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How to Add Weight to Dumbbells: The Definitive Guide

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Learn how to add weight to dumbbells at home with our step-by-step guide. Whether you’re a beginner or experienced lifter, this guide will help you safely increase the weight for a more challenging workout. Taking your strength training to the next level has never been easier!

How to Add Weight to Dumbbells? Adding weight to dumbbells is simple: ensure you have the right equipment, then carefully add weight over time. Consider having more than one pair of weights or an adjustable pair with micro weights for dumbbells. Always keep proper form in mind, no rush.

How to Add Weight to Dumbbells: The Definitive Guide

Adding Weight to Dumbbells: Why Bother?

Increasing the weight you lift carries a multitude of benefits for your fitness routine. It can increase muscle strength and endurance, promote bone density, boost metabolism, and enhance overall physical performance.

Adding variety to your workout helps keep your body challenged, engaged and promotes muscle growth. But it’s important to do so safely.

Listed below are three methods detailing how to add weight to dumbbells, including a DIY approach:

1. Weight Plates

One of the most common ways of how to add more weight to dumbbells is by using weight plates. Weight plates are an easy and effective method. Simply select the appropriate amount of plates for your needs, slide them onto the bar of your dumbbell, and secure them in place with collars.

It’s important to make sure the weight plates are evenly distributed on each side of the bar to avoid any imbalances and potential injury.

2. Resistance Bands

Another effective method for adding weight to your dumbbells is by using resistance bands. Simply wrap the band around the handle of your dumbbell and secure it in place. This method allows you to adjust the amount of resistance you’re working against and can add an element of variety to your workout.

For example, you can use bands of different thicknesses or tension levels to target different muscle groups.

3. DIY Dumbbell Weights

If you don’t have access to additional weight plates or resistance bands, you can make your own weights for your dumbbells. You can use household items such as water bottles or cans of food, or you can make your own weights using PVC pipe and sand. 

To make your own weights, simply cut the PVC pipe to the desired length, fill it with sand or another heavy material, and seal the ends with duct tape. Then, slide the PVC weights onto the bar of your dumbbell and secure them in place with collars. This method is a cost-effective and convenient way to add weight to your dumbbells.

How to Make Heavy DIY Dumbbells At Home?

Making your own heavy DIY dumbbells can be a cost-effective way to add variety and challenge to your workout routine.

Here are a few different methods and steps to make your own heavy DIY dumbbells at home:

1. PVC Pipe Dumbbells

One way to make your own heavy DIY dumbbells is by using PVC pipe. Start by cutting the pipe to the desired length, depending on how long you want your dumbbell to be. Then fill it with sand or other heavy materials, and secure the ends with duct tape. 

After this, you can slide collars onto the ends to hold weight plates or secure resistance bands. Once the weights are secure, you can add the dumbbell handles to the ends of the pipe.

2. Water Bottle Dumbbells

Another simple way to make your own heavy DIY dumbbells is by using water bottles. To make these, start by filling empty water bottles with sand or other heavy materials. Then, use duct tape or another sturdy tape to secure the bottles to a wooden dowel, broomstick, or any other long, sturdy handle. 

Once you’ve securely attached the bottles to the handle, you can wrap the handle with grip tape or another material to make it easier to hold.

3. Concrete Dumbbells

If you’re looking for an even more heavy-duty option, you can make concrete dumbbells at home. To make these, you’ll need concrete mix, water, and plastic buckets or containers to serve as molds. 

First, mix the concrete according to the package instructions, and pour it into the molds. Then, insert the handles into the concrete, ensuring they are centered and secure. Let the concrete dry for at least 24 hours before removing the molds and sanding the edges of the weights smooth. 

Be sure to choose high-quality materials and secure the weights and handles properly, all the while following guidelines for safety equipment and best practise.

That All Sounds Like Too Much Work— Is There An Alternative?

Great question. And, luckily, the short answer is: absolutely!

Our Recommended Pair of Dumbells

Bowflex SelectTech 552i Adjustable Dumbbells

Bowflex Adjustable Dumbbells
  • Item Weight: 105 Pounds
  • Special Feature: Adjustable
  • Use For: Hands
  • Adjustable Weight: 5 to 52.5 lbs. per dumbbell
  • Space-Saving Features: Replaces 15 weights with 1

The Bowflex SelectTech 552i Adjustable Dumbbells are a fantastic piece of home gym equipment that offer an impressive range of weight options in a single, space-saving set. These dumbbells are a popular choice for those who want to build strength and tone their muscles at home, without the need for a bulky and expensive full weight set.

