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Bowflex vs PowerBlock Dumbbell
Which One Is Better?

Last updated: September 16, 2021

Bowflex vs Powerblocks Dumbbells? This question has always been common among those who like to work out.

But I’ll be honest and say that for a long time, I wasn’t a fan of any adjustable dumbbell.

I always recommended a traditional dumbbell set to my clients for their home gym, as the adjustable ones took so long to reconfigure. Added to that, there will only be certain exercises that you can do.

However, two dumbbell companies have managed to come up with some pretty innovative solutions. They were able to develop an adjustable dumbbell of excellent quality and features.

If you’re unsure about what to purchase, then take a look at this PowerBlock vs Bowflex dumbbell review.

You might just find the best brand for your specific workout routines.

What Are Bowflex Dumbbells?

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Bowflex dumbbells are adjustable dumbbells that use a unique dial system that allows you quick weight adjustment in just a few seconds.

The dumbbells feature pair of metal handles with built-in dials on their end. These metal handles sit on platforms that house weight plates.

So, when you turn the dial on a certain resistance level, the handles lock there.

I was sold on that Bowflex feature, as you don’t end up wasting a lot of time in between sets where you might need different and heavier weights.

Bowflex comes as a set of two dumbbells, and there are a few models to choose from that allow for different amounts of weight ranges and increments.

There is also a compatible stand available with each Bowflex set, which I would encourage as it may help secure the weights more safely.

Read the full review on Bowflex Dumbbells.

 

What are PowerBlock Dumbbells?

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PowerBlock dumbbells are adjustable dumbbells, which use weight plates that you are able to adjust through a pin system.

It’s kind of like the weight system you see on some gym machines where the pins either engage or release certain weights.

The reason I think they are called PowerBlock is that they are very much in a block shape, as opposed to a standard round dumbbell.

 

Like the Bowflex dumbbells, you can adjust the PowerBlock dumbbells pretty quickly, which means you might not end up cooling down in between sets as you select a different needed weight.

Read the full review on PowerBlock Dumbbells.

We also compared PowerBlock vs IronMaster, another popular product on the market.

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Bowflex SelectTech Pros And Cons

Personally, I prefer Bowflex adjustable dumbbells vs Powerblock because of the dial system, which is a really great innovation. I know some people prefer a selector pin, but I have found that after a few goes, you should be able to adjust them much faster.

There are two particular Bowflex SelectTech adjustable dumbbells that you might want to look at - the Bowflex 552 and Bowflex 1090.

The Bowflex SelectTech 552 set gives you from 5 pounds all the way up to 52.5 weight ranges settings. That's quite impressive, thus many users consider this equipment the best adjustable dumbbell set. In comparison, a set of traditional dumbbells could cost you many times as that to get the same kind of range.

The weight range of Bowflex 552 is also great for a beginner.

There's also the Bowflex SelectTech 1090, which has the same features as the 552. The only difference, however, is that you can adjust it from 10 to 90 pounds. All you need is to adjust the built-in dial found on the sides.

This dumbbell is perfect for those who are looking for more weight that go beyond the 552 weight range.

The Bowflex dumbbell's durability is also impressive. You won't even have to fear to drop them accidentally because there are no fragile or plastic parts that will break.

When I first encountered adjustable weights, I found them flimsy with weight plates that could wobble. That just never gave me the confidence that it wouldn’t fall apart and hit me on the head during a shoulder press.

Safety should always come first [1].

I also like that the warranty lasts for two years which gives you some added peace of mind in case things go wrong.

Pros
  • Each Bowflex dumbbell has a weight range of 5 to 52.5 pounds for the 552 model and 10 to 90 pounds for the 1090 model
  • Up to 25 pounds you have increments of 2.5 lbs and 5 lbs after that
  • Comes in a rounded shape to make them feel like a standard dumbbell
  • Sturdy design and adjustment mechanism for more safety
  • Offset weight settings allow you to set a different weight on one side, and different on the other
Cons
  • The stand is extra but worth spending some extra dollars on
  • Due to their size and weight, it may not be the best companion

The only thing I would highlight about the Bowflex adjustable dumbbells is that the compatible stand isn’t always available, and it’s not the cheapest.

However, I do think it has an excellent ergonomic design that will keep your weights off the floor and within reach. It's surely worth the investment.

Reviews on Amazon are great on both of the products. You can check them out to see what others say.

