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Reviewing Bowflex Dumbbells | SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells

Are you interested in the Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells? I wanted to do a Bowflex dumbbells review since I recently picked up a pair of the dumbbells thanks to a great deal on Amazon, and I wanted to share with you my experience unboxing them and give you some insight into how these awesome SelectTech 552 dumbbells work.

We’re going to look at how the unit gets delivered, and what’s in the box, and then also take a look at how the SelectTech 552 dumbbells actually function.

We’re gonna look at its construction and overall build. If you’re curious about how this set of dumbbells works, specifically the Bowflex adjustable dumbbells, then this article is for you.

First, let’s talk about how the unit was shipped and what was in the box.

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Unboxing The Bowflex

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First, let me start off by saying that this box was heavy. I mean, I know that it’s got two dumbbells in it, and the total weight was going to be over 100 pounds for the pair.

But having said that, it was still a little bit of a shock at how much it actually weighed and how difficult it was for me to get down my stairs. I should’ve expected it, but it was still a surprise.

As I begin to open the box, my main concern was that there was going to be a bunch of assembly required in order to put the SelectTech 552 dumbbells together. To my shock and joy, the SelectTech dumbbells came completely assembled, tightly packed away in the Styrofoam inside the box.

This was a huge relief and save me a bunch of time not having to deal with interpreting bad instructions and assembly.

Each dumbbell came on a plastic base, fitting nicely and securely with an additional strap to keep the adjustable dumbbells attached. Since I had already purchased the media stand for these SelectTech 552 dumbbells, I knew that these plastic bases were supposed to attach to the media stand, so I set these aside for now.

As expected, there was some additional paperwork and warranty information, but since these were already assembled, I was ready to attach them to the media stand and get going.

But I have to say, I was so happy with the fact that these came preassembled and how tightly packaged everything was. Both sets of Bowflex SelectTech 552 dumbbells came out in perfect condition with zero issues, so we were off to a great start.

Now, let’s talk about how this set of SelectTech 552 dumbbells is actually built and how they work.

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Bowflex SelectTech 552 Dumbbells

One of the most popular sets of adjustable dumbbells on the market, the SelectTech 552 Dumbbell Set is a mix of modern technology and good ole fashion Bowflex quality.

The Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells Build

The general structure in the build of these SelectTech 552 dumbbells is exactly what you would expect out of both adjustable and traditional dumbbells. Both sides of each dumbbell have a series of weights, and then there is a handle in the middle.

But, because these are adjustable, and because they are both legs, there are quite a few features and characteristics of these that are worth pointing out here.

The Adjustable Weight System And How It Works

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First let’s talk about the most obvious feature, the adjustable weight options. These SelectTech 552 dumbbells start at as low as 5 lbs each and go up to 52 lbs. This is accomplished by adjusting one or both of the selection dials at the end of the set of dumbbells to the required or desired weight settings.

Each side of the SelectTech dumbbell has an easy to use selection dial where you set the desired weight for one side of the dumbbell. This is a bit interesting because it requires a user to set both ends of the dumbbell with the exact weight, else you’ll have a lopsided dumbbell.

But, I will say, that these selection dials rotate amazingly and have a nice solid click on these Bowflex adjustable dumbbells.

These SelectTech 552 dumbbells weight range is 5 to 52.5 lbs per adjustable dumbbell. The weight increments on each dumbbell increase by 2.5 lbs all the way up until the 25-pound mark.

Beyond that, it goes in 5-pound increments all the way up to 50 lbs.

Strangely, at that point, there is an option for another 2.5 lbs for each dumbbell. This equals a total availability of 52.5 lbs on each dumbbell and lots of options in between.

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As you turn each knob, the internal gears grip and release the plates on each end of the dumbbell. So depending on your weight selection, the gears with the dumbbell determine which plates it needs to log onto in order to achieve the way desired.

This means that when you lift the dumbbell after selecting your way, there are most likely going to be some plates left behind, which is fine. Those weight plates do not need to be used for every weight unless you go all the way up to 52.5 pounds, and in that case, you will use all weight plates.

When you are ready to put the SelectTech 552 dumbbells back on the rack after doing your bicep curls or other exercises, you must put the dumbbell back into the rack by sliding the dumbbell in between the leftover weight plates.

pro tip

If you accidentally pick up the dumbbell with mismatched weight amounts on each end, be careful that it will be heavier on one side. Simply return the dumbbell to the base, and fix the weight on the needed side.

This can be a bit of a challenge if you try to rush it, but if you go slow to make sure that you are sliding the dumbbell between the remaining plates, there’s no issue.

Functionally, these were ready and easy to use right out of the box. I was impressed with the quality of the turning knob and gear system, and the ability to quickly switch the amount of desired weight in from one exercise to another with minimal effort.

The Quality of the Bowflex Dumbbells Build

When looking at the overall build and quality of these SelectTech 552 dumbbells, I looked at several pieces of machinery. Let’s break down each part of the SelectTech 552 dumbbells and look at how they are assembled.

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Bowflex SelectTech 552 Dumbbells

One of the most popular sets of adjustable dumbbells on the market, the SelectTech 552 Dumbbell Set is a mix of modern technology and good ole fashion Bowflex quality.

