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The Best Dumbbells For P90X

What are the best dumbbells for P90X?


I get asked this question a lot.  I have done P90X and Body Beast in various settings with various types of dumbbells.  I also have done a full round of P90X using only the resistance bands.  Determining what dumbbells are best for P90X or Body Beast depends a lot on your individual storage capability and budget.

The amount of resistance needed for P90X or Body Beast varies quite a bit depending on each move and therefore you will need quite a range of weights with your dumbbells.  Ideally, you would have a complete rack of dumbbells for P90X ranging from 5 lbs. to 100 lbs. but let’s face it, very few of us have the room or the budget to make that happen, at least not when just starting a home gym.  Most people eventually elect to use adjustable dumbbells for P90X.  You will find you can replace a whole rack of dumbbells with one set of adjustable dumbbells and usually at a lower cost.

Bowflex Vs. Power Block

There are many brands of adjustable dumbbells for P90X.  I will focus on the two I have tried extensively;  the Bowflex Selecttech 552 adjustable dumbbells and PowerBlock U-90’s.  Both are fine products in my opinion, but after using both for P90X, I prefer the Bowflex Selecttechs by a wide margin.  Don’t get me wrong, the PowerBlocks are very solid and will work great for your standard workouts, especially when you need to increase weight in increments of 10 lbs.  However, one of the reasons workouts like P90X and Body Beast are so effective is the pace at which they move.  There is no time to waste and you often have to change weights rapidly, especially during Body Beast.  For this reason in particular, I found the Bowflex Selettech adjustable weights to be the best dumbbells for P90X.  Their simple dial system makes it very easy to switch weights rapidly.  The PowerBlocks, on the other hand, use a plastic selector pin.  Sounds easy enough but when you have to change weights in 5 lb. increments, which you will have to do often, the nightmare begins.  It takes a lot more work to change weights and it is virtually impossible to keep up with your workout without pushing pause and losing your momentum and the compound effect of the exercises.

The PowerBlocks are very sturdy and are a great option for someone doing standard weightlifting moves at home.  However, all things considered, because of their quick-change ability and their ease of use, I believe Bowflex Selectechs are the best dumbbells for P90X or Body Beast.  The Bowflex Selecttech 552’s go from 5-52 lbs. and will suit most P90Xers just fine.  There may be a few back moves that the average user might be able to use more than 52 lbs. but in weighing cost and efficiency, the 552 model dumbbells will be fine for P90X.  I originally purchased the PowerBlock U-90’s when I started Body Beast because I wanted to use heavier weights.  For the reasons, mentioned above, I ended up returning them in favor of the Bowflex Selecttech 1090’s which provide weights from 10 – 90lbs. in 5 lb. increments and I have been very happy with them.

Need More Than 52 lbs. ?

Great for you!  You beast!  You can order the Bowflex SelectTech 1090 models here!  They go all the up to 90 lbs.

Ready to Move Some Weight?

In conclusion, if you have access to a complete compliment of “regular” dumbbells for P90X, that is probably your best option.  Most people do not have the space or the ability to afford a complete rack of dumbbells and usually turn to adjustable dumbbells for P90X.  Because of their ability to adjust weight quickly and in small increments, I feel the Bowflex Selecttech 552’s or the Bowflex Selectech 1090’s are the best dumbbells for P90X or any home workout, for that matter.