Power Block Adjustable Kettlebell, 35 Lbs (Black)
- Replaces 4 kettlebells in the space of 1
- Contoured shell provides exceptional comfort
- Feels like a solid iron kettlebell with the advantages of adjustability
- Increments 18 22 26 and 35 lbs
- All steel construction with steel selection pin with magnetic lock
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The powerblock adjustable kettlebell combines four of the most popular weight increments (18, 22, 26 and 36 pounds) into one super-convenient exercise tool. its balanced, stable design promises consistent control and rotation; the steel selection pin with magnetic lock lets you seamlessly switch between each different increment.
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In 2013 I was suffering from a nagging knee injury and discovered kettlebell workouts as an alternative cardio workout. Given my experience with PowerBlock I eventually purchased the company’s 40 pound adjustable KettleBlock Kettlebell. It is a great piece of equipment and has provided me flawless regular use for over four years. However, it does suffer from a few issues directly related to the design (i.e., it is very large, the physical size changes as you increase/decrease the weight, and it has fairly obtrusive edges when holding it in the “rack” position that, for most users, necessitates the use of forearm guards). Like most adjustable weight lifting devices, the KettleBlock is not "perfect" and some degree of compromise was necessary in return for the benefit of an all-in-one unit.
Early this year I discovered that PowerBlock had just introduced a new type of adjustable kettlebell. Unlike my older KettleBlock version, this one was a completely new design and did not use PowerBlock’s standard “nested” plate system with selector fork to achieve different weight levels. Rather, this model had a static exterior shell and varied the weight through a “pyramid” type of stacked weight plate system inside the unit (see attached photos). It appeared to me that this new design would resolve all of the issues I experienced with the original KettleBlock design.
Seeing the advantages of this type of system I went ahead and bought a unit directly from PowerBlock over the telephone (it was not available from Amazon at the time). The unit arrived in early March 2017 so I have now used it regularly for over three months (I work out six days a week and do at least one kettlebell routine per week). Since there are no reviews on Amazon I wanted to post my thoughts on the unit to help others.
My opinion? I could not be more pleased with my purchase and it is well worth the $199 price for those looking for an adjustable, space-saving kettlebell. While I like the original KettleBlock and it has provided me outstanding use for over four years, the newer unit is a substantial improvement in virtually every way. I have summarized my thoughts on the new unit below based on the last three+ months of regular use:
1. Build Quality: Like the original KettleBlock, the build quality on this unit is exceptional. The welds on the handle are smooth, as is the entire finish, including the most important part—the handle. I am not sure exactly what the finish is called, but it is very smooth yet has a slight degree of texture, which helps in keeping ahold of it when your hands get sweaty. I am not sure how this would hold up in a professional/cross-fit type of gym, but I can’t see myself ever breaking it in my home gym. It seems extremely solid and I think the only thing that would happen if you dropped it is that it would leave a big dent in the floor.
2. Weight Changes: The single pin design is far superior, in my experience, in quickly changing weight levels than the original fork/plate design in the KettleBlock. While both are very fast, I actually think the newer single pin design is much faster. Plus, you NEVER have to worry about aligning the selector fork and accidentally partially selecting a weight plate. The single pin is held in place by a magnet, in addition to the pressure from the weight stack. I have done virtually every type of move you can do with a kettlebell (repeatedly) over the last three months and I have had zero instances where the pin has become dislodged or even loose. Changing the weight takes just a few seconds—you simply put the unit back on top of the stack, pull and reinsert the selector pin to the desired weight, and pick up the unit. It’s that simple and it really is that fast. It Tony Horton made a Kettlebell workout video, you could actually keep up with him…
3. Size and Shape: This is where the new design really shines in my humble opinion. As you can see from the attached photos, the unit is about 1/3 the size of the original KettleBlock. This makes a huge difference when you are doing various moves where you are swinging the unit between your legs or around your waist or head. In addition, the new design resolved my biggest gripe with the KettleBlock—the new unit is smooth everywhere. No more edges to deal with against your forearms. Combine that with the new flat-sided cowbell design and you can do snatches/rack and any other type of movement where the unit makes contact with your forearms without the use of a forearm guard (assuming you do the move correctly of course). Finally, note that, like competition kettlebells, this unit does not change size as you change weight levels. Because the weight stacks are nested inside the body of the unit, it is always the same size. This is a huge advantage over time as one attempts to perfect their form—no adjustments necessary as the weight increases for different exercises or as you become better/stronger. Overall I can’t say enough about how well the new design/shape works in actual use. It is small, smooth, consistent and efficient—it doesn’t “just work,” it works really, really well.
