PowerBlock Elite Dumbbells, PB-EL-70, Black, 70-Pounds Dumbbell Set Review

People who want a more unique adjustable dumbbell set do not have to look far. There is the PowerBlock Elite that features a very unusual design and a unique adjustment mechanism. I do not own one but I am fortunate enough to have been given the opportunity to try the adjustable dumbbell myself.

Overview of the PowerBlock Elite Dumbbells


The PB-EL-70 model of the PowerBlock Elite Dumbbell Set features the same design that the Classic and Urethane series have. They come with a boxy design to accommodate rectangular weight plates instead of the usual disk-shaped weights. The Elite comes with five steel rods that hold the weight ends together. They form the handle assembly of the PowerBlock Elite.

The PowerBlock Elite measures 35.5 centimetres long, 15.8 centimetres wide, and 15.2 centimetres high. It will never accommodate that much space on your floor. Its construction is also strong.

PowerBlock uses only premium-quality steel in the construction of its weight plates, handlebars, and other elements. The only plastic material in the dumbbell set is the pair of boards that serves as an anchor for the weight plate ends.

Unique looking dumbbells yet ergonomic

The PB-EL-70 has a weight range of 2.2 kilogrammes to 31.75 kilogrammes. One can adjust the weight of the dumbbells by adding weight cylinders equivalent to 1.1 kilogrammes. The training equipment also features a safety locking mechanism that helps keep the plates in place.

The PowerBlock Elite Dumbbell Set offers a wide range of exercises because of its exceptional weight range. Its shiny black enamel finish also makes it one of the sleekest and most elegant dumbbells you can find. The ergonomic grip will not let the handle slip from your hands.

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A Closer Look at the Features of the PowerBlock Elite Dumbbells

Revolutionary Dumbbell Design


The engineers and designers of the PowerBlock Elite did a fantastic job in going out-of-the box. True to the name of the adjustable dumbbells, the PowerBlock comes with a boxy design. If you are not familiar with it, you will not think that it is a dumbbell. Each PowerBlock comes with several pieces of dumbbells. The handle assembly serves as the unifying element for the PowerBlock.

There are five bars that form the handle assembly. They connect to heavy-duty plastic boards on both ends of the PowerBlock Elite. The centre handle bar serves as the grip for the dumbbell. It comes with a rubberized coating to help ensure better grip during exercises.

The four outer bars connect to the four corners of the “boxes” on both ends of the dumbbell. PowerBlock calls them the wrist supports. You can also use any of these bars to lift the PowerBlock. I find these bars ideal for performing overhead triceps exercises instead of grabbing the centre handle.

Unique Weight Adjustment Mechanism


Most adjustable dumbbells come with a knob or dial to adjust the weight of the gym equipment. The PB-EL-70 is also adjustable. However, it does not utilise the same dial type of adjustment.

Instead, PowerBlock uses a flexible selector pin to help users decide on the weight of the dumbbell that they want to exercise with. The selector pin also serves as a safety mechanism. It secures the weight plates as they get stacked together.

Adjusting the weight of the PowerBlock Elite requires the stacking of weight plates. These weight plates connect to one of the side handles. The handles come with colour codes. Blue, for instance, has three values.

These include 20.4 kg, 21.5 kg, and 22.6 kg. If you lift the blue-coded handle, you will lift 20.4 kilogrammes. If you add a weight cylinder into the handle, you can increase the weight of the dumbbell to 21.5 kg. Each weight cylinder weighs 1.1 kilogrammes.

Compared to a dial-type adjustment system, the PowerBlock weight adjustment system may seem awkward. It is not as simple as the Bowflex 552 or the other adjustable dumbbells on the market. These do not require any additional weight plates or cylinders. Personally, I think it all boils down to one’s preferences.

Sturdy and Durable Construction


I always go for steel dumbbells whenever I strength-train. That is why I love the PowerBlock Elite. Its weight plates are all made of heavy-duty steel. It feels very solid when you grab the handle and begin lifting the free weights.

They also have a glossy finish. PowerBlock applied a thick black enamel coating over the steel core. The enamel coating is thicker than what you see in other products. Two steel rods connect a pair of weight plates on both ends of the dumbbell.

I can say that PowerBlock employed some serious welding processes in making the connection. The steel rods come with their respective colour codes. It makes for an easier adjustment of the dumbbell weight setting.

Space-Saving Design

The PowerBlock Elite gives you the impression that it is a large-sized set of free weights. Whether you believe it or not, this adjustable dumbbell set is actually smaller than the SelectTech 552 from Bowflex. The thing that makes the PowerBlock PB-EL-70 look so large is its boxy design.

The Bowflex 552 can occupy a floor space of 40 centimetres by 23 centimetres per dumbbell. On the other hand, each PowerBlock Elite dumbbell only requires an area that covers 15.8 centimetres wide and 35.5 centimetres long.

Pro and Cons

  • Weight range is ideal for most types of users, including beginners and advanced users
  • Versatile free weights with quick adjustment
  • Space-saving design, capable of replacing 22 conventional dumbbells
  • Safe and secure locking mechanism for greater peace of mind
  • Sleek, unconventional design with a shiny enamel finish
  • Solid welding points and sturdy steel weight plates
  • Ergonomic and grippy handle
  • Maximum weight of the dumbbells can be insufficient for “power” trainers
  • Handle may be too small for people with thick wrists or large hands

Should You Buy It?

The PowerBlock Elite Dumbbell Set is not your ordinary adjustable gym equipment. It has a unique design that guarantees better performance of a wide range of strength training exercises. While not for people with large hands or those who require heavier free weights, the PowerBlock Elite remains a good choice for newbies and advanced users.

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