Robb Review: YBell

An award-winning Australian fitness invention that delivers on form and function.

By Robb Report Staff 19/10/2021

YBell? Why not we say.

COVID has proved divisive on rather a few levels — not least along fitness lines.

In lockdown two very disparate parties emerged — couch huggers who came to know food delivery drivers by name and those who turned the office / garage / spare room into a gym and went about (professional term) ‘shredding’.

To be honest, after as a few weeks sur le canapé (see, everything does sound better in French) we took the latter path with a program to utilise the time to commit to a better fitness routine — if only so as we could continue to (over) order pasta dishes from the likes of Sydney’s Ragazzi.

In wanting to fit a few stations of limited equipment and an ability to quickly run through some early morning sessions, Google suggested many and varied garish bits of kit best avoided.

And then we stumbled across YBell — a modernised and triangular product that had been devised as an ameliorated kettlebell.

As the type of people who attach to things that look good, YBell immediately stood out and alone as a fitness product of allure. So much of this $100 billion dollar global industry is undercooked when it comes to design — not the case here, each ‘bell’ simplified and wrapped in a matte black neoprene with pops of colour outing weight and logo, nothing else.

Beyond the visual appeal, functionality and an ability to multitask are the central attraction of YBell — offered as a piece of fitness equipment that works overtime in regards to replacing multiple bits of kit and the space saving such offers as a result.

It was this that sparked the idea for YBell. Sydney personal trainer, Aaron Laurence, developed the product as a way to quell his growing need for a vast array of differing equipment — namely kettlebells, dumbbells, medicine balls — and the difficulties that such delivered in ferrying them about town to train what was a growing number of clients.

After some rudimentary prototypes and design sketches, Lawrence partnered with industrial designer Michael Hoppe and YBell was born — going on to claim not only a legion of immediate fans but also a 2019 Good Design Award.

Yes yes but how does it work? Sure — let’s cut to it. The key here is versatility — each bell acting as kettlebell, dumbbell, push-up bar and medicine ball in one. The design provides four unique holding points — allowing the user to seamlessly pivot between a wide range of exercises across a routine.

While YBell provides various classes through its channels and app — free introductory workouts through to paid programs aimed at differing fitness levels — we decided to simply start with a routine devised of our own knowledge of similar equipment, something easily achieved given the intuitive and user-friendly nature of the design.

Building to a point of working across a series of differing routines after just a week with YBell, we were moving between the likes of traditional dumbbell movements through to various weighted lunges, push-ups, swings, various weighted squats, halos, rows and more — largely utilising the medium bell (8 kilograms) and also large (10kg). Know there is also XS (4.5kg), S (6kg) and XL (12kg) options.

The notion of all-in-one fitness equipment is nothing new — though most in market is rubbish at best. YBell sits at the other end of this spectrum — an impressive piece of design that delivers incredible functionality and which really does deliver on its promise to replace other equipment, declutter and ultimately deliverer noticeable results.
Better yet – it’s a great Australian success story and one that is righty going global.

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