The Xmark adjustable dumbbell certainly looks the part, with its chromed heavy duty steel weight plates. But with looks aside, can this set from Xmark rival the Titans at the top of the adjustable dumbbell market?
In this review we take a close look at the 50lb dumbbell pair, that’s 50lb per dumbbell, there’s also a 25lb pair on sale from Xmark in this range if you’re after something a little lighter. A quick look at our comparison table first, this will help you get a good idea of what else is out there and how they match up against the Xmark set.
If you are interested, you can read our summary of both the Powerblocks and Bowflex sets at the end of this review.
At 50lb per dumbbell, we’re looking at a set aimed primarily at beginners to intermediate level, many of you may never lift 50lb per dumbbell, it’s a hefty weight, but for those who take their lifting seriously, a 50lb dumbbell can be outgrown in a few years. You will be surprised at how quickly your strength will increase when you start training regularly.
Similar to many of the adjustable dumbbell sets, the 50lb weight per dumbbell is final, by this I mean there are no options to add weight to the dumbbell when you start to outgrow them, as I mentioned above this will not affect many people.
A 50lb max weight range will be sufficient for years of growth, but for some who are heavily into bodybuilding, the lack of any additional expansion packs may be too limiting, for serious lifters it might be best to look for a dumbbell that offers this option.
Xmark Fitness Adjustable Dumbbells Video
A fast foolproof sliding pin locking system is, in my opinion, the best feature of the Xmark Fitness Dumbbell. You simply slide the pin over to the weight you desire and it then locks in place. You lift the dumbbell out of the holding cradle leaving the remaining weight plates behind, simple and fast, great for drop sets.
On the negative is the handle length, the Xmark dumbbell handles are long, 15.75″ and long handles can prove awkward to train with, they can clash overhead, hit your legs when curling. It takes a little getting used to but after a few weeks, you should have adjusted to the length.
Long handles continue to be one of the drawbacks that adjustable dumbbells suffer from, including the Bowflex 552’s, the adjustment systems are to blame because they run the whole length of the dumbbell, it means even if you are lifting 10lb the handle is the same length as if you were lifting 50lb.
What is preferable is a handle length that only increases in length as the weight is increased such as the Powerblock adjustable dumbbells, this helps to keep the dumbbell compact and gives you a more natural feel when training, similar to a fixed weight dumbbell. Long handles are not a deal breaker but it is something to take into consideration when buying your first set.
Heavy duty chromed steel plates
Comes with two dumbbell cradles
No expansion packs available
You can’t really beat chromed steel plates for build quality and with minimal plastic used in the design, I’m sure the Xmark Fitness dumbbells are going to be a tough, durable set, so a big thumbs up here. It’s nice to see an adjustable dumbbell set where they have kept plastic to a minimum.
Dumbbells get dropped, period! If you drop a Bowflex dumbbell you have a very good chance of cracking the plastic surrounding the weight plate and yes this isn’t covered in the warranty so you’re left with an expensive repair bill.
It’s not advisable to drop any adjustable dumbbell, but as it’s pretty much unavoidable you’ll need a dumbbell that can at least take a few drops and I think you should be fine with the Xmark pair. I wouldn’t recommend training to failure each time and dropping the dumbbells every workout, but a few drops here and there will be ok.
Powerblock Elite 50lb
The Powerblock adjustable dumbbells are one of the best adjustable dumbbell sets you are going to come across, boasting 2.5lb increments the Powerblocks offer something many others don’t.
Having a dumbbell that adjusts in 2.5lb increments is great for isolation exercises where 5lb and 10lb can be a too bigger jump. And what’s handy about this set is it adjusts in 2.5lb increments right up to 50lb.
The Powerblocks are also one of the most
The main advantage of owning a pair of Powerblocks is the choice of being able to add expansion packs, the Elite range offers packs of 70-90lb, this makes the Powerblocks attractive to a much wider market, beginners just starting out and serious weightlifters can choose a dumbbell knowing that outgrowing will not be an option.
It’s much better to own a dumbbell with the option of adding an expansion pack rather than having to buy a completely new set of heavier dumbbells.
When you hear the name Bowflex you immediately think quality and that’s just what you get with the Bowflex 552 dumbbells.
The Bowflex 552
But the Bowflex pair also has their disadvantages, firstly the long handles and secondly the plastic encasing the weight plates.
It has been a well-documented problem with the Bowflex dumbbells of the casing cracking from drops, if you can manage to be careful, then this issue shouldn’t be a deal stopper, but if you’re like me and you tend to drop the dumbbells sometimes then this could be a deciding factor when looking to purchase.
Overall the Bowflex