Weight training in the 1970's was reserved for body builders like Arnold Schwarzenegger. In the 1980's women bodybuilder's started to become popular when Corey Everson hit the scene. The 1980's also saw a large influx in gym memberships as the fitness craze hit and there were few Home Gyms. Men and women both joined the gym to get in better shape, build muscle and look better. Suddenly, weight lifting wasn't just for men or body builders. It was commonplace to see women with a set of adjustable dumbbells or lifting at the weight benches. People flocked to the gyms in search of the perfect work out and we haven't looked back since.

Bodies with muscle burn more fat at rest than bodies with less. The best way to take weight off and keep it off is through diet, aerobic exercise and free weights training. Diet prevents the body from adding more fat, aerobic exercise removes the fat that has accumulated and weight training keep it off by increasing metabolism. Also, muscle adds more shape to a body than aerobic exercise alone. Muscle also has memory. Shaping the muscles at a young age keeps the body youthful and even when we fall off the wagon, our muscles remember and it is easier to shape them again than to do it for the first time at 40.

There are many ways to increase muscle with weight training. Probably the most versatile piece of equipment is the dumbbell. Dumbells consist of a small rod with two weights on either side. The hand wraps around the bar to do a variety of different exercises. Different from a barbell which is used by two hands at all times, dumbbells allow the body to move in a variety of different and free ways. Exercises for the upper body range from bicep curls to shoulder flies. By focusing on one arm at a time, you can develop more even muscle than with a barbell, where one arm may be stronger and take up more of the effort.

Different styles such as Compact Dumbbells, Hex Dumbbells, Pro-Style Dumbbells, Rubber Dumbbells, Chrome Dumbbells, Solid Steel Dumbbells, Neoprene and Vinyl Dumbbells offer even more variety. Another benefit of dumbbells is their cost. Ranging from $ 24 to $ 182, they are an affordable piece of equipment that does so much. Some styles allow you to change the weight on each side, while others come in a stack of varying weights from 2.5lbs to 50lbs. each.

When putting together a home gym, a set of dumbells is usually one of the first purchases. Women love the many colors of the Neoprene and Vinyl dumbells while men love the versatility of being able to use the stacked version and change up on the fly. A dumbell is the universal sign of bodybuilding. A little boy wanting to mimic his dad or a bodybuilder will pick up a dumbell or a brick and curl it. Dumbells are used in aerobic classes at gyms around the country to combine an aerobic activity with weights. And runners or walkers can be seen curling dumbells as they walk or run down the street. Dumbells are universal and a great way to shape the arms and the legs.

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