Bowflex SelectTech 552 and 1090 Adjustable Dumbbells Review 2023: Solid Choices to Pump Up Your Workouts

Person holding bowflex dumbbells


Dumbbells are quintessential pieces of fitness equipment because of their simplicity, durability, and versatility. That said, multiple dumbbell sets can quickly gobble up your gym space and budget. Enter Bowflex.

Founded in 1986, Bowflex is a pioneer in the home exercise equipment market. They have spent the past 35 years developing innovative gear that provides convenient workout options such as its space-saving, budget-friendly SelectTech 552 and its beefier brother, the SelectTech 1090 adjustable dumbbells.

To see how they stack up the ACTIVE Reviews Team assessed both Bowflex Dumbbell sets to see if they flexed or failed their reps.

By clicking on the product links in this article, we may receive a commission fee at no cost to you, the reader. Sponsorships and affiliate commissions help support our research so we can help you find the best products. Read our full affiliate disclosure here.

Why Trust Us?

ACTIVE.com’s editorial team relies on the knowledge and experience of fitness and wellness experts including competitive athletes, coaches, physical therapists, nutritionists, and certified trainers. This helps us ensure the products we feature are of the highest standard. Collectively, the team has spent countless hours researching equipment, gear, and recovery tools in order to create the most accurate, authentic content for our readers. Customer satisfaction is also a key part of our review process, which is why we only feature products that are highly rated. More importantly, each member of our team is a fitness enthusiast. Fitness may be our job, but it is also our passion. Therefore, we strive to bring you products that we trust and would personally use.

What You Should Know About Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells

Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable dumbbells

SPECS

  • Dimensions: 16.9"L x 8.3"W x 9"H
  • Assembled weight w/ base: 55.6 lbs.
  • Material: Steel, Nylon, ABS, thermoplastic rubber
  • Weight increments: 5, 7.5, 10, 12.5, 15, 17.5, 20, 22.5, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, and 52.5 lbs.
  • Specials features: Adjustable dials, storage trays, on-demand trainer-led workouts with JRNY membership (1-year membership included with purchase)
  • Warranty: 2 years

Check Price

Bowflex's dedication to affordable home-gym equipment shines through in its SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells. Although they are not problem-free, the 552s are a solid way to save money and space while gaining a great way to work out at home. These adjustable dumbbells come in at around $400, and that may seem a little steep at first, but once you take into account that they will replace up to 15 sets of dumbbells, it is easy to see what a bargain these are.

Changing the Weights on Bowflex SelectTech 552

In addition to the budget-friendly price point, another aspect of the SelectTech 552s that the ACTIVE Reviews team likes is how easy it is to adjust the weight. Bowflex uses a dial on the end of the dumbbell that allows you to quickly select your desired weight by simply turning the dial. The dial makes an audible click to indicate that the weight has been adjusted. Another standout feature is that the weights adjust in as little as 2.5-pound increments, allowing you to make small, safe, and consistent jumps.

Keep in mind that the SelectTech 552s max out at 52.5 pounds. Therefore, they are not ideal for people who lift heavy weight, and they aren't upgradeable through extension kits like some of their competitors. However, at more than 50 pounds apiece, the SelectTech 552s can still add considerable heft to a variety of exercise routines.

Design and Construction of the Bowflex SelectTech 552s

Considering that the dynamic-looking red and black Bowflex SelectTech 552s replace 15 sets of standard dumbbells, these adjustable dumbbells save a considerable amount of space in your home gym. Additionally, storage stands are included with your purchase. These stands are not only a handy and convenient way to store your 552s when they are not in use, but they also hold the extra weights that aren't needed at that time. When the adjustable dumbbells are locked into their stands you can easily move the entire set by picking them up by the handles.

Speaking of the handles, they are made of metal with a rubber grip. The 5-inch-long handles are similar to standard dumbbells. The 552s are made with a lot of plastic, so this may be something to be mindful of, but the plastic is beneficial if you want to keep the noise level down during your workouts. Encasing the metal plates in plastic molding keeps the metal plates from banging into each other and keeps you from disturbing the peace in your home or apartment.

The plastic also means that you shouldn't use these to do push-ups, nor should you drop or slam them down. Although we don't recommend dropping or slamming any dumbbells, we also know that is something easier said than done. Please note that dropping or slamming these dumbbells at the end of a set can cause a lot of damage to them.

Using the JRNY App with the Bowflex SelectTech 552s

A one-year membership to Bowflex's JRNY app is included when you purchase the 552s. The JRNY app is compatible with any iOS or Android operating system, and it has a variety of on-demand, trainer-led classes that are designed specifically for your 552s. The app also includes additional workouts such as Pilates and yoga, and bodyweight classes that can help you with cross-training, running, and many other exercises.

But, I Lift Heavy, Bro…

The Bowflex SelectTech 552s are a popular way to equip your home gym with what equates to multiple sets of standard dumbbells. Their popularity is due in large part to how suitable they are for so many at-home fitness enthusiasts and that they are very friendly to budgets. But, if your exercise regimen includes regularly going heavier than 52.5 pounds on dumbbell workouts, then the 552s won't cut it for you.

