Welcome to our review of the popular Power block 24 adjustable dumbbells (available on Amazon). This is one of the best-known adjustable weights people go for so we were eager to see what all the fuss was about. We’ll cover everything it does, what it’s best at and where it falls short.
What is the Power Block Sport 24 Dumbbell Set?
The Power Block Sport 24 is a compact adjustable weight dumbbell.
You get a pair of is a single-hand dumbbell that can be set to one of eight possible weights. Like a weight stack on a gym machine, you decide on your weight and then slide a pin in to that level, fixing the weight for your set. The idea behind it is you only need one dumbbell to do the job you’d normally need a rack full to do.
They have a distinctive robotic loaf of bread look about them and a set of colour-coded bars down the side. At first glance, they look fairly complicated. They’re actually anything but.
The minimum weight per hand is 3lb or 1.36kg
The max weight per hand is 24lb / 10.88kg
Unlike some other adjustables, these come as a pair which is great. While you can do a lot with a single dumbbell, having two of these babies opens up many more exercises.
The compact frame is made of welded steel and is designed to provide an open grip system with a padded handle to protect your wrists.
You can see these weights in action on the FitnessBlender youtube channel, which has been many user’s introduction to these weights!
How do they work?
At the core, the Power block 24 weights are a handle which you then add weights to. You do this by picking the weight you want. At first, you can check the weight on the top and then match it up with the handy colour on the side. After a while, you’ll know which colour to go for.
Once you’ve picked a weight, there’s a long prong (calling it a pin doesn’t do it justice) which you slide out from its current slot and then push in around the colour you want. It sounds fiddly … and it sort of is. At least at first. After a few uses, you’ll be doing it like second nature.
There’s no locking mechanisms or anything to do twist or clamp down, as you might find on other brands. Your only other job is to make sure the ‘pin’ is correctly inserted into the right slot and you’ve picked the same weight on both dumbbells. You might also like our guide to the best adjustable dumbbells in the UK.
Power Block Sport 24 Dumbbell Features at a Glance
- Dimensions: 10?L x 5.5?W x 5.5?H
- Increments: 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21, 24 lbs
- Material: Welded steel construction with a powder finish
- Grip: Open designed comfortable rubber grip
- Replaces 216lbs or 8 pairs of dumbbells
- Easy to use magnetic polypropylene pin
- Sold in a pair
- 24lbs per hand
- Weight range of 3lbs to 24lbs
Do you need adjustable dumbbells?
If there’s one thing I’ve learned when it comes to dumbbells, it’s hugely important to have as many weights as possible. Here’s the 5 main reasons for that:
- You should be increasing the weight over time – Lifting the same weight day in, day out is great at first but you’re not going to improve without gradually increasing your weight. The Power blocks do this job well as you can gradually increase in teeny increments of just over 1kg at a time.
- Some days you’ll need to lift LESS – I’ve written about the importance of listening to your body when you’re in training and some days you just won’t be able to hit the big weights. While the weight on the Power blocks is relatively low, it’s good to be able to drop down on those days when you’re not feeling in peak condition.
- Different exercises need different weights – If you’ve ever tried a front raise with heavy dumbbells, you’ll likely have felt how hard it is. While that weight will likely be a doddle to shoulder press. My front raise is one of the lowest weights I use. The Power block is really good for this.
- You might need to drop the weight on the last set – One thing I find very useful in my training is to start a set with a bigger weight and then, rather than fail completely on the final set, drop the weight down a bit and complete the set properly. Having either a selection of weights or an adjustable one makes this really easy.
- It’s great dropping down to hardly any weight to work on form – If you’re trying to figure out a new exercise in your home gym, it’s great to get the lightest weight and really work on the form, and gradually build up to a weight that will challenge you. I like doing this with any new dumbbell exercises I find and the Power blocks and Bowflexes of the world make this easy.
How they compare to the Bowflex Adjustables
While there’s a growing number of adjustable dumbbells on the market, the main two that are the ‘best’ or the market leaders are the Power block and Bowflex sets. The Bowflex being probably the main competitor for these, although we’ve seen a real growth in the number of adjustables out there lately!
