How to choose right dumbbell for your exercises: weight, style, and material guide

How to choose the right dumbbell weight

Weightlifting exercises are simple, but they bring great benefits to the health and body. However, in order for dumbbell exercise to be most effective, it requires you to have a rigorous exercise regime as well as experience in choose right dumbbell that is most suitable for you. If you are just starting out, read this article with VIC, you will have experience to pick up the correct dumbbell for strength and body building exercises.

Dumbbell is the weight training equipment that popularly used for strength and muscle growth as well as bodybuilding. Dumbbells come in a range of selection, provide numerous styles and weight for different workout exercises.

For men who are just starting out in the gym and the road to 6 pack muscle building, often wonder how many kilograms of dumbbell should be, should choose round or hex dumbbell, plastic or cast iron is better?

Choosing dumbbell is not random but in fact, it depends on many factors, and up to each person’s exercise program you will have to adjust the dumbbell accordingly.

Here we introduce the tips to help you choose right dumbbell to bring great improvement and effectiveness when you do exercise.

Choose dumbbell according to your exercise goal

A short comparision

Choose dumbbells based on your exercise goal
Choose dumbbell according to your exercise goal

You use 20 pounds of dumbbell, do it about 75 times, and after a while, you get tired and find your hands fall apart. Surely, you will sweat like rain. Conversely, you use 85 lb dumbbell but can only lift 8 times, then have to drop because you cannot lift any more. In both cases, you are doing “heavy lifting”, but which way is better for your bodybuilding?

The answer may surprise you because it depends on which goals you aim for. If you’re exercising for strength, use as heavy weights as possible. And if to improve muscle endurance, you should use dumbbell that weigh 20 pounds, and even lighter weights are fine.


  • For strength training, choose a weight that allows you to do about 1-6 repetitions.
  • To build muscle should, choose weights that allow you to perform about 8-12 repetitions.
  • To train muscle endurance, you should choose a weight that allows you to lift at least 15 reps.

Let’s carefully analyze these 3 types of exercise below and how to choose the most appropriate dumbbell weight for you.

For strength training

Choose dumbbell for strength training
Choose dumbbell for strength training

For those who choose dumbbell workouts for strength training, you should choose heavyweight dumbbells. And the people with these training goals are the ones most likely to lift the heaviest weights. To strengthen your body, you must perform a combination of exercises such as bench press, squats, and deadlifts. These weightlifting exercises involve the shoulder and elbow joints, causing the practitioner to force the muscle masses to work harder so that you can lift heavier weights.

For people who want to increase strength, they need to choose a heavy enough dumbbell so that they can do repetition maximize for 6 times. To adapt with heavy exercise, you should try with a light weight first. Suppose for hand exercises, you can choose the 10lb at the beginning, then gradually raise it to 15lb, 20lb, … Until you have chosen the appropriate weight that can lift 1-6 times, it is correct one for your strenght training.

In fact, muscle fibers involved in lifting weights are rapidly twitching muscle fibers – these are muscle fibers that tend to grow bigger and stronger. However, when exercising with high intensity, you easily become exhausted.

When exercising, take a 3-5 minute break in between exercises for the muscles to fully recover, so as not to inhibit the next session. However, before lifting heavy weights, you should do a good warm-up and gradually increase the weight to the maximum.

For muscle building

Choose dummbell for muscle building
Choose dummbell for muscle building

For those who choose to lift weights for muscle gain training will have a different way of choosing weights than those who do dumbbell exercise for strength. For bodybuilders and gymer looking to increase muscle size, the approach is slightly different, based on the weight they use. Here, you should choose a weight that you can do 8-12 repetitions for the best results.

To dertermind the weight that work on your own, do try with lighter dumbbell first and then gradually increase the weight until you are able to lift up to 12 times.

For muscle endurance

Choose dumbbell for muscle endurance
Choose dumbbell for muscle endurance

Not everyone who goes to the gym wants big muscles, or strength. There are people who go there just to increase muscle endurance and dumbbell training can fulfill this need too. If you just want to focus on muscle endurance, choose light weights that can be lifted 15-20 repetitions or more.

The weight stimulation here will not be strong enough to maximize size as well as muscle strength. This is because in doing so, slow twitching muscle fibers join instead of fast twitch muscle fibers. These muscle fibers are designed for long-term activity and generally do not grow significantly in size compared to fast-twitch muscle fibers.

Wrapping up, if you know what your goal for the gym is, it can be very easy to find the right dumbbell weight. You need to make a table comparing the inverse relationship between the number of lifts and dumbbell weight. As the weight gets heavier, the number of lifts per set will decrease and vice versa.

Choose dumbbell according to material

In addition to the weight, you should also pay attention to the dumbbell materials too to choose right dumbbell for your workout. Currently, dumbbells are usually made from plastic and cast iron.

The plastic dumbbells are mainly used for at home exercises because the price is low. The cast iron dumbbell though has a higher price, but the quality is appreciated and is chosen by most gyms.

