As is mentioned all over this site, York Fitness are a standout provider when it comes to weight lifting equipment and their vinyl dumbbells are no different. Available from 0.5kg all the way up to 5kg in 0.5kg increments they are a great option if you are starting out as there are so many weight options available. As a guide to what weights you should be using, the last rep of any exercise you do should be a struggle. You will find that depending on the muscle group you will need different weights. It is likely that you will be able to lift more weight for bicep exercises than tricep exercises and more for back exercises than biceps. The reason for this is that, as a general rule, the bigger the muscle the more weight you will be able to lift, even if you are just starting out.
If you are after a dumbbell set, York have a few options available.
The lightest set available from York has three pairs of dumbbells: 1kg; 1.5kg and 2.5kg. The weights come in a plastic case along with a workout guide, which has some exercise suggestions to get you started. Each weight is coloured differently so they can be easily identified and, as start up set, these are a good option. The weight options are some of the lightest available, which are good if you are looking to rehabilitate a muscle group or do large numbers of the same exercise. If, however, you are looking to push your muscles a little more this set may be of interest to you:
This set has three sets of dumbbells again, but with weights of 1kg, 2kg and 3kg. The weights themselves are still different colours so you can easily identify them and instead of a storage case they come with a storage stand. The stand allows them to be stored safely and neatly but also makes them easily accessible during your workout. The weights are varied enough to allow you to complete a large number of exercises using the main muscle groups in your upper body. Although 1kg may seem light, you find that you need this for exercises using rarely used, small muscle groups such as your triceps until you build them up with isolated exercises. 3kg should be heavy enough for exercises such as shoulder press and bicep curls and, if they start to get a bit too easy, you can always try using two dumbbells in each hand which would give you the additional weights of 4kg and 5kg.
If, however, you are looking for a heavier set you could go for either the 15kg or 19kg dumbbell set options. The 15kg set has three sets of dumbbells weighing 1kg, 2kg and 4.5kg. These come with a pyramid stand and are colour coordinated like all the previous sets. The weight selection is very similar to the other sets we have looked at, though with the heaviest weight being 4.5kg. Whether you choose this set of the either of the two above would really depend on how strong you think muscle groups such as your biceps, back and chest are as if they are already quite strong the 4.5kg dumbbell could well be more of a challenge for you than the 2.5kg or 3kg offered in the other sets.
The 19kg set is comprised of 1.5kg, 3kg and 5kg weights making it the set with the greatest weight coverage. Also being supplied with a pyramid stand, of all the sets, this is our favourite as it really does offer the three weight points you are likely to need: light for small and unused muscle groups like triceps, mid-weight for slightly larger muscle groups such as biceps and abdominals; and heavy for the larger muscle groups like shoulders, chest and back. And at only £3 more than the 15kg set it is likely to last you much longer on your weight training journey.
66fit Vinyl Coated Dumbbells – Set of 2
These dumbbells whilst still vinyl coated and colour coded are different in that instead of being round they have flat sides, which makes them less likely to roll around on the floor. They are available in 1kg, 2kg, 3kg, 4kg or 5kg and measure 15cm in length making them compact enough to be stored away easily but also large enough to be held comfortably whist exercising. The advantage to these as opposed to a set is that you can choose which weights you would like depending on your goals and the exercises you will be doing. At a competitive price, made with quality materials and good weights choices available you can’t go wrong with these.
ResultSport Pair of Neoprene Dumbbell Weights
These weights again are colour coodinated but instead of being vinyl filled with sand they are solid cast iron coated in Neoprene making them arguably more robust and stable. The Neoprene itself is even more non-slip than vinyl, ensuring you keep a good grip of the weights during your exercises and is also less prone to cracking than vinyl. A slightly different shape in that they have clearly defined flat sides which prevents them from rolling away and makes them more stable when stored. Also coming in weights of 1kg, 2kg, 3kg, 4kg and 5kg you again have the option of choosing the weights you want and adding to them as you improve. Despite being made of cast iron they are at the same price point as the vinyl dumbbells making them a really great option.
Neoprene Coated Steel Dumbbells
Another Neoprene set of weights, though this time made from steel. They are also a very different shape, being a more ergonomic design. The weights available are 1kg, 2kg, 3kg, 4kg and 5kg and are colour coded. With the only real difference between theses and the ResultSpport sets, the main decision for you were you to choose between them would be your preferred shape.
If you purchase dumbbells that do not come with a stand but would like to be able to store them neatly when not in use, you are able to purchase stands separately. The Hardcastle Dumbbell Storage Tree will store three sets of dumbbells with a maximum weight of 20kg. Another option is the Gorilla Sports Hand Weight Tree which again will store 3 sets of dumbbells.