Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells review!
Updated: Nov 12
Some gorgeous ladies in one of my Body Beast for Women groups on Facebook were talking about the dumbbells we (and I) use and requested my personal review on the Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells! Of course, I obliged!
My hubby bought these for me a few weeks before I started Body Beast because my collection only consisted of a pair of 8lb, 12lb, and 15lb free weights. What wife wouldn’t love a set of Bowflex dumbbells as a Valentine’s Day present?! :) (That means I have been using them for about five months).
Although, I recommend looking around online/at stores for sales to get the best price. I believe my hubby got my set for around $300.
“With just the turn of a dial you can automatically change your resistance from 5 lbs (2.27 kg) all the way up to 52.5 lbs (23.8 kg) of weight. No more picking up 30 different dumbbells to give you the results you want! All you need are two Bowflex® SelectTech® 552 Dumbbells to transform your body for good.”
For your reference, I primarily use them for Body Beast which is an at-home DVD strength training for all muscle groups.
I finally have heavier dumbbells and could get buff n’ stuff!
They look nice/fancy/sturdy in my workout room.
I did not have to go out and buy a bunch of sets of dumbbells and figure out where to store them.
These take up less room. You can see I have them on the floor in front of my TV in my workout room. I have a wall of free weights as well which are less attractive/take up more space (the little ones I have long surpassed but my daughter likes to play with them)!
The handle is pretty good (rubber) and I recommend using gloves (I always do) to keep from tearing your hands open/getting blisters no matter what kind of dumbbell you are gripping.
I have not seen rust yet - so these look pretty good. I have only had them about 5-6 months and I use them pretty much every day. I DO sweat all over them so it may only be a matter of time. I will keep you posted.
If you do not have the dial locked into the weight selection (it somewhat clicks and you should not be able to move the dial easily) the dumbbell will not free itself from the stand. This could cause for some ‘caught off guard’ action. Although - I have trained myself to ensure the dial is locked before I pick up the dumbbell.
There have been a few times when I had the dumbbells at a high setting (40lbs+) and went to put them back in the stand and the remaining one or two plates fell out. This probably has something to do with me trying to put MOST of the weight back into its stand in a fury. Therefore, I do not see why the manufacturing should be blamed here.
They are large in size (width and length) which causes some awkwardness for some moves. My friend also mentioned that some moves on the ball (like reverse flyes) are awkward/difficult for him to do with these dumbbells. Although, if you watch Sagi lift his 50+ lbs in Body Beast, they are large and look like they are made of styrofoam.
In some cases - I have to retreat to my free weights.
The dials turn opposite on each side of the dumbbell. This is oftentimes awkward and hard to remember. I am sure there is a mechanical reason for it, but come on.
I noticed that my plates are starting to dent. I am sure this is from re-racking them (sometimes 40+ lbs is extremely heavy and getting them back into the racks is a game of cat-and-mouse) and is bound to happen. I’m using my weights, right?! :)
I do not have the Bowflex SelectTech Stand that you can purchase separately, so my dumbbells are sitting on the floor. This works, although, I have to be careful not to pull my back bending down to re-rack/pick them up. (If you look at the stand - it does not look like it would be so sturdy but I cannot vouch since I have not tried it)!
They are also loud. What does that mean? I usually do my workout early in the morning before my hubby and daughter are awake and I notice that re-racking the dumbbells (especially when I am set to a heavy weight) is loud. Pulling them out of the stand is also not… quiet. It is another finesse/workout to try and use these quietly. Granted, someone lifting weight this heavy is usually not concerned with sound and is usually growling and grunting anyways.
I did Body Beast: Bulk: Legs today and this is one of the workouts that I have some issues keeping up with Sagi (instructor in video) because I have to rack the dumbbells, choose my weight (on four total dials) and pick them back up…quickly. Therefore, you may find that while these take up more space - they require a little more finesse.
These particular dumbbells only go up to 52.5 pounds so some people may exceed that weight (I have not had this problem yet) but Bowflex does have a heavier set. :)
Overall, there do not seem to be a lot of choices out there for adjustable dumbbells (at least not worthy ones). I compared these (in store) to the PowerBlock set (the square ones) and these were less awkwardly shaped.
Would I recommend this product? Yes.
Why? They are good quality, you get a lot of weight choices in a 'compact’ design, and people that do not have heavier weights do not lift heavier and thus - do not progress.
Price: Pretty good when you think about the price of one set of heavier dumbbells. It may be hard to pay the lump sum right away, but in the long run, it is worth it and you are saving money in the end.
Rating: 4 out of 5.
Things that would make them even better:
If they came in pink.
The dials turned the same way.
Even more compact (width/length-wise).