You’re ready to get fit. You’re ready to have rippling muscles and to stop feeling winded when you run up a few flights of stairs. You’re feeling like it’s time to get serious and commit to really changing yourself to your health and your fitness goals.
Then it’s time to consider investing in yourself and get your own weight lifting set. Now hear us out before you start scoffing at expense (though we understand why you are). We’re going to show you some great, affordable home weight sets that will cost you less than a year’s worth of gym membership. This equipment doesn’t sacrifice quality, however, and we’ll show you different sets that will meet a wide variety of needs for experienced individuals as well as brand new beginners. By the end of this article, we think you’ll feel pretty empowered to buy your very own weight lifting set without having to shift through tons of information about different sets.
It’s a big commitment, and trying to find the right equipment for the right price can be a little overwhelming. Your options are by no means limited, but perhaps your space is. Maybe you have a bit of spare cash, but not a ton. Relax. You don’t have to spend a million dollars to get a great weight set, and you don’t have to have a tennis court’s worth of space to have an intense gym experience. So clear out that spare room, check that budget, and let’s look at some essential considerations you’ll need to make when deciding on a weight lifting set for you.
Things to Keep in Mind When Choosing the Most Fantastic, Perfect-for-You In-Home Equipment
Here’s the deal: if you want the short version, here’s what we’re going to talk about here:
There is nothing wrong with fancy equipment, but that brings us to the first point I’d like to discuss: cost. This is the #1 thing you should consider before purchasing equipment. Some people will tell you that you have to spend a lot of money for quality weight lifting equipment. The truth, though, is that you can find quality barbell weight sets at any price range. Sure, some will last longer than others, and some are prettier or more established brands. However, with enough research, you’ll be able to find effective equipment within your budget range.
A Corner or a Bedroom?
How much room do you have for your equipment? And if you don’t think you have any room, how creative are you? If you have a basement, you might have some room for your equipment (and a pretty amazing stereo system). If you have a spare room, maybe guests can sleep on the couch. If you have a baby, maybe the baby can move out a little early into their own apartment. I’m kidding, of course. Right? Right.
But not about the creativity part. If you really want some lifting equipment at home, you’ll need to find the space. Be honest about the amount of space you have! Even if you only have a ten foot by five-foot area, at least you know what will fit and what won’t, which is way better than trying to fit too much equipment into too small an area.
What Do You Like?
Do you like free weights? Are barbell weight sets appealing to you? How about 300lb weight sets? There are many, many options, and the best part about having your own weight set is the flexibility. Your set is your set, and you’ll want to make sure you pick something you actually like so that you don’t dread walking into your fitness space.
Do you want gains, or do you want to lose weight? You can do a lot fitness-wise at the same time, and science shows that you can put cardio and weight lifting in your routine and increase the amount of good you’re doing for your body, with or without a specific goal. Your equipment should reflect your goals, but if you don’t have the best idea of what you’re shooting for yet (or you’re trying to do a bit of everything), going with a good-quality equipment that fits your budget and your space is the right way to go.
Let’s Check Out That Equipment!
You’re ready to hear a little about the best home weight sets we’ve found across the web, and we’re ready to share them!
Barbell Weight Sets
We’re going to look at two very different types of weight sets. First, we’re going to check out barbell weight sets. Barbell weights are the kind of weights that go on a barbell, obviously. Sometimes these are also called plate weights. This type of exercise weight also comes in two popular materials: virgin rubber, and steel. Whatever you call them, these weights are fairly versatile in their uses—you can lift them, roll them, put them on a quality exercise bar, squat with them, and more. Barbells are great for strength training above all else, and are a great choice if you want to add a small amount of weight weekly to increase your strength and muscle mass over time.
Fitnessator’s Top Pick
Gold Gym 100 Pound 1 Inch Weights
An affordable, quality choice is equipment from Gold Gym – not to be confused with Gold’s Gym, which is a fitness club across the US. While Gold Gym has great ratings across the web, they aren’t as well-known as some of the bigger brands, making them a bit more affordable.
- Prefilled Cement weights
- Comes with a bar
- Set comes with two 25, 15, and 10-pound weights
- Incredibly affordable at less than $60 at the time this article was written
- Reviews say the weights are well worth the price, even if the bar needs to be replaced with a better one off the bat
Who Makes It
While price doesn’t necessarily indicate quality, one of the reasons this equipment is so affordable is because the brand that makes it isn’t a well-known company like USA Sports or XMark. Gold Gym products are sold by NLEX Express, which has an excellent rating and great reviews on their product page. Other than that, you aren’t paying for Gold Gym or NLEX to display your merchandise; most of their products are only available online, saving on costly brick-and-mortar upcharges.
