Bowflex SelectTech 1090 Dumbbells Review
New gym equipment is always exciting and can be a big boost to your motivation to get started or keep staying on track.
I love getting new equipment whether it’s some new gym clothes, gloves, shoes, or some new equipment because it motivates me to make the most out of my newest purchase.
Today’s piece of equipment is a very fancy set of dumbbells from Bowflex that will help your speed through your workouts without wasting time on selecting and changing weights.
Today’s review is covering the Bowflex SelectTech 1090 Dumbbells, the big brother to Bowflex’s flagship and best-selling SelectTech 552 dumbbells. When these dumbbells first arrived on the scene they were revolutionary and provided something never before seen on the market.
Today, there are a few major competitors to the SelectTech style of dumbbells which include Powerblocks and IronMaster dumbbells. These types of dumbbells are very attractive to the home gym builder and are extremely useful for saving time and space.
What are SelectTech Dumbells?
These dumbbells are specifically designed to clear your workout space and be rid of all the extra weights lying around. Bowflex SelectTech dumbbells can replace the equivalent of 34 dumbbells, saving a ton of space.
The patented SelectTech weight adjustment on either side of the dumbbell can be rotated in the base to select the desired amount of weight for each side. The weight can be adjusted in 5lb increments so that you can increase your weight as you build your strength.
SelectTech Dumbbells come in 2 different options, the flagship 552 dumbbells which range from 5lbs - 52lbs, and the SelectTech 1090 dumbbells which range from 10lbs - 90lbs.
The smaller size is great for those looking to get into weight lifting and are low on space. The SelectTech 1090s however are made and designed for serious lifters. The range of weight available on these weights is quite high and will only be maxed out by the most dedicated and strongest of lifters.
Why Should You Buy the SelectTech Series Dumbbells?
For those who are extra serious about fitness and exercise and want to maximize their gains, the SelectTech dumbbells are the perfect choice for achieving those goals.
These dumbbells provide a few extra benefits over traditional weights that make them hard to get rid of once you get accustomed.
As previously mentioned, these dumbbells are enormous space savers.
Those who are locked up in tiny apartments or small home gyms can rejoice and celebrate as these dumbbells are the ultimate solution to not having the space for proper equipment.
The 552s can replace 15 sets of dumbbells and the 1090s can replace 17.
That’s an enormous amount of weight and space you can allocate to other resources now.
Wider Weight Range
In comparison to the 552s, the 1090s are able to hold almost twice the weight. This is a significant step up in weight and is very much a serious purchase for the more dedicated lifters.
The increased weight range means that the weights will keep up with you as your gains increase too.
No more changing and buying extra weights once you reach a new strength level. Now the solution is as simple as turning a tumbler on either side of the dumbbell and getting back to work.
This is a very welcome upgrade as the 552 dumbbells are fantastic but fall short in weight for a couple of key exercises I would like to perform using them. With the 1090s I don’t need to worry as much about outgrowing the weights and not finding them effective anymore.
Each individual weight plate is coated in a durable molding that provides a smooth selection action and no clanging plates.
For some the sound of clanging plates is cathartic and the sound of iron being pumped can be very motivational. For others, especially those in home gyms, silence may be more appreciated and the coating on the weights does exactly that.
I’ve seen many people loafting around in the gym while looking around and picking out the appropriate weight for their exercise.
This is an incredible waste of time, energy, and potential.
For one, nobody wants to spend all day at the gym, the quicker you finish, the quicker you go home.
Time does not equal gains and efficiency matters a lot more than time spent at the gym.
Somebody pushing themselves to the limit for 30 min with short breaks in between sets will see drastically greater results than somebody who spends an hour lifting weights but changes their song and weights for 2 min between sets.
Secondly, when exercising and getting your heart rate up after an intense set only to cool down while looking for weight for your next lift is counterproductive to making maximum gains. Maximum fat burn and muscle gain happen when we push ourselves and our hearts as much as we can.
Being able to rapidly select your weight and pump out sets will yield greater gains from your routine than you could have possibly expected.
Shortening the break between sets will also liken the workout to a HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) session which yields better results in fat burn and muscle gain than standard routines do.
Comparing the SelectTech 552s and the 1090s
5lbs - 52 lbs
10lbs - 90 lbs
5, 7.5, 10, 12.5, 15, 17.5, 20, 22.5, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 52.5 lbs
10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, 60, 65, 70, 75, 80, 85, 90 lbs
Dimensions w/ stand
16.9” L x 8.3” W x 9” H (each)
17.5” L x 9.5” W x 10” H (each)
The Good, The Bad, And The Odd In Using The 1090 SelectTech Dumbbells
When you buy a Bowflex product you can expect a couple of things.
