We managed to get our hand on a set powerblock Elite 50 dumbbells to review.
Find out why we thought they are so good and how they compare to other models in the power block adjustable dumbbells range.
Composed of integrated adjustable weights, PowerBlock dumbbells sets are comfortable and easy to use. A space-saving alternative to more traditional dumbbells, they are ideal for apartments and bedrooms or a homegym.
We have previously written about the the power block dumbbells in our article the best adjustable dumbbells on the market which is definitely worth taking a look at if you are unsure which brand to go for.
There are a number of dumbbell models available under the PowerBlock banner, with the PowerBlock Elite dumbbells being among the most popular.
PowerBlock Elite 50/70/90 Overview
The PowerBlock Elite dumbbells feature a similar design to what the brand’s devotees have come to expect, maintaining the block design from which the manufacturer takes its name.
Those who choose this product have the option of going with the 50, 70, or 90 lb model. The primary difference between the three being maximum weight.
The Elite 50 has a weight range between 5 and 50 lbs per dumbbell.
The Elite 70 has a weight range between 5 all the way up to 70 lbs per dumbbell.
The Elite 90 can be adjusted to a total weight of - you guessed it - 90 lbs per dumbbell.
For those looking to increase the weight range of their chosen dumbbells, there is always the option of purchasing an expansion kit. We’ll be taking a more detailed look at expansion kits a little later on in this article.
If your main concern is storage, as mine was, I suggest going with the PowerBlock Elite 50. The Elite 50 pack includes two adjustable dumbbells, each measuring 12 x 6.5 x 6 inches and each weighing 50 lbs in total. At 6 inches in height, the Elite 50 is a little on the tall side, but it actually comes in at shorter than most alternative hexagonal dumbbells.
The PowerBlock Elite 50, 70, and 90 all use the same method to adjust the weight of the dumbbell. Weight is increased or decreased with the help of two selector pins in the handle that securely lock the chosen weight into place.
On the Elite 50, weight can be adjusted in 2.5-pound increments, which makes for well over a dozen weights in a single unit. Both the Elite 70 and Elite 90 follow this same pattern, with the latter boasting a total of 28 different weight settings.
Ease of Use
The Elite is quite a departure from the traditional dumbbell. However, even with its unique design, it will not take you more than a few minutes to get the hang of.
An ergonomic handle allows the lifter to comfortably grip the weight for an extended period of time. This makes them perfect for long sessions of weight training. As mentioned in our overview of the product, a PowerBlock’s weight requires minimal effort to adjust. Simply slide the weight selector pin out of your current weight and insert it into your desired weight. Adding and removing weight is markedly less time-consuming with a PowerBlock than it is with a traditional dumbbell.
Each model under the PowerBlock Elite umbrella we reviewed was compact and easy to store. PowerBlock Elite 50 adjustable dumbbells are particularly noteworthy for their space-saving capabilities. At no more than 12 inches in length and 6.5 inches in width, an Elite 50 can easily be packed into a corner when not in use. The PowerBlock Elite 70 and 90 also require only minimal space.
The adustable dumbbells are ergonomically shaped. A balanced structure, combined with a padded handle, makes each unit suitable for people suffering from a wrist or hand injury.
The materials used in the manufacturing are of the highest quality. Each PowerBlock product is made in the United States. This gives the PowerBlock Elite dumbbells a distinct advantage over alternatives manufactured in Asian countries, where mass production is common and quality control is often an afterthought.
PowerBlock has confidence in the quality of its products. In fact, the brand is so confident in the quality of it's adjustable dumbbell that it backs each unit with a generous 10-year warranty.
The ability to swift change weights during an exercises routine means you can drastically low the amount of time you spend working out.
I’ve noticed that dumbbells under the PowerBlock Elite banner don’t have a particularly wide grip. I know this is unlikely to be a problem for a lot of the population, but it is something to be mindful of before you commit to purchase.
If you have particularly large hands or wrists you might want to consider going with a more traditional dumbbell set.
Perhaps the most obvious drawback of the PowerBlock Elite dumbbells is its price. The adjustable dumbbells are not the cheapest on the marke,t but you have to remember you’re not just buying one dumbbell you are get what would be a rack of dumbbells and using a fraction of the space.
PowerBlock Elite vs. PowerBlock Classic
As you likely guessed from its name, the PowerBlock Classic series was the first in this line of block dumbbells sets. Despite years on the market, the PowerBlock Classic is still going strong. But how does it hold up against the young upstart that is the PowerBlock Elite?
Like the PowerBlock Elite, the Classic is available in multiple sizes. If you compare the PowerBlock Classic 50 to the PowerBlock Elite 50, one of the first things you’ll notice is that the former is adjusted in 5-pound increments. The latter, however, allows for finer, 2.5-pound adjustments. The Classic 50 has a minimum weight of 10 lbs, whereas its Elite counterpart features a minimum weight of 5 lbs.
Expansion kits are available for the Classic 50. However, the Classic 50 can only be expanded to a maximum of 70 lbs. With the help of the expansion kits, the Elite 50 can be expanded to 70 lbs and then again to 90 lbs. In fact, a recent expansion kit can bring the Elite 50 all the way up to 130 lbs.
If you’re hoping to keep costs down or don’t have particularly grand aspirations for yourself as a weight lifter, you’ll be just fine with the PowerBlock Classic although they do have a habit of retiring their old products like urethane series, so this is something to keep in mind if you want to expand at a later date. For fitness fanatics, however, the versatility of the PowerBlock Elite dumbbells makes it almost impossible to top.
