Adjustable Dumbbells - Recommendations

Steve Freides

Staff
Staff member
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
My son has moved out and is looking for dumbbells to use in his new apartment. I know nothing about adjustable dumbbells but since he's used to having a wide selection here, I thought I might look into the adjustable kind.

I'd appreciate recommendations for adjustable dumbbells. He's pretty strong and, in our basement gym, generally used between the 30 lb'ers and the 70's - we have them in 5 lb. increments but I've rarely used dumbbells.

Thanks in advance for your replies.

-S-
 

Blake Nelson

Level 5 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
I have used Powerblocks and liked them. They are spendy but take up very little space. Otherwise, I would recommend a basic loadable DB bar like Rep makes and then buy cheap 2.5, 5, and 10 pound plates on the second-hand market. I don't have experience with that specific bar, but have used similar. I just don't recall the brand.
 

Steve Freides

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Senior Certified Instructor
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@Blake Nelson, I have Oly dumbbell handles here, but I could never get collars to stay securely on them. I've used screw-on dumbbells handles for 1" weights, also an option in this case but something adjustable, like Powerblocks, seems like just what's needy. Love to spend less, however.

-S-
 

Norville Barnes

Level 5 Valued Member
I had a set from Core Fitness on my list, but they sold out over the weekend it appears. They are a bit less expensive and get good reviews. They only go to 50 lbs though, so perhaps not enough for him.
 

william bad butt

Level 6 Valued Member
I have the Bowflex Select Tech Dumbells. I have had them for a long time, probably 15+ years. They were my 1st piece of training equipment I ever acquired, building my home gym. I still use them all the time.

They are a bit pricey, north of $300 I think. Very convenient for changing weights. Very comfy handles. I've done literally nothing in terms of maintenance. Big downside is that they only go to 50 or 55 lbs (maybe they make another version that is heavier). So whenever I need to go above 55 lb on an excersise I use a kbell or barbell.

Eric
 

william bad butt

Level 6 Valued Member
I have the Bowflex Select Tech Dumbells. I have had them for a long time, probably 15+ years. They were my 1st piece of training equipment I ever acquired, building my home gym. I still use them all the time.

They are a bit pricey, north of $300 I think. Very convenient for changing weights. Very comfy handles. I've done literally nothing in terms of maintenance. Big downside is that they only go to 50 or 55 lbs (maybe they make another version that is heavier). So whenever I need to go above 55 lb on an excersise I use a kbell or barbell.

Eric

I just checked, Bowflex does make one that goes to 90 lb. Its pricey though, $750. I really like the product (vs having to buy a bunch of dumbells) but not sure I would pay $750 for it. Maybe you can find it used on Craigslist.

Regards

Eric
 

Steve Freides

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Bowflex - the name makes me shudder ... - has a set that goes up to 52.5 lb for $350 but it's out of stock everywhere. I'd do that if I could find it. Walmart says "free shipping" but has them priced at over $700.

Very little used stuff around - my local craigslist had someone selling dumbbells for $5 per lb.

-S-
 

Lotto

Level 3 Valued Member

My link won't be of much use to you as UK based, but since the pandemic began little fabrication companies like this have really started producing affordable and high quality equipment. Perhaps you could look local to yourself and support the small guys? I'm not overly interested in branded stuff (StrongFirst kettlebells excluded lol if we can ever get them in the UK) so companies like this attract my attention.
I thought it was a genius idea to produce the dumbbell bar and have it accommodate your Olympic weights. Your son could go the other way, start off with small Olympic weights, when finances allow add the 7ft bar and just compliment with some heavier plates at that point?
Something locally manufactured like this:

 
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Chrisdavisjr

Level 7 Valued Member
I used to own the Powerblock 'sport' model and they were really good. I think they were 2.5-22.5kg/5-50lbs each, felt sturdy and were nice and compact. Ended up selling them after getting my first two kettlebells. If I hadn't needed the money I would have definitely kept them.

When I was looking to buy, it was between them and the Bowflex and I think the Powerblock won out by being cheaper, expandable and somewhat nicer to look at.

Not sure what prices are like at the moment but we're going into our third national lockdown soon and gym/fitness equipment here is still somewhat overpriced. Hopefully it's not too ridiculous stateside.
 

kennycro@@aol.com

Level 6 Valued Member
I know nothing about adjustable dumbbells but since he's used to having a wide selection here, I thought I might look into the adjustable kind.

PowerBlock

PowerBlock was the first to develop the adjustable dumbbell. They are a high quality product.

