Right now, the prospect of handling dumbbells that have been touched by any number of strangers in your neighborhood gym might not seem very appealing—that is, if your gym is still open. For those of you who don’t want to buy your own dumbbells (or simply can’t find a store that has them in stock), we’re here to help you make do with what you might already have at home.
A six-pack of 12-ounce cans of beer weighs about 5 pounds, which is perfect for novice lifters who love to crack open a cold one as a reward for working out. Other options for people who usually reach for 5-pound dumbbells include a full ream of printer paper, a bag of all-purpose flour, and a regular red brick.
Seasoned bench-pressers without an at-home gym set up in their garage might still find some useful equipment in there—a spare tire, for example, weighs about 25 pounds. And it’ll take you more than a little muscle to do a few reps with your treasured collection of hardcover Harry Potter books, which weighs 20 pounds. Speaking of books, the third edition of the Oxford American Dictionary comes in around 7 pounds, but you can always stack it with some other heavy volumes to hit your ideal lifting weight.
Pets can help you reach your exercise goals, too, if they have the right temperament. Your cat probably weighs around 10 pounds, and a grown male golden retriever is likely between 65 and 75 pounds. Are you wondering if this is a good excuse to adopt a pet? The answer is yes.
See our top 10 makeshift dumbbells below, and pick out a movie to watch while you lift here.
- A standard-sized brick // 4.2 pounds
- A six-pack of canned beer // 5 pounds
- A ream of printer paper // 5 pounds
- A bag of all-purpose flour // 5 pounds
- The Oxford American Dictionary, Third Edition // 7 pounds
- A gallon of milk // 8.6 pounds
- A cat // 10 pounds
- A bag of dry dog food // 15 pounds
- A hardcover box set of Harry Potter books // 20 pounds
- A new car tire // 25 pounds
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