Powerblock Vs. Bowflex Adjustable Dumbbell 2022: Which is Better?

By Inge
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This article is our comparison of the Bowflex SelectTech 552 and the Powerblock Pro Series.

Powerblock Vs. Bowflex
Powerblock Vs. Bowflex Adjustable Dumbbell

Both the Bowflex and the Powerblock adjustable dumbbells are fit for home use. 

As a personal trainer, I recommend both brands of dumbbells. I’ll go through all the important features and compare them, to help you make an informed decision.

  • Bowflex Selecttech 552

    • Weight range 52.5 pounds
    • Dial system for weight adjustment
    • 1-Year JRNY Membership included
  • Powerblock Pro

    • Weight range 50 pounds
    • Pin system for weight adjustment
    • Solid steel for critical parts

Bowflex has a higher weight range of 52.5 pounds. It is more convenient to use, because it’s easier to adjust the weight.

Powerblock has a weight range of up to 50 pounds. You can increase the weight range to 70 or 90 pounds by purchasing extension kits. 

Powerblock is more durable because it uses solid steel on critical parts of the dumbbell. While most parts of Bowflex use heavy-duty plastic. 

The pin adjustment system of Powerblock is more secure than the dial system of Bowflex. Sometimes the dial system feels shaky and does not lock properly, but this does not happen on the pin system.

While Powerblock may seem superior to Bowflex, the final decision depends on you and your needs. So I recommend reading the full article to get a clear picture of the differences between the two.

Let’s start the Powerblock vs. Bowflex review.

Table of Contents

Features Bowflex SelectTech 552 vs. Powerblock Pro Series

FeaturesBowflex SelectTech 552 Powerblock Pro Series
DimensionsLength: 16.9 in (43 cm)
Width: 8.3 in (21.2 cm)
Height: 9 in (22.8 cm)
Length: 12.5 in (31.75 cm)
Width: 7 in (17.78 cm)
Height: 7.25 in (18.42 cm)
Weights5 – 52.5 lbs (2.3 – 23.8 kg)5 – 50 lbs (2.3 – 22.7 kg)
Weight Increment2.5 lbs (1.13 kg)2.5 lbs (1.13 kg)
MaterialSteel, Nylon, ABS, and
Thermoplastic Rubber
Urethane Coated Steel Plates
AdjustmentDialPin
Warranty2 Years Parts
(including handle assembly, weight plates and base assembly)
5 Years
Other FeaturesOn-Demand Trainer-Led Videos
Storage Trays Included
1-Year JRNY Membership included
Expands to 70 and 90 lbs. per hand with 2 add-on kits

Weights Comparison

Bowflex

The Bowflex SelectTech 552 offers 15 weight settings at 2.5-pound increments. The weight ranges from 5 to 52.5 pounds and allows you to adjust the weight manually with a turn of the dial.

You can adjust the dumbbell to the following weights: 5, 7.5, 10, 12.5, 15, 17.5, 20, 22.5, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, and 52.5 pounds.

If the 50-pound weight range is enough for you, then Bowflex is a good choice. But if you want to increase the weight, you must invest in separate dumbbells.

You cannot add more weights to your Bowflex dumbbell set.

Powerblock

The Powerblock Pro Series has weights ranging from 5 to 50 pounds. The increments are at 2.5 pounds, and it has 16 weight settings. 

You can adjust the dumbbell to the following weights: 2.5 (adder weight), 5, 7.5, 10, 15, 17.5, 20, 25, 27.5, 30, 35, 37.5, 40, 45, 47.5, and 50 pounds.

If you want to upgrade your Powerblock, you can buy add-on kits where you can expand the weight of the dumbbell to 70 or 90 pounds per hand. 

The add-on kits are easy to put together, and the additional weights fit into the design of the dumbbell, so they are compact.

Winner Weights Comparison

There is no clear winner in this feature, as both brands have a weight range of about 50 pounds. That is more than enough for most people.

