Author Topic: York Weight Bench - go/no go?  (Read 5184 times)

Le Poisson

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York Weight Bench - go/no go?
« on: March 01, 2016, 07:23:31 AM »
First off I have to say my idea of fitness has been all about fitness cheeseburger (and fries and milkshake) in my mouth. I'm a dude who hasn't got a hard body, but is a reasonable weight, and doesn't really care about aerobic/anaerobic/cardio/kale-based workouts. I is what I is and I am what I am, and I'm OK with that.

But Momma feels like SHE needs more fitness, so this buy is mostly for her.

She's at the beginner stage on the workout spectrum. She has a trainer for her bike and every night I cheer her on as she rides for half an hour or so to a spin class on her tablet. She likes that, and she's done a reasonable job of sticking with it since Christmas. Now she wants to up her game.

Yesterday we toured a gym, and she was immediately self-conscious and nervous and didn't like the vibe of the place. On the drive home, she said she'd way rather just get a bench and some weights, and I'm the craigslist sniper.

Right now there is a York 2001 home gym on the local CL for $80. I'm pretty sure this is the WalMart level of home gym. Its a cable driven system with plates for weights. Is this adequate for a starter gym? I have never bought a system before and seeing everything else on teh market for upwards of $150, this looks like a deal even if its more than we need.

ooeei

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Re: York Weight Bench - go/no go?
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2016, 08:31:28 AM »
I'm not familiar with the particular equipment, but if it's cable based I wouldn't bother with it.  You will generally be better off with a barbell, some weights, and a squat rack.  An alternative is dumbbells and a bench.  The problem with cable systems is they generally don't require any balance to use, which means your stabilizing muscles/nervous system aren't getting a workout.  This means your newfound "strength" won't translate to real world use, and can lead to imbalances and injuries if not done with a specific goal in mind and understanding the limitations. 

That being said, if neither of you is familiar with using free weights, some research online would be well worth it.  Mark Rippetoe is generally solid on the techniques, start off with googling him.

Le Poisson

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Re: York Weight Bench - go/no go?
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2016, 08:45:52 AM »
I've seen this same thinking in a few places. Maybe I should hunt for free weights.

I just found an "Old-school Weight bench" with 300 lbs of plastic wrapped weights for $60. Maybe that would be better.

ooeei

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Re: York Weight Bench - go/no go?
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2016, 08:49:11 AM »
I've seen this same thinking in a few places. Maybe I should hunt for free weights.

I just found an "Old-school Weight bench" with 300 lbs of plastic wrapped weights for $60. Maybe that would be better.

Most likely it would be.  If you have a link, I'd be happy to give some thoughts on it. 

dcozad999

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Re: York Weight Bench - go/no go?
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2016, 08:51:46 AM »
If I were to build a home gym I would get the following:

1. Powerblocks Dumbbells (which I already have)
2. Pull up tower
3. Power rack
4. Straight Bar with 300+ lbs of free weights
5. Good bench

I'm not a big powerlifter though.

To be honest with what I usually do I would be perfectly happy with just 1 and 2.

GuitarStv

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Re: York Weight Bench - go/no go?
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2016, 08:52:55 AM »
I'd second the recommendation for some free weights.  My preference is for steel ones though . . . they're usually more accurate in weight than the plastic wrapped ones, and take up less space when you're loading them on the bar.

You can build a sturdy weight bench and squat rack/bench uprights for very little money with scrap lumber, some discarded pails and a couple dollars worth of concrete.

Edit - Personally I'd stay away from powerblock dumbbells.  They're ridiculously expensive for what they are.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2016, 08:55:20 AM by GuitarStv »

Le Poisson

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Re: York Weight Bench - go/no go?
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2016, 08:56:41 AM »
Embarassing admission - I had to look up what a pullup tower was. With only a 7 ft ceiling in the basement, I don't think I could do one of those. You'd put your head through the ceiling.

