Like I said in the video, It’s important that you do your own research to figure out what best fits your home gym needs. I consider the acquisition of exercise equipment to be just as important as selecting household appliances. You want to find something that fits your expectations. Some folks have exercise bikes, treadmills or cable machines in their homes. I prefer free weights because they’re the equipment I seek out in gyms. Unfortunately, normal people don’t have the kind of space that can accommodate the space free weights take up.
Thankfully, the invention of adjustable dumbbells solved this clutter issue.
There are a variety of adjustable dumbbells out on the market, all of which serve the same prurpose. They allow you to change weight of a single dumbbell set. Initially, I was looking to purchase set that utilized the “selectorized-style” of adjustable dumbbell. In this category there are two dominant brands, Bowflex and Powerblock.
Indeed, these are some amazing inventions. From reading their reviews, they do what they’re expected to do. The dumbbells allow you to mechanically select a weight using switches or pins. Consolidating everything into a compact set.
Unfortunately, I think the only thing these products have going for them are their ease of use and speed of selection. Yes, the selection mechanisms are really cool. You can adjust the weight on the fly, but I don’t see the need for that level of convenience.
In my opinion, the biggest flaw of the selectorized-style of adjustable dumbbells are their form factor.
They’re bulky and have an unnatural feel. Bowflex’s product is unnecessarily long. And the Powerblocks require you to insert your entire hand into a cage. I’m not a fan.
So let’s talk about the equipment I prefer to use.
Initially, I wanted to buy a set of spin-lock adjustable dumbbells. This is the kind of set you’d find in your granddad or uncle’s garage. They’re amazingly inexpensive.
These are “plate-loaded” adjustable dumbbells. What I loved most about them was the fact that the plates are interchangeable. You can use them on the dumbbells and a barbell. This adds value in my opinion, but the form factor of the dumbbell handles share the same flaws as Bowflex’s product. They don’t look or feel natural.
Ultimately, I went with Ironmaster adjustable dumbbells
I’ve owned them since before my daughter was born. They too are “plate-loaded” adjustable dumbbells, but the way the weights are locked in provides an elegant form factor. These are gym quality dumbbells.
I’m sure you can tell from my video, but I really love these dumbbells. I think they’re perfect. Some people might not like the idea of manually loading and screwing on the plates, but I assure it’s an easy transition. I also love how the plates stack while not in use. They discretely sit in the storage stand that comes with the set.
The best thing about Ironmaster dumbbells is that the plates can be loaded on a barbell.
I should point out that the barbell I showcase in my video is not an Ironmaster product. The company does have a proprietary barbell that they sell, but I honestly didn’t find it appealing. I wanted something closer to an Olympic style barbell.
I think barbells are a critical component in weightlifting. I wanted to emulate that experience.
I use an 84-inch standard barbell with industrial clamps that hold the weight plates in place. I have a pair of wooden blocks (found at a hardware store) that lifts the bar off the ground, making it easier to load plates. The bar alone weighs 20-pounds but can go up to 240-pounds with all the weight plates loaded onto it.
The dumbbell set paired with the barbell and weight bench creates the perfect home gym setup.
The only advice I can give regarding a weight bench is to make sure it’s sturdy. There’s so many variations out there, I can’t really make a definitive recommendation. I like the bench I use because of it’s certified to hold a significant amount of weight.
Here’s the list of my essential equipment. It’s important that I emphasize the importance of doing your own research to find what’s best for you. Good luck~!