10 Best Types of Weights Used in the Gym

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Table of Contents

One of the primary challenges anyone who starts with weight training faces is understanding the different types of weights used in the gym. Furthermore one needs to learn about the different types of weights used in gym and how the distinct types of weights have differing advantages in terms of strength, stamina, and stability.

Understanding which type of gym equipment is best for building muscle and learning which kind of equipment affects which muscle groups is essential.

So, we have this guide for you that will explain everything you need to know about weight training.

1. Most Common Types of Training:

1.1. Weight Training

Weight training is a type of training which focuses on the overall health of any individual by training with different types of free weights. It focuses primarily on the overall well-being of the body.

1.2. Strength Training

Strength Training is a type of training which is primarily focused on building muscle to attain huge amounts of power. The body is trained in such a way as to build muscle mass and increases strength. In basic terms, it is done to achieve strength.

Gym equipment such as resistance bands, weightlifting chains, and barbells is said to be beneficial for strength training. There are certain exercises which are performed by people practising this type of training some of them are planks, lunges, and deadlifts.

1.3. Circuit Training

Circuit Training is a type of bodyweight training which mainly focuses on calorie burning and weight loss. It includes around 6 or more types of exercises which are to be performed in short rest periods.

This in turn results in helping with endurance, resistance, and stamina. Some bodyweight exercises which are performed in circuit training include pushups, pull-ups, and squats.

1.4. Endurance Training

Endurance Training as the name suggests is done primarily to increase the endurance of an individual. It primarily focuses on developing the body’s respiratory capabilities.

2. Major Health Benefits of Weight Training

2.1. Improves Bone Density:

By regularly exercising and stressing the bones in the process, weight training can positively affect the bones which lead to the improvement of bone density. Weight training & strength training can greatly help with reducing the risk of osteoporosis as found in many studies. (Osteoporosis is a medical condition where the bones become fragile and weak, it is a pretty common medical condition these days.)

2.2. Improve Mental Health:

When someone exercises hormones such as endorphins and dopamine get released which leads to an improved mood. At the same time, any individual can notice positive changes in themselves once they start exercising regularly which might affect their mental health in a very positive way.

2.3. Helps Reduce Body Weight & Fat:

The process of building muscles involves a lot of heavy exercising which leads to the burning of calories. As a result, it leads to the reduction of body fat.

2.4. Improves Body Positivity & Body Image

Except for the fact that people who have good shape look more “aesthetically pleasing” exercising regularly and experiencing growth in oneself helps increase body positivity and the same time changes the way the person looks at themselves.

3. Best Weights Used in Gym

3.1. Dumbbells

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Dumbbells are one of the most common types of free weights used for muscle growth and training. They are the most versatile equipment for anyone who has just started weight training.

Dumbbells are the most basic & optimal for moves like lunges or shoulder presses the weight of dumbbells usually can range from 5-100 pounds (2-45 kilograms).

Adjustable dumbbells are also available in the market where the weight of the dumbbell can be changed as desired. It functions similarly to a barbell where different weights are attached to the bar to change the weight. Adjustable dumbbells can be useful to people who are planning to follow the progressive overloading approach of training.

3.1.1. Major Exercises Which Can be Done with Dumbbells

I. Bicep Curls:

Check the video below to learn how to do a bicep curl.

II. Hammer Curls:

Check the video below to learn how to do a hammer curl.

III. Lateral Raises:

Check the video below to learn how to do lateral raises.

IV. Dumbbell Chest Press: 

Check the video below to learn how to do a dumbbell chest press.

Above are some of the most common free weight exercises and can be a good set of exercises for any beginner who is wanting to get into weight training.

3.1.2. Advantages:

  • Lighter weights
  • Easier to transfer
  • Affordable
  • They help in targeting specific muscle groups

3.1.3. Disadvantages:

  • Not a good option on limited space (as they take up space)
  • Limited Weight capacity (It is not beneficial if you are a heavy-weight lifter)

3.2. Medicine Balls

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Medicine balls are one of the best pieces of gym equipment for a full-body workout. They can be very helpful to train different muscle groups because of their versatility and shape. They are shaped like a basketball and are available in different types of weights usually ranging from 2-25 pounds (1-22 kilograms).

Medicine balls have an edge over other equipment as they are useful for weight training, cardio and other many other types of training. These Medicine balls are also available in various types of materials including nylon, rubber, vinyl, etc.

3.2.1. Major Exercises Which Can Be Done with Medicine Balls

I. Russian Ball Twists:

II. Squat Throws: Explained below

III. Wall Ball: Explained below

3.2.2. Advantages:

  • Easy to set up and set up.
  • A perfect tool to exercise the whole body.