Adjustment System Comparison

Bowflex: Dial System

The Bowflex uses a dial system for changing the weights. It is pretty straightforward to use, but some users find it confusing at first.

You can see the dials at the end of the dumbbells, and you just have to turn them on your preferred weights. The increments are at 2.5 pounds on weights ranging from 5 to 25 pounds.

Then, the increment increases to 5 pounds on weights ranging from 25 to 50 pounds. And the last adjustment is from 50 to 52.5, which is a 2.5 pounds increment.

This confuses some users, as they think they have to do the math during adjustments. Try not to overthink when you use it.

Also, you cannot change the weight when the dumbbells are not on the storage tray. You have to put them together during adjustment.

However, the only problem I found is that the Bowflex may feel shaky, and others complain that sometimes it does not lock properly. Others experienced weight falling during their workout, but it seldom occurs and happens after years of use.

Powerblock: Pin System

The Powerblock uses a magnetic pin for weight adjustments. It uses a weight stacking system, and you can see the labels on the sides.

When you adjust the weight, all you have to do is get the magnetic selector pin and slide it on the side of your preferred weight. The pin locks and secures the weights together.

There are two holes below the handle where you can put the adder weights. The adder weights are 2.5-pound cylinders, so you can adjust the weights in small increments.

If you want to use a 2.5-pound increment, fill in one hole. But if you want to increase the weight increment to 5 pounds, fill the two holes with two metal cylinders. You can also leave the holes empty.

Just like the Bowflex, you have to keep the weights together if you adjust it. You have to place the weights on a firm and level surface so you can adjust them properly.

Poweblock takes more time to adjust and may feel inconvenient.

Although Bowflex is more convenient and easier to adjust, the Powerblock’s pin adjustment system is more secure than Bowflex.

Winner Adjustment System Comparison

The Powerblock Pro Series is the winner, because the pin adjustment system is more secure than the dial system. On the other hand, the dial system is easier to adjust.

Design and Build Comparison

Durability

Both brands use heavy-duty steel, but Bowflex has more parts made of heavy-duty plastic. Bowflex uses plastic on the handle and dial system, and the weights have a thermoplastic rubber coating.

The Powerblock, on the other hand, doesn’t have many plastic parts. The magnetic selector pin is plastic, but it is less likely to break and is replaceable.

Unlike regular fixed dumbbells, I do not recommend you drop adjustable dumbbells. 

However, Powerblock may survive a few drops, as the critical parts are not plastic. While Bowflex has many moving and plastic parts which could break easily.

In the long run, the plastic parts of the Bowflex may become brittle, and they could break. Powerblock is more durable because it uses solid steel for most parts.

Winner Durability Comparison

The Powerblock Pro Series is the winner, because it is more durable than Bowflex.

Shape

The Bowflex looks like a traditional dumbbell, which gives more room for movement. Any side works fine, since the weights are round-shaped. 

The Powerblock has a box-shaped figure with connectors on the side. You have less room for movement, as there are only two open sides where you could slide your hands in to hold the handle.

Bowflex is more convenient to use. On the other hand, you have to be mindful when using the Powerblock due to its shape or design.

Winner Shape Comparison

The Bowflex SelectTech 552 is the winner, because the shape is similar to the traditional dumbbell, which is more convenient to use.

Handles

Both brands come with ergonomically contoured handles.

The Bowflex handles are similar to traditional dumbbells. It has long and fixed handles, so the length does not change whichever weight setting you choose.

Since the handles are too long, it makes some exercises harder to perform, especially when you lift a dumbbell in each hand.

When you select a weight on the Powerblock, only that weight comes out. It gets longer as you add more weights, since the weights are horizontally stacked together.

In contrast, the length remains the same whichever weight you choose on the Bowflex.

Winner Handles Comparison

The Powerblock Pro Series is the winner, because the handles only get longer as you add weights. Bowflex has a long fixed handle, which limits your movement and makes some exercises harder to perform.

