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Starting a new workout can feel both exciting and intimidating. Especially when you find your way around all of the gear you need, the list of things to know can quickly feel overwhelming. If you’re new to weightlifting, you’ve got a few things on your grocery list that you will need – that’s why we’ve created the ultimate guide to weights for beginners. First, for a solid foundation, you need the right weightlifting shoes (it just happens to be that Converse are a solid choice, according to podiatrists). Next, you’ll need a solid set of weights – so where do you start?
If you lift weights at home, start with a set of weights that is in the right range for your strength level and ideally allows you room to grow with adjustable weights or a set of heavier weights. “If you don’t want to invest a ton right away, consider buying three pairs of dumbbells: a light, medium, and heavy set that can be used for full-body exercise, and then build from there,” said Emily Knuth, CPT and trainer at Dogpound Los Angeles.
To make your search easier, I’ve picked two trainers for everything you need to know about buying your first set of weights.
The best weights for beginners
CAP Barbell Hex Dumbbell Weight Set – $ 300.00
“I use these at home and I really like the handle, but also that the heads are coated to reduce noise / pounding,” says Knuth of the CAP Barbell Hex Dumbbell Weight Set, which contains five sets of weights (you get 5.10 , 15, 20, and 25 pound pairs). Knuth says if you’re ready to spend the $ 300 on the kit, it’s well worth it because you have a good weight range to work with as you build your strength and gradually increase the weight.
Amazon Basics Neoprene Coated Dumbbell Hand Weight Set – $ 103.00
For a little over $ 100, this set of weights from Amazon Basics is also a solid choice for beginners. You are provided with a set of 4, 10, and 15 pound weights to work with, which Knuth says, “are a great starting point for beginners to do upper and lower body exercises. This also includes a stand for storage, and the rubber coating ensures that they do not rattle or make noises when you move them. “
Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells – $ 400.00
If you don’t have a lot of space to store multiple sets of weights, an adjustable dumbbell can give you the same weight range options, but all in one space-saving dumbbell set. The Bowflex Adjustable Dumbbells are a small investment, but if you want to save space and have many weight options, it’s worth it. “They range from 5 to 52.5 pounds, but also gradually increase by 2.5 pounds to the first 25 pounds, which is great for beginners,” says Knuth.
Northdeer Adjustable Chrome Dumbbells – $ 140.00
For adjustable dumbbells that come at a price that’s a bit more wallet-friendly than the Bowflex, you can go for these adjustable dumbbells from Northdeer. “These are also cool because they are adjustable so you can get these extra weights on top of the standard 5, 10, 15” weights [weight increase]. In addition, the handles are made of foam for a good grip, ”says Knuth. For this set, choose a weight range between 10-30 pounds and each dumbbell set can be adjusted to four different weights.
Bowflex Adjustable Kettlebell – $ 149.00
If you are new to weightlifting, you definitely want to start out not too heavy, but neither too easy. This is why Korey Rowe, CPT at Dogpound New York recommends this Bowflex adjustable kettlebell so that you can customize and adapt it to your various workouts. One of the great features of the Bowflex Adjustable Kettlebell is that you adjust the weight up or down by turning a dial above the weight, which is much more convenient than manually swapping out weights or plates like some other products on the market.
Ativafit Adjustable Dumbbell – $ 106.00
Another adjustable dumbbell option from Ativafit is great for beginners as it comes with four different weight options. You adjust the weight plates while you place the weight on a shelf provided. An avid Amazon reviewer noted that these were the best weights they tried of four different sets that they owned and said the handles were padded and comfortable.
Yes4All Vinyl Coated Kettlebell Set – $ 47.00
If you’re not sure which weight range to choose, Rowe recommends buying a set that is manageable at your current level, but also: “Choose weights that fit the profile of your target strength level over the next 6 to 8 months so you have room to grow, ”he says. The great thing about this set is that you can work with three different weights, which give you a lot of variety and space to work your way up to the heavier kettlebell.
Miroddi Adjustable Kettlebell Weight – $ 26.00
If you’re not ready to invest huge bucks in the Bowflex Adjustable Kettlebell, this one from Amazon is similar and only costs $ 50. You can adjust the kettlebell for four different weights (5-12 pounds), which makes it a great option for beginners. The Bowflex kettlebell goes up to 40 pounds, so if you are looking for a heavier weight range this may not be your choice.
BalanceFrom Weighted Medicine Ball – $ 33.00
If you haven’t tried popping a medicine ball in the name of fitness, let me be the first to suggest that you give it a try. It’s surprisingly fun and challenging – not to mention there are millions of different ways to add a medicine ball to your workout. This one from BalanceFrom is available in different weights and is therefore well suited for beginners. Tip: don’t start too hard. Find a weight that you can comfortably pick up and toss around because that is the workout!
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