I just noticed the Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells the other day and I had to take a second look. What was I thinking all these years buying spinlock dumbbells that cover my weight lifting mat. I now have 3 sets of them and probably around 150 lbs in weight for them. That’s probably around $250 when I could have just got an adjustable set. I’m starting to regret my previous purchases as I’m tripping over them all the time.
In addition to them being all over the place it also takes a great deal of time setting them up for my exercises as well. Sometimes I can’t even make the weight combinations I want due to the lack of 2.5lbs and 1.25lbs that I have. It’s really hampering my workouts and wasting a lot of my time.
I had never given the adjustable dumbbells any consideration before since I was just looking for the cheapest dumbbells I could find. I never really thought that they would be that easy or practical as they are today.
Adjustable Dumbbells? What do I need to know?
Since I had never purchased adjustable dumbbells before I decided to do some research on the net to find out what I should be looking for. After a bit of reading about them and some of the problems that may arise I came up with a couple things to look for in an adjustable dumbbell.
What dumbbells do they replace?
Finding out which dumbbells they replace will help toward finding out what kind of value you are going to be getting out of the dumbbells. If they only replace a few dumbbells then they aren’t helping out your workout or saving you space.
The bowflex dumbbells replace 15 sets dumbbells for a total of 30 dumbbells. They range in weight from 5 to 52.5 lbs (2.27 to 23.8 kg) for each dumbbell. The weight settings in pounds are 5, 7.5, 10, 12.5, 15, 17.5, 20, 22.5, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, and 52.5 pounds.
What is the size of the Dumbbell?
Adjustable dumbbells come in different shapes and sizes. There are also other dumbbells that are more of a block shape and look a bit awkward to use as opposed to a normal shaped rounded dumbbell.
The bowflex 552 dumbbell dimensions are 15.75 inches long by 8 inches wide by 9 inches tall. They each weight 52.5 pounds or 23.8 kg.
Is it easy to change the weight?
There are several types of adjustable dumbbells. Most either have a dial that you turn to adjust the weight or a selector pin. For me, I think that trying to move a selector pin may be a bit challenging when I’m doing an intense workout since sometimes my arms may shaking or feel like jello. It would just be frustrating trying to move some small pin every time I want to change the weight.
Adjustable dumbbells are suppose to be quick and efficient so by using a dial they are just that. The bowflex uses a dial at the ends of each dumbbell. It’s a quick and easy way to change the weight of the dumbbells.
Are they Quality Material and Sturdy?
When lifting, the weights feel very sturdy. The plates are firmly locked onto the handle. There is no shaking or movement of the plates at all, and they don’t feel much different than dumbbells.
Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells
After I knew about what to look for in an adjustable dumbbells I had to find out more information. I wanted to investigate into how the bowflex dumbbells worked, what exercises I could do with them, what is included with them, what’s a good price, what people were saying about the bowflex 552 dumbbells, if there were any negatives I should know about them and where the best place is to buy them.
How do the Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells Work?
The bowflex selecttech dumbbells are actually pretty easy to use. They have a dial on each end of them that you turn to select the desired weight that you want to use. Depending on which weight you select, it will lock in the weights to make the desired weight and release the remaining plates. When you pick the weights up you will get your desired weight and the rest of the weights will be sitting in the base plate. When you are finished with the weights then put them back into the base plate.
The design of the bowflex allows the dumbbell to be different weights on each side. This is a great benefit for anyone that wants to change up their workout and have their dumbbell offset. Some people may like this for hammer curls or tricep exercises.
Here’s a Video so you can watch the Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells in action.
I realize the video is a bit old so they may look slightly different now but it’s the same concept.
How many Exercises can I do with the Bowflex 552 SelectTech Dumbbells?
Many people are under the impression that there aren’t that many dumbbell exercises and that you need more then dumbbells to get a great workout. There are actually over 30 exercises you can do with the SelectTech 552 Bowflex Dumbbells. I’m sure there are a lot more then what is listed here.
Leg Exercises – Wide squats, Calf raises, Stationary lunges, Stiff-leg dead lift, Reverse lunge, Side lunge
Back Exercises – Alternating rows, Wide row, Dead lift
Chest Exercises – Flat chest press, Incline chest press, Flat fly, Incline fly, Decline chest press
Abdominal Exercises – Ab crunch, Reverse crunch, Lying trunk rotation, Twisting side crunch, Lying leg raise
Arm Exercises – Standing curls, Concentration curls, Incline bench curls, Scott curls, Overhead triceps extension, Triceps kickback, Lying triceps extension, Hammer curls
Shoulder Exercises – Standing shoulder press, Lateral raise, Seated overhead press, Front raise, Rear delt row, Shrugs
What’s Included with Bowflex SelectTech 552’s?
- Each bowflex dumbbell has a total of 10 plates and a base plate included with it.
- There is also a bowflex DVD that provides a step by step guide on how to use the dumbbells. It also includes the workout “Secrets of the 4 Step Rep”. Get the most out of your workout – work smarter, not harder. Over 30 exercises with over 80 variations.
What is the best Deal for the Bowflex SelectTech 552 Dumbbells?
The bowflex 552 dumbbells are regular priced at $549.99 which in my opinion is too much. You may be able to find them on the bowflex website for $399 but Amazon usually has a lower price and include free shipping. I have seen them as low as $350 on Amazon.
