Many people prefer to exercise at home for various reasons: feeling uncomfortable about the current shape of their body, convenience, perhaps not liking techno music.
The main drawback is cost: even a mid-range treadmill costs more than $500. But a treadmill gives you access to only one type of workout. Running and other aerobic exercises are a good way to work out your heart and burn calories, but toning or bulking your body generally requires resistance training. For most people, this means lifting dumbbells. Unfortunately, these are ridiculously expensive for something that’s nothing more than a hunk of metal, or even sand wrapped in plastic.
You’ll also need a whole range of weights, as you probably don’t want to lift the same amount of mass during curls as you use in side raises. Most trainers also don’t recommend making too large a jump when increasing your load for some movement, further complicating matters. Even if you pay extra for a dumbbell rack, a decent-sized set takes up a lot of space, looks ugly, and is pure hell to handle when you have to move house.
While not a perfect solution, these adjustable dumbbells do go a long way to help. While costing about the same as a regular dumbbell set, they offer 30 different adjustments ranging from 5 to 50 pounds (other models from the same manufacturer have higher ranges). Best of all, you don’t have to do any mental math or fiddle with clamps to set them to a particular weight – simply turn a marked dial while they’re on their cradle, pick them up and you’re ready to go. If you drop them or throw them around, you will break them (or something else) eventually, but they should stand up to at least a few years of prudent use.
The only real bad point to these is that they’re huge. At 16 inches long and (depending on their setting) often having a wide weight disk at either end, many exercises will make you feel like you’re about to hit yourself in the face. Many other adjustable dumbbells share this flaw, but if this psychological aspect is going to impede your workout, you might be better off using your local gym’s equipment instead.