Category Archives: Dumbbell

Universal Power-Pak 445 Adjustable Dumbbells With Stand Review

It’s difficult to deny the growing interest in home exercise equipment. It’s convenient, and it’s fairly inexpensive. In hard economic times we look for ways to cut back on expenses, and things like gym membership are often quick to go. Home exercise equipment can do something to replace that.

What’s great about owning home exercise equipment is that it’s yours. Forever. So once you have it you can use it as much as you like. In the long term then, this will save you money over a gym membership. Ultimately, it’s the most cost-effective thing to do.

The Universal Power-Pak 445 adjustable dumbbells are one popular piece of home workout equipment. They’re aimed at the low to mid-range of the adjustable dumbbell market, simply doing what other adjustable dumbbells do, but hopefully better or at least at a lower price. So how do they actually do in practice? Let’s find out.

Key Features Of The Universal Power-Pak 445 Adjustable Dumbbells

RRP: $449
Weight Range: 4 to 45 lbs (Adjustable)
Weight Adjustment Increment: 5 lbs
Includes Stand? Yes

Power-Pak 445 Adjustable Dumbbells: The Pros

Adjustable System: Dumbbells come in a variety of types, and can broadly be categorized as fixed-weight, interchangeable weight and adjustable weight. Fixed weight dumbbells are the original type, and still most commonly used in gyms. These are the dumbbells that can’t change weight – a 20 pound dumbbell is forever a 20 pound dumbbell and nothing more or less.

The interchangeable weight dumbbells are those that allow you to switch out the plates in order to customize the weight. These let you choose any weight you like, but require you to take off the holding bolt and manually pull plates off and slide new ones on which can be time consuming and awkward.

Adjustable weights do away with the fiddly business of plate switching, allowing you to simply turn a dial or move a pin in order to select a weight from an available range. In a few seconds or even less you can go from lifting 10 pounds to 50 pounds with a single piece of equipment and no fiddling about.

The adjustment system on the Power-Pak 445 is great. It uses a dial adjustment similar to those featured on SelectTechs, but it works much more effectively. In addition, you only have to adjust one dial for each dumbbell, making the process simpler than the two dial system of the SelectTechs.

4 To 45 Pounds: These dumbbells give you a weight range of 4 to 45 pounds. This can be adjusted in 5 pound increments, giving you a great selection of weights to work with. The lowest settings are great if you want to do an aerobic type workout, while the highest settings are ideal for building muscles and strength.

Price: The price of the Power-Pak 445 is almost unbeatable. It retails for $450, but is currently available for around $250. For that price you get two adjustable dumbbells each ranging from 4 to 45 pounds in weight, plus a stand! By contrast, a single SelectTech 1090 adjustable dumbbell will set you back almost the same amount. So this is a great value product.

Includes Stand: Unlike all the other adjustable dumbbell sets on the market, this set comes with a stand. It’s the perfect height and holds the dumbbells perfectly. Having a stand is a big benefit, as lifting weights from the floor every time can put you at risk of a back injury.

Saves Space: One of the biggest advantages to adjustable weight systems like this is the space they save. Conventional dumbbells take up lots of space, especially fixed weight dumbbells which you need to have a number of pairs of. These keep your full range of weights in one spot all the time, and let you store the dumbbells themselves along with the weights.

Easy Assembly: The assembly of the stand is easy, as well as the weights. This means you can be up and running in no time and giving the weights their first trial run. No messing around and no time wasted, you can just get on with it with these.

Power-Pak 445 Adjustable Dumbbells: The Cons

Size: Like most adjustable dumbbells, these are pretty large. They have to be for the mechanism to work, but the problem is that they make some kinds of exercise awkward to do. This isn’t a major issue because you can still get most exercises done without trouble, but if you’re following something like the P90X home workout you may find a couple of exercises that you can’t correctly carry out due to the size of these dumbbells.

Plastic Parts: There are a few plastic parts on these, just like the SelectTechs, and these parts are susceptible to stress damage. If you drop the weights or subject them to other kinds of forceful impact there’s a chance the plastic components could be damaged and may require replacing for you to go on using the product.

Weights Slide: In practice, the only really irritating thing about these weights is the way they slide on the bar. They only move a little, but its slightly off putting at first. They won’t drop off and cause you harm, but it may be strange at first.

Are The Power-Pak 445 Adjustable Dumbbells Worth Buying?

For the price, you really can’t go wrong with these. The only reason not to buy them is if you can afford the premium priced products that are slightly slicker over all, or if you need heavier weights than these. Otherwise, these are some of the best adjustable weights on the market and come at a bargain price. Highly recommended.

Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells Review

With people still struggling financially due to the tough economic climate, almost everyone is looking for ways to save money. For fitness fans one of the key expenses is gym membership. With either a flat annual charge or a monthly fee, gym members can find themselves paying a lot more than they realize, and as saving cash becomes of paramount importance this can be one of the first things to go.

In order to fill the absence of regular gym training, most look to home training solutions. Weights are comparatively inexpensive, even for the highest end options, and make an excellent cost cutting option for anyone hoping to keep fit in lean times.

The Bowflex SelectTech 552 adjustable dumbbells are one of the highest end weight training options on the market today. However, they do offer some unique features that are convenient and help to optimize training routines. Does this make them a good choice, even for the budget conscious? Let’s take a closer look.

