Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells Review

Once upon a time in 2008 I was fortunate enough to have a parent of mine ask me what I wanted for Christmas in which I replied the Bowflex SelectTech 552 Dumbbells.

At the time I was just starting my first round of P90X and needed a better set of dumbbells than the random ones we had laying around the house.

Mom had a little sticker shock when she saw how expensive they were. I don’t remember exactly how much they cost in 2008 but I believe with the stand it was around $400. Made a deal with Mom that I would buy the stand and she would get the dumbbells. Merry Christmas to Brad!

Here’s The Thing

I wrote my original review of my Bowflex SelectTech 552s in 2008 and its now 2018. Its time to update this post.

What you should know is I still have the dumbbells and they still remain a centerpiece of my home gym. It’s my humble opinion that the Bowflex SelectTech 552 Dumbbells could be the best set of dumbbells you could own.

What intrigued me to buy them in the first place is one of the reasons why they haven’t been sold on Craigslist or when we moved. They are so easy to use in your home and quick to clean up. No need to be spending time re-racking multiple dumbbells. And they save so much space.

How Do The Bowflex SelectTech 552 Dumbbells Work?

The Bowflex SelectTech Dumbbells go from 2.5 pounds all the way up to 52.5 with a simple click. Just turn the dial on both ends of the dumbbell to your desired weight and off you go. It could not be easier.

Stand Or No Stand?

Bowflex SelectTech Dumbbell StandThe Bowflex SelectTech Dumbbells are not cheap. They cost around $290. For another $100 you can get the stand too. You’ll be all in for about $395. And after ten years of ownership I will say the stand is worth it.

It would be so annoying moving the dumbbells around without it.

Yes, maybe you have your designated workout area and your workout equipment stays in one place all the time.

And maybe you’re hardcore and acknowledge that squatting down to switch weights gives you bonus exercise between reps.

I feel that the stand makes it easier to switch weights between sets, is much easier to move around the house, and is overall more appealing when in my house. It just looks better on the stand then laying on the ground.

Bowflex SelectTech Secrets Of The 4 Step Rep
Its an instructional DVD made in 2004 that came with my dumbbells. Its kind of funny.

The stand makes it so much easier to workout with let alone move them around in the basement. We’re talking about 100 pounds of weights here.

If you’re thinking you want this set up too then check out the Bowflex SelectTech Dumbbells and Stand deal at Amazon. If you just want the dumbbells to start out with then you can always go back and buy the stand separately in the future.

For some sad reason it appears Bowflex stopped making the stands with wheels. Pretty dumb if you ask me. My stand has wheels which makes it incredibly easy to move when I have to vacuum.

Maybe Bowflex was able to save money building the stands without wheels and people don’t really move the stand unless they have to. I don’t know of course but man are the wheels nice.

Works Well With P90X & Body Beast

Bowflex Selecttech DumbbellsThe Bowflex SelectTech 552 Dumbbells are a must have for anybody who is doing P90X, Body Beast, other Beachbody workouts, or just looking for a way to get rid of a huge rack of dumbbells in their home gym.

Just try to keep up with Tony Horton during P90X Back and Biceps or Sagi Kalev doing any Body Beast workout with normal dumbbells. It’s not going to happen.

You will be hitting the pause button after every bicep curl or tricep extension trying to get ready for the next move. The Bowflex SelectTech Dumbbells simplify that with a couple clicks.


Bowflex SelectTech 552 Dumbbells

After a decade of owning the Bowflex SelectTech 552s I can say I am glad I asked for them for Christmas:). What great investment they have been.

They are a little dusty from being in the basement but it hasn’t affected how they perform. I use them all the time and don’t see a reason to get a new set.

From time to time I think about buying the Bowflex SelectTech 1090s as there are a couple of exercises where 52.5 pounds are not enough. Moves like “Lawnmowers or Chest Press” in particular.

In those situations I’ll do more reps or add some push ups. Reason being is the 1090s cost $600+ for a pair. Bowflex has an option where you can buy just one 1090 for around $250 but I can’t justify it. Maybe if somebody is giving away a set on Craigslist for dirt cheap will I get them but in the mean time I’ll keep going with the 552s.

My home gym still revolves around these dumbbells. I am going on almost ten years of owning them and have had zero problems with them. Looking back, these dumbbells were a great investment.

About the Author: Brad Gibala

Shreds Gnar. Hall & Oates Fan. Practicing Libertarian. Beachbody Coach. Detroit-ish. Contact - Start Here - About - Recommends


  1. Good choices — these are two of the best fitness products available right now. Especially P90X if you need help staying motivated.

  2. Thanks you for posting this information on P90X. Regarding the dumbells, what size weights do you absolutely have to have to do the program. I prefer to use dumbbells over resistance bands, but the $400 price tag for the bowflex selectech is a bit out of my range. Thanks again for the info.

  3. @ Linda

    It really depends. There are some workouts where I use all the weight up to the 52 pounds. For the most part I only use up to 30 pounds. I bought the dumbbells before I started doing P90X. They are so nice because they take up very little space. You don’t have 12 different dumbbells laying around on some gawdy looking rack either. The price seems high but if you compared it with getting a whole set of dumbbells it would be about the same.

  4. The bowflex adjustable weights aren’t bad but the powerblocks are soooo much better. So if anyone is thinking of getting adjustable weights make sure you give powerblocks a try before you make a decision.

  5. @ AM

    Price was an issue and there are not that many exercises where I need weight over 55 pounds. The only one I could think of is “lawn mowers.”

  6. @ John

    I do the P90X Classic Routine as I’m usually busy playing sports or doing some other activity 3 nights a week. The only move I can think of where I’d use more than 55 pounds would be when doing “Lawnmowers.” I can do 15 reps at 55lbs no problem now so I throw in a couple extra reps to get the burn. I was already very lean before doing P90X as I ran a lot so my goal was to tone and bulk up. I’ve put on about 15 pounds of muscle over the 3 rounds of P90X. Ten of those came in the first round.

  7. Hey Brad I have the P90X DVDs, but want to purchase the Bowflex Selectech Dumbbells.

    You said you went with the 552 instead of the 1090 based on the exercises, but which program are you following in the P90X workouts: Classic or Double? Also, were you leaning to tone up, or to bulk up?

    Thanks for the information you posted here, its really informative!


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