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25Dec/080

Home Gym (Ironmaster quick review)

The longer days at work means I have less motivation to drag myself to the gym, so I figured I should invest in a decent home gym for 'maintenance' and leave the bigger movements for my real gym. The only next planned purchase I have is for a decent pull up bar. One day when I have more space I'll go all out and get a power rack.


In photo: Star trac V-bike purchased like new from craigslist for a STEAL, IM Dumbbells, IM SB decline attachment, IM SB seat, parallette bars made from pvc pipe, push up bars, ab wheel, and ez curl bar.


In photo: foam crash mats, Sonos, polar HR monitor, medicine ball, and stability ball.

Luckily the maker of my chosen adjustable dumbbells is located locally so I saved on shipping and was even able to haggle a bit. Why did I go adjustable vs a full set? 1. Saves Space 2. Lower cost than a full set of dumbbells. There are some downsides to going an adjustable set but they did not really pertain to me. There's only two major contenders in the adjustable dumbbell market: Ironmaster and Powerblock (I don't know of any others that have flat-ends and are entirely metal), so why Ironmasters? 1. Feels just like regular dumbbells; I don't like how the wrist is kept caged inside Powerblocks. 2. Sturdy; I tend to gently drop dumbbells after pressing heavy and the IMs can take a beating 3. Safety; anecdotally I've read that the Powerblock pin gets worn with use 4. Great combo deal with the IM super bench and the dumbbell set includes a storage stand 5. Plates are 1" standard diameter so they fit bars too.

What are the cons? 1. Only 1 person can use the IMs at one time- can be remedied by purchasing another set of handles though 2. Superbench is a little too tall for my height. I would recommend the bench for those 5'8"+. At 5'7" I feel like my hips are little extended if I put my feet flat on the floor. Otherwise the bench is amazing and the best value for a FID bench I've ever seen (there are additional attachments for it too; like a pull up bar and dip bar but I didn't get those because I didn't find them very stable and did not like how the circular pivot is near your legs) 3. Storage stand should be about 1 inch wider all around- it gets crowded when loading up 70+lbs 4. Plate changing- not a con for me but it could be for others. Supersets just requires a bit more planning.

So the cons are more nit-picky than deal breakers for me. The only thing that made me hesitate on the IM deal was the Superbench being a bit too high for me. But since I bought them locally and in a combo, the savings helped me live with any shortcomings I found. I would highly recommend the IMs to anyone looking for an adjustable dumbbell set.