As myself (GP) and contributing Fellows to the Gym Professor web site work in one form or another in the sporting world, we're rather spoilt when it comes to choosing supplements and gym equipment, as we have free-trial and pick of pretty much everything on the market. Therefore, when it came to selecting home-use dumbbells to feature in our upcoming book - Home Gym: Gym Ball & Dumbbell Workouts for Women - the Bowflex SelectTech 552 Dumbbells, with adjustment from 5lb to 52lb per dumbbell, were an easy and unanimous choice.
Dial-up/ selectable adjustable dumbbells, like the Bowflex 552 Dumbbells, have an obvious quick-change advantage over a dumbbell bar (that you load with plates) and take up less space than a fixed set of dumbbells. Price-wise they fall between the two. Unlike the advertising material associated with this type of interchangeable dumbbell, I'm not going to blurt on further about the benefits of choosing an adjustable dumbbell for home gym training, as the advantages are clear, instead, I'll discuss why I personally rate the SelectTech 552 Dumbbells as being the sensible choice.
There's now many brands offering an adjustable dumbbell of this ilk, examples include PowerBlock, TurboBell, Gold's Gym Transformer, York Fitness Dial Tech. All of the aforementioned have a sales tag-line of some kind or another for you to buy their product over their competitors. PowerBlock's marketers often use "original", "ergonomically designed" and "best" amongst their sales pitch, whereas Gold's Gym can promote their product as being cheaper than their rivals. Having used them all, I can categorically say without biased that the Bowflex SelectTech 552 Dumbbells offering is the best - yes, the Bowflex SelectTech 552 Dumbbells gets the Gym Professor 5 star rating! The reason, it's quicker to use/ adjust than the "original" and "best" options and the adjustment is not prone to "stick", as I've experienced on the cheaper copies. The Bowflex SelectTech 552's are also comfortable in the palm and are not too cumbersome in size for use during a gym workout. Also of note, they offer the best incremental range of those available and appear to age better (show less signs of wear), compared to cheaper alternatives.
You may have noticed that Bowflex offer a larger adjustable dumbbell - the SelectTech 1090's (10lb to 90lb adjustment per dumbbell). Although they've existed for a few years now, the 1090 dumbbells were in production for a couple of years prior, most likely the concern over the size a major contributing issue. The Bowflex SelectTech 1090 Dumbbells are a success for the heavier home lifter, benefiting from the build quality and comfort of the smaller 552 dumbbells, however, the 1090 dumbbells are not a dumbbell set for couples. Most women will find the shaft (just shy of 18" long) a bit awkward for some gym exercises, plus the smaller increment settings of the 552 dumbbells are one of the reasons they're favored over other adjustable dumbbells. If you're a heavier home lifter and you can afford it, you'd love having the two pairs (552's and 1090's). If it's an "either/ or" choice you're making, I'd choose the smaller 552's in preference and incorporate more barbell work for your heavier exercises/ lifts, if required.
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The Bowflex SelectTech 552 Dumbbells are featured in the book Home Gym: Gym Ball & Dumbbell Workouts for Women, which features 15 gym workout routines and over 50 color exercise illustrations. So, for comprehensive gym workouts at home, you should consider the purchase of the SelectTech 552 Dumbbells and the aforementioned book.
Here's a video of the Bowflex SelectTech 552 Dumbbells in use:
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