The Bowflex SelectTech Dumbbell Weight Plates

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First, the weight plates themselves on the Bowflex SelectTech 552 dumbbells.

These have an external plastic coating, with each plate being slightly bigger or smaller than the previous one. This allows for many different variations of ways to be selected.

And something worth noting here, since these are plastic exteriors.

If you have a hard floor, I can see where there is a possibility that dropping these adjustable dumbbells down could crack the exterior of each weight plate. I do see that they sell these individually on the Bowflex and Amazon websites, so it seems that there is a need for replacement from time to time.

While the plastic on each dumbbell weight plate is a very hard texture, I think it could still lead to problems if not treated properly.

The Handle On The SelectTech 552 Dumbbells

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The other thing that I was really interested in was the handle on each one of these SelectTech 552 dumbbells.

Because I have slightly larger hands, I have had experiences with other sets of dumbbells where my hands were either too big or just barely big enough and we’re just uncomfortable to use. I was glad to find out that there was plenty of room in these dumbbells for my large hands, but not so much that these were gonna be sliding around whenever I was using them.

The material of the handles and some sort of hard metal, with a slight knurl to them. The knurling is a great bonus to help keep these SelecTech 552 dumbbells from slipping. 

The Internal Gears and Turning Knob Mechanism

As I look in between the weight plates, I can see the gears that spin whenever the knobs are being turned. These metal gears have a nice click to them, and really seem to grab onto each white plate with each turn.

The knobs themselves are a nice hard quality plastic and feel high-end.

The Media Stand For The SelectTech 552 Dumbbells

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As I mentioned before I also bought the additional media rack for these SelectTech 552 dumbbells. It wasn’t a necessity, but, I also didn’t necessarily want to leave these dumbbells sitting on the ground since they did cost a little bit of money.

The media rack is intended as a place to securely hold each Bowflex dumbbell at an elevated level, but also has a stand so that you can place your iPad, iPhone, or whatever other device you have that you want to watch while you work out.

Bowflex does have its subscription-based fitness JRNY app, which is probably what they want people to use the media rack for. However, that’s not really my thing so I probably won’t use that part of the rack.

For me, the value of the rack is just having the dumbbells elevated for easier reach while doing so securely.

Working Out With The Bowflex 552 Dumbbells

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I’ve learned a few things while working out with these dumbbells.

First off, even though these awesome dumbbells are a bit bulkier than standard dumbbells because of the adjustable options, the bulkiness didn’t get in the way of any of my workouts. In fact, it was a total non-issue.

I was able to do all my workouts and strength training just as I would any traditional or another adjustable dumbbell.

Except, in this case, I was able to do everything much faster with the ability to quickly change the weight of each Bowflex dumbbell and start my next exercise.

The other thing that I was careful about was how I dropped the Bowflex SelectTech 552 dumbbells onto the floor.

With my floor being concrete, I wanted to make sure to have some sort of mat or soft surface for my dumbbells to land. So I put a few gym pads around the workout areas that I was in during my workout.

I certainly recommend you do the same so you don’t run as high of a risk of any of these Bowflex weights breaking.

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Bowflex SelectTech 552 Dumbbells

One of the most popular sets of adjustable dumbbells on the market, the SelectTech 552 Dumbbell Set is a mix of modern technology and good ole fashion Bowflex quality.

Final Thoughts On The Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells

SelectTech 552 Pros

  • Comes Assembled
  • Heavy-Duty Feel
  • Quality Turning Mechanism
  • Wide Range of Weight Options
  • Switch Weights Quickly
  • Free Shipping with Amazon Prime
  • Quality Handle with Rubber Grip

SelectTech 552 Cons

  • Plastic Coated Weight Plates
  • Both Sides Need Adjusted
  • Putting Back On Base Can Be Tricky
  • Bulkier Than Traditional Options

With so many options on the market, there’s a lot to choose from for consumers. But because I’m a big fan of Bowflex home fitness equipment, this is the brand that I chose, especially because of the high popularity of this particular model.

Right out of the box I was impressed with the Bowflex dumbbell build, quality, and overall feel of these SelectTech 552 dumbbells. I was also very impressed by the actual process of changing the weight, and how it is truly adjustable.

I loved being able to start using these Bowflex adjustable dumbbells out of the box within 10 minutes. It was a big burden off my shoulders not to have to mess around with any assembly.

But my biggest test is always the workout and this passed with flying colors.

I was able to do a lot of exercises in a short amount of time with this set of dumbbells thanks to the quick change weight system of these SelectTech 552 dumbbells.

There is a slight learning curve your first couple of times using these SelectTech 552 dumbbells, to get used to changing each side of the Bowflex dumbbell weight, and inserting the SelectTech 552 dumbbells back into the base.

But once you’ve got these great dumbbells figured out, you’re good to go from there.

Bowflex might be best known for their home gyms, but these dumbbells are a game-changer.

My only regret? Only that I didn’t get these Bowflex adjustable dumbbells sooner.

YouTube Video Review | Bowflex Adjustable Dumbbells

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