Bowflex Adjustable Dumbbell Set 552 Review | Is it Really Worth It?

Prior to even considering the Bowflex selecttech 552 adjustable dumbbell set, I had plenty of reservations when it comes to weight-lifting.

Like many things exercise-related, I stubbornly resisted introducing weights into my workouts because I mistakenly assumed I would bulk up and look like the incredible hulk. It wasn’t until I decided to conquer my fears and start my Master’s Hammer and Chisel program, an intense weight-lifting program, that I realized I really needed dumbbells.

bowflex adjustable dumbbell set
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I needed three sets of weights (5lbs, 15lbs, 25lbs) and my fiance, who decided he wanted to try the program with me as well, needed his own sets of weights (10lbs, 25lbs, 50lbs).

My mind raced and considered the potential disaster of having to fit six sets of dumbbells in a tiny apartment because I just KNOW I will be tripping and stubbing all ten toes by day 4. Not to mention, the price of buying six pairs of dumbbells added up REALLY quickly. So, with all this in mind and some googling, I came across the Bowflex Selecttech 552 adjustable dumbbell set, read the majority of reviews (mostly positive), and decided to order it.

Read more about why more girls should lift weights

When the box was delivered to my front doorstep (god bless you, mailman!), I arrived at my first moment of irony. I live on the second floor and this box weighed a good 100 pounds. With those rickety stairs and my virgin chicken arms, there was no way in hell I was going to lug this up the stairs without breaking my back or falling through the floorboards. So, I proceeded to open the box, remove the styrofoam casing around each dumbbell, and carried them, one at a time at 50lbs, up the stairs. That was the longest 5 minute weight-lifting session of my life.

For my apartment dwellers or people needing their weights to be transported to a different floor elevation, I would advise, unless you are already gifted with the power of strength, to either incrementally carry your weights one at a time to avoid killing yourself OR get a friend to help you out.

But I digress.

How does the Bowflex Adjustable Dumbbell Set Work?

Bowflex Adjustable Dumbbell setThe Bowflex dumbbell set combines 15 sets of weights into one using a unique dial system and with just the turn of a dial, you can automatically change your resistance on each dumbbell from 5 pounds all the way up to 52.5 pounds of weight. It adjusts in 2.5-pound increments (up to 25 pounds), enabling you to gradually increase your strength without bulking up.

So basically, if I want to work with 15lb weights, I just turn the dials on both ends of the dumbbell to “15”; the adjustable dumbbells will lock onto the specific weights needed to add to 15 pounds, and once set, I just lift the dumbbells off the tray and go to town.

To my surprise, I immediately got the hang of using these dumbbells, and with some practice, managed to switch between different weights in under 10 seconds.

What are the Bowflex Adjustable Dumbbell Weight specifications

  • Weight Range: 5 to 52.5 lbs for each dumbbell
  • Weight Settings: 15
  • Weight Settings in pounds: 5, 7.5, 10, 12.5, 15, 17.5, 20, 22.5, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, and 52.5 pounds
  • Dumbbell Dimensions (Each): 15.75 inches long by 8 inches wide by 9 inches tall
  • Weight (Each): 52.5 pounds

Who is the Bowflex Adjustable Dumbbell Set for?

These adjustable dumbbells are great for anyone who:

  • Wants to conserve their workout space
  • Needs multiple sets of weights
  • Wants to incrementally adjust their weights to better challenge themselves
  • Exercise or live in small spaces, like apartments or condos.

What kind of moves can I do with the Bowflex adjustable dumbbells?

bowflex adjustable dumbbell setI use these dumbbells to work almost every  area of the body, including legs, back, chest, abdominals, arms, and shoulders without much trouble. My only complaint in this department is due to the length of these weights, it sometimes can be awkward to do some arm exercises without either bumping into the weights or holding it in an awkward way to avoid collision. I’m being a bit dramatic, but that has been one (albeit minor) aspect that annoyed me about these weights. Besides that, I can seamlessly adjust my weights from move to move within seconds.

I did some searching and found some helpful video tutorials on Bowflex’s website that walks you through some dumbbell exercises you can do to get started.

Are these sturdy enough to do pushups with or weighted burpees?

Some of the moves from my program call for Renegade rows, which involves planking with both weights in hand and doing a set of rows. With the bowflex adjustable weights, putting any sort of weight on top of it is not good. In fact, the plates that make up the dial mechanism might end up breaking. So, I would avoid using adjustable weights and instead use traditional dumbbells for any weighted stuff.

I will say that these dumbbells are very well made and can withstand a good deal of action from both me and my fiance. One thing I would caution against is dropping the weights on the floor. Unlike regular dumbbells, the bowflex adjustable dumbbells cannot take that much abuse from free-fall, especially since dropping might break the plates or dialing mechanism.

What is the Price?

The bowflex adjustable dumbbell set is $256.06, which includes a pair of adjustable dumbbells, two resting trays, and a special bonus Bowflex workout DVD which packs over 30 exercises with 80 variations.

And, even though I squawked at the price at first glance, I eventually came to realize that I will be saving money and living room space in the long run. I also have come to realize getting individual pair of dumbbells is not cheap either, and after using these adjustable weights for some time, I found that I needed that extra 2.5lb challenge on some exercises (for example, going from 10lbs to 12.5lbs) to help keep me going without completely burning out my muscles. It was, in a manner of speaking, just right for my skill level.

And much to my amazement, I saw my body change. When I would click-click-click my dumbbells to a slightly heavier weight than I was used to, I grew stronger and leaner because I was able to challenge myself just a tad more every time.

My Final Thoughtsbowflex adjustable dumbbell set

So if you are looking to add weights to your workout regimen and want to continue to challenge yourself while saving money and space, the Bowflex adjustable dumbbell set is a good option and totally worth the investment. If you ask me, I don’t think I could ever go back to using regular dumbbells ever again. For some reason, knowing I can adjust the weights to suit me puts me at ease.

Have you tried using adjustable weights? What are your thoughts on the matter? Comment and share below!

* The links provided in this post contain affiliate links. This comes at no extra cost to you, my dear readers. It will however help me pay the electric bill.

and just for giggles, here is a workout song for your entertainment- music courtesy of the Bowflex adjustable dumbbells!


  • Nnamdi

    November 10, 2016

    I like dumbbells! These are pieces of weight you can have around the house and be able to practically train and exercise every muscle group in the body. Now, with what you are saying about the Bowflex Dumbbells, I think that is an opportunity for anyone looking forward to doing strength training to grab his or her own, because these are indeed handy. Apartment or accommodation space can never be a problem as it is always detachable.

    I love you post and how you wrote so well and personalized it; that got me engaged while reading. Just keep it up.

    • amanda

      November 10, 2016

      thank you so much and yes, I am so glad you enjoyed the post! I definitely saved myself multiple headaches with having this adjustable dumbbell set 🙂 Cheers!

    • Marty

      November 17, 2016

      I’m quite pleased with the inmfioatron in this one. TY!

  • Johan

    November 11, 2016

    Okay wow I am blown away by this product, what a great review.

    Thank You

    • amanda

      November 11, 2016

      <3 Thank you so much, Johan!

    • Eliza

      November 17, 2016

      Holy coincse data batman. Lol!


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