Bowflex Selecttech 1090 Reviewed and Rated
Bowflex is now as well known for its selectorized dumbbells as it is for its famous multi-gym units.
Selectorized dumbbells differ from adjustable dumbbells. Those like the Selecttech 1090 use a button or switch to change the resistance. The dumbbells themselves are contained in a blocky housing with contoured grips for human hands. An adjustable dumbbell is any dumbbell with the weight you can change. This means all selectorized dumbbells are adjustable, but not all adjustable dumbbells are selectorized. We are pretty picky about the terminology, but only because we want our readers (that would be you) to be educated and make the best possible purchase decision. The only dumbbells that are not adjustable, of course, are solid one-piece steel, vinyl, or rubberized ones. Those take up quite a bit of room.
Traditional adjustable dumbbells, too, take up space and so they are often not practical for home gyms. That becomes truer when you factor in a metal storage rack and an assortment of plates, which you will need if you plan on getting stronger and lifting more over time. What’s a home gym junkie to do? The Bowflex SelectTech 1090 dumbbells present one possible solution. Keep reading to learn more.
Can add or remove weight in 5-pound increments (per dumbbell)
Up to 90 pounds of weight per hand, farmer carry ready
Pair of SelectTechs can replace 17 pairs of traditional dumbbells according to Bowflex
Changing resistance is fast and easy, no collars or locks to deal with
Bowflex has refined the design so that hands/wrists don't get cramped when you use the dumbbells
The 1090 is an upgrade/update to the Selecttech 552, with more weight
Bowflex offers 6-week money-back guarantee if you feel the 1090s are not effective
Steel handgrip can put pressure on hands--may want to wear gloves
Most exercises still possible, but the design means there is a learning curve and old exercises may feel awkward at first
Try not to drop the weights/invest in flooring, since dial selector is easily damaged from dropping
We do have to say that these are not something you can be rough on. If you like to drop your weights, grunt during heavy squats, and just generally act in ways Planet Fitness does not approve of, hey, we are not here to judge. And we know from experience that grunting or expelling air, during heavy lifts, can actually give you a slight boost and is not meant to annoy others. Powerlifting can be a tough sport, with harsh treatment of equipment. So all we are saying is, you cannot do this with the Bowflex Selectorized 1090 dumbbells. They are more fragile and will not work properly if dropped very much (intentionally or otherwise). By "not work properly," we mean the plates can fall off during use. That will not happen under normal use and normal wear and tear. It shouldn't happen at all, but you can avoid it and keep the warranty intact by treating the dumbbells more gently than you would, say, a bar made just for heavy squats.
If you are interested in saving money on the 1090s, or perhaps pairing them with complementary products, we suggest stalking the Bowflex product page. At the time of this writing, Bowflex was offering a Black Friday bundle on the dumbbells and matching the 5.1S folding bench. This is a limited time offer, but we are certain there will be others. You may also want to look at the stands Bowflex makes, which are just for their SelectTech dumbbells. You will not be able to store these in a traditional plate or dumbbell rack. The 1090s do come with molded hard plastic trays, which you could use to place the dumbbells on a utility bench or sturdy table. So you do have options if you do not want to spring for a pricey storage rack that is only useful for storing this one fitness tool.
1090 is longer than most traditional dumbbells. It is 17.5 inches long, 10 inches wide, and 10 inches tall. The 1090s come with a 3-year warranty on parts. Bowflex only sells the dumbbells in pairs; this is true of all their selectorized dumbbells. A pair of the 1090s will replace up to 34 traditional dumbbells, according to Bowflex. To arrive at this number, try counting by five from 10 to 90. Multiply by 2, and you get 34. But this is assuming you had 2 fixed weight dumbbells in each weight increment. Most of us who work out at home own one or two sets of dumbbells, with plates going up to our max working weight. Whether you are replacing 34 dumbbells or not, 1090 is a way to save and free up a lot of space in your home gym.
Another nice feature: there is plastic molding around the weight plates. This makes the Bowflex Selecttech 1090 quieter than iron dumbbells, quieter than competing selectorized units, and even quieter than other Bowflex dumbbells.
What Makes It Different
That makes the Bowflex 1090 perfect for a home gym. The other advantage is how quickly you can change resistance. Without having to stop to loosen collars and take plates off, you can get through your workout faster. The added speed and efficiency will help you get a cardio workout along with your strength session. And the 1090s, at lower weights, also lend themselves to step aerobics routines that include lifting for an extra boost.
If you do slip up and drop a plate or entire 1090 dumbbell on your floor, it seems more likely to damage the unit and leave the floor untouched. Bowflex plates are true zero bounce units, meaning that if you drop one, it will not bounce into a wall or other piece of equipment but will just lay still so you can pick it back up. Of course, you should still be using flooring or mats in your at-home gym, for safety and to protect your home.
The other great advantage, with the selectorized setup, is that you can do both heavy and light exercises with little to no setup and no downtime. For example, most of us can lunge heavier than we can do curls or rows. In lunges, the dumbbells are held still at arm's length like in a farmer carry. Since you do not have to either change your weight plates or take a fixed dumbbell off the shelf, transition times are lower and you can do more in the same amount of time.