Not at all dumb.
Until they invent a way to print us all super-fit bodies, if you want to keep healthy and work on your muscles, you're gonna need lots of kit. Dumbbells have always been a great way to build up your arms, but with lots of different weights required for a full work-out they can take up a lot of space. Well, that was true, until we discovered the Bowflex 4-41Kg SelectTech Dumbbells.
Coming as a pair, the Bowflex 4-41Kg SelectTech Dumbbells pretty much sum up what they are in the name. Instead of requiring a separate unit for each weight category, by using SelectTech you are able to twist a dial at either end of the dumbbell to select a weight to lift. The metal plates are then either locked to the dumbbell or released, so when you hoist it up it will weigh the desired amount.
Because of this, a pair of these eliminates the need to own 17 separate sets of dumbbells, saving tonnes of space. It also means there is a lot less clanging of metal on metal, as the twist lock selector is smooth and easy, and each dumbbell comes with it's own plastic cradle to set them down upon quietly (and without having to dent your floor).
When we first used them we felt a little nervous that the SelectTech locks on each dumbbell would break and the weights would come tumbling down onto out feet. However, they seem extremely firmly attached on there and after a few minutes of use we felt more confident lifting these than traditional slide-on weights. Once lifted from the cradle the dials can longer be twisted, so the weights can't be unlocked, even accidentally. Also, the main grip of each dumbbell is smooth and comfortable, and as its the same for every weight you're lifting, your hands get accustomed to it's feel.
But big heavy weights are just big heavy weights until you know how to use them properly, and Bowflex lend a helping hand here too. Included with each pair is a free SelectTech workout DVD, 'Secrets of the 4 Step Rep' which offers routines to follow for both the green newbie picking up weights for the first time, and the seasoned pro who has upgraded to the dumbbells. Whatever you are (can you guess what we all are?) the DVD is a nice little addition and really helps to get the most out of the system.
For saving you a great deal of space in your home gym (read Monica's Health Mag for more) these are brilliant. However, as well as that we found them to be comfortable, innovative, and also pretty nice on the eyes too. We were grateful for the included DVD, and also the plastic base that supports each dumbbell, as well as keeping everything nice and quiet. Even if you already own a set of dumbbells, we heartily recommend these. They're not a dumb choice.
£499 for a pair
Available from www.fitness-superstore.co.uk