The cast iron dumbbels provide the proper weight and support exercise more effectively. You will have feel of weight by holding the cast iron one.

If you are concerning about the safety while using cast iron weight, you can buy the cast iron dumbbell with rubber coating. It is both keep the good dumbbel performance and protect the floor and the surrounding.

Choose dumbbell according to design and type

Consider dumbbell type

Dumbbell is available in three basic types: fixed weight dumbbells, selectorized dumbbells and adjustable dumbbells. Depending on your needs and your financial ability, you should consider choosing the best dumbbells for yourself.

One experience choose right dumbbell is that if you buy dumbbells with low weight from 1 to 5 kg, you should buy one with a fixed weight design. Conversely, if you buy dumbbell with a larger weight, you should buy one that can be removed or adjusted to the weight to make it easier to use.

Usually, the adjustable dumbbells are more expensive, but come in different weights so you don’t have to buy many different dumbbells.

Consider dumbbell handle bar

Choose dumbbell according to handle bar
Choose dumbbell according to handle bar

Each brand that makes dumbbells has a different handle design, and different grip sizes. So when buying dumbbells, you should also note this detail.

It’s best to choose to buy a dumbbell with a handle that fits comfortably in your hand. Avoid too tight or too wide, causing it to fall and difficult to handle during exercise.

Also, if you do exercises that require a degree of grip such as the Dumbbell One Arm Triceps Extension or the Tricep Dumbbell Kickback, you should use the dumbbell with a rough grip handle bar to increase grip for the dumbbell to avoid slipping.

Consider dumbbell shape

Choose the dumbbell according to shape
Choose the dumbbell according to shape

The fix weight dumbbell also comes in a few of popular shape including hex dumbbells (six-sides head), round dumbbell (circular end cap) and globe dumbbell (ball end cap).

Among them, the hex cast iron dumbbells are widely used because of its versatility. You don’t need to worry that your dumbbell will rollover your feet or hurt others as such the round and ball dumbbell do. Most importantly, you can do the dumbbell push up exercises by using the hex dumbbell that these other dumbbell types are unable to work.

Refer these basic dumbbell exercises for strength training and muscle growth at home

Concentration Curl

  • Choose a comfortable bench to sit on.
  • Hold the dumbbell with your right hand. Legs outstretched. Use your right leg as a support to place your right hand. Left hand on left thigh. Place your right elbow close to the knee of your inner thigh.
  • The initial position is the outstretched arm, inhaled through the nose.
  • Keep your arms steady and lift the dumbbells upwards while tightening your muscles and breathing out through your mouth. (Note: move your forearms to only the position that the dumbbells are shoulder-level).
  • Hold the muscle tension for a few seconds and squeeze your biceps.
  • Slowly lower back to the original position as you inhale.
  • Repeat the above movement, then change to the left hand.

Dumbbell Biceps Curl

For this exercise you can choose to work with 2 dumbbells at the same time, if there is only 1 weight then do two arms alternately.

  • Stand straight, feet shoulder-width apart, and hold dumbbells with your right hand.
  • Arms close to the body, palms facing inward. Inhale through your nose.
  • Exhale through your mouth and raise the weight to shoulder height. If you do 2 dumbbells, lift them at the same time.
  • Stop in the top position for 1 second then slowly lower your forearms. Breathe in while doing this.
  • Repeat the entire movement until the required number of times has been reached.

One-Arm Triceps Extension

  • Hold a dumbbell standing or sitting in a chair, lift the dumbbells over the back of your head, feet shoulder-width apart. Keep arms close to your head and perpendicular to the floor.
  • Slowly lower the dumbbells by moving your forearms down, keeping your elbows in place. Inhale through your nose.
  • Use the back muscles to stretch your arms back to the starting position. Exhale through your mouth.

One Arm Dumbbell Row

  • Prepare a bench. Put left hand on the bench head and left knee on the bench too.
  • The right hand holds the dumbbell, the back is parallel to the floor. Face forward.
  • Exhale through your mouth, use your back muscle, and pull up the dumbbell handle until the dumbbell is near your chest. The arms are parallel to the body, keeping close to the body.
  • Inhale and slowly lower the dumbbells down to the starting position.

Where to buy dumbbell?

Dumbbell is fairly popular training equipment so it is widely sold in the market. You can find dumbbells very easily at stores that sell fitness equipment. But in order to buy good quality dumbbells that are guaranteed to meet the standards, are not counterfeit, and have a low price, you should choose the reliable and reputable suppliers in the market.

If you are a wholesaler, carefully consider experience dumbbell manufacturers to negotiate.

We, VIC, are confident to introduce ourselves as one of the leading manufacturers in dumbbell casting in Vietnam to the world market. Our casting ability satisfies the most demanding customers and strict requirements around the world. We do both OEM and ODM casting services, so surely all of your requests will be met.

Hope the information we have shared above has helped you better understand dumbbells and can make it easier to buy dumbbells that are right for you. Don’t forget to accompany VIC to have more useful knowledge.

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