Dumbells for Smart Fitness – by Rhian Hunt
I will admit that I am a person who sometimes likes complexity – complexity where all the elements are smoothly and skillfully blended together in exactly the right combination to produce precisely the desired result. But sometimes, well-designed simplicity provides exactly the opposite – a simplicity so perfectly balanced and where everything is, for lack of a better phrase, ‘in the right place at the right time,’ and it provides even more function and success than some of the more complex designs can.
This is true in exercise equipment as well. There are systems which use the latest technology, complex but extremely viable arrangements of machinery, and an array of different features crammed onto one frame, and make them into something useful for every exercise
need. Then there are those exercise equipment systems which take a very simple concept, but hone its performance so finely with skillful workmanship, clean and effective design, and a touch of inspiration. The result is a finely-balanced whole whose sturdy simplicity is the starting point for a whole array of weight-reducing, fitness-building activities.
One system like this is the Ironmaster Super Bench & Dumbell Combo, a packaged deal including a robustly-built adjustable bench and a set of well-made adjustable-weight dumbells for weight training. The Super Bench’s adjustable nature makes it useful for a range of different exercises, while the dumbells offer several features and advantages over other dumbells, including both fixed-weight and adjustable-weight models.
A Well-Designed and Brawny Bench
One-half of the package – by far the largest and most noticeable
by volume – is the Ironmaster Super Bench, a tough steel bench heavily padded on top for safety and comfort, but possessing the general ruggedness of the average main battle tank, according to both what can be observed of it and from various customer testimonials.
The strength of its build is witnessed by the recommended maximum weights listed by its manufacturer. When I first investigated the Super Bench, I was expecting the usual weight limits you see on other pieces of exercise equipment – somewhere between 300 and 350 pounds, with perhaps another 100 pounds or so to give some more usefulness for lifting heavier weights. However, the Ironmaster is rated at no less than 600 pounds for inclined or upright use, and a full 1,000 pounds – half a ton – when the bench is level. This means that a 250-pound user could potentially use up 750 pounds of weights on the bench in the horizontal position – something that most users will never be doing, but which shows how robust and long-lasting the Super Bench will prove.
The bench component of the Ironmaster Super Bench & Dumbell Combo has a 44" by 10" top surface, which includes a 3-position incline seat. The bench is 20" high when in the horizontal position, and it can be adjusted into any of 13 different angles, from flat (0 degrees) through upright (90 degrees). Some of the angle settings are in 5 degree increments, while between 10 and 70 degrees, the settings are in 10 degree increments. The angle can be adjusted witha foot lever and once the proper angle has been found, the bench can be locked securely in place. The adjustment system is also boldly straightforward and should last as long as the rest of the frame.
Finally, the uses of the Ironmaster Super Bench can be expanded with a handful of different accessories, including a chin-up bar, a dip handle attachment, a crunch sit-up attachment, a leg extension and leg curl attachment, and several others. All of these accessories are designed to fit the Super Bench neatly and allow you to expand your exercise regimen as you wish without cluttering up your Super Bench with those accessories you don’t want or need.
What Makes the Ironmaster Quick-Lock Adjustable Dumbells so Useful?
After many horror stories about adjustable dumbells made by other manufacturers – their tendency to fall apart constantly, their awkwardness (and the potential for injury inherent in swinging around an awkwardly-balanced, heavy object repeatedly), and so on – that I was skeptical about the other part of the package – until I learned more, that is. Your possible skepticism is also likely to change into appreciation for the Ironmaster dumbells once you, too, are better informed about them.
Refreshingly, the Ironmaster Quick-Lock Adjustable Dumbells included with the bench in this exercise set are made in a very different mold from the usual adjustable dumbells. The dumbells included in the Ironmaster Super Bench & Dumbell Combo are adjustable up to 75 pounds, and an additional kit can increase the potential weight up to 120 pounds. This is enough to give all but the most advanced weightlifters plenty of room for muscular development.
The lightest possible weight for the Ironmaster Dumbells is 5 pounds, and this can be adjusted upwards in 2.5 pound increments. One satisfied Wisconsin resident and Ironmaster exerciser, identifying himself as Ted, claims that with practice, changing the weights does not take longer than 10 seconds. Being made out of steel, and precision-fitted as well, the weights and dumbells do not shift or rattle – the weights are firmly seated in the dumbells once they are locked into place, and will neither fall out nor shift awkwardly, as other adjustable dumbells too frequently do. In short, once they are fitted in, the weights are no different in use from the well-balanced fixed weights of other dumbells.
The shape of the dumbells is also a highly useful feature. Their ends are square, so they will not roll away if they are set down for a moment, although the corners are rounded for safety. The ends of the dumbells are also flat, unlike many other dumbells, which often have bulging ends. This means that the Ironmaster Quick-Lock Dumbells can be rested upright – allowing the thighs to be used as needed to help move the dumbells into position, since the dumbells can be rested vertically against them. Finally, since the dumbells are sturdily made, they can be dropped repeatedly without risking damage.
All in all, Ironmaster Quick-Lock Dumbells are as worthwhile and important a part of the package as the bench itself, offering adjustable-dumbell convenience combined with solid-state dumbells sturdiness and balance – and a few unique twists of their own, such as their flat ends.
Where Can I Find the Best Deal on the Ironmaster Super Bench Combo?
Although the individual parts of the package (the bench and the dumbells) are available separately on various online stores, Amazon offers one of the best deals on the combined parcel, and usually ships quickly as well.