Which barbell weight set is best?
Strength training without gym equipment is challenging. Gym memberships can be expensive, but if you’re a novice weightlifter looking to sculpt your muscles in the comfort of your home, a barbell set can get you started.
Barbell weight sets are nowhere near as comprehensive as what you’ll find in a gym, but they’re inexpensive and do the job for most casual weightlifters. For example, the US Weight 54 Pounds Weight Set is popular for its simple design, comfortable handles and modern look.
What to know before you buy a barbell weight set
What kind of workouts are you looking to do?
A barbell set isn’t what you’re looking for if your main goal is to lose weight or improve your cardiovascular health. While weightlifting is beneficial for weight loss and overall health, it shouldn’t be your main workout if those are your fitness goals. Barbell and dumbbell exercises are great for core strengthening and toning large muscle groups.
Barbell weight sets don’t take up nearly as much space as a weight rack. However, you still need to ensure you have ample room in your home for storage and working out. Most of the time, you can keep them tucked away in a corner of your home. If you’re working with a small space, consider getting a set with a more compact design.
Number of weights and increments
Generally, the more individual weight plates there are in a set, the better. This allows for more diversity and customization in exercise. Beginners should look for sets with plates that go up in increments of 5 pounds, but more experienced lifters might find 10-pound increments more efficient.
What to look for in a quality barbell weight set
Since most sets come with an adjustability feature where you can use them as dumbbells, weight capacity varies depending on what you want to do. Most don’t exceed 50 pounds, but that usually means you can only use that much weight for barbell exercises. For example, a set with that much weight capacity often allows dumbbells to hold 25 pounds each.
Most home barbell weight sets are made with steel and thermoplastic polyurethane. They’re not as robust as traditional weights, but they have a more user-friendly design and aesthetic. The connector bar usually has a steel interior, while the TPU weights often have a rubber cover that helps prevent denting and protects floors.
Some barbell sets have connector bars without textured ridges or scalloped handles, making them difficult to grip. The best sets have bars with soft foam grips that let you hold them more securely and help you maintain the correct form.
How much you can expect to spend on a barbell weight set
The most basic barbell weight sets cost $90-$150. However, if you’re looking for something more comprehensive with a more high-quality build, some can cost up to $350.
Barbell weight set FAQ
Is a spotter necessary for working out at home?
A. No, but spotters can be helpful for chest bench press exercises. Although the weight of most home barbell sets isn’t excessive, you should only lift the amount you find comfortable. If you’re exercising without a spotter, starting light and paying attention to your body is crucial for preventing injury.
What’s better, a fixed or adjustable barbell set?
A. An adjustable barbell set is definitely better. A fixed barbell set might feel more natural, but they take up more space, and you won’t be able to take it apart to use the separate parts as dumbbells.
What are the best barbell weight sets to buy?
Top barbell weight set
What you need to know: This set is simple but comes with everything you need to get in a good workout at home.
What you’ll love: It comes with eight weights, a three-piece bar and two spring collars to prevent weights from shifting during workouts. The bar is cushioned for added comfort and grip, and the ridged handles on the weight offer several ways to work out. Also, the teal color adds a stylish touch.
What you should consider: Some customers found the safety spring collars too stiff and difficult to remove without using excessive force.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top barbell weight set for the money
What you need to know: This weight set has dual functionality for dumbbell and barbell workouts, making it one of the more versatile sets.
What you’ll love: These weights are made of durable steel and thermoplastic polyurethane for a more durable build than cement-based weights. Each dumbbell has a 22-pound capacity, allowing the barbell limit to reach 44 pounds. The weights are polygon-shaped to prevent rolling, and the handles have fine ridges for optimal grip.
What you should consider: This set uses the metric system to indicate the weight, and the maximum capacity is relatively low.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This two-in-one set has an adjustable design and is versatile enough for a variety of strengthening exercises.
What you’ll love: This set consists of 12 weight plates with rubber covers to prevent dents and protect floors. The connector bar has a durable interior steel construction, a soft foam grip and screws into each dumbbell easily. The bolts have a deep-groove design for a more secure fit, and the total weight capacity of the entire set is 44 pounds.
What you should consider: The bars stick out when used as separate dumbbells, and some users found the bolts difficult to unscrew.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Kevin Luna writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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