3.2.3. Disadvantages:

  • Not easy to transport.
  • They are bulky and require a lot of space to store.
  • They are not safe to use on sensitive floors (wooden flooring, marble flooring etc.)

3.3. Barbell

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The barbell is one of the oldest types of gym equipment which can be used for various types of exercises. It is still widely used for weight training and other kinds of workouts.

It is primarily used for lifting heavy weights by professional weight lifters. At the same time, an individual needs to be careful about the amount of weight they are training with. Be careful about which weight plate you are using.

The barbell is available in many different types, some of which are:

  • Trap Bar
  • EZ Bar
  • Straight barbell
  • Swiss Bar

Below is a video explaining some of the different types of barbells available in the market.

3.3.1. Major Exercises Which Can Be Done with Barbells

I. Incline Chest Press: Explained below

II. Compound Lifts (eg: Bench Presses, Deadlifts): Explained below

III. Decline Chest Press: Explained Below

IV. Barbell Squats: Explained Below

Above are some of the major barbell exercises which can be done as a part of weight training.

3.3.2. Advantages:

  • Can be used for arms and core strength training exercises.
  • Help increase coordination and overall balance.
  • Barbells have been used for a very long time to train hence, they are a tested way to build muscle which has got passed on from time to time.

3.3.3. Disadvantages:

  • They require a lot of space to store.
  • They are difficult to use without proper training or guidance.

3.4. Standard & Olympic Weight Plates

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A Barbell primarily contains two parts the “weight plates” & a “bar”. Various types and multiple weight plates and bars are used in different types of weights.

The two categories of weight plates contain:

1) Standard Weight Plates: These plates have a smaller center hole compared to Olympic plates and only fit into the standard barbell.

2) Olympic Weight Plates: Olympic plates are comparatively longer, and wider and are made to hold higher weights. They only fit the Olympic barbell. They are primarily heavyweights.

They are used to add weight to the barbell in most cases but can also be used standalone for training.

3.4.1. Major Exercises Which Can Be Done with Weight Plates

I. Back Squats: Explained Below

II. Lateral Raises (Shoulders): Explained Below

III. Weight Plate Push-Ups (Chest): Explained Below

3.4.2. Advantages:

  • Cost Effective and efficient.
  • They come in a wide range of sizes and are optimal for heavy lifters.

3.4.3. Disadvantages:

  • They take up a lot of space.
  • They can be expensive.

3.5. Sandbags

Sandbag is a type of free weight that is proven to be great for endurance training and cardio training. They can be used as an alternative for dumbbells, club bells, and weight plates.

To build explosive power sandbags are optimal. Sandbags can be pretty dynamic in terms of shape, weight, and others due to their fundamental physical properties.

3.5.1. Major Exercises Which Can Be Done with Sandbags

I. Walking Lunges

II. Bicep Curls

III. Shoulder Press

IV. Deadlifts

3.5.2. Advantages:

  • Optimal for strength training exercises.
  • Helps build stability & balance.
  • Builds Grip strength.

3.5.3. Disadvantages:

  • Requires ample care to maintain.
  • Takes a lot of space to store.

3.6. Kettlebells

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Kettlebells are a great way to work on entire-body fitness. They are suggested for warm-up, and cardio and are used for weight training too. Unlike dumbbells, these come in interesting shapes which help them start and out any kind of dynamic exercise compared to dumbbells. They are prone to improve things such as cardiovascular fitness, strength, power, endurance, flexibility, balance, and coordination.

3.6.1. Major Exercises Which Can Be Done with Kettlebell

I. Kettlebell Chest Press (Chest)

II. Kettlebell Bent Over Rows (Back)

III. Kettlebell Squats (Legs)

IV. Kettlebell Swings

3.6.2. Advantages:

  • Optimal for core and upper body training.
  • They are affordable.
  • A good piece of equipment to use at home for training.

3.6.3. Disadvantages:

  • Easy to use the incorrect way.
  • It is not suitable for everyone.

3.7. Weightlifting Chains

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Weightlifting chains are usually used by professional weightlifters to increase the intensity of their training This free weight is certainly not made for everyone especially beginners.

One needs to train himself/herself to a particular standard of expertise to be able to train with these. These chains are usually used to train the triceps by performing exercises such as “tricep dips”.

3.7.1. Major Exercises Which Can Be Done with Weightlifting Chains:

I. Tricep Dips

II. Barbell Squats

III. Deadlifts

3.7.2. Advantages:

  • Beneficial to increase the intensity of your workout.
  • Help increase resistance.
  • Optimal for improving strength and explosive power.

