Is Curling 40 Pound Dumbbells Good?

Dumbbell curls are a great exercise you can do at the comfort of your home. However, some people like to do more with their workouts. That’s why some people increase the weight of their dumbbells to feel more challenging. With all the added weight, is curling 4 -pound dumbbells good for you?

Is Curling 40 Pound Dumbbells Good?

In theory, the heavier you lift, the more you build muscle strength and endurance. However, there are factors that dictate how much you should lift in order to have maximum muscle gain. Therefore, depending on these factors, curling 40-pound dumbbells can be good or bad for you. 

Man trying to determine if curling 40 pound dumbbells are good

For example, if you are new to working out, you will typically see faster results compared to someone who’s not new. This is because you are not used to working out that your body will lose water weight fast. 

Also, if you are looking to build mass, your muscles to experience hypertrophy. Hypertrophy is the increase and growth of muscle cells. You can only achieve hypertrophy if you work out your muscles to a point they aren’t used to or increasing the time your muscles are under tension.

What Is The Right Dumbbell Weight?

There are varying factors to determine the right dumbbell weight for you. You need to factor in your fitness level, weight lifting goals, and the type of exercise you plan to do. You can start with 5-pound dumbbells and observe how your body can handle it. 

You also have to take into account your body weight, sex, and age range to give you the right dumbbell weight to carry. There are various fitness levels that you can identify yourself in: 

  • beginner
  • novice
  • intermediate 
  • advanced
  • elite   

Depending on your fitness level, you can go do heavy dumbbell weights or increase the reps and sets you are doing.

What is the Average Curl Weight?

Woman lifting a dumbbell with one hand

According to Testosterone Nation, the average estimate of barbell curl weight for men is 80 pounds while the average estimate barbell curl weight for women is 40 pounds. For dumbbell curls, you only half the dumbbell curl weight to get the average as you do barbell curls with two hands. So it’s 40 pounds for men and 20 pounds for women. 

However, there are also other factors to consider like age group and repetitions. Light weights for multiple repetitions have almost the same yield as lifting heavy weights for far fewer repetitions. However, when it comes to lifting heavier weights, the one who lifts heavy weights has the advantage of being already used to lifting such heavy weights.   

Why Do Reps Matter More than Dumbbell Weight?

Don’t be stressed out if you can’t curl 40-pound dumbbells or it’s not fit for your age and body weight. When it comes to building muscles, the form is more important than the size of the dumbbells you are lifting. If you don’t use the proper form you might end up with injuries or make curling less effective. 

Don’t jerk your back or move your arms at the shoulder joints or it eliminates the purpose of you doing curls. You want those weights to put stress on your biceps and not on other muscle groups. 

That’s why don’t focus first on lifting heavier weights as soon as you can. Instead, focus on your form and repetition. Remember, the more time the muscle is put under stress, the better the muscle gain. 

Can You Build Muscle with 40-pound Dumbbells?

You can build muscle with whatever weight your dumbbells are. If you have lighter weights, you can make up for it with more repetitions and sets. However, if you are looking to also build strength and endurance, then going for heavier weights like 40-pound dumbbells is a good idea. 

Woman sitting down trying to lift a dumbbell with both hands

However, you don’t have to rush it. Muscles take time to increase their growth and repair the tissues. That’s why it’s also important to progress slow and steady. You also need to take the time to rest your muscles so you won’t get fatigued.

Don’t worry if you only have lightweight dumbbells at home. You can easily make it work with a lot of planning and workout hours. Just remember to do dumbbell curls properly and slowly. 

Is it Better to Lift Heavy or Light Weights to Gain Muscle?

Lifting heavier weights induce more mechanical tension while lifting lighter weights with more reps causes metabolic stress. While both may sound different, the outcome is equal when you adjust the volume as mentioned above.

There is still more research to be done to see any significant difference between metabolic stress mechanisms and mechanical tension. However, if you want to maximize your muscle growth, it’s beneficial to target both mechanisms. 

You can try lifting heavy weights for higher reps or mixed it up with lifting heavy weights for low reps and alternate into lifting lighter weights for high reps. This will help increase your strength and endurance at the same time. 


While curling 40-pound dumbbells can be good for many people, it’s not for everybody. You first have to start with dumbbell weights that are appropriate for you and go up as you improve and steadily build your muscle. 

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.