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Powerblock Review

PowerblockFor those of you who don’t have access to a complete set of dumbbells (which is the majority of us), one thing you might want to consider are the adjustable dumbbells, which not only save space, but can save some money as well. Currently, I have a set of dumbbells that aren’t complete, but they get me through my workouts. However, I’m going to be purchasing either the Powerblock dumbbells or Selecttech dumbbells very soon! I want something that is quick and easy to change out instead of taking 2-3 minutes messing with the weights. One of the people I coach, Empire, bought the Powerblock adjustable dumbbells and wrote a review, which is below.

Empire’s Powerblock Review: “Ok I have used them twice, once for P90X Chest, Shoulders, & Tri’s and again in P90X Back & Biceps. These things are awesome and much safer than what I was using. After you get past treating them so gently and actually treat it like a real piece of equipment, you can change weights pretty fast. I got the sport 9.0 that goes up to 50 pounds and can be upgraded to 90 and again to 130 per hand! Grip is comfortable and once you get used to it it’s really easy to change weights. The actual block or handle itself weighs 5 lbs and has two holes on the bottom, and each one holds 2 1/2 pounds, so with both in it weighs 10 pounds or 7 and a half with only one in. With both small weights in, it starts at ten pounds and then every section you add adds ten pounds so 10, 20,30…. if you take them out then you get 15, 25,35… take only one of the small weights out and you get 17 1/2, 27 1/2, and so on.

Also, make sure when you use it to have it on a nice flat surface. If your going to put it on carpet, it is really tall and kinda squishy, so maybe use a small plank of wood so the weights don’t get pushed up out of order. I use a sturdy chair and a really heavy wood cutting board so I don’t have to bend over all the time to grab my weights. Don’t worry, the weights won’t fall out of order like other weight sets. They may just be slightly moved. I had it on my carpet here for a bit and it worked fine.”

The Powerblocks are awesome for home use with a program like P90X, which involves resistance training. As you can see from Empire’s Powerblock review, they are easy to change and great for saving space. If you want to learn more about P90X, check out my P90X Review!


  1. Mark /

    I think adjustable dumbbells are one of the best pieces of equipment you can get when doing the P90X program. I had the Bowflex Selectechs and they were great but i wasn’t using them and stupidly sold them. Then when i started the program i knew i would want them again so i went and got something comparable but a good $150 cheaper. The ones i have now are called Lifesmart Adjustable Dumbbells and they are great. At first i wasn’t sold with them but just like Empire said once you treat them like a peice of equipment changing them is fast and you get an insane workout. I only have ones that adjust to 55 lbs which is alot for some moves but for most back movements you are going to want ones that go higher. I can do lawnmowers very easily with 55 lbs. All in all well worth the initial cost of them.

    Good luck to everyone!


  2. Eddy /

    I did buy the airoman adjustable dumbbells 2.5 to 55 pound and its great man

    One set of 2 dumbels was 300 $ i think than its a good investiment !

  3. Matt /

    Josh, after comparing both the Power Blocks and the Bowflex, I bought the Bowflex selecttech dumbells 10-90lbs a must have for anyone doing P90X (the workout’s flow alot better than using spin locks etc). The selectech system is alot quicker and easier than the plate system on power blocks just adjust the dial and you can be from 10lbs to 90lbs in seconds. I am 10 weeks into my first round of P90x and lovin the results can you tell me if there is a way I am able to signup as I live in the UK?

  4. Josh /

    Unfortunately, you won’t be able to make me your coach since you’re from the UK. It’s only open to US and Canadians.

  5. Brian /

    Josh: I researched the heck out of these. I looked at the bowflex and other brands. I ended up with the Powerblocks. They are absolutely the best and most balanced. I didnt like the bowflex at all. They were long and awkward. The Powerblocks seemed tight and compact. The new Urethane ones are nice and quiet and really well made. I would recommend them completely and certainly helped with my first round results.

  6. Bill Ponds /

    I love my power blocks – with one exception. When it’s shoulders/bi/tri day – I am in between numbers. ie: 45 lbs on shoulder press, then back to 30 for bicep curl and then 25 for tri kick backs or similar scenario.

    Changing in 10 lb increments is easy as can be. The five pound increments can get a little annoying taking the small weights in and out of the handle when you have to do it after each exercise. Small price to pay though in my book for the ability to increase the weights to 90 and 130 in the future. I’ve almost exceeded the weight limits for the lawn mower rows.

