Are you struggling to decide between the PowerBlock Pro vs Sport?
In this guide, I’ll provide a detailed comparison and review of these two popular adjustable dumbbell models.
I’ll tell you ALL the differences between the PowerBlock Pro vs Sport to help you decide which PowerBlock dumbbell set is best for you.
A couple of notes before I start:
I’ll be talking about the home-use Pro Series (i.e. the Pro EXP, Pro 50 and Pro 24). I will not be talking about the Commercial Pro Series, which are much more expensive and generally used in athletic facilities.
My focus in comparing the PowerBlock Pro vs Sport Series will be on the Pro EXP and Sport EXP sets. These are best for most people, since they’re expandable and allow you to go heavier if needed. However, I’ll still touch upon the lighter, non-expandable models (i.e. Pro 50, Pro 32, Sport 50, Sport 24).
PowerBlock Pro vs Sport Comparison
The table below gives you an easy way to compare all PowerBlock Pro vs Sport models across all key specs:
NOTE: You may need to scroll to the right to see all columns.
|Features||Pro EXP||Pro 50||Pro 32||Sport EXP||Sport 50||Sport 24|
|Max Weight:||90 lbs||50||32||90||50||24|
|Increments:||2.5 lbs||2.5 lbs||4 lbs||2.5 lbs||5 lbs||3 lbs|
|Locking Mechanism:||Auto Lock||Auto Lock||None||Auto Lock||None||None|
|Handle Design:||Open Handle + Wedge Shape||Open Handle + Wedge Shape||Open Handle + Wedge Shape||Open Handle||Open Handle||Open Handle|
|Handle Grip Shape & Diameter:||1.5″ (38mm) diameter; Contoured shape; Thermoplastic rubber||1.5″ (38mm) diameter; Contoured shape; Thermoplastic rubber||1.25″ (38mm) diameter; Contoured shape; Thermoplastic rubber||1.5″ (38mm) diameter; Contoured shape; Thermoplastic rubber||1.5″ (38mm) diameter; Contoured shape; Thermoplastic rubber||1.25″ (38mm) diameter; Contoured shape; Thermoplastic rubber|
|Weight Blocks:||10 lbs each; Curved/arched shape; Urethane molded over steel||5 lbs each; Curved/arched shape; Urethane molded over steel||4 lbs each; Curved/arched shape; Urethane molded over steel||10 lbs each; Curved/arched shape; Powder coated steel||5 lbs each; Curved/arched shape; Powder coated steel||3 lbs each; Curved/arched shape; Powder coated steel|
|Color & Weight Indicator Bands:||Black handle; Black blocks; Multi-colored bands||Black handle; Black blocks; Multi-colored bands||Black handle; Black blocks; Multi-colored bands||Black handle; Metallic grey blocks; Black bands (amount of weight printed)||Black handle; Metallic grey blocks; Black bands (amount of weight printed)||Black handle; Grey blocks; Multi-colored bands|
|Dimensions (LxWxH):||Stage 1: 12.5”x7”x7.25”|
Stage 2: 14.75”x7”x7.25”
Stage 3: 17”x7”x7.25”
|13”x7”x7.25”||12”x5.75”x5.5”||Stage 1: 12”x6.5”x6.5”|
Stage 2: 14”x6.5”x6.5”
Stage 3: 16”x6.5”x6.5”
|Compatibility:||No compatibility with other models||No compatibility with other models||No compatibility with other models||No compatibility with other models (except for the “PowerBlock EXP”)||No compatibility with other models||No compatibility with other models|
|Warranty:||5 year limited warranty for home use||5 year limited warranty for home use||5 year limited warranty for home use||5 year limited warranty for home use||5 year limited warranty for home use||5 year limited warranty for home use|
|Price:||Stage 1: $509|
Stage 2: $708
Stage 3: $907
|$499||$339||Stage 1: $409|
Stage 2: $588
Stage 3: $767
PowerBlock Pro vs Sport: Overview of Models
Now that you’ve got a summarized overview of how the PowerBlock Pro and Sport models compare on a spec-to-spec basis, I’ll dig a little deeper into each separate model.
The Pro Series consists of 3 separate dumbbell models, including one expandable model and two non-expandable models:
Overall, all Pro Series models have a more durable design than the Sport Series models. This is due to the urethane coated plates as well as their non-welded “flex” design.
