Ironmaster Quick-Lock Adjustable Dumbbell System Review

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The Ironmaster Quick-Lock Adjustable Dumbbell System solves two problems. The problem of traditional dumbbells is the need to have multiple pairs if you want to minimize time when changing weight, which takes up space. Adjustable dumbbells solve this problem somewhat but then they introduce the issue of wasted time brought about when one changes resistance. The Ironmaster Quick-Lock Adjustable Dumbbell System solves the space issue and minimizes the problem of wasted time.

Background on Ironmaster

The system was developed by a IRONMASTER, a Seattle-based company that was originally founded in 1978. They primarily sell their original designs and hold many patents on their unique equipment. Over 30% of their customers come from referrals and repeat customers due to the outstanding quality of the products and excellent customer service.

The first time I visited the Ironmaster website, I wondered how the system worked since on the outside it just looked like your typical traditional dumbbells. The lifetime warranty advertised on the website caught my eye as well, so I also started wondering how sturdy and secure it was in comparison to other adjustable systems. Finally, what caught my eye the most was the advertised price for a pair that went up from 5-75lbs and that included the dumbbell rack for free! After seeing all of these things I knew that I needed to know more about this system; especially since so many of my book customers were beginning to inquire on it.

Components of the Ironmaster Quick-Lock Adjustable Dumbbell System

Soon enough I got my system and the first thing that I took out was the handles. The handles on their own weigh five pounds and they are made of solid steel with really good welding at the ends. They are chrome plated with the knurled steel for better grip; no different than traditional dumbbells.

The outsides are squared in design with a notch on one of the sides of the square.

The way the weights are secured is through a most ingenious locking screw mechanism. The 2-1/2 pound screws, also made of solid steel, consist of a 4-inch diameter disc with a knurled grip, and a 1-inch diameter partially threaded shaft. The disc has engravings with an “OPEN” arrow label and “LOCK” arrow indicating the direction in which it needs to be twisted in order to secure the weights.

Weight Plates

The weight plates are made out of rugged precision-machined iron, capable of withstanding some abuse such as the throwing of weights on the floor. They are designed so that they can be stacked and interlocked into each other and into the handle backing plate; sort of like a LEGO piece. The plates have tapered edges that allow them to tilt in toward the handle automatically and stay in position during the weight change when the locking screws are out.

The set brings twenty-four 5-lb plates (12 for each dumbbell) and four 2.5-lb plates (2 for each dumbbell) in order to facilitate 2.5-lb increments. Since we have a dumbbell handle that weighs 5lbs, two screws that weigh 2.5-lbs each, and twelve 5-lb plates with two more 2.5-lb plates, the system can provide up to 75lbs of resistance per hand.

Weight Change Operation

To change the dumbbells, one has to set the dumbbell handles on the rack (or floor is you want to) with the notch on the side of the squares facing up. To open the locking screws you just turn the disc until the “OPEN” arrow points up toward the notch indicator of the handles and pull the screw out. Because the shaft of the screw is partially threaded, when the “OPEN” arrow is aligned with the notch, the screw easily comes out not requiring any further twisting. Then all you have to do is stack the weights that you want to add (or take out the ones that you want to remove) and re-insert the screw by again aligning the “OPEN” arrow with the notch.

To secure the weights, just push the screw all the way in until the weight plates stack tightly and then twist them clockwise in order to engage the threads until they are hand tight.

Advantages of The Ironmaster Quick-Lock Adjustable Dumbbell Design

  • Safety: Once the weight change operation is executed correctly, it is virtually impossible to have a situation where the weights fall due to the threaded mechanism. Also, the way in which the weights are secured against each other as a stack, prevents any sort of rattling or spinning of the weights during operation. With these dumbbells, as one performs the exercises, the weights do not move in any way or form. As a matter of fact, they work and feel like a solid fixed weight style dumbbell.
  • Traditional Dumbbell Design: The traditional dumbbell design allows for the execution of any exercise that can be performed with dumbbells.
  • Ruggedness of the Design: The dumbbell handles are solid steel and the plates are made out of iron as mentioned above. This prevents any damage to the system if it is hard dropped. Therefore, you can expect many years of use from your investment.
  • Quickness of Change: While not as quick to change as a pin system design, the difference in time is minimal and it is well under the amount of time that it would take to change weights using a normal adjustable dumbbell system. In my opinion, the added security features combined with the traditional dumbbell design, make the few extra seconds of change a more than acceptable trade-off.
  • Full Storage Stack Included Free of Charge with the Dumbbells: The vertical storage stack is included, thus facilitating the weight change operation and also the storage of the dumbbells.
  • Low Cost: I don’t know of a more cost effective home gym solution. I mean, you can get up to 75lbs of resistance in each dumbbell which is what most of us need anyway.
  • Add-on Feature: If you are more of a hardcore bodybuilder like myself, for an extra cost, you can get an add-on kit that will enable you to increase the resistance all the way up to 120-lbs per dumbbell. This set comes with its own new set of longer screws that allow for the secure holding of the added weight.
  • Thirty-Day Risk-Free Guarantee: If you do not like the dumbbells for any reason after trying them for 30 days, you get to return them and the company will give you a full refund including the shipping charges.
  • Lifetime Warranty: As long as you are not using the dumbbells commercially (meaning that they are for in home use only), this warranty covers lifetime repair or replacement for mechanical integrity when used according to the instructions for normal use.

Bottom Line on the Ironmaster Quick-Lock Adjustable Dumbbell System

Due to all of the advantages and cost effectiveness provided by the system, this is now my system of choice for the person who decides to set up a home gym. They can be easily used to perform dumbbell-based routines, such as the ones prescribed in my Body Sculpting Bibles and in the many other routines presented on this site.