Just the other day, I read an article in which several nutrition experts were asked to share just one piece of advice. Surprisingly, they did not talk about dieting or laying off the Girl Scout cookies. Instead, they encouraged people to exercise. Specifically, they encouraged people to do resistance exercises, also known as strength training. Traditionally, this involves activities like lifting weights.
I’ve long engaged in cardio and moderate exercises such as walking or jogging, and last year I bought Aldi’s exercise bike, which has been a great addition to my fitness routine, but I’ve been skimpy when it comes to resistance exercise. Fortunately, just a few days after I read that article about strength training, Aldi was selling a variety of home exercise equipment, including strength training equipment like kettle bells and a soft weight plate set. My husband picked up the kettle bells to try, and I purchased the soft weight plate set.
The Crane Soft Weight Plate Set sold for $14.99 at the time of publication. It’s an ALDI Find (Special Buy), which means it’s only in stores for a short time. The set comes with three weights: a 5-lb. weight, an 8-lb. weight, and a 10-lb. weight. I found an 8-lb. soft weight plate at Five Below for $5 that looks identical to the Aldi plates (right down to matching diagrams showing ways to use the weight). The Aldi set costs more overall but comes out to $5 per piece, making it comparable in price to the single Five Below weight, with the advantage being that the Aldi set offers several varying weights.
The Crane weight set is made in China and comes with the three weights, and that’s it. There is no need for a manual since the weights have exercise examples printed directly on them, so if you have a tendency to lose instructions, these weights are for you.
Each hexagonal-shaped weight has a soft neoprene surface with a pellet-like filling that shifts when you touch it. It’s like exercising with large, heavy, flat bean bags. I appreciate how this soft set is safer than traditional hard weights; it’s not such a big deal if one of these soft weights gets dropped on someone’s foot (which is a possibility if my kids get their hands on these).
This set primarily appealed to me because each weight has images of exercises you can do with it, and they all look straightforward and easy to understand (and sometimes I can be a bit spatially challenged, so clear pictures and instructions are important to me). The exercises on these soft weight plates are the same no matter which weight you choose, and they range from squats and arm-lifting activities to push ups. Some are very easy, and some — like the one-arm push up while you hold a weight in your other hand — are more challenging.
I’m looking forward to using the weights and adding some variety to my exercise routine. Here’s to a healthy new year!
The Crane Soft Weight Plate Set comes with three bean bag-like weights (one 5-lb. weight, one 8-lb. weight, and one 10-lb. weight) and has easy-to-understand exercises printed directly on the weights. It looks to be a good option for strength training and resistance exercises.