Is the PowerBlock adjustable dumbbell system right for you? If so, which specific model should you choose?
This page will teach how to accurately assess which PowerBlock model is the best adjustable dumbbell set for you. I’ve included:
- My top recommendations
- A comparison chart of all the PowerBlock dumbbell “series”: Elite vs Sport vs Pro vs PowerBlock Series and more!
- Videos & photos of each different PowerBlock dumbbell set.
To start, I’ll summarize my top PowerBlock recommendations in the chart below:
5 out of 5
4.5 out of 5
4.5 out of 5
Need more info? Keep reading this page! (Afterwards, you may also want to check out my PowerBlock dumbbells review, where I discuss the pros & cons of the PowerBlock system, plus other details.)
A General Overview of the PowerBlock Dumbbells
Currently, there are 4 series of PowerBlock dumbbells in production, including the:
- Pro Series
- Elite Series (formerly called the “Classic Series”)
- Sport Series
- PowerBlock Series
Within each series, there are several different models. I’ll go over them in detail later.
Some models are expandable, while others are non-expandable. That is, with some models you have the option to purchase add-on kits to increase the maximum weight, while others lack such options.
It is quite confusing to distinguish between the various series, models and add-ons, especially when you’re just starting to research them.
With so many models, each having its own unique set of features, capabilities and limitations, it takes some effort to familiarize yourself with not only the major distinctions between models, but also their more subtle differences.
This process of gathering, filtering and analyzing crucial product information takes hours of research and can be frustrating. It’s the last thing you’d want endure when your aim is to simply buy a set of PowerBlocks and be done with it.
However, it would be foolish to make such an expensive investment without first attaining all the knowledge needed to make the correct choice.
And so, it is my goal to help clear up the confusion surrounding the PowerBlock dumbbells by presenting all the essential information in a coherent fashion.
PowerBlock Dumbbells Comparison Chart
Please read the following paragraphs for an important note regarding the information in my PowerBlock comparison chart below.
You’ll notice that some models in the chart below have different “stages” (i.e. Stage 1, Stage 2, Stage 3). What this means is that you can expand the weight capacity of the base dumbbell set (i.e. the Stage 1 set) with a Stage 2 expansion kit and then a Stage 3 expansion kit.
So, you can buy just the Stage I model to begin with, and then purchase the expansion kit(s) separately, at some point in the future. This method is best if you’re strapped for cash and/or don’t know if you’ll even need the extra weight capacity.
Alternatively, you can buy the dumbbell sets with the expansion kit(s) included. This is what the “Stage 2” and “Stage 3” models in the chart refer to. You save some money this way, as opposed to buying the base set and expansion kits separately.
Example: You could buy just the Sports EXP Stage 1 set now, and then have the option to buy the Stage 2 and Stage 3 expansion kits later. Alternatively, you could buy the Sports EXP Stage 2 set now and have the choice to buy the Stage 3 expansion kit later. Or, the third and final option would be to go all out and buy the Sports EXP Stage 3 set now, and have everything included from the get-go.