The urethane also reduces noise during use since there’s no metal on metal contact.
The Pro Series dumbbells share the same “open handle” design as the Sport Series dumbbells, which gives plenty of space for your wrist/forearms inside the handle. However, they go a step further by having a “wedge” shape in the handle that allows for even more forearm range of motion from the front to the back of the handle. Only the Sport 24 shares this same wedge design.
Lastly, the Pro EXP and Pro 50 models are compatible with the different PowerBlock accessories (i.e. EZ Curl Bar, Straight Bar, Kettlebell Handle). None of the Sport Series models are.
The PowerBlock Pro EXP is an expandable model, with Stage 1, Stage 2 and Stage 3 sets. The Pro EXP Stage 1 set has a max weight of 50 lbs per dumbbell. It can be expanded to 70 lbs with the Stage 2 kit and to 90 lbs with the Stage 3 kit. This structure makes the Pro EXP comparable to the Sport EXP.
The empty handle weighs 5 lbs on each Pro EXP dumbbell. Each nested weight block weighs 10 lbs. Each dumbbell has two 2.5 lb adder weights for achieving small weight increments.
Pro EXP Stage 1
The PowerBlock Pro EXP Stage 1 set goes from 5-50 lbs per dumbbell in as little as 2.5 lb increments when using the adder weights. The only weights that aren’t available are 12.5 lbs, 22.5 lbs, 32.5 lbs and 42.5 lbs. You can upgrade the Pro EXP Stage 1 set to the Pro EXP Stage 2 set by buying the Pro EXP Stage 2 Kit (50-70). After that, you can upgrade to the Pro EXP Stage 3 set by buying the Pro EXP Stage 3 Kit (70-90).
Pro EXP Stage 2
The PowerBlock Pro EXP Stage 2 set goes from 5-70 lbs per dumbbell in as little as 2.5 lb increments when using the adder weights. The only weights that aren’t available are 12.5 lbs, 22.5 lbs, 32.5 lbs, 42.5 lbs, 52.5 lbs and 62.5 lbs. You can upgrade the Pro EXP Stage 2 set to the Pro EXP Stage 3 set by buying the Pro EXP Stage 3 Kit (70-90).
Pro EXP Stage 3
The PowerBlock Pro EXP Stage 3 set goes from 5-90 lbs per dumbbell in as little as 2.5 lb increments when using the adder weights. The only weights that aren’t available are 12.5 lbs, 22.5 lbs, 32.5 lbs, 42.5 lbs, 52.5 lbs, 62.5 lbs, 72.5 lbs and 82.5 lbs.
The empty handle weighs 5 lbs on each PowerBlock Pro 50 dumbbell. Each nested weight block weighs 5 lbs. Each dumbbell has two 2.5 lb adder weights for achieving small weight increments. This is in contrast to the Sport 50, which has no adder weights.
The Pro 50 is a non-expandable model. That is, it maxes out at 50 lbs per dumbbell. It cannot be upgraded beyond that with expansion kits.
I only recommend the Pro 50 to people who don’t have any plans, now or in the future, to do dumbbell exercises with more than 50 lbs per hand.
The empty handle weighs 4 lbs on each PowerBlock Pro 32 dumbbell. Each nested weight block weighs 4 lbs. There are no adder weights, so you get 4-32 lbs in 4 lb increments with this model.
While this is a very light adjustable dumbbell set, it’s a full 8 lbs heavier than the Sport 24, which is the lightest model in the Sport Series.
The Sport Series, like the Pro Series, has 3 different dumbbell models in its lineup, including one expandable model and two non-expandable models:
Overall, all Sports Series models have a more bare bones design compared to the Pro Series models.
The key differences are that the Sport Series dumbbells have:
- Powder coated steel plates instead of urethane molded over steel.
- Welded plates rather than having the non-welded “flex” design.
- Weight indicator bands on only one side of each dumbbell.
- No “wedge” shape within the open handle design (Exception: the Sport 24 actually does have this wedge handle shape, which gives additional forearm/wrist range of motion.)
- Are not compatible with any PowerBlock accessories (i.e. EZ Curl Bar, Straight Bar, Kettlebell Handle)
I’ll discuss a few other differences later, especially when it comes to comparing specific models against each other (e.g. Pro 50 vs Sport 50 or Pro 32 vs Sport 24). That said, the above are the most impactful differences.
