We Tested the Kabuki Strength Kyübell, a 3-Handled Weight for Better Workouts
Gym nerds, meet Kyübell: A new type of weight that’s a bit like a dumbbell, has three different handles for different grips, and is all about load placement.
“So every so often a device comes around that tries to one-up the dumbbell and that’s what we’re going to look at today is from Kabuki Strength,” says Men’s Health fitness director Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S. in our latest “MH Strong” video, the series where we evaluate fitness gear to see if it lives up to our rigorous standards or is a waste of money.
The three-handled weight starts as low as 10 pounds and goes up to 50 pounds ($139 gets you a single 20-pound Kyübell, and a single 50-pound Kyübell retails for $279). Each weight has three handle offerings: long lever, center mass, and rack to distribute the loads differently while you work out. Grip widths vary, too, which alters the contractions that you feel when you curl, raise, or otherwise lift the weight (for those that wrap a towel around a dumbbell, picture a similar effect with the larger width grips).
One of our favorite things about this product? “The first thing to me is just this is the most natural way and there are so many options for us to get drop set work in,” says Samuel. The drop set technique helps to push your muscles to the limit, and it’s very easy to do with Kyübells thanks to their unique grips, which allow you to play with lever lengths to create longer and shorter distances between the weights and your forearms. Transitioning into, say, a curl that loads your biceps up less without picking up more weights from a rack is a breeze with this all-in-one device. Skullcrusher drop sets, here we come. Some might also like the Kyübell instead of kettlebells for other exercises (which is where the rack grip might come in handy).
In terms of drawbacks, gym newbies might find this weight intimidating. “It’s three different handles. I’m not sure which one to use, which one will be optimal for me where I’m at,” says trainer Joshua Thompson. “It’s not what you see is what you get type of equipment. You know, you need to have some sort of knowledge on what load is as opposed to what weight is.” Knowledge about contractions and load for the average person may make this a nonstarter for many.
Watch the whole video to find out if we gave the Kyübell the MH Strong stamp of approval, plus a deep dive into all the pros and cons of this unique weight.
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