With the Bowflex SelectTech 560 Adjustable Dumbbells, Bowflex has brought in some game-changing features to this product line. Experienced lifters don’t have a lot to gain from this set, but for novice lifters, these dumbbells may be just the right fit.
Benefits of the Bowflex SelectTech 560 Adjustable Dumbbells
Bluetooth and Smart Phone Integration
Bowflex Connect provides insight into your lifting data that you may otherwise overlook. With integrated Bluetooth smart technology, these dumbbells can track your sets, reps, weight used, and store them within the app for easy tracking.
The free app provides an assortment of different features that will help get you started quickly and stay on track throughout your program. If you do not have a preferred program, the app includes several pre-loaded workouts including the Armageddon, Crazy core, Legs of Steel, and more.
Not familiar with a certain exercise? No problem. The app includes videos of over 70 different exercises that show you perform the lift with proper form. No more printing out pictures of different exercises, or questioning your technique. This all-in-one app makes it easy to track your workout and ensure you’re doing it correctly.
Enclosed Mechanisms and Leaner Design
Compared to the SelectTech 552’s, these new 560’s feature the weight changing mechanism enclosed in the handle, rather than being on the outside. This design change improves on two distinct problems the 552’s faced. First, there are less moving parts exposed to outside forces. With less exposure, there is a lesser risk of parts becoming damaged from normal use.
Secondly, this creates an overall more compact dumbbell. Compared to the 552’s, the 560’s are shorter in length, 4 inches to be exact, but are roughly the same width. The shorter length helps to make the dumbbells easier to maneuver through different exercises with their smaller frame.
Coated Plates, Metal Grip, and LCD Screen
Similar to other Bowflex models, the 560 isn’t much different when it comes to the weights used. Other than the squarer shape, the metal weights are coated in a durable plastic shell that helps protect the plates and anything they may bump into.
The ergonomic grip is made of all metal and also features a rubberized section for added grip. Built on top of the grip and resting upon the plates is an LCD screen. This LCD screen shows the user which weight is selected, reps, calories burned, and more. This screen is ideal for those performing a high number of reps or are doing time-based intervals rather than shorter rep-set based exercises.
Drawbacks of the Bowflex SelectTech 560 Adjustable Dumbbells
No Upgrade/Expansion Kit Available
Normally, this would be overlooked considering it is not explicitly advertised; however, at one-time Bowflex did state there would be an upgrade kit available. Many of the first adopters of these dumbbells were initially promised an upgrade kit to be able to increase the weight to 100 pounds per dumbbell. Unfortunately, Bowflex did not follow through and early adopters were left feeling misled.
While Bowflex is a well-known brand, this instance where they failed to deliver is disappointing. This failure early on, makes one question their support for this specific model and whether or not any future upgrades to other components will take place.
While the Bluetooth feature is very nice to have, you must ask yourself if it is really worth the price tag. If you have the extra cash to spend and could use the in-app assistance, then go for it. However, if you’re on a tighter budget, or need dumbbells with a larger weight selection, you’re better off going with a different product, such as the PowerBlock Elite Series.
If you’re an experienced weight lifter or at least feel confident in your form and technique, then the extra smart features won’t be of much use to you. In fact, you may even view the features as ‘gimmicky’. After all, unless you’re doing reps in the 30+ range or performing a lengthy circuit, the rep counter is pointless.
Finally, if you are looking at more affordable options, consider another one of Bowflex’s models, such as the SelectTech 552’s. Keep your smartphone or tablet close by and simply access www.bodybuilding.com for quick access to proper lifting techniques.
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