• Powerblock Elite 50 Adjustable Dumbbells Review

    by  •  • Adjustable Dumbbells, Free Weights

    Powerblock Inc founded in 1991 strives to be a leader in the fitness industry. The unique design of the Powerblock dumbbells has taken the Powerblock Elite 50fitness industry by storm as there was nothing else like it on the market. 

    The Powerblock adjustable dumbbells has three different series which are designed for different purposes, there is the urethane series, sports series and classic series. For this review we’ll be focusing on a product which falls under the classic series which is the Powerblock Elite 50’s.

    If you’re confident with the brand, then perhaps it’s also worth considering the Powerblock Sport Bench. This bench has a generous 550 lb weight capacity so it should be more than enough to support you. In addition, check out our Top 10 Best Workout Benches to consider other weight bench options.



    • Has a weight range from 5-50 lbs per hand.
    • Weight settings for each dumbbell in lbs: 2.5, 5, 7.5, 10, 15, 17.5, 20, 25, 27.5, 30, 35, 37.5, 40, 45, 47.5, 50.
    • Each dumbbell can be expanded to 70, 90 or 130 lbs, by purchasing the expansion kit.
    • Can also purchase the Powerblock Elite 70 or Powerblock Elite 90 as standard.
    • Equivalent of replacing 16 sets of dumbbells.
    • Has a easy to read color coded chart on the dumbbell to indicate what weight your selecting.
    • Handles have padded wrist supports for increased comfort.
    • 10 year home use warranty.
    • Dimensions: 12″ L x 6″ W x 6″ H.


    Powerblock Elite Expansion Kit – Maximise Your Potential!

    Let’s say that you buy an expensive pair of adjustable dumbbells and you’re able to bench the maximum weight a lot quicker before you know it! That’s great for you, but doesn’t that mean that you’re limited now?

    Usually that would be the case unless you bought a new set of heavier dumbbells, which can quite costly. However, with these weights, you can just purchase Powerblock Elite 70 expansion kit to increase the weight up to 70 lbs. Once you’ve hit the maximum weight on that, just buy the Powerblock Elite 90 expansion kit which will increase the weight up to 90 lbs!


    Overall, even with both of the expansion sets, you’ll end up paying less than the Bowflex Selecttech 1090 dumbbells. These Bowflex weights go up to 90 lbs but you’d have to invest a lot more money upfront. To see what other options are available check out the best adjustable dumbbells for your home gym.



    • Easily change the weight by inserting the pin to the weight you want.Powerblock Elite 50
    • Very durable for an adjustable dumbbell due to the strong materials used and smart design.
    • Plenty of room for growth as expansion kits can be purchased to increase the weight of each dumbbell to 70, 90 or 130 lbs.
    • Unlike other adjustable dumbbells, the lower the weight is the smaller the size of the dumbbell thanks to the clever design.
    • Keeps your workout area looking tidy by eliminating the need to have multiple dumbbells.
    • They can also be used as push up bars!



    • There are two 2.5 lb weights in the handle which you may have to remove depending on what weight you want.  Although changing the weight is still easy but may be seen as an inconvenience in comparison to the Bowflex SelectTech 552 where you just simply turn a dial.
    • The design of the dumbbell may prevent you from doing certain exercises, such as one’s where you have to use both hands on one dumbbell.


    Powerblock Elite 50 vs Bowflex Selecttech 552 – 2020 Review

    When you’re looking to make quite an expensive purchase, most people would want to consider possible alternatives. In this case, these two adjustable dumbbells are often compared to each other as they have similar features and are similarly priced.

    Luckily, we’re here to conduct a slightly more in-depth analysis to highlight the differences between the two.



    If you appreciate the aesthetics then perhaps a rectangular block might not have been your first choice. However, they have upped their game with the Powerblock EXP Stage 1 adjustable dumbbells, which is pretty much the same as the Elite 50, but just with a slightly different look. Now we’re talking!

    On the other hand, there’s no doubt that the Bowflex is very pleasing on the eyes! The shape more closely resembles how an actual dumbbell would look.



    The Powerblock has 16 weight settings but the weight increments are a bit odd. Generally, the increments increase by 2.5 lbs, but there is no setting for 12.5, 22.5, 32.5 or 42.5 lbs. This may not affect users who wouldn’t use those weight settings anyway.

