In July, I mentioned that I wanted some more functional, efficient weights. I knew I didn't really want to put out the $400 interchangeable weights cost but if I really sat and thought about it, the weights did constitute a smart investment in my fitness.
Essentially, when it came to interchangeable weights, there were two choices: Powerblocks 2.5-50 pound adjustable dumbbells and the BowFlex SelectTech 552 dumbbells. The main advantage of the BowFlex dumbbells is that with just a turn of the dial, you can select your weight in 2.5 pound increments. With the Powerblocks, you have to lift the dumbbell out of its base, flip a switch and then drop out the 2.5 pounds bar. If you're interested, you can view a video here. Remember, the main point of getting these dumbbells was to increase the efficiency of changing weights and this extra step seemed like it would suck too much time which I simply don't have. Plus, it's fussy. For this reason, BowFlex seemed to be winning. Until I realized that just by looking at them, I could tell the Powerblocks, though less chic, are also more durable and with 2 young kids that was definitely an advantage. Another advantage of the Powerblocks was that they were relatively compact and short compared to the BowFlex which seemed kind of long. But really, I was open to either one I found a good deal on.
I was searching all over Craigslist and one day found someone selling their Powerblocks 5-45 pound adjustable dumbbells. for $250. The price was great but they were not exactly the ones I wanted. I wasn't sure if the 5 pound increments would be too much. As a woman, I was pretty sure I'd need those 2.5 pound increments. For the longest time I was curling 15 pounds. I absolutely couldn't curl 20 pounds. With the hubby's weights, I was able to get an 18.5 pound dumbbell and I knew that worked well. Someone was also selling the BowFlex dumbbells for $350: $100 more than the Powerblocks and there was still that nagging fear that the kids would mess with them. So, I decided to go ahead and purchase the Powerblocks. I drove all the way to Brooklyn (aka the dark side of the moon) and picked them up. I figured I could come up with something to make up for the fact that they adjusted in 5 pound increments.
And thanks to the magic of Google, I did: ankle/wrist weights! I purchased a pair ofGoFit ankle weights (2.5. pounds for each weight for a total of 5 pounds). They cost no more than $17 and bridge the gap perfectly.
So I really, really like the Powerblocks. It took a little getting used to in terms of how to position my hands for certain exercises. I was worried that for exercises like pullovers, I wouldn't be able to fit both hands into the dumbbell. But I can so no problem with that and I have not had any problems with any other exercises either.
I have to say that the Powerblocks are maybe the best investment I've made fitness wise (or maybe they are tied with my DVDs and Transfirmer step which I also found on Craigslist for $45). It's wonderful to not have all kinds of weights littering the floor. I push the Powerblocks to the corner, close to the wall and close to each other. As such, the kids can't mess with the pins. I'm so happy I got the Powerblocks because occasionally, the kids will jump on them to reach things. I don't know if the BowFlex dumbbells could have taken that kind of abuse. I'm actually feeling really blessed that I got the dumbbells I got (the 5-45 pounds adjustable) because slipping on the ankle/wrist weights is a relatively quick process--definitely not such a process that it would warrant me spending an extra $100). Maybe not as quick to change as the BowFlex but it's really okay. Plus, I can use the ankle/wrist weights for other exercises too. I feel like I've made some smart decisions with my fitness equipment lately and I'm happy about it. I'm really looking forward to my next fitness challenge although I'm not sure what it is yet.
So have I beat you in the head with fitness stuff enough? :) It's my thing now!! I can't help it!