View Poll Results: Which should I buy based on my criteria

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  • Powerblock Pro 5-70

    23 53.49%
  • Ironmaster 5-75

    20 46.51%
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  1. #1
    Registered User Deadlift5's Avatar
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    Ironmasters vs Powerblocks?

    i'll be ordering some dumbbells here in the next few weeks (hopefully) and was wondering which you would recommend for me based on my particular situation.

    A little about me:
    -27yo female. I'm not very strong and my weight generally fluctuates between 110-120lbs. Anything past maybe a 70-75lb set will be a waste of money for me.
    -Casual lifter just looking to stay healthy and look a little better; not interested in setting PR's, competing, etc.
    -I primarily use dumbbells for curls, lying tricep ext, rows, side raises, and bench (i only have a flat bench) as accessory movements to barbell lifts.
    -I don't do any supersets, drop sets, etc.

    I was set on the ironmasters but i kept hearing you guys saying "powerblocks for the lower weights and ironmaster for the heavier stuff". Well as a small female, i don't do much "heavier stuff". I have heard the ironmasters feel more natural, but the powerblocks offer a better fit/finish and ease of use...so I'm trying to figure out if you were me, with my situation, which you would go for?
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    Registered User radrd's Avatar
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    I'd probably go with 50 lb PowerBlocks for your requirements. You may lift more, but you can just increase your reps and the 50s should last you a long time or forever. This is for general health and aesthetics. If you want to be as strong as possible and put on some considerable muscle mass, go with 70s or 90s.

    I think you'll appreciate quick change weights. I'm guessing you'll probably be doing a variety of exercises in a single workout. I like PB for circuit training and where you don't have a lot of time between sets.
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  3. #3
    Registered User urbanlifter's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by radrd View Post
    I'd probably go with 50 lb PowerBlocks for your requirements
    ^^^This, or even the 32lb Pro Series if you want a higher quality feel (quiet). I bought the little 24lb Sport set years ago for my wife and she absolutely loved them, good enough to do home programs like P90X and there are no adder weights to mess with which should make them feel incredibly balanced. Ironmasters are nice, I have owned them as well, but unless you are buying them to specifically go 'heavy' then I don't see them being as good an option IMHO.
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    Registered User NHAngler's Avatar
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    I have the ironmasters. I tried two different kinds of powerblocks. They were neat but my preference was the feel of knurling in my hands and iron, non moving parts when working out. They are a little more work to change but that's ok with me. It is less work than star lock dumbbells and standard weights. Much higher quality and experience.

    The factors for me were based on the feel in my hands, the ease of changing weight, and the maintenance / durability. Powerblocks were easier to change weight but to me had the feeling that I could at some point break them. The feel in my hands were however the biggest factor and won me over to buy and use the iron masters.

    Good luck!
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  5. #5
    Registered User ncsuLuke's Avatar
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    I bought the Ironmasters first for all the reasons people recommend them but I found myself hardly ever using them because it was so annoying to change the weight. Then I figured I'd get a 5-50 lb Powerblock set to handle the lightweight stuff. I ended up liking them so much I ordered both expansions so now I have 5-90 lb Powerblocks and I only use the Ironmasters for 90+lbs.
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  6. #6
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    Originally Posted by NHAngler View Post
    Powerblocks were easier to change weight but to me had the feeling that I could at some point break them.
    It's like anything else, take care of your equipment either should last forever. I've had crazy old PB's that were flawless, and brand new sets that were apparently dropped hard on a corner and the frame was bent (which I fixed). I've also had Ironmaster's with damaged pin threads which didn't tighten very well and came loose during sets, but then older Quick Change sets that were some of my favorite Ironmaster DB's.
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    If you have a local store that carries PBs I'd go and give them a try again. Demo and work through the movements and weights you use. We all have our experiences and opinions on our own usage but at the end of the day, you are the one who will be using them and what matters is your own opinion.