Otherwise, the Sport Series and Pro Series function similarly and look similar as well (darker look, arched plate shape).
The PowerBlock Sport EXP is an expandable model, with Stage 1, Stage 2 and Stage 3 sets. The Sport EXP Stage 1 set has a max weight of 50 lbs per dumbbell. It can be expanded to 70 lbs with the Stage 2 kit and to 90 lbs with the Stage 3 kit. This structure makes the Sport EXP comparable to the Pro EXP.
The empty handle weighs 5 lbs and each nested weight block weighs 10 lbs. Each dumbbell has two 2.5 lb adder weights for achieving small weight increments.
Sport EXP Stage 1
The PowerBlock Sport EXP Stage 1 set adjusts from 5-50 lbs per dumbbell in as little as 2.5 lb increments with the adder weights. The only unavailable weight increments are 12.5 lbs, 22.5 lbs, 32.5 lbs and 42.5 lbs. You can upgrade it to the Sport EXP Stage 2 set by buying the Sport EXP Stage 2 Kit (50-70). Then you can upgrade to the Sport EXP Stage 3 set by buying the Sport EXP Stage 3 Kit (70-90).
Sport EXP Stage 2
The PowerBlock Sport EXP Stage 2 set adjusts from 5-70 lbs per dumbbell in as little as 2.5 lb increments with the adder weights. The only unavailable weight increments are 12.5 lbs, 22.5 lbs, 32.5 lbs, 42.5 lbs, 52.5 lbs and 62.5 lbs. You can upgrade it to the Sport EXP Stage 3 set by buying the Sport EXP Stage 3 Kit (70-90).
Sport EXP Stage 3
The PowerBlock Sport EXP Stage 2 set adjusts from 5-90 lbs per dumbbell in as little as 2.5 lb increments with the adder weights. The only unavailable weight increments are 12.5 lbs, 22.5 lbs, 32.5 lbs, 42.5 lbs, 52.5 lbs, 62.5 lbs, 72.5 lbs and 82.5 lbs.
The empty handle weighs 10 lbs on each PowerBlock Sport 50 dumbbell. Each nested weight block weighs 5 lbs. This model does not have any adder weights so the weight range is from 10-50 lbs in 5 lb increments.
Contrast this to the Pro 50, which does have adder weights that allow for 2.5 lb increments and a starting weight of 5 lbs instead of 10 lbs.
The Sport 50 is a non-expandable model. It maxes out at 50 lbs per dumbbell and can’t be upgraded to a heavier set with expansion kits.
The Sport 50 only makes sense for lifters who don’t have any need to do dumbbell exercises with more than 50 lbs per hand — either now or in the future.
The PowerBlock Sport 24 is both the lightest and most compact of all PowerBlock models.
Its empty handle weighs 3 lbs and each nested weight block weighs 3 lbs. There are no adder weights, so you get 3-24 lbs in 3 lb increments with this model.
This is a non-expandable model. There are no expansion kits to increase it beyond its max weight of 24 lbs. As such, it’s only a good idea to buy this model if you’re specifically looking for a light adjustable dumbbell set.
Interestingly, the Sport 24 is the only model other than the Elite Series dumbbells to keep the iconic full-length multi-colored weight indicator bands that most PowerBlock models have had in years past.
I’ve mentioned a couple times earlier which Pro Series and Sport Series models are expandable and which are non-expandable. However, I’ll summarize everything in this section so it’s all in one place.
Here are the expandable models:
Expandable dumbbell models refer to models that have a base set, or Stage 1 set, that you can buy expansion kits for, in order to increase the max weight.
The Stage 1 set for all expandable PowerBlock dumbbell models is 5-50 lbs. All current expandable models have 3 stages total, with each expansion kit giving you 20 lbs more.
So you can start out by buying the 5-50 lb Stage 1 set or the 5-70 lb Stage 2 set. This is a smart choice if you have to stay on budget and can’t afford the full Stage 3 set. Or if you don’t know if you’ll need that much weight. You always have the option to upgrade by buying the 50-70 lb and/or the 70-90 lb expansion kits in the future.
Alternatively, you can buy the 5-90 lbs Stage 3 set from the start. That’s what I did when I bought my Pro EXP set, since I knew I’d need 90 lbs on some exercises.