One of the standout features of the Bowflex SelectTech 552i Adjustable Dumbbells is their adjustability. With just the turn of a dial, you can adjust the weight of each dumbbell from 5 to 52.5 pounds, in 2.5-pound increments.

This makes it easy to quickly switch between exercises without having to stop and change weights manually. The smooth dial system also means that you can change the weight of the dumbbells with ease, without any clanking or loud noises.

Bowflex SelectTech 552i Adjustable Dumbbells Instagram
Photo by @bowflex

The design of the Bowflex SelectTech 552i Adjustable Dumbbells is sleek and modern, with a comfortable grip that makes it easy to hold onto the weights during intense workouts. The weights are coated in a durable and protective neoprene material that helps to prevent damage to floors and other surfaces, as well as providing a non-slip grip.

Another benefit of these adjustable dumbbells is their compact size. Unlike traditional dumbbell sets that require a lot of space to store, the Bowflex SelectTech 552i Adjustable Dumbbells can be easily stored on a rack or even under a bed, making them a great option for those with limited space.

Overall, the Bowflex SelectTech 552i Adjustable Dumbbells are a high-quality and versatile piece of home gym equipment that can help you achieve your fitness goals.

With their adjustable weight range, comfortable grip, and compact design, these dumbbells are a great investment for anyone looking to build strength and tone their muscles in the comfort of their own home.


What to Do When Dumbbells Aren’t Heavy Enough?

When dumbbells aren’t heavy enough, you can try adding more repetitions to your exercises, performing your movements slower and with more control, or using resistance bands to increase the resistance.

How Do I Increase My Dumbbell Weight?

To increase your dumbbell weight, you can gradually add more weight plates to your existing dumbbells, purchase heavier dumbbells, or invest in adjustable dumbbells that allow for weight adjustments.


Multiple different types of barbells exist which differ in construction quality, dimensions, shape, and added features. This determines the more suitable use, with many specialty bars designed to help with mobility issues or isolate a target muscle more effectively. 

The bars I’ve discussed above are just some of the different types of barbells available, with many more existing in the weightlifting world. When deciding which one to purchase, think about the exercises you need the bar for to figure out the best type for you.

Have you used the barbell types above? What do you think of them? Let me know below in the comments section! When adding weight to your dumbbells, it’s important to do so gradually and focus on maintaining proper form and technique. Adding too much weight too quickly can increase the risk of injury and undermine the effectiveness of your workout.

Making DIY dumbbells at home can be a fun and affordable way to add resistance to your workouts without having to invest in expensive gym equipment. Whether you choose to use water bottles, sandbags, or other household items, it’s important to ensure that your homemade dumbbells are sturdy, balanced, and safe to use.

With a little creativity and effort, you can create a set of dumbbells that is tailored to your fitness level and exercise goals. That said, if you’re not handy or are a bit strapped for time then the Bowflex SelectTech 552i Adjustable Dumbbells are a gold standard option for any home gym set-up.

But how do you feel about your fitness journey? Feel ready to take on the task? Or Maybe you’ve already made your own DIY dumbbells, or have a pair of Bowflex SelectTech at home. I’ve shared some ideas, but I want to hear from you.

What’s your favorite DIY dumbbell hack? Got any questions or comments? Don’t be shy – let’s chat and share our DIY fitness journeys! Join the community and drop a comment below— the more the merrier!

Also read:


  1. Chris Goulet // Bodybuilding:
  2. Leslie Finlay // Verywellfit:
  3. Cooper Mitchell // Garagegymreviews:
  4. Photos are made by Torokhtiy Media team.

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Ihor Shymechko

Author: Ihor Shymechko
Pro Olympic Weightlifter, Coach

Experience: 26 years
Best Results: Snatch – 208 kg,
C&J – 240 kg

Ihor has been a professional weightlifter since 1996, boasting over two decades of competition experience. His notable achievements include clinching the European Championship in 2009 and securing a silver medal in the 105kg division at the Senior World Championships in 2011. Ihor represented his country in the 2008, 2012, and 2016 Summer Olympics. After retiring from competitive weightlifting, he transitioned to coaching, leveraging his vast experience to guide athletes who now compete on both national and international stages.

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