Bowflex home gyms are among the most popular strength training equipment these days. And for a good reason. They help most of the people to build strength and muscles at home. They can choose from a wide range of exercises to have a full body training. And with that the price/value ratio of these machines are good.
But, they are not for everyone. These gyms, besides the advantages, have their cons.
Here I would like to talk about the pros and cons of the Bowflex gyms in general. So, you will know if it is worth to buy for you or not.
1. Supporting a lot of exercises
An important factor when we buy a machine is that how many types of practices we can do with the help of it. The more it supports, the better. Why? Because we can do more types of exercises for one particular muscle group which is always beneficial for growing and toning. Plus, we can train every part of our body. To sum up, we need only one machine for at home workouts.
In this field, the Bowflex home gyms are great. Even the basic Bowflex PR1000 model supports almost 30 exercises and the better models a lot.
2. The power rod technology benefits
If you buy a leverage home gym, the one that needs weight plates, you need to buy plates individually. Plus, whenever you want to increase the resistance, you have to change them manually.
A bit more comfortable option is the weight stack gym. But usually these machines have not enough amount of friction, and you cannot use additional weight stacks to increase the resistance.
The power rod technology of the Bowflex home gyms is straightforward to use. You can quickly change the resistance level to your needs. So, your training will be continuous.
Also, most of the models (PR3000, Blaze, Xtreme SE 2, Xceed) can be upgraded. Each of them comes with 210 lbs resistance which is enough for a beginner. But, as you get stronger, you can purchase additional rods to make your training harder. The maximum load you can get this way is 410 lbs (except PR3000 where the max is 310 lb.) That level is enough for an intermediate level trainee.
Finally, this type of power rod resistance has a positive effect on your muscle development since you cannot drop the weight but have to hold the load till you reach the starting position.
3. Leg workout is available
If you check other home gyms in the same price, most of them support just upper body exercises such as lat pull down. And, you cannot do lower body exercises with them. However, strengthening your legs is as important.
Fortunately, all the Bowflex gyms come with functions to strengthen your legs. The cheaper models are made with leg curl/extension, but with Blaze, Extreme, and Xceed, you can even squat which is the most beneficial lower body exercise.
4. Rowing function
The PR1000, Blaze, and Revolution come with a rowing function as well. Rowing is among the most beneficial cardio exercises that work all the muscles of the body. It helps to burn fat and develop your endurance. Thanks to this function you do need to buy a rover separately which is not cheap.
5. Compact design and folding
These machines in spite of the fact that they are packed with a lot of functions do not have such a big footprint. So, you do need so much space to use and store them. Besides, the Blaze and PR1000 are folding, so you can save even more space.
6. Good/price value ratio
The simplest model P1000 costs about 500 dollars. My personal favorite the Bowflex Blaze cost 800 bucks, and I think it is the best price/value machine.
The prices may seem too much, but if you check out the gym membership prices, we can say they bring back their price in some month. Plus, you do not have to travel and work out whenever you want.
1. We have to buy rods to upgrade
I do not know why the manufacturer does not add the maximum rods to the machines. The power rod upgrade pack costs about 100 dollars. Ok, I know not everyone needs such resistance, but this seems to a trick to get more money.
2. Stronger guys feel the resistance is not enough
That is particularly true for someone who has been lifting weights. The 210 lbs the machines comes with is enough for a beginner or an average person, but someone who is stronger will have to buy the rod upgrade for sure. I think, if you are an experienced weight lifter Bowflex machines are not for you (maybe for toning your muscles with high reps).
3. If you want to be really big and strong, do not buy them
If you want to build massive strength and body, these machines are not for you. For you, free weights are the way to go. Get a power rack, bench, Olympic weight set and adjustable dumbbells instead and lift weights. That is the only way to be colossal.
To sum up
The Bowflex home gyms are useful home gym equipment for those who want to get stronger and shape their body. You can choose from a lot of exercises, and the workout experience is excellent. They are made for the average Joe and beginners. Serious trainees will not find them useful.