Bowflex Dumbbells: An Overview

Bowflex dumbbells work through a series of grooved weight plates and a dial at each end of the dumbbell. By turning the dial and the bracket, you will only grab the weight plates that are equal to the selected weight. When you pull the handle out of the dumbbell block, the plates that you don’t need will stay in the block. 

The dial marks all the weight options for the Bowflex dumbbells. The dial attaches to a red bracket that runs across the top of the plates. Bowflex dumbbells are adjustable and really convenient for home gyms. They don’t take that much space inside a room while holding several weight blocks. 

Bowflex dumbbells about to be put to work

Are Bowflex Dumbbells Worth It?

If you are looking to save some time from manually switching weight plates of dumbbells then the Bowflex dumbbells are totally worth it. However, many people would argue that while they can be expensive, the numerous benefits justify their price. 

They’re really convenient to store at home and you can easily incorporate them into any dumbbell workouts. These are some things that may make Bowflex dumbbells worth it to you. 


The Bowflex dumbbells have a variety of weights options placed in one compact block of space. They can either replace 15 or 17 sets of regular dumbbells. Switching weights is easy and quick. Each dumbbell adjusts from 5 to 52.5 pounds. Adjustments change in 2.5 pounds increments for up to 25 pounds.

The downside of the Bowflex is that they don’t really give you instructions on how to properly use the adjustable dumbbells. This is especially true about their special locking feature that helps prevent any damages on it.


Bowflex offers two adjustable dumbbell models. These are the 552 and 1090. The 552 is the less expensive option and is smaller compared to the 1090. The first 25 pounds of the 552 are adjustable in 2.5-pound increments and go to 5-pound increments. 

The 1090 adjustable dumbbells have 10 to 90 pounds adjustable in 5-pound increments, and you can purchase a dumbbell stand separately for convienient storage.

Do Bowflex Dumbbells Break?

In order to be as portable and convenient as they are, the Bowflex Dumbbells use a lot of plastic materials. The weight plates, for example, have a hard plastic covering. The same goes for the quick-adjust mechanism on the handle.

And as a result, the Bowflex dumbbells may easily break if you don’t handle them properly. So, please be careful about dropping them or even applying too much force on the surface. 

Are Bowflex Dumbbells Better than Regular Dumbbells?

Bowflex dumbbells can save space through their compact build quality. Depending on the model you buy, it can give you over 25 different weight plate variations. It also eliminates the need to turn knobs, remove weight plates, and insert another weight plate to change to the weight you want to lift. In that category, the Bowflex dumbbells are way better than regular dumbbells. 

Person carrying dumbbells in each hands

They’re a great alternative for home gyms and save you from buying different sets of weight plates. They’re also easy to store compared to regular dumbbells and their different weight plates. 

However, if we’re talking about durability, most regular dumbbells are much more durable. Standard dumbbells are generally made of metal so they are tough and durable even when you drop them. Bowflex, on the other hand, has exterior weight plates made of hard plastic which is durable, just not as their metal counterparts. 

Therefore, if you’re looking for long term use, you are better off using regular dumbbells as they will prove to last you much longer than Bowflex dumbbells with proper use. 

Robert Lemus has been a natural competitor for 6 years, starting in Men’s Physique, then Bodybuilding, and then into Classic Physique. He is the Orange County Bodybuilding champion in 2016 for the Musclemania Organization. In 2018, he received his Pro Card with the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) in Classic Physique.