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Product Review: PowerBlock

Figure 1. PowerBlocks on Stand. Image reposted with Permission.

Note to Reader

PowerBlock is best recognized for its creation of the space saving “dumbbell within a dumbbell” approach to producing gym equipment. As seen in Figure 1, PowerBlocks are kind of like those old Russian dolls; each dumbbell fits within a larger set of dumbbells. Thus, saving space as well as reducing the cost of buying a full set of dumbbells.

In this product review, we’re going to examine 3 of their products including their Urethane Series (U-Series) PowerBlock Dumbbells, U-125 Rack Stand and Sports Bench.

Disclosure: Although I was given the opportunity to try out these PowerBlock products, I receive ABSOLUTELY NO financial kickback from the sales of this product.

U-Series PowerBlock Dumbbells

Figure 2. PowerBlocks U-Series. Image reposted with Permission.

Product Description

I was specifically given the opportunity to use their Stage 1, Stage 2 and Stage 3 U-90 Powerblock Sets which are coated in urethane.

U-90 Stage 1 Set

Weight increments achieved with the U-90 Stage I set includes 2.5, 5, 7.5, 10, 15, 17.5, 20 25, 27.5, 30, 35, 37.5, 40, 45, 47.5 and 50 lbs per hand.

(Metric – 1.1, 2.3, 3.4, 4.5, 6.8, 7.9, 9.1, 11.3, 12.5, 13.6, 15.9, 17, 18.1, 20.4, 21.6, 22.7 kg per hand)

The dimensions of U-90 Stage I Set are: 12.5” L x 7” W x 7.25” H.

(Metric -31.75 cm L x 17.8 cm W x 18.4 cm H)

U-90 Stage 2 Set

Figure 3. Extender sets. Image reposted with Permission.

As seen in Figure 3, the expansion set is simply additional weight plates that are added onto the U-90 Stage 1 set.

Weight increments achieved with the U-90 Stage II set (in addition to those of the original Stage 1) includes: 55, 57.5, 60, 65, 67.5, 70, 75, 77.5, 80, 85, 87.5 and 90 lbs per hand.

(Metric – 25, 26, 27.2, 29.5, 30.6, 31.8, 34.0, 35.2, 36.3, 38.6, 39.7, 40.8 kg per hand)

The dimensions of U-90 Stage II Set are: 17” L x 7” W x 7.25” H.

(Metric – 43.2 cm L x 17.8 cm W x 18.4 cm H)

U-90 Stage 3 Set

NOTE: One must have the U-90 Stage I & II prior to using the Stage III set

Weight increments achieved with the U-90 Stage II set (in addition to those achievable with the Stage 1 & 2 sets) includes: 105, 112.5, 115, 120, 122.5 and 125 lbs per hand.

(Metric – 47.6, 51, 52.2, 54.4, 55.6, 56.7 kg per hand)

The dimensions of U-90 Stage III Kit are; 20” L x 7” W x 8.5” H.

(Metric – 50.8 cm L x 17.8 cm W x 21.6 cm H)


The 4th Generation of PowerBlock Dumbbells, the U-Series, is by far superior to older models. Besides the obvious benefits of all PowerBlock Dumbbells (space saving, cost) the urethane coating makes them extremely smooth and quiet.

Some of the drawbacks of their previous models were fixed in this U-Series blocks thanks to the incorporation of Flex Pin technology. This feature allows the “weight selector” pin to bounce back to its original shape if the user happens to twist it funny while selecting the desired weight. Additionally, with the older PowerBlock models, if you put the pin in upside down, it could easily slide out while you were lifting the weight. However, with this new model, both sides of the pin are magnetized, eliminating this potentially dangerous situation.

The U-Series PowerBlock Dumbbells are also extremely sturdy. I have dropped them (accidentally) from a height of 2 1/2 – 3 feet and they have not busted. PLEASE NOTE – I am not recommending or implying that you can freely drop the weights. I’m merely stating that I have had them slip out of my hands, drop to the ground and not break.


I did not find any negative features with the U-Series PowerBlock Dumbbells.


