Not So Smartbells (Andrew)

The one thing no one warns you about when you buy dumbbell weights is how heavy they are when you pick them up. It might seem obvious to you. It may seem obvious to anyone but, the first time I bought a set of weights, I had not thought at all about how I was going to get them home.

I was in the final year of university and decided that it would be good to have a set of weights in my flat to use between studying. I lived on the edge of Glasgow city centre and thought I could pop into my nearest Argos, about 20 minutes walk away, and get a cheap set of weights. It was a simple plan for someone with a simple mind because…

They gave me a box. And in that box there was a set of weights and those weights weighed at least a tonne. If not two or ten. Because no one buys dumbbells in order to lift weights they can already manage. You buy weights that you can grow into and that can be increased as your biceps bulge.

Nor had I thought that the weights would be the total weights of both bars. I thought I could lift 10kg in one hand so I’d bought a 30kg weight set – 15kg for each hand. But now the set was in one box. So it wasn’t just 30kg, it was 30kg plus packaging and a large unwieldy box.

And I then had to carry this awkward package from Argos back to my flat, an easy 20 minute walk without weights. A trip through hell with weights.

Firstly, no one lifts weights for twenty minutes. You curl, you release. You put them down and have a wee break and a sip of water. Then you pick them up again. You don’t lift them for 20 minutes.

Not that it was 20 minutes. On the way in it was a 20 minute carefree, arms swinging, song in my heart kind of walk. On the way back, I couldn’t walk one minute without nearly dropping the box on my toes as I struggled to lift it across a street. Within two minutes my arms felt stretched like home made pasta. Everything ached. I couldn’t find a comfortable position to carry the box. I tried both hands, I tried under one arm. I even tried carrying it on my head like an Italian grandmother bent back from the fields of Tuscany. Nothing worked. I’d bought more weights than I could lift.

And what was worse was that the weights were in a box. To any passerby it looked like I was struggling with an ordinary box. There was nothing to indicate that I was trying to carry home an elephant wrapped in cardboard. Instead, I look like the very guy that someone would come up to and say “I think you need to work out!”

I did. But I couldn’t cause I couldn’t get the flipping’ box home with me!

Eventually, I decided to risk splitting the box. I took out the weights and, hiding behind a bin so no one saw me, I put the weights together and hid one in a bush and carried the other home. I then had a not so wee break and a gallon of water before going back and bringing the other home. Luckilly, it was still there but that was probably because no one could lift it.

And, once I got them both home I put both them under my bed and never touched them again for six months because my arms were as weak as a plastic bag handle when you’re trying to get a big shop home from the supermarket.

So, let my lesson be your lesson if you’re thinking of getting a lockdown weights set to avoid going to the gum. If you’re going to buy weights make sure you know how to get them home.

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