So what are the main differences between them? We’ve actually got a full guide on the Powerblock vs the Bowflex weights but here’s a quick summary:
- The power block 24’s are definitely smaller
- The Bowflex have a more natural ’round dumbbell’ sort of form
- Bowflex’s adjustables have a simple grip – you’re not reaching between two bars
- Cost-wise, they’re both in the same rough price point
- As for weights, the Bowflex set goes up to twice the weight, which will be better if you need more than 10kg
How do they compare to hex and rounded dumbbells?
Let’s forget for a second that the Powerblocks can be set to different weights. Aside from that, how do these weights differ? How do adjustable weights like the Sport 24 measure up, and what are you missing out on?
Balance & feel
Balance-wise the ‘feel’ isn’t any different to curling with a regular gym-style dumbbell or these more modern adjustable ones. The Powerblock’s have a slightly more clunky feel about them and they make a slight noise, as you might expect from so many bits of metal being moved around. You also can’t smack them together like you can with rubber weights.
The power blocks have a square shape so expect your body to come in contact with them more than round ones. That being said there are no exercises I can find that you can’t do with the Powerblocks. You’re not limited in any way.
Let’s look at how these weights compare on the cost front. A pair of good rubber hex dumbbells will likely set you back around £150 for a pair, depending on weight and brand you go for. The Powerblocks can usually be picked up for around £280 – £300 depending. Roughly twice the price. It’s perhaps an unfair comparison because the Powerblocks do the job of 8 pairs of dumbbells. So they’re actually pretty good value, depending on how you look at it!
Benefits to Training with the Power Block Sport 24 Dumbbells
One may use Sports 24 dumbbells in a variety of stationary and motion-based exercises incorporating whole-body training at a fraction of the cost of a home gym. Performing exercises with dumbbells give ultimate exercise mobility, and the rack and run technique can only be achieved in dumbbell training.
You can incorporate the dumbbells into your squats, lunges, crunches, rows, and curls and further define your muscles. Unlike stationary lifting machines, dumbbells give you the ability to target specific muscles such as the abs, chest, legs, arms, and back without sacrificing space or compromising your training efficiency.
Drop sets and mechanical advantage drop sets are a breeze with dumbbells, which gives you access to high-intensity workouts without the cost of heavy machinery.
Increased Range of Motion
Unlike the fixed position of barbells, dumbbells allow you to alter your movement pattern and allow your shoulders an extended range of motion. You may bring the dumbbells lower or higher to target individual muscles without your motion being inhibited by muscle-specific gym machines.
Increased Stability and muscle Activity
Dumbbell training is a free-weight activity that has enormous benefits for your training. Unlike classic gym machines that provide your body with fixed support, your body must work much harder to balance and stabilize itself during dumbbell exercises.
The action of balancing and stabilizing during dumbbell training activates more muscle fibres and strengthens your core.
Who Would Benefit from the Power Block Sport 24 Dumbbells?
They’re great for online training
There are a number of trainers on Youtube who use the Power block 24’s in their routines and you can vary the weight and follow along with their classes, making sure you’re getting the same weight that they are using.
If you’re short on space, you’ll love these
Isn’t everyone short on space?
The Sport 24 dumbbells will be a godsend to anyone looking for a full-body home exercise option without having loads of cumbersome weights cluttering the home. The neat dimensions of the Sport 24 dumbbells (26.67cm x 13.21cm x 12.7 cm) mean they can be tucked away anywhere when you’re done.
If you’re just getting into resistance training
The Sport 24 dumbbells would suit someone seeking moderate-intensity training that can be used in various exercises to incorporate all the body’s major muscles. Dumbbells provide the ultimate mobility in weight training and can be incorporated into lunges, presses, curls, squats, and curls to target a variety of specific muscles.
Review & Opinion: What We Liked About The Power Block Sport 24 Dumbbells
It’s well made
One thing you can’t always tell from pics is if something is actually solid and well made. One thing we can say with these adjustable is that they’re good quality – as you’d expect for a bit of kit just under £300. Everything feels solid and the weights slot together snuggly. The drawer or locking pin shelf is strong and isn’t going to snap if after a few hundred uses.
