In our last post, we took an insight into some of the first steps needed for athletes who are looking to go from a causal lifter, to a competition ready, better yet competition wining, athlete. After taking another look at a previously reviewed product line, the HG Rogue Bumpers, we realize that not everyone is able to invest the same amount of money to reach their goals. After all, athletics has always been about the underdog who came from nothing to beat all the odds to become victorious. This post will look at a few other options for bulk weight sets that will help athletes that are hoping to reach their goals on a financial budget.
Although the design and material is different when compared to the high-end brands like Pendlay, one thing that is great about the Body Solid set (yet similar to other, more expensive lines we’ve reviewed) is the multi-colored weights that come in the set. Each set is represented with a different color and this makes it very easy for you to see exactly what you are lifting by assuring each side of your bar matches.
The set includes twenty different colored weights, which includes:
- 6 x red 45-pound plates
- 2 x blue 35-pound plates
- 2 x yellow 25-pound plates
- 4 x green 10-pound plates
- 4 x dark blue 5-pound plates
- 2 x gray 2.5-pound plates
Although Body Solid calls this a bumper set, we consider the weights to be more equivalent to what you’d consider plates. They have easy to access areas to put your hands to lift and load your bar, unlike bumpers, which usually require you to lift with no hand spots. Although higher quality brands use the bumpers, the accessibility of the Body Solid plates is nice and convenient.
After working out with the Body Solid line, we were pleased with how they held up. They were easy to load and fit pretty well on the accompanying bar. While there was some wiggle when doing a Clean and Jerk, it is considerably less then other brands. Furthermore, the colored weights seemed to hold up pretty well after multiple lifts. Although we have only just begun putting this line through the wringer, first impressions have been good; especially with the multicolored plates that you hardly see on a product line at this price.
We also noticed a high odor to these plates, but with a good wash this was reduce considerably. Overall however, this is a great set for any Olympic weight lifter who is on a budget.
York Fitness is a manufacturer of fitness products and also offers a 500-pound rubber Olympic weight set. Like the Body Solid line, it too includes the barbell that other, top-tier, company’s sell separately. This set comes with:
- 6 x 45-pound plates
- 2 x 35-pound plates
- 2 x 25-pound plates
- 4 x 10-pound plates
- 4 x 5-pound plates
- 2 x 2.5-pound plates
It also includes one pair of spring collars, as well as an Olympic bar. We should take this time to mention that York Fitness is not associated with York Barbell. While York Barbell is a well-known name in the industry, York Fitness is a different entity and sells different products.
The reason that we make the aforementioned difference between York Barbell and York Fitness is because of the noticeable difference in quality. After working with the York Fitness rubber set, we noticed many issues with the longevity that they should withstand. We have been in many gyms and it’s easily apparent to see the quality of weights that are used and thrown around.
The York weights themselves seem to be painted in a material that easily falls off the weights. After repetitive dropping and lifting, the last thing an athlete will want is paint chips flying all around them. Past reviews have looked at products that withstand the test of time and continue to look good with age. However, the York weights chip away and are not as pleasing aesthetically, and even a distraction when lifting.
Aside from the appearance, the plates themselves are not built in a way that is accommodating for serious lifts. The outside of the plates have a divot that does not allow them to sit flat on the floor when setting up your rack. This makes it very difficult to get in a comfortable position before lifting your desired weight. After further review, we also came across pictures of York weights that had been completely broken in half. We understand that weights are lifted and dropped, beat up, and thrown around a countless amount of times, but a quality brand should be able to withstand this type of exercise. This can be extremely dangerous for athletes. Imagine lifting your maximum, when a weight does not hold as it is supposed to, throwing off your balance and possibly injuring you.
We really like the price-point of York Fitness. It is nice to have an entire set all in one package. However, they can hardly be considered for top-level athletes.
Instead, athletes should consider the Body Solid set that is mentioned in the beginning of this article. If neither of these sets peak your interest, our next review will include two other weight sets around the same price range for you to consider.