POWERBLOCK Adjustable Dumbbells Review

At the time of this writing we are slowly coming out of the QVID-19 quarantine. The gyms are still closed and many of us are finding ways to workout at home.

Much of the workout equipment for home is largely sold out. It’s almost as if it was like toilet paper.

Once everyone realized they weren’t going old-guy-cartoon-with-dumbbellsto be able to go to their local gym or health club, they started hoarding  equipment they could train with anywhere.

I am fortunate, I purchased a pair of POWERBLOCK adjustable barbells about 6 years ago. My main

POWERBLOCK-Sport-EXP-50
POWERBLOCK Sport Expandable 50 pounds

 

reason for getting them at the time is so when I didn’t have time to go to the gym I could still get in a workout at home.

I also bought an inexpensive bench for under $100.

The POWERBLOCK Sport 50 can be purchased with the capability to use from 2.5 to 50 pounds. Extensions can be bought to bring the total weight up to 70, or, 90 pounds.

What are Adjustable Dumbbells?

The ones you see on long rows of racks at your local health club or gym are NOT adjustable. The 50 pound dumbbell will be 50 pounds every day.

So, to have a complete variety of dumbbell weights, from 5 pounds to 120 pounds, a lot of room is needed. And, all those dumbbells combined cost many thousands of dollars.

For most homes, there isn’t nearly enough available space for all those things. Adjustable dumbbells take up about the same amount of space as those at the gym.

Adjustable dumbbells are just that, you can adjust the weight so that, the same bar, or grip, can be used for low weight or considerably more weight. The user can just make the ‘adjustments’.

One of the advantages is that the adjustable dumbbells can be kept in a relatively small space compared to what is required in a gym. And, you’ll still be able to use a wide variety of weight.  That is why the make such good workout equipment for home.

Two Main Types of Adjustable Dumbbells

FIRST: One type has a dumbbell bar, weight plates and collars to keep the plates firmly in place. If the

adjustable-barbells-w-plates-and-collars
Adjustable Barbbells with Plates and Collars

weight of the dumbbell is 20 pounds and the user wants to put another 10 pounds on, (5 pounds on each side), he or she would have to remove the collars from both sides of the dumbbell, add 5 pounds to each

side, then fasten the collars back on. If the user is using 2 dumbbells, one for each hand, that’s 4 changes of plates and collars.

SECOND: The other type has built dumbbells where the weight adjustments can be made without collars that need to be tightened on and off every time there is a weight change. And, plates do not have to be lifted back on or off to each side of the bar.

I prefer the second type with the easy adjustment.

  • It’s quicker to make the weight adjustment.
  • It’s easier. There are no plates and collars to mess with.
  • It takes up less space. It is essentially one integrated unit.

 

Comparing Bowflex 552 and POWERBLOCK Sport 50 Adjustable Dumbbells

After doing my research, I saw Bowflex and POWERBLOCK to be the two top brands. I went to retailers to learn more and try out each brand. Let me start by saying I think both of these brands are high quality, super well-designed equipment for home workout. I believe Bowflex is more well-known because of years of infomercials.

I’m reviewing the Bowflex that has 52.5 pounds vs. the POWERBLOCK that has 50 pounds. Since most of my audience are men over 60 years of age, the majority will likely not be interested in heavier weights, although they are available. Following are pros and cons for both brands:

Bowflex Plusses for this 68 year old guy:

Bowflex-dumbbells
Bowflex Dumbbells
  1. They are shaped more like traditional dumbbells. As such one can do behind the neck presses for triceps work. I have found those to be very effective muscle-building exercises.
  2. Making the weight-change adjustment is quicker with the Bowflex. It’s just the turn of a dial.
  3. Weights can be adjusted easily in 2.5 pound increments.
  4. I like the way they look better. But, in making the decision, that was not a big deal for me
  5. At $329, the Bowflex 552 was $20 cheaper than the POWERBLOCK Pro with 50 pounds.  With the 552 you can use weight from 5 pounds to 52.5 pounds.

Bowflex Minuses from a 60+ perspective:

  1. There was a lot of plastic and it felt cheaper and less sturdy.
  2. There was a 2-year warranty vs. a five-year warranty with the POWERBLOCK, That further reinforced my concern about how well-build the Bowflex was.
  3. Can’t add weights beyond 52.5 pounds

POWERBLOCK Plusses for this old boy:

  1. More compact, using less space.
  2. Built sturdier with metal and not plastic.
  3. 5 year warranty

    POWERBLOCK-dumbbells
    POWERBLOCK Dumbells
  4. Expandable from 50 to 70 or to 90 pounds as strength increases.
  5. Closed cage handle to help reduce the chances of a wrist injury
  6. Magnetic selector pin to adjust how much weight
  7. Can expand up to 125 pounds per dumbbell

POWERBLOCK Minuses:

  1. It is primarily set to be changed in 10 pound increments. It can be changed in 2.5 or 5 pound increments but it does not do it with the efficiency of the Bowflex.
  2. Could be uncomfortable for people with very large hands
  3. The weights make some noise when being used due to the looser tolerances to accommodate the adjustment style
  4. At $349 for the POWERBLOCK 50 is $20 more than the Bowflex 552

Why the heck do I want to be lifting weights after 60?

