836 of 861 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent solution for P90X or those that don't want a house full of weights
After a lot of consideration, I ended up purchasing these weights to use with P90X Extreme Home Fitness Workout Program - 13 DVDs, Nutrition Guide, Exercise Planner. The program calls for a lot of different weights, and I was tired of leaving 8 different dumbbells lying around on the floor of my den. After using these for roughly three months, I am very pleased with...
Published on February 16, 2010 by Scott
178 of 194 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Design, its just the ruggedness thats the problem
No question great design - 5 out of 5 rating for sure. Support is a 4, pretty good. Where they fall down is on ruggedness. There may be improvements in the 2009 versions but the main problem with my 2008 set is many of the parts are made with plastics. There is 52 lb maximum of weight and thats alot to ask to support of some of the types of plastics used to construct this...
Published on January 15, 2009 by Robert R. Rowntree
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836 of 861 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent solution for P90X or those that don't want a house full of weights,
This review is from: Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells (Pair) (Sports)After a lot of consideration, I ended up purchasing these weights to use with P90X Extreme Home Fitness Workout Program - 13 DVDs, Nutrition Guide, Exercise Planner. The program calls for a lot of different weights, and I was tired of leaving 8 different dumbbells lying around on the floor of my den. After using these for roughly three months, I am very pleased with them, and with a few exceptions, they work great for P90X.
CONSTRUCTION/DESIGN- As of 2/16/10, the model being sold on Amazon is the 2009 model, which came out in September 2008 and is the most current model available. There is no 2010 model, despite what many third party sellers claim (I have confirmed this with Nautilus). I have uploaded pictures of the version Amazon is selling, which comes with a black base plate. Amazon has lumped the reviews from the 2008 model in with this 2009 model, so read the reviews carefully. The 2009 model eliminates many of the complaints of the 2008, most specifically, it uses metal tabs on the weight plates to lock them in place. Construction is solid and it is very unlikely these will break. Although unlike traditional dumbbells, you can't drop these on the ground after a set. They are fairly sturdy, but I would be very nervous about dropping these from any height over about 5". The handle is ergonomic to fit the palm of your hand and the grip feels good and natural during lifting. The handle is thicker than a dumbbell and I prefer it to the thinner dumbbell handles.
The weights have a dial on the end of them that you turn to select the desired weight. If you select 10lbs, it will then lock in the two weight plates to make 10 lbs, and release everything else; so when you pick up the weights, you get 10 lbs and all the other weights are left in the base plate. When done, you put the weights back in the base plate. This works very well, with the exception of it "catching" occasionally if the weight plates shift a little bit. This happens maybe 1/100 times or so though and isn't a big problem. You just jiggle the weights a bit until it locks. The nice thing about this design, is that the two ends of the dumbbell don't have to be the same weight. You can set the dial to 10lbs on one end and 30 lbs on the other. This will effectively put 5lbs on one end of the bar and 15lbs on the other. I don't do this often, but it can lead to more variation in exercises, and I occasionally do it for tricep workouts or hammer curls. When lifting, the weights feel very sturdy. The plates are firmly locked onto the handle. There is no shaking or movement of the plates at all, and they don't feel much different than dumbbells.
PRICE - I definitely do not think these are worth the suggested retail price, but then again, I have never seen them sold for anything close to that. While they may seem expensive, if you calculate the cost of a large range of dumbbells (which typically sell for $1 per pound), these are a very favorable comparison. Just two 35lb dumbbells are going to cost you at least $50 (closer to $70 if new).
USE WITH P90X - I originally did P90X with dumbbells. I had three different dumbbells, which just isn't enough for the variety of exercises used in that program. If money and space is no object, I would recommend a full dumbbell set over these, as dumbbells are better for the exercises. But for most people that just isn't practical. I hate pulling out and storing even three sets of dumbbells every other day to workout. The SelectTechs look so good that I just leave them in my den year round.
The main advantages the SelectTechs have with P90X is the ability to select smaller weight increment, and being able to make weight changes quickly. Before these I owned a set of 10s, 15s, and 25s, which isn't enough variety. Going up from 15 to 25 on bicep curls is a very big jump for me was too light, 25 was too heavy, and my form was terrible because I was struggling with the weight. With the SelectTechs, I could go to 17.5, then 20, then 22.5, then finally to 25. being able to go from 10lbs to 12.5 on tricep exercises, rather than 10lbs to 15 helps significantly. The other advantage is to quickly change weight increments. With P90X, you have about 15-30 seconds to set up for the next exercise. 5-10 seconds is all the time I needed to change the four dials on the SelectTechs and get a new weight.
CONS - The real problem with these weights is the length. I had no real problem with the width, which is very manageable, but the dumbbells are 16" long. This can cause a problem with some of the P90X exercises. There are maybe 7-8 exercises during the entire program that are awkward to do because of the length of the dumbbells. There are about 2-3 exercises that are very awkward to do (to the point that I actually switch to my dumbbells for these). Congdon Curls and Flip Grip Twist Kickback (tricep exercise) are two that I can think of off-hand that are difficult to do. You can ultimately make it work, but it's going to feel a little funny as you try to hold the weights out far enough to clear each other or your chest. This isn't enough of an issue that it would discourage me from buying them again.
