Do we really need smart dumbbells that count reps? Bowflex thinks so

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Dan Graziano/CNET

We already have smartphones, smartwatches, and smart scales, it was inevitable that we would soon have smart weights. It just so has it that Bowflex is showing off its new SelectTech 560 Dumbbells at the CES trade show in Las Vegas.

These smart dumbbells feature a built-in sensor that records reps and weight lifted. They also feature audible cues when a rep is completed properly. Workout data is automatically transferred to the Bowflex companion app, where you can track workout progress, see calorie burn and set goals. The app also includes a video library of exercises to help newcomers who may not be familiar with certain workouts.

As with Bowflex's other dumbbells, the smart model features a weight-changing mechanism. This lets you easily adjust weight in 2.5-pound increments from 5 to 25 pounds, and 5 pound increments between 25 and 60 pounds.

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Dan Graziano/CNET

But I'm left unsatisfied. Do we really need smart dumbbells? That's coming from someone who has been lifting weights for a number of years. Is it really that hard to count reps? In fact, sometimes that's half the fun of lifting. While the video library of exercises would be helpful for beginners, but a part of me feels like you're better off picking up a cheaper fitness coach such as Fitbit's FitStar or the Moov Now.

The SelectTech 560 Dumbbells retail for $499. You can add additional weight options to increase each dumbbell to 100 pounds, but this will run you an extra $249.


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Where to Buy

Bowflex SelectTech 560 Dumbbells

Part Number: BF SelectTech 560 Dumbbells

MSRP: $499.00

Visit manufacturer site for details.