Compare prices on Amazon ==> Bowflex SelectTech 552 Dumbbells
Is there a Manufacturer’s Warranty?
Two-year limited warranty on all parts; five-year warranty on weight plates; one-year warranty on labor
What have people said about the Bowflex 552 Adjustable DB’s?
Most of the reviews I found for the bowflex dumbbells were positive. On the Bowflex site the review average was 4.7 out of 5 for a total of 438 reviews. The Amazon website was averaging 4.3 out of 5 for 302 reviews. On Amazon there were more lower star reviews and more negative comments due to the fact that Amazon has combined the old model of the bowflex 552 dumbbells with the current New model (2009) that they are selling.
The problem with the old model is that the locking mechanism was made of plastic and would break cause the plates to come out. The new model uses a metal clip which is more durable. This is the reason for the lower reviews. The bowflex site only has the reviews for the new model.
Of the two websites the star rankings were broken down as such:
Bowflex site: 5* x 319, 4* x 112, 3* x 4, 2* x 1, 1* x 2
Amazon site: 5* x 196, 4* x 59, 3* x 10, 2* x 11, 1* x 26
The bowflex website also had a survey of 438 people picking their favorite pros and cons. They could vote for several for each.
Pros – 416 that liked the ease of use, 330 find them durable, 326 enjoyed the multi-functionality, 313 find them compact and 241 like the fact that they can target muscles.
Cons – 16 found them bulky, 7 didn’t like the limited use, 6 found them difficult to use, 6 thought they were flimsy and 4 thought they were full value (they probably paid full price).
Best Uses – 384 use them for general fitness, 274 are into bodybuilding, 256 for sports training, 238 are focusing on weight loss and 20 are using them with the P90X program.
I also found a lot of comments on Amazon that mentioned that they are using these dumbbells with their P90X workouts.
99% of people on the Bowflex website would recommend this to a friend.
Advantages of the 552 Adjustable Dumbbells over Regular Dumbbells
There were many different reasons that people were choosing the adjustable dumbbells over the old non adjustable type. As most there were many people using these dumbbells for P90X they liked that they could easily adjust the weight instead of having to have several dumbbells out during their workout. With the P90X they had only a 15-30 second rest break to change their weights which they found sufficient to be able to turn the dial to their next weight. You’ll find them really helpful if you are constantly changing weights.
The increments of the SelectTech 552 are also beneficial since they are at increments of 2.5 lbs. This is beneficial when you are doing exercises that use smaller muscles, like bicep curls. If you only had set dumbbells you may only have them in 10 lb increments which would be to heavy to move up to the next weight.
Comments about the Bowflex 552 Adjustable Dumbbells
Here are some of the comments I gathered about what people were saying on Amazon and the Bowflex website.
- “The construction is sturdy; not once did I feel any uneasiness in using them.”
- “I decided to spend the few extra dollars on these 2009 model Select Techs (assuming any prior issues they may have had were corrected) and boy am I glad I did, they are AWESOME!”
- “The dials, in my opinion, are ten times easier than the magnetic pins of PowerBlocks”
- “I was surprised how well-designed they actually are.”
- “dials turn with a satisfying click, they lift out of their stands smoothly and cleanly, and there is very little wobble or jingling between the plates”
- “Overall, they were expensive but I feel like I got what I paid for.”
- “The BowFlex SelectTech Dumbbells are just about the sexiest piece of gym equipment I’ve ever owned.”
- “I consider it one of the best purchases I’ve ever made!”
- “I’ve used these now for over a year and a half, and am still happy with them and impressed by their durability.”
FAQ about the Bowflex Dumbbells
Can these dumbbells be expanded later?
- No they are not expandable
Is there a stand included with these dumbbells?
- No there isn’t but there is one available.
Negatives about the Bowflex SelectTech 552’s
There were only a few complaints that I found people having with these bowflex dumbbells.
1 – The older version of the bowflex dumbbells had a plastic tab on the weight plates to lock them in. Many people have made comments about the plates falling out. The new version that is being sold has a metal tabs. For some reason Amazon has kept the kept the comments in tact from the previous model so it is kind of confusing for people reading the reviews.
2 – Unlike traditional dumbbells I don’t think these would take the same type of abuse that a normal hex dumbbell would take. Dropping these wouldn’t be a good idea as you would probably break them and void your warranty.
3 – Many people have commented on the length of these dumbbells to the point that they are unable to do some exercises. They are almost 16″ long. Doing dumbbell curls may be a problem so you would have to do alternating dumbbell curls which will give you more of a core workout because you body has to stabilize the imbalance in weight. The long length is pretty much what you are going to get with any heavy dumbbell and other adjustable dumbbells. Most people comment that they get use to it after a few times.
In my experience if you are taking care of your possessions then they will usually last longer then others who aren’t.
Where Can You Buy the Bowflex SelectTech 552 Dumbbells?
The bowflex dumbbells can be purchased on Amazon which often has a lower price then the bowflex website and they also include free shipping most of the time.
Where Can You Read More Reviews For The Bowflex SelectTech 552 Dumbbells?
The best place I found for reviews was from Amazon. There are over 300 reviews currently for this product.