4. Handle: This is one of those very subjective areas—in my experience everyone has their own preference regarding handle shape. The handle shape/design on this unit seems to be the more common that I have seen over the years and thus I am accustomed to it and it works well for me. Irrespective of that issue, I will note that the important issue of distance between the handle and the actual bell seems sufficiently long, which is not the case in many cheap adjustable units. This is an important issue when doing snatches, holding the unit in the rack position, etc.—if the distance is too short it prevents the forearm/wrist from being in the proper position (straight) which could cause an injury. The PowerBlock unit does not have that issue. In addition, as noted above, the finish is exceptional—my unit has zero burs or aberrations on it that in poorly finished products can cut into your hand. The finish is smooth and consistent.
1. Noise: Like the adjustable dumbbells (Classic and Sport versions), the new kettlebell does make some noise while in use. This is most noticeable at the apex of a swing when there is a slight shift in the weight stack inside the unit. While the weight stacks fit snuggly inside the shell, there is necessarily some play given the adjustable design and therefore some noise occurs as the weights move against the retaining pin/inside shell while in motion. It is a minor issue and I could care less—the original (“Classic”) version of the adjustable dumbbells that I use do the same thing so I am used to it. But for some users this might be an issue if you need a completely silent kettlebell. Then again, is it possible for a kettlebell workout to be “silent” anyhow?
2. Position of Retaining Pin: The pin that holds the weight stacks in place inside the unit does have a “handle” of sorts on one side. It is small, smooth, and well rounded. With any exercise using the kettlebell handle you will never notice it. However, when gripping the body of the kettlebell you may notice it against the palm of one hand. I got used to this in about 30 seconds and do not even notice it anymore. However, if you are used to a smooth, symmetrical, traditional shaped kettlebell, this may be something to consider. Again, in my experience it is a non-issue.
3. Price: For $199 you get four weights: 18, 22, 26 and 35 pounds (8, 10, 12, and 16 Kilos). I think the $199 price is good if you think you will use those weights. However, if you are doing simple cardio work and you are confident you will only need one or two kettlebells forever, it would be cheaper to simply buy standard units.
4. Somewhat Limited Weight Range: While 35 pounds is sufficient for me (I am a 50 year old 160 pound male who does high-rep cardio work with kettlebells), I can see that for some users this unit would simply be too light. Given how small the unit is PowerBlock could easily make a heavier unit that went up to 70 or even 80 pounds and it would still be smaller than the original KettleBlock. If such a demand exists hopefully PowerBlock will consider producing a second, larger unit for those who need heavier weights. Even more interesting is the possibility of making a slightly larger unit that has a greater weight range, like the original 40 pound KettleBlock, which actually has seven different weight choices (12, 16, 20, 25, 30, 35 and 40 pounds). Just wishing out loud I guess….
I hope this information is helpful. Overall I am very satisfied with this new PowerBlock kettlebell and would not hesitate to buy it again or recommend it to my friends. It is very well made and works exactly as advertised. Hopefully the attached photographs will aid in seeing the quality of the unit and exactly how it works. Three-plus months of regular use and so far not a single problem. If I do encounter an issue in the future, I will amend this review accordingly. However, based on my experience with PowerBlock over the last 10 years I highly doubt that will be necessary.
I workout on tile floor so my other concern was the metal casing. It was great that they put some kind of vinyl tape under the bottom weight, which is far better than just bare metal to the floor. The only minor problem i have is when I don't use the bottom weight, then there goes the plastic felt and you are now dealing with the bare metal as you lay it down the floor. Obviously, if you have carpet you have nothing to worry about. You definitely don't want to be throwing or dropping this on the floor. I really like the triangle design and being very compact. I've tried just about every kettlebell workout and this past the test.
Have had it for a few weeks and use it as a cardio burnout after gym workouts.
It’s not just the fact it is multiple KBs in one - the convenience of just quickly moving the pin to get a different weight. That’s big for me. Never thought about it - how quickly I can switch the weight especially if I want to keep my HR up without having to switch bells. I know it sounds spoilt, but it makes a lot of difference.
Handle is nice and big and the bell outer shell is nice and smooth. There is a small pad on the bottom so your floors don’t get damaged.
I like the shape of it (big cow bell really) as it doesn’t smash my wrist and upper arm but rather sits flat against it.
I am not only considering getting one more but also again looking into their dumbbell set again.
The packaging was whatever...but the bell was spotless.
One thing to note: on my kettlebell weights (3 stack inside the bell). They will stack no matter which direction you turn them. But the pin only slides in easily if they are turned the right way.
As in if the sides were A, B, C and D the A and D sides are interchangeable but the pin is going to be difficult to insert.
I marked my bell’s “A” side with a crayon so I know how to line them up correctly.