So much for dumbbells being dumb. NordicTrack’s new iSelect adjustable dumbbells are Alexa voice-activated so you can swap weights in seconds.
On Jan. 11, artificial intelligence in workout equipment took a big evolutionary step forward. NordicTrack iSelect adjustable dumbbells change weights when you tell them to.
“Alexa, set my weights to [your choice] pounds” is all it takes. In less than a second, the dumbbell weighs as much as you want it to (up to 50 pounds) when you pick it up off the rack. The first-ever voice-controlled weights pair with online workout programs from iFit, NordicTrack’s parent company.
The iSelect system borrows from a growing trend of adjustable weight sets. Thanks to the pandemic, the home fitness gear market doubled from March to October 2020. Traditional dumbbell sets make little sense for most home users, who have limited space.
Adjustable dumbbells are a clear answer to the space issue. But iFit product manager Ron Nielson found most setups cumbersome to use and somewhat limited in range, so he envisioned a better solution.
“Changing out your weights takes time and interrupts your workout,” Nielson told FastCompany. “And with only a few weights, you can’t keep challenging yourself to improve.”
With that in mind, the iFit team started work on iSelect. The result is a compact, rectangular setup that weighs 110 pounds fully assembled. User experience appears to be straight-up plug-and-play: Alexa accepts voice commands as soon as you plug the unit in.
The dumbbells can be as light as 5 pounds or as heavy as 50. Lifters can also adjust them with a knob mounted to the platform.
As Nielson pointed out, iSelect’s main advantage is its weight swap-out speed. Bypassing the logistics of changing weights yourself is clearly a boon, but mitigating workout interruptions is the trump card.
“When you’re doing weight training, you want to keep your heart rate up throughout the workout,” iFit trainer Casey Gilbert said. “This allows you to move on to your next exercise without skipping a beat.”
NordicTrack iSelect adjustable dumbbells are available now through Amazon. MSRP is comparable to other adjustable weight sets on the market at $430.