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 it, 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?
While 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
Now 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:
Livin3’s Top Pick
#1 – XMark Signature Plates (Cutting-Edge Design)
#2 – Bowflex SelectTech (30 Weights in One Compact Design)
- Each dumbbell adjusts from 5 to 52.5 pounds; adjusts in 2.5-pound increments up to the first 25 pounds
- Lets you rapidly switch from one exercise to the next
- Combines 15 sets of weights into one, using a unique dial system
Why We Love It:
These Bowflex SelectTech 552 adjustable 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.
- Customizable weight options from 5 lbs to 52.5 lbs per hand
- One pair is equivalent to 15 sets of weights
- Compact design (no need for a weight rack)
- Winner of Men’s Health Editor’s Choice
Things to Consider:
As with any adjustable dumbbell set, you will not be able to engage in certain exercises as you would on a barbell weight set. That being said, however, there are many exercises you can do with an adjustable dumbbell set such as this one. Another thing to consider is that this dumbbell set only provides weight up to 52.5 lbs per hand. If you are trying to do exercises with more resistance, it is important that you find a higher weight set or use a barbell set.
Who Should Purchase This Product:
These adjustable dumbbells are a great alternative to a barbell weight set if you’re looking to save space while still progressing in your home workouts. Overall, this would be a great choice for beginners since the set is compact and can accommodate both low to mid-weight exercises.
#3- Yaheetech 55lb Olympic Barbell Set
- Suitable for strength exercises to develop your body pumper,leg, hip & back power ;
- This dumbbell weight set includes 4 x 2.5 Kg (5.5 lb Kg) plates,2 x 5 Kg (11 lb) plates, a 4in bar and 1 pair...
- The barbell bar is made of high-quality iron and this set of dumbbells is also coated with anti-rust paint to...
Why We Love It: The bar of the Yaheetech 55lb Olympic Barbell set uses an anti-skid diamond texture on the grip area that prevents slips and drops. It’s also very comfortable to use thanks to the W shape, and is made of durable, high-quality iron. The included plates are coated with anti-rust paint, and they’re well-made, resistant to chips and other damage.
- W-shaped, threaded Olympic bar provides a steady, comfortable hold
- Includes 2 star locks to secure weights on the bar
- Anti-rust paint protects the plates from moisture damage
- Bar is made of durable, high-quality iron
- Easy to assemble, store, and transport
Things to Consider: There are fewer plates in the Yaheetech Olympic Barbell set, so while the maximum weight is similar to other options the combinations of lower weights are more limited. Some users also report the collars loosening and slipping during work-outs, a problem that tends to worsen with time.
Who Should Purchase This Product: The Yaheetech Olympic Barbell set is ideal for home gyms of experienced weight lifters who don’t need the smaller increments provided by other sets. The increased comfort of the W-shaped bar is especially helpful for curls, deadlifts, and CrossFit-style weight training.
#4 – PowerBlock Adjustable Dumbbells
- Has a weight range of 5-50 lbs
- Can be expanded later to 70 and again to 90 lbs
- Increments: 2.5 (adder weight), 5, 7.5, 10,15, 17.5, 20 25, 27.5, 30, 35, 37.5, 40, 45, 47.5 and 50 lbs
Why We Love It: Adjustable dumbbells like this PowerBlock set cut down on the total weight and help keep your home gym more compact and organized. This one set replaces 825 pounds worth of dumbbells, and can be adjusted with micro-loads of as little as 2.5 pounds. PowerBlock Adjustable Dumbbells are comfortable to use, too, with a rubberized and contoured grip that fits securely in your hand. Changing the weight is quick and easy—you can do it in less than 10 seconds, once you’re used to the process.
- One pair equivalent to 16 dumbbell pairs (825 pounds of free weights)
- Weight range of 5-50 pounds, and can be expanded up to 90 pounds
- Compact design perfect for small spaces
- Ergonomic contoured rubber grip
- Solid, long-lasting metal construction
Things to Consider: The compact design of the PowerBlock EXP Adustable Dumbbell set does limit which exercises you can do with them. The dumbbell handle is also seated relatively low. Less room between the handle and weights can mean users with larger hands scrape their knuckles. You’ll also need to purchase an expansion set if you want to take them over 50 pounds.
Who Should Purchase This Product: Anyone with limited space for workouts will love the PowerBlock EXP Adjustable Dumbbell set. With a weight as low as 5 pounds, they’re ideal for beginners looking to get into weight lifting in the comfort of their own home. The option to expand up to 90 pounds lets the set grow with you as you advance in your weight training.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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. (If you’re looking to gain more muscle with the help of the right supplements, then check out our post here.)
Spend wisely and keep yourself safe by evaluating your goals and needs before you make your purchase. Once you’ve got your perfect 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.