questionsknow anything about dumbbells?

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Other than a few that I used to work with, no.

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either its weight is accurate, or it's not. otherwise, it doesn't really matter what it's made out of, or is covered with.

a dumbbell is a dumbbell is a dumbbell. if there is any difference, it wouldn't be performance-based.

personally, i use a variation of the power-block, the ones with square plates in place of the usual discs you find at the ends of dumbbells, and they slide into one another and lock into position to achieve whatever weight i need from 5-75lb each. i like those. cheaper and don't take up the size of a bookshelf.

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I agree with @rhycochet: It's the weight that is more important. Various gyms I've used have had all varieties. Coated, uncoated, plates, cast, round, hex. The only advantage I see to Hex is that they don't roll away! As far as tearing muscle fiber so that they can heal, they all work about the same.

I've never invested in the select-a-weight dumbells, so cannot speak to them. For me personally, it isn't practical for me to own my own set - depending on the exercise, I may use anything from 10 to 100lbs. And if the person in question is doing strength training, hopefully they'll progress to the point where they need another weight (etc.) Just my $.02.

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The only difference I've ever had in performance of dumbells is in the hand grip portion. I'm a girl with fairly small hands, so bigger dumbells with larger handgrips are difficult for me to use for any length of time. But, otherwise, it's just a big bunch of metal to move around because we all sit in front of computers all day instead of going outside to hunt and grow food.

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Just a thought. There might be a reason for the different coatings, I suspect to protect any surfaces you lay the weights on? Perhaps one wears out faster than the other? Or maybe its to protect your hands from the metal on the weights? Still does not affect the function of the dumbbell as a fitness tool, just a convenience factor.

Just thought I would mention it since that is what I was thinking and I didn't see anyone else mention it. But I also do not know even the slightest thing about weight equipment (and you would know if you saw me).

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the grip shouldn't be too big of an issue. if you're serious about lifting for fitness, or as part of an active lifestyle to combat your many boozy nights (ok, maybe just me), it's imperative you wear a glove of some kind to protect your hands. i wear fingerless ones.

apart from helping me not hurt my hands while lifting, i also don't tear off the skin from my palms doing pull-up reps and various other hand-injury-prone activities.

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There is no difference. 5 lbs. of feathers = 5 lbs. of bricks. The rubber/urethane coating is to protect the floor.

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@jsimsace: That is pretty much the difference. If your son isn't going to drop them (which isn't a good idea regardless of the floor type or dumbbell type) it shouldn't matter. Rubber coatings are supposed to be more durable but probably not worth the extra money.

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@rhycochet: Calluses are manly. Gloves are not. /meathead weightlifter

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