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York Vinyl Barbell / Dumbbell Set

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£37.99 Best Offer by: sweatband.com See more offers
16 Reviews

Manufacturer: York / Type: Fitness

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    Your dooyooMiles Miles

    16 Reviews
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      31.07.2013 18:33
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      Overall a high-quality product that is well worth the price, but not without it's faults.

      I bought these vinyl weights and barbell from Argos a few months ago, and I'm still using them today. At first I thought they would be of low quality construction due to the price and material, and thus I was only going to use them temporarily. However, I am still using this high-quality set to this day.

      This package comes with the weight plates (totaling 35KG), the barbell, two dumbbell handles and four spin lock stoppers that prevent the weight plates from sliding off of the bar. The weights themselves are filled with sand, and the outside is made of vinyl.
      The outer vinyl can take quite a beating; although mine do have a few scuffs and marks on them, they have never burst or broken anywhere, even when I've dropped them on solid stone and concrete. The spin locks work really well, though they are a little tedious to put on and off every time, but it doesn't take too long.

      The actual barbell is a little light, only a few kilos, and the weights are quite chunky. Sometimes the spin locks come loose and allow the weights to spin a bit, which can be distracting if you're squatting or bench pressing, but it can also be useful when performing a powerclean.

      All in all a good piece of kit, definitely worth the price. High quality construction that is able to handle a lot of wear and use, but not without it's faults.

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      28.12.2011 18:33
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      On balance I must recommend this set to anyone looking to buy a bench.

      Dumbbells are a staple product of any workout regime and I made a visit to my local sports store to buy the York Vinyl Barbell and Dumbbell Set. I have sinced realised this may have been a mistake, due to the amount of space they take up whilst not in use, and for that reason I would suggest those with limited space look for a different model of dumbbell that is more compact in size.

      The set cost me around £35 and consists of 6 1.25kg weight discs, 6 2.5kg weight discs, 2 45cm weight bars, a 165cm weight bar and the locking collars for each bar. I think this is a very reasonable price considering what the set contains, and often the fixed hand-weights can cost similar prices. The shorter bars are for setting up your own sized hand weights, with the larger bar intended for lifting with both arms. The set is very versatile as you can set the weights to suit your personal needs. I usually lift around the 20kg mark across both arms and due to this I find the handweights of no use to me. If they discs were heavier and less cumbersome then this could improve their use, but I avoid them.

      Construction and adjustments to the barbell and dumbbells is quite simple. Removal of the collars are easy, but they are securely fastened in place and don't feel loose and I trust their stability. Overall the whole set is well put together, though a bit poor on design and functionality.

      One thing I would say I dislike is that I find the handweights to be a little on the bulky side, and I am happy with the fixed weight ones that often have a rubber coating for grip, and are generally more ergonomically designed. I find the handweights here to be not used by myself, but they are fit for purpose, just not to my taste. I use the longer bar which is to be lifted using both hands a lot better designed. In the Summer months I can use this outdoors or in the garage where there is a good amount of space, as they are large and very heavy. If you are looking to buy a bench then the York Vinyl Barbell/dumbbell set is the ideal addition.

      There are good and bad points to this barbell and dumbbell set, but on balance they offer superb value for money. The dumbbells could have been designed better, as they can be quite cumbersome when a lot of weight is added to them, but overall there are few complaints. The quality of the items in the set are decent, and priced at around the £35 mark the York Vinyl Barbell and Dumbbell Set sets the bar high.

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      22.12.2011 11:20

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      A great set of weights for begginers

      I can be somewhat of a podger so like to have exercise equipment at home so I don't feel so bad when tucking into my sixth meal of the day. I thought to myself "what does every home gym (garage) need?" and of course the answer was some free weights. I went straight to Argos (I had a £40 voucher) to see what they had to offer. What I came across was the York Vinyl Barbell / Dumbell Set including two dumbbell bars and locks, a barbell and locks, 6 x 1.25 kg weights and 6 x 2.5 kg weights all for £34.99. This was perfect as you got a good amount of weight for a good price.

