Finally, a well-made heavy selectable dumbbell pair that doesn’t cost the earth. The MuscleSquad Adjustable Dumbbells cost a third less than most 32kg dumbbells, and they don’t cut on quality either. They boast metal plates without the scarry plastic casings, and best of all, they feel solid without any plate movement. If you don’t want to pay Bowflex 1090 prices, the MuscleSquad bells might be just what you’re looking for.

man pressing two heavy weight adjustable dumbbells

Impressive, but don’t get too excited.

They’re not a dumbbell set that comes without any issues; every fast-to-adjust selectable set has its drawbacks, such as fixed-length handles and delicate adjustment systems, but overall the MuscleSquad dumbbells offer that bit more for the price because you’re getting the extra 10kg in weight. Most importantly, the weight increases are small, which is one of the keys to progress in bodybuilding.

Product Specifications


Product dimensions – In tray (mm) – (H) 210 , (W) 420 , (D) 200


Weight – 32.5kg per dumbbell


Adjustment system – weight selection dials


Weight increments – 5kg, 7.5kg, 10kg, 12.5kg, 15kg, 17.5kg, 20kg, 22.5kg, 25kg, 27.5kg, 30kg, 32.5kg


Material – metal, plastic


Sold in pairs and singles

Why Do We Like The MuscleSquad Adjustable Dumbbells?

What I love about these dumbbells are the 2.5kg weight increments. It’s hard to find an affordable set of heavy bells that offers small weight increases. Small weight increases are one of the keys to progress no matter what exercises you’re performing or apparatus you are using, and for dumbbells, ideally, we look for 1.25kg or 2.5kg increments.

The 2.5kg weight increments of the MuscleSquad dumbbells still aren’t perfect, but it’s a huge improvement over most of the cheap heavy sets. The majority of cheap heavy sets adjust in increments of 5kg this is too large a jump in weight even for serious lifters. Jumps in weight this large can cause you to cheat your form, slow progress, and, at worst, cause an injury.

No Plastic Casings For The Weight Plates

Great to see that MuscleSquad decided not to use those awful plastic casings for the weight plates. Companies like Bowflex, Weider, and NordicTrack use the plastic casings for their plates, and they’re the first thing to break when the dumbbells are dropped, making them unusable.

Plastic casings will keep the noise down a little and make the weight changes smoother, but they’re a headache to deal with as once they crack, you have to pay for the repair bill as drops are not covered in the warranties. This is one of the main complaints with sets like the Bowflex 552s and 1090s. And a nice surprise to see MuscleSquad avoided this design floor.

MuscleSquad Dumbbells Unboxing

Speedy Weight Changes – Fast Enough For Drop Sets

The MuscleSquad Dumbbells use a weight selection dial at both ends of the dumbbells, very similar to the Bowflex dumbbells. Dials are not the fastest adjustment system out there because you have to press a button and need to adjust both ends if adjusting in 2.5kgs. Still, it’s easily fast enough for exercises such as drop sets which require quick weight changes.

No advanced or basic bodybuilding technique requires a weight change faster than 5 seconds. You can adjust a pair of MusclSquad dumbbells easiey within that time. So although they may not be as fast as the twist-lock system of the Snode AD-50s or Core Fitness twist locks, they are still quick enough for any lifter’s needs.

man adjusting the muscle squad 32.5kg dumbbell

Fixed Length Handles – Are They a Deal Killer?

Like most selectable dumbbells, the MuscleSquad bells use a fixed-length handle. A fixed-length handle is a dumbbell handle that stays the same length no matter how much weight you’re lifting.

Fixed-length handles are always awkward to lift with at first until you get used to them. And because this is a heavy dumbbell, the handles are that much longer, which can be a pain in the butt when setting up for exercises and curling, etc. My first set of adjustables used a fixed-length handle, and it took a while to adapt to the length of the handle. It’s not a deal stopper; just don’t expect a dumbbell like this to feel natural like a compact fixed weight dumbbell.

man holding empty musclesquad dumbbell handle

It’s a Shame The Ends Aren’t Flat.

Im being a bit picky here, but when setting up for presses and resting the dumbells on your knees, you really want a dumbbell with flat ends, so nothing digs into the thighs. Dumbbells like the MuscleSquads have adjustment dials on either end that dig into your thighs; it’s the same with any of the dial select dumbbells, it’s not a huge problem, but it’s worth a mention because this is a heavy set. If you have a lot of weight on each dumbbell, you’ll certainly feel it, and it’s offputting.

Space-Saving Design

One of the best things about this set of dumbbells is that it replaces 12 sets of fixed weight dumbells or 24 singles; that’s a heck of a lot of space to save, allowing you to store these dumbbells just about anywhere.

However, there’s no stand available for the MuacleSquad pair, so I recommend getting hold of a small, sturdy table to place them on if you haven’t already got one. This will save you from bending down each time you want to change the weight.

No Drops From Height

You haven’t got the plastic casing surrounding the weight plates, which is good. Still, the handle has plastic parts, and so too does the adjustment system. This is a common issue with most adjustable sets. I’ve been reviewing them for years, and sadly unless you want to pay more for an all-metal set like the Snode AD-50s, it’s something you’ll have to live with.

Because of the fragile adjustment system, there’s no training to failure, and dropping the MuscleSquad dumbbells on that last killer rep, I wouldn’t recommend dropping from anything higher than 6″.  Remember, drops aren’t covered in the warranty.

Single or a Pair?

Unless you’re on a budget, it’s best to purchase a pair of dumbbells otherwise, you’ll miss out on compound movements that require two dumbbells. Compound movements build mass, strength and burn fat faster than any other type of exercise.

The Good

Well made, solid dumbbell, no plate movement

Fast to adjust – under 5 seconds

Small weight increases – best for progress

Decent price for a heavy adjustable dumbbell pair

Space-saving design, replaces 12 pairs of fixed weight dumbbells

Come with storage trays

The Bad

Long fixed length handles – can be awkward to lift with at first

No drops, some plastic parts in the design



pair of bowflex 1090 dumbbells in home gym

Bowflex 1090

Bowflex were the first guys to introduce the fast selectable dumbbell sets to the market nearly 20 years ago, and they’re still as popular now as when they first came out. And I’ve always liked their dumbbell sets. They’re fast to adjust, they feel quality which is what you expect from Bowflex, and they offer the all-important small weight increases.

So just like the MuscleSquad dumbbells, the Bowflex dumbbells have a lot of positives. They’re both very similar. The Bowflex 1090s, however, offer a bit more weight as their max weight per dumbbell is 40kg which is great news for the more serious lifter out there. But they are pricey. For a single Bowflex 1090 dumbbell, you can almost buy two MuscleSquad dumbbells. You have to ask yourself, is that extra 10kg a dumbbell worth that much of a hike in price? Probably not.

Also, the Bowflex 1090s dumbbells have more plastic in their design as their weight plates include that nasty plastic casing which is disappointing to see.

Bowflex needs to drop the price of their 1090s to keep competitive. As of right now, they’re overpriced for what you get.


To Sum Up

Im impressed with what the MuscleSquad Adjustable Dumbbells offer for the price point. They’re a heavy 32.5kg per dumbbell pair for under £450 that’s a great price considering they include the 2.5kg weight increments. Also, there’s not too much plastic, the weight plates are all metal, and they feel solid with no plate movement, which is always a good thing.

Overall you won’t find much better in this weight range for the price, they might be overkill for a beginner, but if you’ve been lifting for a while, the MuscleSquad dumbbells make an excellent choice for a home gym.