Universal Selectorized 445 Dumbbells and Stand

Universal Selectorized 445 Dumbbells and Stand

  • Each dumbbell adjusts from 4 to 45 pounds, in 5 pound increments, allowing you to rapidly switch from one exercise to the next
  • Great space and money saver; the Universal Power Pak replaces 9 sets or 18 individual dumbbells
  • Includes an ergonomically designed dumbbell stand to neatly store your dumbbells
  • Durable thermoplastic rubber handle for a comfortable non-slip grip
  • Workout guide

Offering an ideal combination of performance and space-saving ingenuity, the Universal Power Pak dumbbell and stand set is a great choice for athletes and beginning weight trainers alike. The Power Pak dumbbells–which adjust from 4 to 45 pounds in 5-pound increments–work just like a weight stack at the gym. When you want to change weights, simply move the weight selector dial to the appropriate setting.

As you lift the handle, the weights lift with you, turning your 10-pound dumbbell into a 20-pound, 30-pound, or 40-pound dumbbell. The dumbbell set lets you perform everything from light tricep extensions to bicep curls to incline bench press, all with a single dumbbell set. No more cluttering up your workout space with dozens of weights, or trudging across the room to grab new dumbbells each time you switch exercises.

The set also includes a Universal stand that lets you store your dumbbells in a single location. The stand includes two cradles that are custom sized for the Power Pak dumbbells, holding them at an ideal height for quick access. Plus, the stand makes it easy to reach the weight selector dial, so you can adjust the Power Pak dumbbells in just a few quick seconds. The dumbbells and stand carry a one-year warranty.

      • Weight Range: 4 to 45 lbs for each dumbbell
      • Exercises Available: 30+
      • Weight Settings: 9
      • Weight Settings in pounds: 4, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40 and 45
      • Dumbbell Dimensions (Each): 14 inches long by 15 inches wide by 7 inches tall
      • Weight (Each): 45 pounds
Leg Exercises:
      • Wide squats
      • Calf raises
      • Stationary lunges
      • Stiff-leg dead lift
      • Reverse lunge
      • Side lunge
Back Exercises:
      • Alternating rows
      • Wide row
      • Dead lift
Chest Exercises:
      • Flat chest press
      • Incline chest press
      • Flat fly
      • Incline fly
      • Decline chest press
Abdominal Exercises:
      • Ab crunch
      • Reverse crunch
      • Lying trunk rotation
      • Twisting side crunch
      • Lying leg raise
Arm Exercises:
      • Standing curls
      • Concentration curls
      • Incline bench curls
      • Scott curls
      • Overhead triceps extension
      • Triceps kickback
      • Lying triceps extension
      • Hammer curls
Shoulder Exercises:
    • Standing shoulder press
    • Lateral raise
    • Seated overhead press
    • Front raise
    • Rear delt row
    • Shrugs

Reviews of Universal Selectorized 445 Dumbbells and Stand

Review 1: After a Lot of Research, I Picked These…

I’m absolutely thrilled with these weights and the stand. After a lot of research, I narrowed my choices for a set of adjustable weights down to three. These, the Bowflex select-tech weights and the reebok powerblocks.

I was able to knock the Reebok Powerblocks off my list and narrow it down to just the Bowflex and these because I realized I needed/wanted a “knob” to change the weights. I watched a few videos that demonstrated how you change the weight for the Reebok Powerblocks and knew right away it wasn’t for me. There is too much room for error, it’s not as quick as a knob, when exhausted I could imagine it being a real PIA…in other words, I wanted something easier & more reliable with no room for error.

I ended up going with these over the Bowflex SelectTech weights because of one thing and one thing only…the included stand. Let me tell you right now, you may not think a stand is a big deal, but it absolutely is…especially with an adjustable dumbbell.

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You aren’t just tossing the weights onto a rack like you do with regular dumbbells, you have to “line them up” when putting them back (which is the case with ANY adjustable dumbbell). That means a certain amount of control is required, and with the weights up off the floor on a stand, it makes it infinitely easier to more quickly & easily put them back, change the weight and pick them back up.

These weights are roughly $30 cheaper than the Bowflex weights, and they come with a stand. When you consider the fact that the Bowflex weight stand is an additional $120 or so, that essentially makes these weights $150 cheaper when you really compare “apples to apples”.

Granted, these weights only go up to 45, and the Bowflex weights go up to 52.5, but I could always just put on some 5lb wrist straps to make up the difference. I wouldn’t consider that worth the extra $150.