GuitarStv - yup. A sheet of 3/4" ply is around $25, and a bag of ceeeement is $10 so I've limited the budget here to around $80 to match materials/time on a home build.

I think I could make something pretty nice with 2 sheets of Plywood. Maybe even leaning towards furniture grade rather than industrial steel. But fast and cheap is what kijiji/craigslist is for.

dcozad999

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Re: York Weight Bench - go/no go?
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2016, 09:00:56 AM »
Embarassing admission - I had to look up what a pullup tower was. With only a 7 ft ceiling in the basement, I don't think I could do one of those. You'd put your head through the ceiling.

GuitarStv - yup. A sheet of 3/4" ply is around $25, and a bag of ceeeement is $10 so I've limited the budget here to around $80 to match materials/time on a home build.

I think I could make something pretty nice with 2 sheets of Plywood. Maybe even leaning towards furniture grade rather than industrial steel. But fast and cheap is what kijiji/craigslist is for.


You are correct on the pullup tower, which is why I don't currently have one. You need an 8 foot ceiling and even then it's tight. When we go looking for a house in the next year or so, a basement with 8 foot ceilings is on my "want" list.  We will see how that turns out. I hate doing pullups on an over the door bar.

GuitarStv

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Re: York Weight Bench - go/no go?
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2016, 09:01:16 AM »



I built this bench out of a few 2x4s and a piece of an old door that I found on trash day.  It works much better than the cheap (York coincidentally) bench I was using before, and has held well over 500 lbs between me and the weight without any creaking or wobbling.

I followed these instructions for doing the squat stands/bench uprights and they've worked very well too:  http://homemadestrength.blogspot.com/2011/04/more-than-just-squat-stands.html.

I also DIY'd a pullup bar with a length of steel pipe and some bits of wood, then screwed the wood directly into the joists in the ceiling of my basement.  It's been working well for three years of near daily pull ups.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2016, 09:02:48 AM by GuitarStv »

dcozad999

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Re: York Weight Bench - go/no go?
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2016, 09:01:49 AM »
I'd second the recommendation for some free weights.  My preference is for steel ones though . . . they're usually more accurate in weight than the plastic wrapped ones, and take up less space when you're loading them on the bar.

You can build a sturdy weight bench and squat rack/bench uprights for very little money with scrap lumber, some discarded pails and a couple dollars worth of concrete.

Edit - Personally I'd stay away from powerblock dumbbells.  They're ridiculously expensive for what they are.


Have to disagree on the Powerblocks. One of the best purchases I've ever made.

Gone Fishing

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Re: York Weight Bench - go/no go?
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2016, 09:11:58 AM »
Every "homeowner grade" weight machine I have ever seen with cables is broken.  Just look at the floor models at one of the big box sports stores.  +1 for cast iron weights.  The concrete ones will crack and crumble over time if they get used a lot and/or dropped occasionally.

If she likes her videos, have her try out something like Insanity, Tae Bo, etc.  Not sure what it available on Youtube, but if nothing their suits, videos can be rented from the library, or found at Thrift stores for near nothing. 

GuitarStv

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Re: York Weight Bench - go/no go?
« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2016, 09:16:24 AM »
I'd second the recommendation for some free weights.  My preference is for steel ones though . . . they're usually more accurate in weight than the plastic wrapped ones, and take up less space when you're loading them on the bar.

You can build a sturdy weight bench and squat rack/bench uprights for very little money with scrap lumber, some discarded pails and a couple dollars worth of concrete.

Edit - Personally I'd stay away from powerblock dumbbells.  They're ridiculously expensive for what they are.


Have to disagree on the Powerblocks. One of the best purchases I've ever made.

What do you like about them that makes them worth the cost?

headwinds

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Re: York Weight Bench - go/no go?
« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2016, 09:22:27 AM »
I reckon the barbell is the most powerful fitness tool available. Dumbbells are nice but not necessary. I'd stay away from cables.