Key Features Of The Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells

RRP: $549
Release Year: 2011
Weight Range: 5 to 52.5 lbs (Adjustable)
Weight Adjustment Increment: 2.5 lbs
Includes Stand? No

Bowflex 552 Adjustable Dumbbells: The Pros

Adjustment System: The main selling point of this dumbbell set is the adjustable weight setting function. The aim of this is to make changing weights as easy and quick as possible, while also reducing the amount of space and equipment required.

In practice, it really does deliver on its aims. If you’re doing a workout that requires lots of weight changes then this’ll definitely simplify things for you. It’ll also make your changeovers much faster, so if you don’t want breaks in your routine then you’ll be able to keep going without taking a minute or two to manually change the weights on the bar.

Range Of Weights: The adjustable settings offer quick access to a wide range of different weights. At the bottom end you can set each bar to a 5 pound weight, and go right up to 52.5 pounds per bar. That means you can easily switch between cardio weights and serious strength and mass building weights within seconds.

The weight options go in 2.5 pound increments from 5 pounds up to 25 pounds, and then switch to 5 pound increments after that. That means you get 15 different weight options, running as follows: 5, 7.5, 10, 12.5, 15, 17.5, 20, 22.5, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50 and 52.5 pounds.

Reduces Clutter: One of the best things about a weight system like this is that it reduces clutter. If you train regularly, then you might already have quite a few weights lying around. Even if you don’t, then one of the options before you is to buy several different sets of weights to give you the full range and make it possible to quickly and easily change between weights during a workout.

Having lots of weights lying around your home can be annoying though. And they do tend to end up lying around, as getting several sets of weights out and putting them away again for every workout is a lot of hassle. This adjustable set of weights is much easier to manage. There are never more than one set of weights out, and the remaining weights are all stored in a stand which you’ll also return the weights you are using to at the end of the workout.

Convenient For Small Spaces: Aside from reducing clutter and helping to keep your home tidy, this set of weights is also great for small spaces. If you live in an apartment with only limited room, then this will fit in much more conveniently than several different sets of weights.

Great For Quick Switch Routines: The key selling point for easy adjustment sets like these is how quickly they allow you to switch between weights. This makes them a great choice if you’re planning on using them for a home workout routine that requires you to make quick weight switches. An example is the immensely popular P90X routine which needs a lot of different weights and very fast changeovers. These are perfect for the P90X or a similar routine.

Bowflex 552 Adjustable Dumbbells: The Cons

Expensive: One of the most off-putting things about this set of adjustable weights is the price tag. With a retail of $550, and a current price of around $300, this is a serious investment. It will almost certainly save on gym membership in the long run, and is definitely cheaper than many exercise machines, but if you’re on a budget there are much cheaper options out there.

Fragile: Although the weights and bars are themselves robust and unlikely to suffer any damage no matter what you do to them, the mechanism that allows for the easy weight adjustment isn’t that robust. If you like to drop your weights on the ground at the end of a set, or just don’t like to have to be overly careful with them, then these will frustrate you. Dropping them will very likely cause the adjustment mechanism to fracture as it’s made from plastic that just can’t handle stresses like that.

Size: Compared to a normal set of dumbbells, these are quite large. Each dumbbell measures approximately 16.5” in length which is markedly bigger than the average home dumbbell. This increased length makes them awkward to use for some exercises. If you’re not used to the size, it could also mean bumping yourself with them during a workout, which could be painful until you correct your motion!

Potentially Dangerous: There have been some consumer reports that the plastic clip holding weights in place on the bar has broken mid-exercise. The result is that the weights spill free of the bar and drop to the ground. If any part of your body happens to be in their way when this happens then it’ll take their full force. Although this has happened only a small number of times, it’s still a risk and something that the manufacturer should address urgently.

Are The Bowflex 552 Adjustable Dumbbells Worth Buying?

If you’ve got the budget then the Bowflex 552 adjustable dumbbell set is worth buying, provided you’re willing to take good care of them and don’t mind the small risk of personal injury that they carry. However, if either of these things bother you, or you find the price tag prohibitive, there are great alternatives, so don’t feel like it’s this or nothing. A good product, but a little flawed.

Cap Barbell 40-Pound Dumbbell Set Review

Home training is fast becoming the most popular way to keep fit. No doubt one of the main reasons for this is the harsh economic climate which has left so many people looking to save money. And when times are hard, one thing that often gets dropped is the gym membership. But giving up going to the gym doesn’t mean the end of keeping fit, and working out from home is a great alternative.

One of the cheapest pieces of home workout equipment is a set of weights. A basic set that’ll get the job done can set you back as little as $50, with the range going up to $300, or even $500 in a few cases. Obviously those priced at the higher end offer more than the basic bottom end sets, but they all do the same fundamental job that a set of dumbbells is designed for: training your body.

The Cap barbell 40-pound dumbbell set is one of the bottom end dumbbell sets. It’s basic, offering no bells or whistles, but has the humble aim of getting you fit without costing you the earth. So does it do its job? Or should you look for something else? Let’s take a look.

