bowflex dumbbell review

Bowflex 1090 Dumbbells Review

What Are The Bowflex 1090 Dumbbells?

Most people have an idea of what standard dumbbells are, and you can find racks of them at any professional or even home gym

Traditionally, each dumbbell has a specific weight, and when working out you can grab a set from the rack depending on how much you want to lift.

While extremely effective, traditional dumbbells have the downside of requiring a fair amount of space, since you generally will need more than one set (1). Beginners will want a minimum of 3 weight options, while those who work out frequently will likely want far more.

What makes the Bowflex 1090 dumbbells unique is that they combine 30 weight options into one compact design, giving you a wide range of options without taking up a wall in your home. 

Perfect for the home gym enthusiast, each weight can be adjusted from anywhere between 10 and 90 lbs, an incredible range that is sure to satisfy the majority of your lifting needs.

Company Information: Bowflex

Bowflex is one of the largest names in the realm of fitness equipment producers, and they have been in business since 1986. 

Their original product, the Bowflex 2000x was one of the first home gym trainers (2), complete with a system of pulleys and various weights. From there, Bowflex continued to grow and expand their product lines, establishing themselves as the kings of home gyms and trainers, eventually moving into other areas such as treadmills and more. 

To date, they offer a wide selection of equipment across 9 different categories, and the Bowflex 1090 dumbbells are just one of their many popular products.

In A Nutshell: Bowflex 1090 Dumbbells

On average, the Bowflex 1090 dumbbells have overwhelmingly positive reviews, often receiving a 4 or 5-star rating from customers. 

On the Bowflex website itself, this product has a solid 4.7 out 5, while on Amazon reviews settle around 4.0 out of 5 (3). The slight discrepancy is mostly due to some shipping issues through Amazon and is less about the product itself. 

What customers love most is how easy this product makes working out. Not everyone has space in their house for a large dumbbell rack, but they also don’t want to be limited to one pair of 20 lb weights and nothing else. 

Since they are sold as a pair, you can really utilize its full potential, switching between weights in 5 lb. increments as you exercise. 

An easy to use dial system controls the weight and locks your preference in securely. Crafted from high-quality materials, these heavy-duty dumbbells are built to last and will be the last set you ever need to buy.

What Exercises Can You Do with the Bowflex 1090 Dumbbells?

Since these dumbbells can adjust in weight from 10 to 90 lbs each, you can do nearly any exercise with them that you would with a traditional set of dumbbells. 

The range of weight also makes them ideal for both novice and expert gym-goers, as you simply pick what works best for you. 

Typically used for strength training, you can do common exercises such as:

  • Bicep curls
  • Lunges with shoulder presses
  • Lunges with chest rotations
  • Dumbbell deadlifts
  • Dumbbell reach ups
  • Rear delt flys
  • Chest Presses
  • Burpees
  • Toe raises
  • Upright rows
  • and more

The main difference that users note when it comes to using the Bowflex 1090 dumbbells over traditional options and they are much bulkier and longer in size. 

For the most part, this shouldn’t impact your workout. But for certain activities, it may make it slightly more challenging. Performing presses on a flat bench or incline press are more difficult because of their length, but with a little practice and adaptability, most people find that it is still possible.

The Bowflex website does offer a variety of exercise videos (5)  that showcase how to use the dumbbells during a certain move. Not only that, but they also have a free app that is available for download that is packed with different exercises, challenges, and more.

Detailed Review of the Bowflex 1090 Dumbbells

The product as a whole may seem fairly simple to understand, but there is a lot going on that makes them as effective as they are. Similar models exist on the market, but customers continuously return to Bowflex for a number of reasons. 

From the quality craftsmanship to the reputation of the brand, these dumbbells have left many customers satisfied with their purchase. 

Design Specifications

Sold together as a set, each weight is identical and can be used together or separately in either the left or right hand. 

They feature a single bar with adjustable weights on both ends, and they run 17.5″ in length making them 2.5″ to 7.5″ longer than traditional dumbbells (6). 

The weighted portion is created by using 5 metal plates, all of which are capped off with an adjustable dial on the end. There is a durable molding over top of each weight plate, helping to dampen any noise when you put them down.

The adjustable dial ranges from 10lbs to 90lbs on each dumbbell and is selected by simply turning the dial to the printed number of your choosing. This will then engage the metal plates, adding or decreasing the weight to match your selection.

To store your dumbbells, each weight comes with its own resting platform that is specially molded to match it perfectly. These platforms can be stored on the floor, or, you can purchase a metal stand for them separately.

Price as of 2020

$329.99-$599

The exact price for a set of Bowflex 1090 dumbbells is going to depend on where you choose to buy them from. 

