Have you been looking for a way to cut your workout downtime? NordicTrack's recently-launched iSelect dumbbells come with Amazon Alexa built-in, so you can adjust the weight with a voice command alone.
If you're worried this sounds like a gimmick, NordicTrack already makes some of the best adjustable dumbbells available today. The company's high-quality weights are designed to be easy to use and convenient to store.
The NordicTrack iSelect take this approach a step further, integrating Amazon's digital assistant. With an Alexa-enabled smart speaker nearby, you can increase or decrease the weight, set it to a specified amount, or select one of 15 exercise-specific presets.
There's an impressive weight range, too, as the pair of dumbbells can be adjusted in 5lb increments between 5 and 50lbs each and replace 20 fixed-weight dumbbells. The square plates also mean they don't roll away when on the ground.
Do you really need smart dumbbells?
Adjustable dumbbells are the most convenient weights for at-home workouts as they're easy to store and combine multiple dumbbells in one unit. But the downside is you can't just pick up a different weight; you have to adjust them.
This means time away from your training as you manually remove or add plates. That's not true for all dumbbells, though. NordicTrack's range all come with an adjustment dial for quick manual changes, including the iSelect.
And while no one enjoys unnecessary hassle, some downtime between sets can be beneficial. One study even found that longer rests between sets could actually build muscle faster.
The iSelect's Alexa integration is interesting, but it's going to be most helpful to those already invested in Amazon's digital ecosystem. For starters, you need an Alexa-enabled device, like an Amazon Echo or other smart speaker, to pick up your voice commands.
Of course, the downside of all this tech is that it can quickly become dated or out of support. Meanwhile, standard adjustable dumbbells can last for a decade or more, thanks to their durable metal design.
Fortunately, there's no indication that's going to happen anytime soon with NordicTrack's products. Its parent company is primarily a tech business developing the iFit virtual workout platform and other digital services.
Many of NordicTrack's products even come with a free trial of iFit, but it's not your only choice if you're after the best fitness app for your training. Some help you track what you eat, while others offer customizable workouts to help you hit your goals.
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James is a London-based journalist and Fitness Editor at Fit&Well. He has over five years experience in fitness tech, including time spent as the Buyer’s Guide Editor and Staff Writer at technology publication MakeUseOf. In 2014 he was diagnosed with a chronic health condition, which spurred his interest in health, fitness, and lifestyle management.
In the years since, he has become a devoted meditator, experimented with workout styles and exercises, and used various gadgets to monitor his health. In recent times, James has been absorbed by the intersection between mental health, fitness, sustainability, and environmentalism. When not concerning himself with health and technology, James can be found excitedly checking out each week’s New Music Friday releases.
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