I purchased the Bowflex SelectTech 552 dumbbells about 4 months ago. I was starting a new maximum strength training program and had already surpassed the 12 pound weights that I had, and felt that these were the best option. Benefits include: Space savings, two dumbbells (one set) replace 15 sets of weights. The weights vary from 5 to 52 pounds, selecting a weight is as easy as dialing it in, and each dumbbell can have the same or different weight at each end! This last benefit, as the included DVD tells us, is good for supination or pronation training.
After purchasing the weights, I decided to go with the stand at a discounted price. I’m glad I did because it makes selecting the weight and grabbing it for each exercise, very easy.
One thing I didn’t realize until after I had the weights, was that the increment between weights is not 2.5 pounds all the way from 2.5 to 52.5. This took me a few weeks to realize as I was progressing through the strength training program. Once you get to 25 pounds, the increments are in 5 pounds until you reach 50.
Another thing that worried me was the scraping sound as I dialed in my weight selection. This seems to be caused by the angle at which they are set on the stand as I can eliminate it by pushing on one end very gently.
Once a weight has been dialed in, there are safety features that prevent the weight from being removed from the base if the weight is not dialed in correctly. This is a great feature, though more than once I have tried to grab the weight only to have it not budge and feel like my arm is going to come off.
Pros: Saves space, costs less than purchasing multiple dumbbells at the same weight, weight is easily dialed in, safety features, different weights can be dialed in at each end providing supination/pronation training.
Cons: Five pound increments from 25 to 50 pounds, a bit bigger than a regular dumbbell for lighter weights.