Purchasing the dumbbells directly from the Bowflex’ website will give you the best price. (7) While the Bowflex products’ price tag is certainly higher than a regular set of dumbbells, it is important to recognize that you are getting a full set, rather than just one type of weight.

Buying through the Bowflex website will cost you more, but that will also give you access to their protection plan, as well as any add-ons they offer. They frequently run promotional deals and sales, so you can get just as many savings as you can from other dealers. 

Another great place to pick up a set is from Amazon. Amazon may have availability issues from time to time, so you need to check if they have in left in stock. (8).

While this may be more expensive than if you simply picked up the set from Bowflex, it is a great option if you don’t particularly want a pair and just want one dumbbell. 

Ease of Assembly & Usability

The Bowflex 1090 dumbbells arrive at your door pre-assembled, so there is nothing for you to do except to get started with your workout. 

In general, they are extremely easy to use, and the only thing you will need to get used to is changing and locking the weight mechanism. Each time you turn the knob, there will be a soft click as it locks into place, and you want to make sure you hear and feel it locking before you begin using them. 

The locking mechanism also ensures that the weights are securely fastened to the handle —  something that you can test out by following the instructions that are included with your purchase.

While this is the traditional way of using the dials, there is an option to choose off-set weighting for certain exercises. Off-set weighting means having the two sides at different numbers in order to engage the left or right section of your arm more/less. 

When doing this, the math changes slightly, so, for example, if you set one side to 20 lbs and one side to 30 lbs, you would ultimately be lifting 25 lbs total but have it off-set.

Does it Come with a Warranty?

All Bowflex products come with a manufacturer’s warranty which covers the parts. In the case of the Bowflex 1090 dumbbells, the included warranty is for 3 yearsHowever, if you want to extend this, they do offer an add-on protection plan which gives you an additional 2 years of coverage on top of your included 3.

Pros and Cons of the Bowflex 1090 Dumbbells

Overall, most people find this set to be exactly what they are looking for, and there are a lot of notable pros that make them a stand-out product. But, nothing is perfect, and there are areas in which the product could be improved.

Pros

  • Takes up significantly less space than traditional dumbbell racks
  • Replaces 34 dumbbells in one compact design
  • Offers weights from 10lbs to 90lbs
  • Easy to use and come pre-assembled
  • Durable design made from high-quality materials
  • Protective molding makes them smoother and quieter
  • Includes the Bowflex app for training and logging

Cons

  • More expensive than regular dumbbells
  • Longer and wider which takes getting used to
  • The metal grip can be uncomfortable on bare hands

What Do Customers Have to Say About it?

Reviews are overwhelmingly positive, with only a few complaints scattered throughout. Whether you are looking on Amazon, YouTube, fitness blogs, or the Bowflex website most people have nothing but good things to say.

Amazon Reviews


On Amazon.com, the Bowflex 1090 dumbbells are only available as singles, and it has a 4.0 out of 5 stars. However, on Amazon.ca, they do sell a full set and that has a 4.7 out of 5-star rating. 

One of the top reviewers mentions that “the Bowflex 1090 adjustable [dumbbells] are a welcome addition to my home “gym”. They replace the need for a large set of standard [dumbbellss and related storage area.”

Another person commented that the “very simple adjustable controls make these easy to use and comfortable”. 

YouTube Reviews

 

YouTube is filled with both review videos as well as how-to videos, making it a wealth of knowledge for those who are considering purchasing or have recently purchased a set. 

Comments on YouTube discuss how they are “great for toning and strength training exercises for both upper and lower body including heavy leg lifts”, as well as mentioning how they “use them regularly and they hold up well”.

Conclusion: Should You Buy The Bowflex 1090?

working out with adjustable dumbbells

Anyone who is looking to expand their home gym, or simply wants a set of dumbbells around to work out with, will appreciate the convenience of the Bowflex 1090 dumbbells. 

Exceptionally well-made, they are durable and long-lasting, which helps to offset the initial cost since it is unlikely you will ever need to replace them. 

Unlike traditional options that take up a large amount of space, these compact dumbbells can easily be tucked away when not in use, and yet they still provide a great weight range that would require over 30 regular dumbbell sets normally. 

Simple to use, and perfect for any of your regular exercises, the Bowflex 1090 dumbbells are a great purchase offering top value.

Current cheapest price found from this site.

PS! For a more in-depth overview of the Dumbbells that Bowflex offers – see this page.

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Article by:

Daniel DeMoss

I’m a personal trainer based in Denver (Matrix Gym) and a true fitness nerd. If I’m not training clients or working out at my home gym, I’m probably skiing, cycling or hiking with my dog Rufus.