New fitness toy

So the other week I saw a cool toy I've been wanting on Amazon, and it was a good price.  No, not a tech gadget this time - a new set of dumbbells.  And since I didn't want anything for my birthday, my wife gave the approval to order them.

Specifically, I got a pair of PowerBlock Elite EXP dumbbells.  These things may look like toasters, but they're actually adjustable dumbbells that can go from 5 to 50 pounds in 2.5 to 5 pound increments.  The big selling point is that they adjust quick  You can do 10 pound adjustments just by moving a pin, which is super fast.  The 2.5 and 5 pound increments are little more involved, as those are adjusted by removing weight cylinders from the handles, and you can't do all increments, but it's still just pulling the pin, flipping a lever, and dropping a cylinder in or out.


Compare this to my old set of dumbbells, which adjusts up to 52.5 pounds.  It adjusts in 2.5 pound increments (and does all of them), but does it by swapping out plates and securing them using a screw clamp.  It works fine, but it's slow.  So, for instance, my current program has a bunch of supersets in it, and for most of them I'm using different weights for each of the two exercises.  So the "go immediately into the second exercise" was actually more like "spend about a minute changing the weights and then go straight into the next exercise".  Clearly this is not ideal in terms of executing the program, and it also stretches out the workout.

I'm pretty happy with them.  They took a little getting used to, but after using them for a week or two they work pretty well.  My main complaint is that the instructions were a little iffy.  It took me a little playing around to figure out exactly how to put in the pin, which direction things went, and so forth.  But it's not complicated, so it just took a few minutes of messing around.

On the down side, Amazon is now sending me suggestions for the thing I just bought.  They did the same thing when I bought my new laptop on Prime day.


I'm sure at some point Amazon will fix this, but it doesn't exactly say much for their recommendation AI.  I mean, this recommendation is a different model and a lighter weight, so it's not exactly the same thing, but come on.  Can one of the biggest tech companies in the world, with huge amounts of computing power and legions of brilliant people devoted to building their recommendation systems, really not figure out that I don't need to buy a slightly different version of the thing I just bought from them?  

I don't know - maybe there's a good reason for that and I just don't know enough about Amazon and/or machine learning.  It's just a really annoying thing that seems like it should be an obvious thing to fix.  Heck, I would imagine that the machine learning systems might even pick up on that on its own.  I mean, do people who buy a thing really buy it again a week later that often?  I'd think those numbers are all fed into the recommendation system and that they'd be low enough that the algorithm would drop recent purchases (especially larger ones) off the recommendations.

Then again, maybe the algorithm knows something I don't.  Maybe people re-buy the same thing all the time.  It could be they even do that with items that cost hundreds of dollars.  I doubt it.  But what do I know?

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