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Mad Spotter PRO Dumbbell Hooks Review

By Strength Oldschool

Before reading this article I would recommend reading a previous article I have written way back on September 18, 2022 to be precise, entitled, "Best Dumbbell Hooks to Use for Ultimate Safety". That article will explain other devices I've personally purchased and used as Dumbbell Hooks and the reason why lifters would consider using Dumbbell Hooks in the first place.

If you have come directly from the above article link, then continue to read on!

Link: Mad Spotter
Discount Code: "strengtholdschool10" (10% OFF!)

Mad Spotter Hooks can be purchased at the above link. Use the link and discount code to support Strength Oldschool and save some money!

I've owned Mad Spotter PRO Dumbbell Hooks for a while now having purchased the Hooks several months back, possibly even longer. But I've only recently got round to trying them out and here's my thoughts.

Two quick videos to display the Hooks in action!



Mad Spotter Hooks Delivery

When receiving items from anywhere but especially from afar, the first thing you want to see is how well packaged the item is and hope to God it's not been destroyed in transit!

Thankfully that was not the case with this delivery, which I'm thankful for, given I'm based in the UK and was ordering from the USA. From the outside, the box was packaged well and wasn't wrapped to the point where I required special tools to open ha ha! The black card, "ALERT! GAINS AHEAD" was a really nice, personal touch from the company which made me feel like I was becoming part of a new family.


Mad Spotter Dumbbell Hook

The frame of the Hook is solid, extremely strong and capable of supporting (according to Mad Spotter) an 80 kg (176 lbs) Dumbbell. According to the website, the Hooks can be dropped and are "made to last a life-time". So for me, this means they are pretty much marketed to be indestructible, so to speak, a bit like the Ironmaster Adjustable Dumbbells. In other words, you should feel safe in the knowledge that the Hooks have been designed to be strong enough to hold heavy Dumbbells (80 kg+).

Mad Spotter Dumbbell Hooks

The most interesting feature of this Dumbbell Hook is the end part where the Dumbbell gets placed on to. This is also the part of the Hook which the lifter grabs hold of (just incase you didn't know).

Anyone who is familiar with using "Bodymax" Dumbbell Hooks will recognise the "altered" Mad Spotter design immediately.

The photo below displays the "Bodymax" version on the left compared to the adapted, UPGRADED version of "Mad Spotter".

Bodymax Dumbbell Hook vs Mad Spotter Dumbbell Hook

Overall, the size (dimensions) and joint angles between the "Bodymax" version and "Mad Spotter" look very similar. The main difference (which leads to a slightly different setup...I'll explain later) is the bottom end (the part which the dumbbell gets placed onto and which you grab).

Mad Spotter have completely altered the design of the bottom end, for the better, in my opinion, and got rid of the attached thin metal base on the Bodymax Hook and instead added a solid, chunkier bottom section which resembles "half" of a Dumbbell / Barbell Handle. With the addition of Knurling, Mad Spotter Hooks therefore feel much more comfortable and secure to use, compared to the Bodymax Hooks.

Another important difference to note (strength trainers will appreciate this), Bodymax only recommends lifters use up to 50 kg (110 lbs) for their Dumbbell Hooks. Whereas, Mad Spotter Hooks are much more HEAVY DUTY and can handle up to 80 kg (176 lbs) and possibly more! For the general lifter, 50 kg dumbbells would be enough but for the strength enthusiasts out there, being able to use up to 80 kg dumbbells will obviously be much more appealing.

One thing I wish to note regarding the Bodymax Hooks is that they will certainly NOT last a life-time (see photo below).

Bodymax Dumbbell Hooks will Not Last a Life-Time

The broken rubber material didn't happen overnight. It was a gradual thing which took a few years I believe. The one advantage of buying Bodymax Hooks is the price. They're fairly cheap to buy online, so if the Hooks become damaged after so many years, they can easily be replaced.

As to whether the Mad Spotter Hooks will last a life-time, who knows? Time will tell. But if you do notice a tear in the Hooks at any point in time, STOP using them immediately!  Always check your Hooks before using them. I can't stress that enough. Safety is paramount.

