Dumb Bells

A set of dumb bells are a very key tool to use as part of your strength training regimen.  As you have probably read by now, strength/weight training is one of the two key lifestyle changes that you need to make in order to permanently lose the weight you want to lose.

Let's talk about some different options for dumb bells and how you can use them to add resistance to your workouts.


Types of Dumb Bells

As you can see by the images to the right, there are a variety of bell styles.  The costs vary as do the amount of weight, ease of changing weight and the storage space required.  Here are just 3 styles.

The first image is a bar-and-collar style.  They typically come when you buy a complete set of weights including a bar bell and two dumb bell bars.  To change weight, just remove the collars and add/remove weight plates as needed.  The plates tend to litter the floor of your workout area.

Next you will see a dumb bell group  that are not adjustable.  As indicated, the weight for each bell is printed on the end.  To change weight, just pick up a different one.  They come colored for lighter sets of weight to be used with step aerobics, etc.  Heavier sets are usually just steel painted black or grey.  They usually need a rack to keep them organized.

The last set is an adjustable set of bells.  They come just as you see them here with a full complement of plates and a rack to sit upon when not in use.  To change weights, just adjust as the instructions tell you and pickup the bells.  You will only pick up the plates you selected during adjustment.  There are several different styles, but they operate on the same basic theory.   They take a bit to get used to, but they are easier to change weight than the first style and don't need a big storage rack.  They are a nice blend of convenience and space savings.  They can be a bit pricey, though.

Go to a place like Play-it-Again Sports or a Dick's Sporting Goods or Scheels to check out each style.  Try them right there in the store and ask the store employee if they have a trial period.   Depending on the amount of weight you will need (err on the side of having more than you think you will need.  You will be getting stronger), you can expect to spend $50 to $600 or more, depending on your budget and what you find works best for you.  If in doubt, get the adjustable style.  It's a great place to start.

Dumb Bell Usage

A set of bells are extremely useful when strength training.  They can be used directly for almost any upper body muscle group.  Use them for bench press, seated/standing press, curls, triceps curls, lateral and front raises; whatever you can think of.  

In addition, you can use them to add weight to lower body exercises where you are currently just using your own body mass.  Try them to add weight to squats, lunges, calf raises, etc. 

If you can't decide what pieces of equipment to buy, buy a set of bells.  You will get a  ton of usage out of them.  They are nearly a must-have weight loss tool.

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