Adjustable weights are A–mazing, but which ones are better: Powerblock or SelectTechs?


The home gym has taken an amazing turn for the better with the introduction of adjustable dumbbells like Powerblock and SelectTechs into the market. Gone are the days of cluttering your house with ole rusty weighted plates and having to stop repeatedly during your work-out to switch them out. HALLELUJAH! Or, you could just stock your home gym full of different sets of dumbbells. This is what I used to do. And then when I needed to increase weight, of course, I couldn’t because the next highest set of dumbbells weighed too much. I ended up wrapping ankle weights around my wrists to just try to get a good workout. Ridiculous, I know. So, needless to say, with the creation of Powerblock and SelectTechs, for me, it was a no brainer. I just had to decide which route to take.

I have worked out at home for years, well, ever since I stumbled upon P90X and Insanity. Before that I was spending 2+ hours a day in the gym. I was thrilled to get better results in less time, but still thought I could get even BETTER results with the proper range of weights. From the beginning, I had only heard of SelectTechs. They were the first set of adjustable weights to really hit the market and they are made by Bowflex. I’d seen those commercials since I was a kid, so you can’t go wrong there, right? They also have a yearly sale with free shipping. CHA-CHING! I was all set to buy them when I heard about Powerblock. Great…now it was time to research. I’m a research freak! Ha!

Powerblock or SelectTechs? The Verdict’s In!

powerblockPOWERBLOCK WINS! I was dead set on purchasing the SelectTechs. Two factors completely changed my mind, though, where I didn’t need to put any more thought into my decision.

First deciding factor: Powerblock dumbbells are smaller.  I buy most things online, but I decided to go into a sporting goods store this time. I’m so glad I did! Check out this photo. The Powerblocks are the fourth one in. The SelectTechs are the fifth one in. I am 5’4″ tall, so I tried using both sets while doing a regular bicep curl and an overhead shoulder press. With the SelectTechs, my form was off. For the bicep curl, I couldn’t hug my elbows to my side in a 90 degree angle. The weights were too long. They would overlap. Same thing happened with the shoulder press. I couldn’t press them straight up simultaneously over my head because, once again, they would hit and force my arms out.

My second deciding factor was materials. Bowflex SelectTech dumbbells are “made from cold rolled sheet steel covered with an ABS plastic cover.” Whereas, Powerblock dumbbells are “powder coat painted steel or Urethane coated steel.” I hate plastic anything. The trunk on my car broke due to a plastic piece. I just don’t trust plastic. Funny thing, too…it broke while we were on a road trip. We had to tape it shut to make the trip home. Since then, I have seen two other cars (same model as mine) with tape on their trunk!

And my last word of advice, whether you decide to go with Powerblock or SelectTechs, is to offer to purchase the floor model! That’s what I did and I saved $75!

Digging Deeper,
Jessica Bowser Nelson


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