Friday, 19 April 2024

Dumbbells, Equipment

Powerblock Adjustable Dumbbells Review

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Whether you want to compliment your commercial gym workouts, or save on expensive memberships and stock your own home gym, one of the best products you can invest in is a set of adjustable dumbbells.

Not only are they ideal for anyone that has limited space, but they also cost considerably less than buying the equivalent number of sets separately.

With so many highly rated reviews and a range created to suit all levels of strength and fitness, we couldn’t help but review a few of the sets in the popular ‘PowerBlock’ range.

As well as taking a look at their weight increments, we’ll also be explaining how the weight adjustment system works, some exercise options, and a summary of the customer reviews.

PowerBlock Elite 90 Adjustable Dumbbells

Weight adjustment system

PowerBlock Elite 90 Adjustable Dumbbells

One of the most interesting things about reviewing a number of different adjustable dumbbell sets is getting the chance to see a range of different adjustment systems.

Whether you are using 10 lb or 100 lb, in order to perform any exercise effectively it’s always preferable for the dumbbell to be as compact as possible.

That’s one of the great design features of the PowerBlock sets. Unlike some designs, the lower the weight you use, the shorter the length.

There’s no reliance on a central bar to secure the weight plates in place, you simply slide the pair of locking pins into place at the weight you want to use.

If you’re unsure which colour relates to which weight, a quick reference guide has been added to the top of each dumbbell.

At the opposite end to this colour guide you will also notice a small handle that can be adjusted through a few different positions.

Removing the main locking pin from the dumbbell and lifting the frame out of the remaining plates, you’ll notice two tubes running the length of the frame.

While the two tubes closest to you have been added assist with balancing the weight, the other two tubes are used to store 2 of the 2.5 lb cylinder weights.

With the main sliding pin positions only offering a jump of 10 lbs each time, this lets you increase the weight in much smaller increments.

Once you’ve inserted the required number of weight cylinders, you can then return the top lever to its locked position and set the frame back inside the weight plates.

PowerBlock Elite 90 Adjustable Dumbbells

Features Summary

  • Weight ranges from 5-90 lbs. per hand
  • Replaces 28 pairs of dumbbells or 2565 lbs. of free weights
  • 10 year home use warranty.
  • Increments – 2.5, 5, 7.5, 10,15, 17.5, 20 25, 27.5, 30, 35, 37.5, 40, 45, 47.5, 50, 55, 57.5, 60, 65, 67.5, 70, 75, 77.5, 80, 87.5, 90 lbs. per hand.
  • Made in USA
  • Expandable to 130 lb

Space saving design and storage options

PowerBlock Elite 90 Adjustable Dumbbells

With such a simple yet effective weight adjustment system, it’s no surprise that the PowerBlock Elite 90 Adjustable Dumbbells are also extremely compact.

Whether you want to bicep curl with 10 lb or dumbbell row with the full 90 lb, the compact dimensions allow you to keep the weight closer to your body than many traditional dumbbell sets.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that one set of these PowerBlock dumbbells can take the place of 28 different pairs of fixed weight dumbbells. That’s a total weight of more than 2,500 pounds!

Their square weight plate design also means you can comfortably store the weights flat on the floor between workouts if needed.

If you wanted to prevent any potential damage they might suffer from being on the ground, we would always recommend looking around for a dumbbell stand.

PowerBlock do offer their own large column stand, which has been specifically designed to present these weights at a level that’s easy to reach.

This also provides the added benefit of relieving any unnecessary strain on your lower back, caused by having to repeatedly bend down and pick the heavy dumbbells up off the floor.

Handle design features

PowerBlock Elite 90 Adjustable Dumbbells

As with all adjustable dumbbell reviews, we try to keep the information balanced and report back on any issues that might have been found by other customers.

But even after looking at the weight adjustment system and dimensions in more detail, we’ve found nothing but positive things to say. This is actually continued with the design of the handle.

If you’ve already been browsing through a few other popular sets, like the Bowflex SelectTech 552’s, then you should already have come across a range of different handles.

The truth is that they all have their benefits. From the ergonomically designed curves of the Stairmaster TwistLock set to the chrome and knurled finish of the XMark 50 lb dumbbells, most have been designed specifically to improve your grip and make holding the bar more comfortable.

That being said, the PowerBlock Elite 90 set does offer something a bit different…

If we were to mention neoprene, the chances are you would be more likely to start thinking about wet suits than free weights.

But the PowerBlock dumbbell handle certainly has the same high quality, non-slip texture and feel. Although the bar is straight and without any ergonomic curves, the grip remains extremely comfortable.

One note worth taking into account if you plan on using weightlifting straps to assist your grip is the reduced amount of space around the bar.

While the bar itself has a similar diameter to other adjustable dumbbell sets, with your hand enclosed in the dumbbell frame it does become a little more difficult to wrap the strap around.

Customer reviews for the PowerBlock Elite 90 Dumbbells

When you’re saving such a large amount of floor space, reducing the amount of weight you have to move around, and saving hundreds if not thousands of dollars, it’s no surprise the PowerBlock dumbbells have proven incredibly popular.

Although we’ll also be taking a look at reviews of the other sets in the PowerBlock adjustable dumbbell range, the 90 lb set currently has the highest average rating, with dozens of 5 star reviews.

With such a small percentage of reviews under 3 stars, we had a hard time finding anything negative to say about these dumbbells.

The following list is to provide a quick summary of the pros and cons that were mentioned most frequently.