Also, these weights are only adjustable in 5lb increments, the Bowflex weights are adjustable by 2.5lbs (up until you get to 25lbs I think, then you can only adjust those in 5lb increments as well). Again however, not something I consider a negative. I’ve never adjusted my weights by 2.5lb increments in my life. If you’re a woman and you want that kind of fine tuning ability, that may be a bigger deal.

I was worried about some of the other reviewers mentioning that the plates “rattle”…I honestly am just convinced there is no pleasing some people. The plates rattle by MILLIMETERS…it’s not like the weights are sliding all over the place.

I’ve been using these for skull crushers and other moves where the weight is above my face/head/feet and am supremely confident in them. They are stable & secure, and there is nothing that has made me question that. They look and feel extremely well made and of a great quality.

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Something I didn’t expect, but am extremely happy about, is that no matter what weight you select, the amount of weight on each side of the dumbbell is the same. Some of the really cheap $50 to $100 adjustable dumbbells that only go up to 20-25lbs are adjustable in 5lb increments, but when you set it on, say, 15lbs, you’ll end up with 10lbs on one side of the dumbbell, and 5lbs on the other.

So while you are in fact lifting 15lbs, you have to deal with the issue of having an uneven weight. These are not like that and you get exactly the same amount of weight on both sides of the dumbbell regardless of your weight selection.

I’ve been using these with the BeachBody “Body Beast” program. I’ve done P90X in the past, and I can tell you that you need far more available weight options AND the ability to change them FASTER than you do in P90X. In other words, I needed a set of adjustable dumbbells with a lot of weight options, the ability to quickly change weights and the ability to change the weight reliably even when exhausted. These are perfect for the “Body Beast” program, which means they would be even better for use with P90X, as the requirements aren’t as strict in comparison.

These weights deserve all five of the stars I’ve given them, really really happy.

Review 2: Power-Pak 445

I considered the Bowflex 552’s and these, the Bowflex 552’s looked nicer, but were more expensive. I was going to buy the bowflex at $280 (at the time lowest I could find). I figured a $30 difference and I would make-do without a stand. Glad I did not, because after using these I realized the stand is a must have, and then would have been talking $170 difference. Here are the Pro’s and Cons that I found between the 2.

Bowflex-Pros 1.-Look cool 2.-2.5 weight increments at low rates Cons-1.-Cost 2. Occasionally “stick” 3. Need to turn both ends to adjust weights

Universal 445-Pros 1. Come with stand 2. Only turn one end which makes changing weight easier and quicker 3. Less physcial plates so one less plate to “tetris” in 4. Price Cons-1. Adjust in 5 increments (I have not found an issue though) 2. Weights do shift-they are secure they just slide back and forth (I have gotten used to)

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I am happy with the Universal 445’s and am glad I purchased rather than Bowflex, based on price and quicker weight adjusting. They also look cooler then in the pictures. The 5lb increments is fine for me, since I had been jumping like 10lbs with standard dumbbells.

The only con I can think of is the shifting weight, which I could imagine drives some people nuts. Yes the weights shift, but that are still secure and they aren’t going to fall off, I have confidence to do lifts with them over my head, face or crotch.

Review 3: Nice inexpensive alternative to the Bowflex SelectTechs and other adjustable models

The Power-Pak 445 (PP445) by Universal (a division of Nautilus) is an adjustable dumbbell set that allows you to adjust the weight of the dumbbells from 4 to 45 pounds in 5lb increments. Traditional dumbbells are expensive. They typically sell for around $1 per pound, and take up a lot of room. If you’re at a gym this isn’t a problem. If you’re working out from home, it is a real pain to store 7 or 8 sets of dumbbells, and bring them out and put them away after a workout.

I am a big fan of adjustable dumbbell sets. Not only do you usually save money, but you get a lot more variety which makes your workouts faster and more efficient, and prevent clutter in your house. The only disadvantage to them, is that they’re bigger than standard dumbbells, which can limit your range of motion in some exercises, and you can’t drop them or be as rough with them as regular weights.

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Below are the major brands of adjustable dumbbells that Amazon sells in the 50 pound range. I’ve listed them based on a combination of popularity and rating based on what I think are the best to least best, with the Bowflex SelectTechs (which I’ll refer to as BST) at the top. I currently use the BST and I think it is the best adjustable dumbbell option right now, so the rest of my review will compare the PP445 to them.

1. Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells (Pair) 5 to 52.5 lbs in 2.5 pound increments
2. PowerBlock Classic Adjustable Dumbbell Set 5 to 45 lbs in 5 pound increments
3. Ironmaster 75 lb Quick Lock Adjustable Dumbbell System – 5 to 75 lbs in 2 1/2 pound increments, includes stand
4. XMark Fitness Adjustable Dumbbell 5-50 lbs 5 to 50 lbs in 10 pound increments
5. Performance Fitness Systems TB560 5 to 60-Pound Adjustable Dumbbells with Stand 5 to 60 lbs in 2.5-pound increments, includes stand
6. Bayou Fitness Adjustable Dumbbell(50 -Pounds) 10 to 50 lbs in 5 pound increments

There are two features right away about the PP445s that I like. The first is that they come with a stand. For the dumbbells above that don’t come with a stand, expect to pay an extra $100 – $150 for one. It’s not a requirement, as they all contain some type of base that they fit into, but you don’t want to have to pick up heavy weights off of the ground, which can throw your back out or tire you out before you even start the set.

Of course the disadvantage to this is that a stand takes up dedicated space in your house, as opposed to just putting the weights in the corner or under a bed. But if you do have the space for it, I recommend getting one. The second feature, is that these weights have a smooth weight selection system that makes it very quick and easy to adjust the weights to different levels. My Bowflex SelectTechs work pretty well, but every once in awhile they will catch and not lock in on a certain weight. The 445s don’t seem to have this problem.

The first thing you’ll notice about the PP445 is that they’re bigger than standard dumbbells. They have to be taller in order to allow the use of multiple plates on the rack. Because of this, it may limit some of your sets. I tried out the PP445s with five routines of P90X: Tony Horton’s 90-Day Extreme Home Fitness Workout DVD Program, which I think is a great litmus test because it involves dozens of different exercises that use a variety of moves to give you a good evaluation of how they will compare to standard dumbbells.

Like the BST, there were only a few moves that I would have preferred standard dumbbells for – tricep extensions, and tricep kickbacks. The weight plates are so big that it can be tough to clear your chest on moves like this. However there is one advantage to having larger adjustable dumbbells, in that it encourages you to work your stabilizers, which is the main reason that free weights are so much better than machines to begin with.

I found that on some of the moves that the PP445s size makes them unwieldy on, I have to concentrate more on my form to make sure the weight clears, and this can give me better results. Switching weights is extremely easy to do. You just turn a knob to select the desired weight amount, and it is very similar to the Bowflex. It will take you about 4 or 5 seconds to adjust the weight on both dumbbells. This is perfect for me since I like little downtown between sets, and want to spend that time focusing on my form and getting my mind right, rather than fiddling with a bunch of weights.

The weights lift up easily and don’t “catch” like I sometimes experience with the Bowflex when it isn’t entirely locked into place. Although they can be a bit awkward until you get used to them, they feel just as well-balanced as traditional dumbbells. The stand feels sturdy and high-quality, and doesn’t have a very big footprint. I do prefer the Bowflex stand since it has locking wheels on it so I can roll it out of the way if needed. Another reason I will continue to use my BST over these, is because I prefer the extra 7.5 pounds on the BST, which I need for heavier sets such as back exercises and squats.

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But mostly, I will use the BST because they are adjustabnle in 2.5lb increments, whereas the 445s can only be adjusted in 5lbs. For me, this is a huge disadvantage to weights that are only adjustable in 5 lb increments (and I would never advise anyone buy 10 lb increment weights). 2.5 lbs makes a big difference for me on a lot of sets, especially when using smaller muscle groups like biceps and triceps.

If I had to make adjustments in 5 lb increments on an exercise such as pour flys (hold your arms straight out to your sides with weights, and then turn your palms down, like you’re pouring out a beer), I would never get better because it’s too much for me. Smaller increments allow me to advance while maintaining proper form. This is the main reason I purchased the BST over the PowerBlock (which is a decent dumbbell set, but a little too big for me).

In summary, I do think the Power-Pak 445s are a five-star product and very well-made. I do not think they are superior to the Bowflex SelectTechs, but if you want a much cheaper alternative than the Bowflex and don’t need the extra 7.5 pounds it offers, this is a great alternative. In my list above, I would put them at number 2 above the PowerBlocks.

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