Fitness Fahrenheit

Bowflex 1090s: They Live Up To The Hype

Do you find it difficult squeezing in some time to go to the gym in the middle of your hectic everyday schedule? Do you want to tone up your body, and need just a little help getting there? If yes, then the Bowflex 1090 dumbbells may have just the right reliability, durability and versatility you seek in gym equipment.

This is not an ordinary pair of dumbbells. The Bowflex 1090s are a set of uniquely designed dumbbells designed to deliver results by making you fit, and bring you to shape at home. The best thing is that you can do this when free at home or the office, using minimal space, thanks to its compact design.

You may now ask what is so unique about these dumbbells? Well, like all the other SelectTech dumbbells, you can adjust them to your preferred weight. Yes, all you have to do is turn a dial and it automatically increases the weights from the starting weight of 10 pounds to a maximum of 90 pounds of weight. This means that you no longer have to buy, use or pick up 17 different sets with different weights while working out to get your desired results.

While this is the dumbbells’ highlight, there are other pros and of course cons related to it. Yes, it does have its share of disadvantages because like everything else in life, these dumbbells are not perfect. This review should give you a thorough description of them, and why it should be in your fitness repertoire.

What Features Does The Bowflex 1090s Have?

The compact design and its versatility are the highlights of this pair. By ensuring a power-packed workout with maximum benefits in each session, it proves that it is just what every home needs. It gives you the right motivation by allowing you to push yourself to your limits. Drop sets are of course much easier to do for all kinds of dumbbell exercises with these in your hands.

However these are not for you if you are looking for something that is designed, and strong enough to be dropped like regular dumbbells after a workout. You need to look elsewhere if you have a habit of dropping weights after a heavy lift. You will know why later on.

Of course, the weights have the added benefit of being compact in size where they occupy only a fraction of space traditional cast iron dumbbells occupy. They are however slightly longer in design than others in the market. This is because the handle comes with open slots for attaching additional plates as you take them in and out of the accompanying cradle. Though you may require some time to get adjusted to this length, it ensures that the size remains the same no matter how heavy or light they may be. In fact, the added length proves helpful at improving both your lift and workout style.

The handles are however designed to give you the right support while using them. Its knurled steel grip may be a bit rough on the hands at first, but you will slowly get used to it with time. The knurled grip anyway proves helpful while exercising so that you don’t actually miss the absence of any rubber or padding.


As mentioned earlier, this is the highlight of the Bowflex 1090 dumbbells. All you need to do is to twist its dial and you can easily change its weight from 10 to 90 pounds. This is because they work on a dial and bracket system that is built into each dumbbell’s handle.

It is the dial that changes the weight settings while it is the brackets which physically attach the weight plates to the handle. So all you need to do is twist the dial at each end to reach the specific, desired weight. Once this is done, the brackets grab and lock the weight plates onto the handle. You then have to just pull the dumbbells out of the cradle and you are ready to use it.

You next have to just slide them into the cradle, whenever you need to increase or reduce the weight. This is when you have to make the necessary changes on the dial and then you can start using them with the new locked on weight.  You in fact eventually end up saving time because you do not have to carry dumbbells and barbells back and forth to change weights. This, in turn, lets you put all your focus on working out.

Do remember that you have to place the dumbbells into the cradle when they are not in use. The cradle is a base without a stand which fits both of them and its plates in an upright position so that you can easily slide the plates in and out. This is an important part of the set because you need them to be securely fit in the cradle to twist the dials in place. The plates automatically lock into place once removed, which means you cannot move them while working out. This is actually a safety feature that prevents any plates from disengaging and falling to cause possible injury when in use.

Quality and durability

The 1090 lives up to its expectations with regards to its quality and durability.  It is made of high-strength metals which securely hold the weight plates when the bracket system is in use. The plates are also coated by a thick plastic liner that increases its durability to help withstand rough treatment.