Another noticeable difference is in the length of the Rubber ends (top part of the Hooks). From the photo below, you can see that on the Bodymax Hook (pictured on the left), the thick rubber material is shorter in length compared to the Mad Spotter Hook.

Bodymax Dumbbell Hooks vs Mad Spotter Dumbbell Hooks

Let's look at this from a different angle...

Bodymax Dumbbell Hooks vs Mad Spotter Dumbbell Hooks

You can see more clearly from the photo above that the Mad Spotter thick rubber ends (which attach to the Bar) come all the way over and around the Bar.

This is an example of how clever the "Mad Spotter" Hooks have been designed -  the benefit of extending the length of the thick rubber ends means there's no 'Metal on Metal' contact between the Hook and the Bar you hang the Hooks from. This helps avoid unnecessary scratches on your equipment, which you have payed good money for!

Now if you look at the Bodymax Hooks, the metal base of the Hook clearly touches the metal bar - This also creates more noise (metal on metal) when training, which can be slightly annoying.

So disregarding cost, if I'm given a choice between "Bodymax" Hooks or "Mad Spotter" Hooks, I'm definitely choosing Mad Spotter. Even though Mad Spotter costs a good bit more money, currently priced at £73 (UK British Pounds), not including delivery; compared to Bodymax / similar type Hooks at under £40, with delivery included, if you live in the UK; I would still gladly pay for the Mad Spotter Hooks -  It's a much more Heavy Duty product which would give me peace of mind typically from a safety point of view.


Setting up the Mad Spotter Hooks is different compared to using the "Bodymax" Hooks. The way the "Bodymax" Hooks have been designed, you would do the following...

  1. Place Hooks on a Barbell.
  2. Place Dumbbells onto Hooks.
  3. Then wrap the provided Handle (velcro) Wraps around both the Hook and the Dumbbell.
  4. Proceed to lift.

One of the main problems with the above setup, which I personally disliked, was having to repeatedly add and remove the handle wraps every time I needed to change the Dumbbell weights. And unfortunately due to the thin metal strip at the bottom of the "Bodymax" Dumbbell Hooks, the handle wraps had to be used. This was the only way to safely secure the Hooks to the Dumbbell. The handle wraps were therefore 100% necessary, in order to make gripping the dumbbell and Hook together, in a comfortable and stable manner.

Here is how to setup and use the Mad Spotter Dumbbell Hooks (see Photos below)...

  1. Place Hooks on a Barbell.
  2. Take your Dumbbells and wrap the Velcro Wraps provided around the handle of the Dumbbells ONLY! This prevents your dumbbells from getting scratched when placed on to the Hooks (avoiding metal on metal).
  3. Then place the Dumbbells onto the Hooks.
  4. Proceed to lift.

How to Setup and Use the Mad Spotter Dumbbell Hooks

How to Setup and Use the Mad Spotter Dumbbell Hooks

How to Setup and Use Mad Spotter Dumbbell Hooks

How to Setup and Use Mad Spotter Dumbbell Hooks

The above method of setting up the Hooks for lifting is what's recommended by Mad Spotter. However, I do it slightly different. Personally, I'm not bothered about getting scratches on my dumbbells. Therefore I don't use the handle/velcro wraps provided as can be seen from my training videos below.

As I've previously stated, taking the wraps on and off becomes annoying for me when changing the weight of the dumbbell. So instead, I like to simply...

  1. Place Hooks on a Barbell.
  2. Place Dumbbells onto Hooks (NO WRAPS!).
  3. Proceed to lift.

The clever design of the Mad Spotter Hooks enables lifters to load dumbbells straight onto the Hooks and comfortably (in my opinion) lift the Hook and Dumbbell together, without the use of the wraps. Other lifters may disagree with this or just simply not feel comfortable using this method. Each to their own.

My first attempt at using the Mad Spotter Hooks didn't turn out well, in a sense that I was initially annoyed at how "short" the velcro wraps were. I believed they were short because I was trying to wrap the Hooks and the Dumbbells together as one, as I was used to this method with the "Bodymax" Hooks. And since I couldn't get the wraps to fully wrap around the Hook and the Dumbbell handle, I simply chose not to use the wraps. As a result, I pleasantly discovered that I didn't require the wraps after all!

