Best Free Weights For Strength & Endurance Goals 2021

free weights

These free weights including dumbbells, kettlebells, and barbells can affect your home workouts for the best strength and endurance goals.

With our desire to gain strength and size, while also building endurance and enhancing our aerobic capacity, the right equipment is a must and free weights are what we need. Not only can we get a great workout with a solid set of dumbbells, a well-made kettlebell, or top tier barbell, but we can also beef up our home gym for the best gains around. With the ability to have a stellar home workout while also tackling things like muscle imbalances and building mind-muscle connection, free weights are the best way to see serious gains.

We’ve put together a list of the Best Free Weights for 2021 so you can beef up your home gym for the best at-home workouts. With the right equipment, you will have all the tools necessary to build strength and endurance for all your fitness goals.

Best Free Weights For 2021


Best Free Weights Set

A free weights set can give us the essentials without needed to look all over for different equipment. A complete set of high-quality equipment is what we need to thrive for any great home workout.

RUNWE Free Weight Set

RUNWE Pure Steel Free Weight Set is a set of safe and durable steel dumbbells with a barbell counterweight device for easy adjusting of the weights. With both dumbbells and a barbell, you can work to perform multi-functional exercises great for your home or wherever you choose to workout. With multiple weight settings ranging from 40 lbs. to 110 lbs., these plates are easy to take on and off for an effective workout. An ergonomic grip allows for the best in terms of grip and stability.

RUNWE Free Weight Set is a durable set with adjustable dumbbells, a barbell, and complete set of weights perfect for multi-functional exercises.

Pros

  • Great set of adjustable dumbbells and a barbell
  • Nice grip for ease and stability during lifting
  • Perfect set for multi-functional exercises

Cons

  • Adjusting may take time to change out different weights
  • May not be as heavy as some would like

Price: $159.99


Best Dumbbells

Dumbbells are great for compound and isolation exercises as we look to build not only strength and size, but also focus on muscle imbalances for a well-rounded physique.

papababe Dumbbells

papababe Dumbbells are great workout equipment for those looking to build strength, burn fat, and create a stellar physique that others will envy. Perfect for free weight training, these can be stored easily for optimal convenience. Made from solid cast iron, these ensure durability and longevity and the rubber coating helps prevent damage to floors and other equipment. With a hexagon-shaped head to prevent rolling, the grip is also secure to prevent slipping and injury.

papababe Dumbbells are perfect for free weight strength training. Made from solid cast iron with a rubber head, this ensures durability, longevity, and protection.

Pros

  • Great for exercise and seeing results for strength and fat loss
  • Easy storage for convenience
  • Solid cast iron and rubber coating ensure durability and protection

Cons

  • Can be an expensive option
  • May have a strong scent

Price: $69.99


Best Adjustable Dumbbells

A full set of dumbbells can take up too much space but adjustable dumbbells provide the same benefits with the convenience and ease of less clutter.

Bowflex SelectTech Dumbbells

Bowflex SelectTech Dumbbells offer adjustments from 5-52.5 lbs. with 2.5 increments so you can progress efficiently and have a quality workout. The ability to rapidly switch from one exercise to the next saves you time and space by combining 15 sets of weight into one. The unique dial system works great and totally eliminates the need for many dumbbell sets for better convenience and overall space.

Bowflex SelectTech Dumbbells adjust from 5 to 52.5 lbs. and allow for quick switching. With 15 sets of weight in one, the unique dial system works perfectly for convenience.

Pros

  • Unique dial system with weight ranging from 5-52.5 lbs.
  • Combines 15 weight sets into one for lifters and strength athletes
  • Saves you time and space with a convenient set that is cost effective
  • From a reputable company in Bowflex

Cons

  • Slightly bulky so have to modify some exercises
  • Grip material on the handle could be longer for a better overall grip

Price:  $399.00


Best Kettlebell

A kettlebell is one of those tools to boost strength, size, and endurance by working to allow for the best in terms of high intensity movements and those that are more functional.

Kettlebell Kings Powder Coat Kettlebells

These kettlebells from Kettlebell Kings are amazing for promoting better grip for safer and more effective workouts, overall protection of the iron for durability and longevity, and a promise from an amazing company in Kettlebell Kings. Each kettlebell is made from a single piece of cast iron so the handle remains intact and each is color-coded so you know exactly what amount you’re using. The powder coat ensures a solid grip for no slippage or poor form. The structural integrity of these kettlebells will ensure the integrity of your lifts and lifestyle.