Key Features Of The Cap Barbell 40-Pound Dumbbell Set

RRP: $99
Release Year: 2011
Weight Range: 2.5 to 40 lbs (Adjustable)
Weight Adjustment Increment: 2.5 lbs
Includes Stand? No

Cap Barbell 40-Pound Dumbbell Set: The Pros

Cheap: Perhaps the biggest selling point of the Cap barbell 40-pound dumbbell set is its price. It retails at around $100, which isn’t bad to start with, but is currently priced lower in most places. That’s really cheap, falling in right at the bottom end of the dumbbell set market. If you don’t have much money to spend, or really need to save as much as possible, then picking up a dumbbell set for home workouts at this price is definitely a plus.

Simple: Some say the old ways are the best, and this bit of kit fits this ideal exactly. The Cap barbell is a good old fashioned dumbbell set that does exactly what you’d expect. You just load it up with the weights you want, screw the holding bolt on, and away you go. Changing weights is simply a matter of taking off the bolt and then removing the plates that you don’t want and slotting on plates that you do want.

The beauty of this is just how straight forward it is. There’s nothing fancy or confusing, nothing to learn. It’s a case of you see what you get, just get on with it. Working out doesn’t need to be complicated, it’s as simple or difficult as you make it. This gets things back to basics, helping to make it simple for you.

Durable: Keeping things simple isn’t just helpful when it comes to getting your exercise done, it’s also an advantage when it comes to durability. The basic parts of a dumbbell are all chunky bits of metal. That’s tough stuff. And not only are all the parts of a standard dumbbell robust, but there are no fiddly or fragile extra bits that might break.

Maintenance Free: When you’ve got equipment for working out at home, you want it to be as easy as possible to look after. The less maintenance the better. A straightforward set of dumbbells like these require pretty much no maintenance whatsoever. There are no mechanical parts and there’s no need for oiling or cleaning. These will take care of themselves leaving you free to get on with your training.

Storage Case: The Cap barbell dumbbell set comes in a convenient storage case that you can also carry around. The case helps you to keep your dumbbell set tidy instead of lying around all over the floor. That’s great if you’re not living alone and have to keep your place tidy for other people.

Extra Plates On Sale: If you find the set doesn’t come with enough weight for you (the total weight of the set is 40 pounds), then you can simply buy a few extra plates. Plates are available in a range of weights up to 10 pounds each, so you can really ramp up the total lifting weight if you want to.

Cap Barbell 40-Pound Dumbbell Set: The Cons

Total Weight: Although you can buy extra plates to increase the weight you’re working with, the total weight of the basic set is a bit low. At 40 pounds all in, that means you can get a maximum weight of 20 pounds per dumbbell if you want to use them two at a time, or 40 pounds on a single dumbbell otherwise. It’d be nice if there was more weight included in the set.

Clutter: If you don’t take the time to pack the plates away into their case then you’ll end up with lots of extra clutter hat could be left lying around. And if you do decide to buy any extra plates you won’t be able to store these inside the storage case, so they’ll have to be left out somewhere.

Oily Coating: A lot of users report the set coming with an oily coating that has a strong unpleasant smell. The smell is tough to get rid of, and will even get into your hands if you use the weights. Many report this smell being intolerable, meaning that not only do they have to keep them outside of the home, but don’t even want to use them because the smell is so overpowering it’s not possible to put up with.

This is a very strange feature of this product and definitely counts against it. Not all users report this problem, but a large number do. The manufacturer should really try and address the issue.

Is The Cap Barbell 40-Pound Dumbbell Set Worth Buying?

If you’re looking for a cheap and basic dumbbell set, and don’t mind the possibility of them smelling awful, then this is a good choice. It’s not perfect – the basic amount of weight is a little lacking for a start. But you could do worse. Of course, if you don’t like clutter or want something that lets you change weights more easily you might like to consider some adjustable dumbbell sets. But those with simple tastes will find these do the job just fine.

Bayou Fitness Adjustable Dumbbell Review

Home exercise equipment is getting more and more popular, there’s no doubt about it. One reason is the tough economic situation that we’re all now living with. We’re cutting costs wherever possible, so for many that means giving up their gym membership or regularly attending dance or yoga classes.

To keep fit people are making a home workout part of their regular routine in place of gym attendance. But to do this they need equipment. Some people opt for machines like cross trainers whereas others find yoga equipment or dumbbells a better option. In any case, having your own exercise equipment to use at home will save you money in the long run over gym membership.

The Bayou Fitness adjustable 50-pound dumbbell is designed for home use. It competes with other adjustable dumbbells like the SelectTech 552 and SportBlock 24, coming in at a more reasonable price than those. But does it work as well as its rivals, or should you opt for one of those instead? Let’s find out.

Key Features Of The Bayou Fitness Adjustable Dumbbell (50 Pounds)

RRP: $199
Release Year: 2012
Weight Range: 10 to 50 lbs (Adjustable)
Weight Adjustment Increment: 5 lbs
Includes Stand? No

Bayou Fitness Adjustable Dumbbell: The Pros

Adjustable System: Not all dumbbells are adjustable. In fact, the adjustable system for dumbbells is a fairly modern invention. Previously dumbbells had to have plates manually switched out to change the total weight, or were otherwise confined to fixed-weight only and you would then need an entire set of weights to give you a complete range to work out with.

Adjustable systems do away with the extra hassles that these older styles of dumbbell come with. Now all you have to do is make a minor adjustment on your kit and you can lift anything from 5 to 90 pounds depending on what brand you choose.