    As for the Bow-flex – I really like how easy it is to adjust the weight. My physical therapist has a few sets and I’ve been using them for about 3 months during therapy on my shoulders. The down side (from what little I’ve used them) has been the size & durability. They are a little longer than the power blocks (but so will the Power blocks in the 90 and 130 levels); and the therapist is switching to another brand because his selectechs keep breaking. Not sure how they broke because I haven’t seen it – I’m just going on the therapists comments that he’s had to replace a few of them already.

  7. RL3000 /

    Hey Josh if your debating whether to get the bowflex or power blocks, in my opinion POWERBLOCKS are the way to go. The bowflexs are bulky and the range of motion with some of the moves are going to be alittle weird and since their made of mostly plasic if by chance you drop these they break way easier. The BLOCKS are great I have a pair and I was debating myself about a year ago when I was going to start P90X and read reviews and saw acouple of youtube video’s and decided the BLOCKS are the best way to go and they feel way better in your hands and less bulky. On top of that their alittle cheaper. Cant go wrong. Hope this helps.

  8. Wayne /

    I have “LifeSmart” 5-55 lb. adjustable dumbbells from Academy Sports. They aren’t as nice as the Bowflex, but they are very affordable ($175). They change weights quick so I never have to pause the DVD or anything, and they are very sturdy. I am nearly through my first round of P90X and they have held up great. I would recommend them if you don’t have the $$ to do the nice Bowflex Selectechs.

  9. Aaron /

    Josh, funny i just spent the last two hours researching these and the bowflex 1090’s. Imagine my surprise when I opened the site! Thanks for all the information, you really do a great job with this page, it is a constant source of encouragement!

  10. Hey Josh,

    You always seem to post on topics right at the appropriate time of need. I’d been researching the powerblocks for the past 3 weeks since I’m really limited with my dumbbell selection right now and I’m looking for an upgrade for round 2.

    From my own research I’ve read that one problem that some people are running into with the Selecttechs are that they’re a bit on the longer, bulkier side and might get in the way for some workouts since they stay the same length no matter how many lbs you’re using. I personally think I’ll be going for the powerblocks.

    Anyways, thanks for sharing Empire’s review with us, it was pretty helpful.

    – Chris

  11. Ryan /

    Have you ever used the Powerblocks before, Coach? And if you choose the Selecttechs, you might need to get the 1090 with your strength! haha.

  12. Josh /

    Ryan, I’ve never used either of them, but am looking to purchase one of them soon! I can’t wait!

  13. Josh /

    Glad it helped bro!

  14. Josh /

    I’m glad the review helped man!

  15. Josh /

    Thanks for the review!

  16. Tony /

    I researched both the powerblocks and the bowflex. I am so glad I bought the powerblocks. It is true that the bowflex ones are quicker to change the weights with, but after a tiny bit of practice the powerblocks are easy as well. And best of all the powerblocks are not as long. The bowflex ones are very very long compared to the powerblocks. After 2 weeks into P90x I realized that I needed something with variety. I ended up paying about $330 for the powerblocks. Well worth every penny. I am about to start round 2 of P90x in5 days. I am pretty stocked. Before P90x I was a reasonable 12.6% body fat 173 lbs. I am currently sitting at 7.4% body fat 168 lbs. My goal is to get below 6%. Josh your website has helped me out big time. I really appreciate it man.

  17. David /

    I have the “Bowflex” dumbells, and I love them. True they are bulky but better quality. Congdon Curls are nearly impossible to do properly because the weights touch. When doing curls they scrap against my legs but certainly not enough to make me regret my purchase. I only have the two 52.5 lb set so when doing lawnmowers and such I don’t have enough weight so you will probably want to purchase the larger set. I dont think the other brands come in a set over 55lbs. The other brands are cheaper, but I have always been one to pay for the quality. Lastly, for the amount of weight in one block for the price compared to a bunch of weights taking up space I highly recommend the purchase.

    I have a question? Once I reach my fitness goal what workout schedule would I follow to just maintain my results both appearance and performance? Thanks


  18. Josh /

    I agree with the better quality comment. I rather spend more money on something that I know is going to work. Anyways, I will be buying some here in a few months! Also, once you reach your goals, you can just continue with Beachbody programs, which is what I do. Since my first round, I’ve gone through P90X Plus, One on One, and now Insanity.

  19. Chris /

    I own the powerblocks and love them. The only time it’s a little tough is during the times I am increasing by a small amount of weight (2.5lbs). You have to take out the handles and insert a little 2.5 cylinder weight. Causes me to have to pause the video sometimes.

    You get very fast at it after a while though. I haven’t regretted the money spent on them yet (had them over a year now).


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