CAP Barbell 150-Pound Dumbbell Set Review (2024): Budget-Friendly for Fitness Newbies


Looking to add dumbbells to your home gym but on a tight budget? The CAP Barbell 150-pound dumbbell set might be the perfect fit. This review dives deep into our testing experience, highlighting the set’s strengths, weaknesses, and who it caters to best.

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Introducing the CAP Barbell 150-Pound Dumbbell Set

CAP Barbell is a popular brand, especially for budget-conscious home gym enthusiasts. They don’t sell directly to consumers, but you’ll find their equipment on sites like Amazon and Walmart. This particular set offers five weight increments: 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25 pounds. It also includes a space-saving A-frame rack for storage – a major plus!

Is It Worth the Sweat?

woman working out cap barbell

Reasons to Lift with This Set:

  • Budget-Friendly: At under $200, this set boasts a price tag of roughly $1 per pound, which is fantastic considering the included rack. For comparison, similar weight sets from Rogue, REP, or Titan can range from $280 to $400 (without shipping!).
  • Perfect for Beginners: The weight range (up to 25 pounds) makes it ideal for those new to strength training.
  • Versatile Movements: Perform a variety of upper-body exercises like presses, curls, and raises, or target your lower body with squats, lunges, and deadlifts (as long as the weight feels appropriate).
  • Durable Design: The rubber-coated hex dumbbells protect both the weights themselves and your floor in case of accidental drops.

Who Might Want to Look Elsewhere:

  • Experienced Lifters: If you regularly use weights exceeding 25 pounds, this set won’t provide enough challenge for progressive overload.
  • Adjustable Dumbbell Seekers: Craving more weight options? Consider adjustable dumbbells for greater versatility.
  • Straight Handle Enthusiasts: This set features ergonomic handles that taper towards the dumbbell heads. Some lifters prefer a straight handle with a consistent diameter throughout.

A Lifter’s Experience: Putting the CAP Barbell Set to the Test

Our tester, Lindsay, focused on upper-body movements like presses, curls, and raises. “The 25-pound weight being the heaviest makes it ideal for beginners,” she noted. While she primarily targeted her upper body, the set can be used for various lower-body exercises as well.

Durability was also assessed. Lindsay dropped the 5-pound and 25-pound dumbbells from various heights (knee, waist, shoulder, and overhead) and reported no damage. However, she advises against dropping them from overhead heights due to potential injury or equipment damage (those weights bounced high!). Overall, the set earned a 4 out of 5 stars for workout performance. While the dumbbells functioned well, the grip, knurling, and overall durability led to a slight point deduction.

Footprint Friendly: The CAP Barbell Rack

The A-frame rack is a space saver, storing all five dumbbell pairs in less than 2 square feet with a height of 26 inches. The design conveniently organizes the weights from lightest on top to heaviest on the bottom.

Material Matters: Durability and Construction

Cast iron dumbbells are generally considered the most durable option, but this set utilizes rubber-coated hex dumbbells. This protects the heads and your floor during accidental drops. However, the heads themselves are made from gray iron, known for less tensile strength (resistance to stress before breaking). The handles, on the other hand, are crafted from solid cold-rolled steel.

While Lindsay observed no wear after her drop tests, she recommends caution and avoiding such practices at home. The set received a 3.5 out of 5 stars for durability.

Knurling: Finding Your Grip

This set features a knurling pattern concentrated around the handle’s center. It consists of a steel ring, flanked by knurling on either side, transitioning to smooth steel towards the dumbbell head. While advertised as a medium depth knurling, Lindsay found it to be somewhat passive. The two small outer knurling rings offered a slightly more aggressive grip. Overall, knurling earned a 3.5 out of 5 stars.

“I prefer a more substantial knurl,” Lindsay admitted. “However, the passive knurling offers decent grip and allows for explosive movements like dumbbell snatches or cleans. Plus, chalk can always be used to enhance grip security.”

Handle Comfort: Ergonomic Efficiency

The CAP Barbell set boasts ergonomic handles that taper towards the dumbbell heads. Lindsay appreciated this design, noting it felt natural in her hands. Additionally, there’s ample space between the heads to accommodate various hand sizes. The ergonomic design and neutral grip were praised for pushing and pulling movements, earning the handles a 4 out of 5 star rating. It lost a half point because some gym person (like myself!), favor straight handles with a uniform diameter throughout.

Final Verdict: Is the CAP Barbell Set Right for You?

The CAP Barbell 150-pound dumbbell set shines as an excellent choice for beginners. The weight range is ideal for those new to strength training, and the included A-frame rack keeps your home gym organized. The budget-friendly price tag makes it an attractive option for cost-conscious fitness enthusiasts.

However, if you’re a seasoned lifter seeking heavier weights for progressive overload, this set might not be enough. Adjustable dumbbells or sets with a higher weight range would be better suited for your needs. Similarly, lifters who strongly prefer straight handles might find the ergonomic design of this set less than ideal.

Overall, the CAP Barbell 150-pound dumbbell set offers exceptional value for beginners. It provides a solid foundation for building strength at home without breaking the bank. Just remember, consider your experience level, preferred grip style, and future weightlifting goals before bringing this set into your fitness journey.

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