Powerblock Sport vs Elite – Which One To Choose?

powerblock sport vs elite

The main attraction for adjustable dumbbells is their versatility and size. There are three main types: traditional weight plates, adjustable dial, or the pull- pin system. 

Each adjustable dumbbells offer the benefit of changing weights to suit your needs and to save space in your home gym. 

It is a piece of essential gym equipment to have in your home gym because it can adapt to your strength and grow with your workout needs. 

In this article, we discuss the two best adjustable dumbbells from PowerBlock — the Powerblock Sports vs the Powerblock Elite. Find out which one will work best for you! 

PS! This is an addition to my Powerblock Dumbbells Review article – check it out, if you haven’t already.

PowerBlock Elite vs Sport

PowerBlock Sport

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The PowerBlock Sport is an all-level adjustable dumbbell by the PowerBlock brand. The dumbbells have the signature flat base, but it has a more rounded top. 

The Sport model is made of welded solid steel construction with a powder-coated finish. The center handle is padded, and there are two bars at the side to hold the two plastic ends in place.

The PowerBlock Sport EXP model includes an auto-lock for smaller weight adjustments, allowing you to remove one or both of the 2.5 lbs. weight within the handle. 

The Sports expandable (EXP) version can replace up to 256 lbs. of free weights, while the smallest Sport 24 model replaces 216 lbs. of free weights in the space of one pair. (3)

PowerBlock Elite

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The PowerBlock Elite is an expandable set, also with the trademark rectangle. It is also made from welded steel with powder-coated paint. 

The five bars that make up the handle assembly connects to plastic boards on both ends, with the center handlebar as the grip. Each handlebar is also padded for maximum comfort. 

The Elite has a dial lock in the handle where you can add or remove 2.5 or 5 lbs. weight tubes inside the handle. The side rails are color-coded, so it is easy to match the pins for a quick change. (4)

In-Depth Dumbbell Comparison: PowerBlock Sport vs Elite

Design and Style

PowerBlock Sport

  • The Sport 24 is not expandable.
  • Secure magnetic polypropylene pin.
  • 2 extra bars plus center bar holding plastic ends together.
  • Compact.
  • It has a straight center handle.
  • Secure magnetic polypropylene pin.

Quality and Durability

PowerBlock Sport

  • Durable with high-quality welding.

PowerBlock Elite

  • Durable with high-quality welding.


PowerBlock Sport

  • Wider opening;  no-padded wrist support.
  • Neoprene rubber coating.
  • Contoured handle.

PowerBlock Elite

  • Foam sides, no knurling.
  • Straight grip.


Weight Ranges and Performance

PowerBlock Sport

  • The minimum weight range is 3- 24 lbs.
  • The maximum with expansions is 90 lbs.

PowerBlock Elite

  • The minimum weight is 5 to 50 lbs.
  • The maximum with expansions is 90 lbs.


PowerBlock Sport

  • 5-year warranty.

PowerBlock Elite

  • 5-year warranty

Other Special Features

PowerBlock Sport

  • If you have the EXP model, you can get the expansion kit an additional cost per expansion. 

PowerBlock Elite

  • 2 expansions.
  • Stage 2 to a maximum of 70 lbs per hand.
  • Stage 3 to a maximum of 90 lbs per hand.

Powerblock vs Bowflex - What Do People Say?

Amazon Reviews

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PowerBlock Sport 50

Even though the PowerBlock 50 has a high customer rating, you may have to be careful when purchasing if you are looking to expand later. 

The expandable versions are not available via Amazon, and you may have to purchase through their website

There have been complaints that only one dumbbell arrives instead of 2 when you order through Amazon, and customer service can be tricky.

“Great new design! I had the first generation PowerBlocks and loved them. It’s easy to adjust weights with this dumbbell!”

“These are perfect if you workout at home. It’s easy to transition between weights and the size overall isn’t too overwhelming if you’re a petite person.”

Powerblock Elite

The PowerBlock Elite has a high customer rating on average. There are a few options available, and there are complaints about only one arrives. 

The Elite is expandable, which is the main reason people chose it. Users are happy with the fact that it is made in America, and it is easy to use as well.

“Overall, you cannot get a better balance of speed, reliability, and value than these PowerBlocks, one of the best purchases I have ever made!” 

“… One really neat thing is that the PowerBlocks are actually shorter than the hex dumbbells at the same weight…” 

Youtube Reviews

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PowerBlock Sport

YouTube reviews favor the PowerBlock Sport 90 (the expandable version). People who exercise at home prefer to own the expandable set and they usually will go for the Sports 90. 

The reviews mainly focus on how the weight distribution is even. Some complained that the pins can be hard to slide in quickly, while others noted that it is easier on level ground.

… The handle is same as a normal dumbbell, does not affect the range of motion…” 

“PowerBlock Sport has good weight distribution!”

 PowerBlock Elite

The PowerBlock Elite is popular with people who are aiming to build muscle at home. The expandable option is attractive to serious weight- lifters. 

Most users like the handle, which is comfortable and has enough space to move around inside the box. Some commented that the maximum 90 lbs. is not enough if you are serious about gains. Others noted that the 5 lbs. weight jump might be tricky.

“Handlebar is 5 lbs… can’t make a 2.5 lb adjustment… it will be something you have to work around”.

“Super comfortable to rest on your thighs in between sets.”

PowerBlock Elite vs Sport - Which one to Choose?

choosing an adjustable dumbbell

Before deciding which one to choose, the important thing is to consider is your needs and expectations. Both series have the option to expand, and they have similar weight ranges. 

The Elite model is cheaper, but the Sport model has a wider space to move your arms around and better build quality. However, PowerBlock dumbbells are made to last, there is no distinct advantage choosing one over the other.

The handles in both series are different to target certain types of weight lifters. Some may prefer the straight handle while others like the contoured feel. 

For beginners, the straight grip in the Elite will less likely to pinch. However, you may develop a preference as you go. 

If you are looking for a more modern and rounded look, the PowerBlock Sport has a sleeker and more compact body. 

On the other hand, if the cost is a factor, the Elite will do the same job for less.

The cheapest price found here for the Powerblock Elite.
The cheapest price found here for the Powerblock Sport Dumbbells.

Recommended reading: 
Powerblock vs Bowflex comparison
Powerblock Urethane vs Elite comparison

Benefits of Using Adjustable Dumbbells

According to a study in the Journal of Sports Sciences, using dumbbells to perform chest presses activates your core muscles best because it has a higher stability requirement (

Your body needs to balance itself on the bench while you are performing a chest press, but you may not feel the need when you are on a Smith machine

The biggest gain for using adjustable dumbbells is when you are doing a superset or a tri-set workout, where you can increase efficacy within a shorter training time (2). Adjustable dumbbells allow you to change weights quickly, reducing rest periods to increase heart rate.

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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.