I am a cyclist, not a bodybuilder. I lift weights to develop core strength, not because I enjoy it. I have no delusions about appearing on the cover of Men’s Health Magazine (though I am still holding out for Archaeology Today). Exercising outside in the snow and ice beats an indoor workout any day of the week. That being said, one of the best investments I’ve ever made in my health was the purchase of a pair of Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells.
Each Bowflex SelectTech 552 dumbbell adjusts from 5 to 52.5 pounds (in 2.5-pound increments up to the first 25 pounds). Because of the beautifully designed dial system you can change the weight of a dumbbell in a matter of seconds. Each dumbbell has fifteen different weight settings available (5, 7.5, 10, 12.5, 15, 17.5, 20, 22.5, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, and 52.5 pounds).
To select the desired weight for a dumbbell all you have to do is turn two dials—one at each end of the dumbbell. As you pull up on the handle the unneeded weights stay in the storage tray. In several months of use this product has functioned perfectly. You can switch weights on these dumbbells faster than you can on a resistance machine or when using resistance bands.
A little over ten years ago, when I decided to regain control of my health, I took up cycling and bought a rather large home gym that took up a lot of space in my family room. I got rid of that machine two years ago mainly because of the time we lost power during a blizzard and couldn’t use the fireplace to heat the house because the home gym was in the way (it was a big machine). After getting rid of the monster machine I started using resistance bands for strength training—they do a decent job of maintaining muscle tone, but I never showed any real progress while using them. The Bowflex SelectTech 552 dumbbells work far better than I expected and I would highly recommend them to anyone. They take up very little room and are a pleasure to work with. This product also comes with a DVD that shows how to correctly perform over 30 exercises.
I purchased my Bowflex SelectTech 552 dumbbells at a brick-and-mortar Dick’s Sporting Goods store. I went into the store with the intention of buying the PowerBlock Classic Adjustable Dumbbell Set, but didn’t like the way they felt in my hands. The Bowflex set has a very comfortable grip and after trying out both sets there was no question that I wanted the Bowflex. The suggested retail price of these weights is $450, but Dick’s Sporting Goods sells them for $400. However, I wish I would have checked Amazon.com first—they sell the set for $300 and offer free shipping!
If you decide to purchase the Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells I would highly recommend that you also buy the Bowflex SelectTech 2-in-1 Stand. This stand holds your dumbbells at a comfortable height and makes using the weights a lot easier than if you keep them on the floor. This stand retails for $170, but I bought mine from Amazon.com for only $135 (including free shipping). This stand comes unassembled, but it took less than 30 minutes to put together. It also has a small towel rack to keep you from throwing a wet towel on the floor.