Here are the non-expandable models:
What you see is what you get with non-expandable models. You’ll never have the option to increase the weight in the future because there are no expansion kits for these sets. This is why I only recommend non-expandable sets to lifters who are sure that they’ll never need more than the listed max weight. Even if it’s enough for you now, you may need or want heavier weight in the future.
Most non-expandable PowerBlock models do not have adder weights. While you don’t get micro-adjustments, the adjustment process does become faster because you only need to move the selector pin. However, the Pro 50 is the exception to this — It does have adder weights, which gives you access to smaller (2.5 lb) weight increments.
Adder weights are the chrome-finished steel cylinders that come with many, though not all, PowerBlock dumbbell models.
There are 2 adder weights per handle for models with this feature; so 4 total for a dumbbell set. Each one weighs 2.5 lbs.
Their purpose is to allow you to achieve smaller weight increments when progressing between the heavier weight block settings. For example, if you’re doing lateral raises with the Pro EXP or Sport EXP and 20 lbs is too light but 30 lbs is too heavy, you can remove one adder weight to use 27.5 lbs or remove both adder weights to use 25 lbs.
Using them is simple. You simply take the handle out of the weight stack and add or remove the adder weights as needed to achieve the desired increment. Then put the handle back in the stack.
The Pro EXP, Pro 50 and Sport EXP have adder weights. The Sport 50, Sport 24 and Pro 32 do not have adder weights.
The inclusion of adder weights on the Pro 50 is a noteworthy difference compared to its Sports Series counterpart, the Sport 50. It gives the ability to adjust from 5-50 lbs in as little as 2.5 lb increments. Compare that to the Sport 50’s range of 10-50 lbs in 5 lb increments. So not only do you get more and smaller weight increments with the Pro 50, you also get a lighter starting weight.
The locking mechanism feature refers to how the adder weights are locked inside the adder weight ports/tubes. Of course, this only applies to models with adder weights. Models without adder weights don’t have a locking mechanism.
Why do you need to lock the adder weights inside the adder weight ports? A couple reasons:
- It stops them from rattling around, inside the handle.
- It prevents them from accidentally falling out when you remove the handle from the weight stack. (You don’t want a 2.5 lb projectile falling on your toe!)
All Pro Series and Sport Series dumbbell models with adder weights (i.e. the Pro EXP, Pro 50 and Sport EXP) use the same type of locking mechanism: The auto-lock locking mechanism.
The auto-lock mechanism consists of a small lever positioned on the side of the handle. Here’s how it works:
- When you flip this lever down (this part is done manually), the adder weight ports open up so you can add or remove the adder weights.
- When the lever flips up (this part is automatic), the adder weight ports close, locking any adder weights inside. This part is automatic because the lever is positioned such that it will be pushed into the up/locked position by the weight block side rail when you place the handle back into the nested weight stack.
The auto-lock feature is a design evolution from the manual lock mechanism that all PowerBlock models with adder weights had in the past. Currently, only the PowerBlock Elite USA model still has that mechanism. It requires you to manually slide a lever to the locked position, which you can sometimes forget to do.
Compared to the manual lock mechanism, the auto-lock mechanism is an elegant feature. It saves time when adjusting the weight AND makes it impossible to accidentally leave the adder weight ports unlocked.
There are 2 basic types of handle designs: closed handle or open handle.
The closed handle design was on many different models in the past. Currently, the closed handle design is only seen on the Elite USA dumbbells. It’s characterized by padded wrist supports at the top of the handle (as shown in the photo above). This creates a more restricted handle opening, hence the “closed” handle terminology.
Some people like the padded wrist supports because it can give you some nice leverage or stability on certain exercises. For example, on curls, you can prop your wrist against one of the support pads, which lets you focus on the biceps more. It’s also a plus if you have weaker wrists. However, some people — especially those with larger hands and wrists — find that it can feel cramped inside the handle.
All Pro Series and Sport Series dumbbells have an open handle design. There are no padded wrist supports, which makes for an unrestricted handle opening. It gives you much more room to move your wrists/forearms side to side inside the handle.
Within the open handle design category, there is an additional handle feature that only certain models have: The “wedge” handle shape, which refers to handles with slanted edges instead of straight edges. I made this term up because it looks like you could fit a wedge in the handle.
