About Bowflex SelectTech

By Derek Lakin
HighYa Staff
Published on: Oct 31, 2017

By delivering access to 30 standard free weights in one compact design, the Bowflex SelectTech line of adjustable dumbbells (552, 1090, and 560) promises to help you build muscle, get toned, and use better technology to achieve faster results.

All dumbbells in the lineup use a unique locking mechanism, that, according to their website, “works like the tumbler in a safe” to help you select the weight you want with just the turn of a dial. Based on your selection, some plates are left behind, which the company reports allows you to replace an entire rack of weights in the corner of any room.

Each of the three SelectTech dumbbell models also works with the free iOS and Android training app. According to Bowflex, it can provide guided workouts, tips, full body exercise programs, coaching, and motivation, but without having to shell out additional money for a personal trainer.

You’ll also be able to track your progress and choose anything between a single workout, or a full six-week plan. The 560 model even takes things to the next level with the ability to automatically track weight, reps, and sets, along with advanced video coaching.

There’s no doubt that Bowflex’s SelectTech lineup features a compelling concept. Who wouldn’t want access to an entire rack of dumbbells, without the space needs or high cost?

Here, we’ll help you decide which SelectTech model—if any—will best match your needs and deliver the most bang for your buck. And what better place to start than with each of their models?

Taking a Closer Look at the Bowflex SelectTech Lineup

Bowflex currently offers three models within the series:

SelectTech 552 Dumbbells

As the most popular model in the lineup, its weight adjusts from five to 52.5 lbs in 2.5 lb increments, with the ease of turning a dial, up to the first 25 lbs. The website indicates it replaces 15 sets of weights, with each dumbbell measuring 15.75" L x 8" W x 9" H.

Bowflex SelectTech 552 ModelAccording to the Bowflex website, the SelectTech 552 model is their most popular. Image credit: Nautilus, Inc.

SelectTech 560 Dumbbells

In addition to the features found in the 552 model, the 560 adds integrated Bluetooth connectivity to pair with the iOS or Android app (more soon). Combined with the built-in 3DT (Three Dimensional Trainer), this also allows users to track weight and speed, count reps and sets, and gain access to advanced video coaching.

In addition, 560 model owners will gain access to a six-week guided workout, a database of 70+ exercise videos, and a build your own workout feature.

Weight adjustability ranges between five and 60 pounds, and measurements come in at 15.8" L x 9.3" W x 8.6" H.

Bowflex SelectTech 560 ModelWith built-in Bluetooth connectivity and 3DT (Three Dimensional Trainer) technology, the 560 is the highest-tech adjustable dumbbell in the SelectTech lineup. Image credit: Nautilus, Inc.

SelectTech 1090 Dumbbells

Similar in design, function, and connectivity to the 552 model, SelectTech’s 1090 series increases weight range to between 10 and 90 pounds, and measures in at 17.5" L x 10" W x 10" H each.

Bowflex SelectTech 1090 ModelOther than weight range and a slightly larger overall size, there isn’t much to differentiate SelectTech’s 1090 dumbbells (shown above) from their 552 series. Image credit: Nautilus, Inc.

How Does the SelectTech App Work?

Regardless of the model you’re using, the SelectTech app allows you to choose between workouts for different muscle groups, which will then guide you through each one for maximum results. This includes access to more than 70 workout videos.

For the 560 model only, users will be able to automatically track and record weight, sets, and reps for each exercise. Then, your workout summary and personal records will be available to share with friends and family.

The Bowflex SelectTech Trainer app also supports Google Fit, which will seamlessly sync all your data, including calories burned, each time you workout.

Bowflex SelectTech Mobile AppUsing SelectTech’s iOS or Android app, users can join Bowflex’s six-week challenge, choose from a workout video library, track progress, share results, and pair with Google Fit. Image credit: Google

How Much Does Bowflex SelectTech Equipment Cost?

Bowflex has priced the SelectTech lineup as follows (includes two dumbbells):

  • 552: $299
  • 560: $499
  • 1090: $599

Various accessories are available (workout bench, stands, mats, etc.), can also be found on the Bowflex website for between $99 and $199.

