I'm just starting strength training and wanted to get a pair of dumbbells. What is a good weight for a beginner? The ones I have been looking at come in either 2x 2.4lbs (1.1kg each) or 2x 4.9lbs (2.25kg each). Any thoughts?
If you are doing a range of exercises, you are going to need a range of weights. I'd suggest starting with an adjustable dumbbell (you can get a pair that goes up to 20lb each for about $50 at a sporting goods store). It'll be a lot cheaper than getting individual dumbbells.
And there are very few exercises that even a beginner would benefit from 2.5lb weights. If you can do more than 12 reps with a weight doing a compound exercise (uses more than one joint), it's too light. Most of us have purses heavier than 2.5 lb. And if you've ever picked up a load of laundry, you've deadlifted more than 2.5 lb.
ETA: And good for you for starting to do strength training - it's awesome! ;)
I am a beginner to strength training as well... and I cannot believe I have stayed away for so long. It's incredible.
I am starting with 10 lbs and I find that a perfect weight for me at this time. With certain exercises I have to use a much lower weight.
I bought 2 adjustable dumbells up to 20kg total, so if even it's 10kg each (so about 20lbs). Some exercises I can only do with 3 kg, some I can do with 10, some with 5. I'm very happy with them since one weight does not fit all exercises!