Last year my gym closed down and I decided not to join anywhere else. I decided that I would try and work out at home in my garage on my own.
I had grand ideas of having my very own home gym. In my mind, my garage had grown to twice the size it actually was. I already had the treadmill, a punching bag and small bits of equipment. What I really wanted was a weights bench and a rack of free weight dumbbells but it was to prove far to expensive so I thought I would start off buying two sets of 20kg dumbbells and a dumbbell bench.
I found that amazon.co.uk had quite a few items that were slightly cheaper than some other online shops so that's where I decided to buy my equipment and get it all delivered in one go.
I came across the York Fitness 20kg Cast Iron Dumbell Set and Case on amazon priced at £32.99. As I would use more than 10kg for most lifts I would need two sets. The fact that they came in a carry case was a bonus in itself. The last thing I wanted was to have spare dumbbells lying around on the floor making the place a mess.
The weights came in a black carry case that is made from moulded plastic. Once I picked them up to move them into the garage I felt a little sorry for the delivery driver that had just dropped them off. I seen him coming up my driveway and he'd picked both sets up from his van and was trying to run to my door. He must have been in a rush. When you consider both cases are 20kg+ I have to take my hat off to him. He did seem a little miffed though as I was signing his delivery note.
Although the weights are heavy the case is quite easy to carry. The handle on the case is moulded and is quite comfortable in your hand. Even though the weight is a struggle to move it doesn't dig into your hand and the plastic has a rough feel to it that grips with your hand so they don't slip from your grasp. I wouldn't expect anybody to be moving the weights to far anyway.
The case locks with two clasps on the side of the case. These are actually quite difficult to open and require quite a lot of force to unclip. At first I thought this was a little too hard to open and close but after thinking about it, it is a positive. I really wouldn't want to clasps to open easily whilst you are carrying it about and have the weights spill out and more than likely break a couple of bones in your foot, so if York made the case this way intentionally, well done.
Upon opening the box you are presented with a neat looking piece of kit. There are 12 black metal weight discs neatly lined up. These are split into three sets of four 0.5kg, 1.25kg and 2.5kg. There are also two chrome spinlock dumbbell bars and four spinlock collars. The spinlock backs had a rough handle in the centre to make gripping the bar easier and a raised edge for the weight discs to sit against. The ends of either side of the dumbbell bar were threaded so that weight discs could be placed over the thread and then the spinlock collars would be screwed onto the thread to hold the weight discs in place, simple.
There was also a colour exercise wall chart in the case. I never used it and now have no idea where it is but it would have been a very good guide to anybody starting from scratch using dumbbells.
On first impressions I was quite impressed with my purchase. I was pleased with the ease I could switch the weights and mix and match and how tidy it was to have the dumbbells in a case.
Sometimes in can be a problem having to switch discs for different exercises. I had to swap them a lot because I lifted all different kinds of weight depending on which muscle or which part of the body I was working. Not a major problem but it does become a little tiresome when you just want to get a workout done.
However, problem or not there is no real solution unless you can afford and have the room for a full set of free weight's. You could always buy specific sets of dumbbells but even then it will cost you far more than just buying this set.
My overall impression of this dumbbell set is that it is well presented, it is very hardwearing and not overly expensive. It is ideal for using in a home gym, if not a little inconvenient having to swap discs all the time but then I knew I would have to do that when I bought them.
For anybody staring out doing weight training this would probably be an ideal starter set to use alongside the wall chart. The weights are simple to use and easy to store until you use them next.
You could probably buy a cheaper alternative but York is a trusted name when it comes to making training equipment so you at least know you are buying quality instead of risking injury buying inferior products.
The york dumbell kit is a sort of dumbell kit with interchangable weights. The max weight is 20kg (10 perdumbell), with the weights made in a cast iron. The weights including are 2.5kg, 1.5kg, and I think 0.5kg. The good thing about this is that you can slowly increase your weights for the dumbells, and you can start at a low weight, for those of you who cannot or have never done weight lifting before. I don't do this anymore, but there was a period where I did.
