T Nation

Dumbbells

Dumbbells

I know what you may be thinking. I am going to write about people. No. I am writing about REAL dumbbells. The kinds we lift.

This is the time of year when every exercise gadget and gel hits the infomercial market full force. Some of these gizmos are downright comical. Especially the ones that let us lie dormant while the machine does the work for you.

Anybody that ever bought some of these pieces of equipment ultimately ends up disappointed. Just ask anybody that bought Suzanne Summer’s thighmaster. Cool name though!. Well maybe for a porno star…Thigh Master. Ya that’s me!!

I gotta admit Bowflex adverise relentlessly, and have been doing so for years . Lately have been promoting a set of dumbbells where you can change the weight with the turn of a dial. This means you only need one pair, but can vary the weight by the turn of a switch.

Wow, I thought, what a great idea. Saves a lot of space. Well lo and behold I saw the exact same dumbells at Sports Chek in Nova Scotia, Canada and got a chance to test drive these babies.

Firstly, they had the name Nautilus advertise instead of Bowflex but they were exactly the same. Getting the young clerks to demo them for me was quite amusing. The dumbbells go up to 52.5 pounds each. But one of the clerks said you had to multiply the weight by two. Then the other young male clerk starts arguing that each one weighs more that it looks!!! Great service…dumbbells demonstrating dumbbells.

What got me was the price… 499.00 dollarinos. 500 bucks for a set of dumbbells. Geez, you can buy a years membership at a gym and or a good bike for that money. Oh well. technology is everywhere now…but on Dumbells???

And as a my point of interest. A dumb bell was named for the bells that swang (slang for swung) in churches. Like the hunchback once rang. His face still rings a bell. Some of these church bells never made a sound so they were called DUMB bells. All of the dumbells were all suspended on handles. The dumb ones never had the ringer in them. True story. My great great great grandfather was a huchback.

He knew all along. So all of you in weightland now know the origin of the word…pretty cool. I always had a hunch!!

cheers

Cheers, interesting little read.

where were you looking? I believe their around 350$ for the pair at Coastal Mountain Sports…I was kind of half debating a pair myself…bought an XVest instead though

I too was really curious about the adjustable dumbbells, and tried out a few brands to see if they were anywhere near worth what they were going for.

The bowflex brand was, at least in my estimation, utterly crap. The mechanism that held the weight plates into the dumbbell was not reliable, and twice plates slid out and nearly struck my foot. Perhaps the pair I tested out were just defective; perhaps I did something wrong-despite having re-adjusted them several times to make sure I wasn’t missing something. But at least in my experience, they weren’t well put together, and certainly not for $400.

I did find something relatively similar however, made by Versa-Bell. Instead of a dial to change the weight, there was an easily moveable pin. The construction was much sturdier, and I had no difficulties with any of the plates going anywhere. They were also cheaper, by a great deal. I purchased a set from DH medical for about $240, and no shipping. Granted, still not tremendously cheap, but not bad for a pair of reliable dumbbells that go from 10-50lbs by 5 lb increments.

If interested, you should check them out.

another thing I noticed while shopping for extra weight for my xvest was that they now have adjustable dumbells now

http://www.xtreme-athletic-equipment.com/store/pc/viewPrd.asp?idcategory=&idproduct=37

if anyone is interested

Adjustable dumbbells have been around for ages. Welcome to 1991:

http://powerblock.com/blocks.html

[quote]dennis3k wrote:
another thing I noticed while shopping for extra weight for my xvest was that they now have adjustable dumbells now

http://www.xtreme-athletic-equipment.com/store/pc/viewPrd.asp?idcategory=&idproduct=37

if anyone is interested[/quote]

A set of olympic handles are hella cheaper and easier to use. Or just make your own out of some pipe and the little plates.