    All that said between PBs and IMs you are looking at the two best choices and really only quality choices. This is now a game of deciding which ones best suit your needs and honestly, you can't go far wrong with either.
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  8. #8
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    Originally Posted by ncsuLuke View Post
    I bought the Ironmasters first for all the reasons people recommend them but I found myself hardly ever using them because it was so annoying to change the weight. Then I figured I'd get a 5-50 lb Powerblock set to handle the lightweight stuff. I ended up liking them so much I ordered both expansions so now I have 5-90 lb Powerblocks and I only use the Ironmasters for 90+lbs.
    Kinda expensive to go from 90+lbs to 120 lbs ($900) or to 165 lbs ($1,200) with IronMasters.

    These cost $65 each and all the plates were 99 cents a pound. So, a pair of 120 lb bells (the handle is 11 lbs) cost $350 ($175 each). Of course, I bought some 14 inch spinlock bars and collars to accommodate the plates, but that only added another $20 or so dollars.

    To each their own, of course, but this is the route I recommend taking... and you can swing them!
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    Originally Posted by supramax View Post
    Kinda expensive to go from 90+lbs to 120 lbs ($900) or to 165 lbs ($1,200) with IronMasters.

    These cost $65 each and all the plates were 99 cents a pound. So, a pair of 120 lb bells (the handle is 11 lbs) cost $350 ($175 each). Of course, I bought some 14 inch spinlock bars and collars to accommodate the plates, but that only added another $20 or so dollars.

    To each their own, of course, but this is the route I recommend taking... and you can swing them!
    Well I already had the Ironmasters and cost isn't really my main concern. If I had the space I'd have a full set of dumbbells up to 120. Maybe I'll get Sorinex to build me a rack like Adam has and do just that.
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    My vote is for the Ironmasters due to the more traditional design, durability and all steel, I had mine for 10 years now and they're still going strong, I wrote up a detailed review on them a few years ago.

    With the above mentioned and after reading through this thread, I'm almost considering adding the Powerblocks Pro series to the mix too, they seem like they would be awesome for dropsets which I don't usually do often, but if I had a quick and at ease way of doing them in one system then I can see the value in them...this will probably be a low priority on my home gym list, so I'm in no hurry to get them, but in my opinion for the OP's needs, it appears you can't go wrong with neither option.
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    Originally Posted by supramax View Post
    Kinda expensive to go from 90+lbs to 120 lbs ($900) or to 165 lbs ($1,200) with IronMasters.
    Not sure where you got your price information but it's way off . Per IM website, a complete 75lb set is $649 shipped . It's only $299. more for the 120lb add on package. So a complete 5lb -120lb package is only $949 including shipping , not $900 more for the add on.
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    Originally Posted by irongrandpa View Post
    Not sure where you got your price information but it's way off . Per IM website, a complete 75lb set is $649 shipped . It's only $299. more for the 120lb add on package. So a complete 5lb -120lb package is only $949 including shipping , not $900 more for the add on.
    I see the confusion. I didn't mean it was $900 more to get to 120 lbs, but simply $900 for 120 lbs. I was referring to ncsuLukes' "I only use the Ironmasters for 90+lbs", knowing that the plus is 120 lbs. However, to get to 165 lbs, it's an additional $300. $900 + $300 = $1,200.

    Okey dokey?
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    So I ultimately decided to go with the 0-70lb powerblocks Pro's whenever they're in stock. I appreciate the fact that the Ironmasters likely feel better and more natural, but I tend to prioritize convenience. As much as I wanted to think I'd use the Ironmasters consistently, I have so much stuff in my homegym that sits there because I hate setting it up. Plus, the fact I can use the powerblocks without a stand was a big selling point for me.

    Thank you to everyone who helped me in this thread and the other one.
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    Originally Posted by Deadlift5 View Post
    So I ultimately decided to go with the 0-70lb powerblocks Pro's whenever they're in stock. I appreciate the fact that the Ironmasters likely feel better and more natural, but I tend to prioritize convenience. As much as I wanted to think I'd use the Ironmasters consistently, I have so much stuff in my homegym that sits there because I hate setting it up. Plus, the fact I can use the powerblocks without a stand was a big selling point for me.