The Bottom Line
Beyond having to throw away the bar if you decide you need to lift anything over 100 pounds, this is a solid set for a very, very reasonable price. You can use the weights however you’d like, and they would go great on a weight machine or an Olympic bar if you decided to upgrade later.
Fitnessator’s Runner Up
USA Sports Olympic Weight set with Black Bar
There are tons of options at the “intermediate” budget level, and this is one of the winners. With 300 pounds of weights, collars, and a bar included, the price isn’t too shabby either. A 300-pound Olympic weight set usually costs around double.
- Weight set includes (2) 45, 35, 25, 10, 5, and 2.5-pound weights, a 7” 45-pound bar, and 1 pair of collars
- Choose between different colors of barbells and bars, depending on your preference
- Bar is Olympic-rated, meaning it can handle a greater amount of weight (up to 600 pounds in this case)
- Quality set for both beginners and seasoned individuals
- Free shipping at the time of this article
Who Makes It
Troy Barbell and Fitness is part of the VTS and USA Sports family, with Troy being the line that offers premium grade free-weight products. Usually the sets in the Troy line are only sold to gyms for commercial use, so this is an especially rare find. The reviews for Troy are excellent and very few find themselves disappointed after purchasing a Troy product.
The Bottom Line
This weight set is solid, high-quality, affordable, and has some customizable features (if you like black over silver, or you like shiny silver more than a silver coating, you’re in luck). The Olympic bar that comes with the weight set comes highly praised by reviewers. The only reason that this set wouldn’t be good for at-home workouts is because either a) the $400 price tag is a little steep or b) you need more weight and are looking for something that has a few more features.
Fitnessator’s Honorable Mention
Fringe Sport Bar and Weight Set, 300 Pounds
While this comes in at the top of our budget for plates, it’s still cheaper than a year’s worth of gym membership. This is also the only set we’re mentioning here that isn’t made of iron and instead uses something called virgin rubber. Virgin rubber is way safer for small space, it isn’t as loud, and the weights don’t bounce much so that if you do happen to drop one you’ll still have your toe afterwards. And guess what? They’re still just as heavy and will give you just as good a workout.
- Dual knurl pattern for easy gripping
- Barbell has 1,500-pound weight capacity
- Durable and dense bumper plates and iron plates both included
Who Makes It
Fringe Sport is a company that focuses a lot on what they call “garage gyms” and is one of the leading sellers of quality weightlifting and conditioning equipment. They also sell durable apparel. Their return policy is far more generous than most and allows you to ship equipment back for free for the first 45 days, and then a year more if you pay shipping. They’re based out of Austin, Texas and have a renowned customer service team.
The Bottom Line
If nothing else, you can really depend on the company that makes this equipment. They produce products they can stand behind—products that have special safety features to ensure that no injuries occur at home. Most of their equipment, including this set, is great for everyday training, especially with the bonus iron plates for incremental weight training.
Dumbbell Weight Sets
Dumbbell weight sets are best known for their use in aerobic workouts, like home exercise videos or during fitness classes or walks. However, dumbbells come in a huge variety of sizes, starting at one pound and topping out around fifty pounds (though some manufacturers do make dumbbells over a hundred pounds). Some sets of dumbbells allow you to combine two weights onto the bar on both sides so that you can gradually add weight over time. On the other hand, some sets come with multiple dumbbells that all have a set weight and can’t be adjusted; if you are looking for a more intense workout, you’ll need to pick up something heavier instead of adding more weight.
Best Dumbbell Set for a Small Budget
Yes4All Adjustable Dumbbells
We like this set because it’s affordable ($200 or less at the time of this article), and the reviews are absolutely stellar. When it comes to adjustable dumbbells, the worry is always the weights falling off and injuring feet and other sensitive body parts, and the 1,000+ reviews on the Yes4All adjustable dumbbells are a testament of how unlikely that is with this home weight set.
- Affordable options, especially for cast-iron plates coated in a black paint finish
- Comes with two knurled chrome handles, designed for a non-slip grip
- Incredibly compact
- Star-locks with threaded ends
Who Makes It
Yes4All is a pretty large company that manufactures fitness equipment – and that’s all they do. They make a variety of strength and outdoors equipment, and they have a great reputation for at-home sets.
