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DIY Dumbbells

Woman lifting bong like a dumbbell
Does this count as working out?

If you are one of the millions of Americans looking for affordable dumbbells online, you’re probably striking out. Thanks to a combination of nationwide gym closures and the rise of at-home fitness, the country is facing a shortage of available weights and dumbells that is elongating typical ship times to 2 months or more! That can get a little frustrating when you want to get in shape now and not later. The majority of the USA’s weight manufacturers are located in China too, meaning that when the few dumbbell factories they have were shut down due to Coronavirus in early 2020, it caused American’s March - April orders to fall on deaf ears. Even as they play catch-up with backorders, quarantining imported goods have helped to cause this immense shipping delay.

Fortunately for our users, our workouts only recommend using 2lb weights to give your arm muscles that little extra push. We always want to let weights be optional in our workouts but sometimes you feel that the natural weight of your arms is not enough and a couple of extra pounds is pretty easy to find anywhere. That is why we wanted to fill you in on some at-home solutions that you can use to substitute for 1 to 3 lb weights while you wait for yours to arrive in the mail.

1. Can of Soup

If you’ve followed along with our workouts, we call this option out a lot. A store-bought soup in a tin can is probably in your pantry right now and it just so happens to be the perfect size for your hand. Not only that but the weight of the can is usually on the front label, making your soup selection much easier. Companies go by NET weight meaning, not including the weight of the metal can but you can simply add ~2 oz to figure out the GROSS(total) weight. This big Progresso can was almost 1 lb 5 oz whereas the smaller can of corn was about 1 lb.

2. Your Empty Bong

If you’re working out with us, chances are you’ve got a bong laying around. Bongs can vary in size and density(also fragility) so be sure to test out your grip on it before jumping into an intense workout. For our example, we grabbed our lovely Session bong, emptied it out, and removed the bowl-piece. It not only was a great shape to hold, but the tempered glass gave us a little more confidence that we weren’t going to break it. The empty Session was just over 1 lb, good for lighter workouts. This is a great option for when you only need a single weight unless you have two of the exact same bong.

3. Reusable Water Bottle

Over the past few years, reusable water bottles have been all the rage. Whether you are in it to save plastic, for the temperature-controlled water, or it was just a freebie from some brand's marketing event, chances are you’ve got a stainless-steel or aluminum water bottle in your cupboard. We pulled out our black, 17 fl oz, stainless-steel water bottle that you see in all of our workout videos. Empty, the bottle was less than a pound but when we filled it up it got to a delightful 1.5 lb, perfect for any of our workouts. With the screw-on lid, a water bottle is a great choice for a modifiable weight that doubles as a rehydration station.

4. Fresh Fruits or Veggies

Not just for eating anymore! The kitchen seems to have all the best things that weigh only a couple of pounds. Fruits and veggies should be making an appearance in your kitchen, but why not on the mat? We grabbed a bunch of 5 bananas to use as a weight, which ended up being exactly 2 lbs! Grab five more and you’re lifting weight like there was never a dumbbell shortage to begin with. Bananas aren’t the only answer either, if you’ve got a bag of apples or a small sack of potatoes, those can work just as well. Make sure to know the full weight before using any larger fruits/vegetables. Try weighing out a few options next time you’re at the supermarket, they’ve got scales waiting for you.

5. Softback Books

Lighter than a hardcover and they won’t break your toe if you drop one. We experimented with using some old books as weights and we found that about 5 to 6 small, softback books were a comfortable size to hold and gave us a total weight of 2 lbs. You may have a single, heavier book to use which is great too, just try to not use overly wide softbacks, which can get awkwardly floppy or oversized hardbacks that may be a little more strenuous to grip.

6. Wine Bottles

You might not be a drinker but chances are you have a big glass bottle of something ready to be shaken around to benefit your fitness. We had a bottle of white wine in close reach and when we weighed it out it came to exactly 2 lb 12 oz. That’s only 4 oz short of a 3 lb weight so this option will give you even more oomph to your arm workout. We weighed a bottle of red next and got the same weight. So whether it’s alcohol or mineral water, as long as you have 2 similar bottles, you’re ready to go.

We hope these tips can help you add some weight to your workouts. Our community of cannabis users is filled with ingenuity and clever ideas when it comes to creating DIY smoking devices or workout equipment. If you have used something out of the ordinary to workout with, we want to know! Tell us all about it on Instagram. Only the strangest ideas will get the response, “how high were you when you thought of this?”


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