      The weights are very easy to take off and move to different bars. Then you just apply the plastic lock (it can feel a bit flimsy but works fine) to screw the weights into place. There is a grooved grip on the bars that works very well stopping the weights from moving in your hands. If you are going to do a lot of weight training I would advise on getting gloves to prevent damage to the skin on your palm.

      As these are vinyl and not Iron they are very chunky to make up the weight. This can make you feel stronger than you actually are. Also the inside of the vinyl weights can grain up and create a slight rattle. It's not that annoying and iron weights can often be double the price.

      With 25 KG to lift these will not make you the next worlds strongest man but the do provide the resistance for a great workout. I would advise any beginners to get a set.

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      03.12.2011 12:40
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      Even carrying this home is a hell of a work out

      To maintain a physique that is always happy to tuck into second or third portions of dinner, it is essential to buy equipment that helps one work the excess food off quickly and easily whilst also toning and building muscle.

      Two Christmases ago on a whim, I bought a York Weights bench and the vinyl barbell and dumb-bell set, little realising the space this would take up and the physical effort it would take simply to lug this kit to my car.

      This review is about the dumb-bell and barbell set, I bought mine at Argos for £39.99 and it was almost worth the price alone watching too lanky counter staff trying manfully to lift the equipment together whilst a couple of female customers giggled uncontrollably, feeling I could do better I thanked them and took the package but ended up dragging it most of the way to my car to avoid similar chuckles from onlookers.

      When I got it home, the kit contained:

      6 x 1.25kg weight discs and 6 x 2.5kg weights, 2 x 45cm weight bars, 1 x 165cm weight bar and locking collars for each bar.

      In essence, I had a long weight bar, two small weight bars and weights which can be distributed in any way you see fit to begin exercise. Putting the kit together is simple, slide the discs along the bar on either side and then lock them in place using the collars.

      One word of warning, unlike your hapless writer, always put equal weight on either end of the bar, especially the big one, or you do risk falling over immediately on picking it up.

      I eventually got everything right and having hand weights at home, put all of the weight on the large bar. This was excellent and I have used the weights steadily for a long time, I don't like the hand weights as much as premade ones, so don't use them, the grip isn't as nice and I do find sometimes they are awkward to hold, but I have found the main weight superb.

      It does take up a bit of space when set up, but the joy of it is, you dismantle it, place the discs on top of each other in a cupboard and the pole can also go in there, taking up next to no space.

      I use the weights freestyle in the garden and garage and they are at almost 25kg a damned good workout working arms, back, chest, abs and lateral muscles, read men's health or Zest and pick up a few exercises, but these work you hard and are easy to handle too.

      I find they are superb for chest exercises with my bench and use these once a day also, the kit is easy to maintain, requires no care, grip is excellent, especially with gloves and i've not had a moments problem with them, other than the time i failed to lock the lock in place and all the weights on one end of the pole fell off.

      In summary, this is easy to store, useful for people who want hand and heavy weights or simply heavy weights, I don't like the hand weights but more so because I have some, if I didn't I would use these and you could make them as heavy or light as you want for really tough workouts, the main weight pole is awesome for developing real strength at home and does more for you than most machines.

      The weights are now £34.99 in Argos and are probably also available through Amazon and other providers. If you have space in a garage or shed these are spot on, but could be used in most rooms of the house or in the garden, the kit has instructions, is easy to put together, looks cool with the simple grey weight discs and sparkling silver poles and feels intuitive.

      My only worry is with a child in the house now I may have to hide the discs and pole to avoid any unwelcome accidents with them being dropped on toes/heads etc!!!!

      A good but which continues to serve me well, 4 out of 5.

      6 x 1.25kg.
      6 x 2.5kg.
      Total combination, vinyl weights 22.5kg.
      2 x 45cm spinlock bars with plastic sleeves.
      4 x spinlock collars.
      1 x 165cm spinlock bar.
      4 x locking collars.

