Adjustable Dumbbell Recommendation

jaypea

Cathlete
Hi,
I’m on the lookout for an adjustable weight set that goes up to 50+ pounds. I’m ready to graduate from the weights I have, and I’m getting tired of holding pairs of weights together (definitely not safe).
I know Bowflex sells a set, but I heard their CS isn’t the best. If you have a set of these, or another set you’d recommend, let me know. I’ve been saving $ for them, so I’m super excited to get a set.
Thank you!
 

Nanbo

Cathlete
Something to think about: One of the other Cathletes had an adjustable weight set and did not like it for Cathe workouts because it took too long to change the weight between exercises (especially the older Pyramid DVD). She also said that the increments were spaced too far apart for her. She was very disappointed because they were so expensive. She ended up getting a large range of dumbbells with a rack from a garage sale and was much happier. I'm interested to see what other Cathletes have to say about it...
 

desertambrosia

Cathlete
I have dumbbells, and Power Blocks that I bought on Amazon. The Power Blocks go from 15 lbs to 50 lbs in 2.5 lb increments. I use them for renegade rows, and moves like burpee deadlifts. Since they are square, they are more sturdy on the floor, for these moves. Sometimes DH and I work out together, so we needed two sets of dumbbells. The good thing about the Power Blocks, you can add on up to 90 lbs. (probably not going to happen for me. Maybe DH) It has not been a problem changing the weight for us, and until you get it down, you can always hit pause. I do like them, especially the grip. I bought my dumbbells from someone that was tired of working out in his garage. I got a squat rack, olympic bars, curl bar, plates (more weight than I will ever use) and dumbbells to 75 lbs. for $200. So, a good garage sale is always nice.
 
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bchgrl40

Cathlete
I have the Bowflex Selectech weights and they go up in increments of 2.5 lbs. They are a space saver for sure and it's nice to have all those weight amounts BUT 2 issues: 1) they can be quite bulky, especially if you are using the lower ranges. Some moves can become awkward. 2) with cathe's frequent weight changes i am constantly hitting pause and its downright irritating. So much so I went out and bought 5 and 8#s and will also be getting 10s and 12s eventually.
 

Hazlady

Cathlete
I did a lot of research into adjustable dumbbells about 6 months ago. From my research the Power Blocks would get my vote but unfortunately they are not available in New Zealand and are too expensive to import. They have a lot of positive reviews, quick to change weights and you can purchase more weights if needed. I would definitely purchase these if I could. My second vote was for the Ironmaster Quick-Lock adjustable dumbbells and there were lots of positive reviews. But these are not as quick to change weights as Bowflex or Power Block. However they are very durable and you can also purchase more weights if needed. There were mixed reviews regarding Bowflex with some negative reviews about the weight plates sometimes coming loose and falling off as well as being quite bulky.
 
Another vote for Power Blocks. Mine function just as Karen @desertambrosia described above. We've had our set for more than 10 years. They are the more expensive option but they last. My DH and I give them a beating and they are still as good as new.

Power blocks are great, especially for the heavier weight workouts when Cathe allots time to adjust weights. For faster moving workouts, I tend to not use more than 25lb dumbbells (like Live or Bootcamp or Metabolic workouts). Maneuvering between 15 and 25lbs is a FAST breeze with Power Blocks, but I was struggling with speed when I needed 20lbs. A few months ago I purchased a pair of Neoprene 20lb dumbbells. Boom. Problem solved and I have got everything I need at the ready, no waiting involved.
 

LizEMA

Active Member
Just wanted to share my experience with adjustable DBs....

I bought the Bowflex SelectTechs thinking it would be a good investment for me, but, they were not. Unfortunately, they just did not work out for me. :(

I'm 5'2 (with a fairly large frame for my height), and, I just found the weights WAY too long/wide for my anatomy. Every upper body move either had my arms splayed and angled or elbows way way out to try and accommodate the length/width of the DBs. (From "stem to sternum", they are each about 17" long. )

They were also a no-go with lower body work, which is really just due to my personal preference of frequently resting the DBs on my shoulders. Even LB work in which that is not feasible and weights must be held in the hand (ie deadlifts), I, once again, ran in to the problem of having to unnaturally hold my arms out from my body.

I would HIGHLY suggest trying to, literally, get your hands on any of your options before actually purchasing them just to know for sure if they would work for you. Or, at the very least, get the dimensions of each of your DB possibilities, then grab objects of a similar size and shape and run through some strength moves with them to get an idea of how they'd feel and work for you. (I don't know why it didn't occur to me to do this before I made MY purchase :rolleyes:, but I REALLY wish I had!)

That's just my .02.

Good luck! Let us know what you decide on. :)
 
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I have the Power Blocks for the reason Liz mentioned--my shoulders are narrow and I did not want huge dumbbells bumping into each other while doing exercises like simultaneous bicep curls. The width of the Power Blocks is similar to a standard 12 or 15# dumbbell.

The downsides to the Power Blocks: it takes me about 5 seconds to change weights, which makes it impossible to keep up with Cathe without pausing the video multiple times during the workout. Also, the shape of the weights is a little awkward for kettlebell-style moves...but they're doable.

Hope that helps.
 

jaypea

Cathlete
Thank you SO much for your recommendations!!!! They are very helpful! I’m going to hold out until I test them out. I’m 5’ 1”, so I doubt the bowflex weights will work for me. I’ll check Craig’s list and Facebook marketplace too. Thanks again!
 
I do own various dumbbells including an adjustable one going up to 25kg/about 50. I love it and
did not go for bowflex and powerblock because of negatives reviews. It is just too cumbersome.

It is easy to use and the gripping process is fine. I wish there was a and extra rubber attached to make
the gripping more comfortable but it is not the worse i have come accross.

I use my adjustable mainly for large muscles: Back and legs. I love it for my sumos sinking parallel
or lower. They are work really good for my overhead pullover, some variation of squat and deadlifts.
I love my adjustable dumbbell;):)

Here is what I have. It has been well rated in terms reviews. Not sure you can find it in US though.

 
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Tatoo

Cathlete
I have dumbbells, and Power Blocks that I bought on Amazon. The Power Blocks go from 15 lbs to 50 lbs in 2.5 lb increments. I use them for renegade rows, and moves like burpee deadlifts. Since they are square, they are more sturdy on the floor, for these moves. Sometimes DH and I work out together, so we needed two sets of dumbbells. The good thing about the Power Blocks, you can add on up to 90 lbs. (probably not going to happen for me. Maybe DH) It has not been a problem changing the weight for us, and until you get it down, you can always hit pause. I do like them, especially the grip. I bought my dumbbells from someone that was tired of working out in his garage. I got a squat rack, olympic bars, curl bar, plates (more weight than I will ever use) and dumbbells to 75 lbs. for $200. So, a good garage sale is always nice.
Desertambrosia, can you please describe what a burpee deadlift is? I thought I've seen every move (of Cathe's), but maybe not! Thanks!
 

pamgatlin

New Member
I have Powerblocks too! I like them, but it's hard to keep up with Cathe when you have to change weights. I found a set of dumbbells (up to 50s ) and steel rack used all for $100 on FB Marketplace. Definitely keep an eye out for used! I prefer the individual dumbbells for sure, but the PBs are nice because of the smaller increments.
 

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