Building a home gym: Dumbbells

This is the second in a seven-part series on building your own home gym. Today, we take a look at the different options available for purchasing dumbbells.

If you want to build your own home gym, there are many things to consider.
Three of the biggest factors: what are your fitness goals, how much money can you spend and how much space do you have? For people who want to lift weights, oftentimes they come to the conclusion that dumbbells are a must-have addition.
Dumbbells are small in size, but offer a big number of possibilities.

Here are some things to consider when thinking about buying dumbbells:
* If you are tight on space in the area you work out in or plan to start, but have a decent amount of money to spend then consider getting PowerBlocks. A lever allows you to easily change the amount of weight picked up on the dumbbells. They take up very little space and can be stored on the floor.
Whatever the top weight on the block is will be the most you can lift, though, with that PowerBlock. These aren’t cheap, but are well worth the value. A 90-pound PowerBlock set can sell for around $600.
* If you have a lot of space, but little money to spend then adjustable dumbbells with screw-on or clip-on collars are the way to go. It may also be good to invest in a rack to store them on. Used dumbbells can be purchased realtively cheaply, around $40 for a 60-pound pair. You can buy dumbbells in sets at weights such as 10, 20, 30, 50, 70 pounds, or just buy a set for 20 and 70 pounds, and then take the time to switch them to ligher weights as needed.
* If you are low on both space and money, don’t despair. I even have a suggestion for you: Get PowerBlocks for the lower weights up to about 50 pounds (approximately $350). That will allow you to easily shift between the lower weights with the click of a lever. If you still want to have some heavier weight for lifts like bench press or dead lifts, then buy a set of adjustable dumbbells with 100 pounds of weight. You can change the collars to go up or down as needed between 50 and 100 pounds.

At Home Fitness consultant Aaron Dorksen’s blog deals with a variety of fitness topics, ranging from workout tips, motivational ideas and feature stories on how exercise impacts people’s lives. E-mail him with comments, questions or ideas for future blogs at