Currently Available Models:
|Model||Use||Series||Range (lbs.)||Increments (lbs.)||Unavailable|
|Adder Weights||LxWxH (in.)||Price|
|Home||Elite||5 - 50||2.5||12.5, 22.5, 32.5, 42.5||Yes||11.75x6x6||$329 + S&H|
|Home||Elite||5 - 70||2.5||12.5, 22.5, 32.5, 42.5, 52.5, 62.5||Yes||14x6x6||$478 + S&H|
|Home||Elite||5 - 90||2.5||12.5, 22.5, 32.5, 42.5, 52.5, 62.5, 72.5, 82.5||Yes||16.25x6x6||$627 + S&H|
|Home||Sport||3 - 24||3||None||No||10.5x5.25x5||$169 + S&H|
|Home||Sport||10 - 50||5||None||No||12.5x6.5x6.5||$349 + S&H|
|Home||Sport||5 - 50||2.5||12.5, 22.5, 32.5, 42.5||Yes||12x6.5x6.5||$369 + S&H|
|Home||Sport||5 - 70||2.5||12.5, 22.5, 32.5, 42.5, 52.5, 62.5||Yes||14x6.5x6.5||$518 + S&H|
|Home||Sport||5 - 90||2.5||12.5, 22.5, 32.5, 42.5, 52.5, 62.5, 72.5, 82.5||Yes||16x6.5x6.5||$667 + S&H|
|Home||Pro||4 - 32||4||None||No||12x5.75x5.5||$329 + S&H|
|Home||Pro||5 - 50||2.5||None||Yes||13x7x7.25||$459 + S&H|
|Home||Pro||5 - 50||2.5||12.5, 22.5, 32.5, 42.5||Yes||12.5x7x7.25||$479 + S&H|
|Home||Pro||5 - 70||2.5||12.5, 22.5, 32.5, 42.5, 52.5, 62.5||Yes||14.75x7x7.25||$648 + S&H|
|Home||Pro||5 - 90||2.5||12.5, 22.5, 32.5, 42.5, 52.5, 62.5, 72.5, 82.5||Yes||17x7x7.25||$817 + S&H|
|Home||PowerBlock||10 - 50||5||None||No||12.25x6.5x6.5||Check price|
|Home||PowerBlock||5 - 50||2.5||12.5, 22.5, 32.5, 42.5||Yes||12x6.5x6.5||Check price|
|Home||PowerBlock||5 - 70||2.5||12.5, 22.5, 32.5, 42.5, 52.5, 62.5||Yes||14x6.5x6.5||Check price|
|Home||PowerBlock||5 - 90||2.5||12.5, 22.5, 32.5, 42.5, 52.5, 62.5, 72.5, 82.5||Yes||16x6.5x6.5||Check price|
|Commercial||Pro Commercial||4 - 32||4||None||No||13.5x5.5x5.5||$329 + S&H|
|Commercial||Pro Commercial||10 - 50||5||None||No||N/A||$899 + S&H|
|Commercial||Pro Commercial||5 - 90||5||None||No||N/A||$1429 + S&H|
|Commercial||Pro Commercial||12.5 - 125|
|7.5||110, 117.5, 125 (has 111, 120 & 127 instead)||No||17.25" L at 125 lbs||$1749 + S&H|
|Commercial||Pro Commercial||12.5 - 175||7.5||110, 117.5, 125, 132.5 (has 111, 120, 127 & 137.5 instead)||No||20.75" L at 175 lbs||$2129 + S&H|
|Model||Use||Series||Range (lbs.)||Increments (lbs.)||Unavailable Increments (lbs.)||Adder Weights||LxWxH (inches)||Price ($)|
|Home||Classic||5 - 45||5||None||No||12x6x6||N/A|
|Home||Classic||10 - 50||5||None||No||12x6x6.25||Check Price|
|Home||Classic||5 - 50||2.5||None||No||12x6x6 (?)||Check Price|
|Home||Classic||5 - 130||2.5||12.5, 22.5, 32.5, 42.5,52.5, 62.5, 72.5, 82.5,85, 95, 97.5, 107.5,110, 120, 122.5||Yes||19x6x6||N/A|
|Home||Sport||3 - 24||3||None||No||?x?x?||Check Price|
|Home||Sport||5 - 50||5||None||No||?x?x?||N/A|
Sport 5.0 + 20 lb Cores
|Home||Sport||20 - 65||5||None||No||?x?x?||N/A|
|Home||Sport||2.5 - 55||2.5||None||No||?x?x?||N/A|
Sport 9.0 Stage 1
|Home||Sport||5 - 50||2.5||12.5, 22.5, 32.5, 42.5||Yes||12x6.5x6.5||N/A|
Sport 9.0 Stage 2
