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Bowflex Dumbbells Review: Worth the Big Hype?

Interested in a Bowflex dumbbells review?

As a fitness enthusiast who’s tried various weights, I recently turned to the Bowflex SelectTech 552 Dumbbells. Intrigued by their adjustable nature and compact design, I put them through their paces in my home gym. What follows is an in-depth review of my experience and how these dumbbells measure up.

Unboxing The Bowflex SELECTTECH 552 Adjustable Dumbbells

bowflex selecttech 552 adjustable dumbbells

Upon receiving the Bowflex 552 Dumbbells, I was struck by their hefty weight. No assembly was required, which was a relief. Each dumbbell was securely packed, and the quality was evident from the start.

They came with a plastic base for the optional storage rack I had purchased. The sleek design and solid feel immediately impressed me, signaling that these weren’t just dumbbells. Their modern look would fit well in any home gym setting, a subtle yet essential factor for those who value functionality and aesthetics in their workout equipment.

The Build Quality and Design

The Bowflex 552’s sleek design is ideal for home gyms. Their compact size belies their versatility, replacing 15 sets of traditional weights. The adjustable dials on each end are intuitive, allowing quick weight changes. Crafted with a blend of durable materials, they feel sturdy yet manageable. However, the amount of plastic in their construction raises some durability concerns.

Upon closer examination, the weight plates and the locking mechanism reveal a thoughtful design to provide a smooth lifting experience. Each plate aligns seamlessly, avoiding the clattering noise typical of traditional dumbbells. The red and black color scheme adds to their visual appeal, making them not just workout equipment but a part of your home decor.

Despite the plastic components, the overall construction exudes quality, indicating Bowflex’s commitment to creating high-end fitness equipment.

Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells
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I might earn commissions on sales made via this link.

The Adjustable Weight System And How It Works

Bowflex dumbbell set

The core appeal of these dumbbells lies in their adjustable weight system. With weight options ranging from 5 to 52.5 lbs, they cater to various exercises and strength levels. The adjustment process is smooth, facilitated by internal gears that lock in the selected weight.

This system is a game-changer for those looking to switch between exercises swiftly. However, it’s worth noting that the internal plastic components could be prone to wear over time.


The weights go up in scale as follows: 5 7.5 10 12.5 15 17.5 20 22.5 25 30 35 40 45 50 and 52.5 lbs per adjustable dumbbell, with 52.5 pounds being the heaviest weight.

The dial system is ingeniously simple yet effective. By turning the dial to the desired weight, the dumbbell automatically locks in the required plates while leaving the rest on the base. This mechanism eliminates the need for multiple sets of weights cluttering your workout space. It’s particularly advantageous for exercises that require varying weights, like progressive overload training.

The transition between weights is seamless, allowing for minimal disruption during workouts. It’s a perfect solution for those with limited time and want to maximize their workout efficiency. The dial also features clear markings, making it easy to select the correct weight even during intense workouts.

Turning a dial lets you engage the internal gears that select the necessary weights to achieve your chosen poundage. Depending on the selected weight, some plates remain unused unless you max out at 52.5 pounds.

Bowflex weight increments
pro tip

If you accidentally pick up the Selecttech 552 dumbbell with different weights on each end, be careful that it will be heavier on one side. Simply return the dumbbell to the base, and select the weight you want on the needed side.

The Handle On The SelectTech 552 Dumbbells

Bowflex set of dumbbells

The handle of the SelectTech 552 Dumbbells is noteworthy. As someone with larger hands, I’ve often struggled with adjustable dumbbells, but these offered a comfortable grip. The knurled metal and rubber grip ensure the weights don’t slip during intense workouts. This ergonomic design is a significant advantage, making these dumbbells a good fit for users with varying hand sizes.

The attention to detail in the handle design is evident. The slight contour fits naturally in the palm, reducing the strain during lifting sessions. This ergonomic feature is particularly beneficial for longer workouts or when the dumbbells are used for high-repetition exercises. The rubber grip is a thoughtful addition, providing a secure hold even when your hands get sweaty. It also minimizes the common calluses with prolonged use of metal handles.

Overall, the handle design is a testament to Bowflex’s understanding of user needs, ensuring comfort without compromising functionality.

Storage and Media Stand for the SelectTech 552 Dumbbells


Storage is simplified with the Bowflex 552. While adding to the cost, the optional media rack provides a convenient and compact storage solution. It holds the dumbbells at an accessible height and even has a spot for a tablet, which is handy for following workout videos. The rack’s design complements the dumbbells, making them an aesthetic addition to any workout space.

The rack’s footprint is minimal, making it an ideal choice for those with limited space. Its sturdy construction ensures that the dumbbells are held securely, reducing the risk of them falling or getting damaged. The additional feature of a tablet holder is a thoughtful touch, catering to the modern fitness enthusiast who relies on digital media for workout guidance.

This integration of storage and functionality is a significant advantage, allowing for a more organized and efficient workout environment. It’s an example of how Bowflex designs products that meet fitness needs and fit seamlessly into the user’s lifestyle.

pro tip

Don’t forget to check out our full review of the Bowflex media stand and storage trays.

Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells
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I might earn commissions on sales made via this link.

Working Out With The Bowflex 552 Dumbbells

Bowflex Dumbbell Review

In my workouts, the Bowflex 552 dumbbells proved their worth. The quick weight change system was a standout feature, allowing me to move seamlessly between exercises like bicep curls, squats, and presses.

The dumbbells’ balance and consistent weight distribution contributed to an effective workout. Their versatility for upper and lower body exercises is a significant plus, making them suitable for a wide range of fitness routines. During my sessions, I found the transition between different exercises incredibly smooth, thanks to the quick adjustment system. This feature is particularly useful when performing circuit training, where time efficiency is crucial. The weight variety also allowed me to experiment with different types of exercises, from strength training to conditioning workouts.


