Amazon, Walmart and Target are all worth checking out if you need new workout equipment (think treadmills, weights, stationary bikes and ellipticals). That being said, we’ve also seen some of the best home gym equipment deals at warehouse stores like Sam’s Club and Costco.
Last year, Amazon’s Black Friday sale included some notable deals on ALO Yoga leggings, Champion sports bras and running shoes by New Balance, Brooks and Under Armour as well. Similarly, Hilbert and Finish Line are known to run top-rated deals on athletic wear by adidas and Under Armour.
If you’re looking for equipment for outdoor sports like skis, snowshoes, canoes and climbing gear, be sure to check retailers like REI and Patagonia. BikesOutdoor Sports Several retailers will have Black Friday deals worth browsing, so your go-to destination will ultimately depend on your most-wanted items.
The Walmart Black Friday sale is sure to feature rollbacks on dumbbell sets, kettle bells, weight benches and home gym essentials like stationary bikes and treadmills. Dick’s Sporting Goods has already released hundreds of early Black Friday deals to get us in shape before the holidays hit.
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Proform kettle bell kit (6-piece) helps tone your body suitable for beginners, intermediate, and advanced users can be used at home or at the gym wide-grip handle for better grasp vinyl-coated for enhanced durability compact design tray included for convenient storage About preform prior to preform, treadmills took up huge swaths of living space, leaving virtually no room for your personal trainer’s sleeping cage.
All that changed when preform introduced its proprietary space saver design, which allowed its treadmills to fold away for easy storage and transport. It was a simple, effective idea, reflective of the brand’s mission to create fitness equipment that’s as practical as it is accessible.
These are a great set of weights for someone like me who is just starting out with a kettle bell workout. And they arrived SUPER fast since I live in southern California.
The workout DVD and exercise chart help those new to kettle bells acclimate themselves with the swings, lifts, and snatches. And because the plates all fit inside the kettle bell, it’s just as versatile as a fleet of differently weighted dumbbells, yet more compact.
Features Kettle bell with weight plates Adjustable for use at 5, 8, 11, 14, 17, or 20 pounds Workout DVD offers new movie-night material Exercise chart Dimensions: 9” x7”x10” Over the course of nearly five months, we lifted thousands of pounds of weight for hundreds of reps (in addition to researching the topic, interviewing experts, and comparison-shopping) to find the best set of adjustable dumbbells for at-home use.
Core Home Fitness and Bow flex both provide an option to sign up for email notifications on restocks. Our runner-up dumbbells remain 15¾ inches long no matter how you load them, so they’re potentially unwieldy for smaller-framed folks.
The Bow flex Selected 552 Dumbbells adjust smoothly from 5 to 52½ pounds when you turn dials at either end of each weight. Also, the 15¾-inch-long bars don’t get shorter as you change the weight, making this set a bit harder to handle, especially for smaller-framed people.
Collapse all To learn about the benefits of using adjustable dumbbells in home workouts, we interviewed Brad Schoenberg, PhD, an assistant professor of exercise science at Lehman College and author of The M.A.×. Muscle Plan, and Pete McCall, a San Diego–based certified strength and conditioning specialist, host of the All About Fitness podcast, and a former advisor to the American Council on Exercise.
McCall is a consultant for Core Health and Fitness (not to be confused with Core Home Fitness, an affiliated company that sells our), the parent company of StairMaster, which currently sells an identical adjustable dumbbell set under that brand name, though only to specialty retailers. Like many readers of this guide, I have limited space in my apartment in Queens, New York, and so I was particularly curious about this category of space-saving exercise equipment.
Photo: Gabrielle DrakeLifting weights isn’t just some fly-by-night fitness fad or a hobby reserved for bodybuilders. Resistance training confers a host of health benefits, from boosting metabolism to improving bone density.
In November 2018, the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion issued the recommendation that American adults complete a minimum of two muscle-strengthening sessions per week, defined as “activities make muscles do more work than they are accustomed to doing.” The recommendation continues: “That is, they overload the muscles.” As you get stronger, you’ll find that you need to add more weight (or resistance) to achieve the maximum benefits.
