What is this website for? (or what are free weights)
We’ve talked a lot on this blog about specific exercises, training considerations etc without ever addressing the basics of what we are talking about. So if you’re at this site wondering what the hell we’re selling – here’s the basics.
What are free weights? This term typically refers to equipment that is used free of restrictions or attachments – that is, equipment where you are in complete control of its movements. Typically, we’re talking about steel bars with heavy discs (or weight plates) on each end to add weight.
Steel bars? These steel bars come as barbells – in a long form typically between 1500mm and 2200mm that is used with two hands, and dumbbells – a short version of barbells that ranges between 355mm and 500mm and is generally used with one hand (see images below). Other variations of bars include EZ curl / super EZ curl bars, trap bars, tricep / hammer curl bars and similar and while they exist, the most popular bars are barbells and dumbbells. These bars will generally have some form of locking collar on the end to preclude the weight plates from falling off the end of the bar when lifted.
Weight plates? These are the discs that fit onto the end of the bars you train with. These discs will come in a variety of sizes, and have a hole in the centre through which you slide the barbell and secure with the collar. These plates can either be fixed permanently to the ends of the bars (and form part of a larger set), or are able to be added and removed at will so as to increase or decrease the weight lifted on a particular bar. Weight plates can be made from cement (coated in plastic), iron, rubber coated iron or solely from rubber (called a bumper plate). They can also come in a solid style or style with handles (commonly called EZ lift plates) which can be used without a bar.
Why? Using free weights as part of your training not only helps to keep you fit, but it burns calories, increases muscle size, strength, power, and endurance, and increases bone density. However, unlike machines, using free weights rely on you to use correct technique (or form) when training so can have a higher chance of injury if used incorrectly. Start with light weights, get your form correct – and then go up in weights.
Now while there are a lot of machines that can help you to workout, including treadmills, lat pull downs, rowing machines, adductor machines etc etc etc we deal almost exclusively in free weights and their associated equipment. Why? I guess it comes down to our preferences. We choose to keep our stock range simple, and we choose to sell what we believe offers you the best value for money in train at home systems. In other words, while we could sell you a $2500 glute machine – we probably won’t – we’ll just tell you to go do some damn squats…..