If you’re looking to build muscle and get stronger from within the comfort of your own home, the right weight set is a must-have. Adding weight training to your workout routine can help you sculpt nearly any part of your body—from your shoulders to your calves! That’s why investing in an effective, safe, and reliable weight lifting set can make all the difference in getting that lean, attractive physique you’d like to see in the mirror every day.

Known for durability, customizable weight options, and being a favorite of bodybuilders and beginner athletes alike, weight sets include a number of products to choose from. But what exactly is a weight set, and which one is right for you?

In this article, we’ll explore the different types of weight sets on the market right now, and what to look for when you’re selecting one that fits your lifestyle. We’ll also review five of the best home weight sets available for purchase. Finally, you’ll learn some effective weight training exercises you can add to your workout regimen to get results.

What is a Weight Set, and Why Buy One?

Barbell and Dumbbell Weight SetsWhile some workout programs are only bodyweight-focused, most include some additional strength training. Strength training, also known as resistance training, places resistance on your muscles through the use of weight and repetitive movements called “reps.” This resistance makes your muscles work harder to move and contract, which in turn helps you build strength and cardiovascular endurance. When you gain lean muscle through strength training, you actually lose body weight too, as your metabolism works to fuel your larger skeletal muscles and burn off unnecessary fat.

But how can you challenge your muscles beyond your own bodyweight, to make them work even harder? Enter, the weight set.

Weight lifting sets come in many different shapes and sizes, with customizable weight options. They can include metal, iron, or even rubber components to add extra weight to your body and increase resistance. The best part is, there are plenty of home weight set options—which means you don’t even have to leave your house to get a great workout!

Choosing the Home Weight Set That’s Right for You

Choosing the Home Weight Set That’s Right for YouNow that you know how a weight set can start you on a fat-burning, muscle-building frenzy, which one should you choose? Considering how much space you want to dedicate to your home gym, evaluating your fitness goals, comparing prices, and deciding which type of weight set offers the best options for your lifestyle are crucial to deciding which one is right for you.

If that sounds like a lot of work, never fear! Here are our 5 picks of the most popular, cost-effective weight sets you can find on the market today:

300-lb. Olympic Barbell Weight Sets

One of the more popular options among home weight lifters, the Olympic barbell weight set is a customizable option that combines versatility with durability. This set consists of a long metal bar, usually measuring about seven feet, and different-sized plates that can be secured on either end (the “sleeves”) of the bar.

Olympic barbell weight sets are particularly noteworthy for their two-inch rotating sleeve diameters, which protect your wrists and allow for more weight to be placed on either end of the bar. This makes them optimal for full-body conditioning moves like squats and deadlifts, as well as upper body-focused moves like triceps extensions, presses, and more.

USA Sports Olympic Weight Set by Troy Barbell

USA Sports Olympic Weight Set by Troy BarbellThere are plenty of options for barbell weight sets, but Troy Barbell’s 300-lb. Olympic weight set is one of the most popular and top rated. Featuring a 7-foot bar and 7 pairs of differently-sized weight plates totaling 300 pounds, this home weight set allows for up to 600 pounds of weight lifting.

The USA Sports 300-lb. Olympic Weight Set is ideal for any range of athletes, from bodybuilder to hobby lifter alike. It’s obviously attracted a number of customers, ranking #19 for strength training weights and #26 for strength training plates on Amazon’s bestsellers list, as well as earning an impressive 4.4 out of 5 stars from 46 customer reviews.

Highlights

  • ASTM-Grade 20 iron
  • Bar can hold up to 600 lbs.
  • Includes 7 pairs of plates
  • In the $400 range, which is reasonable compared to other products of similar value
  • 4-star rating out of 5 on Amazon from 46 customer reviews
  • 5 different color and design options

Who Makes It?

Headquartered in Texas, Troy Barbell is one of the most popular free-weight manufacturers in the United States. Their USA product line, which includes the USA Sports 300-lb. Olympic Weight Set, offers premier in-home fitness equipment.

The Bottom Line

If you’re looking for an Olympic barbell weight set with nearly unlimited customization options, this 300-lb. weight set is sure to set you on the right path to getting fit and healthy. It’s one of the best choices in terms of bang for your buck, durability, and progressive weight training.

CAP Barbell 300-Pound Olympic Set

CAP Barbell 300-Pound Olympic SetComing in at a close second to the USA Sports Olympic Weight Set, the CAP Barbell 300-lb. Olympic Set offers the same weight versatility, 7 pairs of plates totaling 300 pounds, and a similar maximum capacity for nearly the exact same price. This set is slightly less popular than its competitor on the current bestsellers list, but it also has more customer reviews and offers more home gym options.