3.7.3. Disadvantages:

  • Not everyone’s cup of tea.
  • Not easy to store and transport.

3.8. Weighted Vest

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A weighted vest is a kind of vest that one can wear and train against the weight provided by the vest. The weight helps build resistance and stamina. This training equipment is usually used for resistance training & weight training.

The vest should be used with the correct guidance as if misused in a way (using vests of more weight than your body can handle) can lead to joint and back pain or even further serious issues.

3.8.1. Best Exercises Which Can Be Done with A Weighted Vest:

I. Pull-ups

II. Squats

III. Walking Lunges

3.8.2. Advantages:

  • Easy to use.
  • Optimal for resistance training.
  • Adds variety to the workout.

3.8.3. Disadvantages:

  • Expensive.
  • Not suitable for everyone.

3.9. Clubbells

Clubbells also known as Indian bells are a kind of free weight which has been used for centuries and, as the name suggests it was originated in India. They are an excellent choice of free weights for improving strength, stamina and most importantly balance and hand grip.

Clubbells are primarily used in Asian countries such as India because of the benefits of training equipment (Hand grip, Stamina).

3.9.1. Major Exercises Which Can Be Done with A Clubbell:

I. Clubbell Double Mill

II. Shield Cast

III. Clubbell Pendulum

3.9.2. Advantages:

  • Easy to use.
  • Optimal for endurance, and stamina training.
  • Adds variety to the workout.
  • Affordable.

3.9.3. Disadvantages:

  • Not suitable for everyone.

3.10. Fixed Weight Barbell

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Fixed weight barbell is similar to an ordinary barbell but, It has shorter bars and a fixed weight attached to it, unlike a barbell where the bars are longer and the weight can be changed.

3.10.1. Major Exercises Which Can Be Done with A Fixed Weight Barbell:

I. Biceps Curls (Biceps)

II. Skull Crushers (Triceps)

III. Triceps Extensions (Triceps)

3.10.2. Advantages:

  • Easy to use.
  • Optimal for endurance, stamina training, etc.
  • Adds variety to the workout.
  • Affordable.

3.10.3. Disadvantages:

  • Not suitable for progressive overloading (Progressive overloading refers to increasing the amount of weight being used to train with time and, is possible in a fixed-weight barbell cause the weight is fixed and one cannot add weight to it)


It is of utmost importance for you to choose the right kind of free weights and at the same time understand which kind of weight training program you want to follow. It is very essential to study what types of free weights would go with whichever kind of routine you feel comfortable following. At the same time understand how much weight your body can handle. Most gyms have all the training equipment which have been talked about above.

It is also important to set fitness goals as they are said to keep an individual motivated. Fitness goals not only keep pushing you to go further but once the goals are met they make you feel more motivated to keep pushing harder.

One more thing to be kept in mind is that it is essential to know what you are doing and if it is the correct way to do it. Things such as posture, and technique are of key importance when it comes to weight training. As our different body parts are exposed to weight even the slightest error in posture or technique could lead to serious injuries.

A study has shown that 41% of people injure themselves while training.

Hence, it is very important to know how to train. You can join a gym or hire a personal trainer the options are endless. For anyone who cannot go for the above options, there is more than enough knowledge available on the internet about lifting weights and can be referred to. The only thing to be kept in mind is to know and understand what you are doing.

At the same time, providing your body with a healthy and correct diet is also important. When the body is following any kind of weight training program it burns a lot of calories and requires a lot of energy to function and heal properly and faster. Hence, the body needs to be provided with the correct amount of vitamins, proteins, and other nutrients to correctly respond to all the training it is going through.

The concept of weight training goes a little like this: An individual damages their muscles by lifting heavy free weights after which the body repairs the muscles which result in forming of a new muscle that is comparatively stronger than the previous one.

This process is what the whole concept of weight training revolves around. It is of great importance for the body to be healthy enough to repair the damaged muscles hence, anyone who is training themselves must consume proteins in the correct amount. Proteins are primarily what are responsible for repairing tissues.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What Distinguishes Dumbbells and Barbells from Each Other?

Barbells are carried with both hands and are longer than dumbbells, which are shorter and are lifted with one hand. Barbells are typically utilized for complex workouts, while dumbbells are frequently employed for unilateral exercises.

2. Can Resistance Bands Be Used in Place of Weights?

Resistance bands can be used in place of weights, yes. These can be used for a variety of activities and offer varied resistance.

3. What Weight Should a Beginner Who Is New to Weightlifting Start With?

Start with a weight that enables appropriate form and technique while enabling you to complete the exercise. It’s preferable, to begin with, lesser weights and increase them gradually as your strength and technique advance.

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