    Thank you to everyone who helped me in this thread and the other one.
    You don't need the PowerBlock stands, but it's convenient to have the dumbbells a little bit off the ground. These hold up to 300 lbs and they were 10 or so dollars at Walmart.
    I glued/taped a piece of wood on top to accommodate the length, but I doubt if that's necessary with the 70 lb set.
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    Originally Posted by Deadlift5 View Post
    So I ultimately decided to go with the 0-70lb powerblocks Pro's whenever they're in stock. I appreciate the fact that the Ironmasters likely feel better and more natural, but I tend to prioritize convenience. As much as I wanted to think I'd use the Ironmasters consistently, I have so much stuff in my homegym that sits there because I hate setting it up. Plus, the fact I can use the powerblocks without a stand was a big selling point for me.

    Thank you to everyone who helped me in this thread and the other one.
    get the stand, you won't regret it
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    Just got this message from Ironmaster:
    Our most popular products are the amazing Quick-Lock Dumbbells, Super Bench and Super Bench PRO. We will be getting in new stock soon and plan to release these items on our site on June 11th at 10:00 am Pacific time. We expect this to be firm, but will update you if anything changes.

    Haven't heard anything from Powerblock yet of any sort of restock. They keep giving everyone a "thanks for your patience through the situation, we're working hard." message. It looks like they had the sports in stock about 2 weeks back, but other than that they havent had anything for months (can't verify this, but it appears that way from a few Instagram comments i read)
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    Originally Posted by supramax View Post
    You don't need the PowerBlock stands, but it's convenient to have the dumbbells a little bit off the ground.
    Originally Posted by Cleveland33 View Post
    get the stand, you won't regret it
    I just moved recently to a smaller place, and not needing a stand for a while was one of the reasons I chose the powerblocks over the Ironmasters. That being said, I mostly use dumbbells for accessory work (curls, lying tricep extensions, side raises, etc) so deadlifting 20-30lbs per hand off the floor doesn't seem too bad. Hopefully I'll move to a bigger place when my lease is up and have room for a nice stand!
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    Originally Posted by Deadlift5 View Post
    I just moved recently to a smaller place, and not needing a stand for a while was one of the reasons I chose the powerblocks over the Ironmasters. That being said, I mostly use dumbbells for accessory work (curls, lying tricep extensions, side raises, etc) so deadlifting 20-30lbs per hand off the floor doesn't seem too bad. Hopefully I'll move to a bigger place when my lease is up and have room for a nice stand!
    I didn't have a stand for quite a while and it was okay. I did find they were easier to change when resting on a hard surface rather than carpet.
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    Originally Posted by Deadlift5 View Post
    I just moved recently to a smaller place, and not needing a stand for a while was one of the reasons I chose the powerblocks over the Ironmasters. That being said, I mostly use dumbbells for accessory work (curls, lying tricep extensions, side raises, etc) so deadlifting 20-30lbs per hand off the floor doesn't seem too bad. Hopefully I'll move to a bigger place when my lease is up and have room for a nice stand!
    A stand isn't really going to take up any more or less floor space than no stand as the space it is occupying is primarily vertical. Sans stand, if you have carpet, you will at least want to put a piece of wood or something under the PBs. Otherwise, they're a pain to use.
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    Originally Posted by Duplicitous View Post
    A stand isn't really going to take up any more or less floor space than no stand as the space it is occupying is primarily vertical. Sans stand, if you have carpet, you will at least want to put a piece of wood or something under the PBs. Otherwise, they're a pain to use.
    It's a visual thing for me I think. I live in an apartment so my rack and powerblocks are going into the living room. I'm thinking they'll look better sitting on the floor next to my tv, than having a stand there. Luckily, the carpet thing wont be an issue! Anyways, heres a picture for some context.
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    Originally Posted by Deadlift5 View Post
    It's a visual thing for me I think. I live in an apartment so my rack and powerblocks are going into the living room. I'm thinking they'll look better sitting on the floor next to my tv, than having a stand there. Luckily, the carpet thing wont be an issue! Anyways, heres a picture for some context.
    I think the stand would look less ghetto (though the rack makes it a bit of a moot point either way), but to each his/her own. Makes no difference to me either way.
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    Would advise stand. Best part about the stands for adjustable DBs is that the set you want/need/use is always perfectly right in front of you. I used to hate getting heavy dumbbells moved, set up, etc...takes some time and energy.

