Product Type: York Fitness
Newest Review: ... and help me out. Once laid out in my room it seemed to fill out that final space I had. The 5 foot is just long enough to fit snuggly into ... more
Free weights beat the gym!
York Fitness Cast Iron Spinlock Barbell/Dumbell Set
Member Name: G-smith
York Fitness Cast Iron Spinlock Barbell/Dumbell Set
Advantages: Use in thecomfort of your home, many different ways of training
Disadvantages: potentially unsafe and dangerous, damages flooring
At the start of this review, I am briefly going to go over the benefits of free weights over gyms. If you wish to read a little more comparison between the two, check my review of the York 20KG cast Iron dumbbell set, however, I will try to include everything I included in that one with as much detail as I did before.
So, as I said in my previous review, I do believe that free weights are far superior to the gym. They require just a simple one off payment, whereas a gym membership can cost in excess of £30 per month. Also, going to and from the gym takes up a lot of time, extra time that you could have been using to work out if you had free weights*. Also, free weights are great for numerous different forms of training. Firstly, there's the infamous Bodybuilding. This is lifting weights to build the size of the muscle. There is also Powerlifting, very similar to Bodybuilding, but a lot more weight is used, and you only do a small number of reps, and this training is done to increase strength rather than muscle mass. Then, there's fitness and strength workouts that can be done, which athletes such as boxers and fighters use to gain punching power and core body strength. Also, using free weights means you can do everything from the comfort of your own home, which is good for some people, such as those who do not want to be seen at the gym due to embarrassment etc. and people who simply do not want to leave their own homes. It is far more convenient as it means workouts can be done while you are watching TV or on your computer.
However, gyms do have some advantages. As mentioned in my other review, they safely restrict your range of motion. This means that, unlike free weights that you could drop onto your head/neck/body and cause injury to ones self, gym equipment does not allow this to happen. Also free weights are only providing the resistance in one way, against gravity. This means the only way to work with them is to do things the push/pull it upwards, unlike gym machines that can give the resistance in whichever direction they wish.
Anyway, back on to the product itself. I did not purchase this as the full kit as advertised here, but I bought the dumbbell set and then a barbell with 70KG of weights, both by York and in cast iron, so I have exactly what is shown here. As mentioned in my review of the dumbbells, the cast iron can damage many types of flooring, and makes a very loud noise even when placed down gently. This means you can rarely work out quietly (such as if others are sleeping) nor can you drop the weights to the floor if you realise they are too heavy for you to exercise with. This can be an issue to beginners who are trying to find weights the are comfortable with using, but realising they are too heavy and wanting to drop them to the floor as you will have to lower it slowly to avoid damaging the flooring.
The product can be purchased in a 50KG set, a 70KG set and a 90KG set. This particular 90KG set costs £130. People may think that this is expensive, however, after sign up fees and membership fees, a gym can be costing this much every 6 months or so, and, while a gym can offer much more, it is simpler to get free weights with a one off payment because you can exercise the whole body safely, however, I would recommend that safety precautions are taken if you wish to purchase free weights, as you can cause some serious damage to your body if you are not exercising safely.
In conclusion, the York free weight set (90KG) is very good. It is enough weight for most weight lifting levels of experience. It feels very high quality and you are definitely getting more moneys worth of exercise than you would joining a gym. Also, I am going to conclude again that free weights are better than gyms, mainly because of the cost. However, do not just buy free weights without being aware of safety. This is urgent to take a look at if you want to buy free weights, especially if you are going to lift them alone. You will have to look at correct form and the correct way to do every exercise. Anyway, thanks for reading, and hope you enjoyed!
*For the fitness newbies here, when I say free weights, I do not mean these are free of charge. Free weights are standard bars and weight plates that are not restricted in any way whatsoever. You can choose where they go and how much weight to put on them.
-- For safety tips, check out the 'Starting Strength' book by Mark Rippetoe. It has 3 versions, the 1st being advanced and the 3rd being a simplistic version. The each cover the same aspects, but version 3 is very simple and for beginners, whereas version 1 is for more advanced weight lifters.
Summary: The free weights are cheaper and can provide as much as a workout as the gym can - best option!
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