|Home||Sport||5 - 90||2.5||12.5, 22.5, 32.5, 42.5,52.5, 62.5, 72.5, 82.5||Yes||16x6.5x6.5||N/A|
Sport 9.0 Stage 3
|Home||Sport||5 - 130||2.5||12.5, 22.5, 32.5, 42.5,52.5, 62.5, 72.5, 82.5,85, 92.5, 95, 97.5,107.5, 110, 120, 122.5||Yes||19x6.5x6.5||N/A|
|Home||Urethane||2.5 - 20||2.5||None||No||11.5x5.5x5.5||N/A|
U-33 Stage 1
|Home||Urethane||3 - 21||1||6, 10, 14, 18||Yes||10.5x5.5x5.5||N/A|
U-33 Stage 2
|Home||Urethane||3 - 33||1||6, 10, 14, 18, 22, 26, 30||Yes||13.25x5.5x5.5||N/A|
|Home||Urethane||5 - 50||2.5||12.5, 22.5, 32.5, 42.5||Yes||13x7.25x7||N/A|
U-70 Stage 1
|Home||Urethane||5 - 40||2.5||32.5||Yes||11.75x7x7.25||N/A|
U-70 Stage 2
|Home||Urethane||5 - 60||2.5||32.5, 42.5, 52.5||Yes||14x7x7.25||N/A|
U-70 Stage 3
|Home||Urethane||5 - 70||2.5||32.5, 42.5, 52.5, 62.5||Yes||15.25x7x7.25||N/A|
U-90 Stage 1
|Home||Urethane||5 - 50||2.5||12.5, 22.5, 32.5, 42.5||Yes||12.5x7x7.25||N/A|
U-90 Stage 2
|Home||Urethane||5 - 70||2.5||12.5, 22.5, 32.5, 42.5, 52.5, 62.5||Yes||14.75x7x7||N/A|
U-90 Stage 3
|Home||Urethane||5 - 90||2.5||12.5, 22.5, 32.5, 42.5, 52.5, 62.5, 72.5, 82.5||Yes||17x7x7||N/A|
U-90 Stage 4
|Home||Urethane||5 - 125||2.5||12.5, 22.5, 32.5, 42.5, 52.5, 62.5, 72.5, 82.5, 92.5, 95, 97.5, 100, 110, 112.5, 115, 117.5||Yes||20.5x7.25x8.25||N/A|
Heavy Weight XXXL 125 lb
|Home||Urethane||10 - 125||2.5**||22.5, 37.5, 52.5, 67.5,82.5, 97.5, 114||Yes (?)||17.25x8.5x8.5||N/A|
Heavy Weight XXXL 175 lb
|Home||Urethane||10 - 175||2.5**||22.5, 37.5, 52.5, 67.5,82.5, 97.5, 114, 127.5,130, 132.5, 147.5,162.5||Yes (?)||20.75x8.5x8.5||N/A|
** The precise weight increments for the “Heavy Weight 125 lb” and the “Heavy Weight 125 lb + 50 lb Add-On” are as follows: 2.5 lb increments from 10-105 lbs (and from 130-175 if using the 50 lb Add-On Kit); 3 lb increments from 105-125 lbs; 2 lb increments from 120-122 lbs.
What’s the Best PowerBlock Dumbbell Model to Buy?
What are the best PowerBlock dumbbells? That depends on a few different factors, including budget, training goals and how much you value certain design features.
However, I can narrow down the choices for anyone like myself and most of my readers who are serious about lifting, building muscle and getting stronger. With that in mind, I’d only recommend model that are expandable to at least 90 lbs. This narrows your choices to six models:
- Pro EXP: The Pro EXP Stage 3 set goes up to 90 lbs per dumbbell.
- Elite: The Elite 90 comes with 90 lbs max capacity per dumbbell.
- Sport EXP: Goes up to 90 lbs with the Stage 3 set.
- PowerBlock EXP: The PowerBlock EXP Stage 3 set adjusts up to 90 lbs per hand.
- Pro 90 Commercial Set: The Pro 90 Commercial Set comes with 90 lbs max capacity per dumbbell; not expandable.
- Pro 125 Commercial Set or Pro 175 Commercial Set: The Pro 125 set is expandable to 175 lbs. with the 125-175 lb expansion kit. The Pro 175 set is 175 lbs when you get it.
