According to a survey conducted by the Fitness Equipment Industry Association, between 2016 and 2019, 95% of dumbbells in the world were made by Chinese dumbbell manufacturers. Almost 100% of high-end and mid-end dumbbells come from China.

Market popularity of dumbbells and fitness equipment

Have you ever noticed that it is now extremely difficult to get dumbbells of all weights in the United States? They are out of stock nearly everywhere, and it seems that people’s demand towards this fitness equipment is soaring up especially amid the current pandemic situation.

At present purchasing a popular dumbbell set is like ordering one ticket of NBA Finals — they are both hard to obtain with a slim chance.

Like other fitness equipment such as yoga mats, dumbbells become increasingly welcomed during the pandemic period and are extraordinarily difficult to find. Restrained by the terrifying virus, people spend less time going out and more time staying at home. Some find it dangerous to go to the gym and decide to exercise at home while others find themselves put on weight and try to lose weight through work-out indoors. Therefore, sellers of dumbbells receive a tremendous number of orders in an extremely short period of time, resulting in the shortage of dumbbells.

Some Americans have never used dumbbells before yet followed others blindly as everyone were rushing to get them. This inevitably leads to another problem—the lack of knowledge about dumbbells. There are mainly seven types of dumbbells in terms of the material and process, so if you just purchase them without thinking, these fitness equipment may not be conducive to building up your muscles or losing weight. Besides, some dumbbells are sold at a comparatively high price (up to $200), which means you may waste extra money on an improper gym equipment.

custom dumbbells

Current status of dumbbell manufacturing industry

 There are no dumbbells that are manufactured in the United States, instead, almost all of the dumbbells and other small fitness equipment are produced in China. Also, if you take a look at the daily necessities at your local shops, you will find that nearly all of them are labeled “Made in China”. Compared with the United States, China has abundant resource, material and low-cost labour. After years of development and accumulation, dumbbell manufacturers in China have greatly improved the process, quality and technology of production, and are capable of offering foreign customers dumbbells of all kinds with low price in bulk. In addition, the convenient transportation by sea also obviates the need for home-made fitness equipment in the United States.

It is expected that China together with its strong and powerful manufacturers will continue to ship high quality products to the United States within acceptable shipping time. However, the outbreak of covid-19 messed up the set routine. As you have known, the covid-19 that suddenly hit Wuhan, China swept the whole country in a short period of time, breaking down many Chinese industries and means of transportation. Facing this national disaster, many shipping lines raised their rates or even cut off the lucrative business connection. Under this circumstance, the originally normal supply chain was broken and there was only a small part of products delivered to the United States.

Chinese dumbbells took account 95% of the world’ total and since the restrict lockdown was carried out in China, the manufacturing supply chains were severely affected. Even the raised price of American buyers could not work. So when Americans set off the wave of buying dumbbells, the products had already been sold out.

What’s worse, even when the dumbbells arrived at ports of the United States, these products had to wait for quarantine and operators’ social distancing, further stretching the lead time. It seems that these dumbbells have went through a tiring circumnavigation.

Many American and European people vied with each other buying daily necessities in stock due to the shortage of supply, which in turn intensified people’s fear of an abnormal life. Sadly, the pandemic also crushed American companies dealing with foreign trade. And their business became much more fragile and less profitable. In the meantime, many American fitness dealers were exerting all their efforts only to find new Chinese suppliers. All these factors together crumbled the supply chain.

wholesale dumbbells

The Soaring Demand

The dumbbell crisis of the United States is the result of the joint force imposed by both the broken supply chain and the domestic soaring demand. A major fitness company (hereinafter referred to as Fitness Company) in U.S. and surprisingly found that in May, 2020 the sales of dumbbells were 500% higher than that of the previous year, reaching a staggering record high. In addition, sales reports released by other major fitness corporations also indicted the same result that American people were thirsty for exercising tools such as yoga mats and dumbbells.

The upsurging demand did not occur from nowhere. Actually, it can be deduced after a deep pondering. Before the advent of the pandemic, most Americans regularly exercised themselves in gyms where they could be exposed to a spectrum of fitness equipment. However, the covid-19 brought most of the gyms down, and people had to do work-outs at home as a result. It was predictable that many of them had no professional fitness tools at home and had to buy some from the local shops/online markets. After the voluntary lockdown of Chinese countries and ports, Fitness Company and other major dumbbell brands were confronted with extreme spikes in orders.

Speck has established long-term strategic cooperation with some American companies and managed to meet requirements of them during the pandemic period, so companies we have been working with were able to make their business last and lucrative. Besides, Speck has been dedicated to teaching beginners how to choose and use dumbbells, expect at popularizing knowledge about dumbbells and other fitness tools.

The Unreasonable Choice

 When it comes to buying domestic fitness equipment, people would always search for some cheap and small ones such as dumbbells and yoga mats. They would seldom buy large scale babies such as treadmills and rowing machines initially. And, it was often the case that during the pandemic period exercisers bought solid dumbbells (of fixed weight) at the very beginning. However, after people were accustomed to the weight and wanted a heavier dumbbell, they eventually figured it out that they should buy an adjustable dumbbell set to avoid unnecessary spending. In their own words, “I never thought how strong I could be!”

We interviewed several people exercising from home about their choices for dumbbells, and the following is their answers:

“I didn’t know which one was good actually, nor did I know which one was suitable for me. One of my neighbor bought a heavy electroplated dumbbell and I just followed him. That was definitely a mistake because I later found that one was too heavy for me to lift. So I eventually got a lighter plastic-dipped dumbbell. I could have saved my money if I had received professional guidance on the choice of dumbbells.” — From Anna

“I didn’t think the pandemic will survive for a long time so I bought a pair of inferior rubber-coated dumbbells, which were broken soon after I bought them. I then stopped exercising at home for a while and waited for the end of the pandemic so that I could go to the gym. You know the results, the pandemic didn’t disappear and when I decided to purchase a good quality wood steel dumbbell set, there was none in the market.” — From Roy

“Actually, I didn’t know which dumbbell suits me at first, but luckily I consulted a dumbbell manufacturer from China who taught me in detail the knowledge about various dumbbells. So after hearing their introductions and suggestions, I then ordered adjustable dumbbell sets for my family and friends. I have to say that the adjustable function is really good and practical, and even my 7-year-old boy can do work-outs with the lightest weight.”  — From Tracy

adjustable dumbbells

Future Expectations

WHO has pointed out that wearing a mask is an indispensable measure to protect people from virus. And it is advisable for everyone to go out wearing one. As for fitness exercise, people will never enjoy building up their muscles with annoying masks in the gym, which is hot, inconvenient, and even more tiring. So, they will undoubtedly choose to exercise at home with all kinds of fitness equipment. That’s also an once-and-for-all option as they don’t have to pay for gym fees any more and can use their domestic equipment from home for good.

Dumbbell manufacturers have gradually adapted to the surge in demand for dumbbells and adjusted the output of dumbbells. By 2022, the global price of dumbbells will gradually fall, and supply and demand will achieve a preliminary balance.

As the old saying goes, “opportunity waits for no man.” If you love dumbbells and long for professional guidance or if you are a native buyer, you can contact us Speck and we promise to offer you the best products & services. Just seize the precious opportunity and let’s weather and tide over “the dumbbell crisis” together.

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As a leading yoga mat manufacturer, Speck Group focuses on innovation, quality, simplicity, and sustainability.