Here's a little background before I get started with the review. So a couple weeks back, I scored a nice deal on a pair of Powerblock Elites (5-130lbs) with a stand for $350. At the time, I planned on just immediately flipping the Powerblocks for about twice as much since I had the Ironmasters. As soon as I got home, I put the Powerblocks on craigslist for $650. Until they were sold, I figured I would use them to see what I was missing out on, since I bought the IMs without testing the Powerblocks. My first workout with the Powerblocks was on a chest day, and I was hooked ever since then. I mixed my workouts with both the IMs and the PBs, and I enjoyed the PBs much more than the IMs, which was unexpected to say the least.
Since I didn't want to be compulsive, I continued to mix my workouts with both sets of dumbbells for a couple weeks so I could come to a firm conclusion. In the end, the PBs won my favor. I sold my IMs on craigslist and proceeded to use the Elites. Now, the problem with the elites was the fact that I got them from a fitness club. They were not in the greatest condition, but not in bad condition either. You could tell they were a little mistreated though. I decided that it would be in my best interests to sell the elites so that I could buy a new set of PBs with a warranty. I had a couple of bites on my CL ad, and sold the elites for $600. Five minutes after selling the elites, I went onto the Powerblock website and purchased the U-90s with a stand.
Seeing as how there appears to be no reviews of this set, I figured I might as well offer one. Starting off with shipping, the service was very fast. I ordered the U-90s over the weekend, and they shipped the following Monday morning. The facility they ship from is in Minnesota, and I'm in Northeast Ohio, so it only took two days to get here with UPS Ground. The shipment came in 5 packages: Two packages for the U-50s, two packages for the U-90 Stage II kit, and one package for the stand. The packaging was more than enough and the equipment was well protected. All of the equipment is wrapped in a plastic layer and completely covered by a very thick styrofoam shell. While the packaging was great, companies like Ironmaster offer much more protection. I give shipping/packaging a 9/10. Here's some pictures of the packaging:
The gear was in perfect condition; no scratches, dents, etc.. As you can see, the color-coded rails go along both sides of the block, not just one side. They also go all the way across. In addition to that, the color isn't composed of a plastic piece, but of a powder-coating on steel, which is a great improvement upon durability and aesthetics. Here's a couple pictures of the U-90 Stage II kit:
Aesthetically speaking, the U-90s are much better on the eyes than the Elites. So for those of you who hate the block shape, this might appease you. Here's a picture of the dumbbell handle/U-50:
More on the next post.
Thread: Powerblock U-90 Review