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        10.11.2011 20:29
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        A really good value weight set suitable for beginners and intermediate lifters

        I bought these vinyl weights from argos as I had some vouchers to spend and they seemed like they were really good value. I did already have some weights but they were getting on a bit so I thought that there was no harm in getting some nice new ones. I had to get them delivered as my local argos didn't have any in store but even with the delivery charge they were still great value at only £34.99.

        For the money you get two dumbbell bars as well as a longer bar and for these bars there are 6 x 1.25kg weights and 6 x 2.5kg. You can adjust the weight you want on the bars by adding or taking off some weights which I like as it means I can choose how much weight I want to use whilst working out and it means I can vary my workout routine more easily than if they were just one weight.

        Adjusting the weight is a simple process and the weights just slide on and off and they come with plastic locks to ensure that they don't slide off the bars. To lock them in place is just a case of making sure that you twist the lock until it is tight.

        The weights are made from vinyl so aren't as good as iron ones in terms of quality. Whereas Iron ones will last forever these won't but then again these are also much much cheaper than a set of iron weights would be. I also personally quite like the look of these vinyl weights and think they look quite modern and good looking.

        These probably aren't going to be good enough for someone looking to take up serious weightlifting but they are great for the casual lifter who only wants some home weights to help them keep fit.
        I think that they are really good quality for the money and the only slight problem with them that I can find is that the locks aren't the greatest of quality and you do need to ensure that you tighten them every time that you use the weights as they do tend to loosen and you wouldn't want them to fall on your toes.

        The bars are metal and not the most comfortable to grip and I do find that they become slippery when you use them without gloves so I would recommend that you buy yourself some gloves as it really does make all the difference in allowing you to use the weights for longer.

        These weights have a combined weight of 25KG so they will never give you a body like Arnold Swarchenegger but they are a great set for keeping you lean and mean in the privacy of your own home.

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          02.11.2011 13:43
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          Perfect for the casual trainer and general fitness fan

          I've owned a set of York dumb-bells for several years now (reviewed last week) but have got into using them regularly again in the past few months, and bought this additional dumb-bell / bar-bell set to supplement them. As I mentioned in my review of the dumb-bells, the total weight offered by that set was only 15kg, which is good for toning and a little bit of muscle building, but I wanted the option to lift more in the future, as well as to have the longer bar to do different types of training...

          Contents...

          The York set comprises the following:

          - 2 short metal mounting bars with screw-threaded arms
          - 1 long metal mounting bar with screw-threads
          - 2 plastic sleeves (which placed over the middle of each short bar to act as hand-grips)
          - 6 small weights (1.25kg each - which are slotted onto each side of the hand-grip)
          - 6 large weights (2.5kg each - as above)
          - 8 screw-on plastic nuts (which secure the weights in place on the bars)
          - MOST IMPORTANTLY - A brief guide on useful exercises and how to lift the weights safely and correctly. This gives a few tips on how to use your weights, but its a crucial read for safety reasons - you should always be careful when lifting any size of dumb-bell or bar-bell, so be sure to check this first if you are a novice!

          Prices and Availability...

          You should be able to purchase this set for between £50 and £60 - it is currently available on Amazon for £53.98, and has a one-year manufacturer's guarantee.

          Quality & Design...

          As with all York products I have used or purchased, this set is a high quality product, well-made, and safe to lift. Be very careful to ensure the screw-on nuts are properly in place, as this keeps the weights securely in place, and helps you avoid nasty and painful accidents! The handle-grips which slide onto the bars are nicely textured to allow you to grip and lift firmly.

          Weight A Minute...

          In total, the set is a combined 22.5kg in weight. Whilst this is ideal for beginners, it is not a substantial total for someone who is looking to seriously bulk up. I'm not in that camp - I'm using the weights to keep fit and build some muscle, but nothing Schwarzenegger-esque. I've combined this set with my regular York dumb-bell set, which means I now have a combined 37.5kg to choose from, for a more flexible workout.

          It's important to note again that the construction of these weights means they are quite bulky to store. Although the bars are made of metal, the weights themselves are plastic containers filled with a very thin powder to make up the weight, so they take up a lot more space than a solid metal disc of the same weight would. Mine are simply stuffed under the bed in the spare room, or more likely left lying around!

