One of the most popular pieces of home gym equipment is the adjustable dumbbell or a type of it - loadable dumbbell handle. They're space friendly, they can be very convenient, and pretty affordable relative to a full fixed set of dumbbells. Whichever you choose, loadable dumbbell vs adjustable, it has its benefits.
But there are also some trade-offs to buying an adjustable dumbbell set as well. We’ll touch on some of those in this blog, but for a lot of people, depending on a few key factors, they could be a very legitimate option.
When it comes to an adjustable dumbbell, there are several things to consider. I touched on this in my review blog of the bullrock t rex dumbbell India which you can read later.
But to summarize, there are a few important trade-offs to keep in mind when selecting the best style of adjustable dumbbell for you.
Talking of one of the most popular styles of adjustable dumbbells is the loadable Olympic dumbbell handle. It’s just a handle, which offers a very traditional look and feel but at the expense of adjustment speed.
Alternatively, you could find something like the Flexnest Flexibell dumbbell India – with a dial mechanism design that offers great adjustment speed, but they lack that traditional look and feel.
Then you could find an adjustable dumbbell like the Nuobell by Rogue USA that really blends the two but potentially at the expense of long-term durability.
For that reason, in my opinion, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all adjustable dumbbell that you can universally recommend to everyone. However, once you get down to what’s most important to you, things like.
1️⃣ Look and feel
2️⃣ Adjustment speed
4️⃣ Footprint, etc.
You can narrow it down quickly and make an informed buying decision.
The loadable dumbbell handle, like all other adjustable dumbbells, has some things going for it and some things going against it.
I’m actually not a big fan of the traditional Olympic loadable handle, but gungner dumbler really stood out to me early, because of its unique design. I really appreciate what it has to offer. We will review it in some other article. But this blog is about the comparison b/w the two: loadable dumbbells vs adjustable.
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Let’s look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of a loadable Olympic dumbbell handle.
On the plus side, loadable handles take up a very small footprint. If you look at other adjustable dumbbells, they’re typically pre-loaded and they take up more space.
With a loadable handle, you can store them very easily, and since you’re using plates that you probably already have stored on your power rack (if you have one). In that case, your net additional space is virtually zero.
A second benefit is that loadable handles are traditionally less expensive than other options. The dumbler is certainly more expensive than other loadable handles, but still, it’s less expensive by several hundred dollars compared to some of the other options like power blocks, Rogue DB 25-10, Nuobells, etc.
A third benefit is they do offer a very traditional look and feel. You get a straight knurled shaft, Olympic-sized sleeves, bushing for rotation, etc.
Now there are some caveats here as compared to some of the other more pro-style Olympic dumbbells, which takes us into some of those disadvantages.
The primary reason why I don’t normally recommend a loadable handle is the fact that they are very wieldy. Their length is enough to in some cases noticeably, which can interfere with range of motion or otherwise make some movements like presses very awkward.
If you look at some of the other adjustable dumbbell styles out there, their length adjusts along with the weight changes.
So take, for instance, the Bullrock t rex adjustable dumbbell India and this exists for others as well, but a 10-kg selection is going to be much shorter than a 30 kg selection. You don’t get that with the fixed length of a loadable handle, which can be rather annoying, especially under lighter loads.
In addition, loadable dumbbell handles/ or Olympic size dumbbell handles can be a little bit funky and uncomfortable when you’re either setting up for or when you’re ending a lift. For instance, you wouldn’t want to rest these raw end caps directly on your legs when you’re setting up, for say a press that’s going to be pretty painful.
While you can absolutely slide them off to the side, rest half the plates on your legs, which is much more comfortable. It’s just not quite the same weight distribution that you would normally find on a fixed pair of dumbbells or a more pro-style adjustable dumbbell.
Also, if you’re someone who likes to bring those weights, back to your legs after a lift. Well, you’re definitely going to want to do that very carefully because that could be painful or otherwise awkward as well.
Another disadvantage to an Olympic size dumbbell handle is that it can limit you on the type and the number of movements that you can perform. This is especially true when you have your handle set up vertically.
Now thankfully one of the biggest benefits of the gungner dumbler is that it does give you a lot of those movements back. For instance, the goblet squat might not be the best idea to perform.
A heavy goblet squats on a traditional loadable handle just given the gravity and the strength of your external collar, whereas on the dumbler you’re fully secured through this patented slide lock.
The final primary disadvantage of the loadable handle is that it is not a quick adjustment and unless you have a dedicated station set up, it’s really the slowest of the bunch.
Take, for example, the bullrock t rex adjustable dumbbell set. Those take about the same time to physically load, but those are confined to a nice little setup where your plates are readily accessible.
Compare that to the change plates that people normally have set up on their racks on both sides so that they can more easily load a barbell and you can see where it adds even extra time to load and to use the loadable dumbbell handle.
|Loadable dumbbell||Adjustable Dumbbell|
|Less expensive||More expensive|
|Is of the same length or wider.||Compact in shape.|
|Sold Individually, NOT in Pairs||Sold only in pairs|
|Need for plates||No need for plates|
|Great for gym use/ as well as home use||Great for ONLY home gyms.|
At the end of the day, it largely depends on who the user is. Just as that’s the case with really any product. There is a strong case to be made that these are the nicest loadable dumbbell handles on the market.
However, there are limitations to it if you have the budget and you don’t really see some of those disadvantages I mentioned earlier as being a big deal for you. Then I would definitely recommend the loadable dumbbell.
Otherwise, there are lower-cost options out there or there are alternative styles of adjustable dumbbells set that may be more suitable for you.
It’s up to the model you are buying. For example, Rogue DB-10 has 3.625” loadable sleeve length, which can be load upto 60 lbs. While Rogue DB-15 has 6.75” loadable sleeve length, with advertised rogue collars you can comfortably rack upto 135lbs of weight.
If you want a loadable dumbbell handle in India, you can try 1RM super loadable dumbbell, which can go upto 25 kg max.
The Rogue loadable dumbbell is essentially a reduced version of the Rogue Ohio bar. The loadable dumbbell is available in 15 and 10-pound weights. The 15-pound model doubles the available sleeve area, allowing you to add extra weights.
Your barbell plates will work with the Rogue loadable dumbbell. I also propose getting properly fitted dumbbell weights with a smaller diameter. When the huge plates approach near to your body, they frequently get in the way.
If you don’t already have the required plates, the cost of the loadable dumbbell setup skyrockets. This makes it an excellent choice for a gym that already has plates in order to get the most out of the investment. If you want to start a gym from the beginning with a pair of dumbbells, you should acquire two hex dumbbells instead, even if they are not adjustable.
For me personally, the disadvantages outweigh the advantages in the context of the traditional loadable dumbbell handle. It all up to you, what you like and dislike if you have enough change plates at home go for a loadable dumbbell. Otherwise, buy a set of adjustable dumbbells that is strong enough and has great expandability functions like Bullrock t rex dumbbell.
Thanks for reading.