After posting a video online where I shared a brief review of the Dumbbell Hooks, I had stated that I loved the design of the Hook frame but didn't understand why the velcro wraps were designed to be so short! Mad Spotter later thanked me for the Review. I then responded back asking the question...

"Why do the handle wraps not fit around a standard dumbbell handle? I find that the handle wraps are far too short and so I don't use them. I've spoken to another person about this and they have the same issue. However, personally I don't think you need the handle wraps to use the hooks so I don't bother." ~ Strength Oldschool

Mad Spotter's response to my question was this...

"Yes, this is a common issue, we are thinking of making them a little longer. Btw are you wrapping them around the hook and dumbbell or only around the dumbbell handle?" ~ Mad Spotter

I then replied...

"I placed the dumbbell on the hook and then wrapped the handle wrap around both the hook and dumbbell. Is that not correct? I don't see why you would just wrap around the dumbbell handle?" ~ Strength Oldschool

Mad Spotter then responded back with...

"Oh I'm sorry it is a common misunderstanding that we should explain better. So the Mad Spotter Pro has a knurled handle like most dumbbell handles. It's designed to go directly in contact with your hands and provide a more comfortable and secure grip. The velcro wraps are designed for wrapping the dumbbell (and not the hook). They are completely optional but recommended to protect your dumbbells from scratches and they also help fix the dumbbells better. My apologies for this misunderstanding! In the future, we will include a pair of longer wraps so users can also wrap them around the hook if they so choose." ~ Mad Spotter

I also received the following message on Youtube...

"FYI regarding the Mad Spotter wraps. The wraps aren't short - they are correctly sized. To use them correctly with the generation 3 version hooks (the version you have) the wrap goes around the dumbbell handle and NOT the mad spotter hook. Wrap it around the dumbbell handle and then place the dumbbell in the hook. Mad Spotter designed it that way so you don't have any metal on metal contact, i.e., the dumbbell handle knurling wearing off over time as it rubs against the inside of the hook. The wrap acts as a buffer between the dumbbell handle and the hook, so there's no metal on metal contact." ~ Sarah MacKenzie (Strength Coach)

So according to Mad Spotter there seems to be a misunderstanding on how to actually use the Mad Spotter Hooks correctly, so hopefully this article including the video below will help clear that up.


Can Mad Spotter Hooks Hold Thick Grip Dumbbell Handles?

The quick answer is NO!

Mad Spotter states on their website the following...

"Our hooks are compatible with 99% of dumbbells in the market. If you want to make sure, measure the handle length and handle diameter of your dumbbells. Handle length should be 4.5" (114 mm) or more, and handle diameter should be 1.25" (32 mm) or less." ~ Mad Spotter

It's quite common these days that lifters are training now using thick grip bars and dumbbell handles. In the photo above is a custom 2" Thick Dumbbell Handle, made by Watson, which unfortunately does not fit within the Mad Spotter Dumbbell Hook.

Two examples of Dumbbells that definitely fit Mad Spotter Hooks are:

It would be nice if Mad Spotter considered creating an UPGRADED version of their Mad Spotter PRO Dumbbell Hook, in order to accommodate "Thick Grip" Dumbbell Handles. Maybe one day.


Overall, I LOVE the design of the Mad Spotter PRO Dumbbell Hooks. The fact that I can use their Hooks without needing to use the provided velcro wraps is a huge bonus.

In my opinion, the Mad Spotter Hooks are clearly a class above all other Dumbbell Safety Hooks on the market currently, including the costly "custom-made" Power Rack Dumbbell Holders I purchased over a year ago for my Power Rack!

Thanks for checking out this Review and if you're keen to try out Mad Spotter Hooks, you can grab the product at the link below.

Link: Mad Spotter
Discount Code: "strengtholdschool10" (10% OFF!)

If you wish to make any comments or ask a question about the product please visit the links below:

Mad Spotter Youtube Videos

Please check out Strength Oldschool's other "Affiliated" links and "Discount Codes" for various other Home Gym Equipment Recommendations such as Ironmaster, BRAINGAIN, Gym-Pin, Fat Gripz, Iron Bull Strength and more!

Keep training hard folks,

All the best,

Strength Oldschool

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