HomeGrown Lifting Choose the Right Weights Dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells, and sandbags across the United States (USA)

How to Choose the Right Types of Weights for You

Weightlifting might seem straightforward to someone new to training–you just lift weights, right? There’s more than a little more to it than that when you get into it. There are different types of weights that are used for different types of workouts. At first, it can seem a little daunting to know what to use when you first start your own weight training challenge. That’s why we at Homegrown Lifting have put together a guide to help you navigate your weightlifting decisions.


There are a lot of types of weights on the market, and each type works best for specific exercises and training plans. Consider the workouts you would prefer and the outcomes you’re looking for to help decide which is best for you.


Dumbbells are one-handed weights that are typically fixed weights with the mass evenly distributed on both sides. These are the most common weights and are great for both beginner and more experienced weightlifters.

Dumbbells are great for:

  • Good for overhead presses
  • Ideal for lots of reps with lower weight
  • Targeted cardio movements
  • Unilateral work
  • Increasing range of motion


Barbells are wide two-handed weights that are typically made with a straight bar and bumper plates, adjustable weights that can be clamped on the end. Standard Olympic barbells, which are the most common, weigh 45 lbs before additional plates are added. The stability of the loads allows you to work with heavier weights than other methods. For safety reasons, we always recommend barbell clips for all our products. Our barbell clips keep your bumper plates from falling off your barbell and diminishes any rattling.

Barbells are great for:

  • Work on maximum load for your muscles
  • Increasing muscle gains


Kettlebells are a cast-iron ball-shaped weight with the center of mass below a handle that can accommodate two hands.

Kettlebells are great for:

  • Dynamic power-based exercises
  • Full-body cardio movements
  • Flow patterns


Sandbags are precisely that – weighted sandbags without any bar or handle used for basic “lift and carry” exercises. The instability of sandbags increases the challenge of lifting, while the simplicity of the design makes them useful for overcoming the learning curve of weightlifting. You typically use less weight for a sandbag than other types of lifting equipment.

Sandbags are great for:

  • Building strength and endurance
  • Strength training for various sports


No matter what style of weight you choose, the weight you use is important. You should choose a weight that you can easily handle to accomplish earlier reps but makes you work for it at the end of the set. Never choose so much that you strain yourself; it’s always better to add more reps if you’re not sure than it is to add too much weight. If you’re not sure, start slightly lighter than you think you might need and work your way up from there. Slow and steady progress is the safe and healthy way to go.

Let Us Help

Ready to set up your home gym? Contact HomeGrown Lifting today! Call us at (502) 771-0530 or contact us online. We are located in Lexington, KY and serve the entire lower 48 states of the USA. We provide high-quality, affordable gym equipment and can help you lift more for less.