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How to Choose Dumbbell Weight for Beginners?

How to Choose Dumbbell Weight for Beginners?

May 31, 2023

You might have definitely heard about these “dumbbells for workout” stories from your gym trainers:
- It is the safest gym equipment that you can use as a beginner
- It helps activate and tone your muscles
- It alters the strength imbalances
- It can be used to work out different Dumbbell Types exercises based on your fitness goals
and it goes on and on…

All of these are fine. But, how will you know the best dumbbell weight for yourself as a beginner? This article can give you a clear cut understanding.
Go ahead and read more!

Dumbbells For Beginners & Common Rules

Dumbbells weigh in the range of half to fifty pounds (up to 20-22 kgs). Usually, fitness experts recommend low weight dumbbells for beginners like you. Once you become handy with the form and workout, you can increase the weight of the dumbbells.

How to Choose the Right Dumbbell Weight Based on Four Factors?

Practically, there is no right dumbbell weight. Because multiple factors influence them. Here, curated are the four factors that majorly help in deciding the right weight for gym beginners.

1. Strength and poundage of the beginner

The poundage of a beginner greatly depends on his/her workout history and the current ability to lift weights. You can easily find your poundage on how much fatigued you are to do the maximum reps with the weight you’ve chosen. Either refer to the weight that you lifted earlier or try it out now.

2. What exercises with dumbbells are in your fitness program?

Exercise may vary from one fitness goal to another. Thus, it is essential to identify what dumbbell exercises are on your fitness program’s list.

(i) Muscle endurance exercises: Exercises like tricep extensions and lateral rises train for muscular endurance. They can have the ideal dumbbell weight between 2 to 3 pounds with 10-15 reps.
(ii) Muscle strengthening exercises: Compound exercises like upper/lower body exercises, lunges, squats, etc train for muscular strengthening. They can have a moderately heavier dumbbell than for endurance with less than 10 reps.
(iii) Hypertrophy training: In this case, the beginners themselves need to lift much heavier dumbbells with less number of sets and reps.

3. What the fitness goals are?

Each fitness goal has a different workout structure and exercises. Though dumbbells are primarily used for muscle toning and strengthening, some fitness freaks use dumbbells for weight loss.

4. Gender, age, and beginner level

The ability to lift dumbbells varies between a male and a female beginner. Also beginner level itself has variants. For example early beginners and late beginners. Thus, your trainer will first examine your age and the beginner level. Then recommend how much weighed dumbbells to start with!

Remember to consider the FITT principle when analyzing each of these factors. FITT is nothing but the frequency, intensity, time, and type.

Steps to Finding & Checking the Best Dumbbell Weight For Beginners

The below steps help beginners choose the best dumbbell weight for themselves without the help of a trainer.

Step 1: Analyse and evaluate your current strength based on your workout history

Step 2: Choose a particular weight from the dumbbell storage racks. Please note, beginner dumbbells usually weigh in the range of 5-11 pounds (2 to 5 kgs).

Step 3: Try doing 10-12 reps with the weight you have lifted. And check how easy is it to complete the reps with the right form.

Step 4: Evaluate whether to add weight or not

(i) If you’re able to perform the reps at ease, then you have to try choosing heavier dumbbells
(ii) If you’re not able to complete the reps you’ve planned for, then you have to try choosing lighter dumbbells

Step 5: Repeat step 3 and 4 until you find a weight at which you can still push yourself for additional reps

Step 6: Ensure you must increase the weight by 2.5 pounds (~1 kg) every time