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How the Bowflex SelectTech Adjustable Dumbbells Work
Now you can change the weight of your dumbbells with just a turn of a dial. If you’ve seen the infomercial for the Bowflex SelectTech Adjustable Dumbbells, you might be wondering how they work. All you have to do is turn the dial on the end of the dumbbell to the weight you want to use, and when you lift the dumbbell out of the cradle, it will weigh exactly that amount. The key is in a patented locking mechanism that lets the dumbbell base find and pick up the weight plates that add up to the weight you want and lock them into place on the handle. That way, when you lift, only the plates lift out of the base.
SelectTech adjustable dumbbells come in two different versions, each packing the equivalent of 30 individual dumbbells into a single pair. Each SelectTech 552 dumbbell adjusts to fifteen different weight settings from five pounds to 52.5 pounds. SelectTech 220 adjustable dumbbells adjust from 2 pounds to 20 pounds. They also let you do something that is difficult to do with most adjustable sets and impossible with fixed dumbbells – vary the weight on each side of the dumbbell. And they make it as easy and quick to change the weight of your dumbbells as turning a dial.
Okay. Now you can say it – how do they do it?
This is how conventional dumbbells work
Dumbbells are designed to be gripped and lifted with one hand, adding weight and resistance to your exercises. You can use one to train just one side of your body (eg in bicep curls) or one in each hand for a bilateral workout. Add a pair of dumbbells to standing lunges and you increase the weight bearing for your lower body as well as add a good upper body workout to the mix.
To get the most out of dumbbells, you need different weights – for different exercises and to increase the weight as your muscles build. One way is to have a set of dumbbells for each weight you want to use. It works fine – until your collection starts to outgrow your home gym. Adjustable dumbbells are a solution to that problem. Instead of adding a full set of dumbbells in each weight range you need, you have a few bars and sets of weights in different weight ranges.
Adjustable dumbbells used to look like the baby cousins of barbells. Conventional adjustable dumbbells consist of a short bar, a pair of weights and a safety collar. To change the weight, you unscrew the lock on the collar, slide the collar off the bar, slide the weight off the bar, slide the new weight onto the bar, replace the collar, and screw it down to lock it. Then you repeat the whole process at the other end.
SelectTech Dumbbells Dial-a-Weight technology makes it easy
Bowflex SelectTech adjustable dumbbells are a completely new type of adjustable. Each dumbbell consists of a handle, a base and ten interlocking slotted weight plates. When the handle is in place in the base, the dumbbell looks like a miniature barbell with a full set of weights on the bar.
At each end of the handle you will find a rotary knob marked with numbers from 5 to 52.5. To select a weight, simply turn the dial until it clicks into place with the weight you want, then lift the handle. The patented locking mechanism selects the correct weight plates to correspond to your selected weight, so that only these plates come up with the handle. The remaining discs remain locked in the base. That’s really all there is to it – turn the dial on each end to the weight you want and lift the dumbbell out of the bottom.
Changing the weight is also easy. Just lower the dumbbell into the base, turn the knobs on both sides of the dumbbell to your new weight, then lift. That is it.
How SelectTech works
The ten weight plates each have a slot into which the handle fits. When all the discs are in place, the handle can be put on the bottom and lie down in the slots. As long as the weight dial is set to 5 – the weight of the handle itself – the handle is lifted freely from the slots without picking up weights.
Suppose you want to train with a 7.5 pound dumbbell. You simply turn the handle to 7.5 until you feel a click. The locking mechanism in the handle will close and latch over the outer weight plate (1.25 pounds), locking it onto the handle. Do the same on the other end and the latch will close over the 1.25 pound weight plate on that end. Lift the handle straight up from the base and the two locked weight plates lift with it – leaving the rest in the base.
Do you want 20 pounds? Since the handle weighs five pounds, you need fifteen pounds of weights. Spread evenly, that’s one five-pounder and one 2.5-pound weight on each end—but you don’t have to figure all that out. Simply turn the dial at each end to twenty and the patented lock does the math for you. When you lift the handle out of the base, the right weight plates lock into place to add up to twenty.
Bowflex’s patented SelectTech System is safer than conventional dumbbells
The patented locking system is designed for safety as well as convenience. The scales are permanently locked in place like a Chinese puzzle. To lift the handle out of the base, the weight selector must be set correctly. If the disc is not clicked into place, the base will not release the handle, so there is no chance of a weight disc slipping off the bar because it is not properly locked. If the lock is not fully engaged, you cannot pick up the dumbbell.
Once you have lifted the dumbbell from the base, the dial cannot be rotated, so there is no chance of them coming unlocked and falling off the bar. The locking mechanism also holds the discs firmly in place. There’s no wobble from weights that aren’t properly tightened down – you get the same balance you’d get from a single, cast dumbbell.
SelectTech adjustable dumbbells for offset weight training
In general, you want the weight on both ends of the dumbbell to be the same, but SelectTech also allows you to choose different weights for each end of the bar. By allowing you to use odd weights on both ends, the SelectTech system increases your training and exercise options. Offset training can help you strengthen the forearm and wrist muscles, something that conventional dumbbells are not designed to do. It’s a great way to get some extra power into your tennis swing and increase flexibility, strength and range of motion in your wrists. The owner’s manual even includes a handy reference chart that tells you which weight to choose at each end for different weight combinations.
Space-saving rack keeps SelectTech dumbbells at just the right height
Bowflex also makes a custom stand for the SelectTech. The stand is ergonomically designed to hold the weights at the correct height and position for safe lifting. The space-saving design encourages proper positioning of your body and grip to help you avoid strain or injury when picking up the SelectTech dumbbells. It is the perfect storage option between workouts.
The experts all agree that training with dumbbells is an excellent addition to your strength training routines. Dumbbells help you develop balance and precision, and allow you to work on areas neglected in bilateral training with barbells or weight machines. Bowflex SelectTech Adjustable Dumbbells are the perfect way to add a full range of dumbbells to your workout in just one small, powerful piece of equipment.
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