Nov 22, 2023
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NordicTrack Adjustable Dumbbell Review (2023): Are These Value Dumbbells Worth It?

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If you’re short on space, lifting weights at home can seem practically out of the question. And I know this from experience. I remember living in a one-bedroom apartment and just knowing that a set of traditional dumbbells and its accompanying rack wouldn’t fit anywhere. Fortunately, one day, I discovered adjustable weights, and they’ve been an essential part…
The post NordicTrack Adjustable Dumbbell Review (2023): Are These Value Dumbbells Worth It? appeared first on Breaking Muscle.

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If you’re short on space, lifting weights at home can seem practically out of the question. And I know this from experience. I remember living in a one-bedroom apartment and just knowing that a set of traditional dumbbells and its accompanying rack wouldn’t fit anywhere. Fortunately, one day, I discovered adjustable weights, and they’ve been an essential part of my strength training routine ever since. So if you’re in a similar situation, you might be looking for a suitable solution too. 

The NordicTrack Select-a-Weight Dumbbells are a space-saving and cost-effective option for adjustable weights. However, like all fitness equipment, they aren’t going to check the box for everyone. Therefore, to help you decide if it’s a practical choice for you, the Breaking Muscle team has put them to the test. Plus, as a health and fitness writer who loves sharing my honest home gym workout experiences, I’ll also be spilling the tea. So, let’s jump right into this NordicTrack adjustable dumbbell review!

Key Takeaways

  • These can replace 15 individual dumbbells, so you can really maximize your home gym space. They range in weight from 10 to 55 pounds (4.53 to 24.94 kilograms).
  • The handle diameter is fixed, which may not be ideal if you prefer a more ergonomic handle.
  • The sliding pins weight selection system is easy to use, but adjusting the weight may take longer than it does on other adjustable dumbbells. 


NordicTrack Select-a-Weight Adjustable Dumbbell


4.1
  • Weight range: 10 to 55 pounds
  • Weight increments: 2.5 to five pounds
  • Adjustment type: Sliding pins
  • Dimensions: 19.4” L x 11.4” W x 8.5” H with storage tray 
  • Materials: Steel, plastic
  • Warranty: 90 days


Check Price

NordicTrack Adjustable Dumbbell Pros

  • NordicTrack’s adjustable dumbbells are some of the more affordable adjustable dumbbell choices.
  • They can be adjusted in 2.5-pound increments, which is ideal for those who prefer to make smaller jumps in weight.
  • The NordicTrack Select-a-Weight dumbbells are compact and take up less room than a full set of high-quality dumbbells. They can fit into most small gym spaces with ease.

NordicTrack Adjustable Dumbbell Cons

  • The plastic parts may cause durability issues.
  • During our testing, we noticed that the weight plates can shake and rattle when in use.
  • The NordicTrack Adjustable Dumbbells can’t be dropped, so they may not be suitable for CrossFitters or lifters who like to train to failure.

NordicTrack Adjustable Dumbbell Rating

The Breaking Muscle team has tried out A LOT of adjustable dumbbells, so we know what a real high-quality one looks like. We use our proprietary factor methodology system to rank everything from price for value to the variety of weight increments.

The NordicTrack Select-a-Weight dumbbells in their storage tray
The NordicTrack Select-a-Weight Adjustable Dumbbells at the Breaking Muscle testing facility

Here’s how the NordicTrack Adjustable Dumbbells score. 

Factor Rating (out of 5)
Price and value 4.0
Construction quality 4.0 
Ergonomics 4.0
Ease of use 4.5 
Weight options 4.0
Adjustment mechanism 3.5
Warranty 3.0

NordicTrack Adjustable Dumbbell Overview

The NordicTrack Select-a-Weight Dumbbells come as a pair and provide a combined 110 pounds (49.89 kilograms) of weight. With a handy-dandy weight selection system and 15 different weight assortments, you can do a variety of home workouts from squats and lunges to bicep curls and overhead presses. Plus, if combined with an iFit membership (for around $39 per month), beginners and intermediate trainees can access hundreds of weightlifting workouts. 