#1 Pro EXP Stage 3 Set
My first choice would be one of the Pro EXP sets because:
- They are expandable to 90 lbs. Even very advanced lifters rarely need more than that. If they do, it’s only for a small handful of exercises (e.g. one arm rows, dumbbell bench press).
- They have a protective Urethane coating over each weight block. This makes a major difference in preventing cosmetic as well as functional damage from short drops.
- The rails connecting the ends of each block to together use a superior non-welded “flex” design. This allows them to move and bend slightly, as shown above. This makes them them MUCH less likely to be damaged from drops, compared to inflexible welded designs. These are the only home-use PowerBlock series that has this flex technology (the Pro Commercial also have it). The Classic (Elite), Sports and PowerBlock series’ all use a welded design. The Pro EXP’s flex design combined with its urethane coating, make it unmatched in terms of durability and robustness.
- They’re the only PowerBlock series that’s compatible with the KettleBlock handle, giving you access to an adjustable kettlebell option. They’re also the only line that’s compatible with the PowerBlock EZ Curl / Straight Bar handles which essentially convert the Pro EXP dumbbells into adjustable barbells!
- They have a 5 year limited warranty, which covers manufacturer defects as well as damage from normal use and drops from as high as 12 inches. This is the same warranty offered on ALL home-use PowerBlock models. Until recently, PowerBlock had 10 year, 15 year of lifetime warranties on different models. However, after noticing that the PowerBlock EXP warranty was less than this, despite being a better and more expensive dumbbell, I reached out to a PowerBlock rep for clarification (in early Jan. 2019). He told me that all new home-use PowerBlock models sold going forward now have a standard 5 year limited warranty. If you see conflicting information elsewhere, it’s out of date.
Want to learn more about these dumbbells? Be sure to read my full review of the PowerBlock Pro EXP dumbbell set.
NOTE: Although the 90 lb Pro EXP Stage 3 set would be my ideal first choice, I understand that budget is very important for most people, myself included…
…And the Pro EXP Stage 3 set is significantly more expensive than the next best models: the Elite 90 and Sports EXP Stage 3. Specifically, the Pro EXP Stage 3 is currently $138 more than the Sports EXP Stage 3 and $208 more than the Elite 90.
If budget is a major concern, then either of the Elite 90 set or the Sports EXP Stage 3 set may in fact be the best choice for you. I’ll discuss those models, below:
# 2 Elite 90 Set & #3 Sport EXP Stage 3 Set
…However, if I was forced to choose, I would give the edge to the Elite 90 because it is less expensive and much more popular, with raving reviews to go along with it. There is far less user feedback to be found online for the Sports EXP line, especially since it underwent a recent design overhaul.
Each model has its own positives and negatives, described below, which makes choosing between the two such a difficult decision.
- The Elites are more affordable by about $65.
- The Sport EXP models, however, have a superior build quality, at least from what I can tell from the looking at it visually.
- Both sets go up to 90 lbs per dumbbell. This is plenty of weight for the vast majority of lifters on the vast majority of exercises.
#4 PowerBlock EXP Stage 3 Set
From everything I’ve seen, the PowerBlock EXP dumbbells are the same as the Sport EXP, from basic design/shape, dimensions, increments, max capacity, and price. The main difference appears to be the color scheme.
I’ve ranked it lower than the Sport EXP simply because it is brand new as of late 2018 when I’m updating this section.
It hasn’t been out long enough to get any real feedback from customers. Whereas, the Sport EXP has been out for a couple years now, and has received plenty of great feedback.
#5 Pro 90 Commercial Set
My fifth choice would be the Pro 90 Commercial Set.
This is a beefed up version of the Pro EXP Stage 3 dumbbell set (which I ranked #1). It’s really made for use in a commercial gym, hence the name.
It has 3 major differences compared to the Pro EXP Stage 3:
- It’s overall more durable so that it can handle rougher commercial gym use conditions. (It also has a commercial warranty of 1 year, as opposed to the 5 year limited home use warranty that the Pro EXP has.)
