We put the best adjustable dumbells to the test today and see how they compare.
Dumbbells are one of the most versatile pieces of equipment available for those looking to increase their strength. It is possible to assemble an effective total body workout with just a single set of dumbbells. With dumbbells, you can efficiently incorporate countless upper body, lower body, and even core exercises into your fitness routine.
Dumbbells are a staple at all commercial gyms, and a fantastic tool for any home gym.
- 1 Dumbbell Reviews
- 2 Bowflex Select Tech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells
- 3 PowerBlock Elite Dumbbells
- 4 Power Block GF-SPDBLK24
- 5 Bayou Fitness Adjustable Dumbbell
- 6 Universal PowerPak Adjustable Dumbbells
- 7 Types and Styles
- 8 What to Consider When Purchasing Adjustable Dumbbells
- 9 Adjustable Dumbbells vs.Fixed Dumbbells
Below you will find reviews of several of the best adjustable dumbbell sets currently on the market. Each brand offers a unique set of features and
Bowflex Select Tech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells
The Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbell set is of the dial-a-weight design and features a weight range of 5-52.5 pounds per dumbbell. The weight can be adjusted in 2.5-pound increments using the simple and easy-to-read dial and is the equivalent to 15 sets of standard dumbbells.
This set also features round plates and grooved handles to make it easier to grip. With your purchase of the Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbell set, you will receive a DVD detailing 30 exercises and over 80 variations of these exercises as well as a two-year warranty of plates and parts.
A Bowflex SelectTech Dumbbell Stand is available for purchase at an additional cost.
You can read our full review of the SelectTech 552 here.
PowerBlock Elite Dumbbells
The PowerBlock Elite Dumbbells offers a unique square-plate pin-lock design. These adjustable dumbbells come in either a 50-pound set, 70-pound set, or a 90-pound set.
There is also a 50-70 pound expansion kid available if you purchase the 50-pound set and want to add weight later. The weight of the PowerBlock Elite Dumbbells is adjustable in 2.5-pound increments, and the 90-pound set replaces 28 pairs of standard dumbbells.
The PowerBlock Elite Dumbbells comes with a 10-year home use warranty, and a stand is available for an additional cost.
You can see a full review of PowerBlock Elite dumbbells here.
Power Block GF-SPDBLK24
The Power Block GF-SPDBLK24 is another exceptional adjustable dumbbell set from the Power Block company. This set is less expensive than the other model.
The weight adjusts from 3 to 24 pounds per dumbbell in 3-pound increments. The square design of the Power Block GF-SPDBLK24 offers additional balance in comparison to traditional dumbbells.
Another feature of this adjustable dumbbell set is the padded handles for increased wrist comfort. The Power Block GF-SPDBLK24 offers the same 10-year home use warranty as its Elite counterpart and there is a compact stand available for this set starting at $59.
Bayou Fitness Adjustable Dumbbell
The Bayou Fitness Adjustable Dumbbell set features a selector-pin design and a weight range of 10-50 pounds which can be adjusted in 10-pound increments. This set will replace five sets of standard dumbbells.
The round plates provide increased range of motion during the wide range of exercises available with this equipment. Because the Bayou Fitness Adjustable Dumbbell set is constructed from primarily metal, it is more durable than other options. Along with the dumbbells, you will receive storage trays and a 180-day warranty on all parts.
Universal PowerPak Adjustable Dumbbells
The Universal PowerPak Adjustable Dumbbell set is a worthwhile purchase. This set replaces 9 traditional dumbbell sets with a weight range of 4 to 45 pounds that can be adjusted in 5-pound increments using the convenient dial-a-weight feature.
The thermoplastic rubber handles of this dumbbell set provide a comfortable non-slip grip, and your order comes with a workout guide detailing proper form of different exercises.
Additionally, a stand is included with your purchase of the Universal PowerPak Adjustable Dumbbells.
As with all weight training, in order to see progressive increases in strength, you must continuously increase the resistance. At commercial gyms, there is often an entire wall dedicated to dumbbells of assorted weights.
If you prefer to do your workouts in the comfort of your own home, however, purchasing a new set of dumbbells each time you need to increase the resistance can quickly add up. Additionally, as each exercise may require a different weight, your dumbbells can very quickly take over any storage space you may have.
One thing you need to consider is the style of adjustable dumbbells you art looking for. Below we talk about each style and the pros and cons to each system.
Types and Styles
There are several different design styles of adjustable dumbbells. Each type offers its own unique features and advantages.
Dial-a-weight adjustable dumbbells are an extremely convenient option for adjusting weights quickly between exercises. With dial-a-weight adjustable dumbbells, as the name suggests, you simply have to turn a dial to select your desired weight.
Dial-a-weight adjustable dumbbells typically cost more than other styles and, if they are not cared for properly, can be less durable. When it comes to most things, equipment with a more complicated design or with more small pieces may be more prone to damage.
Spin-lock adjustable dumbbells offer increased adjustability and customization of weight. They operate essentially like mini barbells; you must manually add or remove plates and lock them into place with a lock that twists onto the handle. Because of the simplicity of their design, spin-lock adjustable dumbbells are typically more durable and less expensive than their dial-a-weight or selector pin counterparts.
The separate plates that come with spin-lock adjustable dumbbells may increase the amount of storage space required, however.
Selector Pin Dumbbells
Selector pin adjustable dumbbells operate similarly to the dial-a-weight design, with the weight being adjusted using a pin instead of a dial. Like the dial-a-weight style, selector pin adjustable dumbbells are convenient for quickly adjusting weights between sets or exercises. Price and durability are further considerations of this design.
What to Consider When Purchasing Adjustable Dumbbells
When you are contemplating purchasing your own set of adjustable dumbbells, there are many factors to contemplate beforehand to ensure that you are getting your money’s worth.
In general, a set of adjustable dumbbells is not a cheap purchase. When compared to the cost of a set of ordinary dumbbells in a similar weight range, however, the cost is extremely economical. It is important to balance your budget with the features offered with various styles and brands of adjustable dumbbells.
A set of adjustable dumbbells will offer a wide range of weights to suit every fitness level. Depending on your starting point, you may want to choose a set with a higher weight limit.
Grip strength and endurance play a vital role in the amount of weight you can lift during weight-bearing exercises. A comfortable and easy-to-grip handle can determine whether or not you are able to lift a little more or get in one more repetition.
Previously in this article, we covered the different styles of adjustable dumbbells. You will need to take into account the advantages and disadvantages of each of these styles when you are planning your purchase. If you want the ability to quickly adjust weights between exercises, dial-a-weight or selector pin dumbbells are your best option. If you are looking for a less expensive and more durable option, you may choose a set of spin-lock adjustable dumbbells.
The plates of adjustable dumbbells come in two shapes: round and square. As you may have guessed, square plates offer increased balance and will not roll away. Round plates may provide an increased range of motion for exercise movements.
Whether you are looking to purchase a set of adjustable dumbbells for home or even commercial use, storage is almost always a concern.
Although adjustable dumbbells in essence are space-saving and the size of different sets of adjustable dumbbells does not vary much, it is worth noting that some sets will come with their own stand for increased convenience.
Adjustable Dumbbells vs.Fixed Dumbbells
A set of adjustable dumbbells is a practical solution to both the cost problem as well as the storage puzzle. Adjustable dumbbells provide you with one set and the resistance can be increased to the weight levels you see in most commercial gym, for a fraction of the cost.