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on January 18, 2017
Just to start off, I did not buy this product from Amazon but from a local sporting store near me. I have had the BowFlex 552 since January 2013 and it has been heavily used for the past 4 years by myself, wife, family members as well as many friends. I did not just open the box and write a review just because, this product as been in heavy use for the past 4 years with VERY minor issues.

Short review: Buy this product if you need weights in your home gym. It works, no issues with mine.

Long review:

I bought the Bowflex 552 because I wanted my own home gym with quality equipment that didn't require me to take out loans. I got tired of going out to the bigger gyms and paying all of the membership fees (40-60 bucks for me/wife per month--that's about 5-700 bucks per year) and figured that it will be cheaper and easier if we just worked out at home. This dumbbell paid itself off within less than 6 months and is still in use after 4 years. Product was just cost efficient, picture buying all of the dumbbells by itself and look at the price. Cheapest single 50 pound dumbbell I found online was running 45 bucks (Jan 2017), do the math and compare it with the Bowflex 552 with all of its weight options. I'm sure you will see that the Bowflex is the most affordable route to go with.

I also chose the Bowflex 552 because of the ability to change weights from 5 pounds all the way up to 52.5 pounds with the ease of "Just turning a knob". It really was that easy. Other comparable dumbbells requires you to either pull out all pins, then readjust, and push all pins back into a tiny hole or twist off all screws and attach more weights on. It was just a bit too time consuming for me, I just want to push/pull/lift and not worry about it. The Bowflex was also small enough to put anywhere in the house. Picture buying a full set of dumbbells weights, where the heck are you gonna put it? Do you know how much space a full set of dumbbells will take? The Bowflex's overall length is approx 17 inches and width is approx 8 inches. You can put the Bowflex anywhere around your house, garage, bedroom, heck -- go workout in your bathroom, I don't care. The Bowflex is size efficient.

There are some minor complaints though. Do not drop the weights, they might come apart from the unit. Small issue but this can be said to all adjusting weight dumbbells. Take care of the equipment and it will take care of you, look at my photos. The Bowflex still looks brand new even after 4 years of heavy usage. The overall length of the dumbbell is pretty long, approx 16 inches in length. Small changes and adjustments on your desired exercise might have to change, another small issue.

Pro's:
1. Affordable
2. Durability, 4 years of heavy usage and it still looks brand new
3. Space efficient
4. Easy to adjust
5. Adjustable Weight options from 5 pounds to 52.5 pounds

Con's:
1. Overall length of the dumbbell requires small changes on desired exercise
2. Cannot drop, small issue for me

Overall, this is a good buy if you are looking to add anything to your home gym. I am a satisfied customer and have recommended these to a lot of people. If you enjoyed my review and though it was helpful, Please Press the YES button below. A simple click below will help me know what else to review next time. Thanks. --JY
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11 comment| 452 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on July 4, 2015
I got to say you guys aren't really fair with the way you kill it. People these are adjustable and you got to be careful when using them. Seriously.

░░░░░Lets break it down, Pros/Cons mixed░░░░░
❖ Number one complaint people have is that they aren't sturdy and I disagree, they are very well made and safe. You cannot drop them. It gives ample warning in the manual as there are moving parts and it simply isn't designed to take that much abuse. I often do work to failure however have till have the strength guide the dumbbells to a light landing on the floor this really shouldn't be an issue.

❖ Another complaint people have is that you have to put them back on their stand at an exact angle which is true but I really never noticed as it really isn't that difficult.

❖ Another complaint I have seen is that the weight is off I tested this and it was off by a couple of ounces, that rumor simply isn't true.

❖ Another complaint that comes to my mind form # of people is that they are too expensive (if you can't find a deal) and too bulky with the lower weights (as the length stays the same) however you get used to adjusting to the size really quick, at least I did.

░░░░░BOTTOM LINE░░░░░
I am very happy with my purchase and am seeing great results so far. If you can find a good deal and trust yourself to never drop the things you should have no problems.

***If you like this review, please mark this review as helpful below! Also, feel free to ask me questions by leaving comments. I will promptly reply. Thanks for reading***
44 comments| 1,099 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
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).