PowerBlock Sport Vs Elite - What's the difference?
The PowerBlock Sport is one of the few PowerBlock adjustable dumbbells to have been released after the Elite. In the eyes of many, it is superior, but is it worth the extra expense?
The first thing you’ll notice about the PowerBlock Sport is its unique design, which is quite different to that of the Elite. The Sport features rounded tops, which gives it the appearance of a more traditional dumbbell. Although the absence of padding from its handles is, in many ways, a disadvantage, it does mean the hand and wrist have more room to move around. The Sport is available in multiple sizes, just like the PowerBlock Elite, and can be paired with a variety of expansion kits to help you get the most out of your purchase.
The Sport boasts a more rugged design than the PowerBlock Elite. This resilience is reflected in the dumbbell’s 15-year warranty, which is five years longer than the warranty backing the Elite.
Yes, the Sport was released more recently, but that doesn’t exactly mean it is the better option. While it boasts a number of features which are not present on its Elite alternative, the differences between the two are not nearly copious enough to justify the extra few hundred dollars they ask for the Sport.
I recommend the PowerBlock Elite over the marginally more modern Sport. The Elite will save you money and will enable you to build just as much strength as the Sport. By the time your warranty runs out 10 years from now, there’ll surely be another recent offering that is actually different enough to the Elite to warrant purchasing.
PowerBlocks vs. Dumbbells
PowerBlocks Elite Dumbells look cool, there’s no doubt about that. But is a set of PowerBlocks really all that different from a set of traditional dumbbells? The general consensus is that it is.
One of the major selling points of the PowerBlock is the speed at which you can change weights compared to a traditional dumbbell. The weight of a PowerBlock Elite can be adjusted by moving the weight selector pin from one weight to another. Once you get used to it, the entire process should take you no more than a couple of seconds.
Adjusting the weight of a traditional dumbbell isn’t complicated, but it can certainly be tedious. You must first unscrew the collar before adding or removing the appropriate weight plates. You must then reposition and tighten the collar before moving to the other side of the dumbbell to change that side.
Dumbbell handles are often uncomfortable and can put unnecessary strain on the hands and wrists. The PowerBlock Elite, however, is easy to grip and gentle on the palm. It lends itself perfectly to extended exercise sessions, so you can get a full workout in the comfort of your own home.
For me, the only clear victory that traditional dumbbells hold over a set of PowerBlocks comes in the form of pricing.
Most manufacturers of dumbbells back their products with some sort of warranty. That being said, you’re unlikely to find a warranty as generous as that of the PowerBlock Elite. Each purchase comes backed by a 10-year warranty, which ranks among the best in the industry.
In the eyes of many - my own included - such an impressive warranty more than justifies the PowerBlock Elite’s high price. Go with a less expensive alternative with a less noteworthy warranty and you will likely find yourself spending more than the price of the PowerBlock Elite on repairs and replacements over the course of 10 years. For a one-off (though still admittedly steep) expense of a couple of hundred dollars, you’ll get a set of adjustable dumbbells that will literally last you decades.
The PowerBlock Stand: Is It Worth It?
PowerBlock manufactures a wide selection of accessories to go along with its PowerBlock adjustable dumbbells. Among these accessories, you will find a variety of PowerBlock stands.
PowerBlock stands are exactly what they sound like: a place to put your PowerBlock Elite dumbbells when you’re not using them. Many feature a podium design and are raised with a flat base on top, while others utilize a more traditional rack design. Surface area and weight capacity vary from stand to stand. Price also increases or decreases depending on the stand in question. PowerBlock asks for less than $100 for some of its dumbbell stands. However, the most expensive stands will set you back close to $1000.
So, is a PowerBlock stand worth the money? That’s a tough question to answer and may ultimately come down to a matter of personal opinion. Unlike traditional dumbbells, PowerBlock dumbbells have a flat base. In a way, this makes each dumbbell its own stand, so purchasing an actual stand may seem needless.
However, a PowerBlock stand can prove useful when you have multiple PowerBlock dumbbells but don’t have a whole lot of room to store them in your home gym. With its raised base, something like the PowerBlock Compact Weight Stand acts as a platform for up to 90 pound sets of weights. The Compact Weight Stand has a height of 26 inches, so you won’t have to sacrifice floor space to accommodate it or your dumbbells.
For those with a particularly large collection of adjustable dumbbells, the manufacturer offers the PowerBlock PowerStation. The PowerStation boasts a maximum capacity of 125 pounds and features two slide drawers for additional storage. It even features a halo for a speedball and optional media attachments.
The PowerStation can be purchased directly from PowerBlock. I consider it a worthwhile purchase for dedicated fitness freaks who have the space and money to spare.
When PowerBlock introduced itself to the weightlifting world back in 1991, it very much changed the way we think about dumbbells. When the brand introduced the PowerBlock Elite, it very much changed the way we think about PowerBlocks.
The PowerBlock Elite makes it possible to lift up to 90 pounds in a single dumbbell. When an expansion kit has been added, that number increases to in excess of 100 pounds. Even the PowerBlock Elite 50 - the least expensive dumbbell in the Elite series - boasts over a dozen sets dumbbells in one compact unit and is perfect for a home gym.
PowerBlock devotees are going to have a hard time finding a product that offers the same combination of performance and value for money seen in the Elite. In fact, it’s hard to think of even a traditional dumbbell that can rival it.
For casual gym-goers and dedicated weightlifters alike, the PowerBlock Elite may just be both the key to the future and the future itself.