TXScout2

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Re: York Weight Bench - go/no go?
« Reply #13 on: March 01, 2016, 09:40:35 AM »
Cables are not all that bad, it just depends what your goals are.  Does Momma know exactly what she is interested in fitness-wise?  I would probably start there :) 

dcozad999

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Re: York Weight Bench - go/no go?
« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2016, 11:47:59 AM »
I'd second the recommendation for some free weights.  My preference is for steel ones though . . . they're usually more accurate in weight than the plastic wrapped ones, and take up less space when you're loading them on the bar.

You can build a sturdy weight bench and squat rack/bench uprights for very little money with scrap lumber, some discarded pails and a couple dollars worth of concrete.

Edit - Personally I'd stay away from powerblock dumbbells.  They're ridiculously expensive for what they are.


Have to disagree on the Powerblocks. One of the best purchases I've ever made.

What do you like about them that makes them worth the cost?



High quality, excellent warranty, Portability, small footprint, easy change, much cheaper than buying individual pairs...

I paid $300 for the Elite 50 set. Oftentimes you can get them cheaper, but I didn't want to wait.

Why do you think they're not worth the cost, and what price do you thing they should be?  To me $300 is a steal.

Le Poisson

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Re: York Weight Bench - go/no go?
« Reply #15 on: March 01, 2016, 11:50:05 AM »
Well - thanks everyone for your ideas... talked with momma at lunch and she's going to start small and build up a set of kettlebells. Apparently she found some kettlebell workouts that look fun.

Wadda I know. As long as she's in a sports bra and tight pants, I'm happy.

GuitarStv

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Re: York Weight Bench - go/no go?
« Reply #16 on: March 01, 2016, 12:37:10 PM »
I'd second the recommendation for some free weights.  My preference is for steel ones though . . . they're usually more accurate in weight than the plastic wrapped ones, and take up less space when you're loading them on the bar.

You can build a sturdy weight bench and squat rack/bench uprights for very little money with scrap lumber, some discarded pails and a couple dollars worth of concrete.

Edit - Personally I'd stay away from powerblock dumbbells.  They're ridiculously expensive for what they are.


Have to disagree on the Powerblocks. One of the best purchases I've ever made.

What do you like about them that makes them worth the cost?



High quality, excellent warranty, Portability, small footprint, easy change, much cheaper than buying individual pairs...

I paid $300 for the Elite 50 set. Oftentimes you can get them cheaper, but I didn't want to wait.

Why do you think they're not worth the cost, and what price do you thing they should be?  To me $300 is a steal.

I picked up two spinlock dumbells and a 180 lbs of steel weight for well under a hundred bucks close to 20 years ago.  I don't expect to ever need a warranty on some chunks of metal.  There's a slight curve/bend in one of the bars from years ago when one slipped out of my hands from waist height (about 2-3 feet) and dropped with 90lbs loaded . . . but it doesn't affect usage.

They're quite portable, have a small footprint, are very easy to change in a couple seconds, and are much cheaper than buying individual pairs.  I would rate mine as 'low quality' . . . but how much quality do you need from metal sticks and metal plates?  It's a tool, not a piece of art.

To me, Powerblocks are expensive . . . limit the weight you can load, have an annoying bunch of pillars that I bang my wrists off of, and are overly complicated (thus more likely to fail in the long run) for something that should be very simple.  And you can't do two handed tricep extensions with them.    :P

YMMV though.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2016, 12:39:31 PM by GuitarStv »

ooeei

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Re: York Weight Bench - go/no go?
« Reply #17 on: March 01, 2016, 12:51:03 PM »
Well - thanks everyone for your ideas... talked with momma at lunch and she's going to start small and build up a set of kettlebells. Apparently she found some kettlebell workouts that look fun.

Wadda I know. As long as she's in a sports bra and tight pants, I'm happy.