The slanted edges allow you to move your wrists/forearms further to the front or rear of the handle. And when your forearm makes contact with the edges, it lays flat against it in a comfortable position (rather than jamming against a corner on the non-wedge designs).
The wedge handle shape is a subtle yet impactful ergonomic detail and I’m a fan of it. It comes in handy on exercises like one arm rows and rear delt swings. I use it to prop against my wrist for stability when lifting the dumbbells up to my shoulders for seated shoulder press. I also sometimes use it for stability when putting the dumbbells back on the stand if the weight is heavy.
All Pro Series models and just the Sport 24 have the wedge handle shape.
Handle Grip Shape & Diameter
All Pro Series and Sport Series dumbbells have a contoured handle grip shape.
Only the Elite USA and a couple of the Commercial Pro sets (i.e. Commercial Pro 90 and 50) have a straight handle.
Ideally, I’d prefer a straight handle, but it’s not a deal-breaker in my opinion. Ultimately, handle shape comes down to personal preference.
The Pro Series and Sport Series handle grip diameters vary depending on the specific model. Note that the diameter is measured at the thickest point (center) of the contoured grip:
- Pro EXP: 1.5″ (38mm) grip diameter
- Pro 50: 1.5″ (38mm) grip diameter
- Pro 32: 1.25″ (30mm) grip diameter
- Sport EXP: 1.5″ (38mm) grip diameter
- Sport 50: 1.5″ (38mm) grip diameter
- Sport 24: 1.25″ (30mm) grip diameter
The grip material is Thermoplastic Rubber, or TRP, on all Pro Series and Sport Series dumbbell sets. TRP is a composite material that has properties of both plastic and rubber. It’s strong and solid without being brittle. It has a bit of tackiness to it, which helps enhance grip.
That said, if I could snap my fingers, I’d prefer a knurled steel handle, which would be unbeatable in the grip department. Unfortunately, only the Commercial Pro 90 and 50 have a knurled steel handle, and you have to pay a big premium to get those models.
I listed the weights of the weight blocks for each model in the comparison table at the start of this guide. However, I’ll review them below for easy reference:
- Pro EXP: 10 lbs per weight block
- Pro 50: 5 lbs per weight block
- Pro 32: 4 lbs per weight block
- Sport EXP: 10 lbs per weight block
- Sport 50: 5 lbs per weight block
- Sport 24: 3 lbs per weight block
All Pro Series and Sport Series models have the same arched/curved weight block shape. This gives the dumbbells a sleeker and more modern look than the blocky shape of the Elite Series dumbbells and many other PowerBlock models from years past.
The shape of the blocks doesn’t actually affect function. It’s purely an aesthetic detail.
There is a key difference in the weight block plate material between the Pro Series and Sports Series:
- The Pro Series have urethane molded over steel plates. The urethane provides a major protective buffer between the underlying steel portion of the plates. This greatly reduces noise during use because there’s no metal-on-metal clanking. The urethane also absorbs impact, making the Pro Series dumbbells more likely to survive drops unscathed (though you still shouldn’t drop them purposely). It’s also more comfortable to handle (think holding them on your thighs for bench/shoulder press) because the urethane is softer than metal and it rounds out the hard edges.
- The Sport Series have powder coated steel plates. The powder coating provides protection against rust and scratches. Since it lacks the protective urethane, you lose out on the noise reduction, impact-resistance and comfort benefits that you get with the Pro Series models.
Last but not least, there’s one more big weight block design difference that separates the Pro Series and Sports Series:
- The Pro Series models have a non-welded “flex” weight block design. This means that the block rails that connect to the end plates are bolted together, rather than being welded together. This gives the blocks the ability to shift or rotate slightly (see photo below). The practical benefit is that they can absorb impact from accidental drops better than inflexible welded designs. This feature, combined with the Urethane makes the Pro Series dumbbells much more durable.
- The Sport Series models have a welded weight block design. If accidentally dropped, the blocks are more likely to get warped because they have no “give” to them.
Color & Weight Indicator Bands
The Pro Series has a much more blacked-out look than most other models. I think it looks the coolest of all models. Specifically, it features a black handle and black weight blocks (including the urethane and the side rails).