Kettlebell Kings Powder Coat Kettlebells are made from a single piece of cast iron with a well welded handle. Powder coating allows for a great gripping surface for whatever your workout may be.

Pros

  • The powder finish is the right amount of smooth and rough for enhanced grip
  • Different weights add nice versatility to each workout
  • Consistent and durable products from a company who cares about their equipment and consumers

Cons

  • Premium priced item
  • Some of the higher weights may have pitting issues.

Price: Ranges from $69.99 to $424.99

Check out our individual review for Kettlebell Kings Powder Coat Kettlebells here!


Best Barbell

For those looking to build serious strength and size, particularly in a bulking phase, a barbell allows you to pack on the weight so you get the most bang for your buck when it comes to building real muscle.

American Barbell 20KG Training Bar

American Barbell 20KG Training Bar is a versatile bar tested and approved for training and competition. The precision ground alloy steel bar shaft is tested through a rigorous process to ensure longevity and excellent whip for optimal performance. A finished hard chrome adds extra durability and corrosion resistance for nice added features. The bar sleeves work to rotate smoothly and this bar is 20kg, 28mm in diameter, and 2,200mm in length. This bar is built to last while providing comfort and longevity for all of your goals.

American Barbell 20KG Training Bar is a versatile barbell that is rigorously tested for training and competition. A precision ground alloy steel shaft ensures quality, durability, and longevity.

Pros

  • High quality, great grip, and quiet sleeves make sure your hands don’t tear and plates stay on
  • Comfortable to use and a great bar for athletes of all levels for strength training and powerlifting
  • From a reputable company who cares about their customers and products with the best barbell for bodybuilding

Cons

  • Slight grooves in the collar may make for an unpleasant sound with plates
  • The grip may give off a false sense of feeling weak, although that may be dependent on preference

Price: $325.00

Check out our individual review for American Barbell 29kg Training Bar here!


Best Medicine Ball

A medicine ball works great for compound movements like squats, or more isolated movements like those for your core. Used for a warm-up or an exercise, this is a great tool to have.

SPRI Dual Grip Medicine Ball

Medicine balls are great tools for all sort of workouts from circuit style to core work and SPRI offers a great selection of medicine balls of varying weights. The dual-handle easy-grip makes rotational exercises easier to do while other circuit style workouts can be performed with a better grip. This is the perfect choice for ab routines, cross upper body patterns, and dynamic lower body drills and includes an exercise guide.

SPRI Dual Grip Medicine Ball works great for a variety of workouts with a great grip and good durability.

Pros

  • The dual handle design is great for any workout
  • The variety of weight to choose from allows for your own designed workouts
  • With the exercise guide as well, this is set at a good price

Cons

  • The ball itself does tend to get slippery at times so working on a solid grip can be challenging
  • A strong rubber odor was observed in early uses

Price: $64.11


Best Weight Plates

The right set of weight plates can allow you to load your barbell with as much weight as you want so you build muscle with a host of exercises and a range of different weight.

XMark Texas Star Olympic Plates

XMark Texas Star Olympic Plates are a trusted brand of plates that are tough and durable for the best quality. Made from premium all-natural virgin rubber, these will maintain their bold color and offer the best protection. A stainless-steel insert allows the plates to easily slide on and off of any bar. With weights totaling 115 lbs., included with this set are two 25 lbs. plates, four 10 lbs. plates, four 5 lbs. plates, and two 2.5 lbs. plates.

XMark Texas Star Olympic Plates are tough and durable and include plates ranging from 2.5 lbs. to 25 lbs. totaling 115 lbs.

Pros

  • High quality and tough for the best durability
  • Steel inserts allow for easy sliding off the bar
  • Good set of weights for working out

Cons

  • More weight may be necessary for some

Price: $344.00


Best Bumper Plates

Bumper plates allow for Olympic style lifting and can offer protection to your floors by having that rubber coating. These are versatile and great for an exercise like the deadlift.

AMGYM Bumper Plates

AMGYM Bumper Plates are made with 100% high-density rubber that are durable and offer low bounce to protect your floors against any abuse or dropping. Expertly designed stainless steel inserts keep these firmly on the bar for whatever training you do, whether that be heavy lifting or something more high intensity based. With 160 lbs. total weight, this set comes with two 45 lbs. plates, two 25 lbs. plates, and two 10 lbs. plates that fit all Olympic barbells with 2-inch sleeves.

AMGYM Bumper Plates are a complete set totaling 160 lbs. and are expertly designed steel with high-density natural rubber to protect against abuse.

