I love my set of dumbbells at home. They are perfect for Saturday mornings after I jog when I am looking to get in a little resistance training, but don't feel like packing up and heading over to the gym. If you are looking to purchase some free weights for your home, use these tips for making the right purchase.
Free weights, more specifically dumbbells, come in several varieties and are fairly easy to use. Dumbbells typically come in chrome, unfinished metal, plastic, thin foam covering (neoprene), and concrete. Chrome, while pretty, may require more maintenance than the others. Metal often requires lifting gloves since the handles can do a number on the skin on your hands. I am partial to foam because the foam doesn't hurt my hands (or rings) as much as the non-foam weights.
The size of the handle is an important consideration as you want to make sure you are able to get a firm grip around the weight. You also need to decide on the correct amount of weight for your strength now and in the future. How heavy you go depends on what your goal is. For example, if you are aiming for muscle strength then you should be able to do 1-3 sets of 5-8 reps with the weight. If you're looking for muscle endurance then you should be able to do 1-3 sets of 15-20 reps. Finally, if you want muscle power then you should be able to do 1-3 sets or 3-5 reps.
Fit's Tip: Always practice a few exercises with the weights before purchasing a set.