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Before even considering the Bowflex selecttech 552 adjustable dumbbell set, I had plenty of reservations when it came to weight-lifting.
They made me plain nervous.
…and I stubbornly resisted introducing weights into my workouts because I mistakenly assumed I would bulk up and look like the incredible hulk.
But after some time, I decided to conquer my fears and start my Master’s Hammer and Chisel program, an intense weight-lifting program. And it dawned on me that I really needed dumbbells.
Read More: Why More Girls Should Lift Weights
My mind raced and considered the potential disaster of having to fit six sets of dumbbells in a tiny apartment; knowing my clumsy self, I would be tripping and stubbing all ten toes by day 2.
Not to mention, the price of buying six pairs of dumbbells added up REALLY quickly.
So, after some research, I came across the Bowflex Selecttech 552 adjustable dumbbell set, read the majority of reviews (mostly positive), and decided to order it.
Unboxing the Bowflex Dumbbells
When the box was delivered to my front door step (god bless you, mailman!), I arrived at my first moment of irony.
I live on the second floor, and this box weighed a good 100 pounds.
With those rickety stairs and my virgin chicken arms, there was no way in hell I was going to lug this up the stairs without breaking my back or falling through the floorboards.
So, I proceeded to open the box, remove the styrofoam casing around each dumbbell, and carried them, one at a time, up the stairs. That was the longest 5 minute weight-lifting session of my life!
For apartment dwellers or people needing their weights to be transported to a different floor elevation, my advice would be to either incrementally carry your weights one at a time to avoid killing yourself OR get a friend to help you out.
But I digress.
How does the Bowflex Adjustable Dumbbell Set Work?
The Bowflex dumbbell set combines 15 sets of weights into one using a unique dial system; just turning the dial can automatically change your resistance on each dumbbell from 5 pounds all the way up to 52.5 pounds of weight. It adjusts in 2.5-pound increments (up to 25 pounds), enabling you to gradually increase your strength without bulking up.
So basically, if I want to work with 15lb weights, I just turn the dials on both ends of the dumbbell to “15”; the adjustable dumbbells will lock onto the specific weights needed to add to 15 pounds, and once set, I just lift the dumbbells off the tray and go to town.
To my surprise, I quickly got the hang of using these dumbbells and managed to switch between different weights in under 10 seconds.
What are the Bowflex Adjustable Dumbbell weight specifications?
- Weight Range: 5 to 52.5 lbs for each dumbbell
- Number of Weight Settings: 15
- Weight Settings in pounds: 5, 7.5, 10, 12.5, 15, 17.5, 20, 22.5, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, and 52.5 pounds
- Dumbbell Dimensions (Each): 15.75 inches long by 8 inches wide by 9 inches tall
- Weight (Each): 52.5 pounds
Who is the Bowflex Adjustable Dumbbell Set for?
These adjustable dumbbells are great for anyone who:
- Wants to conserve their workout space
- Needs multiple sets of weights
- Wants to incrementally adjust their weights to better challenge themselves
- Exercise or live in small spaces, like apartments or condos.
What kind of moves can I do with the Bowflex adjustable dumbbells?
A lot actually.
I use these dumbbells to work almost every part of the body, including legs, back, chest, abdominals, arms, and shoulders without much trouble.
My only complaint has to do with the length of these weights; it can be awkward to do some arm exercises without either bumping into the weights or holding it in an awkward way to avoid collision.
I’m being a bit dramatic, but that has been one (albeit minor) aspect that annoyed me about these weights. Besides that, I can seamlessly adjust my weights from move to move within seconds.
Plus, I did some searching and found some helpful video tutorials on Bowflex’s website that walks you through some dumbbell exercises you can do to get started.
Are these sturdy enough to do pushups with or weighted burpees?
Some of the moves from my Hammer and Chisel program call for Renegade rows, which involves planking with both weights in hand and doing a set of rows. With the these adjustable weights, putting any sort of weight on top of it is not good. In fact, the plates that make up the dial mechanism might end up breaking. So, I would avoid using adjustable weights and instead use traditional dumbbells for any weighted stuff.
These dumbbells are very well made and can withstand a good deal of action from both me and my fiance. One thing I would caution against is dropping the weights on the floor.
Unlike regular dumbbells, these dumbbells cannot take that much abuse from free-fall, especially since dropping might break the plates or dialing mechanism.
What is the Price?
The bowflex adjustable dumbbell set is $279, which includes a pair of adjustable dumbbells, two resting trays, and a special bonus Bowflex workout DVD which packs over 30 exercises with 80 variations.
Sure, I squawked at the price. But after some thought, I realized that I will be saving money and living room space in the long run. Seriously, getting individual pairs of dumbbells is certainly not cheap and takes up a butt-load of space!
Plus,aAfter using these adjustable weights for some time, I knew that extra 2.5 lb challenge on some exercises (for example, going from 10 lbs to 12.5 lbs) kept me going without completely burning out my muscles. It was just right for my skill level.
And much to my amazement, I saw my body change.
With every slight weight adjustment of my dumbbells, I grew stronger and leaner because I was able to challenge myself just a tad more every time.
My Final Thoughts
So if you are looking to add weights to your workout regimen, to continuously challenge yourself while saving money and space, the Bowflex adjustable dumbbell set is a good option and totally worth the investment. If you ask me, I don’t think I could ever go back to using regular dumbbells ever again. For some reason, knowing I can adjust the weights to suit me puts me at ease.
Have you tried using adjustable weights? What are your thoughts on the matter? Comment and share below!
and just for giggles, here is a workout song for your entertainment- music courtesy of the Bowflex adjustable dumbbells!