Storage Comparison

Bowflex has an included storage tray where you can keep your weights. Powerblock does not have a storage tray, but it is compact and stacked horizontally.

Both are compact and easy to store. However, Powerblock has a smaller footprint than Bowflex.

Winner Storage Comparison

The Powerblock Pro Series is the winner, because it is easy to store and has a smaller footprint than Bowflex.

Price and Warranty Comparison

Powerblock has a five-year warranty and uses durable materials, such as heavy-duty steel. Bowflex has a two-year warranty, and some of its parts are plastic.

In terms of price, the Powerblock Pro Series is cheaper than the Bowflex SelectTech 552.

Winner Price and Warranty Comparison

The Powerblock Pro Series is the winner, because it has a longer warranty and is cheaper than the Bowflex SelectTech 552.

Powerblock Vs. Bowflex: The Winner

After reviewing and comparing each product, I found the Powerblock Pro Series is better than Bowflex SelecTtech 552 for the following reasons.

  • Although Bowflex has a higher weight range, you can expand your Powerblock dumbbell up to 90 pounds. You cannot expand on the Bowflex, as the weights are fixed, and you have to buy a separate pair if you want to increase the weight.
  • Powerblock’s pin adjustment system is more secure than the dial system of Bowflex.
  • The materials used on Powerblock are more durable than Bowflex.
  • The handles of Powerblock are more comfortable, because they only get longer as you add weights. While the Bowflex has a long and fixed handle, which makes some exercises harder to perform.
  • Powerblock is easier to store and has a smaller footprint than Bowflex.
  • Powerblock is cheaper and has a longer warranty duration than Bowflex.

Which adjustable dumbbell is best for you?

Best for your Budget

If you are on a tight budget, I recommend the Bowflex Selecttech 552, because it is cheaper. And it still has a higher weight range.

Best for your Fitness Level?

Ideally, women should start lifting weights at 5 to 10 pounds per hand. While men can start at 10 to 20 pounds per hand [1].

So if you are a beginner or light lifter, I recommend the Powerblock Pro Series because it has a lower weight range. 

However, if you are not interested in expanding your weight set or want to stay around the 50-pound weight range, Bowflex SelectTech 552 is also a good choice.

If you are a serious lifter or plan to expand your set in the future, I recommend the Powerblock Pro Series. You can expand it to 90 pounds, and it will last you a long time.

The Bowflex SelectTech 552 is more for beginners and light lifters. It only has a weight range of 5 to 52.5 pounds, without any option for expansion, which may not be enough for serious lifters.

FAQ About Powerblock Vs. Bowflex

Are PowerBlocks awkward?

Yes, Powerblocks are awkward to use at first, as they have a box-shaped figure with connectors on the side. This limits your access, as there are only two open sides where you could slide your hands in.

You can get used to it after a few uses.

Are power blocks better than dumbbells?

Powerblocks are adjustable dumbbells, so you can adjust their weight from 5 up to 50 pounds or more. This is better than fixed dumbbells, because you can’t change the weight of a fixed dumbbell and have to buy separate pairs for each weight.

Are Bowflex 552 adjustable dumbbells worth it?

Bowflex 552 has 15 weight settings ranging from 5 to 52.5 pounds at 2.5 increments. This is better than buying 15 separate pairs of dumbbells with fixed weights. With Bowflex, you only need to buy one set, so they are worth it.

What to do next?

These two models of adjustable dumbbells offer significant differences. However, if you are a casual exerciser, these differences may not matter as much to you.

After all, the Powerblock and Bowflex are both reliable and high quality. Ultimately, though, I think you should pick the one with more features that better fit your needs and goals.

For more dumbbell and weight lifting equipment guides, check out the articles below.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Inge van Haselen is a certified Personal Trainer and Health Coach. For over 17 years, she has been coaching hundreds of clients in her gym. Inge published several programs on health and fitness. It is her passion to help you have the best Home Gym for your needs. So you can be in the best shape of your life.

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