As long as they’re in “original condition with all accessories and materials included,” SelectTech models come with a six-week refund policy, which starts on the date of delivery. Keep in mind, however, that you’ll be responsible for return shipping, which, due to weight alone, won’t be inexpensive (obviously, much of the cost also depends on how far you live from the manufacturer).

In addition, SelectTech dumbbells come with between one and three-year warranties, depending on the specific model and part. However, you can upgrade to a more robust three-year warranty for $39 during checkout, or five-year plan for $69.

To file a warranty claim or request a refund, Nautilus' customer support department can be reached at (800) 605-3369.

What Can We Learn From SelectTech's Online Customer Reviews?

On the SelectTech section of Bowflex’s website, nearly 3,000 combined customers had given the adjustable dumbbell lineup an average overall rating of about five stars.

Most compliments referenced weight range, ease of use, and attractive space-saving design, while complaints (what relatively few there were) frequently related to jammed handles (and subsequent questions about reliability), as well as awkward functionality.

On Google Play, the SelectTech app had an average rating of 3.4 stars, based on 53 user reviews. Most compliments related to ease of use, while complaints revolved around general bugginess and the inability to track history/progress (note: Based on what we learned above, the company seems to have since addressed this).

The SelectTech app’s average rating was a lower 2.5 stars on iTunes, with many of the same compliments and complaints. Across both platforms, though, many users seemed to agree that the app has a lot of potential. In many instances, a company representative responded directly.

From a company perspective, Nautilus, Inc. is based out of Vancouver, WA and has been in business since 1986. Other popular recent products of theirs include MAX Trainer, TreadClimber, and HVT.

They held an A- Better Business Bureau rating, based on 51 closed complaints, as of 10/31/17. Most of these referenced difficulty getting repairs completed, although (again) a company rep responded in each instance with a solution.

Are There Other Adjustable Dumbbells Like Bowflex SelectTech?

While SelectTech models seemed to rank as the top search engine result for “adjustable dumbbells” at the time of our research, on marketplaces like Amazon, Google Shopping, and Walmart.com, we encountered a handful of other third-party models that might provide similar weight adjustability (ranges depending on model chosen):

Model Price Weight Adjustability
Bowflex SelectTech $299-$599 5-90 lbs
PowerBlock Sport $160-$320 3-50 lbs
ProForm Adjustable Weights $50-$170 2.5-50 lbs
Costway Adjustable Dumbbells $40-$200+ 2.5-200 lbs
Total Titan Fitness Chrome Dumbbells $130-230+ 5-200 lbs

According to FitnessBlender’s buying guide, when searching for a new pair of adjustable dumbbells, one of the primary factors you’ll want to focus on is plates that are easy to switch out. In other words, models like SelectTech and PowerBlock feature designs specifically focused on ease of plate changes, which could only take a few seconds.

While you’ll often pay much less for models like the Costway and Total Titan Fitness above, they also feature bar-end clamps that must be unscrewed when removing or adding weight, and then screwed back on once you’re ready to resume. While doing this once might not represent much of a time commitment, doing this frequently over the course of an entire workout cold really add up.

This is where your own unique take on the balance between cost and convenience will come into play.

From a safety perspective, they report you’ll also want to focus on models whose plates won’t slide.

As with any consumer purchase, look for brands and models that come with mostly positive online customer feedback. Do you encounter many of the same compliments or complaints? These could be a good indicator of what you might experience after handing over your hard-earned money.

Our Final Thoughts About Bowflex SelectTech

The SelectTech lineup comes from a company with decades in business, as well as an overwhelmingly positive online customer reputation. You’ll certainly pay for their quality, though, as they’re the most expensive adjustable dumbbell lineup we encountered during our research.

Based on consumer feedback, it seems feasible that you could get a lot of value for your money with a SelectTech dumbbell, as long as you’re committed to putting in the time and effort to reach your fitness goals. And since nutrition is just as important as working out, keep in mind that you might also want to implement a diet plan to maximize your results.

Any time you’re considering starting a new fitness or nutrition plan, just be sure to speak with your doctor in advance, who could make specific recommendations based on your medical history.

Ultimately, Bowflex provides a six-week refund policy on all SelectTech dumbbells, which should be more than enough time to decide if they’re right for you. Just remember that you’ll have to pay to ship them back.

Read next: How Walking 30 Minutes a Day Can Benefit Your Health in a Big Way.

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