The system employed by the Bayou Fitness adjustable dumbbell is a pin system. That means you just pull a pin to the appropriate position to choose the weight load you want and away you go. It works well, allowing you to make adjustments to the weight very quickly and easily.

10 To 50 Pounds: The range of weight settings on this particular dumbbell are 10 to 50 pounds. 10 pounds is a great option for light training, especially aerobic exercise. That helps you to tone and build up core strength. If you want to build muscle though, you can crank these up to a full 50 pounds for some heavy loads that’ll really push your muscles. This is an idea range of weights for a beginner to intermediate level weight trainer.

Saves Space: One of the best things about adjustable weights is the space they save. Conventional dumbbells take up a lot of room. Either they require you to leave a lot of loose plates lying around, or otherwise you need a full set of fixed-weight dumbbells. That can mean around 10 pairs of dumbbells that need their own rack for storage. If you’re looking to keep the amount of space needed to a minimum then adjustable weights are the way to go.

Price: The retail price of this dumbbell is around $200, but it currently goes for around $137. For an adjustable dumbbell of 50 pounds this isn’t a bad price at all. Compared to the SelectTech options it’s a fairly significant saving.

Save Money On Separate Dumbbells: Buying an adjustable dumbbell means you don’t need to have a full set of weights. If you wanted all the pairs of dumbbells that this one adjustable dumbbell can emulate then you’d be spending a thousand plus dollars all in. Instead, you only need to pay for two dumbbells that do the job of dozens.

Durable: These have a fairly simple construction that make it a durable device. There’s nothing too fancy about it, it uses a simple metal pin adjustment mechanism that’s robust enough to deal with the weight load, and will just keep on going for years or maybe even a lifetime.

Bayou Fitness Adjustable Dumbbell: The Cons

Weight: Although 50 pounds is a pretty decent amount of weight to lift, serious lifters or those with a larger build will find it insufficient. You need to go well beyond 50 pounds if you want to get some serious bulk on your body or want to push yourself into the upper echelons of strength, so don’t buy these if that’s what you’re planning. However, the average user will find this more than adequate.

Single Dumbbell Only: It’s an easy mistake to make, but don’t assume that this is a pair of dumbbells. It’s a single dumbbell only. If you want a dumbbell for each arm then you’ll have to buy two of these – double the price. Of course, the price is still reasonable for the reasons stated above, but save yourself some time and frustration by being clear on this fact from the start.

Sticks: It’s not a common occurrence, but occasionally the pin sticks making the weight adjustment slow. If it does stick it’s easy to free the pin and get on with it, but it’d be nice if the transition was guaranteed smooth every time.

Is The Bayou Fitness Adjustable Dumbbell Worth Buying?

This is a good set of adjustable weights for a budget user. It doesn’t have the class and refinement of some of its more expensive rivals, but for its price it gets the job done nicely. This is a no frills product that delivers where it counts. So unless you need more serious weight, or just prefer tradition dumbbells, this is a good choice. Definitely recommended.

Bowflex SelectTech 1090 Adjustable Dumbbell Review

Fitness equipment for home workout programs seems more popular than ever. This probably has something to do with the difficult financial situations so many currently find themselves in. When times are tough costs get cut, and things like gym membership are thrown out first.

But losing your gym membership doesn’t mean that you just quit being fit. Most people want to carry on training and stay in shape. That’s what home exercise is great for. It’s a lot cheaper than gym membership in the long run and helps you to keep fit from home instead.

The Bowflex SelectTech 1090 adjustable dumbbell is a high-end piece of weight training equipment. It’s intended to save space and give you plenty of workout options in a single nicely designed package. But does that make it worth its high price tag? Let’s take a good look.

Key Features Of The Bowflex SelectTech 1090 Adjustable Dumbbell

RRP: $399
Release Year: 2010
Weight Range: 10 to 90 lbs (Adjustable)
Weight Adjustment Increment: 5 lbs
Includes Stand? Yes

Bowflex SelectTech 1090: The Pros

Adjustable System: The first thing to comment on about this piece of equipment is the adjustable system. It’s the primary selling point and the reason why you would want to buy the product. Most dumbbells are designed with either interchangeable plates that require you to manually remove or add them, or as fixed weight devices which don’t allow any changes of weight at all.

The SelectTech 1090 uses a different system. By adjusting a dial it picks up or loses weights that are held in a stand. Using this dial, you can choose how much weight to lift in 5 pound increments. This is definitely a convenience. But what really counts is how easy it is to make the adjustment.

Previously it had been a case of either switching to a different set of dumbbells with a different weight, or adding/removing plates from manually adjustable dumbbells. With these, it’s the simple twist of a dial that decides how much weight you lift. This is a very quick process, meaning that you can almost instantly change weight. If you’re doing a workout routine that requires rapidly changing from one weight to another, such as the P90X, these are a great option.

10 To 90 Pounds: These dumbbells are remarkable for the sheer range of weight that they offer. You can set this at anything from 10 to 90 pounds, so you can lift aerobic level weights or do some serious heavy lifting depending on which end of the scale you choose.

The weight settings are tiered at 5 pound intervals, so you can choose from a total of 17 weight settings to get exactly the weight you need. This helps you to maximize your training session, getting the most out of your training.