          Overall, this is a solid set which looks good and does the job in a decent quality package. If you are very serious about building yourself up, you will outgrow these weights quickly, but most people should find this set provides a suitable and flexible workout, allowing them to tone up and build a little muscle (depending on their starting point).

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          30.10.2011 15:58
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          great product, would highly recommend to anyone looking to start up a home gym.

          For £25 this is a great deal for 25kg dumbell/barbell set. Thats a pound a kilo!!! I purchased this 2 years ago from argos when it was on offer for my home gym that I was constructing in my spare room.

          Now, although the weights themselves may look like they are poorly made they are made of sand inside and have an outer layer of thick plastic which prevents the sand from spilling around. In one way this is an advantage as if it were a metal weight plate it would rust, this cannot rust.

          The bar is of a decent size and can withstand the weights without bending and also more, I have purchased extra weights to add on to the bar as 25kg eventually wasn't enough for me. I also recommend that you purchase weight lifting gloves with it as I found that my skin started to scrap against the bar when lifting and also there isn't enough grip on the bar.

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          27.10.2011 21:53
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          Value for money weight selection

          Although I wouldn't describe myself as 'fitness mad', I do occasionally drag out the ol' weights and do some exercise (although this 'exercise' is usually reserved for the summer months). For the last few years i've owned York's 25kg Vinyl Dumbell / Barbell set which i've found to be hard wearing and ultra customisable.

          What does the set include?
          - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
          First off, there are six 1.25 kilogram weights, and also six 2.5 kilogram ones. There's one long bar (measuring 1.65 metres), and two smaller 45 centimetre ones. Finally, there are eight 'collars' which stop the weights from sliding off the end of the bars. If you're serious about pumping iron (or in this case 'pumping plastic') then you'll probably want to invest in a few more of York's weights to add to the set - this selection is great for beginners, but I've found that a few extras would be useful. Along with the set you also get a set of instructions which show a selection of basic weightlifting exercises.

          Price & Availability
          - - - - - - - - - - - -
          The set can currently be purchased from Argos for £24.99 - it comes complete with a one year manufacturer's guarantee.

          Design & Appearance
          - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
          The outer shell of the weights is made from a vinyl material which is tough yet slightly soft to the touch - soft or not, it would still bl**dy hurt if you dropped one on your foot. Inside the weight there's a sand mixture which (due to the fact that it's solid) won't spill or leak out.

          Assembling the weights is easy - simply select the ones you want and slide them onto the bar, making sure that the grip or 'sleeve' is in place first. Once you've checked that each weight is equidistant from the end of the bar, slide a collar on each end and screw into place - that's it. The spinlock system keeps the weighs secure - although if you leave the weights assembled for extended periods of time, you should give them a quick tighten before use. I have read a couple of reviews which suggest that the plastic locks have eventually cracked - but I can only write from my own experience and say that this hasn't been the case for me. Between the ends, the grip sleeve section is chunky and comfortable to hold, with a slight texture that makes slippage less likely.

          Final Word
          - - - - - - -
          During my time using York's 25kg Vinyl Dumbell / Barbell set, i've found the weights to be tough and easy to use - plus, at only £24.99 I feel that they also represent good value for money.

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          21.08.2011 18:20
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          A good set of vinyl weights at a fair price

          I have the York Vinyl Dumbell set and it's pretty good to have at home for use in my own time. I have also tried out the barbell, which a friend has and it's also pretty good and more useful for certain exercises to help train more muscle groups. You can train most muscles simply with this equipment and a floor. A bench comes in useful however for doing things such as your chest or some triceps exercises.

          15kg Dumbell set: £39.99
          25kg Dumbell/Barbell set: £69.99
          4x5kg Vinyl weight plates: £34.99

          This gives you an idea of retail prices, although they are usually cheaper online. They aren't cheap but then again you'd pay a lot more for an iron set of weights. They are pretty good but when you get stronger, these may not provide enough weight if you'd like to bodybuild a bit.