I would give this a rating of 4.99/5.0. Why not a perfect 5 you ask? Well, there is something about looking at a stack of dumbbells, ranging from 3-120 lbs that looks impressive!

That said, few people have the space and/or money to purchase every dumbbell between 2.5 -125 lbs —Including me! Therefore, I cannot think of a better purchase for one’s home gym and highly recommend the U-Series Powerblocks.

For more information on the PowerBlock U-Series CLICK HERE

U-125 Rack Stand

Figure 4. The U-125 Rack Stand

Product Description

The U-125 Rack Stand is designed to be used with the U-125 PowerBlock Dumbbells. However, the older models (Sport, Pro, Classic PowerBlocks) will also fit with this stand.

The U-125 Rack Stand has a foot print of 19” x 21” (48.3 cm x 53.3 cm )and a height of 28.5” (72.4 cm). Weight 51 lbs (23.1 kg).


Compact frame. Quickly assembles. Easy to slide weights on/off. Durable structure. Holes on top for 2.5 lb “adder” weights is nice.


None Noted

*+Overall Thoughts*+

I would give this a rating of 5/5. No complaints.

For more information Click Here


Figure 4. SportBench with dip attachment. Image reposted with Permission.

Figure 5. SportBench at angled position. Image reposted with Permission.

Figure 6. SportBench at flat position. Image reposted with Permission.

Product Description

The bench pad (flat position) is 16” (40.6 cm) from pad to floor. The total length (flat position) is 50” (127 cm). The widest part (back leg) is 21” (53.3 cm). The back pad has 5 adjustments. It adjusts from flat to 30, 45, 60 degrees and also military position. The bench comes mostly assembled with very little further assembly required. The SportBench now comes with a built in wheel and handle kit.

Additional accessories that can be added to the bench include a dip bar and chin-up bar. These accessories can support a weight of 250 lbs (113.4 kg). The dip bar attachment is shown in Figure 4.


Often, I find that home gym benches “wobble” a lot when using them; this was not the case while using the SportBench which I found to be extremely secure.

A nice feature of this particular bench is that you can add a dip or chin-up bar to it


I did not care for the handle that one grasps when moving the bench. As you can see in the figures, the handle is an “inverted C” type of position w/ respect to the leg of the bench. I found that this put my hand/wrist in an uncomfortable position while moving. I prefer handles that are perpendicular, rather than parallel, to the leg of the bench.

*+Overall Thoughts*+

Overall, this is a solid product and I would give this a rating of 4/5. The handle kept this from being a 5/5.

For more information Click Here

Bottom Line

Overall, both the quality and functionality of the PowerBlock products was superb. The only small change I’d like to see is for their future benches to have a perpendicular handle.

For those interested in finding out the history of the PowerBlock company, check out our interview with Greg Olsen, co-founder of PowerBlock.

Powerblocks can be purchased at Nutri-bodies

I once again want to state that I receive ABSOLUTELY NO financial kickback from the sales of any of the above products.

Click Here to find out "Why we do, what we do."

Written on October 16, 2011 by Sean Casey
Last Updated: March 22, 2013

This information is not intended to take the place of medical advice.Please check with your health care providers prior to starting any new dietary or exercise program. CasePerformance is not responsible for the outcome of any decision made based off the information presented in this article.

About the Author: Sean Casey is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison with degrees in both Nutritional Science-Dietetics and Kinesiology-Exercise Physiology. Sean graduated academically as one of the top students in both the Nutritional Science and Kinesiology departments.
Field Experience: During college, Sean was active with the UW-Badgers Strength and Conditioning Department. He has also spent time as an intern physical preparation coach at the International Performance Institute in Bradenton, FL. He also spent time as an intern and later worked at Athletes Performance in Tempe, AZ. While at these locations he had the opportunity to train football, soccer, baseball, golf and tennis athletes. Sean is also active in the field of sports nutrition where he has consulted with a wide variety of organizations including both elite (NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars) and amateur athletic teams. His nutrition consultation services are avalable by clicking on the Nutrition Consultation tab.