The quality of the kit is very high. They come in what I thought was a nicely finished plastic case, with 2 hand bars, and these two "screw" things, that screw on to the bars to hold the weights in. It is a very secure fit, and is easy to change. Other weights I have used, the weights fall off at one end because the fitting bits come lose, you don't need to worry about that in these. I can safely say this kit will last longer than you will use it for.
And thats the problem with this kit. 10kg per handbell is simply not enough. I am no muscle man, and barely do sport anymore, but when I did use to lift weights (and I didn't lift them for very long), I got up to 10kg from 4kg handweights in less than a month (and I am not saying that to show off). I am just trying to show that you reach your limit with these very quickly if you use them everyday. Getting beyond this limit with these really is quite tricky. But that said, these are a lot better than simply just buying a 10kg weight if you are unsure if you are going to be able to buy it. I just wish they went up to something like 35 or 40kg in the whole set.
In summary then, I give this 3/5. I like its design, and it is very robust, and not bad value for money. But sadly its just too easy to "beat", it needs a higher weight to really make sense for an entire home weight solution. The worse thing is that the handlebars themselves feel like they can take a lot more weight, so its almost tempting to think whether or not simply buying other weights (I am not sure if the diameter of the hole in the weight is a standard size or not, I do not know that much about weight lifting), and adding it to the handlebars. But because it says nothing about this in the notes, I worry that it would actually break the handlebars pherhaps?
York Standard Plates with 1" Diameter Holes
2 x 14" Chromed Spinlock Dumbell Handles and 4 Collars
4 x 0.5kg Plates
4 x 1.25kg Plates
4 x 2.5kg Plates
I bought these weights for £35. They are available online and in many shops.
These weights come in a very handy case and with all the kit inside it weighs 20kg which is a good workout just carrying that around! It makes it very easy to take with you wherever you go and want to do a quick dumbell workout. The grips on the handles are quite rough but you will get used to that very quickly and it does wear down a bit after you have used them for a while. The spinlocks ensure they weights stay on the dumbells and they secure very tightly and are easy to lock in place. The diameter of the bars and the plate holes are a standard 1" which means they can be used with other York weights and bars and also many other makes. However they won't fit with Olympic bars and weights which are much bigger.
These dumbells are very useful for doing a workout when you are short on time and space. They are perfect if you are going away on holiday or staying in a hotel. As with any fitness equipment it is worthwhile getting some professional advice on how to use them and what exercises you should be doing. With dumbells there are hundreds of different exercises you can do to work every part of the body. With all the weights on each bar and including the bar itself, 1kg, and the spinlocks, 0.5kg each, you can get 10kg on each bar. Once you have progressed with your exercises you can put more weights on one dumbell and use them one at a time. You could also purchase bigger weights to fit on them.
I like these weights as they are a cheap and easy set I can carry around with me when I want to do a quick workout. They feel very solid and the spinlock locks the weights in place very securely.
I bought a set of these weights many months ago and they've seen considerable use, despite the fact I'm very lazy and notoriously bad at getting a steady exercise pattern in progress. For what is essentially a set of cast-iron, chrome steel, ordered components, I think they're brilliant at doing what they're supposed to - and for a decent price.
There's nothing better for everyday strength and endurance fitness (for the upper-body) than a trusty dumbbell set, and the 'York Cast iron Kit' is an affordable example of one. The kit comes with four lots of 0.5kg, 1.25kg and 2.5kg iron disks which smoothly assemble with the sets bars (measuring 35cm in length) to produce two lots of 8.5kg + bar (roughly 1kg) sets. 9.5kg of weight on one arm isn't enough to build dense muscle, but it is good enough to tone and strengthen well. I found that once I'd progressed up to the 9.5kg mark (when doing bicep and tricep repetitions) I required more weight, so I put weights from one bar to next to produce a higher amount on one - I then used this bar alone and alternated between hands. Alternatively, you can buy additional weights for a reasonable price and attach these to each bar giving a symmetrical rise. Due to the bars being a standard diameter, many different makes of weight will fit, just check they have the correct hole diameter.