Good For A Range Of Exercises: As there is such a variety of weight settings, the SelectTech 1090s are great for a range of exercises. You can use the lighter settings for aerobic workouts that tone and build core strength, dial it up several notches into the higher end for muscle building, or really push yourself for strength at the very top end of the spectrum. Whatever kind of exercise you plan on doing, you can do it with these.

Includes DVD: It may not be a major selling point, but a nice bonus is the included DVD. It’s called “Secrets of the 4-Step Rep” and demonstrates over 30 exercises all of which can be done using the 1090s. So if you’re short of ideas or just want to refresh yourself, stick on this DVD and you can follow it step by step.

Saves Space: The second major selling point for this adjustable set, besides the convenience in changing weights, is the space it saves. With this dumbbell you don’t leave lots of plates lying around, nor do you need a huge rack to hold a selection of fixed-weight dumbbells. Everything is kept in one small space, neatly and conveniently packaged and stored.

Bowflex SelectTech 1090: The Cons

Expensive: Well, these might be top end bits of kit but they have top end prices to match. For a single dumbbell you’ll pay a retail price of around $400, or perhaps only $270 at current market prices. But either way that’s a massive amount of money for a single dumbbell. It does save on buying a full set of weights though, but if you’re on a tight budget this won’t make a difference.

Single Dumbbell Only: Don’t make the mistake of thinking this is a pair of dumbbells. For your money you’ll be getting one dumbbell only, so take note. You’ll save yourself a lot of time and frustration by remembering that.

Large: Although this is a great space saver, it’s a little inconvenient to use in practice. The total length of the dumbbell is 17.5”, which is quite unwieldy. Although it’s possible to do most exercises with this dumbbell, there are a few that it interferes with in quite a bit way.

Rectangular Metal Grip: This has an all-metal grip, so if you plan on lifting the higher end weight settings you might find it uncomfortable or even painful. Moreover, the grip has a slight rectangular shape that produces greater pressure on certain parts of the hand. Together these make for a less than ideal grip that requires good gloves to make use of at the higher end of the weight settings.

No Stand: There’s no stand included with this dumbbell. In itself this isn’t a problem, but this dumbbell is seriously heavy and its great not to have to lift it from floor level too much. Doing that could put you at risk of a back injury. A stand would be a definite improvement.

Fragile Parts: The parts that form the adjustment mechanism are made from plastic. If you drop these weights from any height or in any other way subject them to impact with force, there’s a risk of the mechanism breaking. This renders the adjustment system useless. So you’ll need to take care of your weights if you want to use this dumbbell.

Is The Bowflex SelectTech 1090 Adjustable Dumbbell Worth Buying?

This dumbbell isn’t perfect. It has some fragile parts, an unusual grip and its size makes it a little tricky to use. However, it definitely saves space and cuts back on the costs of owning multiple weights. Just remember that this is a single dumbbell and not a pair and you’ll be fine. So if you’ve got the budget, go for it as long as you’re willing to accept the shortcomings of the product. Still a highly recommended piece of weight lifting kit.

PowerBlock SportBlock 24 Adjustable 3 To 24-Pound Dumbbell Set Review

It’s easy to see why home exercise equipment is gaining popularity. Not only is it convenient, but in these challenging economic times people are looking to save their hard earned cash. One simple way to do this is to drop extra unnecessary costs from daily life, and one of these is gym membership.

However, terminating your gym membership obviously doesn’t mean the end of your desire to keep fit. And that’s where home exercise equipment steps in. Because home exercise equipment may seem a little expensive at the outset, but in the long run it can save you a lot of money. Plus, not all exercise equipment is that expensive. A prime example of a fairly low cost piece of home exercise equipment is the humble weight.

The PowerBlock SportBlock 24 is an adjustable dumbbell set with a 3 to 24 pound range. It’s aimed at the mid-range of the market, offering some nice features at a decent price point. The question is, does it actually deliver as a piece of workout equipment? Read on to find out.

Key Features Of The PowerBlock SportBlock Adjustable Dumbbell Set

RRP: $184
Weight Range: 3 to 24 lbs (Adjustable)
Weight Adjustment Increment: 3 lbs
Includes Stand? Yes – Case

SportBlock Adjustable Dumbbell Set: The Pros

Adjustable System: The SportBlock 24’s main selling point is its adjustable weight system. The key thing about any adjustable weight system is that it’s easy to use. Adjustable weight systems are a replacement for the conventional dumbbell’s slightly drawn out plate-swapping process, reducing the interference caused to your workout.

The adjustment system on this device is simple and effective. It simply operates using a sliding pin to choose the number of weights you want to lift. It’s not unlike a weight stack on a piece of equipment down at the gym. This makes it very easy to switch weights mid-workout, making it perfect for use with a high intensity home workout program like the P90X.

Padded Handle: One complaint many users of weights have is the discomfort it causes their hands. Lifting heavy objects with solid metal handles puts a lot of pressure onto the muscle and skin of your palms and fingers, which can cause pain and blisters as well as callouses. If you find normal weights uncomfortable to use, then you’ll probably be pleased to know that this set uses padded handles. These take a lot of the pressure off your hands, making for a much more comfortable lifting experience.

Saves Space: If you’re living in a small apartment, or just don’t have much room in your home, then you’ll want to find something that’s pretty efficient with space. Traditional dumbbells are definitely not a good option when this is the case.