I purchased my PowerBlock Set in 1995. I still have them an use them.

My set goes up to 90 lbs per dumbbell. However, I rarely go that high.

The only time I get up close to 90 lbs is with one are dumbbell Rows

Sports Expandable PowerBlock

This the most economical set.

It goes from 5 - 50 lbs.

There two extension kits that you can add to take it up to 70 lbs and then 90 lbs per dumbbell.

PowerBlock has a very simplistic method for changing the weight; less to go wrong,.

I purchased some for my son years. I got him the once that go up to 70 lbs; he said he rarely goes that high.

With that said, most individual (myself and son included) don't need an dumbbell that goes up to 90 lbs, 50 lbs or at most 70 lbs is usually more than enough.

Start with the 50 lb set. If you need more, get the 70 Add On Kit. It is unlikely that you/he would need the 90 lb Extension Kit.

"Spendy"

...as Blake put it.

As with any good quality piece of fitness equipment, the initial price is often more than most want spend. I understand that.

However, if you keep them long enough, the cost is relative small.

My annual cost average, since I paid for mine from 1995, is $32 a year.

PowerBlock Owner

The same guy who invented the PowerBlock Dumbbell still owns the company. It amount to being a large family business. Most of the people who work there have been there for years.

Bowflex - the name makes me shudder...

Me Too

Evidently, William has had good luck with his set. Glad to hear that

I sold them when I worked in Retail Fitness Equipment at Busy Body in California.

The Select Dial Up Handle for increasing/decreasing the weight is nice. Years ago, that dial would stop working; which occurred a lot.

The good news was that most of the time, the Handle was under warranty.

However, getting a hold of Bowflex Service to replace was a nightmare to get a new Handle ordered for the customer.

Gear Trends Retail Fitness Equipment Magazine

As I posted, years ago...http://www.ironmagazineforums.com/threads/143815-Bowflex-vs-Marcy-Diamond-Home-Gym-Head-to-Head

This is a consumer retail magazine that reviews the products and services of fitness companies.

In a three year period, Nautilus/Bowflex "walked away with the Worst Service" category.

Nautilus (Bowflex) Today

Nautilus has gone though multiple ownership changes.; new doesn't mean better. In Commercial Sales, I still need to deal with them at times. They continued to have service issues.

Nautilus/Bowflex is a mixed bag. Some of their product are good and usually the once you see on TV are not. They spend more money on the TV ads than the product.

Nautilus/Bowflex goes through people like toilet paper. You never talk or get an email back from the same person you stared the conversation with. The downside of that is if you have an issue or question, you have to start all over and explain it them all over again; which makes it incredibly frustrating.
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Staff member
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
The Rogue ones have small grooves on the loadable part to prevent the collars from slipping.
I plan to revisit my Olympic dumbbells. I'm hoping to do some more USAWA lifting over the next few years, and I know that some of the things I'd like to try again are one- and two-dumbbell deadlifts.

-S-
 
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Benjamin Renaud

Level 7 Valued Member
@Steve Freides this guy from Quebec also makes these neat adjustable dumbbells. It's a brand new model. Screws towards the inside instead of out.

 

Chrisdavisjr

Level 7 Valued Member
@Steve Freides this guy from Quebec also makes these neat adjustable dumbbells. It's a brand new model. Screws towards the inside instead of out.

Those are nice! Probably the nicest-looking option I've seen.
 

Benjamin Renaud

Level 7 Valued Member
I plan to revisit my Olympic dumbbells. I'm hoping to do some more USAWA lifting over the next few years, and I know that some of the things I'd like to try again are one- and two-dumbbell deadlifts.

-S-
May I ask what the appeal of the dumbbell deadlift is? Is it just an assistance for your main deadlift practice? A form of specialized variety?

How heavy do you plan to go on these to get benefits? And how do you plan on using/programming them?

Thanks.
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Staff member
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
There are some lifts I will train a little only to be able to perform them at a USAWA competition. The trap bar deadlift is one example. My personal deadlift PR is about 360 lb; I bought a trap bar, used it a few times in advance of a meet, and did 330 at the meet.

The dumbbell deadlift isn't a lift I've ever tried that I can remember, so I don't know if it will end up being like the trap bar DL or if it's something I'll find valuable as an assistance or specialized variety exercise. The AWA also allows one to compete with two _barbells_ for the deadlift, so that's another thing I'll probably try, but I think the dumbbell version would probably allow me more weight and have a better carryover.

At this moment, that's all I've got about these - will try them once my April 17 meet is over.

-S-
 
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