Heavy-duty frame resists bending or losing shape as you perform your exercises. Includes machines to further develop your upper and lower body. A great choice for endurance workouts.
Not as comprehensive as some of the other models on the market.
A compact and rugged machine that's priced right and works for over 20 exercises. Includes hand grips and sling straps. Instructional placard is a nice addition for beginners looking for exercises.
Has no weights, so all exercises are of the "pull-up" or "dip" variety.
Features 50 exercises in a compact, quality unit. Thoughtful user guide for beginners. Sturdy design. A great setup for beginners who are setting up a home gym.
Might have to upgrade the resistance if 210 lbs. doesn't feel like enough. Resistance rods lose resistance over time.
More than 25 exercises to work the entire body. Power rod provides up to 200 lb. of resistance. Cable pulley can be used in multiple positions. Integrated media rack. Bench converts to rolling seat for aerobic rowing. Has a built-in media rack so users can listen to music or stream classes.
Weight amounts are limited compared to free weights or professional gym machines.
Handgrip and ankle cuffs offer 5 different modes for flexible operation. Supports a high weight capacity. Rolls on wheels so users can transport and store it effortlessly. Includes fitness guide.
Takes quite a bit of time to set up, even with multiple users.
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If you’ve ever done any archery, you know that even a wooden bow can be hard to pull. The composite bows in a Bowflex machine present an even greater challenge designed to help you build strength and muscle quickly.
That bending resistance of the bow is the secret to the Bowflex line of home gyms. Instead of using unwieldy iron weights that can crash or slip and hurt you, most Bowflex gyms use composite Power Rods to give your muscles the same resistance and workout as weights but without the danger of them dropping on you.
The unique design of Bowflex gyms is a space saver, too. A Bowflex gym can fit into a smaller area than a bench with iron weights. It can fold up for even greater space conservation during storage, and of course, it’s not nearly as heavy as a traditional weight machine.
Bowflex has several gyms to choose from, and their home gyms vary in their resistance range and exercises. To find a Bowflex gym that can give you the workout you need, continue reading our buying guide.
The advantage of a Bowflex Power Rod gyms is the multitude of different exercises that are possible on a single machine.
Some Bowflex machines are outwardly simple in appearance but still have up to 20 exercises you can perform on them. Others offer more than 100 exercises.
The type of exercise is just as important as the sheer quantity of them. The simpler the machine, the narrower the range of exercise types. Larger and more expensive Bowflex machines can give you a complete whole-body workout of every major muscle group. Their smaller models, which may not use the iconic Power Rods, usually focus on one or two areas, like legs or abs.
To decide which type of machine is right for you, consider what your current home gym or weight set is lacking. Are you looking to replace your old home gym with an all-in-one machine? If so, Bowflex’s flagship line of home gyms is probably your best bet. Do you just need a machine to supplement your current home gym? Consider a Bowflex machine with a narrower focus — these models are generally less expensive and take up less space.
Since you’re likely going to be using your Bowflex gym at home, considering its size is crucial.
Bowflex lists the physical size of all of their machines — they also list the required workout area, making it easy to determine where you can put your machine and how much space it will take up.
For an accurate estimate of the space your new machine will take up, cut out a piece of cardboard that matches the workout dimensions. Place it on the floor to determine whether it will fit comfortably.
Like a traditional weight machine, Bowflex gyms have a weight limit that is determined by the number and type of Power Rods included. Most of their gyms top out around 200 pounds. If you need more resistance, many of their models can be upgraded to up to 400 pounds or more.
Some Bowflex gyms can be upgraded with optional attachments, which you can order when you purchase the machine or purchase separately. Some of these attachments include a preacher curl attachment and gym-style ab attachment.
If you have limited space, you may need to store your Bowflex gym from time to time. They are typically heavy (50 to 160 pounds), which makes maneuvering them difficult. However, they are far lower than most home gyms.
Some Bowflex gyms can fold up for easier storage. If space is a premium in your home, be sure to check whether the model you are considering can be folded and stored easily.
Power Rod upgrade: Bowflex Rod Upgrade
If you need to increase the resistance of your Bowflex home gym, these Power Rod upgrades from Bowflex can help you step it up to 310 or even 410 pounds of resistance.
Cable machine attachments: Powerfly Cable Machine Attachments for Gym (Universal)
If you need more attachments for lat pulldowns, bicep curls, tricep pushdowns, or other exercises, these extra attachments from Powerfly have universal connectors for use with Bowflex home gyms.
Floor mat: BalanceFrom Puzzle Exercise Mat
If you need an exercise floor mat under your Bowflex gym, these interlocking foam tiles from BalanceFrom start at 1/2 inch thick and 24 square feet of coverage and go up to 3/4 inch thick and 96 square feet of coverage.
Entry-level Bowflex gyms start just under $300. These are smaller machines that offer a handful of focused exercises.
From $300 to $1,000 is the middle price range where most Bowflex home gyms are found. They offer more exercises and upgrade options than lower-priced Bowflex models.
The most expensive Bowflex gyms cost $1,000 or greater. These almost always offer over 70 different types of exercises and can be fully upgraded to 410 pounds of Power Rod resistance. They are also larger than those in the lower price ranges and usually can’t be folded for storage. Whatever room you choose to put this type of gym in, it should be regarded as a permanent fixture.
A. It varies from machine to machine, but seven to ten years is the normal range.
A. Yes, and you may even notice them beginning to develop a slight curve. This is a normal part of their life cycle. However, Bowflex sells “rejuvenators” to extend the lifespan of your Power Rods, and you can always purchase replacement rods.
A. The actual setup is easier than it appears, but it is time-consuming. You should allow three to five hours from start to finish.
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