PowerBlock vs Bowflex Dumbbells Comparison

Owning a set of adjustable dumbbells is a part of every home gym. They are the most common pieces of fitness equipment used in any strength building workout.  Today I want to talk about the differences of two top rated dumbbells on the market: powerblock vs bowflex dumbbells that you want to consider purchasing.

We are going to see how the Bowflex brand measures up to the powerblocks vs bowflex. First let’s do a visual of both sets together and see what they look like.

Both PowerBlocks and Bowflex Dumbbells

When you think about dumbbells, the Bowflex is unmistakable a dumbbell set. The first time I looked at the Power Block, I thought, what the heck is that thing and how do I pick it up?

Powerblock dumbbells vs Bowflex

Bowflex Dumbbells

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Powerblock Dumbbells

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  • Use Dials to change the weights
  • 3 Models to choose from 552, 560 and 1090
  • Weight Ranges 552 - (5-52.5lbs) 560 - (5-60lbs) 1090 - ( 5-90lbs)
  • Traditional round weights
  • Plastic Coating around metal weights
  • Comes with small case
  • Pin Slides in and out to change the weights
  • 3 Models to choose from Sport, Trainer, Elite
  • Weight Ranges Sport - (5-24lbs) Trainer - (5-50lbs) Elite - ( 5-90lbs)
  • Square Shaped Weights.
  • Can With stand gym abuse.
  • No case

Why Would I Want Adjustable Dumbbells?

If you think about the old style of dumbbells, you would most likely have about 25+ sets just laying around your workout area and they would take up a lot of space. So, having the adjustable dumbbells can reduce the chance of accidents by keeping them contained in a small area.

The sets we are looking at have a stand that can be purchased separately, and they are convenient space savers.The adjustable set will fit right on the stand about 2 feet off the ground and take up maybe a 2.5 ft. square space.

You will be lifting them from a comfortable height and can go right into your exercise routine without stooping and lifting from the floor putting unnecessary strain on your back.

Here are some benefits of adjustable dumbbells:

  • Tone your entire body with a single piece of equipment
  • Adjust the weight to match your strength as you progress
  • Adjustable dumbbells allow you to customize your routine to target specific muscle groups
  • No need for a spotter — adjustable dumbbells are safe and easy to use

Disadvantages of Adjustable Dumbbells

Adjustable dumbbells are popular choices for weight training because of their convenience and versatility. However, there are also some disadvantages worth considering.

For starters, they can take up a lot of space. The various weight plates, usually sold separately from the dumbbells themselves, must be stored away somewhere when not in use. The space can add up fast with multiple sets of dumbbells.

Additionally, even when fully assembled with all the plates attached, adjustable dumbbells are often larger than their solid counterparts. This can lead to an uncomfortable workout session, as well as difficulty maneuvering them in some exercises, due to their size and shape.

Finally, they can be relatively expensive compared to a solid set if you want flexibility across multiple weights. Although you might save money buying one adjustable pair vs multiple fixed-weight pairs at first, it may end up being more expensive in the long run if you need additional plates.

All in all, adjustable dumbbells have convenience on their side but don't come without compromises that should be taken into account before purchasing. And while they definitely fill their niche within the weight training world, it pays to know exactly what those pros and cons are before taking them home!

Weight Options and How Do They Adjust?

Let’s look at the Bowflex SelectTech 552 first.  It has weight increments from 5-52 pounds. They can be adjusted 2.5 pound at a time and is done with an adjustable dial on each end.

Bowflex also sells the SelectTech 560 with weight adjustments from 5-60 pounds and the SelectTech 1090 set that has weight adjustments that go from 5-90 pounds.

Just dial in the number of pounds on each end and off you go. It’s just that simple!

If you want to do an exercise for the triceps, you can dial more weight on one end than on the other end and perform this movement easily. You can not do this with the PowerBlock set.

With the PowerBlock you can select 3 different options. They are: 5-50- lbs.: 5-70 lbs.: 5-90 lbs. Their warranty is a 10 year in home use only. You change the weight increments by a color-coded system. Just slid the selector pin into side rails on the weight plate and there you have it.

