Purpose: Adjustable dumbbells
Weight range: 2.5-125 pounds in 2.5 pound increments
Best place to Buy: Powerblocks
Dumbbells per purchase: 2 (1 pair)
Rating: 5 of 5 stars
This review brings me a lot of pleasure to write because I genuinely love Powerblocks adjustable dumbbells. I was first exposed to the concept of adjustable weights when I first got serious about lifting weights back in 2006.
My first adjustable dumbbells were not Powerblocks tho. They were Olympic style dumbbells with a similar design as full sized Olympic barbells. The handles were a similar circumference as an Olympic barbell, but instead of the bar being really long, they were only a few inches wide. Attached to the handles were the slightly wider parts on each side that you slid the Olympic sized weight on.
From there, you use the same clamps to secure the onto the dumbbells the same way you would with full sized barbells. They were relatively wide and you could fit between one and five plates on either side, so finding a wide range of weight was never a problem.
Fast forward a few months, and along comes the Powerblocks. I don’t even remember how I got introduced to them, but I remember going to the local fitness equipment shop to buy a pair after I’d sold my Olympic style dumbbells.
Portability Advantage of the Powerblocks
The first thing I noticed was that they were a lot easier to transport because there were fewer parts. It would take 27 pairs of dumbbells to get the same range of weights that I get with my Powerblocks.
If you were moving to a new house, would you rather move two 125-pound dumbbells or try to move 27 pairs of dumbbells ranging from 2.5-125 pounds? The choice is obvious. Some would be so heavy that you can only move one at a time and other would be small enough to move several at the time, but still time-consuming.
With Powerblocks, you will have moved up to 250 total pounds of weight if you had to max weight. That would be over 2500 pounds of weight if you were using regular dumbbells.
Are Powerblocks Easy to Use?
The second thing I noticed was it was so much easier to change weight between exercises. Depending on workout goals, you might need to keep your heart rate from dropping between exercises and it’s hard for that not to happen when you have to take off clamps, remove the old weight, add the new weight, and reattach the clamps.
If you’re working out with dumbbells that don’t adjust, that won’t be a problem, but now you have a lot of dumbbells taking up a lot of space, which brings us to the third advantage.
How Much Space Do Powerblocks Take Up?
The third thing I noticed was that they don’t take up too much space. I got the set that goes from 2.5-90 pounds in 2.5 pound increments. They can be extended to 125 pounds, but 90 is more than enough for most people. I’d have to dedicate a corner of a room to nothing but dumbbells with regular dumbbells, but Powerblocks take up the space of only one pair.
They’ve got style
The main thing to consider is functionality when choosing workout equipment. We all know that, but Powerblocks look good. They have a design that makes you want to pick them up. When I have company over, the first thing they usually notice and migrate to are the Powerblocks dumbbells. They’re a great conversation starter.
Problems with Powerblocks Adjustable Dumbbells
No review would be complete without covering the negative side of the product. With Powerblocks, this is easy because there really aren’t that many, if any.
If I was going to complain about anything, it would be the new design of the locking pins. They’re plastic, whereas the old ones were made of metal, which made them more sturdy.
Another thing I noticed while I was working out is that they don’t actually cover every weight between 2.5-125 pounds. They’re made with a handle that weighs 5 pounds and two filler weights that weigh 2.5 pounds each that slide inside the handle. The plates are 10 pounds each. You can cover almost any weight you want by using them together in various combinations, but some weights cannot be reached.
For example, if I want 10 pounds, I can combine the handle (5 pounds) with the two filler weights (2.5 pounds each). If I want 12.5 pounds, however, there’s no combination that will get me there because I’d need another 2.5 lbs but both filler weights are already being used.
I’d have to go straight to 15 pounds by removing the two filler weights from the handle and then combining the handle (5 pounds) with the first plate (10 pounds). Same goes for 22.5 pounds, 32.5 pounds, 42.5 pounds, etc. I feel that this is minor when you factor in all the benefits of Powerblocks, though, but it’s something you should know before you make a purchase. I didn’t know it, but honestly, even if I did, I would’ve still bought them.
Are Powerblocks worth the price?
Yes. Powerblocks can be a little pricey, but they are actually saving you a lot of money when you consider how much it would cost to buy 27 pairs of dumbbells.
On top of that, if money is tight, you don’t have to buy all of it at the same time. They make it more affordable by allowing you to buy them in sets. You can buy sets that go from 2.5-50 lbs, 2.5-70, or 2.5-90 lbs. When you’re ready to increase weight, you just buy the expansion pack to take it to the next level.
A word of caution though: If you think you may ever need more than 90 pounds, kettle bells, or may want to possibly use the barbell attachment, be sure to get the Urethane Series Powerblocks, not the Classic.
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