In fact, CAP Barbell offers a combination deal on their 300-lb. weight set with a premium workout bench—the perfect mix for total body barbell bench exercises like presses, pullovers, and crunches.

Highlights

  • Solid cast iron
  • Bar capacity of 500 lbs.
  • Includes 7 pairs of plates
  • In the $400 range, which is reasonable compared to other products of similar value
  • 9-star rating out of 5 on Amazon from 71 customer reviews
  • Bench add-on option

Who Makes It?

CAP Barbell has been producing free weights and benches for 25 years, making it one of the most trusted brands in home fitness equipment. They sell their barbell weight sets online and through their distribution centers around the country.

The Bottom Line

While CAP Barbell’s combo options are a bit pricier than simply buying a 300-lb. Olympic weight set, their bar and plates prices are nearly identical to their competitors’. This weight set offers more value for your money if you want to take advantage of barbell exercises that require a bench, but the Olympic weight set by itself is a great deal as well.

Dumbbell Weight Sets

While barbell weight sets are good for leg workouts and heavy upper body lifting, dumbbell weight sets offer more mobility. They’re also easier for beginner athletes to master, since their lighter weight helps correct coordination issues, strength imbalances, and weak endurance. These smaller weights essentially act as a barbell for each hand, and come in many different sizes depending on the amount of weight you want to use. As long as you up the amount of reps you do for each set, they are effective for many of the same exercises as barbells—including squats, cleans, deadlifts, and more.

Since dumbbells don’t require a seven-foot bar or dozens of heavy plates, they’re easy to transport and store. Despite their advantages, they are less customizable than barbell sets since their weight cannot be changed—though there are some exceptions, as we’ll cover in this section.

CAP Barbell 150-lb Rubber Hex Dumbbell Weight Set

CAP Barbell 150-lb Rubber Hex Dumbbell Weight SetCap Barbell strikes again with their 150-lb. Rubber Hex Dumbbell Weight Set, which is ranked #19 in Amazon’s bestselling Dumbbells category—the top dumbbell weight set overall. This home weight set features 150 pounds worth of rubber-coated dumbbells, a total of 5 pairs, as well as a dumbbell storage rack.

While these weights are a bestselling product on Amazon, they are rated at 3.7 out of 5 stars because of complaints about their rubbery smell. Most users write that the smell dissipates over the span of a few weeks, but we recommend buying this weight set for a home gym in a garage or well-ventilated area.

Highlights

  • Rubber-coated dumbbells ranging from 5 lbs. to 25 lbs.
  • Dumbbell stand capable of holding 500 lbs.
  • In the $200 range, a better price than any other similar offer
  • Other inexpensive options available, including heavier weights and different materials

Who Makes It?

While CAP Barbell started off selling barbells and benches, they’ve since grown to carry more than 1,000 products in over 30 categories. Their single dumbbell pair sets are currently ranked #6 on Amazon’s bestsellers in Exercise and Fitness Dumbbells list, with 4.4 out of 5 stars from 172 customer reviews.

The Bottom Line

CAP Barbell doesn’t have much competition as far as dumbbell weight sets go, since no seller packs as many dumbbells in a weight set for this price. So, if you don’t want to spend time looking for separate pairs of dumbbells to create your own custom set, this option is definitely for you.

AmazonBasics Neoprene Dumbbells and AmazonBasics Rubber Encased Hex Dumbbell

Amazon Basics Neoprene Dumbbells and AmazonBasics Rubber Encased Hex DumbbellIt might surprise you to learn that Amazon offers a dumbbell weight set, but with their products ranking #1 and #2 on the bestsellers chart, they’re certainly making their mark in the home fitness world. While each pair of dumbbells is sold separately and not as a typical weight set, you can easily create your own customized home weight set by buying the pairs you want for your workouts and storing them in your home gym.

The AmazonBasics Neoprene Dumbbells are ideal for complete beginners, with pairs ranging from 1 pound to 20. If you want something that’s above 20 pounds, you’ll want to take a look at the AmazonBasics Rubber Encase Hex Dumbbell.

Highlights

  • Perfect for customizable dumbbell weight set
  • Within the price range of products of similar value (for example, Amazon’s 15-lb. set of 2 dumbbells costs about $39.98, while CAP’s comes in at $47.83)
  • Impressive customer ratings from thousands of reviewers
  • Backed by AmazonBasics one-year warranty

Who Makes It?

Known for creating cheaper, off-brand products that retain the quality of in-store items, AmazonBasics has become a go-to in many areas of online shopping, including workout gear.

