I’ve been lifting weights (periodically) since I took part in Julia Buckley’s fat loss program last summer. Since then I’ve dabbled in Olympic Weightlifting and started the rapid strength program called Starting Strength.
I’m not one to make do and mend if there is an opportunity to acquire a new gadget or item of fitness equipment, and strength training offers all sorts of purchasing opportunities.
After my olympic taster session I researched olympic barbells and shocked myself into inertia when I saw a price tag of £600+ for just the olympic bar. An olympic barbell is much bigger, longer and heavier than the standard bar. It stands up to a greater weight load and also spins freely so you don’t shear the skin off your hands as you thrust the weighted bar upwards. I wasn’t convinced that I needed one at that price though.
Last month I spotted the Maximuscle Olympic Barbell set at Argos, which offered the full kit at only £199. I seized the bargain and waited patiently for the delivery.
I knew the bar was going to be big and heavy but I was surprised by its weight when it arrived. I struggled to drag the bar through to the dining room and then couldn’t find a great place to stash it away without risk of causing a serious injury. You would ideally have a garage for working out with an olympic sized barbell, its too unwieldy for the dining room really.
When I completed my next Starting Strength routine (squats, bench press, deadlifts, shoulder press) I was pretty chuffed that I needed to add weights to the bar – for a while I thought I was going to need assistance just to lift the naked bar. That’s where the other advantage of olympic bars becomes apparent. Standard bars use a spinlock mechanism to hold the weights in place, which require a lot of spinning to switch weights around, in contrast the olympic bars use a simple spring lock which slides on and off with ease. Thats a huge benefit when you work with a routine that requires mixing up your weights.
The set is huge but it oozes quality and is a joy to use – I feel like a pro as I’m squatting under the thick bar. I didn’t feel quite so professional when I had to yell for Lynn to rescue me from an imminent crush injury while I was doing the bench press though. Weightligting with barbells is a little hazardous if you are going to push yourself to the limits, so you are well advised to secure the assistance of a friendly (and strong) spotter.
I’ve just noticed, while grabbing the link to the set, that Argos who have a large range of fitness equipment, just reduced the weights to £149 which is perfect timing for any fitness resolutions you may have planned.