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I've recently bought some spinlock dumbbells and a spinlock bar so that I can perform my weights routine at home. My workout involves increasing the weight between sets of the same exercise and I'm finding that the amount of time it takes to change weights using the spinlock bar discourages me from completing my exercises. Can anyone give me some advice on how I can hack my equipment so that I can change weights quicker?

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Unfortunately, spinlocks are what they are. When you don't change the weights on the dumbbells often, they are a great choice. However, when you change between sets or for different exercises it becomes a pain. That reason alone is why most gyms have a large selection of fixed weight dumbbells (also to get more people using the gym by helping you be quicker about your workout).

You have some choices:

  • Get some more spinlock bars so that once you are set up for your session, you just change the set of dumbbells you are using.
  • Get those fancy dumbbells that let you dial in the weight you want. I've heard mixed reviews about these things, and they are expensive.
  • Get a dumbbell set like gyms have. It's more equipment, but you'll never have to do another spinlock again.

There are some loadable dumbbells where you have a compression collar to keep the weights in place. However, this doesn't necessarily make things better because it is trading one problem for another. In order to keep the collars small, they have a screw that you tighten to keep the collar in place. Believe it or not, spinlocks are an improvement and a quicker change than those.

I'm not aware of any compression collars with a quick release like you can find on Olympic barbells that are small enough to work with most dumbbells. Part of the challenge is the threads on the spinlock dumbbell reduce the friction that the quick release collars depend on. If you know a machinist, they might be able to create something for you, but most people don't have that kind of resource.

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