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Barbells and Dumbells

Olympic Weight Set Usually 300 pounds
An Olympic Weight set is the one thing you really do need to be able to lift weights. Everything else is optional. A standard weight set is not suggested because the bar is less durable and the set comes with less weight. With an Olympic weight set you can bench, squat, curl, and deadlift. Dumbells are nice to have too for variety but an Olympic Weight Set is a must.

Don't think about ordering one as shipping would be too high, check department stores or fitness stores in your area to find a set to buy.

Adjustable Dumbells - allowing up to 10 ten pound weight plates total

Next to a barbell the most important pieces of equipment to have for lifting are dumbells. I prefer adjustable ones with spinlock collars. They allow you to increase weight progressively as you see fit rather than having to use hex dumbells that require large jumps in weight to move from one set to the next. Hex dumbells aren't a bad idea for lower weight dumbells as they are cheaper factoring in the bars of the adjustable dumbells. Spinlock collars on dumbells I really do suggest. The clips may work fine for a barbell but dumbells are another matter. Dumbells one lifts at odd angels and the experience of having a clip come off just once and plates land on your toe is enough to make you want spinlock collars. Standard Adjustable dumbell bars support a maximum of 10 ten pound plates.

Hex Dumbells

Hex Dumbells look cool but they aren't adjustable. Gyms often use them because they are less likely to cause injury as opposed to adjustable dumbells that are not fastened appropriately. Thats why they are in common use everywhere it seems. For lighter weights they are economical to use in many instances though. You can always duct tape small plates to the side which I have done. But beyond that or using magnets to attach small weight plates Hex dumbells require large percentage gains in strength to go from one set to the next. Going from 45 to 50 pound dumbells might not sound like much but that requires an 11 percent increase in strength. Such large jumps keep many people at the same weights for long periods of time if they only use Hex dumbells. There is something powerful about a 50 or 100 pound hex dumbell that is just not achieved with an equivalent adjustable dumbell for some reason though.

Read on about Specialized Bars and Dumbells

Read on about Bars and Dumbell Types I Don't Recommend