Are 25 Pound Dumbbells Heavy?

During the first couple of weeks of your fitness journey, choosing the right amount of weight that’s heavy enough to promote muscle growth can be quite challenging sometimes. Even experienced weight lifters struggle sometimes to choose the right time to upgrade their weights. And sometimes, the amount of weight that you can choose is limited maybe due to the fact that you don’t have the possibility to join a gym so you’re stuck with only one set of dumbbells and you’re not sure if they’re enough to see any progress. With that being said, are 25-pound dumbbells heavy? And can they build your muscles? 

It all depends on your current strength levels. If you’re a beginner weight lifter, then 25 pounds dumbbells are definitely heavy enough. If you’re an experienced one, you’ll eventually become too strong for that set amount of weight which will limit your muscle growth. 

In this article, we’ll talk more in-depth about if 25-pound dumbbells are heavy, when they could be considered that way, and whether or not they can build muscles.

Are 25 Pound Dumbbells Heavy?

guy lifting 25 pound dumbbells

As I mentioned in the beginning, whether or not a set amount of dumbbells are heavy enough all depends on your current strength levels. So in order to answer this question correctly, we’ll need to divide this section into 3 parts:

For Beginner Weight Lifters

If you’re a beginner weight lifter, meaning that it’s only been a couple of weeks or months since you started your fitness journey, then 25-pound dumbbells are definitely heavy and going to be a challenge for you. As a matter of fact, especially if you’re just starting weight lifting, that set amount of dumbbells may be too heavy for you and you should stick with lighter ones since dumbbells are the hardest out of all the types of fitness equipment but they’re a great foundation and introduction to weight lifting. Now I know what you’re thinking: “How do I know if I’m no longer a beginner and should upgrade my weights?”. The best way to know the right time to increase the weight of your dumbbells is if you can easily do more than 15 repetitions of an exercise using them.

For Experienced Weight Lifters

As an experienced weight lifter, meaning that you’ve been in the game for more than a year, 25-pound dumbbells will no longer be as challenging as they used to and you’ll be able to perform more than 15 repetitions using them with ease. In this case, it’s probably the right time to increase the weight of your dumbbells and focus on lifting heavier ones in order to train efficiently and promote muscle growth. 

However, I understand that some people don’t have this possibility. Whether your local gym is too far or its subscription is too expensive, chances are you’re probably training at home and you’re limited only to 25-pound dumbbells. In this case, you should focus on creating challenges that can increase the difficulty of your lifts even by using the same set of dumbbells. Be as creative as possible! Here are some ideas:

  • Change the repetitions and the frequency of your lifts
  • Find different more challenging ways of moving the weight
  • Stop and hold the weight at specific times to add tension
  • Work until failure
  • Focus on supersets
  • Keep perfect form
  • Slow down your movements
  • Consider adding bodyweight exercises to your workout routine and use those dumbbells as finishers
  • Add more resistance by using resistance bands

There are several ideas that can make your lifts challenging and feel heavy even if you use 25-pound dumbbells. Don’t limit yourself to the basic way of training and you’ll eventually see muscle growth even using lighter dumbbells.

Can 25 Pound Dumbbells Build Muscles?

guy lifting heavy 25 pound dumbbells

Just like I mentioned in the beginning, 25-pound dumbbells are considered heavy for beginners and light for experienced lifters, and this applies to muscle building as well. As we all know, one of the best and fastest ways to grow your muscles is by putting them under tension using heavy weights. Do you know that little squeeze that you feel at the end of your last repetition while lifting something heavy? That’s the secret sauce of building and growing your muscles. 

If you can feel that squeeze using 25-pound dumbbells, then they can definitely do the job and achieve hypertrophy. If you’re able to do several repetitions with this set of dumbbells without feeling anything, then you’re probably not gonna see much growth. But then again, as I mentioned earlier, there are still some ways to increase the difficulty of the lifts and most of those methods will help you feel that squeeze and tension which is essential for building muscles.

However, according to research done by McMaster University, lifting light weights is just as good as lifting heavy weights when it comes to building muscles and getting stronger.  The key, in this case, is to constantly work to the point of fatigue which is the alternative to the squeeze effect. For example, if you’re doing bicep curls, don’t stop or count your repetitions until you can’t do anymore and you feel fatigued.

So even if you find 25-pound dumbbells easy to lift, there is a possibility that you can still see muscle growth if you perform exercises till failure. And this doesn’t only apply to 25-pound dumbbells but also 20 pounds, 35 pounds, and pretty much all the light weights as long as it sets a little challenge for you.


As you can see, even 25-pound dumbbells can be considered heavy if you follow the right approach. If you’re a beginner, then it’s the perfect amount of weight that can be challenging for you and be a solid foundation for the heavier weights to come. And if you’re a more experienced lifter, there is also a chance that it can promote muscle growth according to recent research as long as you reach failure with all your exercises. But you can also increase the difficulty using adding variations to your lift, increasing frequency, keeping perfect form, and pretty much all the methods that you can think of that will set a challenge for you. 

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