Fixed weight dumbbells are the worst – for every weight you want to lift you’ll need a pair of dumbbells. A full range could therefore mean a ten or more pairs of dumbbells. Even dumbbells with interchangeable plates take up a fair bit of room too – you need to keep all those spare plates somewhere.

These do away with both of the above problems. The weights are all built into one unit, meaning that there are no bits left lying around at the end of your workout. Everything is kept together in one small place – a great way to keep control of your space.

Tough And Durable: Normal dumbbells are durable because they’re so simply constructed and made out of such tough materials. Once you start complicating things the potential for damage grows, and the SelectTech 552 dumbbell set that rivals this SportBlock set are known to suffer from some durability issues as a result of plastic parts in the adjustment mechanism.

The SportBlock designers have kept this in mind and used almost no plastic in the whole product. The only plastic part is actually the handles of these weights, but it’s a very tough and durable kind of plastic that won’t break or chip. The entire adjustment mechanism is, however, made of metal, as is the rest of the set. So you really needn’t worry about this breaking. It should last you years and years – probably even a lifetime!

SportBlock Adjustable Dumbbell Set: The Cons

Light Weight: This is a 24 pound weight set. That means the maximum weight you can lift on each arm is 24 pounds. This is a fairly low weight, not suitable for serious weight training. It’s a good warm up weight and is suitable for exercising a few smaller muscles, and it can also work as an introductory level when you’re first getting into weight training. But it’s closer to a high level aerobic training weight, so if you want to build muscle mass or gain some serious strength this set won’t be suitable for you.

Is The SportBlock Adjustable Dumbbell Set Worth Buying?

There’s nothing wrong with this set at all. Just be aware that it’s not a huge amount of weight to lift, so anyone planning to get into weight training would be better off with something else. However, if you know what kind of exercise you want to do, this really is a great product with nothing to complain about. So go ahead and buy it!

Cap Barbell Solid Hex Single Dumbbell Review

Few doubt the apparently growing popularity of home fitness equipment. Personal fitness has become a growing interest in recent years anyway, but with many people suffering hardship since the economic downturn in 2008 cutbacks have been made, and many people have quite going to the gym in a bid to save on membership costs and transport costs.

But for most, the end of gym doesn’t mean the end of personal fitness. It just means that keeping fit has to be done from home in order to make it cheaper. So, home fitness equipment has been growing in popularity even as people have been spending less money.

One of the most popular items of home fitness equipment is the set of weights. It’s versatile, suitable for use as both aerobic training equipment and also muscle building or strength gaining equipment. The Cap Barbell solid hex dumbbell is one of the most popular dumbbells currently on the market. But what makes it so popular, and is it actually worth spending the money on? Read more for an answer.

Key Features Of The Cap Barbell Solid Hex Single Dumbbell

RRP: $6.99-$119.99
Release Year: 2010
Multiple Weights Available? Yes
Weight Range: 5 to 60 lbs (Separately)
Includes Stand? No

Cap Barbell Solid Hex Single Dumbbell: The Pros

Range Of Weights: This solid hex dumbbell from Cap Barbell comes in a wide range of weights. Starting at 10 pounds, you can also get 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55 and 60 pound options. These give you the complete range of weights for any home workout program. From aerobic fitness to serious muscle building, the solid hex dumbbell is an ideal choice.

The weights available mean that you can find exactly what you need for your own level of fitness. If you’re into serious weight lifting then the big 60 pound weights are great, but if you’re new to body building then the 20 and 25 pound weights are a great option. Basically, whatever your precise needs, you’ll be able to find a dumbbell to cover them here.

Hexagon Shape: The hexagon shape looks cool and has a masculine quality to it, with sharp angles and bold, hard edges. However, this design isn’t really for style. It’s a functional decision that makes a real impact on the usability of these weights.

The more common round-plate weights suffer from one particular problem: rolling. Whether they roll out of your reach or bash your ankle after you place them on the floor, the rolling is an annoyance that interferes with your workout.

The hexagonal design of the Cap Barbell solid hex single dumbbell is there to prevent rolling, and it works perfectly. You can place these on the floor and they will stay put without any trouble. This allows you to get on with your workout interruption free.

Durable: Simply put, these will last a lifetime. There’s really nothing that can go wrong with them. They’re made of solid cast iron, so they’re incredibly durable. You can bash them and drop them all you want, the worst that can happen is a small chip in the head of the weight. Otherwise, there’s no reason why your grandchildren won’t be able to use these just as much as you do.

No Need To Buy Pairs: Many exercises require you to use a pair of weights, but many others need only a single weight. If you plan on doing exercises where only one weight is necessary, then you only need to buy one if you opt for these. They’re not sold as pairs but as single dumbbells. This is also great if something happens to only one dumbbell and you want to replace it. Losing one dumbbell doesn’t mean replacing it with two. This saves money and space.

Cap Barbell Solid Hex Single Dumbbell: The Cons

Not Sold As Pairs: Don’t make the easy mistake of assuming these are sold as a pair. They’re not. Ordering one of these means getting only one dumbbell, so if you do want a pair of dumbbells you’d better order two. Just beware of this and you’ll avoid a lot of frustration and wasted time.

May Damage Floor: One of the annoying things about these dumbbells is that they can easily cause damage. The hard edges of solid cast iron metal mean that dropping these onto any surface can easily scratch, dent and otherwise deface your floors. Using them on concrete is fine, but if you’re using them indoors place them down carefully.

