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Sam's Fitness and Ironmaster Dumbbells (review)


I just wanted to share my experience with Sam's Fitness, and the Ironmaster Dumbbells. I know that Ironmaster aren't many peoples first choice due to the expense, but it fit my budget and purpose well; you'll decide if that is the case for you - hopefully my review will help send you one way or the other.

Ironmaster Dumbbells (incl 120lb add on kit)

I'm sure you're all well aware of the benefits of the pros and cons of the Ironmaster Dumbbells compared to other systems on the market, but I'll summarise them as I see fit, then get a little more in depth.

- Durable. This is probably the best selling point of the dumbbells. While some people have complained about rust, or damage to the threads of the locking pins, I struggle to see how much in the way of physical damage could occur unless you had a defective item, or treated it poorly. The handles are quite well chrome plated, and seem like they will last a considerable time. The rack assembles neatly and has rubber matting affixed to each shelf. The weight plates are all almost identical, and well finished. It appears to be powdercoated, but I couldn't be certain.
- Conventional Dumbbell Feel. Second on the list (or so it seems) for selling points. These dumbbells can be 'nipped up' to feel just like a traditional prostyle dumbbell, and the handles are well knurled of a similar (slightly larger) diameter to those of regular prostyles. The design of the plates (while they seem a little wide at first) makes for a very narrow dumbbell that does not impede any movements that I've tried thus far - any pressing, rowing, flyes, curls, pullovers, etc.
- Affordable (only compared to a set that it could replace). The Ironmasters are much cheaper than a set of prostyles, and provide more adjustment and greater weight ranges that other adjustables on the market. My 120lb kit starts at 10lb and climbs in 2.5lb increments. Unbeatable.
- Looks, etc. This one is very particular, but I do like the look of the set. Suits the home gym nicely :)

- Slow to Adjust (compared to other adjustables). For some people, this will be a deal breaker. I was ok with it, and still am. Very slow when you get started, but you get quicker and can do a small weight change in less than thirty seconds and a large weight change in a minute. Nonetheless, that is pitiful compared to some adjustables. Maybe somethings that affects you, maybe not.
- Underweight. This point has been raised a few times, so I checked mine on receipt. The 75lb kit were both 5.2lb underweight, where the 120lb kit were both 6lb underweight. Sam's rectified this, and I go by plates, not weight, but it might mean you need a reference chart on the wall if this isn't the only dumbbell kit you use.
- Expensive (compared to spin locks and oly plates). This one fits into both categories, and is a matter of what you are looking for in a dumbbell. I got sick of sharing plates between my barbells and dumbbells, got sick of the width of the oly dumbbells, and the time that it took to change. So while I wasn't comparing the Ironmaster Dumbbells to Oly or Spinlocks when I was buying, I know many will. Hence, it fits into both categories.

Overall, I am extremely happy with the Ironmasters. I set myself a pretty big budget for gym equipment, but it is one of my only vices. Between gym equipment and motorcycles, I am set. No drinking, no drugs, no smoking, so the expense didn't matter. I love the look of them in the corner of the room, and the ease of use comparative to my old olympic dumbbells means that I am using them more. They seem to be a quality product that I am certain I will have for many years to come.

As a side note, they were all neatly underweight, and were a matched pair. Also, the 'machines' faces seem to be a thing of the past, as NONE of mine has machined faces. Also, packaging was as previously stated and was absolutely A1.

Sam's Fitness

I dealt with Sam's Fitness once before while setting up an order for a friend. They are reasonably well known for good customer service, and top quality products and they met the order then - and have done again a second time. They storefront turned out to be in an industrial estate not far from the Sydney airport and was little more than a warehouse with a workout area set up. I was pretty happy about that - it meant that I wasn't paying for much in the way of overheads when I bought their products.

The guy who helped me out on the weekend let me walk around and have a play on some of their equipment - while I didn't have a desire to get anything big, I was very impressed with most of their range, and would happily put any of it in my home gym if I wasn't already close to set up. I had gone there with having arranged a dumbbell kit with add on, and ended up adding on a set of quick lock clamps and a new pulldown bar - $85 worth of extras that he included in the $1000 total price.

When I got home, I tried out the bar and the quicklocks - top quality products that I am happy to have bought. I thought this might have been the end of my dealings with Sam's in the short term, but knew that I couldn't be sure until I weighed the dumbbells.

Having weighed the dumbbells - the results above - they were indeed overweight. I emailed Matt from Sam's to let him know this; that the dumbbells were each about 5lb underweight at 75lb and about 6lb underweight at 120lb. Matt emailed that he would send some extra plates to fix the problem. I was away when they arrived. When I got back home, it turned out that he had indeed sent plates to fix the problem.

I needed 2x2.5 plates per handle to get within 1lb of the 120lb (closer than most prostyles will ever get). Matt sent 8x5lb. So instead of having 114lb dumbbells, I've now got potential for much greater. The pins will never take it, but it means I can get over 100lb on there with the longer pins and not using the larger 22.5lb plates.

As a result, I'm pretty darn happy with the service I got from Sam's Fitness, especially considering the run around I got from Gym Direct last year (a whole other story). They provided good service while I was there, gave me a great price, knowing that I had just drive two and a half hours and certainly wasn't going home empty handed, and then gave great follow up service that assured they would get me as a repeat customer in the future.


Ah, now the effort is validated! Cheers mate. Was actually wondering if it was visible, since I'd been having problems posting. Like I said - hopefully it helps someone decide one way or the other


I've also got a few grand worth of equipment from Gym Direct, so it might be worth posting up a delayed review of the gear I've got from them.


Hooded Kunce
Yeah I definitely read through this to. Was fantastic since I am looking around for another db set. Sick of using olys as well

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What other stuff did you get Rino?

From GymDirect;
275kg Rubber OLY Plates
Commercial Rack w/ dip attachment
1x 7ft thrust Bearing OLY bar
1x 6ft same
DB Handles
18 mats
High/low stand alone lat tower
Assorted handles and ropes
Ez Curl Bar
Awesome FI bench
2x bands

Leg Ext/Curl from eBay

Calf block, made in shed

Facebook buy and sell pages;
Decline bench
Semi commercial treadmill $100 (they thought it was broken)
Spin Bike

QLDB Set + add on
Quick lock jaws
New pull down handle

Yeah I definitely read through this to. Was fantastic since I am looking around for another db set. Sick of using olys as well

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I couldn't stand them, and began to actively avoid exercises that required then unless they were already set up with a weight close to what I would end up needing.

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