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Adustable Dumbbells

My current home gym is fairly simple. I have a squat rack. A bar with 300lb set. and a bench.
I would like to add some dumbells for variety, and feel that the adjustable kind (powerblock, et al) would be best b/c of the limited space I have.
Do any of you have any recommendations? Brands to consider or to avoid?
Thanks, guys.


I’ve got the ironmasters with the add on kit and am 100% happy with them. They might not be as fast to change as some of the others but they feel better to hold, just like normal dumbbells.

I have Bowflex. They’re great. Only regret is that they only go up to 52.5, so I need to invest in some rubber weights when I wanna do some heavy DB bench work.

You already have an olympic weight set. Buy olympic dumbbells. I know they aren’t as sleek as adjustable or even the standard size weights, but it solves your problem. Unless of course you don’t have an even number of weights (only two 25 lbs plates as opposed to four).

Saw your post about adjustable dumbbells, if I may, I’d like to recommend the IRON Master adjustable dumbbells. They are the closest I’ve come across to feeling like commercial gym quality.

you can find them here www.ironmaster.com. I also have the powerblock dumbbells. Either is a real good choice.

thanks for the responses; I really appreciate it.


I have 50lb. powerblocks. I don’t like them. They rattle a little when they are moved and the pin that holds them together sometimes slides out.

I have the PowerBlock elite (the ones that can go up to 130#). They are very useful. Easy to change the weight quickly, rugged, and take up very little space.


  1. cost
  2. the 2.5# weights can unbalance the bells a bit if you only use one per hand

However, I like them a lot

I’ve used the ones by Nautilus and they were great.

[quote]oldskinnyfat wrote:
I’ve got the ironmasters with the add on kit and am 100% happy with them. They might not be as fast to change as some of the others but they feel better to hold, just like normal dumbbells.

http://www.ironmaster.com/store/Quick-Lock-Dumbell-System-75-lb-set-with-Rack-pr-2.html [/quote]

Those are the same that i have and they are great. No stupid bars crossing from one side to the other, and I can see how they work so i don’t have to wonder if they might pop apart.

If you are not going to lift heavy then you can go with the Nautilus.

I bought the Pro Rexan starter set, and then bought the 5-11 adder plates. Now I have a 125 lb set.

The Pro Rexan was replaced by the Elite set.

I’m really liking the ironmaster ones.
Good price, and it looks like the base model goes up to 75lbs.
For me that’s a good weight, b/c I’m not that strong so anything heavier wouldn’t be of a real use to me right now, but I can handle 75 lbs so when I wanted to throw in a heavy set of whatever I could.

I have the Ironmaster dumbbells as well as the SuperBench with the dip, pull-up and crunch attachments. I also have a simple squat rack in which I can also do bench presses with my olympic bar and weights. This set up is working like a charm for me. I am currently doing the workouts in Waterbury’s Muscle Revolution, and fully enjoying my equipment.

Certainly, it is not as convenient to change the weight on the Ironmaster dumbbells as compared to the PowerBlocks, but it’s still quick enough for me to change them during my rest periods.


[quote]oldskinnyfat wrote:
I’ve got the ironmasters with the add on kit and am 100% happy with them. They might not be as fast to change as some of the others but they feel better to hold, just like normal dumbbells.



I have them and love them! They feel like “real” dumbbells and are very strong and durable. Easy to use, but may not change as quick as the others on the market. But what you give up in a few extra seconds of adjustability, you gain in quality, durability and the ability to do all exercises without the awkward shape of a dumbbell preventing you from doing many exercises (like Powerblocks and others).

I too, have the powerblock adjustable dumbbells that go to 125 lbs. I love em!

Maybe its just me though but they feel lighter compared to the fixed dumbbell. For example, 70 lbs with the powerblocks feels slightly lighter than a fixed 70lb dummbell. But then again, maybe its just me…:slight_smile:

Love the idea, can’t justify the cost. IMO, just because it “replaces a rack of dumbbells” it shouldn’t necessarily have the same price tag as said rack… Seriously - $600-$800 for a couple stacks of plates? The R&D costs were offset with the sale of the first dozen units…

Has anyone tried any of the less expensive sets on eBay? They are less adjustable (10-20-30-40-50) but feedback appears positive (FWIW) and they’re priced a little better.

I checked out a set of the Bowflex/Nautilus units at Sears. Was not impressed at all for the cost…

I think $449 for the Ironmaster adjustable dumbbells is a good deal and well worth the investment. That includes the weights up to 75lbs each and the stand.

You can purchase the add-on kit if necessary, or get a package deal including the Super Bench (which is a bargain for the price - it’s sturdy, high quality and is a flat/incline/decline bench) including various attachments for $899.

That alone will give you plenty of exercise choices and make a very nice home gym. A power rack could be added later along with a 300lb Olympic barbell set. Or you could start with that stuff and add the Ironmaster dumbbell set and Super Bench later.

If space is an issue, and you want to train at home, I think the Ironmaster package #4 (Dumbbells, stand, super bench, dip bar, chin bar, leg curl/ext attachment, ab attachment and seat) is a great buy and will be well worth it in the end. For less than $1,000 you’d have a very good home set-up taking up less than 6’x6’ of space in your house or garage.

Sure, heavy leg exercises would be hard to do with just that package, but you could always add a 300lb Olympic barbell set to the mix and a power rack (you don’t necessarily need to have a power rack - but it’s convenient for loading the bar with heavy weights for squats) and you’d be well set for about $1,500 total. At that point, you’d need a little more space, but it could all fit in a 10’ x 10’ room. And $1,500 for a GOOD home gym is a bargain!