Expensive: Buying just a few of these might not cost too much, but if you want a wide range of weights to train with you’d better have deep pockets because it’ll cost you. These range in price but the larger weights can cost around $70 a piece, so you can see how the costs quickly add up.

Need Lots Of Space: As these dumbbells are all fixed weight, you need to buy lots of them if you want a range of weights. That means you’ll have to have space for them, and they do take up a lot of room. It’s not an ideal choice if you’ve only got limited room available.

Is The Cap Barbell Solid Hex Single Dumbbell Worth Buying?

These weights are good and solid and likely to last several lifetimes. They are, however, expensive and can easily cause damage to your floors, furniture and other parts of your home. This may put some off. The other difficulty is that these really need lots of space. However, if these don’t pose a problem to you, then the Cap barbell solid hex single dumbbells are a great choice and will cater well to anyone serious about their weight training.

Cap Barbell Rubber Coated Hex Dumbbell With Contoured Chrome Handle Review

There’s no doubting the popularity of home exercise equipment. Just taking a look at what tops Christmas lists year after year is enough to confirm that. It’s probably a result of the difficult economic situations many of us are now living in. Times like this mean cutting back on costs, and so things like gym membership and dance classes are likely to go out the window.

In order to keep fit without heading off to gym every couple of days, most people turn to exercising at home. There’s all kinds of equipment available for home workout programs, mostly similar to what you can find in the gym. Anything from rowing machines to exercise bikes and treadmills can be bought for home use. But one of the simplest and best options for home workout programs are weights.

The Cap Barbell rubber coated hex dumbbell is a popular piece of kit for home workout enthusiasts. It’s not dissimilar to the equipment you find in a gym, offering a similar level of quality. However, is it actually any good? Let’s take a closer look.

Key Features Of The Cap barbell Rubber Coated Hex Dumbbell

RRP: $20.04 – $203.21
Release Year: 2011
Multiple Weights Available? Yes
Weight Range: 5 to 60 lbs (Separately)
Includes Stand? No

Cap Barbell Rubber Coated Hex Dumbbell: The Pros

Weight Options: The rubber coated hex dumbbell from Cap comes in a wide range of weights. This should accommodate almost all needs apart from those looking to get into super heavy lifting. The options on sale include 5, 10, 12, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55 and 60 pound weights.

These are a full range of weights to use for almost any kind of workout. The lowest 5 and 10 pound weights can be made use of for aerobic training that tones and builds core strength rather than developing a muscular physique or gaining strength. By contrast, the weights at the upper end of the scale are ideal for maximizing strength training or building up muscle size.

With all the weights in between both extremes, it’s easy to find a set of weights to suit your own fitness level and personal needs. So if you’re just starting out with body building, you can take up the 20 to 30 pound range and make a great start with those before working your way up the scale.

Rubber-Coated Head: The rubber coated head is a great feature for anyone into home workouts. One problem with solid metal weights is that they can easily damage things – especially the floor which they are often dropped onto. So if you want to protect your home from unnecessary damage, these weights are perfect. The rubber coating ensures that if dropped they don’t cause any direct impact damage. So unless you drop them onto a rotten wood floor you’re unlikely to see any damage whatsoever!

Hexagonal Design: The hexagonal design of these weights looks great, but it’s not just there for style. Its real purpose is to prevent these weights from rolling. It’s pretty annoying to have your weights roll about after you place them down on the floor. They can move out of reach or bump into you, as well as damage things that they roll into. The hexagonal shape ensures that they stay put once they’re on the floor. This is definitely the best shape to prevent rolling, outdoing the octagonal design which can roll a bit in pushed.

Comfortable Grip: Aiming these at the high end, Cap have designed them with ergonomic grips. That makes them more comfortable to hold for most users, with the contoured bar fitting the palm more snugly than a straight bar. This also improves grip which is a key element of weight training, especially when heavy weights are being used.

Gym Quality: These have been designed to a gym-quality standard. Not only are they nice to look at, but the ergonomic form and rubber-coated heads make for an all-round high grade and well thought-through product. You could easily place one of these in a line-up of dumbbells at the gym and not notice the difference.

No Need To Buy A Pair: These weights are all sold individually rather than as a pair. That’s great if you only plan to use the weights for exercises that use a single arm at a time. Dual weights have their place, but many curls and tricep extensions require you to lift only with one arm at a time. If that’s all you’ll be doing, then why pay for two weights? Buy only what you need and save money.

Cap Barbell Rubber Coated Hex Dumbbell: The Cons

Not Sold As A Pair: Buyer beware, these dumbbells are not sold as a pair. They are single items only, so if you’re looking for a pair you’ll need to order two. It’s easy to make the mistake of thinking that these are a pair – dumbbells usually do come in twos. So if you’re interested in these bare that in mind to avoid disappointment.

Expensive: These are pretty expensive. Ranging from about $20 to $200 depending on the weight you want, you’ll be spending a fortune if you want to get a decent range of weights. They’re also a little less refined than other high-end products like those available from York or Hampton.

Smell: Although it hasn’t been a problem across the board, some users have complained of a strong chemical smell coming from their weights. For a few it has been so overpowering as to make these more or less unusable. It probably won’t affect you, but it’s best to be aware of this before making the purchase.

Is The Cap Barbell Rubber Coated Hex Dumbbell Worth Buying?

