Best Dumbbell Weight for Building Muscle

Dumbbells are great exercise tools to help you build muscle. There are lots of different ways you can use dumbbells to build muscle. Most beginners, however, feel naturally concerned about the best dumbbell weight for building muscle.

Best Dumbbell Weight for Building Muscle

The best dumbbell weight for building muscle will depend on your strength training goals and your strength level. Each person has different weight lifting capacities so there is no exact weight that is universal for building muscle. 

There are many different approaches to dumbbells for every goal. For example, if you are looking to build muscle endurance, dumbbell weight doesn’t matter as much as how many reps and sets you do. 

Man holding a dumbbell with each hands

On the other hand, if you are looking to build more muscle and power then it’s important to lift heavier dumbbells so you get accustomed to lifting heavy objects. In order to find the right dumbbell weight for you, here are some pointers.

Identify Your Goals

Identify what muscles you aim to build and set some goals on what you want to achieve. This will help you select dumbbells a lot easier. As a basic concept, the larger the muscle group, the more weight it can lift. 

If you are working your biceps, triceps, deltoids, we recommend you use small to medium dumbbells. For chest, leg, and back muscles, you should use medium to large dumbbells. Take note that small, medium and large dumbbells vary for people and it will depend on your fitness and body. 

Say, for example, that you want to be able to do 15 bicep curls using 50-pound dumbbells within the next 3 months. Once you have a clear idea of what you want to accomplish, this will help you plan ahead, make a schedule, and modify your workouts in order to get there.

Choose the Right Dumbbell Weight

The right dumbbell weight will also depend on what dumbbell exercise you are going to do. Your overall strength also will determine the right dumbbell weight for you. If you are a beginner, you should start light and focus on doing it properly at first.

Depending on your workout plan, you can do different dumbbell weights. For example, if you want to do 15 reps of basic dumbbell curl for 3 sets. You should find a suitable dumbbell weight that will help you accomplish that. While it’s all trial and error, you can start with lighter dumbbell weights to be on the safe side. 

Woman lifting a dumbbell over her head

Make sure you have different dumbbell weights ready as you would want to do varying forms of exercise. You would also gradually increase the dumbbell weight as you slowly progress and want to build muscle power. 

What Dumbbell Weight Should a Beginner Use?

Beginners should start with light dumbbell weights and focus on mastering the proper way to do the exercise. Proper form will give you the best possible results you can get from doing exercise. 

For starters, you need to be able to do 3 sets of 10 – 15 reps for every exercise using light dumbbells without feeling too fatigued. Once you can do it with ease, you can start gradually increasing the dumbbell weight between 2.5 pounds to 10 pounds depending on how much you can handle. 

Why Is It Important To Start With Light Weights?

Okay, so you thought about starting directly on lifting heavier dumbbell weights. It feels uncomfortable lifting light weights while all the other gym-goers are doing heavy dumbbell weights. Believe us, lifting heavy weights beyond your capacity will do you more harm than good. 

Remember, everyone started out with light dumbbell weights. Lifting dumbbell weights that are out of your capacity will only prompt you to do incorrect form. The longer you do it, the harder it will be to correct once you get used to it. 

It also causes muscle fatigue which might cause you to stop with workouts. Although it may not hurt you in the short term, it does have negative effects in the long term. It can cause chronic problems related to your joints, tendons, and ligaments. 

Man lifting a dumbbell with one arm while holding the other pair on his side

Will 25 Lb Dumbbells Build Muscle?

If you only have 25-pound dumbbells at home then don’t worry. You can get results from your workout just using 25-pound dumbbells

Sure, lifting the same dumbbell weights for every workout isn’t beneficial as your body gets accustomed to the routine and stops developing. However, there are other variables you can change in order to promote muscle growth. 

A study in physiology has found that additional training volume in the form of more sets may result in greater hypertrophy. That means you can still promote muscle growth by increasing the sets you do from the usual. 

Is it Bad to Lift Dumbbells Every day?

People seem to not know about the fact that our muscles also grow from rest. When we exercise, our muscles undergo micro-tears in the fibers. When you rest, it repairs itself and grows stronger. 

It may take 1 to 2 days of rest depending on the muscle group for the muscles to recover and rebuild itself. 


The best dumbbell weight is different for everyone. Make sure you know your goal and limitations to get the best possible outcome for your workouts. It’s best to start with light dumbbell weights, practicing the proper form, and gradually increase to get to your fitness goal. 

Robert Lemus has been a natural competitor for 6 years, starting in Men’s Physique, then Bodybuilding, and then into Classic Physique. He is the Orange County Bodybuilding champion in 2016 for the Musclemania Organization. In 2018, he received his Pro Card with the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) in Classic Physique.