T Nation

Olympic Dumbbell Handles


The next year and a half I won't have access to a commercial gym, and buying a full home gym set up is out of my price range. I am currently considering just getting a pair of olympic adjustable dumbell handles and an adjustable bench. The ones I am currently looking at are shown here:

I have a few questions that I was hoping someone could help me with:
1. Weight: They are rated as 50kg (110 lbs), meaning that including the bar itself (6kg) the total weight would be 56 kg (~120 lbs). I don't think this will last me very long for rows, so do you think the 50kg rating is a "just in case" limit set by the producers or will the bar for whatever reason become dysfunctional at higher weights (ie. bending)?

Also, will more than 50kg in plates fit on the bar? These are the weight plates that I would be buying: http://www.sport-tiedje.co.uk/sporttiedje/kurzhantelstange50mm.htm. If space is an issue, 10kg plates weigh more relative to their thickness than 5kg plates, so that could be a solution, but would their larger radius make the dumbbell awkward for certain movements/reduce ROM?

  1. Collars: I can either buy spring collars or ones that act similarly to a vice. Will one be able to hold on more weight than another?
  2. Exercise selection: For most bodyparts 120 lbs would suffice, and I would have a decent exercise selection, however legs and back would be slightly problematic in terms of weight and exercise selection.

Back: dumbbell rows and pullups (have a bar available) seem to be the only exercise available using just dumbells. The dumbbells would probably end up too light for kroc style rows fairly soon, so I figure I'd have to use fairly strict form. Legs: Bulgarian split squats seem like they'd be the best option in terms of having enough weight.

Goblet squats and dumbbell deadlifts would also be options, but I think the dumbbells would end up being too light fairly quickly. So, any exercise recommendations for legs and backs which I haven't mentioned which would be effective with a limited amount of weight?

By the way, before anyone recommends craiglist or ebay for building a better home "gym", I live in Switzerland, and pretty much everything on there is just for sale at the same price as new equipment. If anyone is familiar with online shops in my general area (C_C purchased a home gym in Germany if I'm not mistaken?), I'd be open to other reasonably priced options, or other OL dumbbells that have a higher weight rating.


I think C_C was looking at sites in the UK and Scandinavia as viable options.


I've got a pair of their 2" Olympic dumbbell handles. I've loaded them with much more than 50kg and never had any issues. I've used 10kg plates on them without affecting ROM.

Concerning the exercises, stiff-leg deads, calf raises, and lunges with DBs would work.


Which length dumbbell did you buy? Also, do you know long the handle (part that you grip) is? The ones I'm looking at are 20 inches long, so I guess if I could find out the length of the handle I could figure out how many plates could fit on it.

Thanks for the exercise suggestions. The gym I've been using for the past 2 years didn't have any equipment which could be used for calf training so I'd entirely forgotten about them as a bodypart haha.


Alright, I have another question regarding Olympic dumbbells. These dumbbells are 51 cm (20 inches). Is it awkward to use a that long dumbbell when doing exercises like curls or bench pressing (or any other exercise for that matter)?


Sorry, hadn't noticed your response. I have the 20" handles, and the part you grip is approximately 5". I don't find them awkward for curls or bench. The length of the db is not really an issue for me. I find it useful when doing presses, because it's a bit easier to kick a longer db up.