The Bottom Line
This is an excellent set for any home gym. The solid cast iron plates hold up well if you’re not slamming them on the ground too often, and the spin-lock star collars keep those weights on during any workout for years. These dumbbells also have a huge array of size options, all the way from a 40-pound set to a 200-pound set that ranges from $50 – $200 on Amazon. That’s a great deal for a set that lasts. The only problem that some commenters point out is that if you drop these weights on uneven ground, they roll away – something to watch out for if you have small children or pets in your home.
Best Dumbbell Set for a Medium Budget
Body-Solid Vertical Dumbbell Rack with Rubber Dumbbells
If you want a set of dumbbells that doesn’t require moving weights on and off, you’ll need a set that consists of solid dumbbells instead. This Body-Solid set fits the role and as a bonus, the a-rack is designed to fit into smaller spaces. However, the smaller size of the rack does not mean you don’t still get a killer workout with this set.
- Vertical tower design is easy to store
- Weights are included in the set, all the way up to 30-pound weights (bottom tier)
- Rack makes it easy to drop a set and pick up a new set quickly
- Rubber coating protects weights and floors from permanent damage
Who Makes It
Body-Solid has been around for a long time in home gym equipment and offers a wide range of products. In more recent years, they’ve ventures into commercial markets as well. The company is part of a large family of fitness equipment manufacturers, including Powerline USA, Best Fitness and Endurance.
The Bottom Line
This set is perfect for small spaces and will outlast pretty much anyone. It’s a great set with a great stand and anyone can use it for a great workout. The stand is reportedly a little difficult to put together, so make sure you have your power tools ready – it does need to be sturdy to hold so much weight in such a small space.
Best Dumbbell for a Large Budget
Body-Solid Dumbbell Rack with Rubber Dumbbells
This package is so comprehensive it even comes with a mat to place the rack on. Let’s just move right on to highlights, because they’ll explain the quality of this product on their own.
- Lifetime warranty
- Comes with everything you need, including rack and two each of 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, and 50-pound dumbbells
- Secure: one-piece cast iron heads with steel inserts are pinned, press-fitted, and welded to protect from breakage
Who Makes It
Body-Solid is responsible for this one, too. They’ve been in the fitness industry for over twenty years and own a ton of small companies that are hyper-focused on certain niches, including home gym and home weight lifting equipment.
The Bottom Line
I am nothing but impressed with this set. It’s beautiful, has great reviews, and comes with everything a person should need for years. While the head of the weight coming off always concerns me personally, the (almost) patented system that they use makes it seem like they really thought out how to assemble these to reduce the risk of broken toes. The set does retail for nearly $1,500 at the time of this article, but it seems to be worth every penny – especially since shipping is free.
The Ultimate Equipment Set
Before I leave you on your own to choose a set, I need to mention one more thing: hybrid sets. These sets don’t try to combine everything into one piece, but they are the ultimate sets for the ultimate workout.
Best Ultimate Workout with Weights
XMark Champion Package
Get ready for the biggest, most stunning weight set available – the XMark Champion Package. Not only does this all-inclusive set have dumbbells and plate weights, it has a lot of them. It also comes with a squat rack, a bench, a barbell, a rack, a curl bar, and the color of your choice.
- 365 pounds of Olympic plate weights
- 380 pounds of hex dumbbells (they won’t roll anywhere)
- A VOODOO commercial 7” Olympic bar with a 1,500-pound weight capacity
- Storage for everything that’s included
Who Makes It
This set is made by XMark, a company that specializes in products targeted at people who want to feel powerful. They sell products in lines like “Lumberjack,” “VOODOO,” and “Convict,” and much of their equipment comes in a few different colors. They also produce commercial equipment for gyms around the United States.
The Bottom Line
This package is a dream come true for weight lifters. With strong reviews across the web, if you have the budget, it’s a no-brainer. This set is perfect for soldiers and is made of commercial military grade steel, and includes XMark’s Signature Series virgin rubber Olympic plate weights.
The Final Bottom Line on Purchasing a Weight Set
There are tons of options in this space, and before purchasing anything, you should really consider your options and your needs. Do you need plate weights to roll? Do you have the space you need for big sets? Are you a beginner that can survive on cheaper equipment until you save up for the bigger stuff? Perhaps keeping that gym membership is better for you after all, and you’re going to add some nice weights to your Christmas list.
The choice is yours, and by honestly asking yourself questions, you’ll be able to determine what’s going to work for you. Whatever you choose, hard work pays off even if you’re genetically inclined to carry extra pounds, and you’ll see those muscles building soon!
Do you have a favorite weight set? Do you like plate weights or dumbbells? What have you found works best for you? We’d love to hear more in the comments below!