If you need a little more weight, consider the SelectTech 1090 Dumbbells which go up to 90 lbs each! Click HERE to check them on Amazon.

I could perform exercises like overhead presses, lunges, and even unconventional movements like dumbbell swings, all with the same pair of dumbbells. The balance of the weights remained consistent regardless of the weight setting, which is a testament to the precision engineering of these dumbbells. This consistency is crucial for maintaining proper form and preventing injuries during workouts.

Who Should Get The SelectTech 552 Dumbbells?

bowflex selecttech 552 adjustable dumbbell review

The Bowflex SelectTech 552 Dumbbells are ideal for those who appreciate the convenience of an all-in-one weight solution. They are perfect for home gym enthusiasts with limited space and for those who engage in varied strength training routines. While they won’t replace heavy free weights for advanced lifters, they offer enough resistance for most fitness levels, making them a versatile choice for beginners and intermediate users looking to streamline their workout equipment.

The dumbbells are particularly well-suited for those new to weightlifting or those looking to add variety to their workouts without investing in multiple weights. Their ease of use makes them accessible to beginners, while the range of weights provides room for progression as strength and fitness levels improve. For intermediate users, the SelectTech 552s offer the flexibility to perform various exercises, from basic bicep curls to more complex compound movements like deadlifts and squats. The compact design is a significant advantage for those with space constraints, making them an excellent choice for apartment dwellers or those with limited room for workout equipment.

These dumbbells are a smart investment for anyone looking to build a versatile and effective home gym.

The JRNY App

An aspect that sets the Bowflex 552 apart is its compatibility with the Bowflex JRNY app.

This app offers adaptive workouts, real-time coaching, and rep tracking, enriching the workout experience. The app’s integration with the dumbbells demonstrates how technology can enhance traditional weight training. However, it’s worth noting that the app requires a separate subscription, which might be a consideration for those budgeting for their home gym.

The JRNY app provides a range of workout programs tailored to individual fitness levels and goals. Real-time feedback and coaching are valuable for maintaining motivation and ensuring proper form. The app’s tracking features allow you to monitor your progress, providing insights into your strength gains and workout consistency. This technology integration makes the Bowflex 552s more than just dumbbells; they become part of a comprehensive fitness system. The app’s interface is user-friendly, making navigating through different workouts and tracking your progress easy.

The adaptive workout feature is particularly impressive, as the app adjusts the difficulty and intensity based on your performance, ensuring that you are always challenged. This personalized approach to fitness is a significant advantage, making the Bowflex 552s a smart choice for those looking to maximize their workout efficiency.

Final Thoughts On The SelectTech 552 Dumbbells

Bowflex dumbbells review

Wrapping up my time with the Bowflex SelectTech 552 Dumbbells, I’ve got to say that they really grew on me. These aren’t just dumbbells; they’re like the Swiss Army knife in my home gym arsenal. They cleverly combine many weight options into one neat package, which is super handy, especially when you’re tight on space like I am.

Honestly, I had doubts about the plastic parts initially, but these dumbbells have held up surprisingly well. They’ve been through the wringer in my workouts and still look good as new. What I love most about them is they make my workouts more spontaneous and varied. Whether I’m feeling like a light arm day or wanting to challenge myself with heavier lifts, a quick twist of the dial, I’m all set. It’s pretty slick.

Now, they might not be the go-to for hardcore bodybuilders looking for super heavy weights, but they’re just perfect for someone like me, who wants a bit of everything in their routine. They’re a great blend of convenience and versatility and earned their spot in my daily workout routine. So, if you’re in the market for an all-in-one, space-saving solution for your home workouts, I’d say the Bowflex 552s are a solid bet.

My only regret? Only that I didn’t get these Bowflex dumbbells sooner, as I discovered them just a few years ago.

SelectTech 552 Pros

  • Comes Assembled
  • Heavy-Duty and Sturdy Feel
  • Quality Turning Mechanism
  • Wide Range of Adjustable Weight Options
  • Convenient Way to Switch Weights Quickly
  • Free Shipping with Amazon Prime Purchase
  • Quality Handle with Rubber Grip
  • JRNY App
  • 5 to 52.5 lbs, 15 Sets of Weights

SelectTech 552 Cons

  • Plastic Coated Plates
  • Both Sides Need Adjusted
  • Putting Back On Base Can Be Tricky
  • Bulkier Than Traditional Options (16.9 l x 8.3 w x 9 h)
Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells
Click to View Amazon Price
I might earn commissions on sales made via this link.

Bowflex Dumbell Review FAQ

How heavy are Bowflex dumbbells?

The Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells offer a weight range from 5 to 52.5 pounds each. This range is achieved through a unique dial system, allowing users to adjust the weight in increments for various exercises.

How much are Bowflex adjustable dumbbells?

The price of Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells varies depending on the retailer and any ongoing promotions or sales. Typically, they are priced around $400 to $600. It’s advisable to check with official retailers or the Bowflex website for current pricing and potential deals.

Why are Bowflex dumbbells so expensive?

Bowflex dumbbells are priced higher due to their versatile design, which combines multiple sets of weights into one unit using a unique adjustment system. This innovative design, coupled with high-quality materials and the brand reputation for durability and reliability, contributes to the higher cost.

Are Bowflex 552 Dumbbells the best adjustable dumbbells?

The Bowflex SelectTech 552 Dumbbells are highly regarded in the fitness community for their quality, versatility, and ease of use. While “best” is subjective and depends on individual needs and preferences, these dumbbells are often favored for their ability to replace multiple sets of weights, making them a popular choice for home gyms.

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