I need something to lift now that my toddler won't stay still anymore
February 11, 2014 7:40 PM   Subscribe

Looking for recommendations for adjustable dumbbells and a workout bench which will incline and decline.

I plan on using the dumbbells for everything including bench press, squats, and deadlifts so the more weight I can get on them the better. The Bowflex ones max out at 90 pounds per dumbbell and I would like to get something heavier if possible, and if not just do longer sets I guess.

I am cheap. A basic spinlock set that does the job for $200 is preferable to a more refined set that costs some multiple of that. Same goes for the bench.

I'm in Canada so it should be something I'll be able to buy over here without having to deal with customs.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm to Health & Fitness (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Why dumbells (and not barbells)? 90lb dumbells are going to be a real PITA to manage.

I think there's no reason to spend a lot of money. Around here and everyone else (well, in the US) that I've lived, craiglist is crammed full of people selling dumbells, barbells and weights. If you're not buying hugely expensive barbells or dumbells I would claim they're all about the same.

They come in 2 sizes, olympic and... whatever isn't olympic. The difference is the hole size. I like olympic bars but I have the other ones because they were cheap and fine.

I've had both clamp on and screw on collars. Either is fine.

I got my bench at a used sporting goods store - it does incline and decline but I don't really use either, no advice for you there, sorry.

Basically I guess what I'm getting at is that the stuff at the low end is fine as long as we're talking actual iron weights and not some BS plastic filled with sand things. And that all of them are about the same.
posted by RustyBrooks at 8:18 PM on February 11, 2014

You can get a set, or just get dumbbell (or barbell) bars and a few plates for now, and add more as you go (slightly cheaper).

Cheap options I know of: Fitness Depot has steel plates (standard and Olympic size) for 88 cents a pound. Canadian Tire is the other go-to for economy strength stuff. I have a bunch of these from there and they're fine. They also sell a 40-lb set for 50 bucks, but Amazon reviewers say it smells funky and may be toxic. Wal-Mart also sells plates, bars and spinlocks, at about the same price as Canadian Tire. Vinyl or cement plates are cheapest but they're ugly and too wide to fit a whole lot of them on a bar.

When I bought mine, I didn't notice a massive (or any) savings on craigslist; most people seemed to think they could get their sticker price back.

I inherited a bench so can't speak to that.
posted by cotton dress sock at 10:15 PM on February 11, 2014

It probably varies by area. Here you can get weight for 50c/lb on CL, maybe twice that in most stores.
posted by RustyBrooks at 7:43 AM on February 12, 2014

I'm going with dumbbells because I'm not going to have anyone to spot me so doing bench will be somewhat problematic. Also, a bench with a stand for a barbell will take up more space and space is at a premium. The heavier weights will be more for doing leg/core exercises. If I manage to bench 2 90lb dumbbells I will be very pleased with myself.

Craigslist and Kijiji seem to be filled with retailers here, lots of similar ads for weights at similar prices.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 11:05 AM on February 12, 2014

I imagine that's true, RustyBrooks.

Why dumbells (and not barbells)? 90lb dumbells are going to be a real PITA to manage.

I agree with this -- 25lb plates on a dumbbell bar make for an awkward grip (impossible, I have found -- even 10lb weights have too wide a diameter). Any of the cheap plates are going to be like that.

A barbell distributes heavy weight in a way that's easier on your wrists.

Lower-body lifts you can do without a stand/rack: deadlifts and front squats.
posted by cotton dress sock at 11:10 AM on February 12, 2014

For what you want to do, I think it's got to be hex dumbbells or the Bowflex. (Or a gym membership.)
posted by cotton dress sock at 11:17 AM on February 12, 2014

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