In this second iteration of the NordicTrack Adjustable Dumbbells, you get a less bulky product that feels a little more like a fixed weight. The original version, which had blue weight selector tabs, featured more plastic and felt less sturdy. Some consumers even questioned its safety and reliability. But in NordicTrack’s new and improved version of this set of adjustable dumbbells, it seems to be a lot better. 

Who Should Buy the NordicTrack Adjustable Dumbbells

  • New and intermediate trainees who are looking for dumbbells they can progress with. 
  • Individuals who don’t have a spacious home gym and need a compact solution. 
  • Home gym lovers who enjoy interactive training — these dumbbells are an excellent choice for strength training workouts through iFIT (which requires a subscription of about $39 per month)

Who Should Not Buy the NordicTrack Adjustable Dumbbells

  • Those who prefer the feel and functionality of traditional dumbbells 
  • Advanced weightlifters who need more than 55 pounds 
  • Trainees who’d prefer longer warranty coverage. NordicTrack only offers a 90-day warranty.

NordicTrack Adjustable Dumbbell Review

Before you even think about swiping your card to order this product, there are a few things you should know. While this set of adjustable dumbbells will check the box for some people, it may be completely underwhelming for others. To give you some perspective, we’ll jump into the price, construction quality, warranty, and more. 

Price and Value

As of this writing, the 55-pound (24.94 kilograms) NordicTrack Adjustable Dumbbell costs $399, but is that reasonable? The short answer is yes, and here’s why we ranked these 4 out of 5. 

When compared to similar options, their price actually seems to fall in the middle. For instance, when we compared options, the Bowflex SelectTech 552 was $429, The Core Fitness Adjustable Dumbbell Set was $359, and the Nuobell Classic Adjustable Dumbbell Set was $595.

They’re all compact and have comparable weight options and increments, but the NordicTrack Select-a-Weight set is the only one that goes up to 55 pounds. On top of that, you’d get free shipping and a 30-day iFIT trial. Financing may be an option, too, if you’re not ready to pay it all upfront. There are 12 and 39-month 0 percent APR payment options, meaning you could end up paying a little over $10 or $33 per month.  

So, if you’re comparing those and trying to determine which one would provide the most value, I’d recommend NordicTrack. For the quality, price, and functionality, these are one of the best adjustable dumbbells. However, if you want a set of dumbbells with a greater weight range or higher quality, expect to pay more. 

Also, let’s not forget that traditional dumbbells cost about $1 to $4 per pound. A set of five to 50-pound (22.67 kilograms) rubber hex dumbbells could easily cost you $800, and these are practically half the price. In short, these just might be worth replacing a whole rack of dumbbells. 

RELATED: Best Budget Home Gym Equipment

Construction Quality

The first iteration of the NordicTrack Adjustable Dumbbells had plastic handles and, according to some consumers, cheaply made weight selector tabs that would occasionally break. If those broke, the product became virtually useless, as you couldn’t select a different weight. 

While it’s unclear if they improved this in the newer version, which now has orange adjustment pins, I can say that I haven’t seen nearly as many negative reviews about them breaking. I did come across one poor review on Amazon where the buyer stated that they dropped the adjustable 2.5/5 pound (1.13/2.26 kilograms) section on a horse mat. Afterward, they were no longer able to adjust the five-pound setting and had trouble getting a replacement. 

You should also be aware that the inside of the weight plates are made of plastic as well. In terms of durability, they should work fine for a while but will likely wear down over time. This could cause the plates to stick and not lock into place correctly. My advice is just to be careful. If you’re aggressive when using them or set the weight plates or tabs down too hard, they’ll probably break down much sooner. 

What I really like about the new NordicTrack Adjustable Dumbbells is the metal handle with moderate knurling. This upgrade means you’ll be able to maintain a better grip when completing different exercises. It’s very uncommon to see metal handles on adjustable dumbbells at this price point, so this is truly a standout feature.  

