In my opinon, vinyl is the way to go when you're starting out with weights. This is for two main reasons: Firstly, vinyl dumbbell sets are cheaper than iron and the discs are cheaper to buy on top of the weights you already have. Secondly, they're bulkier that iron weights, so the beginners amongst us are going to feel like they're lifting more than they are!
There's a reason York are one of the leading names in weights, they've been producing weights and weighlifting equipment for a long time, and make good quality stuff. I have a number of York weights and bars, and started off with this very vinyl set.
You could run out to Tesco or wherever and pick up a set for £5 or £10 cheaper, all I'm saying is don't. The key things about the York weight set are the grip quality, which is essential in terms of ease of use. The quality of the vinyl weight discs are above and beyond also, the weights are evenly weighted and do shift around during lifting. Lastly, the spinlocks are of superior quality, meaning you can lift for longer without having to stop and tighten.
You'll find yourself, like me, running out for extra discs pretty soon. But as I said earlier, vinyl discs are cheaper to buy that iron.
Go ahead then, sculpt those guns!
You can do an awful lot with a decent set of dumbells. They are a great way to start building strength and learn muscle as they are versatile and provide opportunity to work all your muscles with a bit of weight. I bought this dumbell set a long time ago when I was first interested in weight lifting. I still use it from time to time if I am not going to a gym or just to get some exercise at home.
This dumbell set consists of: two bars, four 2.25kg weight plates, four 1.25kg weight plates, four spring collars, two plastic handles. It is advertised as a 15kg dumbell set, taking into account all the weight plates. There are a few flaws with this. Firstly, you cannot fit all the weight plates onto one bar to provide a 15kg dumbell. Secondly it does not take into account the weight of the bar itself (which is fairly light however). You can just about fit all the 2.25kg weights and two 1.25kg weights onto one bar to lift, which provides a weight of around 12kg. This isn't bad for doing some concentration curls with one arm at a time.
These weights are cheap but still maintain a reasonable quality. I have had them for a while now and they are still in good condition although there are a few indents here and there as the vinyl shell to the weights is not always solid. The weights contain sand or something similar. The bar is of good quality and the weights slide on easily. The spring collars screw on and hold the weights in place very well so there are no slips. The handle isn't the most comfortable handle - it's quite hard and annoyingly rolls a little sometimes when you are using the weights, unless you lock it in place well with the weights either side!
*Using The Weights*
These weights are decent for people starting out and those wanting to start bodybuilding. I would recommend building some strength at home with these first and getting used to the exercises. You can do a lot of exercises with these weights and I have listed some below for each muscle group to give you an idea:
Chest: dumbell press, dumbell flys
Back: bent over row, one arm dumbell row, deadlift, back fly
Biceps: curls, concentration curls
Triceps: triceps extension (sitting/standing), triceps kickback, close grip triceps bench press
Trapezius: shoulder shrugs, upright rows
Legs: Weighted foot extension (calf muscles), lunges, squats
Abdominals: weighted leg lifts, weighted crunches (using plates behind head), side bends
You may think that such a set of weights won't provide your muscles with much force, but you would be surprised! Performing these exercises properly with good form can get quite tiring even with these light-ish weights. It would be useful to have a weight bench (adjustable for incline/decline too) alongside these dumbells so that you could perform all the exercises above. However you can always create a makeshift one using household items!
*Price & Availability*
You can buy this set for around £20 online and offline. It is available on Amazon, Argos and other supermarkets and fitness stores. They are quite popular as they are cheap, of good quality and provide a reasonable weight for beginners.
This is an ideal set of weights for all beginners wishing to bodybuild or tone up. You can perform an awful lot of different exercises with these weights alone, meaning you can train all your muscle groups to make them strong before joining up with a gym. They are easily stored and can be taken out at any time for a home workout. Highly recommended!
I bought these many years ago when i was an absolute beginner at lifting weights, by using these cheap vinyl discs i have defined my biceps and triceps, and am now very pleased with my arms! the Vinyl discs are ugly though, it depends on personal opinion but i find the cast iron weights much nicer looking, they are more expensive though.
In this set you get 4 x 2.5KG discs and 4 x 1.25 KG discs, you are able to load the full 15kg on to one bar, this is ideal for building defined biceps, and like i say, it is perfect for beginners, there are literally hundreds of different workouts you can do with these weights.
The bar itself comes with a comfortable rubber type plastic covering the cold metal, this makes the bar easy to grip and hold, these weight discs can be used with any standard Dumbbell or Barbell bar, i currently use them with a totally different set of weights to do my bench presses so they are inter-changeable
The discs are durable, i've had them maybe 5 years now and they are as good now as they were when i bought them, i'm pretty sure these will last longer than cast iron discs as they aren't as susceptible to rust, York fitness is a very highly rated and respected brand in the world of weightlifting, and i really couldn't fault these discs, for me they get a 5 out of 5.
4 x 1.25kg. 4 x 2.5kg. 2 x 45cm spinlock bars with plastic sleeves. 4 x spinlock collars. Total combination, vinyl weights 15kg.