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The Bowflex SelectTech 552

The Bowflex SelectTech 552 adjustable dumbbells offer versatility for home gyms, enhancing your strength-training routine with a range of weight options. You can customize the weight to match your exercise and fitness level by simply adjusting a dial at the end of the dumbbell. With 15 different weight increments, these dumbbells provide a cost-effective solution to expand your home gym without needing a bulky rack of individual dumbbells.

As someone who enjoys working out at home and values diversity in my strength-training routines, I was eager to put the Bowflex SelectTech 552 dumbbells to the test. Over three months, I consistently incorporated them into my workouts, engaging in a range of upper and lower-body strengthening exercises with varying resistance levels. Throughout these sessions, I meticulously assessed the dumbbells' quality, durability, and grip while also considering specific aspects that set adjustable dumbbells apart, such as their ease of adjustment.


Who It's For

The Bowflex SelectTech 552 adjustable dumbbells are an excellent choice for individuals who prefer home strength training. These dumbbells offer convenient access to a wide range of weights while taking up minimal space. They are particularly suitable for those with limited space or a tight budget for their home gym. Surprisingly versatile, this set caters to beginners and experienced weightlifters, providing challenging workouts that adapt as you progress.


Setup and Use

The set arrived fully assembled, making unboxing a breeze. They were ready to use after easily removing the safety strap with the included Allen wrench.

While slightly longer and bulkier than regular, the dumbbells still maintain a manageable size even with smaller weight increments. Unlike other adjustable dumbbells, they preserve the traditional dumbbell shape even at higher weight capacities. This allows for performing traditional strength training exercises with different loads, all while maintaining proper form and technique.


The dumbbells can be easily adjusted to various weight increments, ranging from 5 to 52.5 pounds. Changing the weight is a breeze – simply turn the dial at the end of the dumbbell. This action clicks the correct weight plates into position while neatly storing the unused ones in the storage tray. Once you hear that satisfying click, you'll know the plates are securely locked in place, and you're ready to start your workout.


One of the great features of this equipment is the ability to adjust the weights in small increments. It starts with 2.5-pound increments up to 25 pounds and then switches to 5-pound increments from 25 to 50 pounds. This gradual increase in weight allows beginners to progress safely without the risk of injuries or getting stuck at a certain weight for too long.

When it comes to re-racking the dumbbells, proper alignment is crucial, but it's also surprisingly simple. The quick adjustment process ensures a seamless transition between exercises. I appreciate how effortlessly I can change the weight at the end of a set, avoiding any wasted time or energy fumbling with equipment. In terms of adjustability, the 552s exceeded my expectations.



As soon as I held the dumbbells in my hands, I was instantly content. The 552s have slightly cushioned grips, providing a more ergonomic and comfortable feel compared to regular steel dumbbells.

After several months of use, I can confidently say that the grip always feels secure, even when my hands are sweaty or clammy. There hasn't been any sign of slipping whatsoever, regardless of the exercise or weight being used.



The 552s incorporate specific plastic components, like the connector pieces, that appear susceptible to cracking in the event of a drop. Additionally, the stand is crafted from plastic, and although I haven't observed any signs of deterioration, I do ponder its long-term durability.

We assessed the durability of the dumbbells through drop tests. When dropped on gym flooring, they remained unscathed, but they did sustain minor scratches when dropped on concrete. However, these scratches had no impact on the usability or performance of the dumbbells.

Generally, it appears that these dumbbells are not designed to withstand being dropped or slammed. If that is your preferred lifting style, you might consider opting for a more durable alternative.


Portability and Storage

One of the most appealing advantages of this set is its small footprint, which occupies significantly less space compared to a rack of 15 pairs of dumbbells. This set offers a compact alternative if you have limited space in your home gym.

Although the plastic storage trays may not be the most visually appealing choice, they prove to be efficient for storing dumbbells when not in use. These trays also serve the purpose of preventing the metal plates from clashing together, reducing noise. It would be ideal if the trays were equipped with rubber or silicone feet to protect the floor. While the weight of the dumbbells limits their portability, this is a common characteristic shared by most sets of dumbbells, regardless of their multifunctionality.



While the price of $429 may appear steep, this set is quite a cost-effective option compared to purchasing 15 dumbbells. In fact, it is competitively priced for adjustable dumbbells. This makes it an excellent investment for those who have limited space in their home gyms and desire to broaden their workout possibilities.


The Competition

Although there are affordable adjustable dumbbells on the market, the 552s stand out for their exceptional grip, ergonomic design, and user-friendly experience. They effortlessly outperform the competition, making them an excellent investment in terms of both value and quality.


The Core Home Fitness Adjustable Dumbbells offer comparable specifications to the 552s. They feature a weight range of 5 to 50 pounds and provide convenient and rapid adjustability. However, it's worth noting that these dumbbells require assembly, and their weight increments adjust in 5-pound intervals, which may not be ideal for beginners.

The Powerblock Elite Dumbbells are an excellent choice for advanced weightlifters seeking a wider range of weights. With the expansion kit, these dumbbells can go up to 70 pounds, providing the necessary challenge for your workouts. Not only are they easy to adjust, but they also offer a comfortable grip. However, the unique square design might require a short adjustment period to get used to. These dumbbells are a fantastic option for those looking to elevate their weightlifting game.


The FLYBIRD Adjustable Dumbbell offers a more budget-friendly option without compromising on functionality and performance. While its weight range is slightly smaller, from 5 to 25 pounds, it remains an excellent choice for beginners. This dumbbell comes fully assembled and is effortless to adjust, making it a convenient and accessible option.


Final Verdict

If you're looking to invest in a durable and versatile set of dumbbells that offers excellent value for your money, look no further than the Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells. This compact package provides a wide range of fitness options, making it a wise choice for any fitness enthusiast.




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