One Man’s Junk Is Another Man’s Treasure

My brother-in-law called me up today to let me know that someone had thrown away several dumbbells. They were thrown in a dumpster behind his store. I thought it sounded too good to be true, but decided to check it out on my way home this evening. I took a peak inside and was shocked to see several hundred pounds of quality dumbbells. Sure, one or two had a little rust, but nothing that some WD-40 wasn’t able to clean up (cleaned after I took the picture above).

I’m certainly not a garbage picker, but I’ll take on the title if it means finding two 85 pound dumbbells, two 95 pounders, one 100 pounder, one 105 pounder, one 110 pounder, and one 150 pounder! These will make a nice addition to the gym. With a little paint, they’ll look brand new.

Now, as for the reason behind this blog entry, I’m not really sure. I’m just stoked about finding these weights.

As many of you know, I’ve always been a big fan of homemade equipment whenever possible. In addition to homemade equipment however, you’d be shocked at what you can find locally by reading through the classifieds (local and online). I see full weight sets ALL the time, that people are literally willing to give away if you come and pick them up. A buddy of mine just picked up a 300 pound Olympic weight AND bench for $50. He found the set at the online classifieds site Craig’s List. The equipment could pass as brand new. A college kid was moving out and couldn’t take the weights with him.

I guess the old saying is true. One man’s junk is another man’s treasure!

Have a great weekend,




  1. Great find…folks just don’t care for their unused lifting equipment sometimes, and it boggles the mind. I got a “fancy” home gym that retails for ~$2,500 (in like new condition, all the trimmings) for $300 a few months ago- owners just wanted it gone! I found a great set of 35 lbs. dumbells by the dumpster myself a few years ago. And you are right about the weight sets…some folks will gladly just give ’em away!

    Again, great find!

  2. Way to go Ross..!
    My neighbor moved a few months ago and gave me around 200 lbs of Olympic plates with bar. Also, he threw in a squat cage..! I do most of my workouts with dumbbells so I’m little envious at your find…!

  3. Good find. 🙂 Another great place to look is Freecycle:

    It’s a free group of online mailing for different areas in which people list and ask for stuff that they’d usually be throwing away.

    Like this is the second summer in this house and there was a group of hosta plants that we just didn’t like. We posted about them and several people were willing to come and dig them up and take them away. Another time, we asked if people had any old air popcorn poppers and several did and we’re still using the one we got.

    Between things like ebay and craigslist for stuff you want to sell and freecycle for stuff you just want to get rid of, I think there’s little excuse to throw away much of anything anymore. If you live in a decently populated area, there’s always going to be at least one person who wants the stuff.

    And yeah.. many people have exercise equipment just gathering dust, so that’s always a good possibility of finding something..

  4. Another hint, if you live near a nice University and they are building new athletic/recreational weightrooms, be sure to contact them and see what they are doing with their old dumbbells. A fellow athlete and I salvaged two sets of dumbbells up to 110 at Penn State for a measly 90 bucks. The sets are high quality and will last a long time. Also, nice work Ross.

  5. I totally agree, you can find all sorts of gnarley things in dumpsters, seeing as I just moved from my apartment and put a whole bunch of goodies outside, someone picked them all up for me, and saved the garbage service some trouble.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *