My search for the best dumbbells in the fitness industry may be over! Since staring my training career over a decade a go, dumbbell based exercises have always been my favorite for enhancing strength and muscularity.
Thanks to the unlimited training potential of dumbbells, one can simply have a set of dumbbells and a bench and sculpt the physique of their dreams. However, there’s a problem with this theory. The body adapts quickly to new stresses and demands. Hence, muscle and strength gains. To really maximize this principle, one needs a wide array of various dumbbells, in increasing weight. This leads to major spending for something as simple as a deadweight.
Fortunately, there are “selectorize” dumbbells that allow users to pick from 5-50+ pounds in just one weight, and according to my research, PowerBlock does this the best. However, I still wasn’t convinced. I needed to test these dumbbells in a specific “Official PowerBlock Dumbbell Review” format to see if they are worth the minimal investment, durable, easy to use and better than their rivals Bowflex (which I’ve already had experience with).
Additionally, whatever product we choose, we’re going to recommend in our new Home Lean Mass & Strength Series. So, we live by our word and trust of our members, so we’re not going to recommend junk!
The next step! Finding PowerBlock Dumbbells in Spokane Washington
The first place I looked for PowerBlock Dumbbells was Craigslist. Nothing popped up. I actually looked for several weeks and noted this as a major positive. No one is giving up their dumbbells. Next stop, Spokane Exercise Equipment.
The staff there rocked and was extremely knowledgeable in their wide-array of home fitness and functional training equipment. They loved my concept and hooked me up with a beautiful set of PowerBlock Dumbbells and a stand. Not many places in Spokane, Washington carry PowerBlock Dumbbells, so I immediately hoped the dumbbells would live up to the hype and there would be no need to test any other brands.
What other “Selectorize Dumbbells” are out there?
For well over a decade, I’ve been hearing about quick locking, interchangeable, “Selectorize Dumbbells.” The primary brands making this style of dumbbell are PowerBlock, Bowflex, Ironmaster and Weider Power Switch.
Since I’ve already had experience with Bowflex SelectTech Dumbbells, while working at Sports Authority, I wanted to focus on PowerBlock. Bowflex SelectTech Dumbbells were routinely returned due to the plastic parts and issues with the “selectorize” feature.
My PowerBlock Dumbbell ambition hit a little speed bump though. Since leaving Sports Authority, I began my training career and lost the need for dumbbells (since most gyms have a plethora of space consuming dumbbell racks). However, when ideas of building my own home gym, resurfaced, I began to do more research on PowerBlock.
As one of the cofounders of Workout Anywhere, I’m an avid lover of bodyweight exercises / minimal equipment training optimized for home and travel use. However, I still love throwing the weights around too, and since the creation of our new Home Strength & Lean Mass Training Series, I needed to stick to minimal, but highly versatile equipment that provided unlimited variety and results for busy parents on a budget.
That may sound long-winded, but that’s the name of the game and exactly what our members want from us. Plus, we don’t have the time or funds for the over-crowded gym scene.
The question is, are PowerBlock Dumbbells worth the investment, durable and really as easy as having thousands of dollars worth of dumbbells in just one pair? That’s what I’m going to find out and share with our Workout Anywhere team!
Read on to discover the pros, cons and overall features in this one of-a-kind PowerBlock Dumbbell review
Powerblock was founded in 1991 by a couple of fitness industry veterans, seeking to innovate the way most use free weights. The product of this is the PowerBlock Dumbbells that comes in three different series. Those are the Classic, Sport and Urethane models.
For this review, I’m focusing on the PowerBlock U-90 Sport Model, with 5-50 pounds in adjustable weight. I also have the PowerBlock Stand as seen in the video. All of which was provided to me by the wonderful people at Spokane Exercise Equipment.
So far, I’ve been exercising with the PowerBlock Dumbbells, and here are my initial thoughts, and pros/cons of the exercise equipment.
• Self-Contained Storage. For us, we like an open, compact training space. Most of our workouts are designed for home and travel use (so being to exercise in a hotel room is a must. However, for our new Home Strength & Lean Mass series, we are exercising with more home fitness equipment and out of our North Spokane home.
