5 Basic Types of Weights In the Gym

Weight training is a type of strength-gaining training1 that also helps grow the skeletal muscles’ size. It uses gravitational force to use some basic types of weights, such as dumbbells, weighted bars, weight stacks, etc. so that the force generated by the muscles can be opposed through an eccentric or concentric contraction. 2

Weight Training

Weight training includes different equipment that is specialized to work on some specific muscles or any movements. Various sports include weight training, such as highland games, bodybuilding, powerlifting, weight lifting, strong man, hammer throw, shot put, and javelin throw. 

Also, various sports use strength training as a part of the training regimen, such as baseball, American football, basketball, football, cricket, rowing, track and field, rugby league, canoeing, hockey, lacrosse, mixed martial arts, rugby union, boxing, and wrestling. 

Types of weights
Image source: Estudio Polaroid, pexels

Benefits of Working With Different Types of Weight

Weight training is gaining popularity enormously and benefits people of all ages. 

1. Increases Strength

In weight training, you will gain strength and muscle in your body, and all the connective tissues and tendons will gain strength. This will not only help with fitness but also will make your work easier. 

2. Heart Health

Weight training leads to the betterment of the heart, and cardio plays a significant role in it. If you engage in both types of weight training, you will enjoy more essential benefits.

Weight training makes the muscle of both the upper and lower body more muscular, which gets your heart pumping faster and increases your blood flow, which helps avoid significant heart problems. 

3. Weight loss

The various types of weight training had a very successful line in helping people lose weight. It helps burn fat, and your body will keep burning calories for up to 3 days after your workout. 

weight loss
Source: UnlimPhotos

4. Reduces risk of injury

The types of weight training3 help strengthen the connective tissues, bones, muscles, and tendons; it helps decrease injury risks. 

5. Bone Density Improves

With the muscles getting stronger, the density of the bones also increases, but if the muscle imbalances, it might cause problems. Unfortunately, as we get older, our bones lose their density and become more fragile.

Also, lifting various weights lowers the risk of being injected with osteoporosis

5 Types of Weights

If you are confused about the types of weights you should do, then you can surely start with the free weights, which would be an excellent choice. With machines, you have limited actions that sometimes can be less for your ideal body. 

You will get stronger, and that is one of the best benefits of types of weight training. They also help you to boost your athleticism and improve your body balance. 

There are five types of weights:

1. Dumbbells

This is one of the best types of weights to build strength and do strength training. It is an integral component of a workout. They can be used in pairs or in single.

Some are both adjustable and fixed. They are used primarily for joint isolation exercises, including chest presses or flyers, shoulder raises, and bicep curls. 

They can also be used in some compound movements like the bench press, shoulder press, and squat racks- you can probably do any exercise for your arm muscles to get stronger with dumbbells. 

Source: UnlimPhotos

There are mainly two ways in which dumbbells offer muscle growth through overload that are mechanic and metabolic.

1.1. Mechanic Overload

Mechanic overload causes damage from contractors of muscles. Then the repair process is stimulated, which eventually results in increased size of muscles. 

1.4. Metabolic Overload

Metabolic overload takes place when the muscles are at the point of fatigue. This then forces the muscles to contain a large amount of glycogen, and this, too, results in an increased size of muscles. 

Heavy dumbbells lead to mechanical overload, and moderately weighted dumbbells result in metabolic overload. 

The dumbbells being an incredibly versatile tool can be used for various training styles, such as:

  • Chest flys
  • Rear delt flys
  • Shoulder press
  • Goblet squats
  • Bench press
  • Romanian deadlifts
  • Lateral raises 

If you can afford any one type of weight at home, you should go for dumbbells. However, do not skip the dumbbells part to gain and train if you are a gym person. 

2. Barbells  

The barbell is a long bar with types of weights4 on both ends of the bar. Some have shapes and grips, while others are just straight bars. Some of them are the trap bar, EZ bar, hex bar, etc. 

Dumbbells were used for building stability, isolating muscles, and gaining a drastic range of motion. But the barbells are used for the raw strength. Like the Dumbbells, it is also one of the best types of weights in the gym

They are mainly used for weightlifting movements, powerlifting, and bodybuilding. You can enormously get advantages from these free types of weights.

Various kinds of exercise can be done with barbells. Some of them are: 

  • Overhead press
  • Bench press
  • Deadlift
  • Lunge
  • Bent-over row
  • Back squat
  • Power clean 

It gives maximum strength training, hence the barbells are highly recommended for athletes or any bodybuilder. Barbells also teach you to use every muscle to complete a single goal to move a heavy object. 

You not only get strength by lifting barbells but also your ability to rotate your core, punch, swing, run faster, and kick improves. It is unnecessary to use the weights on the ends, but you can also get in a workout by using the bar. 

A small barbell weighs 10 to 30 pounds, whereas a standard barbell, also used in the Olympics, weighs 45 pounds. 

You will need to put some weight on the ends of the barbell to see the results of your weight gain. They are also another types of importance you will absorb at the gym.  

