The Powerblock adjustable dumbbells have been around for years and they’ve proven to be a love them or hate them piece of home gym equipment. Perhaps the biggest stumbling blocks for me with these dumbbells is the hefty price tag, they retail for around $340 for the classic sets with a 50lb maximum per dumbbell, or around $700 for ones that can go up to 130lb with add ons. But don’t let the rice tag put you off just yet, there’s a review that needs to be done first
The HomeGymCritic’s Powerblock Dumbbells Review
At first glance, the powerblocks seemed near enough perfect. If you can appreciate the bulky retro looking design then there’s nothing much holding you back with these things. They look like something pulled out of the 80′s, but I think that’s a cool thing to have going for them.
As I mentioned, the Powerblocks are quite bulky and this can put some people off. The only real disadvantage to them being slightly bulky (other than cosmetic) is they can restrict your range of motion on a few exercises. With most other adjustable free weights you can perform almost any workout given the right equipment, for example with the powerblocks it would be hard do go deep in a chest press, and even harder in an overhead press because of the width of them.
Back to the price! Yep, they’re bloody expensive alright. The classic sets can be set up to 50lb, you can get sets up to 90lb, but to go any higher than that you’re going to need to buy an add-on. To get the maximum weight of 130lb you’ll have to invest around $800-900 total, which is extortionate to say the least, especially for a pair of dumbbells, you just wouldn’t expect that kind of price. However, Powerblocks could argue that you would pay a lot more if you opted for traditional dumbbells of the same weight though, so I guess it’s both a money and a huge space saver in that respect.
Whilst I was lifting the weights they tended to clank around a little but not as much as other adjustable dumbbells with weight plates.
Choosing the weight can sometimes be a slight problem too, if you’re not careful you can quite easily slot the u-shaped rod over two weight plates which will cause you to lift more.
Apart from the price, I think they’re a sweet piece of equipment to have in your home gym. The padded handles are a great feature, makes lifting 90lb ALMOST a breeze. They also have the ability to go up in tiny lb increments as well which I thought was pretty handy.
If you’re a serious weightlifter than I would say the Powerblocks would be your better choice over something like Bowflex’s SelectTech Dumbbells, purely because of the ability to lift more weight. I can see the look being a turn off for some people (not me!), and I can also see the price being a major turn off obviously. If you can afford to spend that kind of money, you’re space conscious, or you’re serious about building muscle, then I’d definitely go with the Powerblock dumbbells that’s for sure.