Overall, the construction is pretty good for the price, and that’s why we made it a 4 out of 5. It’s clear that NordicTrack has made some efforts to improve this set of dumbbells so buyers can get more use out of them. Although it’s a bummer when gym equipment like this breaks, we must remember that these aren’t traditional dumbbells. Many lifters have a habit of dropping their weights down after an intense set of reps, but you shouldn’t do that with adjustable dumbbells with plastic parts. 

Ergonomics

These aren’t the most comfortable pair of dumbbells in the world, but they’re by far not the worst, either, so we gave these a 4 out of 5. 

To start, the handles don’t have a thick center that tapers down at each end, which is considered “ergonomic.” Many people find ergonomic handles more user-friendly as they are better at distributing the weight in your hands. This is especially noticeable when using heavier weights. 

However, while those may feel better to hold, a fixed-diameter handle, like the one here, offers more contact and a firmer grip. The moderate knurling assists with maintaining your grip as well and does so without hurting you. More aggressive knurling is sharper and makes it challenging to do high-rep training. 

Although NordicTrack hasn’t disclosed the exact diameter of these 10-pound handles, the Breaking Muscle team assumes they’re about 30 millimeters. This isn’t terrible, but it’s on the thicker side for a smaller dumbbell and possibly not wide enough for a heavier one. To give you some perspective, Rogue’s Rubber Hex Dumbbells that are 12.5 pounds (5.66 kilograms) or heavier sport a 35-millimeter diameter handle. For any less than that, the handle is 25 millimeters thick.

Fat gripz” on heavier dumbbells are more common because large dumbbells require you to utilize more muscles. Muscle growth is stimulated with thicker grips because they make the forearm, bicep, and hand muscles work harder. Over time, this may make you more effective at handling heavier weights. 

Unfortunately, the diameter of NordicTrack’s Adjustable Dumbbells doesn’t change when you make a weight adjustment, but this is common among adjustable dumbbells. Therefore, we can’t completely zonk it. The brand likely picked 30 millimeters because it’s in the middle and should work for those with small and large hands. 

An athlete doing incline dumbbell bench presses with the NordicTrack Select-a-Weight Dumbbells
Doing dumbbell incline bench presses with the NordicTrack Select-a-Weight Dumbbells

Now, let’s consider the weight plates from a comfort perspective. When the Breaking Muscle team tried these out, they noted that the round weight plates slightly shook and made a click-clacking noise. While that won’t physically interfere with your workout, it could be problematic if you’re sensitive to such noises and sensations. Once again, this is the sort of thing that just comes with the adjustable dumbbell territory. 

For the most part, these are shaped and perform a lot like traditional dumbbells, but you shouldn’t use them for push-ups. The plate’s rounded design just doesn’t support that, so stick to lifting instead. 

Ease of Use

A lot of people are intimidated by adjustable dumbbells, but these are pretty easy to use. The storage tray has clear weight markings, so you can move the four adjustment pins to select the amount of weight you want. Then you have to do the other dumbbell, so it’s not the quickest process and could take some getting used to.

I personally prefer the twist-lock technology found on the Core Fitness dumbbells that I own. With those, I just set my dumbbells in the cradle and twist the handle until I reach my desired weight. 

Weight Options

What makes the NordicTrack Select-a-Weight Dumbbells really attractive are the 2.5 and five-pound increments. If you’re anything like me, making a five-pound (2.26-kilogram) leap is challenging, especially when it comes to doing bicep curls. I’d much rather progress in 2.5-pound increments because it allows me to maintain a better form and reduces my risk of injury. 

However, do note that 2.5-pound increments are not available across the board, so if you’re hoping for 7.5 (3.40 kilogram) or 17.5 (7.93 kilogram) weight options, it’s not possible. In some cases, you’ll just have to be okay with a five-pound increment, such as when you go from 15 (6.80) to 20 pounds (9.07 kilograms). 

RELATED: Best Kettlebells for CrossFit, Beginners, and More

Adjustment Mechanism

When you’re ready to adjust the weight of these dumbbells, all you have to do is pull out the orange weight pin selector and slide it to your preferred weight. The markers on the storage tray are set up in 10-pound (4.53 kilogram) increments (e.g., 10, 20, 30 pounds/4.53, 9.07, 13.6 kilograms), etc.), so you know where to place them. 