Powerblock Dumbbells Pros And Cons

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What I like most about the PowerBlock vs Bowflex is that these adjustable dumbbells come in a square shape. This means that you could have a more simple stand or even just a small table as they are pretty stable and safe [2].

There are a few models of PowerBlock dumbbells available, with the most basic being the PowerBlock Sport. PowerBlock Elite is the mid-range model, which I have used most, and then there is the PowerBlock Pro.

The differences between the Elite, Sport, and Pro dumbbells are down to the min and max weight range as well as increments. With the adjustment system on all of them having the same design, you’d be able to switch between using any of them pretty quickly.

The handle of each PowerBlock dumbbell is solid metal, and I felt comfortable lifting them without having to worry about them falling apart or becoming unbalanced. The durability and quality of the materials used in the making of this equipment are excellent.

Also note, PowerBlock dumbbell comes with a warranty of 5 years, which is better in comparison to the Bowflex dumbbells.

Pros
  • Uses a weight plates selector pin to switch out weights during your workout routine
  • The weight range for the PowerBlock Elite model is 5 to 50 pounds
  • Square design to make them very stable on a flat surface
  • Uses high quality materials and made in the USA
Cons
  • The adjustment system isn’t as quickly modified as the Bowflex dumbbell dial

Now, you’ll probably adjust to the pin system quickly, which is quite similar to what you see on gym machines. But PowerBlock's weight adjustment is not quite as fast and seamless a movement in comparison to the Bowflex.

There's also a PowerBlock Compact Weight Stand available if you wish to have convenient storage for stacking your PowerBlock adjustable dumbbells.

If you don't have a lot of money or space for gym gear, an adjustable dumbbell set could be a good investment, since it allows you to use several levels of weight with a piece of exercise equipment.

- Gabby Landsverk, Nutrition, and Fitness Reporter

Make A Choice Based On Your Personal Needs

When you’re trying to make a decision between PowerBlock vs Bowflex, then I would suggest that you take a look at your personal workout program, goals, and needs before your purchase.

Here’s what I recommend to my clients when it comes to the PowerBlock vs Bowflex adjustable dumbbells dilemma.

If you're looking for that ability to change the weight setting as fast as possible in between exercises, then the Bowflex dumbbells might be hard to beat. The weight selection design is so easy to use, I’m sure you’ll get used to it in no time.

Also, Bowflex dumbbells are less bulky, which many people find makes them easier to store if you don’t have much space to spare.

While the weight increments of the PowerBlock Sport might not be as good as the Bowflex, the PowerBlock Elite dumbbells are pretty much on par.

Many people have commented that they like the stability that the block shape provides, and the handle grip is comfortable to hold onto even when weight lifting.

If speed is not a must-have, and you want to save a few dollars as well, the PowerBlock Elite might just be the best adjustable dumbbells on the market.

From a safety perspective, I have to say that both weights look great to me.

Both products are also excellent in terms of durability and quality. Unlike other adjustable dumbbells that have plastic parts, the Bowflex and Powerblock set are made of metal.

If you are wondering on where to store your dumbbells while you are not working out, we made a list of the best dumbbell racks.

FAQs

Can you do squats with a Bowflex dumbbell?

Yes, you can do squats with a Bowflex dumbbell. With an even weight distribution, you could grip one in each hand or use a single weight between your legs. And due to the high weight range, you should be able to do some powerlifting.

Are Bowflex dumbbells good for building muscle?

Yes, Bowflex dumbbells are good for building muscle, as the weight settings go all the way up to 52.5 lbs. Unless you’re a professional bodybuilder, that should be enough for you to do certain exercises that would push yourself to the limit.

Which is better: Bowflex or free weights?

Bowflex has become a better option than free weights for many people who want a reliable home gym equipment. They are considerably cheaper than large dumbbell sets, and it makes it so much easier to store at your home gym as well.

Which Adjustable Dumbbells Should You Pick?

When choosing your fitness equipment product for use at your home gym, I would always suggest focusing on your workout program and not on the amount you'll have to spend.

I’ve heard it too many times that people choose a product that doesn’t end up working well enough especially with specific goals and exercises.

Choosing between PowerBlock vs Bowflex, I personally think that the Bowflex series gives a bit more flexibility through the dial adjustment system.

It might just shorten the length of time you have to spend on adjusting in between sets. Hence, there's not much disruption.

Our #1 Recommendation

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Bowflex Dumbbells

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