Top positive review
A big improvement over the previous model, and great for saving money on dumbbells
January 22, 2017
Having used the Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells (Pair) for the last 7 years, I finally replaced/upgraded them with the SelectTech 560s. For anyone looking for a set of dumbbells, the SelectTech line is great. Just like the 552s, these replace an entire set of dumbbells, take up very little space, and offer you a lot more customization than you will get from a standard dumbbell set. I have continued using these with the P90X and other Beachbody programs, which call for a lot of different weights and frequent weight changes. I work out in my den so I don't want to keep a dumbbell rack there, and I don't want to have to carry a bunch of different weights into that room whenever I work out. The 560s are perfect because I can keep them in that room all the time and they take up little space. This review will focus a lot on differences between the 560s and the previous generation 552s, which came out almost 8 years ago.
CONSTRUCTION/DESIGN- the weights come in a pair and include a base plate, which is necessary to change the weight plates. Unlike the 552s, this model is more squared off instead of being rounded. From using them, that doesn't seem to offer much of an advantage, but I think they look a little better, and they also seem to slide into the base plate more easily than the rounded model. Everything is hard plastic except the handles, which are metal. At first glance, the dumbbells do not really appear to be very sturdy for their price, however neither did the 552s and they held up extremely well. Despite hundreds of hours of use, when I sold them the buyer remarked that they looked brand new. I have been using the 560s for a month now and they still look new and are very sturdy, even after "dropping" the weights into the plate many times. I have no fear that any parts of the 560s will get damaged even with heavy use, and the moving parts are protected within the handle. Even though they are sturdy, you cannot drop these on the ground after a set, like you can with regular dumbbells. The handle is ergonomic to fit the palm of your hand and the grip feels good and natural during lifting. The handle is thicker than a dumbbell and I prefer it to the thinner dumbbell handles. The main advantage between the 552s and the 560s is that the 560s have been redesigned to feature the weight change mechanism adjustment through the handle. The 552s had a dial on the end of the plates and you had to turn the dial on each end to adjust the weight size. Sometimes you would miss a click and one end of the dumbbell would have a different weight plate set than the other side, which threw off your lift. The 560s solves this problem, as you adjust the weight by turning the handle left or right, which adjusts both plates at once. The weight has to be in the base plate, but you grab the handle and twist and you are set. If it's too light or heavy, you can put the weights down, adjust your wrist a few turns and then lift it right up without ever having to take your hand off the handle. If you are doing any workouts where you are frequently adjusting the weights (like P90x), you will really come to appreciate this feature. It is the easiest weight adjustment system I have seen from a weight set like this. A display on the top shows you the weight amount in pounds and kilograms (another new feature), so you can immediately see the new weight instead of having to bend over and look at the side of the weights like the previous model. My only complaint about this is that the display needs to be a bit bigger or the numbers need to have a white font instead of red, so they would be easier to see. One of the advantages of this model over the previous, is that the weights no longer "catch," where you would have a problem with the weights not locking into place when you set them back down. You would then have to lift them back up and put them down again until the lock caught. This seems to be fixed with this model and it catches every time. A great benefit over the 552s is that these go all the way up to 60 lbs, and down to 5 pounds. That gives you 8 more lbs than the 5672, which can make a big difference if you are deciding between another weight setup.
Here are the 16 weight options you can use:
PRICE - In my review of the 552s, I did not think they were worth the full MSRP. I think the 560s are priced high as well, but if you can get them for $400, I think it is a great deal. Otherwise they might be worth it if you use them a few times a week like I do. Considering I used my 552s for hundreds of hours, they definitely ended up being worth it for me. You will pay a premium for the ability to adjust the weights easily and not have dumbbells cluttering your house. Save the box and packing material, and I think these would be easy to sell if you ever wanted to get rid of them. I sold my previous set for 50% of their original price.
USE WITH P90X AND OTHER PROGRAMS - I originally did P90X with dumbbells. I had three different dumbbells, which just isn't enough for the variety of exercises used in that program. If money and space is no object, I would recommend a full dumbbell set over these, as dumbbells are better for the exercises. But for most people that just isn't practical. I hate pulling out and storing even three sets of dumbbells every other day to workout. The SelectTechs look so good that I just leave them in my den year round.
The main advantages the SelectTechs have with P90X is the ability to select smaller weight increment, and being able to make weight changes quickly. Before these I owned a set of 10s, 15s, and 25s, which isn't enough variety. Going up from 15 to 25 on bicep curls is a very big jump for me was too light, 25 was too heavy, and my form was terrible because I was struggling with the weight. With the SelectTechs, I could go to 17.5, then 20, then 22.5, then finally to 25. being able to go from 10lbs to 12.5 on tricep exercises, rather than 10lbs to 15 helps significantly. The other advantage is to quickly change weight increments. With P90X, you have about 15-30 seconds to set up for the next exercise. 5-10 seconds is all the time I needed to change the four dials on the SelectTechs and get a new weight.
3DT (THREE DIMENSIONAL TRAINER) - this is another new option with the 560s, and gives you a rep counter and tracker which measures weight lifted and rep speed. It also includes sound cues for rest time between sets. I didn't see much use to the rep speed measurement, but I love the rep counter. This way I don't have to write down all of my sets and can just check it out after my workout by syncing it to Bluetooth on my phone. Since I don't do my own workouts, I didn't use the rest timer, but it has an option to turn off the sound which is great. It also tracks calorie burn, but I didn't find it to be as accurate as m Fitbit so I don't use that option either.
CONS - Like the previous model, one of the problems with these weights is the size and length. They are larger than any other dumbbell set, as they have to accommodate the weight selection mechanism. This might prevent you from being able to do a few workouts routines that you could previously do with regular dumbbells. However the dumbbells are 12" long, which is 4" shorter than the previous 552s. That is a huge advantage to the previous model. As I also mentioned, the display is a bit hard to read. My only other real con, is that you really need to use these with the SelectTech Stand to take full advantage of them. Otherwise, you are going to have to lift the weights off the floor all the time.