It features subtle multi-colored weight indicator bands on the side rails that correspond to the amount of weight selected.
The indicators are subtle compared to the other models because they’re really more like short rings than long bands that go across a large section of the rail. The indicators are small rings embedded in grooves on the rails. This is different from the bands on the Sport Series and all other home-use models, which have long plastic sheaths on top of the rails, which may slide around.
Notably, the Pro Series dumbbell sets have the weight indicators on both sides of blocks. This means the weight indicators will be there regardless of which way you orient the blocks. All other home-use models only have indicators on one side.
I much prefer the Pro Series indicators because they’re understated, more durable, more versatile and keep the overall blacked out look but with a small splash of color.
The Sport Series colors and weight indicator band styles differ depending on the model. The Sport EXP and Sport 50 have metallic grey weight blocks and a black handle.
They both have the same black weight indicator bands on the block rails. Since they’re not color-coded, the corresponding amount of weight is printed on the actual indicator band, which makes changing the weight straight forward. The indicators are on just one side of the blocks.
The Sport 24 has non-metallic grey weight blocks and a black handle.
It really departs from the Sport EXP and Sport 50 design with its weight indicators. It has long multi-colored indicator bands similar to those on the Elite Series dumbbells. Like the other Sport Series models, the Sport 24 indicators are only on one side of the blocks.
In the lists below, I’ll compare the dimensions of the PowerBlock Pro vs Sport. The dimensions listed are for each individual dumbbell (not the pair).
Pro Series dimensions:
- Pro EXP Stage 1: 12.5”L x 7”W x 7.25”H
- Pro EXP Stage 2: 14.75”L x 7”W x 7.25”H
- Pro EXP Stage 3: 17”L x 7”W x 7.25”H
- Pro 50: 13”L x 7”W x 7.25”H
- Pro 32: 12”L x 5.75”W x 5.5”H
Sport Series dimensions:
- Sport EXP Stage 1: 12”L x 6.5”W x 6.5”H
- Sport EXP Stage 2: 14”L x 6.5”W x 6.5”H
- Sport EXP Stage 3: 16”L x 6.5”W x 6.5”H
- Sport 50: 12.5”L x 6.5”W x 6.5”H
- Sport 24: 10.5”L x 5.25”W x 5”H
When comparing the PowerBlock Pro vs Sport dumbbells, people commonly inquire about the compatibility of the weight blocks between the different models (whether within the series or between the series).
There is NO compatibility between the Pro Series and Sport Series. This means Pro EXP expansion kits won’t fit Sport EXP sets and vice versa. Similarly, Pro 50 and Sport 50 weight blocks are incompatible with each other, as are Pro 32 and Sport 24 weight blocks.
There is no compatibility within the Pro Series. This means the Pro EXP expansion kits won’t fit the Pro 50. Likewise, the Pro 50 weight blocks can’t be used to expand the Pro 32; etc.
Likewise, there’s no compatibility within the Sport Series. This means the Sport EXP expansion kits won’t fit the Sport 50. And the Sport 50 weight blocks can’t be used to expand the Sport 24.
I’ve learned through some of my readers that the Pro EXP expansion kits are compatible with the now-discontinued PowerBlock U90 set.
I assume this also means the opposite; that U90 expansion kits are also compatible with the Pro EXP set, though I haven’t had any reader confirm that. If it is true, only the U90 Stage 2 (50-70 lbs) and Stage 3 (70-90 lbs) expansion kits would fit on the Pro EXP. However, the U90 Stage 4 kit (90-125 lbs) would not fit on the Pro EXP, since the Pro EXP handle doesn’t have any extra slots to fit more than 90 lbs.
Interestingly, the Sport EXP is compatible with the expansion kits of the “PowerBlock EXP” (not to be confused with the Pro EXP), and vice versa. Note that the PowerBlock EXP is a set only sold from third-party retailers (e.g. Amazon). It has a different color scheme, but the dimensions are the same.
The Pro EXP and Pro 50 are compatible with all PowerBlock dumbbell accessories, including the:
None of the Sport Series dumbbells are compatible with accessories. The only other PowerBlock models that are compatible with any accessories are the Commercial Pro 90 and 50, and the now-discontinued U50/U70/U90 sets.
All Pro Series and Sport Series dumbbells are made in China.
There is only one PowerBlock dumbbell model made in the USA, and that’s the PowerBlock Elite USA.