          Each set that you can buy comes with the weights to make up the total weight as well as the bars themselves, which weigh a fair bit. You also get spring collars, which screw onto each end and are pretty tough although they may not look it. The vinyl weights contain sand and have a hard plastic coating. They would still make a noise if you dropped them but they don't seem as lethal as iron weights.

          The bars are of good quality and I haven't noticed them bending at all. They have a pattern which enables you to grip them well too, although when your hands get sweaty they are certainly harder to grip. I'd recommend wearing some gloves with these - perhaps the Gold Gym's weight lifting gloves I recently reviewed.

          The weights that come in these sets aren't heavy, reaching 2.3kg each. However the extra weight plates you can purchase are 5kg so a bit harder to transport. However the weights are easy to fix onto the bars and can be secured well with the spring collars included. Storage can be a slight problem - especially for the barbell as it's quite long however there is usually somewhere you can hide it!

          These weights are of good quality and I have had no problem with them so far. They aren't bad for the price but won't provide much resistance if you are very strong. One thing I don't love is the size of the 2.3kg plates next to your hands on the dumbells. At my local gym, the dumbells have smaller outside bits and I just don't like the huge plates with your hand almost sandwiched in the middle when lifting weights, but then again it doesn't interfere with lifting depending how you are holding them. I'd certainly recommend these for beginners - males or females wanting to tone up a bit.

          Thanks for reading

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            31.07.2011 04:49
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            Awesome weights for the first timer!

            *****Introduction*
            So, a few days ago I decided that I should increase the size of my arms as I am not comfortable being tall and non-muscly. Whilst I really wanted to increase the size of my muscles and I was convinced weights were the best option available to me, I am on a very low budget and am not willing to pay £100 plus for a dumbbell set so I went out and had a look in Argos to find this York vinyl barbell and dumb bell 35kg set!

            *****Weights*****
            £39.99 for 2 dumb bell bars, a bar bell bar and 14 weights. The 14 weights are split into 3 sizes: 2 x 5kg which is the bulky weights which weigh quite a bit, 6 x 2.5kg which aren't that heavy but add up to weight a fair deal and 6 x 1.25kg which are the lighter weights added on to make a little bit of added weight.

            *****Design*****
            The weights are vinyl which gives them a very nice feel and wont heart so much if you graze your shoulder against them in a lift. The bar is very nice and the grip pads have a great feel to them and do provide a lot of grip however, gloves are recommended. Also, the spinlocks are very good and for me have never fell off or unscrewed but ensure to tighten them fully just in case!

            *****Ratings*****
            Price: 8/10 - very cheap for the weights you are given.
            Weight variety: 8/10 - 3 different types with each weight getting progressively heavier allowing for build-up.
            Design: 7/10 - looks very stylish and the grip and spinlocks are great.
            Overall: 8/10 - very good weights at such a cheap price brilliant for first timers.

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            15.03.2011 21:18
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            You'd be better off joining a gym.

            York have been making these cheap, silver coloured, vinyl weight sets for years. There have been few, if any, design changes whilst they have been on sale.

            My first ever weight set, given to me for my 16th birthday was a 50kg version of this product. Many years later I bought a similar set for my mother as she needed to strengthen some muscles after surgery. Ten years had passed between getting the two sets, but they were identical, York had not altered the product in any way. Although these sets are sold in a variety of sizes, from 25kg upwards, the basic contents remain the same with just the number and sizes of the weight disks changing.

            Whilst this type of weight set is excellent for a teenager or a woman to use for light exercise at home, there are a number of disadvantages that make the set impractical for anyone looking to train seriously to improve sporting performance.

            The first problem with the weight set is that the included barbell is quite short. Whilst this does allow you to workout in less space, it very much limits the usefulness of the bar, as it limits the amount of weight the bar can hold, and also the range of hand placements that are possible. As a large adult for example it would be impossible for me to use this barbell for several exercises as I would need to place my hands further apart than is possible.

