same issue with the neoprene. The colors bled onto each other when I stacked them. I love pretty equipment, too! So, I can totally relate to being upset that they aren’t one color anymore. The rubber ones I have aren’t tacky on the outside. That PVC coating keeps the outside of the rubber dumbbells smooth. It’s ideal for me so I’d say I prefer them. I do have some 20 lb. rubber dumbbells that are black (no PVC coating) and they don’t bleed at all. If you need any light dumbbells you could test out the colored rubber ones around 5 lbs. that have the PVC coating and see what you think? I love mine. I think the rubber ones with the coating only go up to 15 lbs. I hope this helps! Let me know what you decide to do. I think you’ll be happy with either, really. Thank you for reading and your feedback! Best, Mickie

  7. Maggi says:

    I have been looking for hours for a guide that speaks for me. Thank you for your honesty, sharing your experiences and tips! I am following you from now on.

  8. C C Fraser says:

    This is great, so educational! I did click through to Amazon, so I hope you do get a kick back! Best to you! Happy New Year!

  9. Red says:

    This has been a very educational article. I am a beginner beginner, 230 lbs (I’m down 16 lbs in 3 mths and I’m 45 yrs old). I have been looking for the best weights and lbs for a beginner such as myself.

    Thank you for this article.

  10. Aakanksha says:

    This post was quite insightful! Thanks a lot!

  11. Mae says:

    Thanks for this super helpful post. I’m a beginner at using dumbbells, but I want to get a pair for home work outs (instead of going to the gym).

    I’m relatively fit, I play sports and use the treadmill, and go for fitness classes. But I would like to have a proper routine targeting all areas of my body – arm/chest and back/ butt and inner thighs/ waist/abs.

    I am hoping to buy only a pair of dumbbells for now… how do I know how heavy of the pair I should get (ie. 5lbs vs 10lbs) and what you would recommend?

    I think my arms, chest/back routine requires weights but the rest are mostly body-weight type exercises if that helps to trim down the options.

    Thank you so much in advance!

    • Hi Mae! That’s a great question! It’s REALLY tough to give you the best advice for a single pair of dumbbells. It depends on your baseline strength and whether you’ll be doing high rep exercises (for sculpting and toning) or want to build muscle. You’d probably be able to target shoulders and triceps with a pair of 5’s. But you’d probably want a pair of 8’s or 10’s (or more) for your biceps and chest. And even heavier for your back and lower body muscle groups. If you want to only purchase ONE pair then go with 8’s or 10’s. That might be a little heavy for some shoulder and triceps exercises but on the light side for biceps, back, chest and lower body. But once you get started you can decide which weight would be the next best size for you. I hope that helps! Have a great day! Mickie

  12. KarenK says:

    Thanks for the cool review, I was just about to step up weight in my dumbbells so this is perfect timing! Love the humor too!

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