Don’t Waste Your Money On Bowflex Dumbbells

Disclaimer: I Love Modern Inventions

The modern world is great. I’m not one of the people who wish for the good old days, after eight years in the Marine Corps, and more field ops than I care to remember, I’m in love with indoor plumbing and soft toilet paper.  But just as necessity is the mother of invention; there’s a sucker born every minute and an infomercial waiting to help you get your wallet flatter.

I Do Not Love Bowflex Dumbbells

working out with Bowflex Dumbbells

Ah memories of wasted youth!

One such waste of television air time are Bowflex Select Tech Dumbbells.  Yeah, I said it. Go ahead and call them, I’ll wait right here with this “I don’t care” look on my face. Sure the idea sounds like a good one. You get dumbbells in increments from 2.5lbs – 52lbs in a compact two dumbbell set.  If you feel froggy, you can even spring for the nifty stand so they won’t get dirty sitting on the floor and you can do your sets standing in the Flying V.

Balderdash. Sorry for the harsh language but seriously, I bought this contraption and the flimsy plastic clips that held the weights onto the handles started to lose their grip after a month of use.  Then the rotating selector wheel started skipping increments so I’d lift the dumbbells up and pieces would fall off.  The last straw was when my brother set one down a little overzealously after a set of dumbbell decline bench and the plastic broke.  Now I had one non-working Bowflex dumbbell.  They only come in pairs, the company refused to replace it and I was left with a handle and some oddly shaped Frisbees instead of weights.

Bought This, Now I’m Happy

Not to worry. I fixed that with a trip to Wal-Mart where I bought some dumbbell handles and a stack of standard plates which fulfilled the same function the Scrap Techs were supposed to but had the advantage of being made out of metal like respectable weights should be.  They lasted for years until I moved into a bigger house with a bigger garage and grabbed a full rack and dumbbells from my friend Heavy Harris at Dynabody Fitness Equipment.

In All Fairness

In all fairness, Bowflex has released an updated version of the Select Tech Dumbbell. It’s shinier and comes with a workout DVD according to the sales pages on Ebay. But like the Apostle Paul said, “When I became a man, I put away childish things.”

Yes, my friend, IPF world champion Kimberly Walford has a pair of Bowflex Dumbbells and she’s quite happy with them. But I think she’s in the minority. I have to add that Kimberly is also experienced enough to be able to care for them for a long time, not dropping them and will likely be fine.

The rest of you should save the plastic gadgets for your two-year-old and buy some real weights.

About the author

John Greaves III is a writer based in North Georgia with nearly two decades of experience in training at home. A former amateur kickboxing champion, John now competes recreationally in powerlifting. He takes a physical culture approach to training; believing that strength and health need not be mutually exclusive. In addition to his nonfiction work, John has written two fiction books, A Different Kind of Giant and A Little Lesson in Manners that are available on