Free Weights – What You Need to Know

Most of us have used free weights in some point of time in our lives. But how many of us truly believe in their potential and have invested in them? When used properly, they can truly transform your look – but are just as dangerous if you don’t know the right way to use them. Read on to find out the basics of free weights…


Free Weights Adjustable DumbbellsFree weights are nothing but weights that you can hold in your hands while exercising. They could be in the form of dumbbells, barbells or rods. The way they are held and moved around determines the muscle group that’s getting toned. There is nothing more versatile than free weights when it comes to strength training. There is no limit to the kind of exercises you can do with them and you are bound to find something for every muscle in your body.

(Image by: Ulf Liljankoski)



Do You Need Free Weights at Home?

Everyone needs to own a set of dumbbells. This is especially imperative if you don’t go to gym. Even if you do, it’s nice to have them at home for those days when you can’t make it to the gym. Dumbbells are not only space saving but also very inexpensive when compared to the huge home gym equipments you spend tons of dollars on. You can also buy rods but dumbbells are far easier to use.

By now you know the most efficient weight loss strategy is a combination of cardiovascular exercises and strength training. After you have done some cardio and set the weight-loss ball rolling, you should start weight training to speed up the weight loss. The best time would be when you 1st hit the weight-loss plateau.


What Kind to Buy?

There are tons of free weights available in the market and you are bound to be thoroughly confused when you head out to buy them. You don’t want to go for the really light ones alone coz your body will soon get used to them and you will need to move on to the heavier ones. You don’t want to start with the heavy ones right away coz it’s not good for your body especially when you haven’t done any strength training exercises in a while. And if you buy everything from 1 lb to 20 lbs, you will be spending a substantial amount and will need to find a place to store all that stuff.

The best solution for this problem is to buy adjustable dumbbells. They come with 2 rods, one for each dumbbell and weights that you can add or remove easily. Each dumbbell can be adjusted to weigh anywhere from 2 lbs. to 25 lbs. Isn’t that cool?


How to Increase the Weights?

Gradually is the answer. Never be in a hurry to add on weights – it’s not going to get you leaner any faster. Your body needs time to adjust to any new exercise routine and weight training is no different. You should start with the lowest weight (1 lb or 2 lbs) and 7 repetitions of each exercise. Once you are able to do it comfortably, instead of going to 3 lbs, do 2 sets of 7 repetitions. Used to that as well, increase the repetitions in each set gradually till you reach 15 repetitions. Always remember to stop when you find something difficult. Stretching yourself too much will only harm your muscle. And a bruised muscle is just going to put a break in your routine.

The ideal time to increase weights is when, despite continuing with your usual routine, your weight loss momentum slows down or you compeltely stop losing weight. This calls for a little extra something and there is only so much you can lift – so you want to stretch that to the maximum possible extent by increasing only a little weight at a time. If you start doing heavier weights real soon, you won’t have many options to stretch yourself when you need to break out of a plateau.


Why is it Important to do it Right?

Since they are free weights, there is a high possibility of things going wrong. There is no one standard method of using them that you can master. Though, it offers tremendous flexibility, the onus is entirely on you to make sure you are doing the exercises the correct way. Improper technique will not only lead to slow or no results but will also cause long term injuries and sometimes permanent damage to your body.


Why is Supervision A Must?

You can start by looking at exercise videos or have someone experienced teach you different exercises. More important is to have someone look at you and tell you when you are doing something wrong. The following things are to be monitored – Posture, Breathing, Pressure on your body, Amount of weight and Speed. Watch out for my article on Things to Keep in Mind While Exercising. But, when you are just starting out, it may be difficult to monitor so many things at once. It makes a huge difference if someone can look at you and tell you what you are doing right and where you need to improve. This way, you can fully concentrate on just doing the exercises.



  • Free weights are a must-have if you don’t hit the gym
  • Adjustable dumbbells are the most cost and space efficient weight training equipment
  • Add weights gradually – preferably each time you reach a plateau
  • Learn the right method of using the weights to avoid any injury
  • Have someone supervise your workouts when you are just starting out


Speak Your Mind