The quality of the materials is excellent. Even if dropped - though this creates a horrific noise - the chrome and iron won't splinter, scratch or crumble. They are as high quality as they are strong, heavy and durable. The set comes with four lots of spin-lock collars to hold the weights onto the bars, and these contain a thin rubber washer on the inner leaf to deter scratching noises and eventual damage. The outside of the collars are designed to allow sweaty, slippery hands to grip - they essentially look like small cogs from a machine. However, the exterior is smooth and not ragged to touch.
The bar on the other hand is patterned slightly to allow for good grip, a crucial design consideration.
One problem I constantly encounter with this product is the tendency for the collars to slip round and round, leaving the weights sitting loose on the bars. Eventually they fall off completely which could result in injury. You have to remember to keep tightening them every now and then which is an annoyance above anything.
the set comes in a plastic case which fits the apparatus nicely. The one problem with this is if you do end up buying any additional weights, the case is already full up and cannot be of any use.
Overall, the product is near perfect, despite the collar issue. For the price I paid, £20.00, I am veryy happy with the product and would still give it 5-stars none-the-less.
York Cast Iron Kit in a Case - 20 kg
This is a pair of dumbbells along with a mixture of cast iron weights in different sizes that you can easily change.
The title appears to suggest it has 20kg of weights, but this includes the weight of the metal bars + collars in addition to the cast iron weights.
The cast iron weights come in the following sizes and quantities:
4 x 0.5kg
4 x 1.25kg
4 x 2.5kg
You also get:
2 x 35cm (14) Chrome Spinlock bars
4 x Spinlock Collars (They are large circular screws designed to hold the weights in place when you slide them onto the bars)
These come in a plastic carry case with a handle which I find helps me to store away these instead of having them lying around making a mess. It can be quite difficult to fit these exactly into the case as you have to line each item up precisely and usually whenever I try to close the case, one of them will move position slightly, stopping the case from being closed. I would have liked if the case had individual moulded shapes to hold each item securely so they didn't move, making it easier to close the case.
A full colour exercise wall chart is also provided that shows you how to do various exercises using the dumbbells. I thought that was a nice touch. It is about A3 size and has exercises for both absolute beginners and for people who may be more familiar with using dumbbells. A few of the exercises on the wall chart do require you have a bench, but you can always improvise.
I find it easy to change weights while exercising. The spinlock collars screw into place quickly and without any hassle. I do keep checking though to make sure they don't loosen while I am using them.
I like the fact the cast iron weights, have the weight embossed onto each one, for example, '0.5 kg' making it easy to distinguish between them while I am using them.
The spinlock bars have a rough dimpled surface which I think helps to get a better grip, but some people may find it too abrasive on their hands. You can use gloves though.
I like the fact that these are made by York a well-known fitness equipment manufacturer and that I can buy more Cast Iron plates if I need them in future. I also know that these are durable and will last me a long time as the weights are made of cast iron. Some cheaper dumbbells have sand in them.
On the negative side, the spinlock bars have rubber rings to make sure the weights don't move during use. I would have liked these to have been glued onto the bars as they have a tendency to fall out when there are no weights affixed to them, making it easy to lose them.
Additionally, the cast iron weights had a strong smell to them when I initially got them. I would say it was a greasy oily kind of a smell but it is not as noticeable now. However, I do still notice it if I rub my hand over them sometimes. It is nothing major though. You can leave them out in the fresh air when you initially get them to air them out. It's not a smell that spreads around the room though and it is not as bad as it may sound.
== Price and availability ==
I bought these from Amazon for just under £25. The current RRP is £65.80. However, as of this writing, they are selling for £37.99 with free delivery. The price seemed to fluctuate from week to week when I bought them though, so you should be able to pick these up cheaper than the current price.
== Summary and recommendation ==
I give these four stars. I have been very pleased with these. They do the job they were designed to do. I got them for a reasonable price and they will last me a long time. I have mentioned some negative points in my review, but they are not anything major.