The Bottom Line

If you don’t mind spending some extra time and money on creating your own dumbbell weight set for your home gym, going for these freestanding dumbbell offers from Amazon can help you personalize your workout space.

Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells (Pair)

Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells (Pair)Another spin-off of the dumbbell weight set, these Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells round out our list of home gym weight training essentials. Number 3 on the list of Amazon bestsellers, with a very impressive 4.7 stars out of 5 from 4,063 customer reviews, these dumbbells offer the best of both a single pair of dumbbells and a whole weight set at your fingertips. By using the knobs on the sides of each dumbbell to attach additional weight or remove it, you can have the versatility of an entire home weight lifting set without taking up much space.

Highlights

  • Customizable weight options
  • Positive customer feedback and reviews
  • In the $300 price range, comparable to actual dumbbell weight sets
  • Two-year warranty
  • Space-saver and user-friendly

Who Makes It?

Bowflex has been making home workout gear since 1986, and is committed to innovative solutions in the home gym market. They’re constantly reevaluating their products to make them better, and the Bowflex Adjustable Dumbbells have already undergone several updates.

The Bottom Line

These adjustable dumbbells are a great alternative to a true dumbbell weight set if you’re looking to save space or progress in your home workouts.

Deciding on a Quality Home Weight Set: A Checklist

Now that you’ve got an idea of what a weight lifting set is and what options are available to you, it’s time to start thinking about which weight set fits your needs. This checklist will help you review the most important factors to consider before you spend your hard-earned cash.

  1. Budget: Buying the wrong set of weights can put a hole through your wallet, so consider how much you’re willing to spend ahead of time. Dumbbell weight sets range anywhere from $200-$400, while barbells generally sit around $400-$500.
  2. Fitness Goals: Are you a beginner who’s just starting out, or a seasoned weight-lifter who’s looking for the ultimate challenge? Remember, dumbbells are good for beginners, while barbell weight sets offer more versatility for a powerful workout—but both can be used for similar exercises.
  3. Size: When you’re looking for a home weight set, it’s important to consider the size of the product. While barbell plates can be stored easily, clean-up can take a while and the long bar isn’t retractable. With the right storage rack, dumbbell weight sets can take up less room, but they might come at the sacrifice of a more versatile workout.
  4. Max Capacity: It’s probably safe to assume you want to bulk up with your weight training, which means you’ll start needing heavier weights as your muscles grow. Be sure the barbell weight set you’re buying has the capacity to hold the amount of weight you want to lift, or that you’re buying the right-sized dumbbells for your needs.
  5. Safety: Always be sure that the products you buy are safe and reviewed by other lifters. If you have children or need some extra padding to protect your floors, look for rubber-coated weights.

Exercises to Do Using a Weight Lifting Set

The possibilities for exercising with any weight set are truly endless, which makes resistance training a fun and challenging addition to your workout routine. Here are a few exercises you can do with both barbells and dumbbells:

  • Woman doing a barbell squatSquat: This exercise isn’t just for squat racks. Get ready to feel the burn in your thighs, abs, and shoulders while doing it. To perform this move, simply place the barbell across the back of your shoulders, behind your neck. If you’re using dumbbells, raise the weights until your elbows are parallel with your shoulders. As if you are sitting down in a chair, bend at the hips until your knees are parallel with the ground. Then, straighten until you are standing again. Never round your back during weight training exercises to avoid serious injury.
  • Lunge: Like the squat, the lunge requires some leg and core power. Place one foot in front of the other, leaving a few feet between them. Rest the weight(s) in the same position as described for the squat. Now, bend your rear knee toward the floor as far as you can go. Keep your front knee behind your toe as you raise back up.
  • Deadlift: This exercise is great for your legs, core, and upper body. Start with your dumbbells or barbell on the floor. Bend at the knees, keeping your knees behind your toes, and take hold of the weight(s). Again, remember to never round your back during weight lifting. Slowly straighten, pulling the weight(s) up to your mid-thigh before carefully returning it (them) to the ground.

The Bottom Line on Purchasing and Using a Home Weight Set

Buying a weight set is a long-term investment, one you’ll use for years. By combining free weights with your resistance training, you’ll be building muscle, burning fat, and working toward a better you in no time.

Spend wisely and keep yourself safe by evaluating your goals and needs before you make your purchase. Once you’ve got your perfect weight set, you’ll be amazed at how much of a difference it makes. Get ready for those washboard abs, ripped arms, and toned thighs.

Do you already have a home weight set you love? Know of a different set not included in this list? Let us know in the comments below.