Pros

  • High density rubber great for durability and to protect your floors
  • Good amount of weight to get started with lifting
  • Steel inserts keep the plates firmly on the bar no matter the exercise

Cons

  • For heavy lifters, more weight may be required

Price: $404.99

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Benefits Of Free Weights

The benefits of free weights can greatly influence your gains and lead to increased growth and endurance, depending on what your goals may be. Benefits of free weights include:

  • Increase strength and size: The right equipment can build muscle and lead to greater hypertrophy so you see the best in terms of strength and size (1).
  • Higher intensity work: Without being confined to a machine, you can elevate the speed of your workouts to get your heart rate going for a real endurance workout.
  • Versatility and specific movements: Free weights offer the ability to perform a workout in different ways to target sport specific and more functional movements.
  • Great home gym: With all of the equipment needed to see gains, you can assemble a great home gym to tackle all of your goals.

kettlebells

What These Free Weights Can Do For You

  • Dumbbells

Dumbbells allow you to perform exercises safely and effectively as you look to add resistance to compound and isolation movements. They are great for those looking to adjust symmetry and fix any muscle imbalances (2,3).

  • Kettlebells

Kettlebells work to offer a full body workout in order to promote strength and power while also elevating your heart rate for higher intensity work. They can also improve balance and stability and enhance mind-muscle connection (4,5).

  • Barbells

Barbells are great for more functional movements and for those looking to really pack on the weight for serious size. Versatile enough to challenge you, yet heavy enough for better hypertrophy, you can do a lot with barbells for an effective workout (6).

  • Medicine Balls

Medicine balls are awesome for core training but also for total body conditioning. With the ability to enhance athleticism, having the right medicine ball can improve your gains in a number of areas.

  • Plates

Plates allow you to adjust weight accordingly for whatever workout comes your way. Either weighted or bumper plates, each will offer a unique way to workout so you can see the desired gains you want.

How We Choose

When looking for the best free weights, we first look at the reputation of the brand and the companies representing each product. You deserve to have the best equipment possible and each brand should be working for you. We then look at what equipment you should be using to maximize your gains because certain equipment is better than others. Knowing what you want out of your own goals is important for this section because this will determine what equipment you are looking for. Lastly, we look at price. It is possible to find the right products at the right price to not break the bank.

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FAQ Section

What is the best free weight set?

RUNWE Pure Steel Free Weight Set. This is a set of safe and durable steel dumbbells with a barbell counterweight device for easy adjusting of the weights. With both dumbbells and a barbell, you can work to perform multi-functional exercises great for your home or wherever you choose to workout.

What is the difference between using free weights and machines?

Using machines can provide for more stability and balance when performing these exercises. What free weights can do is challenge you to really work on stability while also fixing certain imbalances by working each muscle with an isolation exercise, an example being bicep curls.

How do I decide which free weights are the best to buy?

Knowing your goals are important with this. While it would be a luxury to have all of these options, think about your training routine and really work to nail down what equipment would maximize your gains the most. If you want to build more strength, maybe a barbell is better. For more higher intensity work, a kettlebell may be a better option for you.

Wrap Up

The best free weights will allow you to target all areas of growth that you want to most. Rounding out a nice home gym is important and should not be overlooked when it comes to building strength, size, and endurance. Finding the right free weights can be challenging but it is absolutely possible with the right approach to assembling only the best equipment. Check out this list of free weights and start to get your home gym ready to produce serious gains.


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References

  1. Schott, N.; Johnen, B.; Holfelder, B. (2019). “Effects of free weights and machine training on muscular strength in high-functioning older adults”. (source)
  2. Saeterbakken, A.; Tillaar, R.; Fimland, M. (2011). “A comparison of muscle activity and 1-RM strength of three chest-press exercises with different stability requirements”. (source)
  3. Franettovich, M.; Hides, J.; Mendis, M.; Littleworth, H. (2011). “Muscle imbalance among elite athletes”. (source)
  4. Kravitz, Len. “Kettlebell Research Update”. (source)
  5. Beardsley, Chris; Contreras, Bret (2014). “The Role of Kettlebells in Strength and Conditioning: A Review of the Literature”. (source)
  6. Thompson, Brennan J.; Stock, Matt S.; Shields, JoCarol E.; Luera, Micheal J.; et al. (2015). “Barbell Deadlift Training Increases the Rate of Torque Development and Vertical Jump Performance in Novices”. (source)
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Austin Letorney is a writer, actor, and fitness enthusiast. As a former rower, he has shifted his focus to sharing his knowledge of the fitness world and strength sports with others.