What weight dumbbells should I use to tone my arms?

Who does not like to show off when they have toned arms? They are a reflection of your hard work. Well, smart work always yields smart results, and the same goes for toning your arms.

Just grabbing any dumbbell ain’t gonna help you because if you don’t create enough challenge, the muscle definition of your arm or the toned arms won’t show up. But, when it comes to toning your arms, there’s no one definitive answer as to what weight dumbbells you should use.

However, you can start with a 2-3 pounds dumbbell and gradually increase the weight of dumbbells up to 5-10 pounds considering your personal strength and fitness level.

So whether you’re just starting out or you’re looking for something new, read on for some helpful advice.

What’s the meaning of toning your arms?

I know you have always had the urge to know or recently want to know the perfect dumbbell weight for toning. We are getting there in detail but first, get to know a bit what tone is all about.

Basically, tone means that you have a certain amount of muscles in your arms and a lower ratio of fat which makes the muscles of your arms visible and look more defined.

It does not matter if you have huge arms but if it’s covered under the arm fat then it won’t look good rather it would look more fatty. If you want to have toned arms, you can follow the three different ways given below..

  1. Burn out all the fat which is covering your arm muscles
  2. You can build more muscle so that your arms muscle become more clear & visible
  3. Do a mixture of both 1& 2.

Which muscles need to be targeted to tone your arms?

Even before hitting the gym or making the decision to tone your arms, you must have heard about biceps and triceps at some point in your life.

These two muscles are the key muscles of your arms. Focusing on them & working on them by following some proper techniques you can expect to have an ultra-tone arm.

What dumbbell weight should you use for your biceps?

Any average size male beginner can start with 4 to 20 lbs of dumbbells to create an ample amount of resistance to their biceps muscles. While a normal female beginner requires 3 lbs to 12lbs.

The weight of the dumbbell will depend on the weight of the users & what weight really creates resistance to their body.  Because a high weight user will find a 10lbs dumbbells easy to lift while a low weight user will find it a bit tough though both are beginners.

Hopefully, these dumbbell weight ranges will help the user to carry on biceps exercises with 10-15 reps while maintaining enough intensity to build the arm muscle and tone both.

In the following, I am adding a table where you will see the amount of weight that should be lifted by beginners during their bicep curl exercise.

Bodyweight10-Rep Bicep Curl Weight12- Rep Bicep Curl Weight15- Rep Bicep Curl Weight
90lbs (female)4lbs3lbs3lbs
120lbs (female)5lbs4lbs3lbs
150lbs (female)6lbs5lbs3lbs
200lbs (female)12lbs8lbs6lbs

What dumbbell weight should you use for triceps?

As I mentioned before, more or less an average male beginner can start with 5 to 20lbs dumbbells to generate enough resistance for the triceps. For females, 3 to 12 lbs would be okay to put enough challenge on the tricep muscle.

For your workout convenience, I am adding another table that you can follow during tricep workouts.

Bodyweight10-Rep Dumbbell Tricep Extension12- Rep Dumbbell Tricep Extension15- Rep Dumbbell Tricep Extension
90lbs (female)4lbs3lbs2lbs
120lbs (female)6lbs4lbs3lbs
150lbs (female)8lbs5lbs3lbs
200lbs (female)10lbs8lbs5lbs

Different Types Of Arm Exercise For Using Heavy Dumbbells For Toned Arm

The whole arm of your body is consist of a set of muscles all of which need to be tone up. For example, the biceps muscle includes biceps brachii long head, short head plus brachialis.

The whole triceps is consist of long, lateral, etc.

By this time you already know enough about the importance of lighting heavy dumbbells to get better results.

Here in the following table, I am adding a list of exercises for the whole biceps & triceps workout you can do it with the same weight & repetition mentioned in the upper table.

Biceps ExercisesTriceps Exercises
Standard bicep curlOverhead dumbbell tricep extension
Spider CurlLying dumbbell tricep extension
Concentration CurlTriceps kickback
OverheadDumbbell-weighted bench dips
Incline dumbbell curlDumbbell skull crusher

Myth Buster: Lifting lighter weight will not tone your muscles

If you keep lifting lightweight dumbells with a higher amount of reps then it will increase your muscular endurance.

However, the case of lifting heavy weight for lower reps will increase your overall strength.

Why should you choose a heavier dumbbell to tone your arms?

Heavyweight dumbbells are more effective for toning your arms and the reasons are the following:

1. Muscle fatigue will give you result

Generally, you can build muscle with both heavy or lightweight dumbbells but here the crucial point is to make your muscle fatigued.

If your arm muscles are not getting enough resistance or challenge then instead of muscle fatigue you will end up having muscle failure.

According to a study, muscle fatigue has to take place within the first 1-2 sets which can be consist of 8-16 reps. Another expert also mentioned that muscle fatigue has to set in within the first 1 & ½ minutes from the beginning of the exercise.

Sadly, it is not possible to reach muscle fatigue within such a short time without the use of heavy dumbbells.

One of the amazing ways to know is if your muscle does not become tired simply add more weight even if it crosses the standard weight mentioned in the table.

2. Heavyweight will kill the wibbly fat

I hope you still have this in your mind as I mentioned earlier that to tone up your arms you have to do lifting with heavier dumbbells.

Unfortunately, a lot of health-conscious people even think that cardio is a top-notch way to lose fat fast. But in reality, multiple studies show that cardio can help very little in losing weight. One of the major downsides of cardio is that it does not have any after-burn effect.

On the opposite, heavyweight causes a physical condition after a workout which is known as Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC). This means your body will keep burning fat plus calories with an aim to repair the muscle tissues of your arms.

Besides, many studies found that heavy weight lifting helps to burn calories even after 38 hours of your workout time, which is great!

3. Lifting heavy dumbbells is an efficient workout for a toned arm

Every busy individual’s schedule demands that certain tasks be completed at specific times. From that perspective, lifting heavy dumbbells is more efficient as it gives you a better result in a short period of workout time.

You will notice guys out there staying at the gym for a long time and no improvement at all. This happens due to the less challenge or resistance on their muscle.

A premium workout plan to hit ultra-level toned arms

As long as your main target is to make an arm that has proper tone. If you want an arm that people can look for quite a distance and detect each and every muscle clearly then the following plan might help you a lot.

  1. Hit the gym at least three times weekly. Remember you have to do it consistently without skipping. Train arm exercise which includes both biceps, triceps & other arms exercises.
  2. Try to set a target of at least 4 sets. If not possible due to too much muscle fatigue then 3 sets with 10-15 repetitions with the variation of weight.
  3. If you feel like you are not getting enough challenge from the dumbbells then simply add more weight & go to the next level.

Final Words

As far as selecting dumbbell weights goes, I tried to show you how to choose the right weight that will offer you the greatest benefits for muscle toning.

The main trick is to lift enough heavy dumbbells to give a shock to your muscles for muscle fatigue. You have already got a brief idea about how to start as a beginner and hit the goal.

Hopefully, I was able to answer the question – “what weight dumbbells should I use to tone my arms?”. Wasn’t I? Please don’t hesitate to ask any questions or give some arm toning in the comment section. Good luck!

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