Here’s Why I Went From Regular Dumbbells to Bowflex SelectTech 552

There are a few reasons why I went from regular cast iron dumbbells to Bowflex SelectTech 552 adjustable dumbbells, and if you have ever had dumbbells at home I am sure at some point you have ran into the same issues I had.

A few years ago I decided to buy some home workout equipment because I wanted to be able to work out when I wanted, in my own basement.

from regular to bowflex selecttech 552

My old weights vs the new Bowflex SelectTech 553 dumbbells

I opted for a bench and some free weights, and I wanted something that didn't take too much space.

A set of 30 different dumbbells was not an option, obviously. So I opted for adjustable cast iron dumbbells.

What initially seemed like a great idea, soon became a mistake...

Here's Why I Didn't Like Regular Adjustable Dumbbells...

It was great at the beginning.

I only had two dumbbells and a bunch of plates of different sizes:

  • 8 x 10 lbs
  • 4 x 5 lbs
  • 4 x 2.5 lbs
  • 4 x 1.25 lbs

Which I still think it was a very good combination. That way I could build up exactly the weights that I wanted, and the small increments allowed me to be able to increase weight gradually.

That is a good practice, it's call progressive overload. Basically you gradually increase weights to make your muscles adapt and grow.

In fact, if you don't increase the resistance for your muscles...why should they get bigger? They can already do what you ask them to do, right?

So far so good, it was awesome Cristian, why the heck did you change? What was your problem?

The problem was...I was lazy.

Lazy to constantly take the plates on and off every time I changed exercise!

Here's an example. Assume you have to do flat bench press, followed by shoulder front raises ok?

And let's assume you are going to use these weights:

  • Bench Press: 45 lbs each
  • Front Raises: 20 lbs each
cast iron adjustable dumbbells

My old weights

If you're really a perfectionist you probably start from the best case scenario: unloaded dumbbells.

But if you are like me, you are going to start with dumbbells loaded with the weights you used for your last workout.

Here are all the step you are going to do:

  1. Unload the dumbbells (most likely, I doubt you always unload them)
  2. Add 2 x 10 lbs plates + 1 x 1.25 lbs on each side (the dumbbell itself is something like 2 to 3 lbs)
  3. Repeat for the other dumbbell
  4. Perform your chest press exercise
  5. Remove all the weights from both dumbbells (even if you leave 1 x 10 lbs on each side, it makes 23 lbs total, but you need 20 remember?)
  6. Add 1 x 5 lbs + 1 x 2.5 lbs + 1 x 1.25 lbs on each side (8.75 x 2 = 17.5 lbs plus the dumbbell...yeah, close to 20 lbs)
  7. Repeat for the other dumbbell
  8. Perform front raises

Not to mention, every time you add or remove plates you have to screw/unscrew the lock type of thing, to block the plates in place.

...and Here's Why Bowflex SelectTech 552 Are Much Better

Let me say's very tedious. Such a waste of time!

It's already hard enough to keep the motivation high when you exercise, and if you have to to that every time you change an exercise...well, you want to give up, trust me.

I got very tired of that and I ended up finding excuses every time I had to work out.

Bowflex selecttech 552

And here are my new Bowflex SelectTech 552

Not good.

So...I started dreaming of those Bowflex SelectTech 552 that I saw many times on tv...

Let's be honest, they look awesome don't they?

One click, and there you go, you have selected the desired weight.

It looks like there is a combination lock, like one those safety boxes.

They are so easy to adjust, you just turn that thing to the desired number (5 to 52.5 lbs), lift the dumbbell and boom, done.

The weights that you don't need stay down and only those that will make your selected weight will stay on the dumbbell.

bowflex-552Going back to the example above, you select 40 lbs in one second and you're ready to do your exercise.

Then you need 20 lbs? No problem, turn it to 20, and you're ready to go again!

No more time waste, no more loss of motivation.

These weights are great for another good reason that I am going to tell you:

With Bowflex SelectTech 552 you can easily do super sets

Super set are those where you do one set using heavy weights, then you do another set with 50% of the weight without resting, and then another set with 25% of the weights without resting again (50% and 25% are not a rule, just saying).

See, this would be impossible with my old weights. By the time you change the weights you already wasted at least 2 minutes, easy, and the whole point of the super sets is gone.

There is only one down side about the Bowflex SelectTech 552:

  • You can have 2.5 lbs increments from 5 to 25 lbs
  • After that, there are only 5 lbs increments

Is it a problem? Not to me. Actually, it is exactly the same at the gym where I go too.

It would be nice to have 2.5 lbs increments for Bowflex SelectTech 552 too, but it's absolutely not critical.

Not a show stopper, not enough to make me wish my old weights back.


One thing I should mention: I chose Bowflex SelectTech 552 over the 1090 model for two reasons:

  • Price (they're not cheap)
  • I don't need more than 52.5 lbs for those few times that I work out at home when I can't make it to the gym

It's a good compromise to me, and I am so happy of my choice.

Bowflex SelectTech 1090 Adjustable Dumbbell (Pair)
List Price: $699.99
Price: $598.00
You Save: $101.99
Price Disclaimer

Bottom line? Highly recommended!


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3 Responses

  1. Avatar EToledo
    where did you get your stand for your old dumbbell set! they look dope ! i have the same type of dumbbells
    • Cristian Cristian
      I got it at a local fitness store. It was heavy duty!
  2. Hey christian. Great write up, thanks for sharing. I have been using the 552's for the past six months. Generally very positive about them, only comments are on the bulky size and the rattling caused by the fact they are adjustable. But that's part and parcel! Cheers