However, here’s where it gets tricky. There’s a slider inside of each dumbbell for the smaller 2.5 and five-pound increment options, but it’s not exactly clear which way you’re supposed to slide those to select the one you want. Over time, you’d probably figure it out; however, it’s annoying to be doing this in the middle of a workout. 

An athlete adjusting the weight on the NordicTrack Select-a-Weight Dumbbells
A Breaking Muscle team member adjusting the weight on the NordicTrack Select-a-Weight Dumbbells

Also, adjustments can probably be done in five to ten seconds with these, but this is annoying when you’re doing supersets. The dial method is more attractive in terms of speed, which is why this adjustment mechanism gets a 3.5 out of 5 rating. 

Warranty

One area that NordicTrack could’ve done better is the warranty. Compared to other companies that provide two and five-year warranty coverage on parts and labor, they only offer 90 days. 

Such short coverage will make some consumers raise their eyebrows and question the product’s durability. This is especially concerning because the plastic weight-changing pin is susceptible to breakage. Therefore, don’t be forceful when making weight changes because if you break it, it’s not covered under warranty, and finding a replacement may be incredibly challenging. 

In addition, there is a 30-day return policy, but here’s the kicker. You’ll be charged a $250 non-refundable return shipping fee and a 10% processing fee.

NordicTrack Adjustable Dumbbell Specs

When looking for a pair of adjustable dumbbells, it helps to look at certain factors and be aware of your own preferences. For example, you’ll want to know about a dumbbell’s dimensions and materials so you can assess if the size and feel will work for you. Also, knowing its weight range and whether or not it has mobile app capabilities is crucial, especially for beginners. Below, we’ll dive into what you can expect from the NordicTrack Select-a-Weight dumbbells.  

Dimensions

The newest version of these NordicTrack dumbbells is much more compact. The older one was 26.59 inches long, 21.25 inches wide, and 10.53 inches high when the dumbbells were set inside the plastic tray. This one is 19.40 inches long, 11.40 inches wide, and 9 inches tall. Length-wise, it’s a whole seven inches shorter. Therefore, if you don’t have a dedicated home gym space, these are small enough to hide under the bed or in the closet. 

RELATED: Best Budget Barbells

Materials

This iteration of the NordicTrack Adjustable dumbbells has steel handles and weight plates, which is a considerable improvement. It gives them a more premium feel. There is some plastic in the top middle of the plates where the weight selector tabs are meant to be placed. However, compared to the hardened plastic-coated weights on the blue ones, this isn’t so bad. The fitted storage trays are still made of plastic, so you must be careful with those. If you slam the weights down too hard, it may break.  

Weight Range

Each dumbbell is between 10 and 55 pounds (4.53 and 24.94 kilograms). There are 15 weight adjustments, which are as follows: 10, 12.5, 15, 20, 22.5, 25, 30, 32.5, 35, 40, 42.5, 45, 50, 52.5, and 55 pounds (4.53, 5.66, 6.80, 9.07, 10.20, 11.33, 13.60, 14.74, 15.87, 18.14, 19.27, 20.41, 22.67, 23.81, and 24.94 kilograms). 

Mobile App Compatibility

If you like having access to live and on-demand video workouts from iFIT personal trainers, you’re in luck. There are multiple strength exercises on there. This is helpful for beginners who might not know what to do and even more experienced persons who are looking to switch it up. 

When you purchase this adjustable dumbbell set, you’ll get a 30-day iFIT family membership that includes up to five profiles. There’s even a leaderboard to log your workouts and track your progress. As long as you have WiFi and a compatible TV screen, tablet, and/or phone, you should be good to go. Once the trial ends, it’ll be around $39/month plus tax.  

NordicTrack Adjustable Dumbbells vs. BowFlex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells

The BowFlex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells are very popular, and this is partially because BowFlex is a name people trust in the fitness space. Seriously, when I think of my childhood, 1990s BowFlex commercials come to mind. 