The plastic lining also helps the weight plates move smoothly next to each other while sliding the dumbbells in and out of the cradle as you make weight adjustments. The lining also ensures you workout producing less sound than you would while exercising with a pair of traditional dumbbells. The dial and bracket system is a really precise and intricate system, which is why it has to be handled very carefully and should not be dropped at all. There is the risk of damaging the many small parts in them if dropped.


You get to work out with 17 different weight settings in a single unit, which not only makes storage an ease but also turns a corner of your home or office into a full-fledged gym. There is also a cradle to safely store the weights away when not in use.

You can also buy a stand to go with it. The stand is a worthwhile investment because it not only lets you store your dumbbells at a better height but it is angled so that you can quickly and easily lower them into the cradle. Besides, the stand makes it easy to lift the dumbbells when it is 90 pounds heavy, and when it usually doesn’t easily detach from the cradle. This is made possible because the cradle is strapped to the stand, which makes it easy for you to pull the dumbbell free.

Workout options

The 1090 home gym offers more than 80 variations with a combination of 30 different exercises for you to choose from, and use as your exercise regimen. There is also a free workout DVD to help you start out. It has the ‘Secrets of the 4-step Rep’, after which you can create your own workouts while targeting the body parts which are most difficult to tone.

You can use them for various exercises targeting different body parts. For example, they help tone your legs with squats, built your arms with curls, flatten abs with crunches and to build your chest muscles through presses. So you see, this is how the 1090 can suit most people’s workout needs.


The Bowflex 1090 comes with a three-year warranty that covers both parts and labor costs. So no matter what goes wrong with it, you get a new set of dumbbells if the damage occurs in the 3-year warranty period. There is an additional six-week fitness result guarantee where you get a 100% refund if you are not completely satisfied after using them. So you get to try them for a while, and you can always return it and claim a refund in case you are not happy with the results.

Bowflex SelectTech App

The 1090 also has an accompanying app, the Bowflex SelectTech App that proves useful for keeping track of your strength training prowess. It is a free app which you just have to download and then start using the trainer lead workouts or can even use it to build customized workout plans for yourself.


  • The 1090 includes two dumbbells with its cases, a user’s manual and a workout DVD
  • Adjustable to a maximum of 17 accurate weight settings
  • Locking mechanism keeps weights securely in place when in use
  • Dumbbell weights are easily changed by turning a dial
  • Longest dumbbells available in the market
  • Replaces a rack of 17 sets or 34 dumbbells
  • Stylish and sturdily built with a space saving design
  • Compact gym setup for the home and office
  • Can be used for performing more than 30 types of exercises
  • Has a 3-year warranty and 6-week money-back guarantee
  • Plastic liner coating offers extra strength and durability
  • Makes less noise than metal dumbbells because of molding around metal plates
  • Can be used for heavy exercises like shrugs and lunges and lighter exercises like curls and raises
  • Has an accompanying Bowflex SelectTech App
  • Grips are just right- not too small or large for the hand
  • There’s an optional high-quality incline/decline bench you can buy to make a complete home gym set


  • Dropping it can cause damage to the small parts inside the dumbbells
  • Some complaints of the dial giving problems in 1-2 years’ time
  • Hard plastic molding is not long lasting
  • Some find it’s length of 17.5 inches a disadvantage but they do adjust to it after some time
  • Hard to perform some exercises where the bar is placed close to the chest
  • Knurling on grips is slightly harsh on the hands
  • It is not easy to carry the set around if needed
  • The handles are more squarish and not round or oval in shape like other dumbbells

Considering the feature, advantages, and disadvantages, it does look like the Bowflex SelectTech 1090 dumbbells make a worthy addition to any home gym. It offers so many exercise variations to give you a powerhouse core workout to develop the muscle size you crave without even going to the gym.

They’re are durably built using high-quality materials, compact in size and come with a magnificent warranty and money-back guarantee so there’s nothing to lose! It does have a few drawbacks, but heck what doesn’t?? You just have to get used to not dropping the weights down once you are done with your exercises, which about covers up the disadvantages.

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