What We Like

  • Replaces 15 sets of dumbbells, saving cost and space
  • Selector dial quickly adjust weights
  • JRNY app provides on-demand workouts, 1-year membership included
  • 2.5 lb. weight increments
  • Dumbbell stand included
  • Metal plates are encased in plastic which keeps them quiet when in use

What We Don't Like

  • Made with lots of plastic
  • No expander units available
  • Doesn't go past 52.5 lbs.

BUY: Bowflex SelectTech 552

What You Should Know About Bowflex SelectTech 1090 Adjustable Dumbbells

Bowflex SelectTech 1090 Adjustable dumbbells

SPECS

  • Dimensions: 17.5"L x 9.5"W x 10"H
  • Assembled weight w/ base: 92.3 lbs.
  • Material: Steel, Nylon, ABS, thermoplastic rubber
  • Weight increments: 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, 60, 65, 70, 75, 80, 85, and 90 lbs.
  • Specials features: Adjustable dials, storage trays, on-demand trainer-led workouts with JRNY membership (1-year membership included with purchase)
  • Warranty: 3 years

Check Price

The Bowflex SelectTech 1090s are very similar to the 552s. The main difference between the two sets is that the 1090s top out at 90 pounds, almost 40 pounds heavier than the 552s. The 1090s start at 10 pounds and allow you to make 5-pound jumps up to 90 pounds. The handles of the 1090s offer a knurled metal handle as opposed to the metal with a rubber grip handle of the 552s.

In order to support more weight, the 1090s are slightly bigger than the 552s, and the 1090s cost more than the 552s. The heftier price tag does bring another year of warranty.

What We Like

  • Replaces 17 sets of dumbbells, saving cost and space
  • Selector dial quickly adjust weights
  • JRNY app provides on-demand workouts, 1-year membership included
  • 5 lb. weight increments
  • Dumbbell stand included
  • Metal plates are encased in plastic which keeps them quiet when in use

What We Don't Like

  • Made with lots of plastic
  • No expander units available
  • Cost more than 552s

BUY: Bowflex SelectTech 1090

Let's look at other key similarities and differences between the 552s and 1090s:

   

Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells

 

Bowflex SelectTech 1090 Adjustable Dumbbells

Price $399.00 $799.00
Dimensions  16.9" L x 8.3" W x 9" H 17.5" L x 9.5" W x 10" H
Dimensions w/ stand 26.8" L x 22.1" W x 27.8" H 28" L x 22.4" W x 28.8" H
Weight range 5-52.5 lbs per dumbbell 10-90 lbs. per dumbbell
Adjusting mechanism Dial Dial
Replaces 15 sets of dumbbells 17 sets of dumbbells
Materials

Steel, plastic, nylon, rubber

Steel, plastic, nylon, rubber

Handles Metal with rubber grip Metal with knurling
JRNY training programming Yes (1-year included) Yes (1-year included
Warranty 2-years 3-years

Final Thoughts on Bowflex SelectTech Adjustable Dumbbells

The Bowflex SelectTech 552 and 1090 Adjustable Dumbbells are an excellent choice for most at-home fitness enthusiasts. The selector dial allows for quick changes during sets and the 2.5- and 5-pound increments provide consistent and safe weight jumps. Furthermore, the on-demand, trainer-led programming provided by Bowflex's JRNY Experience expands your workout choices considerably. While the heavy use of plastic is not ideal for durability, it does provide a quieter workout.

BUY THEM IF

  • You're watching your fitness equipment budget
  • You don't have room for multiple sets of dumbbells
  • Your workouts don't need you to go above 90 pounds
  • You like participating in trainer-led workouts

SKIP THEM IF

  • You want to lift more than 90 pounds
  • You're a fan of heavy knurling
  • You think you may drop or slam them frequently

FAQs About Bowflex Adjustable Dumbbells


Are the Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells Worth It?

By being both affordable, space-efficient, and user-friendly the Bowflex SelectTech 552 check three big boxes for at-home fitness enthusiasts. Considering that they are under $400 and replace 15 sets of dumbbells, Bowflex dumbbells are an excellent choice to add strength training to your exercise regimen. The amount of plastic that is used does cause pause, but if you are careful about not dropping them or using them for push-ups, they should hold up for a while.

Are adjustable dumbbells good?

Although adjustable dumbbells don't generally have the rugged durability of standard dumbbells, they are more affordable and compact. If you avoid dropping and slamming them and don't use them for unrecommended exercises, adjustable dumbbells make a solid addition to your home gym.

How Does the Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbell feel versus a traditional dumbbell?

If you are used to using standard dumbbells, it may take a couple of sessions to get used to the feel of the Bowflex SelectTech 552s. Fixed dumbbells are more compact and given that the heads are made from one piece of metal (that are sometimes encased in rubber), they are quieter than adjustable dumbbells. The Bowflex SelectTech 552s plates are encased in plastic which keeps down the clanking sounds that the metal-on-metal plates can make.

Discuss This Article