    EDIT - just saw the picture. Doable and I can see why. Inspirational living room though!
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    If going with the Pros from 5-90 lbs, they should just throw in the stand for free instead of having to buy it separately.
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    Originally Posted by Duplicitous View Post
    I think the stand would look less ghetto (though the rack makes it a bit of a moot point either way), but to each his/her own. Makes no difference to me either way.
    I think it would look more finished with the stand too. Easier to use as well.
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    Hmmm, my FB-5000 just came in today. I'll put it together and judge from there if I can make the stand work.

    C123C- Thank you!

    Deep - When you say they should throw in the stand for free with the 0-90...is that a "most places do when you buy the 90lb set" or "they should be doing that but don't"
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    Originally Posted by Deadlift5 View Post
    Deep - When you say they should throw in the stand for free with the 0-90...is that a "most places do when you buy the 90lb set" or "they should be doing that but don't"
    Ironmaster does with their 5-75lb set, unless I'm wrong, from what I see on the Powerblocks website it looks like they don't include the stand (no mention of it upon reading up on the Pro version kit).

    No jab to Powerblocks in general, but if they indeed don't and sell it separately then I feel they should include it for that kind of money on a complete set (5-90lbs) since it helps store them and make changes on it.
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    Originally Posted by Deep-Voiced-One View Post
    Ironmaster does with their 5-75lb set, unless I'm wrong, from what I see on the Powerblocks website it looks like they don't include the stand (no mention of it upon reading up on the Pro version kit).

    No jab to Powerblocks in general, but if they indeed don't and sell it separately then I feel they should include it for that kind of money on a complete set (5-90lbs) since it helps store them and make changes on it.
    The IronMasters cost less without the stand, so you do actually pay for the stand.
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    Originally Posted by Deadlift5 View Post
    Hmmm, my FB-5000 just came in today. I'll put it together and judge from there if I can make the stand work.
    I don't use a bench, but that FB-5000 is a beauty.

    Originally Posted by Deadlift5 View Post
    Deep - When you say they should throw in the stand for free with the 0-90...is that a "most places do when you buy the 90lb set" or "they should be doing that but don't"
    It would be nice if they did throw in a stand free of charge, but no one does.
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    Originally Posted by supramax View Post
    The IronMasters cost less without the stand, so you do actually pay for the stand.
    I bought mine about 10 years ago and don't recall the 5-75lb set being sold without the stand back then and I paid about $100 less for them at the time, however after seeing that they do sell separately these days at a lower cost for just the DBs (although they bumped up the price on the set with the stand since I got mine) then I would say that they should all have a stand included in the deal for the price and especially if you're spending up north of $700 on the PB Pro 5-90lb set (minor criticism).

    Would I still go for either one despite that? Absolutely.
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    Originally Posted by Deep-Voiced-One View Post
    I bought mine about 8 years ago and don't recall the 5-75lb set being sold without the stand back then and I paid about $100 less for them at the time, however after seeing that they do sell separately these days at a lower cost for just the DBs (although they bumped up the price on the set with the stand since I got mine) then I would say that they should all have a stand included in the deal for the price and especially if you're spending up north of $700 on the PB Pro 5-90lb set (minor criticism).

    Would I still go for either one despite that? Absolutely.
    Some kind of stand with plate storage space is absolutely necessary for the IronMasters. The lady will discover that having her PowerBlocks on the floor is a bit inconvenient. With tax, my Sport EXPs were a little South of $800.
    It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.

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