    With the SelectTech 552’s, there are 15 weight settings in total and the increments increase in a similar way. It increases by 2.5 lbs until the weight reaches 25 lbs, then it’s 5 lb increases, which totally makes a lot more sense.


    Ease of Weight Adjustment 

    Pull the magnetic selector pin out and insert it into your desired weight. Furthermore, to adjust in 2.5 lb increments, you need to manually add the weight provided in the handle.

    Increasing in 2.5 lb increments is more awkward and not so straightforward, so this could bother some people. However, if you plan to leave the 2.5 lb weights in the handle and only increase the weight in larger increments, then this shouldn’t be an issue for you at all!

    Alternatively, the Bowflex is very simple to adjust the weight. You literally just twist the dial to the desired weight setting, yes it’s that simple!


    Maximum Weight

    Both have a very similar maximum weight, the maximum for the Powerblock is 50 lb, whereas with the Bowflex it’s 52.5 lbs, that extra 2.5 lbs might actually make a difference to your workout.

    However, here’s what we think could be a game changer! The Powerblock Exp Stage 2 expansion kit can increase the maximum weight of the Elite 50’s to 70 lbs. Subsequently, the Powerblock Exp Stage 3 expansion kit increases it by a further 20 lbs, taking the maximum weight to 90 lbs!


    Build Quality

    For items that have multiple functions and many moving parts, a main concern would be the build quality and how likely is it to break. Fortunately, both of these are well built and are sturdy for an adjustable dumbbell. Of course it’s not going to be as durable as cast iron dumbbells.



    Having big bulky dumbbells is not ideal as it can impact your workout. Ideally, the adjustable dumbbell should be as close as possible in size to a fixed dumbbell, as this is what we’re use to.

    With the Powerblock measuring 12” x 6” x 6” at its largest, it’s very similar in size to a 50 lb hex dumbbell making it an ideal size. The only factor that might prevent it from being perfect, is its rectangular shape!

    The Bowflex on the other hand measures at 15.75” x 8” x 9” at its heaviest weight setting. You can see that this is quite a bit bulkier, but the shape of this is shaped more like a dumbbell.



    Sometimes the warranty offered can be an indication of how much confidence a manufacturer has in their product. We’ll start off with a huge 10 year warranty for the Elite 50’s for home use only. That should give you confidence that this will last you for a long time.

    Slightly less impressive we have the SelectTech 552 which only offers 2 years on parts and 1 year on labour. Having said that, Bowflex is very well known for their premium quality gym equipment, so despite the warranty being for a much shorter period, you’re still getting a fantastic quality item.



    One of the best features about the Powerblock Elite 50 is that you can buy an expansion kit to increase the weight of each dumbbell tPowerblock Elite 50 o 70, 90 or 130 lbs.  However, in order to increase the weight to 130 lbs you have to buy the 70 and 90 lbs expansion kit first.  This is really good if you want to increase your overall size and strength as this will allow room for progression.

    Since it can be expanded up to a massive 130 lbs, this is even heavier than what most fixed dumbbells can go up to.  One of the reasons why many users opt for fixed dumbbells as opposed to adjustable ones, is because the latter don’t go heavy enough.  However, this is not the case with the Powerblocks.  Nonetheless, if you’re still unsure, why not compare adjustable dumbbells vs fixed dumbbells.

    If you already know that the Elite 50’s will be too light, then why not start with the Powerblock Elite 90’s.  Keep your weights looking even more neat and presentable with the Powerblock Stand.

    Although adjustable dumbbells save plenty of room and is very convenient, sometimes certain types can be quite fragile and must be handled with extra care but the Powerblock’s are designed to be much more durable which is why the manufacturer offers a 10 year warranty on this product but only if it’s for home use. 

    A problem which other adjustable dumbbells have is that it can be quite bulky and long but the Powerblock Elite 50 is smartly designed.  When you select a lower weight then the overall length will also decrease whereas with other adjustable dumbbells if you select a lower weight the length remains the same.  Obviously if you increase the weight with the Powerblock’s then the overall length is also going to increase, 12 inches is the maximum length for the Powerblock Elite 50.

    We hope that you found our Powerblock Elite 50 review helpful.

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