It may take a bit longer to adjust the weights than the Bowflex as you need to keep removing the pin and putting it back in a different weight plate.

The PowerBlock Adjustable Dumbbell Set
The base unit on the PowerBlock comes with two hidden metal cylinders that weight in at 2.5 kilos each.

If you want to adjust the base, you must unlock the cylinders and remove them, lock it back up and proceed with the workout.

For me, the Bowflex is much simpler when changing the weight increments. It is more user friendly than the PowerBlock.

Construction and Durability Factors

Both sets we are looking at are well made and sturdy. The PowerBlock weight plates are black powder coat painted steel in a square shape. The Bowflex plates are made of hard metal encased in durable hard plastic. Not much different in this aspect.

Both sets have some plastic parts but if you are NOT one of the people that must drop their weights when finished with a set, no problem here either.

Working With PowerBlocks

When lifting with either set, they both will make a little rattling noise but that is nothing to be concerned about.

If you do curls with the Bowflex, there is more weight on one side due to the construction style and the PowerBlock is a little awkward as well. They both are different than the old-style dumbbells that we are all use to.

Looking at the length from end to end, the Bowflex is almost twice as long as the PowerBlock.

Those that I have talked to say that “it really doesn’t make that much difference, you just adjust your arms.”

Others are happier with the flat ends on the PowerBlock as they are easier to rest on the knees while doing certain exercises with the weight bench.

Looking at the handles, to use the PowerBlock just reach inside the core for the padded handle. The Bowflex handle is ergonomic in design and is metal covered with a padding also. It appears that there is not much difference in the comfort of the handle.

Handle and Comfort

When it comes to choosing between PowerBlock and Bowflex dumbbells, there is almost no difference in terms of handle and comfort. The grip design of both models means that your hand will be completely engulfed in the weight while you’re lifting it.

This can be either a pro or con depending on the user: those with smaller hands may find this experience reassuring, while those with bigger hands may experience some discomfort when gripping the dumbbells for an extended period of time.

An often-cited downside to Bowflex is its handle, which remains the same length regardless of how much weight it holds. On the other hand, PowerBlocks change their size according to the amount of weight being lifted. This goes a long way toward providing better comfort in your lifts.

Prices of Bowflex vs PowerBlock Adjustable Dumbbells

The prices vary because they are not apples to apples in the amount of weight and sets they replace.
the SelectTech 552 is cheaper than than the Elite 50 and the Elite 90 is more expensive than the Bowflex 1090. If you drop
No matter how you look at it, you will be spending between $230-$450 to get by one of these. The more weight you want the more the price goes up.

Bowflex vs PowerBlock Summary

The PowerBlock set is a bit more expensive than the Bowflex set as you can see from the comparison info above. That doesn’t mean that they are any better than Bowflex.

I’m leaning toward the Bowflex because of it’s design and the company has been in business for over 30 years and continues to make great workout equipment. I like how easy it is to change the weight by just turning a dial on each end of the dumbbell. 

The stand for the Bowflex that holds the dumbbells is a great product also, and you can order wheels for it that makes it even more mobile and you can store it where you want to.

The trays that hold the Bowflex dumbbells on the stand are at an advantageous angle for easy lifting. I just wish the stand would come with the dumbbell set!

The stand for the PowerBlock is not that easy to move around. If you are not interested in the stand, the bowflex does have a tray it sets in you  use on the floor.

Well, I hope that I have shed some light on the powerblock and bowflex dumbbells.  Both are great products and will be a great set to have at home.  Either way, the secret to a great adjustable dumbbell set is, making sure you use it consistently!

Frequently Asked Questions

They can break, but only under certain circumstances. If a user drops the dumbbells from height, or applies too much pressure to the weight dial and plastic parts, they could break. However, adjustable dumbells are generally considered to be durable and reliable, giving you a great bang for your buck if used correctly.

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