            The barbell itself is also not particularly strong and is not designed to hold a sufficient amount of weight to make it useful for a serious athlete. Indeed the vinyl plates supplied with the set are extremely bulky and it is impossible to fit enough weight on the bar in many cases to tax the muscles whilst performing certain movements.

            Perhaps the biggest flaw with this product is the design of the "spinlock" collars that are used to hold the weights on the bar. These often come loose during the course of an exercise, especially on the dumbbells, and this is distracting at best, and a safety issue at worst.

            This product is useful for a teenager as an introduction to weight traning, and in certain other circumstances. It also has the advantage of being extremely cheap. Personally I would not recommend this product however, as I feel anyone who is serious about weight training would be better served by either joining a gym, or investling in a better weight set with cast iron weight discs.

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            06.03.2011 13:32
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            Good value for £30 and should add some variety to your workout

            I have this set of dumbbells as home and integrate them into my circuit training routine if I don't have the motivation to go to the gym (quite often!). The set is a total weight of 25kg with 6 x 1.25kg plates and 6 x 2.5kg plates. It also comes with 2 x dumbbell bars and one barbell. The weights are kept in place with a spin lock mechanism which just involves tightening it up then off you go.

            First things first, when you buy them ensure you can carry them to your car. 25kg doesn't sound that heavy but when you have to lug them through town with your wife stopping at every clothes shop along the way, I can assure you your arms will start to ache a touch.

            Once home there's nothing to set up, just ditch the packaging and get going. For those wishing to really pack on muscle, with the weight involved this set is certainly more geared towards the weight training novice and is good value in enabling them to get to grips with various different exercises at home before moving on to heavier weights at the gym. If the aim is to tone up and do high reps with low weights then this set is ideal. If you're looking for a good hard workout without having to pay gym prices then this will be £30 well spent.

            The first thing to note is that these weights are quite cumbersome. They are filled with sand therefore the size of them is much larger than there metal counterparts. This doesn't cause too much issue however they can be a bit of a pain to store away neatly. Another issue is that the spin lock has a tendency to work its way loose on occasion which results in you continually having to tighten it up, which if you mid workout can become quite annoying.

            These are the only really problems that I can see. If the set is used in conjunction with an effective training routine then you will certainly get value for money.

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            13.10.2010 18:59
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            A great set of dumbbells, but the grip bar could be made safer

            When I decided to begin work on my upper body strength a few years ago I decided to opt for a good quality dumbbell set rather than an inferior plastic set that offers very little when it comes to building muscle. It was not my intention to become ripped, but I did like the idea of a little toning to my arms.

            I purchased the dumbbell set from Argos for around £35, and included in the pack is the basic set of bars, three sets of weight discs and the screws that hold the discs onto the bars. My set is comprised of silver bars and screws, and black weight discs. The great thing about the discs is that you can begin with the slimmer weights, then progress upwards to the heavier weights, and if you are keen to really improve your strength, combine the discs to create even heavier weights to lift. The discs come in weights of 1.25kg, 2.5kg and 5kg.

            The discs screw fluidly onto the bars, and the end screws are secure enough to prevent the discs from falling off when in use. This was very important to me, as I was most confident with the medium sized discs, which were, when combined, heavy enough that, when I raised the weights above my head, was to begin with very anxious that I might be clocked on the head by a stray one. This injury would certainly have been serious enough to cause a nasty concussion at the very least, but as I continued to use the set I felt more confident in the safety of the dumbbells. There is also plenty of additional space on the bars for additional discs to be added, so even when experimenting with the full set I never felt there was a danger of any of the discs falling away.

            This is a great quality set of dumbbells, and for the price they far exceeded my expectations. I did not develop huge muscles as a result of using the set, but I did achieve some good tonage which I was very happy with. I do not use the dumbbells any more, but I do not see any reason why I would not take up weight lifting again in the future. The only criticism I have of the product is that, even though the bars are well textured, being metal they do have a tendency to slip out of slippery palms. Because of this I very often used the weights with some strips of fabric where I gripped them to feel more confident about safety. Overall though, a great set of weights.

