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Heavy old hexagonal dumbbells and buckets of cat litter

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I have some of those hexagonal dumbbells at home. You know, the fixed weight, solid metal ones you can buy at most sporting goods store.


Why do they feel heavier than ones of equal weight at the gym?


I go to 24 hour fitness, and they have those nice black rubber-coated fixed weight dumbbells. The 30 and 40 pound dumbbells at the gym seem really light compared to my old steel ones at home.


Also, I buy these big plastic buckets of cat litter at the store. The weight on the side of the bucket says 27 pounds. Well, when I pick up the bucket, it feels really heavy as I lift it into the cart. I'm thinking, at the gym I routinely grab 50 or 60 pound dumbbells, and they actually feel lighter.


Does this have to do with the mass of the object? The bucket of sand, and my old steel dumbbells, are physically bigger than the dumbbells at the gym, so they feel heavier?


Any students of Newton's laws want to answer this.

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I don't know the true explanation, but I do experience the same thing. At one gym I go to, everything seems considerably lighter than at the other, where both have like-new condition rubber coated plates that should be quite accurately calibrated. Everything at the "heavy" gym feels 5-10% greater in weight, even though it should be exactly the same. No idea what causes this, but I have felt it with dumbbells as well as barbell setups. Machines will always be different since varying factors in the pulley system can have a great impact on the actual amount of force needed to move a weight (one gym I go to has a stack of 180 lbs. on the pulley/cable system that feels the same as 100 lbs. at the "heavy" gym), but when you're thinking DBs and barbells, 50 lbs. SHOULD feel like 50 lbs. anywere you go, but that isn't always the case. Weird stuff.

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Yar, I got those old hexagonal dumbells too! They feel so heavy! Lol.


I wonder if it's a psychological thing.. Those dumbells seem heavier because they look more solid, whereas the ones covered in rubber look softer.. And that tricks the mind into thinking it's lighter.


Just a speculation.

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Same here. My gym has a few different types of dumbbells/weight plates.


The lightest DBs to me are the ones with rubber coating. Same with the rubber coated weight plates. The "regular" dumbbells feel "regular" and there are other non-coated dumbbells (different look) that feel heavier than the "regular" ones. I don't understand it one bit. Although they all feel different, I think I get the same reps no matter what.

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The solid hexagon ones at the gym are probably exactly 50 lbs


Your ones at home may have 50 lbs on them, but the handles weigh 5lbs on their own?


My barbell at home weighs a hefty 8lbs, & the dumbells weigh around 1.5.


It shouldnt make a huge difference, but it might explain...


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