The Pro Series and Sport Series both have a 5 year limited warranty for home use. This is the standard warranty for any PowerBlock home-use adjustable dumbbell set.
The warranty covers manufacturer defects as well functional damage from normal use and drops from as high as 12 inches.
Damage from abuse or drops from above 12 inches is not covered.
Price is a big consideration to make when comparing the PowerBlock Pro vs Sport dumbbell models.
I’ll lay out the current prices of each model below — Note that the prices shown don’t include shipping, which vary based on shipping destination:
Pro Series prices:
Sport Series prices:
- Sport EXP Stage 1: $409
- Sport EXP Stage 2: $588
- Sport EXP Stage 3: $767
- Sport 50: $399
- Sport 24: $199
PowerBlock Pro vs Sport: Which Should You Buy?
Hopefully by this point in my PowerBlock Pro vs Sport guide, you have a decent idea of which model best meets your needs…
…But if you’re still not 100% sure about what’s the best adjustable dumbbell set for you, read on. I’ll give you a few different use cases where I believe certain models are the right choice.
Here’s when to buy the Pro EXP:
- If you want an expandable dumbbell set that can go up to 90 lbs per hand.
- If you want the greatest protection against scratches and rust. The urethane coating is far superior to powder coating in this regard.
- If you want the greatest protection against accidental drops. The non-welded “flex” block design combined with the urethane plates makes these the most durable home-use PowerBlocks.
- If you want the most comfortable heavy option, the Pro EXP is it. The urethane molding rounds out the edges of the underlying steel plates. This makes it more comfortable when you’re bringing the heavy dumbbells up and down to your thighs on shoulder/bench press. Same goes for when the dumbbells bump against you during regular use.
- If you want the most room for your wrist/forearm to move around. The Pro EXP has more space inside the handle than any other home-use model thanks to the combo of an open handle design with a wedge handle shape.
- If you want a quiet experience when using the dumbbells. The urethane molding prevents any metal-on-metal contact, which makes these much quieter than the non-urethane models.
- If you want compatibility with all PowerBlock dumbbell accessories (EZ Curl, Straight Bar, Kettlebell Handle). The Pro EXP is one of the few PowerBlock models that’s compatible with all accessory handles.
Here’s when to buy the Pro 50:
- If you won’t need over 50 lbs per hand.
- If you want all of the durability benefits that come from the urethane molded steel plates as well as the non-welded “flex” weight blocks. You’ll have greater protection against rust, scratches and drops.
- If you want a quieter lifting experience that comes from having urethane plates.
- If you want adder weights, which allows you to not only achieve weight increments as small as 2.5 lbs, but also to have a lighter starting weight of 5 lbs. Remember, Sport 50 doesn’t have adder weights, which means it starts at 10 lbs and goes up in larger 5 lb increments.
Here’s when to buy the Pro 32:
- If you won’t need over 32 lbs per hand.
- If you want a small, lightweight and portable adjustable dumbbell set you can take just about anywhere, with ease.
- If you want extra durability that comes with urethane coated plates and non-welded “flex” blocks. These features protect better against abrasions, rust and accidental drops compared to the welded/powder coated steel weight blocks on non-Pro models. These are also quieter to use.
Here’s when to buy the Sport EXP:
- If you want an expandable dumbbell set that can go up to 90 lbs per hand.
- If you’re on a budget. The Sport EXP is currently the least expensive expandable PowerBlock model. And it’s notably less expensive than the Pro EXP, though you do miss out on the premium features.
Here’s when to buy the Sport 50:
- If you won’t need over 50 lbs per hand.
- If you don’t want to mess around with adder weights; and are okay with 5 lb increments and a minimum weight of 10 lbs (both of which are a result of having no adder weights).
- If your budget is tighter and you want a more economical option than the Pro 50.
Here’s when to buy the Sport 24:
- If you won’t need more than 24 lbs per dumbbell.
- If you want a highly portable dumbbell set with the smallest footprint possible.
- If you want the lowest priced of all PowerBlock dumbbell models.
If you’re leaning toward the Pro EXP set, be sure to check out my in-depth PowerBlock Pro EXP review.