  • Much quicker to change between weight sets than standard dumbbells
  • The 90 lb Elite PowerBlock set can be expanded up to a maximum weight of 130 lb, making them some of the heaviest dumbbells outside of a commercial gym.
  • Well built and easy to use
  • Great for advanced fitness programs like the P90X and P90X2
  • No small catches or internal locking mechanisms
  • No need to count weight plates and calculate weights. The colour coded levels make it easy to keep track of how much weight you’re using
  • The already compact size reduces to suit the amount of weight being lifted.
  • Even if you don’t opt for the upgrade to 130 lb, the 2.5 lb increments and wide range of weight settings makes the PowerBlock Elite 90 set some of the most versatile dumbbells available


  • Having to slide the main pin from the side and lift the main dumbbell frame out to change the number of 2.5 lb cylinders inside the frame can be a bit time consuming (10 – 20 seconds, so probably not a big issue)

Boasting black powder-coated weight plates in a traditional square shape, these free weights are ideal whether you’re trying to build muscle mass, firm and tone your physique, or get rid of unwanted body fat.

PowerBlock Elite 70 lb Adjustable Dumbbells

  • Has a weight range of 5-70 lbs. per hand
  • Replaces 22 pairs of dumbbells
  • The equivalent of owning 1575 lbs. of free weights
  • Expandable to 90 lbs.
  • Unique quick-change weight plate system
  • Made in USA
  • Dimensions 14″L x 6.25″W x 6″H

PowerBlock Elite 70 lb Adjustable Dumbbells

The next step down from the 90 lb set, the 70 lb PowerBlocks still form part of their ‘Elite’ range.

This means you can expand the weight to 90 or even 130 lb per dumbbell as your strength increases, without having to spend hundreds of dollars on a completely new set.

The same quick change weight system is used as on the 90 lb set, allowing you to adjust the weight from 70 lb, right down to 5 lb.

This set is the perfect addition to your home gym if your strength or budget isn’t quite up to the 90 lb set.

PowerBlock Elite 50 lb Adjustable Dumbbells

  • Has a weight range of 5-50 lbs per hand
  • Expandable to 70 90 or 130 lbs per hand
  • Made in USA
  • 10 year home use warranty
  • Replaces 16 pairs of dumbbells in the space of 1
  • Increments: 2.5, 5, 7.5, 10,15, 17.5, 20 25, 27.5, 30, 35, 37.5, 40, 45, 47.5, 50 lbs per hand

PowerBlock Elite 50 lb Adjustable Dumbbells

Despite approaching the lighter end of the range, the 50 lb PowerBlock Elite dumbbells are still heavier than many similarly priced adjustable sets.

You still have the same option to change the 2.5 lb weight cylinders inside the main frame if you need smaller increments, only now the maximum frame size is even more compact.

If you think 50 lb will be the most you will be able to lift for a while, you can always buy this set and upgrade the weight once you start seeing results and your strength increases.

PowerBlock Adjustable Dumbbell Classic Set

  • Made in USA
  • Pair of adjustable dumbbell weights for efficient, cost-effective strength training
  • Adjusts from 5 to 45 pounds in 5-pound increments (5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, and 45 pounds)
  • More compact and balanced than traditional dumbbells
  • Padded handle for wrist protection
  • Limited 10-year warranty

PowerBlock Classic Adjustable Dumbbell Set

The first set available outside of their Elite range is the PowerBlock Classic Adjustable Dumbbell set.

The lightest set that we’ve mentioned so far with a maximum weight of 45 lb, this is still a set more than capable of being used for full body workouts.

Featuring the same padded handle and weight adjustment system, the main feature you lose is the weighted cylinders inside the core frame.

While this does mean you can’t adjust the weight in such small increments, a 5 lb jump shouldn’t be too difficult to build up to.

Being in a much more competitive price range (around the $300 range), this is still a set that provides a high level of build quality, backed by the PowerBlock 10 year warranty.

PowerBlock SportBlock 2.4

  • Made in USA
  • Pair of adjustable dumbbell weights for efficient, cost-effective strength training
  • Adjusts from 3 to 24 pounds in 3-pound increments (3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21, and 24 pounds)
  • Padded handle for wrist protection
  • Offers maximum weight of 24 pounds per hand
  • Limited 10-year warranty

PowerBlock Classic Adjustable Dumbbell Set

The lightest set in the range, the PowerBlock SportBlock 2.4 adjustable dumbbells also increase by the smallest increments.

As you move down the frame, each colour coded level represents an additional 3 lb of weight, up to a total of 24 lb.

Where the PowerBlock 90 lb set currently has the highest average rating, it’s this SportBlock set that has attracted the highest number of reviews.

Usually available for between $160 and $180, this puts them in the same price bracket as the 25 lb adjustable Versa-Bells, or just one of the 10-50lb dumbbells offered by Bayou Fitness.

Ideal for lighter workouts and anyone looking to tone up rather than bulk up, this compact set features the same easy-to-use adjustment system as the higher priced dumbbells in the PowerBlock range.

Review Overview

Overall Review Rating

5 / 5

Choosing a suitable weight is one of the hardest decisions to make when deciding on the best adjustable dumbbell set for your own training goals.

This is why it can make a lot of sense to own a set of the PowerBlock Elites. Even if you opt for the 50 lb, 70 lb, or 90 lb, there's always room to expand using the 8-11 Elite Big Block Kit.

Backing up their innovative and high quality design with hundreds of highly rated reviews and a 10 year warranty, there's no shortage of reasons why these dumbbells are proving to be so popular.

Despite increasing in weight to become some of the heaviest dumbbells outside of a commercial gym, the high number of increments and quick-change weight system ensures you always get the most out of your workout time.

Whether you're training in your home gym, working as a personal trainer, or need a set to keep in the car when travelling, the compact design makes them perfectly suited for a wide range of situations.

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