I originally debated between getting these and the Bowflex SelectTech 1090 Single Dumbbell, since I was worried 52.5 pounds wouldn't be enough. Even though there are a few exercises where you could eventually need more than 52.5 pounds (heavy pants and lawnmowers come to mind), I really think this is enough weight for 90% of the people who will be doing P90X. And as Tony says, if you don't have heavy enough weight, you can always add reps. I would not buy the 1090s (which go up to 90 lbs) for P90X because I think the length of those, which is even bigger than the 552s), would just be too unwieldy for many of the exercises.
The SelectTechs did come with a short DVD that shows you some workouts specifically designed for these dumbbells and how to use them. I did find this beneficial since it gave me some tips that I didn't know about lifting. Optionally, I bought the Bowflex SelectTech 552 / 1090 Dumbbell Stand to use with these. It looks great, but I'm not sure I would buy it again. If you don't care about looks, the box the SelectTechs are shipped in makes a great stand on it's own and is very sturdy.
UPDATE June 2012 - I've put these weights through an estimated 200+ hours of heavy use since I've had them and they still look brand new and work just the same as when I got them. There are times when I want heavier weights and would have liked some dumbbells that go up to 90 lbs, but I don't want to sacrifice the smaller profile of these for the larger model. Still very satisfied.
UPDATE November 2013 - I'm still using the SelectTechs almost daily. They are in almost identical condition to when I received them with no signs of wear or problems. I have not found a better solution for adjustable dumbbells yet and will continue to use them (although I do wish they were slightly smaller).
251 of 269 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BEST DUMBELLS EVER!!!!,
This review is from: Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells (Pair) (Sports)I was torn between these and the PowerBlock dumbells I kept reading about. I had a chance to check out the 2008 and prior model Bowflex Select Tech's at Dicks Sporting Goods, and I remember thinking about how easy it was to spin the dials to adjust the weights.
My only concern and hesitation was that a few reveiws mentioned the possibility of the weights rattling and people were worried they could fall off? I had not heard this before, so I researched it more and although the PowerBlock dumbells had gotten good reviews, I simply could not get past how ugly they were, and the fact that they used a magnetic pin to hold the weights in.
I decided to spend the few extra dollars on these 2009 model Select Techs (assuming any prior issues they may have had were corrected) and boy am I glad I did, they are AWESOME! The dials, in my opinion, are ten times easier than the magnetic pins of PowerBlocks, and these Bowflex dumbells look ten times more fashionable (our gym equipment is on our loft, so yes my wife and I have a style standard). These dumbells are about 15 inches long, but neither of us have any issues with their size (I think the PowerBlocks were only a 3 inch difference anyways).
We are 100% happier we bought these, and we bought the stand from Amazon to go with them also (it is better for your back if you lift dumbells from a standing position instead of from a squatting one). I hope you enjoy your SelectTechs as much as we enjoy ours!
178 of 194 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Design, its just the ruggedness thats the problem,
This review is from: Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells (Pair) (Sports)No question great design - 5 out of 5 rating for sure. Support is a 4, pretty good. Where they fall down is on ruggedness. There may be improvements in the 2009 versions but the main problem with my 2008 set is many of the parts are made with plastics. There is 52 lb maximum of weight and thats alot to ask to support of some of the types of plastics used to construct this product. The minor flaw in my view is the choice of materials for this product. For example, the spindles that pick up and hold each plate in place are made of a thin hard but brittle plastic. If you do a set on a bench, get exhausted and drop these weights by more then a inch or 2 on the floor, these plastic spindles have a tendency to break. The hand unit, minus the weights will need to be replaced. Bowflex has a 2 year warranty and were pretty good about sending out a new handle. The handle got to me within about 5 days. For me I would rather they make the spindles out of a metal and pay $50 more. That is a testament to how much I love these weights. I am more careful with them now. So if you can see your way to either being very caring with these weights or rough on them and getting replacements (for free under the 1st 2 years warranty), I would not hesitate in buying these units. Otherwise, save yourself some aggravation and buy something else.
171 of 189 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing home workout tool,
This review is from: Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells (Pair) (Sports)I used the 552 dumbells with my P90X workout and I have to say they made life a heck of a lot easier. It couldn't be easier to select the appropriate weight with these things, and with limited time between excersizes, these were golden. The construction is sturdy; not once did I feel any uneasiness in using them. Even moves where the dumbells were lifted quickly and brought back down didn't cause any issues with the locking mechanism of the dumbells. The only slight issue is the overall length of the dumbells. The width is manageable but the length can cause a few issues in maybe 5% of the excersizes performed. An example of this is doing concentration curls with both arms simultaneously. I ended up having to alternate to get around the length of the dumbell. All in all it is quite easy to work around this small issue and it doesn't impact the 5 star rating for me especially considering that having used the block alternative as well, the bowflex ones caused a lot less issues during excersize movements.