There are areas where the BowFlex dumbbells outshine the NordicTrack dumbbells, such as with their simple and quick dial system and two-year warranty. In addition, they’re quieter since the metal plates are encased in a molding. 

I personally like that it starts at five pounds (2.26 kilograms) and has 2.5-pound (1.13 kilogram) increments up to 25 pounds (11.33 kilograms). This may be important for those new to training, who might appreciate 7.5 and 17.5-pound (3.40 and 7.93-kilogram) weight options. NordicTrack has more adjustable increments between 20 and 50 pounds, though, so it really depends on your preference and fitness goals. 

Here’s where BowFlex lacks in comparison, though. Their max weight caps at 52.5 pounds (23.81 kilograms), the handles lack knurling and have a subpar rubber grip, and it’s made with a lot of plastic. In fact, several of their customers have complained about the plastic breaking. At around $429, they’re still considered a relatively affordable option, but you have to ask yourself if you may get more value out of the NordicTrack Select-a-Weight dumbbells.  

Neither of these options comes with an expansion kit, which may be a deal-breaker for anyone looking for much heavier weights.


BowFlex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells


4.5
  • Weight range: Five to 52.5 pounds
  • Weight increments: 2.5 to five pounds
  • Adjustment type: Sliding pins
  • Dimensions: 16.9″ L x 8.3″ W x 9″ H 
  • Materials: Steel, nylon, ABS, thermoplastic rubber
  • Warranty: Two-year parts warranty


Check Price

NordicTrack Adjustable Dumbbell Customer Reviews

NordicTrack doesn’t feature any reviews on their website, but Amazon has over 1500. At the time of this writing, almost 80% are 5-star ratings, and only four percent are 1-star. 

One customer stated, “Best adjustable dumbbells in this price range! Top features are that they are dumbbell shaped with flat weight ends, and the handles are very well done.” Another said, “Best investment I’ve made in my own gym, and I’m happy I went with these…not sure if anything above this is really worth it unless you need 80lbs dumbbells and have a large budget or just want to super nice dumbbells that are $700 to $800.”

Among the negative reviews, some stated that the product arrived broken. One customer said, “The weights arrived broken, with one of the disks having noticeable cracks that prevented the selector switch from moving past it, making it impossible to adjust the weight properly; a critical feature for this product.” One other customer mentioned, “Item arrived in a beat-up box with no styrofoam packing or insulation really of any kind. Weights inside were banged up and scratched though not damaged nearly as badly as other people seem to have gotten.” 

Final Verdict: Are NordicTrack Dumbbells Worth It?

NordicTrack is mainly known for its high-end treadmills and ellipticals, so when I found out they sold dumbbells as well, I was slightly taken aback. I mean, could they really be a leader in the adjustable dumbbell space, too? As it turns out, they’re making a name for themselves as being one the most valuable options out there for its price range.    

The NordicTrack dumbbells are winning in a few areas. They’re cost-effective, space-saving, and feel a lot like regular dumbbells. While they cannot utilize Alexa to respond to voice commands that change the weights like the NordicTrack iSelect Adjustable Dumbbells, it offers other notable features. It’s certainly not every day that you’ll see 2.5 (1.1 kilogram) and 5-pound (2.26 kilogram) weight increments or a dumbbell set that goes up to 55 pounds (24.94 kilograms). Plus, adding iFIT could take your workout game to an entirely different level. 

So, are they worth it? For someone who doesn’t mind the quirks that come with adjustable dumbbells and is short on space, yes. There are definitely options with greater durability and more than 110 pounds (49.89 kilograms), but given the price tag here, the NordicTrack Adjustable Dumbbells are winning. 

FAQs

How do NordicTrack dumbbells work?

When you’re ready to adjust the weight, just slide the orange weight selector pins to the appropriate spot, as marked by the storage tray. 

What are the advantages of NordicTrack adjustable dumbbells?

NordicTrack Adjustable Dumbbells are a budget-friendly, space-saving choice for new and intermediate trainees who may enjoy interactive training. 

The post NordicTrack Adjustable Dumbbell Review (2023): Are These Value Dumbbells Worth It? appeared first on Breaking Muscle.

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