“ Brand: John Lewis / Type: Dumbell / Weights „
It's now been about 10 months since I had my baby boy and I can no longer use the excuse of, I've just had a baby," for the reason why I am carrying a few extra pounds. I found that I was doing quite well with my weigh loss whilst I was breastfeeding as this burns a lot of extra calories but once I stopped this at around six months my weight sort of plateaued. I vowed then to get in shape and most of all tone up as I am kind of ok with my actual weight, it's all these new round squishy parts I have that I want to shape and sculpt.
One of my problem areas is my arms. I don't quite have bingo wings yet but I wanted to tone them up and give them a bit more definition so I can wear sleeveless tops during the summer. I have used hand weights quite a lot in the past at the gym and knew I had quite a good repertoire of exercises that would help to tone up my arms so I decided to buy a set of weights for my house as I can no longer get to the gym with two children at home at the moment.
Our local John Lewis has a really good sports section and it's here that they had a really nice selection of weights.
According to John Lewis in their marketing of these weights, "Using hand weights can increase your flexibility, build muscle mass, andhelp in losing weight. You can add a little resistance to your cardio workout by carrying hand weights which will increase the number of calories you burn.
For example, carrying hand weights while walking allows you to work your upper body more than standard walking. Moving the weights will recruit muscles in your lower body as well as your upper body, increasing the intensity of your workout and the amount of calories burned per minute."
Yes, ok, I'll admit it, I was drawn to these weights because they were quite girly looking and pretty and not scary looking like proper metal dunbells. The weights are in sort of a bone shape with a thin bit in the middle and then thicker bits on each end. This makes them really easy to grab hold of and keep hold of when you have them in a lift. They are also made of quite a nice material that is non-slip and again, easy to grab hold of so I find these weights really comfortable to hold and use.
The weights are different colours according to the actual weight they are. For example the 0.5kg weight is pink and the 1kg weight is purple, perfect colours for a girly workout! I will admit that I am a bit of a woos when it comes to hard exercise and really only wanted light weights so it wouldn't be too difficult so I bought the 0.5kg weights and the 1kg weights. I alternate between using the two amounts to mix up my workout routine.
The weights were fairly cheap although interesting they sell the weights individually and not as pairs which I find strange as you really only use these in pairs. However, sometimes I do just use one weight, grabbing it in both hands and lowering it over my head and down my back. Each 0.5kg weight cost £3 and each 1kg weight cost £5 so £16 in total which I didn't think was too bad.
I've had these weights for a few months now. I don't use them everyday although I really should if I want to achieve good results. I think they are working though and I need to stick with it. Due to their size they are very handy to stash under the bed and then use in front of the television for a couple of minutes when I can.
All in all a great exercise tool.
I have used a number of different 'hand weights' in the past with varying degrees of success but none have looked anything like the John Lewis Hand Weights. The first thing that drew my attention to them on a visit to one of their stores was the very strange design and I had to give them a try there and then. I were impressed with the feel and quality of them, but the real test was when I used them over a period of time.
If you are looking for a range of different weights then you would probably be best looking elsewhere for a full set as these weights come individually. The pricing is as follows, taken from the John Lewis website today;
0.5kg(pink) - £3
1kg(purple) - £4
2kg(blue) - £7
3kg(grey) - £10
4kg(dark blue) - £13
In my opinion the prices are a touch on the high side, as each weight price is based on an inividual hand weight. If you qere to buy a pair of each weight size then you are looking at £74! I think for the price you would really expect them to be the Rolls Royce of exercise weights - this is unfortunately not the case.
I do like the design and ergonomics of these hand weights. My sister has used these weights and says they are quite 'women friendly' in their very comfortable feel, but I think the design benefits everyone that uses them. They are certainly very comfortable to hold and easy to grip in a natural clenched fist. The colours are fun and if you can get over the cost they are a lot more friendly to use than a lot of other weights on the market. If you do exercise hard and your hands sweat then the weights can slip around a bit in your hand due to the shape, but there is more grip to them than the hard plastic style, and a lot more comfortable to hold too.
One downside other than price is packaging. The weights don't come packaged and therefore don't come with instructions for use. Hand weights are fairly self-explanatory, but it would have been good to see a guide on how to use them most effectively. It could also be said that because the weights are available individually that you can slowly build up a collection of different sizes, but personally I would also like to see the full set discounted as an option.
Overall I am more than happy to recommend the John Lewis Hand Weights. Their design and comfort are excellent, but pricing could be an issue if you wish to buy a range of different weights. Also it should be noted that the price is per weight and not per pair!
I've been looking for some hand weights for a while with just two criteria; they must look reasonably attractive and not cost too much as I am aware they probably won't be used for long. My boredom threshold when it comes to exercising is very low. The problem I've been having is that cheap dumbbells are usually very ugly, but 'pretty' ones are expensive. I also didn't particularly want a full set as I knew only the lighter ones would be used anyway.
The last place I was expecting to find my perfect dumbbells was in John Lewis, while browsing for something completely different. They are in the outdoorsy, sporty section and are not particularly well displayed - actually when I saw the end of one poking out I thought it was a box of wacky shaped salt and pepper sets!
The dumbbells are sold individually and are available in weights ranging from 0.5kg up to 4kg. The colour scheme is very feminine; pinks, purples and blues all show at a glance what weight dumbbell you're about to pick up - or failing that the weight is printed on each one.
The thing I most love about these dumbbells is the streamlined shape, as you can see from the piccie above they do not have a traditional dumbbell shape - this takes a bit of getting used to but overall I prefer it to the more usual design. They are easy and comfortable to hold; the matte vinyl covering feels cool and smooth against my hand, and the weight within the dumbbell itself is distributed perfectly so that no one end is heavier than the other.
I tend to use my dumbbells when I am using a fitness DVD, or on the rare occasions that I go on a leisure walk (as opposed to nipping round to Tesco for my fags) I might pick up the small 0.5kg pink hand weights to give my arms as well as my legs a work out.
One thing I've noticed, and I'm sure the Dooyoo exercise nuts will see this purely from the piccie, is the fact that the very slim shape means they do slip around in your hands while exercising if you get particularly sweaty. The slightly 'knobbled' ends go some way towards stopping them actually slipping all the way out of your hands, but I do think John Lewis could have done something to improve the overall grip of the dumbbells. I'd be very wary of using them in an exercise routine that needed me to throw and wave my arms around to any large degree as I can just imagine Mark's temper if one slipped out of my hands during a particularly energetic fitness session and smashing the tele!
Because these dumbbells are sold singly, they do not come boxed. This means there are no advised exercises or anything like that provided, which is fine for me as I already knew exactly how I planned to use them but people who are looking for exercise plans and ideas might be a bit disappointed by this. I think the fact that they ARE sold individually is great as I can build up my collection as and when I need to (I probably won't personally, but I'm sure other people will!). The prices aren't too bad, although if you're looking to buy several different weight levels it will probably be more cost effective to hunt down a set. I paid £3 each for the 0.5kg weights and £4 each for the 1kg ones, with the price rising in increments up to £12 for the 5kg weights.