We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here’s our process.
Ready to beef up your arms and your home gym? It may be time to invest in a set of adjustable dumbbells. Bowflex offers two models that are both super popular, making it kinda hard to decide which one to get.
These futuristic-looking weights feature weight disks that can be added and removed to adjust the weight of the dumbbell — so not only do they look like they’re from outer space, they save space too!
We’ve taken a head-to-head look at both models to help you decide which one’s best for you. Either way, you’ll be on an express train from the no-flex zone to the Bowflex zone.
|SelectTech 552 Dumbbells||SelectTech 1090 Dumbbells|
|replaces 15 sets of weights||replaces 17 sets of weights|
|adjustable from 5–52.5 lb each||adjustable from 10–90 lb each|
|comes with a base for each dumbbell||comes with a base for each dumbbell|
|best for beginners or home gym n00bs||best for more advanced weightlifters and leg lifts|
|Orders can take up to 4 months to be fulfilled on the Bowflex website.||You have to be on the waitlist to place an order and will get an email when it’s your turn.|
These beefy-looking dumbbells can replace a whopping 15 sets of weights.
Each dumbbell adjusts from 5 pounds all the way up to 52.5 pounds in 2.5-pound increments (get it?? 552!), meaning you get the benefits of the entire weight rack — without the entire weight rack.
Each dumbbell sits on a base, and you can change the weight just by adjusting the dial on each side of the dumbbell. Weight plates will either snap into place on the dumbbell or be released onto the base, depending on the weight you choose.
This is helpful because — as any “getting buff” buff will tell you — you can’t just stick to the same weight and expect to see ongoing results.
While you’ll see benefits from lifting 5-pound DBs early on, eventually you’ll reach a point where you’ll need to lift more weight to keep making progress.
Also good: These dumbbells are designed to be quiet, with molding between the plates that keeps them from banging against each other or against the base.
That makes these babies a worthwhile investment for anyone looking to maintain a long-term strength routine without leaving the house. Even better: You can use the Bowflex SelectTech app for access to tons of workouts. Think full-body, arms, chest, legs, back, head, shoulders, knees, and toes… You name it, they’ve got it.
The one catch? According to the website, orders could take up to 4 MONTHS to ship. Thanks, ridiculous pandemic demand! But if you’ve really gotta have these sooner, you can pay double for a set on Amazon (which currently sells single dumbbells for the same amount a pair costs on Bowflex’s website).
The Bowflex SelectTech 1090 dumbbells are the 552s’ jacked cousins. They’re adjustable in 5-pound increments from 10 pounds all the way up to 90 pounds (each!). And they’re great for leg lifts — which are typically performed with more weight than you’d lift with your arms. In all, the set can replace 17 complete pairs of dumbbells.
Just as with the 552s, each of the 1090s sits on its own base, and you can use the weight selection dial to add or remove weight plates as needed to get the weight you need. And they’re whisper-quiet, to boot.
But here’s what you need to know about ordering these: Like their lighter cousins, the 1090s are super popular. In fact, you have to add your email to the waitlist on the Bowflex website. Because demand is so high, purchase links are sent directly to people on the waitlist in the order they’re added.
Alternatively, like the 552s, the 1090s are available sooner on Amazon — for the low, low price of DOUBLE. 🙄
Bowflex SelectTech Dumbbells have amassed an intensely cultish following. Like pre-season 8 “Game of Thrones” or Popeye’s Chicken Sandwich levels of love. But only because they’re basically, well, the best.
They’re adjustable, with the 552s offering a range of 5 pounds to 52.5 pounds and the 1090s offering a range of 10 pounds to 90 pounds. The 552s are perfect for beginners, and the 1090s are a better pick for people who will be using the dumbbells for leg lifts and more advanced weight training. Either set makes a perfect addition to your home gym.
But if you’re hoping to get your hands on a pair within the next year, get moving. You’ll want to place your order for the 552s or get on the waitlist for the 1090s ASAP.