PowerBlock Dumbbells Review
While PowerBlock dumbbells may look a touch different from your standard dumbbell (maybe a little scarier!), they are wildly popular, and if you are a heavier lifter then these dumbbells may be just the route you need to go down.
Adjustable dumbbells are perfect for those who may not have a lot of space where they live. They are perfect for heavy lifters.
While there are both home and commercial options, I am writing this assuming that you are going to be a home user, although do bear in mind that a lot of the stuff that I talk about on this page is going to have a little bit of overlap between the two.
#1 Who Are PowerBlock?
While they do not quite have the marketing budget behind them that other companies have, PowerBlock have been kicking around for a long time.
Since 1991, in fact. It is back then, a couple of fitness equipment designers decided that the dumbbell market was far too convoluted.
If you wanted to work out in the comfort of your own home (properly), then you would need dozens and dozens of dumbbells. This is going to take up an astonishing amount of space.
The team behind PowerBlock decided there needed to be a better solution. The way to go was adjustable dumbbells.
The company is now a leader in the dumbbell industry. You can find PowerBlock products in both home and gym environments, with the products getting more popular each year.
Although, the latter should not really come as a surprise since they are putting so much effort into innovating.
#2 What Are Adjustable Dumbbells?
As I said before; dumbbells are cumbersome. If you need more than one or two of them, and the vast majority of people do, they are going to take up a shed ton of space. Adjustable dumbbells counteract that.
Adjustable dumbbells sort-of look like your standard dumbbell. The only difference is that it is going to have multiple weights on it. More than you average dumbbell.
There will either be a pin or dial in place. You adjust this pin or dial. It sets the weight that the dumbbell is at. When you do this, you lift the dumbbell up and the weights you don’t need will be left behind.
These are space-saving as they are incredibly simple to adjust, and when you are done with them, you will have a ton of weight that fits into no more than a small bag.
As I also said, they do look a bit scarier, but this is probably down to all of the knobs and buttons you need to press. They are not actually all that difficult to use.
In fact, you can adjust the weight within seconds. It is about as quick as picking up a whole new weight from the gym, which isn’t too shabby!
#3 The PowerBlock Series Of Products
There are four different ‘series’ of products available with the PowerBlock range.
While each of them does have a ‘standard’ edition which can’t be updated, I am the type of person to prefer the EXP range, because they are upgradable, which is fantastic for those people who may need a little bit more weight in the future.
Each of these ranges (well, the EXP ranges of each of these products) is split down either further to three weight categories:
There may be a few changes to this when it comes to the commercial standard products, but as I said; I am focusing on the home products here.
The PRO series is the more popular series from PowerBlock, and comes complete with weights that allow you to up in 2.5lb increments, if you wish.
Although, bear in mind that you can only add 2.5lbs onto the ‘base’ weight (either ending in a 0 or a 5). Which means that you are not going to get as much adjustment as you would on a standard dumbbell.
The SPORT series is much the same as the PRO. The only difference is the handle type. The SPORT has a rubberized grip, whereas the PRO has a chrome handle. It is very much down to you when it comes to which one is the right choice.
However, do bear in mind that the design of the PRO series means it is a little bit bulkier.
The POWERBLOCK series is the cheapest option in the range.
However, this does not mean that it is not as good. It is less robust, but it is still one of those weights which is going to last you years and years of use. POWERBLOCK are not a company that likes to cut corners.
The CLASSIC range is also known as the ELITE range. Again, it is on the cheaper side, but it is a touch more robust than the standard POWERBLOCK.
#4 Recommended Products
If you are using the products on a daily basis, then you should absolutely go for either the PRO or the SPORT range from PowerBlock. Go for the product which has a handle that feels good for you.
While the entire range from PowerBlock is robust, I think these are going to be a bit better for long term use. The price isn’t that much higher either.
