PowerBlock vs Bowflex Pros & Drawbacks

Owning an adjustable set of dumbbells is a part of every home gym. They are the most common pieces of fitness equipment used in any strength building workout. Don’t get me wrong. Today I want to talk about the differences of two top rated dumbbells on the market: PowerBlock VS BowFlex.

We are going to see how the Bowflex brand measures up to the Power Block brand. 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?

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.

The greatest advantage, of the adjustable dumbbells, other than space saving is, it takes very little time to switch up the amount of weights and carry on with your workout.

Bowflex adjustable dumbbell set

What amount of Weights Do They Come with 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.

If you are leaning toward the PowerBlock and want to know more, check out our review here.

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.

Comparing the Prices of Bowflex vs PowerBlock Adjustable Dumbbells

Bowflex Prices

  • SelectTech 552 $259.00
  • SelectTech 560 $499.00
  • SelectTech 1090 $399.00
  • SelectTech Stand $169.00
PowerBlock Prices

  • Elite 50 Set $299.00
  • Elite 70 Set $428.00
  • Elite 90 Set $557.00
  • Large Stand $129.00

So, Who Wins This Comparison?

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. 

If you would like to read an in-depth review on the Bowflex Adjustable Dumbbell, click here.

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!