“The only reason the body adapts is because it’s challenged beyond its present capacity,” exercise scientist Brad Schoenberg told us. If you’re committed to weight training at home, investing in a set of adjustable dumbbells can save you money and space.
You can find a variety of mechanisms for setting loads on adjustable dumbbells, and we were mechanism-agnostic when deciding which models to test. Traditional: You manually slide weight plates, held in place by a threaded screw collar, on or off a bar.
Slide-pin: You pull up and slide a pin at each end of the dumbbell to add or reduce weight, from the handle out. We chose to test five sets in total, including a mix of newly released models and former picks.
In the gym, Chiefer and I timed ourselves adjusting the weights while completing the same circuits of exercises with each pair. From left: Core Home Fitness (the shortest), Bow flex, Yes4All, NordicTrack (the longest), Merak.
The ease of this adjustment mechanism lets you focus completely on your workout rather than having to fuss with your tools. In contrast, most other models, including our runner-up pick, maintain the same bar length no matter how much weight you load them with.
Shorter dumbbells mean that smaller-framed people (like me) don’t have to modify their range of motion or movement angles with the Core Home Fitness set in order to avoid colliding the weights together in, say, an overhead military press. Phil Chiefer, adjusting the Core Home Fitness dumbbells in real time.
The reviews for the Core Home Fitness dumbbells are overwhelmingly positive on both the Amazon and Dick’s Sporting Goods sites at this writing. The only real complaint we have concerning the Core Home Fitness dumbbells is that the weight increment is a fixed 5 pounds.
The dial adjustments on this set generally operate smoothly, but with two per weight, if you miss an end (which can happen with fatigue-addled workout brain), you risk an awkward, uneven load. As with most adjustable dumbbell sets, the racking tray can stick when you’re lifting a full load, and you need to have the weights aligned carefully to re-rack them.
Some Amazon reviewers express concern about the weights’ plastic components being less durable than the metal of other models. A Wire cutter staff member who used the Bow flex dumbbells for two years on average two to three times per week praised the weights for their ease of use and durability.
Although the Merak set was similar in pricing to our top picks at the time of our testing, these dumbbells are more expensive now. The single adjustment dial releases with a press of a trigger button for speedy weight selection that’s faster than on the Bow flex set but slower than on the Core Home Fitness pair.
Still, if more traditional strength training (which requires longer rest periods) is appealing to you and the total weight load is adequate for your needs, this set may be worth a look as a budget option. One of the dumbbells in the set we received had broken at one end, a potentially dangerous situation in which heavy plates could flop around during use.
He conceded, though, that they’re much slower to adjust “and will take you about 15 to 20 seconds to fiddle with the screw-in pin lock.” And although the heavier load offering is notable, this set plus an expansion pack represents a significant investment. Powerboat weights, which have been around since 1993 and are easily the most established line in this category, have a unique square design that allows for a massive range of 5 to 130 pounds per dumbbell.
Although he praised the expand ability, compactness (only 12½ inches long fully loaded to 50 pounds), and lifetime warranty, he ultimately dismissed them because “the weights’ foxiness was just a bit too weird for most of our testers’ tastes.” He continued, “ fact that it feels like you’re reaching into a cage to lift the weights made their use a bit clunky.” In response to recent stock shortages, Powerboat added a notification to its website reading, in part, “Please be careful of unauthorized resellers dealing Powerboats online.” The MTN Gear smith Adjustable Dumbbells, with their traditional collar-and-weight-plate design, are highly similar to the Yes4All weights we tested but cost more.
The Bow flex Selected 560 Dumbbells, like our, use a dial adjustment mechanism, though these have a built-in accelerometer that tracks reps and total weight lifted and beams the data via Bluetooth to a smartphone app. Also, as of our most recent update to this guide, Bow flex no longer sells the Selected 560 set on its website.
We also didn’t test the Bow flex Selected 1090 Dumbbells, which operate similarly to the Merak weights but range from 10 to 90 pounds each, in 5-pound increments.