T Nation

Adjustable Dumbbells Any Good?


#1

I’m thinking about getting some adjustable dumbbells such as Bowflex- what are people’s thoughts on adj dumbbells in general and any advice on which are the best?
Thanks for your help!
Source-https://fitnessgeko.com/fitness/powerblock-elite-5-90-lb-dumbbell-set-review/


#2

They are great (especially olympic dbs) you could get bowflex but I’d imagine they’d be very expensive.


#3

I’ve gotten to train with powerblocks a couple times and would really like to add some to my gym. I have Olympic DB handles, but I rarely use them.


#4

I have a set of 50lb powerblocks and they are quite good. You obviously can’t bang them around and drop them after a set, but they feel very good in the hand. The grip is a little bit fatter than a typical dumbbell and it is a rubberized material with no knurling, but I like how they feel. I got these for free from my brother, otherwise I would be looking at the heavier set that goes up to 90 or 100.

I also have a set of old-school spinlock adjustable dumbbells where you load the small plates on and screw the ends tight. I can load one of them up to about 80lbs, but I don’t have enough plates to load both of them up that heavy. They are great too and feel more like a traditional dumbbell with the diameter of the handle and knurling, but if you’re loading them up to the edge of the threading you need to tighten them fairly regularly. I got these on craigslist for next to nothing.

If money isn’t a factor, I’d go with the powerblocks over the spinlocks all day. They are really easy to change the weights on and the weight changing mechanism is plenty sturdy for normal use. I don’t know how the bowflex ones work but there is basically no way that the powerblock mechanism could ever fail without abusing them. It’s just a plastic divider that you slide in and out of color-coded slots to select your weight.


#5

I think you can add the expansion to your existing kit, if you were so inclined. Unless it’s a slightly different design which would of course be the bees knees.


#6

I have the Bowflex that go up to 90 (95?). They’re pretty great for some stuff, but not ideal for others. They’re the same width whether you’re using 10lbs or 90. It’s just how they’re designed so DB OHP is a bit cumbersome, for example. You also have to be pretty gentle with them. THe plates are secure, but obviously not that secure.

Otherwise, they’re a great space saver and cost a lot less than buying DBs up to that weight.


#7

Never knew about that! Seems logical, given how they are designed. Just slap more blocks on, get more POWER, or something like that.


#8

The classic 50s can’t, but all the later models can.


#9

I have the powerblock set that goes to 70 with the expansion to 90. Best purschase ever made. Highly recommend


#10

I have the ironmaster adjustable dumbells. They are excellent quality but a little slow to adjust. The standard set goes to 70lbs with a 120lb option available