There are many reasons for us older guys to be doing resistance training after 60 and beyond. A healthier, more energetic and vibrant quality of life is for starters. Resistance training for building muscle also builds bone. That’s right! Resistance training actually helps improve bone density.

At our age that’s a big deal. How embarrassing would it be if you fall down and break a hip in the middle of the night when you’re up for your third visit to the bathroom?

Muscle increases your metabolism which means you burn more fat, even when you’re sitting on the couch watching sports history shows.

For much more information and research references see my article, “Building Muscle After 60.”

Building Muscle After 60

Conclusion

The POWERBLOCK dumbbells I bought have gotten many hours of use over the last 6 years.   They have been my primary workout equipment for home.

As I said earlier, I see both POWERBLOCK and. Bowflex as high quality dumbbells. You really can’t go wrong with either. My preferences were for the reasons I stated above.

I hope you found this product review helpful. If you have any questions or comments please leave them in the Comments section below.  I will be more than happy to respond to any questions you may have.

POWERBLOCKS

$349
9.8

Product

10.0/10

Support

9.5/10

Overall Quality

9.8/10

Pros

  • Compact using small space
  • Expandable from 50-70-90 lbs..
  • 5 year warranty

Cons

  • Cumbersome to change in 2.5 and 5 lb increments
  • Makes some noise when being used
  • Could be uncomfortable for people w big hands

6 thoughts on “POWERBLOCK Adjustable Dumbbells Review

  1. Ivan Brozincevic says:

    I have never gotten the chance to use Powerblock dumbbells, while on the other hand, I have had a chance to workout with Bowflex. The sole idea of adjustable dumbells is great, and these two companies have taken it to the next level. Where can I buy a Powerblock dumbbells? Which place is the cheapest online to buy these?

    • Glenn says:

      Thanks for the comments, Ivan. Best prices are at Amazon. Sometimes they’ll have used ones on their Marketplace sites. I’ll go back and put best prices on my review. I’m a newbie and still learning a ton. I just finished listening to a training by Jay as to how to get Google Rating Stars.

      You can get POWERBLOCK dumbbells with 50, 70 or 90 pounds. They are also expandable. I have a 70 pound set and can add expand to 90. I’ve had them for several years they look and operate as well as when they were new.

  2. Karl Darden says:

    That was a good review of adjustable dumbbells. I’ve actually had a chance to use both the Powerblocks and the Bowflex dumbbells. I eventually decided go with Bowflex. The version I have adjusts up to 55 pounds per dumbbell. That works just fine for me. I’ve had them for at least ten years and I’ve gotten a lot of use out of them. They are very durable also.

    I remember trying out the Powerblocks for the first time at least 20 years ago. I thought it was a great concept. Both types of adjustable dumbbells are pretty good. I went with the Bowflex brand because I was pleased with two of their other products. So it was kind of a brand loyalty thing. Thanks again for the write up!

  3. Catherine says:

    Hi Glenn, I actually have the Bowflex dumbells at home. They were an expensive investment but to be honest, I am so pleased that we decided to get these.

    My brother has ordinary weights that require changing in his livingroom. They take us a ton of space and need adjusting between each new exercise.
    This adds so much more time to an exercise routine and gives me an extra reason to avoid working out every day!

    I know feel motivated and can do a thorough work out in 30-60 minutes. This type of workout would take me at least twice as long prior to investing in the Bowflex dumbells. They are easy to use and take up almost no room in my living area. I work ou every day now too.

    Question: my dad is coming to visit soon and we are going to be working out together. Do you have any routines you would recommend for him? He hasn’t worked out in a long time and had his hips replaced a couple of years ago.

    Thank you!

    • Glenn says:

      Hi Catherine – Thanks so much for your comments and question. To provide a truly helpful answer to your question regarding your dad, following are 2 responses:

      1) To prescribe the best workout for anyone, I would need to first know what his goals are. For example: What would he like to have achieved after 90 days of working a plan?

      2) There is a really good article titled, “What is The Best Workout for Seniors?” on bodybuilding.com. It provides a lot of excellent guidelines.

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