Determining The Dumbbell Size (Weight) You Need

by Charlene Flanagan

When you're at the gym, take a look around and you will notice that everyone's lifting their own free-weights; some heavier than others. You carry on with the dumbbells / barbells / kettlebells your trainer has recommended, trying to finish the ones that require the same weights at one go (even though your trainer has asked you to alternate between upper and lower body moves).

This strength training routine has transcended into at-home workouts, too. In fact, kettlebells and other free-weights make for great body toning and muscle building equipment that are economical and effective.This is why we suggest you understand why a particular weight load has been recommended for you. Based on gender, age, body composition, fitness levels, and purpose, here's an outline that will help you pick the right weights for your workouts:

  • Typically between 5lb-10lb free-weights is all you need; although for men, 10lb-20lb is the way to go. Light-weight training focuses on form and technique, which is more beneficial in the long run than lifting super-sized weights that damage muscle fibres and can cause injuries.
  • When lifting weights, you should feel the strain, but not experience spasms or have a burning pain. If a weight allows you to do 10-15 reps in a controlled motion (no tremors), you've picked the right size. If it seems to easy, it's time to level up.
  • Different muscles need different weight loads. If youre doing a bicep curl, 15lb is fine. However, if youre working your triceps, you need to scale back to maybe 10lb. On the flipside, your legs are able to beara greater load.
  • Choose weights according to your lifestyle take, for example, your heavily-packed totes or office bags, they easily weigh upwards of 8lb. If you can handle that with ease, you need to take things up a notch.
With the above guideline in mind, and also after consulting your trainer, feel free to experiment with weights unless you feel a serious strain come on. This will also help you ascertain the size of free-weights you should invest in for an at-home workout.
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