UPDATE November 2016 - Still using the SelectTechs, albeit about bi-weekly since I have switched my fitness regimen. I would say they have close to 1000 hours of use and are still in almost brand new condition, and still working great. I have recently switched to the Selecttech 560s though and will be finally retiring the 552s.
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on February 9, 2017
I was really pleased with these Dumbbells initially - simple to use and compact for a quick home workout. As you can see from the photos, they were well taken care of and used exclusively on soft carpet, not concrete. I never threw the weights or slammed them after a set, so not heavy use or abuse. Unfortunately, the mechanism that holds the weight on the handle is plastic. In less than 2 years, it somehow broke on both of my weights. It is amazing that Bowflex would use cheap plastic to hold the weights in place. After calling customer service - she was very nice - we tried to work on a resolution, but they would not honor the warranty. To replace the part was $56/each (I needed 2) plus shipping..of a weight. I would be in for more than half the cost of a new set to fix the defective piece of plastic....no, thanks. For this price point, I would have hoped for a better product design and Bowflex to repair/replace a defective product. My advice - pick another weight that will last.
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on April 16, 2017
Bought this Feb 17, 2017. Been using them for exactly 2 months. It was stuck this morning and couldn't change the weights! Unfortunately, the last day that I can return this was two weeks ago. Really bad!
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on February 9, 2017
DO NOT PURCHASE! I've had mine for three months, used them semifrequently, and now they're broken. One side won't pick up weights, and the other side won't let any go! I've tried everything -- including returning them, which Amazon won't let me do. These are real crap you guys -- and I'm a long-history Bowflex customer. Really disappointed in the quality...especially for the price.
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on May 6, 2017
I bought these in January and have been using them about 5 days a week, on average. We moved out of an apartment that had a gym into a house, so these have enabled me to use a little space in the garage to keep my workouts up without the gym costs and shared equipment. With the cost of some gyms near $100/Mo, these along with a bench, pull up bar, and other basic equipment can start saving you money after less than a year. Aside from a cable machine and a few machines for legs, I can't say I miss the gym at all - these are great!
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on March 13, 2017
Bought these for P90X3. They are great for most workouts but the large physical size of them makes some of the moves very difficult. There is one exercise where you are on your side, propped up with one arm, and you need to pass the weight between your torso and your arm that is supporting you on the floor. Easy to do with standard weights but since these are quite a bit longer, additional wrist movements were required to pass the weight through the window created between torso and arm. Otherwise the weights are great.
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on August 16, 2014
With a strict diet and a 6X week routine of cardio and strength training, I was able to lose 45 lbs in 6 months. I used these weights for my strength training and found them to be convenient and integral to my daily fitness routine.

Reading the amazon reviews I was initially worried about the durability, but these worries were unfounded. After 8 months of daily use the weights still feel like new. They have thick, comfortable handles, and you get used to rotating the wheels to get the poundage you need, which turn with nice, satisfying clicks.

My only complaint is the jump from 25 lbs to 30 lbs. I would like 28 lbs or 27.5 lbs but this is inconsequential. Something approximating 28 lbs can be achieved by turning one side to 30 and the other side to 25, but the weights will have to be returned in the exact position.

You can get a full set of chrome weights for half the price. I've always liked the look of chrome dumbbells on a rack but the 16" square footprint of these weights is perfect for my minuscule apartment. Additionally, the design of the Bowflex dumbbells is cool, black and red looks good, and the fact that they are adjustable is an interesting talking point when people see them.

These weights enabled me to tone my muscles and add definition to my chest, shoulders and back, but they are not heavy enough to build big muscles. I was able to achieve a physique closer to a swimmer's or a martial artist than a typical bodybuilder. As I have always admired Bruce Lee, I was very happy with my results.

I know I could have achieved the same results with a full set of cheaper dumbbells. I have to say the price point of this set helped my motivation, as I wanted to get my money's worth out of them. They are a great set if you can afford the initial cost, but only one piece of the fitness & weight loss puzzle. You really need to clean up your diet, in addition to daily strength and cardio.
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on March 13, 2017
I like the ability to quickly change weight when working out. A couple cons would be sometimes it doesn't lock and unlock correctly at the right weight and needs to be jiggled around a little. Also the weird shape of the hand takes some getting use to, its not perfectly cylindrical like most dumbbells are. But even with these two issues, it does make up more than enough by allowing me to having the weight options in a much smaller space. I've had it for a few months now and its held up well.
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