Can a £2k pair of dumbbells EVER be worth it?

Can a £2k pair of dumbbells EVER be worth it?

01/10/2022

Dior, Versace, Louis Vuitton — designer logos are blinging up the gym. But, asks ANNA MAXTED… Can a £2k pair of dumbbells EVER be worth it?

  • Christian Dior has created a limited-edition home gym range with Technogym
  • Versace has released a kettlebell and Louis Vuitton a £450 skipping rope 
  • Anna Maxted gives verdict on a selection of ultra-luxe fitness equipment

Do you have money to spare and think exercise is a bore? Perhaps working out with Versace and Dior will give you inspiration?

For many, wearing flattering high-end leggings makes a gym session more bearable. But as for equipment, if it’s decent quality, does the aesthetic of our bench matter?

French fashion house Christian Dior certainly hopes so. The label has worked with Technogym to create an elegant limited-edition range called Dior Vibe to glam up your home gym. The collection, which includes a treadmill, bench and a medicine ball, is available from Dior pop-up stores worldwide. There’s one in Harrods, naturally.

Christian Dior isn’t the only top designer responding to the demand for ultra-luxe fitness equipment. Fit fashionistas with more money than sense can treat themselves to a Versace kettlebell or Louis Vuitton skipping rope and a glittering array of other pricey goodies. So for those fantasising about a gym with more designer names than Paris Fashion Week, I donned my scruffy trainers to discover if the reality matches the dream . . .

Anna Maxted gives verdict on a selection of ultra-luxe fitness equipment – including Dior + Technogym wellness ball (pictured) 

COUTURE WELLNESS BALL

Dior + Technogym wellness ball, £900, Harrods

This wellness ball helps to build a stronger core . . . once you’ve managed to inflate it. At £900, it is considerably more expensive than the standard Wellness Ball from Technogym costing £89. The non-Dior Wellness Ball Active Sitting from Technogym costs £230.

This Dior collaboration ball is a good size and feels fairly robust, but there’s only so much one is prepared to pay for an inflatable ball. It has a mostly white material cover, and the blue star is useful for centring yourself. But while it looks good new, and the label says you can wash the cover at 30 degrees, I fear it would soon become grimy.

Disappointingly, using a designer ball to perform a plank is no less agonising than with a non-designer ball. 3/5

ON-TREND TREADMILL

Dior + Technogym treadmill, £8,500, Harrods

Anna said Dior + Technogym treadmill (pictured) automatically adjusts speed and incline for a bespoke session

This sleek treadmill boasts the Christian Dior logo. Apart from this, it doesn’t appear to differ greatly from the Technogym MyRun treadmill (£3,450 from technogym.com — already a fortune!) So I’m sorry to report it’s a dream to use.

They’ve thought of everything, including fast-track controls, so you can adjust your speed or incline at a touch.

There’s a dock for a tablet or smartphone on the console, and you can download the free Technogym Live app, connect to the treadmill, then choose from running routines with professional trainers or video exercises.

The treadmill automatically adjusts speed and incline for a bespoke session. Or you can set your own goals.

While I’m tempted to dock a point for its sheer silly expense, function and form make this very desirable. I’ll be buying an extra lottery ticket this week. 5/5

DESIGNER DUMBBELLS

Louis Vuitton dumbbells, £1,950, uk.louisvuitton.com

Anna said Louis Vuitton dumbbells (pictured) are featherlight, but the price has her coming out in a cold sweat 

Exercising with pink leather and gold-coloured dumbbells, trimmed with the Louis Vuitton logo is a brief distraction. These 1 kg weights are featherlight (Louis Vuitton also sells a 3 kg version), but just thinking about the price has me coming out in a cold sweat — not generally the kind of perspiration I look for in the gym. 2/5

BRILLIANT BENCH

Dior + Technogym bench, £4,700, Harrods

Anna said Dior + Technogym bench (pictured) contains five sets of dumbbells and three pairs of elastic bands

This is exceptionally pleasing to look at — white, curved edges, and user-friendly design.

I may not have an eye for fashion — and I’m assured this range showcases the best of both brands — but Technogym appears to be doing most of the heavy lifting here. The bench contains five sets of dumbbells, three pairs of elastic bands — which you can attach to the bench for resistance work — and a range of knuckle weights.

The frame is topped with rubber, so it’s pleasant to lie on to do a chest press and there’s a foam mat for extra comfort.

The non-designer Technogym all-in-one functional training bench costs £1,450. But the extra £3,000 for the posh version allows you to say, when the 6am alarm goes off, ‘I don’t get out of bed for anything but Dior, darling!’ 5/5

SKIP IN STYLE

Louis Vuitton jump rope Christopher, £450, uk.louisvuitton.com

Anna said Louis Vuitton jump rope Christopher (pictured) is so light, it wouldn’t be out of place in a playground 

LV’s approach to fitness seems more focused on style than sweat. I prefer weighted ropes, but this is so light, it wouldn’t be out of place in a (posh) playground. It’s not old, but the saying about money and rope may still apply. 3/5

LUXURY KETTLEBELLS

Versace Home Barocco 20kg kettlebell, £510, amara.com

Anna said Versace Home Barocco 20kg kettlebell (pictured) boasts the Versace logo, but otherwise it’s indistinguishable from any other black kettlebell

This 20 kg kettlebell boasts the Versace logo in relief.

Otherwise, it’s indistinguishable from any other black kettlebell (u.s. brand TRX does the same weight for £84.95). I struggle to see why anyone would spend the extra £425 or so.

Am I a person who looks at a Ferrari and says ‘but a Volvo gets you from A to B’? Yes, but even I can appreciate a Ferrari’s fabulous curves. With a kettlebell, there’s less chance for a designer to exhibit flair. 3/5

LOGO CHIC FOR £28

Ralph Lauren Polo water bottle, £28 (was £40), ralphlauren.co.uk

Anna said Ralph Lauren Polo water bottle (pictured) has the Ralph Lauren logo and is made of high-grade stainless steel with triple-layer insulation

The reasoning here is that if you’ve purchased a Ralph Lauren Polo water bottle, you want to show it off. The logo is so big it’s almost a life-sized horse. As for functionality — it’s made of high-grade stainless steel with triple-layer insulation. It’s also BPA- and BPS-free. It’s the perfect and possibly only way for us non-billionaires to subscribe to the designer gym craze.5/5

WORK(OUT) OF ART

Saint Laurent 2.8kg dumbbells ‘in brass’, £850, ysl.com

Anna said Saint Laurent 2.8kg dumbbells ‘in brass’ (pictured) are heavy enough to be of use and are beautiful 

These are just heavy enough to be of use. They’re 100 per cent stainless steel, but with a golden, brass tint. I looked at the price and thought £85 wasn’t bad. Turns out there was a crumb hiding the zero. i felt exhausted without lifting a finger, and — as most workouts need a range of weights — dumbfounded. But they are beautiful. Seeing them as art may lend a different perspective.4/5

VERSACE VINYASA

Versace yoga mat, £300, amara.com

Anna said Versace yoga mat (pictured) is beautiful and made of rubber, if you want to get fit in style this would certainly add dash to your downward dog

This yoga mat is a good size (183×68 cm), made of rubber (about 3 cm thick), and features the Versace design with the Medusa head logo in the middle. Almost feels rude to sit on it. It’s beautiful, or garish, depending on your viewpoint, though the price makes me feel less than zen.

My tabby uses every yoga mat to practise cat stretches and sharpen his claws, so it’s not for the likes of me. However, if you want to get fit in style this would certainly add dash to your downward dog. 4/5

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