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BowFlex Dumbbells Review

I am going to be incredibly honest here; when it comes to adjustable dumbbells, you are not going to get better than BowFlex.

Sure, I have reviewed multiple adjustable dumbbells on this site, and most of them are amazing.

However, they are not a patch on what BowFlex brings to the table. Want me to tell you a little bit about them?

#1 What Are Adjustable Dumbbells?

I know you probably have a rough idea about what adjustable dumbbells are, but I figured we could kick off with a quick overview, just in case.

Adjustable dumbbells do exactly what they say on the tin. There is a little knob on the dumbbells which allows you to adjust the weight. How this works specifically will be dependent on the set of weights that you pick up.

The idea is that all of the dumbbells that you need are included in a single unit. This save space in your home, and maybe a little bit of money too. 

Obviously, adjustable dumbbells do have their downsides (and despite BowFlex being amazing, they are not immune to these downsides), but for the most part, people who have a home gym are going to be seeing a lot of benefit from adjustable dumbbells.

#2 Why Adjustable Dumbbells?

As I said; adjustable dumbbells are designed to save space. Dependent on the adjustable dumbbell that you buy, it can replace roughly 25+ individual dumbbells.

This is fantastic for a home gym environment as it means that you do not need to dedicate half your room to dumbbells. You just pick up a set of adjustable dumbbells and they all store neatly in the same case.

Obviously, since you do not need to buy a plethora of different dumbbells, you will also be able to save a little bit of money too.

One of the reasons why I love adjustable dumbbells is down to the fact that they are so simple to use.

The BowFlex ones are some of the easiest to adjust the weight on. If you use a standard set of dumbbells, you will be forever running around trying to get the next weight for your sets. Not with the BowFlex.

Just bend over, just put your dumbbell in the little stand (if you buy it separately, which you should), or on the floor and adjust the dial and you have the next weight available to you.

Quick and easy.

#3 Who are BowFlex?

Bowflex are a company that have been kicking around since 1986, roughly the same time that gyms started to become popular. 

Unlike some of the other companies that started up in the 1980s, though, BowFlex were never so much for creating huge, fancy equipment for the commercial gyms. 

They are a company that have designed for the home gym first and foremost. Sure, a lot of the products that they sell have popped up in some of those commercial gyms around the world. This is because what they make is so well-designed that it makes sense. 

However, their products have always been designed for those in home gyms. This means that the price can be a bit lower than the commercial equipment.

This is a company that is always striving to innovate. While I would never normally recommend a product from a company where that product is an absolute tiny part of the business, it is easy to do so with BowFlex. 

They innovate so much with their products, and they spend so long designing absolutely everything in their range, that no matter what product you pick up from them, you know that it is going to be amazing.

#4 The Main Products From BlowFlex

What I really love about BowFlex is the fact that their range of products is not convoluted at all. 

I have seen a couple of brands out there who have three or four different types of adjustable dumbbell. In those types, they are further split down into more weights. 

I am not saying that these dumbbells are not good. I am just saying that it gets complicated.

BowFlex have made stuff really easy. They have two different dumbbell sets:

  • BowFlex SelectTech 1090i
  • BowFlex SelectTect 552i

They are both different enough from one another that it makes it easy to choose which one of them is right for you too.

If you are more of a serious lifter, then you are going to want to go down the route of the BowFlex 1090i.  You are able to adjust each of the weights in the set from 10lbs (4kg) all the way up to 90lbs (41kg) in 5lb increments.

This means that in a single dumbbell, you have replaced 17 different weights (see how awesome adjustable dumbbells actually are?).

If you are a newcomer to the world of lifting, or maybe dumbbells never form the central part of your workout, then you may want to opt for the 552i instead. These can be adjusted from 5 to 52.5lbs (2kg to 24kg) which is a replacement for 15 different dumbbells in your home.

Both of these feel real different in your hands too. In my opinion, the 552i has a slightly better handle than the 1090i. It is a more rubberized grip which means that your hands are going to get tired far less quickly.

In my opinion, the handle of the 1090i is a little bit too rough on the hands. If you are wearing gloves while you are working out, I can’t imagine that this is going to be that much of a major issue, but I do wish that they had included the same handle on both of them.

Although, I am sure that there is a valid reason for this. I just write about fitness equipment. I am not an expert in the design of fitness equipment, sadly.

One issue I had with the BowFlex over other adjustable dumbbells on the market is that that the adjustment does have an impact on the way the adjustable dumbbell feels in your hand.

Yes, it is one of the best dumbbells on the market if you are looking for something which is easy to adjust. It takes seconds, and the system is never going to fail on you. Believe me on that one.

However, the whole system results in your dumbbells being a little bit longer than you may expect them to be. This can cause issues, particularly if you are picking up the 1090i. For example; it can feel like the weight distribution is a little bit on the uneven side.

It is probably something which you are going to be able to get used to after a couple of sessions, but if you have regularly been lifting normal dumbbells and then hop on over to these, then you may find it a little uncomfortable at first.

Back to the positive, though! These are some seriously good-looking adjustable dumbbells. I have seen them repeatedly described as ‘elegant’. They are going to look wonderful in your home gym.

To make things a little bit easier for you, I suggest that you pick up the stand that goes with the dumbbells. It makes it easier for you to adjust the weight and lift them up. Makes great storage too.

Don’t worry about these dumbbells faltering on you. They won’t. These are some of the best products I have ever seen.

If you do run into an issue, then you can be sure that the team at BowFlex have your back too. They have tremendous customer support, and since they are based in the United States, you won’t be jumping through hoops in order to get in touch with them.

Stellar Amazon Reviews

Whenever I am reviewing a new product, I always try it out myself.

However, I can’t always guarantee that I am going to be able to spot all issues with the product. This is because we all use our fitness equipment in slightly different ways.

This is why you will often catch me kicking around on the Amazon website to find out what other people have said about the product. I must say that the reviews here are overwhelmingly positive.

Sure, a couple of issues are highlighted (and I have talked about them here), but for the most part, Bowflex products have 100% positive ratings and there are very few adjustable dumbbells on the market that you can say that about.

#6 Are They Recommended?

You bet! Sure, BowFlex dumbbells are going to be a little bit more expensive than other products on the market.

However, when you buy these, you know that you are going to be picking up something which has been ‘built to last’.

These are made for the serious home fitness enthusiasts, although if a beginner can pick up a set of these weights, they are going to be pretty much set for life too.

While I have written a lot about different brands of adjustable dumbbell on this site, if I had to choose one brand which is a cut above the rest, it would be BowFlex.

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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.  

Get in touch: [email protected]