Powerblock everything you need to know
Powerblock revolutionized the fitness industry more than twenty years ago with the introduction of their innovative all-in-one adjustable dumbbell set. The Powerblock allowed you to have the equivalent of a whole rack of dumbbells in a space that was about that of a small chair and you can get them at a fraction of the price.
Since then, Powerblock has only gotten bigger and better. Today you can purchase a whole range of products that are built around the innovative Powerblock selectorized weight design, from kettlebells to barbells and, of course, a complete range of dumbbell options to suit your needs. In this article, we can get a more in-depth look at the Powerblock Elite Adjustable Dumbbell.
It is easy to adjust between weight amounts during your workout
If you buy a 5-50lb model, you can expand it to more weight later with expansion sets
They have a wide variety of weight in small increments you can use for a precision workout
They stick a little during the break-in period
The set uses a slide tray to easily adjust the amount of weight you are working with. Color-coded weight labels let you know how to adjust the weight. It has a handle which helps to keep the weights in place while you are doing your lifts. It is very stable and has flat ends, making it much easier to rest on your lap before you lift. It is easy to grip so you will have safe and secure lifts and is very durable if you are worried about wear and tear.
How It Works
A selector tool or indexer allows you to pick the weight that you want. On the bottom of the base is a chart that indicates the different weights by way of color-coding. Each color provides you with three weight options, depending on whether the handle rods are inserted or not. So, each color provides you with an empty handle weight, one rod inserted weight and a two-rod inserted weight.
On the end, bases are ten ridges that run the length of the base. The selector slots into these ridges to allow you to select the weight that you want. The center section has two parallel bars that are padded, while the handle in the middle of the unit has a rubber grip around it. The handle has a slight contour to provide ideal grip ergonomics.
To select your weight, you slide the selector into the color-coded area on the side of the Powerblock that corresponds to the weight you wish to use. Each of the plates which are housed on the ends of the units is ten pounds. When you lift the handle from the base, the selected weights come out along with it.
The Powerblock U90 is expandable up to 90 pounds, with the purchase of two additional weight packs. The base unit goes up to 50 pounds in total (green). You can then buy an add-on pack that takes you up to 70 pounds (stage II) and another that gets you up to 90 pounds (stage III).
The Powerblock weight plates are ten pounds each. They have a smooth urethane finish (five pounds on each side) and metal pins connect the two sides. There is a little bit of flexibility in the plate end. This is a good thing when you are quickly changing between weights. The plates feel extremely solid.
The middle section of the block is completely reversible, so it doesn’t matter what direction you put it in. Overall, there are not a lot of moving parts, which is a good thing. This in contrast to the Bowflex adjustable dumbbells, which have more moving parts. The fewer parts, the fewer things that could go wrong.
Operation of the selector is pretty straightforward. You simply slide the selector into the color-coded section corresponding to your desired weight. However, this will only provide you with the heaviest weight in that color band. For example, if you are working with the green color code, the selector will give you a total of 50 pounds. If you are after either 45 or 47.5 pounds, you will have to also remove one or both of the steel rods that are in the handle. This takes extra time and maybe a hassle for some people.
Another potential negative is that you may mistakenly place the selector into different color codes at each end when you are in a hurry or simply fatigued from your workout. If you do that, the weight will not come out and the selector may be damaged.
In comparison to a standard-sized hexagonal dumbbell, the Powerblock is a little larger. However, it is more compact in terms of overall length than the Bowflex 552. The length of the Powerblock is a little over 12 inches, with a 15-pound hex dumbbell being around 10 inches. Traditional cast iron adjustable weights (20 pounds) are about 13.5 inches in length. The Bowflex 552, in contrast, has a length of about 16 inches. The compactness of the Powerbock is a major advantage of the Bowflex, as it does not restrict your range of movement on such exercises as seated dumbbell curls and side lateral raises.
Easy To Use
It comes with a magnetic pin, so you will not have to worry about it coming loose at all during your workout. You can feel it click once it's in place in the dumbbell so you know you have a good, secure connection.
Another huge plus is that you have the ability to adjust the weight by 2.5 lb increments simply by using the adder weights which happen to attach to the inside of each dumbbell. These precise weight increments are critical if you want to get the utmost versatility from your adjustable dumbbells. It does take a little longer to change weights in these smaller increments than it does when you change to the larger, 5 lb or 10 lb increments because you manually input the 2.5 lb weights yourself. With the larger increments, you simply just use the pin and change between the different weight settings lightning fast. If you want to take full advantage of these smaller increments, it will involve a little more time. As long as you don't have any issues with spending an extra 10 seconds or so to add these small yet effective increments of weight, it’s very simple to do.
You will not need extra space to store individual weight plates. However, it is still advised that you use a dumbbell stand to safely and efficiently rack your dumbbells between sets. It is good to store them safely when they are not in use.
Being compact is helpful, especially when you are working to use the optimal path of movement for your bicep curls and not having to maneuver them around your hips. Since they are smaller, the weights are easier to control during heavy exercises.
Due to the fact that PowerBlocks uses a stackable design, however, the dumbbell length will change depending on the amount of weight you are using. You might not think this a big issue, but a having a dumbbell that is well-balanced plays a major role in your workout because it will only help with you performing lifts with a more natural approach, even more so when you are working with the lower weight range. A big complaint with some other bracket-designed adjustable dumbbells is that those dumbbells do not feel natural. The long, awkward design actually keeps them from executing some exercises, but with the PowerBlock dumbbells, this will not be an issue that you will encounter.