I talk a lot about the importance of working out, and one of the best ways to fit a workout into your daily life is to have a set of weights at home.
My dumbbell set is great in combination with some no-weights exercises on the days when I can’t do a full gym workout. However, what I really covet is the new technology that puts an entire rack of dumbbells in the space of just two. The highest-rated, best-selling dumbells on Amazon right now are the Bowflex SelectTech 552 Dumbbells. You can vary the weight on each dumbbell from 5 pounds to 52.5 just by twisting a dial, making my box full of metal plates obsolete.
There are a couple of drawbacks I can see — because they adjust by adding and subtracting small plates, the dumbbells are a bit long (16 inches as opposed to about 12 for a regular dumbbell), and they have a few plastic parts so you have more reason not to drop them (besides not wanting to anger the neighbors). But it would be great to do bicep curls, shoulder press and dumbbell squats without needing a whole rack of weights.
However, if the cost of the SelectTech dumbbells is a bit much for this economic downturn, or you need more weight, and you have the room, the set I have now is the Cap Barbell 40-Pound Dumbbell Set. As the name suggests, these come with 40 pounds of plates. You can buy more or larger plates to go heavier as needed. On sale for $35 at the time I posted this, you’ll save enough cash for a bench or mats for your own workout area.
One final bit of advice, if you’re buying exercise equipment for someone, make sure they’re already excited about working out. Otherwise you risk them getting depressed because they think you think they’re out of shape, and the last thing anyone needs to hear is, “ohhhh, you think I’m faaaaat!”