There’s little to fault these dumbbells on apart from their high cost. As long as you’re prepared to buy two individual weights and don’t make the mistake of thinking that they come as a pair then these are a fantastic option for the higher-budget buyer. If you’re on a budget you’ll need to look elsewhere, but otherwise you need look no further than these for fixed-weight dumbbells.

Altus Athletic 32-Pound Dumbbell Set With Stand Review

The growth in the popularity of home exercise equipment is hard to deny, and many think it’s a direct result of the difficult economic climate that we’re all experiencing right now. With money tight, costs have to be cut. For many fitness enthusiasts, that means quitting gym membership.

But quitting the gym doesn’t mean you want to quit keeping fit. As a result, people are choosing to work out from home using a range of equipment. For some, it’s treadmills and cross trainers, for others it’s yoga and Pilates kits. One of the most popular, and cheapest, choices is weights.

The Altus Athletic 32-pound dumbbell set offers a range of weights to workout with at home. Their aim is to give a complete beginners setup for aerobic exercise using weights, with 3 pairs of different weights and a stand to keep them all on. But is this set actually worth buying, or will it end up in the garbage before long? Read on to find out.

Key Features Of The Altus Athletic 32-Pound Dumbbell Set

RRP: $72
Release Year: 2011
Multiple Weights Available? Yes – In set
Weight Range: 3 to 8 lbs (In Set)
Includes Stand? Yes

Altus Athletic 32-Pound Dumbbell Set: The Pros

A Range Of Weights: The first thing to note about this set is that it comes with a range of weights. In fact, there are three different pairs of weights included. These are 3 pound, 5 pound and 8 pound weights. That’s a good range for those starting out, and could easily be your main workout option for years to come. Aerobic exercise doesn’t require anything heavier than this really, so you’ll find this a good investment for the future.

Price: The price of this set is excellent. It’s retail price of around $73 is already brilliant, offering three pairs for that price is no different than buying them separately. In fact, it might even be cheaper. But the best thing is that these are currently going for about $40, that’s $30 less than the retail price. So if you’re looking for a good set of aerobic dumbbells but have a tight budget, this would be a great move. You have three different pairs of weights which would ordinarily cost in excess of $50 even with the cheapest alternatives, and here you get it all for just $40.

Stand Included: Any set of weights is going to take up space in your house. It’s an unavoidable fact. But this doesn’t have to mean mess and clutter everywhere. Although some weights can be awkward to tidy away, especially heavy dumbbells, the Altus Athletic set comes with a convenient stand that’s capable of holding all three pairs at one.

This makes it really easy to keep your home clear of exercise equipment clutter. It’s also great if you’re trying to save space in a small apartment. Just stack these away on the stand in a small corner when they’re not being used and you’ll find it a great solution to space saving storage problems.

Neoprene Coating: Many weight sets are either a bare metal finish or come with a shiny plastic or rubber coating. These often look quite nice, but aren’t so practical. Bare metal can be cold and uncomfortable to hold for any length of time, while plastic or rubber coatings that are shiny tend to slip once you start to sweat. This is a major distraction and can disrupt your workout as a result.

Neoprene is a rubber-like coating but is textured and has a matte finish. That helps to keep the weights from slipping when you work out with them, allowing you to stay focussed. It also makes them more comfortable to hold, as the neoprene takes the harshness of bare metal out of the equation and leaves a slightly cushioned feel. And finally, it also means the weights don’t feel cold to the touch which is definitely a nice benefit.

Great For Aerobic Workout: These weights are fantastic for an aerobic workout program. If you’re trying to get in shape, developing your general health and fitness while toning your body then these are ideal. Aerobic workout depends on low weights being used for long periods of time. Anything too heavy and you start to build muscle along with strength.

These weights give a good range of aerobic challenge. However, the good thing is that they’ll do the job for anyone – whether beginner or advanced. As aerobic fitness doesn’t require heavy weights, the largest of these will be sufficient to keep your aerobic fitness level really high. And aerobic fitness doesn’t just tone your body, it also develops core strength.

Girly Colors: This set comes with a nice range of girly colors. As it’s aimed primarily at women, it should be well received by most users. The colors are pink and purple – nice and feminine.

Altus Athletic 32-Pound Dumbbell Set: The Cons

Light Weight: These are great if you’re looking for an aerobic workout, but if you want something more substantial then you’ll need something else. Strength training and muscle building really need bigger weights that push you much harder. So don’t go for these if that’s what you’re planning.

Poor Quality Stand: The stand that comes with this set of weights isn’t the best quality. It does hold the weights alright, but it feels flimsy and wobbles quite easily. It’s possible to alleviate this a bit by using longer screws to construct it than the ones they provide with the set. But it’d still be nice to have something better included when it’s an advertised feature of the product.

Girly Colors: Girly colors aren’t a problem in themselves, but they won’t be to everyone’s tastes. If you’re looking to give these as a gift to a man it’s worth making a big note of the fact that these are pink and purple. Don’t make the mistake of missing that point!

Is The Altus Athletic 32-Pound Dumbbell Set Worth Buying?

The Altus Athletic 32-pound dumbbell set is absolutely worth buying. There’s pretty much nothing wrong with it. Sure the stand is a bit feeble, but at this price it’s hard to complain. This is a great little set that’ll be just perfect for anyone planning to get into aerobic workout.