Standard and Olympic Weight Plates: There must be a whole of one diameter to fit a standard and small barbell in a standard plate. In an Olympic plate, there will be a whole of two diameters to fit an Olympic barbell of weight 45 pounds. These are two types of weight plates you will find in a gym. 

If you add plates to the barbell for strength-gaining exercises5 like the deadlift and bench press, then you can also use these types of weights for some exercises such as: 

  • Front Shoulder Raise
  • Overhead Press
  • Squat Bench
  • Lateral Raise
  • Plate Push-ups
  • Side bend 

Also, some of the weights of the Olympics have a particular layer surrounding the core, which makes them perfect for explosive weight lifting or deadlifting movements. Other consequences have grips surrounding the edges of the weights for unloading or safe loading. With this, you can use the plates without a barbell too. 

If you want to have more strength and lift heavy weights, you need to practice with the Olympic plates, weighing more while providing more strength. 

3. Medicine Balls 

medicine balls
Source: UnlimPhotos

The medicine balls are weighted, and they are mainly used for strength gaining and rehabilitation. It is of diameter 13.7 inches. They are primarily used in sports medicine with strength improvement and neuromuscular coordination. 

They weigh 2 to 25 pounds; they are not similar to exercise balls. The exercise balls are more significant than the medicine balls.

Besides using it for recovering from an injury, you can also use them for various gym exercises; some of them are: 

  • Ball twists
  • Squat throws
  • Side to Side slams
  • Ball slams
  • Wall-ball

If someone can assist you, you may also get more from your medicine ball workout. For example, if you have someone with you who can toss you the ball, you can catch it by touching the floor from your right and left sides. Then you can throw it back to the person. You can do this with anyone because they will have the training too. 

The medicine ball is one of the best types of weights, which gives a full-body workout, and it is also fun to use. For athletic work or rehab, the medicine balls are the best workout equipment you can have. 

4. Sand Bells 

10 Great Sandbell Exercises

A bag filled with formulated special sand gives it weight and becomes a compact, grabbable sandbag. As sand can constantly come inside, you must adjust yourself, which is also suitable for building overall balance and stabilizing muscles. 

You can incorporate a sand bell into lunge rotation when you hold the sand bell with bent elbows near your torso. Then, in a lunging motion, step forward and twist. From there, to get back to your position, push your front foot to get back, and repeat. 

Also, there are many more exercises that you can perform with the help of sand bells, such as: 

  • Bent-over row
  • Skater
  • Hip swing
  • Woodchop
  • Russian twist
  • Rainbow slam

If you want to perform safer exercises, then sand bells will be perfect for you. With dumbbells and barbells, there always remains a risk that one might fall on your foot. However, as these types of weights are filled with sand, they are lighter, and if they might fall on your toes, it won’t hurt. 

5. Kettle Bells

types of weights: Kettle bell
Image source: Ketut Subiyanto, pexels

Kettlebells are a type of weight made up of iron that can weigh between 5 to 100 pounds. They have a handle on top so that it becomes easier to grab them. The workout that a kettlebell gives can do your whole-body exercise. 

You only need explosive power and hands to keep going with this workout. Because of their handle and shape, they have become unique. The dynamic lifts that are done with kettlebells are pretty impossible with any other type of weight. 

Various types of exercises can be done with the kettlebells; some of them are: 

  • One-arm row
  • Shoulder halo 
  • Goblet squat 
  • One arm press
  • Around the leg pass 
  • Chest loaded swing 

Kettlebells will help work out your lower back, shoulders, legs, or any other part of the body. By working with the kettlebell, you will build muscles and gain strength by working with the handle of the kettlebell. 


Various types of weight can help you gain strength or work out as per your requirement. The types mentioned above of weight are the best to build muscle. They can be done where ever you want to. All the resistance bands and machines can take their place but will not provide you with the same powerful, athletic foundation. 

Beginners may start with the dumbbells, then corporate with the barbell, and later to the specialized weights such as kettlebells.

Read more about Amazing Sydney Cummings workouts.

  1. Ruiæ, Lana, Branka R. Matkoviæ, and Goran Leko. “Antiandrogens in hormonal contraception limit muscle strength gain in strength training: comparison study.” Croat Med J 44 (2003): 65-68. ↩︎
  2. Aagaard, P., et al. “Neural inhibition during maximal eccentric and concentric quadriceps contraction: effects of resistance training.” Journal of Applied Physiology 89.6 (2000): 2249-2257. ↩︎
  3. Mazzilli, Kaitlyn M., et al. “Weight training and risk of 10 common types of cancer.” Medicine and science in sports and exercise 51.9 (2019): 1845. ↩︎
  4. Gvero, Tihomir, et al. “Complete completion using types and weights.” Proceedings of the 34th ACM SIGPLAN conference on Programming language design and implementation. 2013. ↩︎
  5. Rodriguez, Miguel J. “Therapeutic exercise in general practice.” California Medicine 95.6 (1961): 378. ↩︎

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