Priorities, you're doing them right.


dcozad999

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Re: York Weight Bench - go/no go?
« Reply #18 on: March 01, 2016, 11:03:24 PM »
I'd second the recommendation for some free weights.  My preference is for steel ones though . . . they're usually more accurate in weight than the plastic wrapped ones, and take up less space when you're loading them on the bar.

You can build a sturdy weight bench and squat rack/bench uprights for very little money with scrap lumber, some discarded pails and a couple dollars worth of concrete.

Edit - Personally I'd stay away from powerblock dumbbells.  They're ridiculously expensive for what they are.


Have to disagree on the Powerblocks. One of the best purchases I've ever made.

What do you like about them that makes them worth the cost?



High quality, excellent warranty, Portability, small footprint, easy change, much cheaper than buying individual pairs...

I paid $300 for the Elite 50 set. Oftentimes you can get them cheaper, but I didn't want to wait.

Why do you think they're not worth the cost, and what price do you thing they should be?  To me $300 is a steal.

I picked up two spinlock dumbells and a 180 lbs of steel weight for well under a hundred bucks close to 20 years ago.  I don't expect to ever need a warranty on some chunks of metal.  There's a slight curve/bend in one of the bars from years ago when one slipped out of my hands from waist height (about 2-3 feet) and dropped with 90lbs loaded . . . but it doesn't affect usage.

They're quite portable, have a small footprint, are very easy to change in a couple seconds, and are much cheaper than buying individual pairs.  I would rate mine as 'low quality' . . . but how much quality do you need from metal sticks and metal plates?  It's a tool, not a piece of art.

To me, Powerblocks are expensive . . . limit the weight you can load, have an annoying bunch of pillars that I bang my wrists off of, and are overly complicated (thus more likely to fail in the long run) for something that should be very simple.  And you can't do two handed tricep extensions with them.    :P

YMMV though.

To each his own. Glad you enjoy what you have.

But please don't even try and compare ease of change with Powerblocks. Spin locks take a lot longer than a few seconds to change weights. It's not even close. You can most certainly do two handed tricep extensions with them. That's what the pillars are for. You must be doing some odd exercises if you were constantly banging your wrists on them. I've never had that issue.

High quality has nothing to do with art. If anything I find their aesthetics to be quite ugly. I was referring to their build quality over other quick change Dumbbells like the bowflexes.

Good day and enjoy.

pdxmonkey

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Re: York Weight Bench - go/no go?
« Reply #19 on: March 01, 2016, 11:20:09 PM »
If I were to build a home gym I would get the following:

1. Powerblocks Dumbbells (which I already have)
2. Pull up tower
3. Power rack
4. Straight Bar with 300+ lbs of free weights
5. Good bench

I'm not a big powerlifter though.

To be honest with what I usually do I would be perfectly happy with just 1 and 2.

I have #1 and #2. I would prioritize them in that order.

Note: I do not have Powerblocks brand, but quick adjust dumbbells. Up to 55 lb on each I think. They are fairly spendy, but take up a nice small amount of space and are quick to change. Much less space than keeping a full set of free weights around for each exercise.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2016, 11:25:39 PM by pdxmonkey »

dess1313

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Re: York Weight Bench - go/no go?
« Reply #20 on: March 01, 2016, 11:46:13 PM »
I've seen this same thinking in a few places. Maybe I should hunt for free weights.

I just found an "Old-school Weight bench" with 300 lbs of plastic wrapped weights for $60. Maybe that would be better.
that's pretty awesome for a beginner.  hopefully free weights? plates can be awkward sometimes. what are the weight sizes?  5/10/15/20 are good starting weights.   40/50/60 aren't much use unless you're already done a lot of weight training already. 

what you describe is similar to what i have at home.  metal free weights.  its simple but it works good.  and you pay tons of $$ to access similar equipment in a gym

use sites like fitnessblender.com to make a routine/learn how to do some weights if she is not familiar with weight lifting.  a few sessions with a good trainer can also help you get the basics without a lot of long term cost
« Last Edit: March 01, 2016, 11:49:14 PM by dess1313 »