The POWERBLOCK or even the ELITE range are going to be much, much better for low use users i.e. those who may be using them as part of a workout routine, not as the main focus of their workout routine. Do bear in mind that they do not look quite as ‘stylish’, however.
Obviously, the weight is up to you. Always opt for the EXT product so you can add more weights if needed.
Unless you already know that you are going to be a particularly heavy user, or even a light user, I think that you should aim for the 5-70lbs of any range.
It is a good compromise. Most people will be using dumbbells around that weight.
#5 Pros and Cons Of PowerBlock
Obviously, the biggest pro of opting for one of the PowerBlock products is the fact that they do not take up a whole lot of space.
If you are the type of person that really takes their workouts seriously, then you are going to need to have a few dumbbells at your disposal, and the PowerBlock will help you there (as I said, they can replace almost 30 weights, which is absolutely crazy!).
PowerBlock are simple to use and have a quality grip in place which makes them easy to handle. Unlike some of the other adjustable dumbbells on the market, they do not rely on a ‘dial’ system to set the weight that you want.
It does something completely different which, from my experience, means that it is going to last a whole lot longer.
I have seen a lot of people complain about the fact that their dials on their adjustable dumbbells are breaking, but I have never heard a similar complaint about the PowerBlock system.
Obviously, the downside is that you are not going to have as much control over the exact weight with the PowerBlock system. The increments that the product goes up in, for most of their products, will be 5 to 10 pounds.
For most people, this is probably not going to be that much of an issue.
However, if you are the type of person that really likes to fine tune the weight that they are lifting down to the absolute pound (or even smaller), then PowerBlock may not be for you.
You must also bear in mind that these dumbbells do have more moving parts than your standard dumbbell, which means that they are not going to last that long.
However, as I have reiterated several times already; these are dumbbells that are built to last. It is highly unlikely that you will ever be using them to the point where they need to be replaced.
Not to mention the fact that they move as a set, so if you are purchasing one of the upper level products, you are going to need to move a ton of weights to a new location, even if you are only planning to use a couple of pounds once you get there.
While some people will see PowerBlock is on the pricier side of things, particularly when you compare them to conventional dumbbells, you will very quickly realize that these dumbbells are worth the money.
In fact, imagine buying a set of 26 dumbbells. The equivalent number of weights than an adjustable dumbbell will provide you with. You will be paying way more than the cost of a PowerBlock .
This is a product which gets rave reviews on just about every single site.
In fact, I don’t think I have seen anybody say anything negative about the PowerBlock outside of the price, but this is something which can be excused because it isn’t really that expensive.
If you know what you are buying, then you know that you are getting a fantastic deal.
These products are praised for their build quality and their ease of use. There are a lot of adjustable dumbbells on the market, but none come close to the fantastic quality that PowerBlock provides.
Sure, it may be difficult to adjust the weight on them eventually.
That is always going to be the case when it comes to owning something with moving parts, but it is going to be years and years before you get to that point.
In fact, I have barely heard a story about the PowerBlock failing on the user.
Alternatives To PowerBlock
Obviously, PowerBlock is the original, and they are the company at the forefront of the industry.
However, they are not the only company out there pumping out adjustable dumbbells. Other companies include Bowflex and Bayou.
The main differences between the various adjustable dumbbells on the market will be the weights you have access to (including the increments), and the overall feel of the weight.
Honestly, I believe that PowerBlock are the best when it comes to their quality rubber grip which really makes the weight a lot easier to hold in your hands.
I have tried some of the competing brands and they seem to slip and slide about everywhere, which is no good when you are carrying the heavier weights.
For heavy lifters that suffer from a lack of space at home, PowerBlock Dumbbells are the clear route to go down.
At an affordable price, despite a fantastic build-quality, these dumbbells will easily last you years of daily weight adjustment. Even a low-end user may benefit from having a lower weight PowerBlock Dumbbell in their arsenal.
Long story short; if you use Dumbbells regularly, there is no reason why you wouldn’t want to go down this route.
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.