Weights and dumbbells are latest coronavirus-fueled shortage: Here's what to use instead

'We have been slammed and have been working hard to get items back in stock'

Buying dumbbells and weights is becoming more of a heavy lift.

Weights are becoming increasingly harder to find — with some back-ordered until the fall — as more people bulk up on home gym equipment as the world spends more time at home during the coronavirus pandemic.

Dumbbells and weights are back ordered on websites and fitness retailers across the country during the coronavirus. (iStock). 

Rogue Fitness, a company that sells kettlebells and weightlifting gear, says it's been selling out of products “within minutes of release,” according to its website, where equipment can cost anywhere from $50 to up to $400 for cast-weight vest plates, pull-up stations and barbells for deadlifts.

“We have been slammed and have been working hard to get items back in stock. We are releasing products daily as they become available, however, most items are selling out within minutes of release,” Rogue Fitness says on its website, advising weightlifters to sign up on each product page to be notified when items become available.

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And big-box retailers like Modell's and Dick’s Sporting Goods also have a low inventory for weights, while weight options on Amazon may not ship until September.


Like coins, desks, pepperoni, hand sanitizer and swimming pools, weights are just the latest item in short supply as a result of supply chain issues spurred from the ongoing pandemic. Dumbbell sales between March and April have increased a whopping 1,980% this year compared to the same time period in 2019, according to eBay sales data, and weight plate sales have surged by 1,355% during the same time period.

What’s more, iron weights and plates sold on eBay are being marked up for hundreds of dollars. A 45-pound pair of weight plates are being sold for as much as $325 on the platform, while a set of two on Amazon cost $129 but are temporarily out of stock, according to the website.

Gym owners have also been hounded by clients asking them to loan out weights while they wait for shipments.

“I had a request from people asking if they could rent them,” Oscar Smith, a New York City-based celebrity personal trainer who has worked with athletes like Tom Brady, told FOX Business. “There are so many workouts you can do just with a set of dumbbells — curls, triceps extensions — and you don’t need an entire rack of weights to do them.”


Smith says at-home weightlifters could consider investing in three different types of weights: warm-up, medium and heavyweights. For those looking to build strength, that could be 10-pound, 15-pound or up to 45-pound dumbbells. Others looking to stay toned without getting bulky could consider 5-, 10-, 15- or 20-pound weights. But a faster alternative than waiting for weight deliveries on the backlog is picking up a few items around the house or even at the grocery store.

Smith suggests water gallon jugs for a lighter lift, and items like a plant-soil bag or even a bulk-size bag of dog food, which can weigh anywhere between 20 to 55 pounds.


While gyms reopen around the country, a number of Americans may continue to work out from home. TD Ameritrade surveyed Americans for its lifestyle and finances report and found that 59% of respondents said they won’t renew their gym memberships even once the coronavirus pandemic is over.