- The handles are straight and made of steel with knurling for better grip. This is a big upgrade from the contoured rubberized plastic grips on the home use PowerBlocks. Whether it’s worth the jump in price is a totally different question.
- There are two pairs of handles (5 lb & 10 lb) and no adder weights.
The major negatives compared to the Pro EXP series are:
- It’s MUCH more expensive. After shipping and handling, it’s $594 more than the Pro EXP Stage 3 ($1448 vs $854).
- It can’t do micro-adjustments of 2.5 lbs since it doesn’t have adder weights. However, it can still do 5 lb increments which is small enough for most exercises most of the time.
#6 Pro 125 / 175 Commercial Set
- It has the heaviest weight capacity of all the PowerBlock sets. The Pro 125 set is 125 lbs., but is expandable to 175 lbs with an add-on kit. The Pro 175 set comes with the 175 lbs. capacity built-in.
- It is expensive. The big price tag is why I put this PowerBlock set as my last recommendation. It will automatically disqualify most potential buyers. BUT, if money isn’t a concern, then this is the best set.
PowerBlock Dumbbell Videos & Pictures
U-20 – Discontinued:
U-33 Stage 1 – Discontinued:
U-33 Stage 2 – Discontinued:
U-50 – Discontinued:
U-70 Stage 1 – Discontinued:
U-70 Stage 2 – Discontinued:
U-70 Stage 3 – Discontinued:
U-90 Stage 1 – Discontinued:
U-90 Stage 2 – Discontinued:
U-90 Stage 3 – Discontinued:
U-90 Stage 4 – Discontinued:
XXXL 125lb Heavy Weight – Discontinued:
The XXXL 175lb Heavy Weight dumbbell set, which was part of PowerBlock’s home use line, has been discontinued. It has been replaced with the U175 club set, which is part of PowerBlock’s commercial use equipment line.
U125 Club – Discontinued:
This is essential the same as the XXXL 125lb Heavy Weight set. However, it is now part of the commercial product line. There may or may not be design improvements between the U125 and XXL 125.
XXXL 175lb Heavy Weight – Discontinued:
The XXXL 125lb Heavy Weight dumbbell set, which was part of PowerBlock’s home use line, has been discontinued. It has been replaced with the U125 club set, which is part of PowerBlock’s commercial use equipment line.
U175 Club – Discontinued:
This is essentially the same as the XXXL 175lb Heavy Weight set. However, it is now part of the commercial product line. There may or may not be design improvements between the U175 and XXL 175.
Classic / Elite Series
Classic 45 – Discontinued:
Personal Trainer – Discontinued:
Elite 130 – Discontinued:
Sport 24 (formerly known as Sport 2.4):
The only difference between the Sport 24 and 2.4 is the name. After being out on the market for a while, the Sport 24 then got an upgraded style with different colors. The upgraded style is shown in the image below. The video below shows the previous style. The function and specs of both, however, is the same.
Sport 5.0 – Discontinued
The Sport 5.0 (shown directly below) has been replaced by the Sport 50 (shown in the following sub-section). They are essentially the same, except the old 5.0 is colorful and the new 50 is black.
The Sport 50 (shown below) is the same as the Sport 5.0 (shown above), except for the new all-black color:
Sport 5.5 – Discontinued:
Sport 9.0 Stage 1 – Discontinued:
The Sport 9.0 Stage 1 (shown directly below) has been discontinued and replaced by the Sport EXP Stage 1 (shown below, after the 9.0 stage 1 photo/video).
Sport 9.0 Stage 2 – Discontinued
The Sport 9.0 Stage 2 (shown directly below) has been discontinued and replaced by the Sport EXP Stage 2 (shown below, after the 9.0 stage 2 photo/video).
Sport 9.0 Stage 3 – Discontinued
The Sport 9.0 Stage 3 (shown directly below) has been discontinued and replaced by the Sport EXP Stage 3 (shown below, after the 9.0 stage 3 photo/video).
Hope this PowerBlock dumbbell review and comparison guide helped! You can shop all PowerBlock products here.