Thanks to PowerBlock’s efficient and dense design, a large amount of weight can be sustained in a small area. One doesn’t need a full room of dumbbells, which can easily become cluttered and disorganized.
PowerBlocks utilize a self-containing storage mechanism, where the dumbbell handle and weights conveniently and compactly “nest” within each other.
That said, it’s still desirable to have a dumbbell stand to safely and efficiently rack the dumbbells between sets, and to store them when not in use.
• Rapid Adjustment. If you’re like us, time is of the essence. Our days of bodybuilding are over and our overall goal is being functionally fit, healthy and toned. To accomplish this, all of our workouts generally use supersets and rapid adjustment is a must for this.
This is definitely an area where having multiple dumbbells is handy, but even then, PowerBlock dumbbells are the best option. It takes no more than 2 to 5 seconds to change the weights of each dumbbell.
• Running Out of Weight is Not an Option. The heaviest models are expandable to 125, 130 & 175 lbs.! Within the various models, one can start with light and moderate capacity, where they’ll have a maximum weight capacity between 20 and 65 pounds. The heavier dumbbell sets are expandable to 125, 130 and 175, respectively.
Since, our program Workout Anywhere is all-level and has a combination of new moms, veteran fit moms, and busy dads, the almost any of these PowerBlock models can be used.
Our personal recommendation is the Elite, “Sport 9.0”, “U-90” or heavy weight sets. This set would be the perfect starter set, and has the potential for continuous strength gains, and the ability for one to purchase add-on kits for heavier weight loads.
• Very Compact Size & Comfortable Handling. All PowerBlock dumbbell models – from the lightest model (the “U-20”) to the heaviest (the “Heavy Weight 125 lb.” w/50 lb. add-on) – are the most compact dumbbells on the market. This includes both adjustable and traditional fixed dumbbells. The compact size is helpful, in particular for using the optimal path of movement for bicep curls (i.e. no maneuvering the dumbbells around your hips). And in general, the smaller size makes the weights easier to control during heavy exercises.
• Sturdy Construction. From the extensive blogs, forums and YouTube reports, people use their PowerBlock Dumbbells FOREVER! From my search for a used pair, and the lack of anything negative, the verdict is these things last people through years and years of consistent use without breaking or needing repair.
• Incredible Warranty. PowerBlock, Inc. offers 10-15 year warranties on their products. The terms and conditions, and the length of these warranties vary based on the series and model. The Classic series all have 10-year warranties, the Sport Series have 15-year warranties and the Urethane Series have lifetime warranties.
• Dumbbell Stand Not Included. You would probably expect the stand to be included, but it’s not. PowerBlocks don’t come standard with a dumbbell stand. You really don’t need a stand, but having a stand is convenient and great for picking up the dumbbells from an appropriate height.
• Still Testing Some Variables. I haven’t tested real dynamic exercises like dumbbell swings or snatches. In addition, torture tested them by dropping them. They are extremely well-designed, so I imagine they can handle the abuse, but I still need to test this aspect and will add-on to this PowerBlock review soon.
• They Look…Different. If you love the look of traditional dumbbells, then PowerBlock is unique. They’re constructed with pillars in each corner, which surround the handle and give the dumbbell a cubic shape. Also, they use weight “brackets” as opposed to traditional plates. Plus, they’ve got just about all the colors of the rainbow on their sides.
PowerBlock Dumbbells are for us and we would strongly recommend them to our members, community and readers. There really is not a reason to test Ironmasters or Weider’s Power Switch, because it is clear that PowerBlock has not only started the “Selectorize Dumbbell” industry, but constantly innovated it.
Plus, with the ability to go from 5-175 pounds, there’s a set for any ability level!
Where Can One Purchase PowerBlock Dumbbells?
If you’re in the Inland Northwest, Spokane, Tri-Cities, or Coeur d’Alene, Spokane Exercise Equipment (421 W Main Ave Suite 100, Spokane, WA 99201) is the place to go. They’ll give you the same price as online and you can pick them up that day!
Not in Spokane? You can still order PowerBlock Dumbbells online at >> PowerBlock.com <<