If you’re considering other PowerBlock dumbbells besides the Pro Series or Sport Series models, check out the other PowerBlock articles I’ve written, including:
- My PowerBlock dumbbells review, which covers the pros, cons and features of the PowerBlock dumbbell system.
- My PowerBlock dumbbells buying guide, which provides a detailed comparison of all models, as well as my top picks overall.
- My PowerBlock Pro vs Elite comparison and review.
- My PowerBlock Elite vs Sport comparison and review.
- My PowerBlock Elite USA vs Elite EXP comparison and review.
5 thoughts on “PowerBlock Pro vs Sport: The MUST-Know Differences”
Do you have any concerns over the non-welded flex design for the pro? I’ve seen a number of videos showing plates simply ripping away from the urethane that keeps them attached to the cross bars. This was the u90 design, however, and possibly related to humidity and heat conditions. You also cannot be certain that these people never dropped their PowerBlocks.
I’ve asked PowerBlock if they’ve made any design changes to the Pros since the flaw was noticed in the u90s, but I haven’t heard anything back. And I doubt I will. I couldn’t find anything in their latest patents that would hint at a design change. It still shows urethane as the only connection between the weight plate and the cross bars. It’s quite possible I missed something subtle, or some details were omitted, such as the exact material specs for the polyurethane. I would imagine there are a wide variety of polyurethane flavors that could be used during the manufacturing process. And I presume such a choice could be omitted from the patent without violating any patents rules and we would never know.
Any thoughts on the matter? It’s the only thing holding me back from buying the Pros. Even if it’s within the warranty period, I still don’t want a 5lb weight cracking my face open. If it wasn’t a physical danger, I wouldn’t care and I’d go ahead any buy them.
Hey Erik, I personally don’t have any concerns in that regard as my Pros are holding up great with no signs of wear of the urethane in general, and no issues at the urethane joint (i.e. where each plate attaches to the side rail). And while I haven’t abused mine, I use them A LOT and don’t handle them daintily. I also haven’t heard of any other owners of the Pro’s talk about urethane quality issues and they’ve been out for a few years now.
I reached to PowerBlock’s customer service ([email protected]) asking about urethane joint design/urethane quality and the U90 vs Pros and they got back to me promptly. I’ll summarize what they told me:
There’s no danger of a weight plate cracking anyone’s face, these are the same high quality urethane weight stacks that are used year after year in professional facilities all over the world (stainless steel hardware being the only difference). Damage from dropping and aggressive use beyond normal wear is the reason for these videos. PowerBlock takes quality very seriously. Going from U90 to Pro, the urethane joint was not changed but there was a wholistic redesign. Meaning, a complete reevaluation of the design to include aesthetics, balance, tolerances, and the supply chain.
Hope that helps! Let me know if you have any follow ups.
Excellent unbiased review. Thank you for helping me make the decision between Pro EXP and Sport EXP. You pointed out a lot of features I did not get from months of going back to the PowerBlock website. Your review should be on their website because your descriptions are far better than their marketing teams.
Thanks a ton, Peter. I’m pumped to hear you found it so useful — Enjoy your new PowerBlocks!
The “wedge” is largely marketing. I own Elite, Sport 50 and the commercial 175.
Occasionally you’ll encounter a situation where the extra few millimeters might help. But one can see in the photo that you chose (bent over dumbbell row) that the individual in the photo (Is that you
?) is most definitely not using typical form. He purposely rotated the front of that dumbbell downward to create the obtuse angle for the photo op. Typical form would be closer to perpendicular and your wrist would not be in contact with the dumbbell. Mine isn’t…ever.
A close-handed bench press might be a better and more natural example.
Open versus closed is also a bit of marketing-ese. Mine have both. They function pretty much the same beyond the visual illusion of a difference. You’d be hard-pressed to come up with a use-case in which open versus closed functions objectively differently. The two upper tubes really don’t make a difference. They’re just visually awkward.
What’s most annoying is the way in which adders were implemented. The adders create and imbalance in the handle making it bottom heavy…that creates unnecessary torque at the wrist. Flip any PB that has adder weights upside down and then pick it up….and feel the difference. Doing so effectively moves the adder weights closer to your wrist joint. If you’ve never tried it, give it a go. PB should have implemented the adders up top, not down the bottom.
I’m already thoroughly familiar with PB dumbbells. Your article caught my eye and I’m always interested in reading others’ takes on equipment.