As far as build quality and durability goes? There’s nothing to complain about here. Design-wise it’s a distinctive-looking product that’s got a unique look to it. I’m still not sure if I like the look of it and I prefer the look of the Bowflex and some of the other adjustable hand weights but that’s subjective. Others I know love the way this looks.
Comfy to use
The grip of the Sport 24 dumbbells is comfortable and firm with a contoured rubber overlay. You can get a good range of motion. I know some people have found they wanted the grip a bit thicker but it’s a standard dumbbell thickness and feels great, especially at this weight.
The pin system is simple enough to use, and the transition between the various weights is quick and hassle-free. The colour-coded system makes it easy to see where the sliding drawer needs to go. Due to the nature of the double prongs, you can ‘get it wrong’ when you slide it in, however, but it’s easy to correct and simple enough to use once you’ve practised a bit.
It’s more compact than it looks in the pics
These things are a lot smaller than they look in the images. And that’s a good thing, actually.
The Sport 24 can easily be slipped under a bed or inside a cupboard when not in use and there’s no reason you couldn’t take them with you on that next UK break. You know, if you really like exercising on holiday. For anyone looking to get fit and save on space, you’ll love this. The idea of 8 different weights from such a dinky bit of gear is really clever.
Versatile and Durable
The solid welded steel construction not only looks good but gives one confidence that the dumbbell will last. We tried several exercises, including goblin squats, lunges, and presses, and the dumbbells adapted easily to each movement with smooth transitions between various weights.
The almost basket-like shape felt a tad odd initially, but we soon got used to the product’s unique dimensions.
Isolates Target Muscles
Because the Sport24 is so compact you can easily incorporate them into muscle-specific exercises with ease. Tricep kickbacks and lying dumbbell flys, and weighted sit-ups step up your everyday training intensity and deliver extra burn. Although the weights are not very heavy, repetitive actions increase your workout intensity and provide enhanced muscle activation that we enjoyed.
What Could Have Been Better About The Power Block Sport 24?
The weights jiggle around a bit, making a rattling noise
The weights do tend to rattle while you are working out, especially the more vigorous arm exercises. Although it is nothing like the intensity of metal on metal clinging, it is far from some dumbbells’ silent operation in the same niche.
Pin could be more robust
The pin is a bit flimsy and can sometimes slip from its setting, which is disappointing considering the steel weight railing’s overall sturdiness. Instead of a plastic pin, a more solid material would suit the set more.
They’ve definitely got a different feel to regular dumbbells
One word of caution that might be an issue if you’ve used rubber dumbbells and other hand weights for years is how they feel in comparison. The weight and balance is not an issue but there are two bars that you slot your hands between.
The bar can touch your wrist at times and while it’s not uncomfortable, it’s noticeable. Some people won’t like that, compared to the simple handle and the freedom of regular dumbbells.
Don’t expect to throw them about
While I don’t normally throw my rubber dumbbells about, I do like to drop them a little bit, especially after a hard set. The Power block dumbbells are really well made and tough, but I wouldn’t want to drop them or do anything other than placing them carefully down.
If your workouts get a bit crazy and you’re normally dropping your weights then you might not like the more restrictive design here. You won’t break ’em but you might have to treat them more carefully than the indestructible rubber hexes.
Conclusion: Are the Power blocks worth getting?
Assuming the upper weight of just over 10kg is enough of a challenge for you, this is an impressive solution to not having your home cluttered with different dumbbells.
The Power Block Sport 24 is well-made and easy enough to swap between weights. The pin / shelf takes a little practice but the gentle increments of just over 1kg are ideal for building up your strength.
They’re definitely not cheap but they should last a while. And the dinky size means you can sneak them on your next road trip holiday.
The dumbbells are versatile and fit into dozens of muscle-specific exercises and suit those with low to moderate weight intensity training.
In short, an excellent, well-engineered set of space-saving hand weights.
References and further reading
- Visit the official PowerBlock website here
- You can order parts for your sports 24 here
- Can you use dumbbells as kettlebells?
- There’s also a brilliant guide over on sci-fit.net which condenses many studies into one superb guide about training for strength and hypertrophy
- Built with science has an excellent case study on building bigger arms fast