The Bowflex SelectTech 552 Review

INTRODUCTION

Dumbbells are probably the most basic of all workout equipment, especially if you are more of a home-workout person. Most people are used to the traditional design - where the dumbbells themselves have a fixed weight.

It can be used either individually or in pairs. Using them regularly has a lot of benefits which include: 

  • Strength training: Muscle and bone strength are steadily increased the more you use them
  • Flexibility: Regular use boosts muscle flexibility 
  • Muscle growth: Using them regularly boosts activates several arm muscles and stimulate their muscles
  • Boosts resting metabolic rate: Dumbbell related exercises are a great way to burn calories

What is the Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbell and why should you consider adding it to your home workout equipment? I have spent the last couple of weeks using this dumbbell and I’m going to give you a totally honest and no-nonsense review.

The Bowflex 552 easily replaces 15 sets of weights. This product, with a pretty wide range of adjustable weights - 5 to 52.5 lbs ( 2kg to 24 kg ) - is sold in a pair of two individual dumbbells. 

The fact that it has adjustable weights makes it incredibly convenient. Having the two sets of weights easily replaces the need to have up to 15 pairs of dumbbells. It saves you a lot of space. 

The official Bowflex website gives you the accurate dimensions of these dumbbells ( 40 x 20 x 23 cm each ). One thing I especially took note of is how easy it is to group. There is hardly any chance of the dumbbell slipping. I think the design in that aspect is very good.

HOW TO USE THE BOWFLEX 552

Honestly, one part of my experience with this product that I enjoyed is how easy it was to use. It was designed and optimized for home use. In this section, I’ll give you a simple step-by-step description of how to use the Bowflex SelectTech 552. 

The first thing to note about it is that each one of the dumbbells comes with its own base, which is made of plastic. The base is where each dumbbell rests when it isn’t in use. (It might seem like a small perk, but I really like not having to worry about not having a dumbbell rack). 

The dumbbell has a handle made of metal that connects the two ends. The ends consist of plastic composites, as well as locking clips for the adjustment mechanism.

My favorite part of this whole setup is how easily the weight of the dumbbell can be adjusted to suit the user. 

On each end of the dumbbell, there is an adjustment knob that allows you to modify the weight of the dumbbell. You simply turn the knob (on both ends) and set it to a weight you are comfortable with. For example, you turn the knob to 15 lbs on both ends.

When you are done adjusting the knob to your suitable weight, you simply lift it from the base. Something you will immediately notice is that the remaining plates that were not used are released from the locking mechanism and remain on the base. Whenever you want to change the weight again you simply place the dumbbell back on the base and readjust the knob.

The user-friendliness of the  Bowflex SelectTech 552 is something I really enjoyed in testing the dumbbell. 

Features

The Bowflex SelectTech 552 has a lot of great features that I personally took note of in my experience with it. I’ll be sharing a couple of them with you: 

  1. Design: Like I already mentioned earlier, the design of the Bowflex SelectTech 552 was obviously done with the user in mind. The grip, ease of use, and just the overall experience were great. The only major design flaw I can point out is the fact that it is quite bulky and tends to be a bit fragile.

    2. Space Efficiency: For one thing, you can say bye-bye to having multiple sets of dumbbells in your garage (like I used to have). These dumbbells are super space-efficient. You get to worry a whole lot less about where and how to arrange your dumbbells in an orderly manner.  

3. Weight range: As I stated earlier, the Bowflex SelectTech 552 has a really wide range of weights. Starting at 5 lbs and increasing steadily by 2.5 lbs till it reaches its maximum weight of 52.5 lbs. the linear progression of increasing the weights of a trainee is always better when done in a slower way.

4. Quieter Workouts: I know it isn’t just me that gets annoyed at the squeaky sounds of dumbbells and the heavy thud from dropping them. The Bowflex SelectTech 552 has unique and durable molding around the metal plates that make lifting smoother and quieter.

5. Ease of Adjustment: Honestly, I love how easy it is to change the weight of the dumbbell. I explained earlier how that you simply adjust the knob on both ends to give you your suitable weight and lift from the base.

FAQs

Q: Are the dumbbells durable?

A: I think so. I noticed a protective plastic coat around the dumbbells that made them quite resistant to scratches and they were also less likely to clatter when dropped. But I have not used them long enough to answer conclusively

Q: How do I adjust the dumbbells to my suitable weight?

A: It is simple. You rotate the adjustment knob to the number that shows you your desired weight. When you feel the adjustment knob settle into a notch and hear a clicking noise, you've completely and correctly selected the number. If the knob is in the middle of the target weight and you haven't completely picked it, it will lock and you won't be able to remove the dumbbells from the base.

Q: How is the Bowflex SelectTech 552 different from other dumbbells?

A: Well, for one thing, it takes up a whole lot less space than most dumbbells. It also has a very efficient locking mechanism that ensures safety. Plus it is smooth and makes very little noise. 

Q: How much are the dumbbells and where can I purchase them?

A: The retail price is currently $349 and you can purchase them here on their website.

PROS AND CONS

This is where it gets real. What are the pros of this product and the cons that you might want to consider? This section will help decide, so here are the pros and cons:

PROS

  • Design: I’ve been loud on this fact throughout this article, this dumbbell has a very good design. 
  • Price: Relative to other products, the Bowflex SelectTech 552 is really great value. At $399 the price is very competitive.   
  • Ease of adjustment: This is probably the feature that makes it so appealing. 

CONS

  • The bulkiness: I know I mentioned this earlier, but this design flaw puts a dent in its (in my opinion) nearly perfect design. It can get awkward trying to balance it. Even in its lighter weight, it is still quite bulky. 
  • Why does it have so much plastic? The inside connector pieces are made of plastic and can be vulnerable to cracks. To be fair, the dumbbells aren’t as subject to rust or corrosion, but I think they could have used a stronger material.
  • The dumbbells are not very drop-resistant. Of course, nobody wants to drop their dumbbells, but it does happen. 

ALTERNATIVES

In case you don’t think the Bowflex SelectTech 552 is for you, here are a number of alternatives for you.

  1.  The Powerblock Dumbells: these dumbbells are quite easy to adjust, just like the Bowflex. It uses a special and patented “click” system to adjust the weight. And it works very well. The main difference between it and the Bowflex is that the Powerblock goes all the way to 90lbs.

    2. Ironmaster Quick-Lock Dumbbells: If you’re looking for a wider range of weights than the Bowflex, then this one could be for you. They go from 5 lbs to 75 lbs standard, but they are upgradeable all the way to 120lbs.

    3. NUOBELL Dumbbells: This dumbbell has a strong steel construction that makes it a lot more expensive (but much more sturdy and durable) than the Bowflex. If you want something more premium and durable, and you don’t mind spending extra for it, this could be for you.

CONCLUSION

The Bowflex SelectTech 552 is probably the most popular adjustable dumbbell on the market right now, and for good reason. The high-quality design, ease of use, and adjustability all contribute to its popularity.

The price is also great for people on a budget. I personally had a great time using these dumbbells and I recommend them to anyone who is a fan of home workouts. 


Denver Matheson
 

I am a strength training enthusiast that loves discovering new ways to get stronger. As a certified trainer and powerlifting competitor, I'm always looking for different training methods and advice. I hope to pass some of what I learn on to my fellow lifters.

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