You can expect to receive a quality, well-polished and elegant product that is also uniquely designed for maximum results.
All of Bowflex’s products have a particular design variation that makes them superior to the standard version in some sense.
In the case of the 1090 dumbbells, that design is the tumblers on the ends of the dumbbells for selecting the weight.
This ingenious design is what allows such a quick and efficient selection of a large variety of weights.
Out of all the weight selection dumbbells, this weight selection system is the easiest and quickest making it the biggest selling point of these weights.
As mentioned before, the individual weights are actually steel plates coated in plastic. This plastic coating allows the weights to slide and move past each other freely.
This is a wonderful feature, however, it is also one of the dumbbell’s bigger downsides. Bowflex makes it a key point to stress several times, “DO NOT DROP THE WEIGHTS”.
This is due to the fact that dropping the weights can cause not only the fragile plastic coating to crack but could also irreparably damage the tumbler weight selection mechanism.
A lot of problems arise because of the fragile nature of the plastic and the adjustment mechanism. Heavy steel weights and plastic are never a good combination, especially under impact forces.
This is why Bowflex stresses not to drop the weights, the plastic notches can deform and the latching mechanisms may no longer work properly or be secured. Unfortunately, Bowflex does not provide a warranty on dropped equipment, including the adjustment mechanism.
This can be a sore spot for a lot of people as the weights are fairly delicate and can’t be treated the same as traditional weights. Easily forgetting this detail, many people have forgotten and accidentally dropped the weight only to cause irreparable damage to the selection tumbler leaving the dumbbells unusable.
Due to the design of these dumbbells, the handles tend to be a little bit longer than standard.
This fact is easily overlooked but can be a significant hurdle to overcome when adjusting to the weights.
The handles are 17.5” long because the selection system runs the length of the handle.
Problems start to occur when performing certain exercises such as a dumbbell press for example, and the dumbbells clash before the rep is complete.
Another example of this would be when performing dumbbell curls and the long weight handles can strike or snag at the body or clothing towards the bottom of the rep.
While the handle length is an odd thing to get used to, it is possible to do so but may feel a bit unnatural for some time. Once adjusted the selection speed and efficiency far outweigh the slightly more unnatural positions for certain movements.
Overall the handles are not a make or break feature but they have to be mentioned as they do take some getting used to.
Best Place to Buy a Set of Dumbells
If you think the SelectTech dumbbells are right for you then the best palace for you to pick them up would be at Bowflex.com. Picking up the dumbbells directly from the manufacturer ensures that they will be the real deal and not an imitation.
Additionally, you can benefit from deals on shipping and choose financing options as their products do run on the more expensive side.
Financing can be made on 12-month terms making for more reasonable monthly payments after conduction a credit check through Equifax or TransUnion.
My Thoughts on the SelectTech 552 and 1090 Dumbells
When it comes to practicality and usability, these dumbbells and amazing and serve their purpose dutifully.
The wide selection of weights including the ability to only stack weights on one side makes for some additional uses such as a makeshift kettlebell for doing weighted squats.
I love that I don’t have to worry about adding additional sets of weights as I get stronger. Being able to just turn the tumbler when I feel ready for more weight is the simplest and most elegant solution to keeping up with lifting progress.
The added intensity from the time saved between sets also makes a huge difference in my results. My exercises feel quicker, more intense, and more focused when I can dial in exactly what I need without thinking about anything more.
When it comes to the SelectTech 1090 dumbbells, I would only recommend them to those who will be able to make use of the maximum range of the weight.
If you are serious about weight training and are a fan of efficiency and convenience then these 1090 dumbbells may be one of the best purchases you will ever make.
These dumbbells are for those who are packing on serious muscle and are pushing for maximum muscle gain.
Keep in mind they are fragile and are not for those who frequently throw weights. This can teach a lot of restraint and be part of the exercise as maintaining complete control over the weight, even after finishing the set can be difficult without outright dropping the weight.
If you are looking for weights but are not that strong or simply don’t require that much weight, then the SelectTech 552 is your better option.
They provide a greater selection of weights near the bottom half of the weight range and are better suited to those looking for more weight variety around the 20lbs range.
If you are usually using the 40-50lbs dumbbell range then I would suggest preemptively buying to 1090s as any lifting progress past 50lbs will be limited by the weight capacity of the 552s.
Depending on your uses, both SelectTech dumbbells are very viable options for their respective purposes. The 552s are more casual and replace a dumbbell set, whereas the 1090s are for the more seriously involved and can be used for a very wide assortment of exercise due to the large weight range.
Consider your maximum lifts, your potential progress and other factors when choosing between which set if better for you.