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            31.08.2010 18:13
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            Great set of weights, ideal for beginners and experts!

            This set can be picked up for around £40. For this price, there can be no complaints for what you get.

            One of the main reasons why these weights are so cheap compared to others is because they are vinyl, so the quality compared to more expensive cast weights is a lot lower. But, a weight is a weight, and just because these are sand-filled does not mean that they wont have the same effect. I find them just as easy to use as cast weights, and the only disadvantage is that they are more prone to breaking (cracking). I haven't experienced this, and do not see it happening, as they feel strong and sturdy.

            The weights are customisable, so you can add and subtract weight from the bars as you like. This means you can adapt the weights to your own strengths and workout, which isn't always the case with cast weights.

            The fact that this set includes a dumbbell and a barbell is also a huge advantage, because it allows you to alternate your workout a great deal. The dumbbells may be a good place to start for beginners, then move up to the barbell when you have developed a good technique and strength. The bars are metal, and therefore sturdy enough to hold any amount of weight provided with the set.

            The weights are quite large, and this is probably the major disadvantage. The larger weights are 2.5kg, so if you want to lift dumbbells of around 10kg, then it is not only heavy, but quite large. This can be a nuisance when wanting to manoeuvre to do different exercises. If you purchase a bench though, the size becomes less of an issue, as you gain a lot more space to work in.

            Overall, a recommended buy! No problems with the vinyl weights, and the bars seem to be of a great standard. Easily customisable so you can adapt them perfectly to your workout!

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            05.08.2010 14:26
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            I expect these to last for quite a while

            I bought this weights set a few months ago after realising that my upper body strength was very poor and taking up a hobby that required that I be able to lift heavy objects on occasion. I had previously fallen for the cliche that girls with muscles were unattractive but after seeing some incredibly fit, well muscled but beautiful women at the gym and at various sporting events I decided that power is sexy, and that I wanted to be able to hold my own and not rely on a man to open my jars for me!

            The set cost £39.95 from Argos, and my first tip would be to take someone reasonably strong to the shop to help you pick them up! If you're like me and buying these to start out with you won't yet have the strength to easily carry the weights to the car/bust stop/home. They come in two boxes, I think one weighed 15kg and the other 20kg as well as the long barbell pole which is separate. I was ok with the 15kg but the 20kg was a bit heavy for me and if I'd had to carry both boxes and the long awkward pole I'd have really struggled!

            When you get the weights home, they are easy to assemble and adjust, there are instructions but you really don't need them. You just place the desired weight onto the dumbbell or barbell and then screw on the little black cap to secure them. It only takes a few seconds. The weights come in the following stages:

            6 x 1.25kg.
            6 x 2.5kg.
            2 x 5kg.

            As you can see, that's quite a lot of vinyl weights, and they're pretty chunky. They stack on top of each other so aren't too imposing but still take up a little bit of room. I keep them in a corner. They aren't the most attractive bit of sporting equipment, being a delightful pale grey colour, but you don't buy weights for their looks and you could always pain them pretty colours if the eyesore aspect really bothers you!

            I've found that the metal bars for the dumbbells and barbells are fairly comfortable on my hands but so far I haven't been lifting anything above 15kg (I know, I'm a bit slow!) so it may be that as you progress to the heavier weights it gets a bit tougher on the hands and you might have to buy gloves. The barbell has two areas of 'rougher' metal to provide grip for each hand and the dumbbells have a plastic section in the middle so you don't need to worry about slippery or cold metal.

            The set comes with a leaflet explaining various exercises you can do with the weights, this was particularly useful to me as a beginner but I also booked a one off session with a personal trainer to set me off on the right track. Its expensive but I would recommend it as its so easy to get one little thing wrong and affect your whole routine and your body adversely and there's nothing quite like having an experienced person show you the ropes.

            I highly recommend this set of weights for beginners and improvers. There's enough of a range in the weight that it should last for quite some time. I can't see myself ever wanting to lift more than 35kg but we'll see I suppose!

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