HyGYM 40KG Loadable Adjustable Dumbbells Set review TL;DR: An adjustable dumbbell set for heavy compound lifts and proper full-body workouts. Not well-suited for beginners lifters, though.
I couldn't stop admiring how peculiar the handle of the HyGYM 40KG Loadable Adjustable Dumbbells Set looked when I got it out of the box. These old-school looking adjustable dumbbells are essentially baby-sized barbells with proper 2-inch sleeves so, in theory, you can fit any standard weight plates on them. And yes, that's exactly what I did and they looked hilarious.
Once I got over how adorable these baby barbells looked, I started appreciating the versatility of the set. For the not-so-extreme price, you get two dumbbell handles, four collars and 12 weight plates. Better still, you can go real heavy with these bad boys: the combined weight of the set is a whopping 80 kilos!
Should you buy them? Let's find out.
HyGYM 40KG Loadable Adjustable Dumbbells Set review: Price and availability
The HyGYM 40KG Loadable Adjustable Dumbbells Set is available to buy now at HyGYM for a recommended retail price of £449. At the time of writing, it was on offer for £399. For the latest prices, visit HyGYM (opens in new tab) today.
HyGYM also sells a 20KG version (opens in new tab) of the dumbbell set for £325. This is the same set as the 40KG one bar the four 10kg plates. You can also buy a complete hex dumbbell set (opens in new tab) (Includes 2 x 5KG 2 X 7.5KG 2 X 10KG 2 X 15KG 2 X 20KG 2 X 25KG dumbbells plus stand) for a friendly price of £695 (discounted to £595 at the time of writing).
Currently, HyGYM only sells its products in the UK. US and AU availability TBC.
HyGYM 40KG Loadable Adjustable Dumbbells Set review: How does it work?
The HyGYM 40KG Loadable Adjustable Dumbbells use a system similar to spin-lock dumbbells. To adjust the weight, you need to take the collars off, remove/add the weights then secure the collars again.
Admittedly, the process is not quite as smooth as in the case of modern turn-dial adjustable dumbbells such as the Bowflex SelectTech Dumbbell or the CORE Fitness Adjustable Dumbbell. It takes longer to adjust both dumbbells, not to mention, you have to do the match yourself and work out which plates to add/remove to have the desired amount of weight of the handles.
The dumbbells can be adjusted between 5-40KG in 5-kilo increments, so the increments are 5KG (handle only), 10KG (handle + 2.5KG plates), 15KG (handle + 5KG plates), 20KG (handle + 5KG plates and 2.5KG plates), 25KG (handle + 10KG plates), 30KG (handle + 10KG and 2.5KG plates), 35KG (handle + 10KG and 5KG pltes) and 40KG (handle + all plates).
Although the process is not convoluted too much, it's more effort to switch over between exercises. Once you get the hang of it, it shouldn't be a problem to move the plates around on the handles between sets.
HyGYM 40KG Loadable Adjustable Dumbbells Set review: Design and build quality
As I mentioned in the intro, the handles of the HyGYM 40KG Loadable Adjustable Dumbbells Set look like tiny barbells. This sensation is further reinforced by the thin, knurled handles and the rotation of the sleeves. The rotation is not super smooth, albeit it doesn't have to be as you'll be lifting lighter weights than with barbells.
The tri-grip plates are the real star of the show. The build quality of the rubber-coated plates is nothing to write home about but these types of bumper plates are super versatile, both on and off the handles.
Tri-grip plates can be used as standalone weights for certain exercises – such as Russian twists or lateral raises – thanks to the three grip points found on the plates. These tri-grip plates, in particular, can also be used with any standard Olympic barbells.
In fact, HyGYM also sells this exact dumbbell set as part of a larger set that also includes a 6ft barbell. You can find more info about it here (opens in new tab). I had the pleasure to tri the barbell and it has silky-smooth rotation and is the perfect size for small home gyms.
HyGYM 40KG Loadable Adjustable Dumbbells Set review: Workout performance
I appreciated the weight of the HyGYM 40KG Loadable Adjustable Dumbbells for heavy compound exercises such as squats. During testing, they were especially handy for exercises such as farmer's carry, RDL and isometric calf raises.
I found them a bit awkward to use for heavy upper body workouts such as the bench press, though. It's not even that the 10KG plates make the dumbbells a bit bulky, it's more the fact that handles are on the thin side.
This girth works fine for barbells, but dumbbell handles are often thicker and spindle-shaped (they get thicker towards the middle) which helps balance the weights better with one hand. Considering how heavy the HyGYM Adjustable Dumbbells are, the thin handles make it especially challenging to control the wobble when the form starts falling apart at around the tenth rep.
Changeovers are also a bit fiddlier, especially compared to fully digital adjustable dumbbells like the JAXJOX DumbbellConnect, although I must admit there aren't many of those. But even mechanical, turn-dial style dumbbells are comparatively easier to adjust than the HyGYM dumbbell.
On the positive side, the HyGYM Adjustable Dumbbells are much sturdier than most adjustable dumbbells. You can man-handle them, drop them, do renegade rows with them and they would still be fine. You wouldn't dare to drop a pair of Bowflex weights, not least because of the price you paid for them.
You can also use the tri-grip plates separately which adds a lot to the versatility of the HyGYM set. The fact that the plates can be used for barbells adds another layer to the usefulness of the weights.
HyGYM 40KG Loadable Adjustable Dumbbells Set review: Verdict
The HyGYM 40KG Loadable Adjustable Dumbbells Set looks hardcore and it's indeed best suited for people who know exactly what they're doing in their home gyms. The larger-than-usual increments, the heavier max weight and the style of the dumbbells all cater for more muscular individuals who want to add a bit more variety to their barbell training by using heavy dumbbells now and then.
Beginners are better off either getting the barbell set – although you'll need a weight bench to make the most of that setup – or using a different, lighter dumbbell set. Once you worked out for a few months or maybe even a year, you can think about investing in the HyGYM set to help you progress in your muscle-building journey.
Should you wish to buy the dumbbell set, I recommend getting a pair of fat grips/thick grips (like this one (opens in new tab)) to make the handles a bit girthier and easier to hold. Best of all, using these grips will also make your forearms work harder (in all the right ways) so they will grow as well as your biceps/triceps.
HyGYM 40KG Loadable Adjustable Dumbbells Set review: also consider
If you're in the UK, you should check out the MuscleSquad 32.5kg Adjustable Dumbbells. They are slightly lighter than the HyGYM 40KG Loadable Adjustable Dumbbells but are easier to adjust. 32.5KG is more than enough for most people anyway.
If you need something even lighter, check out the PowerBlock Sport 2.4 Adjustable Dumbbell: it's a well balanced and easy to use adjustable dumbbell that comes in pairs and a surprisingly neat way to replace eight standard dumbbells.
Finally, especially if you're in the US, the NordicTrack Select-A-Weight Dumbbell Set might be a good alternative to the HyGYM 40KG Loadable Adjustable Dumbbells Set. It's great for anyone new to weight training, since the purchase includes one year of virtual fitness classes, courtesy of iFit.