How to determine the right dumbbell weight

Is the dumbbell too light, too heavy or just right? With this method, you can determine the right weight for your strength exercises to train more effectively in the future

When training with dumbbells, the basic rule for all muscle measurements is: The weight is optimal when you can just do the last repetition properly.

But how do you find out what is the right weight for you? Especially since the number of repetitions and sets varies depending on the training goal. We explain that to you here.

When it comes to weightlifting, does the “the more the better” rule apply?

Not at all! Especially with free weights, the technically correct design is more important than the number of kilos on the bar. The highest resistance to movement should be avoided during regular training, because if you no longer have the strength to control it, the likelihood of performing the exercises incorrectly increases. With heavy or even too heavy weights on the bar, the risk of injury increases drastically. 12 tips for what beginners should be aware of when training strength.

New dumbbells anyone? This is the bestseller on MOVIT dumbbell set in cast iron

What is the right weight for muscle building and optimal muscle growth?

In muscle building training, loads that allow 8 to 12 repetitions have proven themselves. If you can do less than 8, the weight is too high, if you can do more than 12, it is too low.

With our training plan you also get the right exercises for sexy muscles in 8 weeks:

What is the right weight for strength endurance and maximum strength training?

that strengthen endurance Determines how resistant your body is to prolonged exertion. For training, the following applies: less weight and more repetitions. The recommendation for strength training is therefore: light weight, 15 to 25 repetitions per. exercise, 24 to 48 hours of rest.

that maximum power is the greatest possible force that the body can exert against resistance. She is trained with high weights and few repetitions. Ideal for maximum strength training: high weight, only 1 to 5 possible repetitions, a resting phase of up to 4 days. With maximum strength, you can improve your fitness to the maximum. How to regenerate properly afterwards.

Then you see, you should think about what your training goal is before each training session. According to a study by researchers at McMaster University, training with less weight can be just as effective as exercises with heavier weights: it is more important to do the right number of repetitions with the right weight.

How to choose the right weight – for barbells and dumbbells

Despite these guidelines, many beginners in particular face the problem of choosing the ideal weight for an exercise. You really want to challenge your body and at the same time do all the planned repetitions. With a simple method, you can find out if the weight chosen is too light, too heavy or just right.

Choose any weight and do 25 repetitions with it. This works, for example, with the following exercises: overhead press, pull-ups, bench press, rowing, squat or deadlift. Why 25? For muscle building or maximum strength training, this is usually (approximately) the absolute number of repetitions of an exercise, for example 3 sets of 8 repetitions or 5 sets of 5 repetitions.

Do you want to specifically define your arms? Here is your 8-week training plan:

Important: All reps must be clean. Do not skip a repetition. If you can no longer, take a break of about a minute. Write down the sets you will need to perform the required 25 reps. These show if you have chosen the right weight.

The weight is too light:

You will need 1 or 2 sets of reps.

The weight is too heavy:

You will need 8 or more sentences.

The weight is selected correctly:

You will need 3 to 5 sets for all reps.

Do you need 6 or 7 sets for the 25 repetitions? If you can handle the weight normally, it may be because you are exhausted or not fully recovered. If it is still 6 to 7 sets after a few days off, you should reduce the weight. If you consistently choose an overweight, you can overtrain.

The best dumbbell exercises for each goal

Dumbbells are the all-rounder among training tools: Efficient, technically demanding and easy to use with the right exercises for any muscle. The classics are squats with weights, bench press, butterfly (reverse), side and front lifts, deadlifts, rowing, but also functional combination exercises such as lunges plus curl or squats plus shoulder press. Here we show you the 4 best exercises with dumbbells for the whole body in detail.

The correct load weight for an exercise is determined by the number of sets. Exercise 3 times a week for 3 weeks: Will your set numbers e.g. B. lower in the squat, you should put more weight on the dumbbell the next time you exercise. If the number of sets increases to more than 6, you should play one disc less. Never forget the regeneration!

This article may contain links to providers from whom Women’s Health receives commission. These links are marked with the following icon:


Marco Demuth, Editor-in-Chief of Men's Health Online

Marco Demuth

Leave a Comment