I used these without the stand, if you do as well make sure you lift with your legs and not your back. If you have a bad back, or just want to be safe, you may want to go with the stand. (Though theres nothing wrong with a little extra leg work with the proper form ;) ) In summary, if your doing P90X, or any other home workout routine that requires you to switch weights quickly, this is the dumbell for you. Also if your going for P90X know that the 552 version covered the weight I needed for every single excersize (I'm 5'11' and 195 lean muscle). I may have been able to go heavier on a few excersizes but the sheer intensity of this workout would have limited my reps significantly. Hope this helps!
148 of 165 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars DANGEROUS!,
This review is from: Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells (Pair) (Sports)Mine are 9 months old and used about 4 hours a week with light home use. Last months one of the 5 lb plates just fell off. The little plastic nib that holds it on was chipped off. Replacement_ $32!!!. It happened again today but I was on a bench and it hit me in the face. I have contacted the company but don't expect much.
107 of 122 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Lack Durability,
This review is from: Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells (Pair) (Sports)I'm disappointed. We had a set of these in my clinic in Iraq (Physical Therapy). The obvious reason for selecting adjustable weights was that they only take up a small space and they weigh less than a full set when you are deploying with them. When I arrived the weights were already in the clinic. I don't know how long they have been there. At first they worked. The weight plates seemed loose when using though. I was concerned about performing overhead lifting as I wasn't confident that the individual plates would stay in place. Fortunately, we never lost a plate while they were in use.
After several months of lifting, the weight plates would not remain secured when selected and are now essentially useless. Good concept, not durable enough for even general strength and conditioning.
102 of 117 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars defective product/safety problem,
This review is from: Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells (Pair) (Sports)This product is defective in that the handle does not grip some of the weight plates tightly after they are dialed in. This can cause severe injury when the plates come loose when you are holding the dumbbell overhead. This almost happened to me when a I was doing bench presses. Fortunately, the plate came out when I had the dumbbells laterally. Also, sometimes the plates come out as you are picking up the dumbbell from the stand.
96 of 110 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This is a HIGHLY DANGEROUS product,
This review is from: Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells (Pair) (Sports)You've read the reviews about the plastic piece on the weights that break off and cause the weights to fall off the dumbbells while in use. This happened to me. The company did not offer to help. I have filed a complaint with the Consumer Product Safety Commission. You all need to do the same: [..]
This won't be taken seriously until enough people complain. For those of you who already have the dumbbells, make sure to periodically inspect those plastic pieces and to make sure the weights are tightly locked into place. Also, never drop the dumbbells/weights.
72 of 83 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very Dangerous to use.,
This review is from: Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells (Pair) (Sports)I have used the Bowflex 552's for 4 years now and if it wasn't for the fact the plates fall out when you pick them up, I would love them....but they do, so I don't. Luckily, they usually fall out as you pick them up, poor locking design. Several times the plates have fallen while working out, but since I do mostly curls, no broken bones yet. If it wasn't for the simple fact I paid $185 for them, I would have thrown them away years ago.
34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as people seem to think.,
This review is from: Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells (Pair) (Sports)This is an impressive design, and for that they should get credit. They look good and appear to function well. But I have to wonder about some of the reviews I've seen here, because some sound as if they haven't USED the product. The exuberance of some reviews makes me think either I am incredibly unlucky, or maybe Bowflex employees are being encouraged to post comments on the product.
The problem, as others have pointed out, is that these dumbbells are not durable. The locking mechanism (upon which the whole system depends) is prone to breaking if you turn the dial with "excessive force" (the term used in the manual when Bowflex warns us how easily this device can break). What's "excessive"? Apparently, it's whatever force you need to turn the dial, which is often sticky. I noticed the locks didn't work properly right out of the box. It took me 1/2 hour to figure out why the weight wouldn't release from the base (the dial often appears to be properly set when the unlocking system is actually not completely lined up). The locks stopped working altogether after the third use.
Now I can only use the weights if I want to lift 52 lbs per side, with the plastic base still attached. This is unweildy, unsafe, and could only damage the product further, so I don't encourage anyone try using it this way. The question is whether I should seek a replacement or a refund. I'm going to try a replacement this time, and will happily revise this review if I discover the problems were unique to the one I received.
There are other problems also. As many of you might understand, it's common to drop dumbbells to the ground, particularly after a challenging set. But some of the plastic parts on these dumbbells are not strong enough to withstand the sort of use you would expect from almost anyone who planned to use these dumbbells as anything more than a doorjamb.
This design is an excellent idea, and the price (+/- $399) is also quite good, IF the product was truly excellent. Unfortunately, Bowflex needs to spend a little more on manufacturing and a little less on marketing. Then this product will be a real 5-star. Until then, the two year warranty is good. But I'm wondering how often I'll bother exchanging over 100 lbs of product before I just ask for my money back.
I plan to try again, this time treating them more like fine china than workout gear. Maybe this will do the trick, but I'm dismayed that I have to work so hard to use a product that is advertised to work for me.
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