It’s not always easy to find the time to get to the gym and work out. This is especially true if your commercial gym is not close to your home or work, making it a lengthy commute.
Wouldn’t it be great if you didn’t have to leave your house to work out?
No doubt there are quite a few home gyms you can choose from. Yet Bowflex home gyms are a great solution. They beat a crowded commercial gym any day. Not to mention, they allow you to do a full-body workout with one easy-to-use machine.
If you’ve never thought about a Bowflex, it’s time to take a look at what Bowflex has to offer. Use this guide to choose the best Bowflex home gym for you.
Let’s get started!
In a Hurry? Here is our top pick:
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Quick Answer – The 7 Best Bowflex Home Gym Machines
- Bowflex Blaze – Best Overall
- Bowflex Xceed – Best For Mass & Strength Training
- Bowflex PR1000 – Best Budget
- Bowflex PR3000 – Best Space Saving
- Bowflex Xtreme 2SE Home Gym – Best Versatility
- Bowflex Revolution – Best Exercise Selection
- Bowflex Body Tower – Best Body Weight Home Gym
Reviews – The Best Bowflex Home Gym Machines
1. Bowflex Blaze Home Gym- Best Overall
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The Bowflex Blaze Home Gym features 210 lbs of resistance using Power Rod technology. You can upgrade to 310 lbs or a maximum resistance of 410 lbs.
There are 60 exercises available and 7 free workout programs that are designed by a trainer.
One of the unique options of the Bowflex Blaze Home Gym is a sliding seat that lets you do leg presses. It’s also an aerobic rowing machine. With this option, you can do both cardio training and resistance training with one home gym.
Included also is a lat bar, and triple function hand-grip/ankle cuffs. There is also a squat bar, effectively turning the Bowflex Blaze into a squat station. Plus, there’s a flat/incline bench for bench presses and other exercises.
The Blaze also provides multiple cable and pulley positions. This lets you target all major muscle groups. Indeed, you can easily perform full-body workouts with the Blaze. To help with this, there is an integrated instructional workout placard included.
Finally, the Bowflex Blaze Home Gym folds up for easy storage and includes transport wheels so you can move it if you need to.
- Includes Squat Bar, Leg Press Option, Lat Bar & Aerobic Rowing Option
- Up To 410 lbs Of Resistance
- Folds For Easy Storage
- Cables Have To Be Changed When You Change Exercises
2. Bowflex Xceed Home Gym – Best For Mass & Strength Training
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The Bowflex Xceed Home Gym comes with 210 lbs. of Power Rod resistance with extra-cost upgrades to either 310 lbs. or 410 lbs maximum resistance.
It features a heavy-duty steel frame with a user weight capacity of up to 300 lbs. While the Bowflex Xceed features a compact space-saving design, it does not fold for storage.
This Bowflex machine is a good choice for mass or strength training. There are over 65 exercises available. That means you can target the major muscle groups and perform numerous resistance exercises for a full-body workout.
The Xceed Home Gym provides multiple cable and pulley positions that let you do exercises like seated bench presses, lat pulldowns, as well as dumbbell-style work. There’s also a lat bar that lets you perform multiple arm and back exercises.
As far as lower-body resistance training, you can do leg extensions and leg curls. A big plus is the included bar for squats. This addition turns your Xceed into a squat station.
Overall, the Bowflex Xceed is a great choice for bodybuilders, athletes, and fitness enthusiasts that want to do mass and strength training.
Read our Bowflex Xceed Home Gym Review
- Designed For Mass & Strength Workouts With Over 65 Bowflex Exercises
- Multiple Angle Pulley & Cable System
- Includes A Squat Bar
- It May Be Hard To Change The Resistance From Exercise To Exercise
3. Bowflex PR1000 Home Gym – Best Budget
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The Bowflex PR1000 Home Gym features 210lbs of resistance from adjustable Power Rod Technology. This type of resistance feels as good as free weights.
That’s because the weight resistance feels heavier over the range of motion, just like free weights.
There are 25 available exercises and this Bowflex home gym includes a flat bench. The bench can be used for flat/incline chest work, and the bench has a sliding seat rail, creating an aerobic rowing machine. There is also an upper and lower pulley system to help you work your entire body.
Unlike some of the other Bowflex models, the bench folds up for space-saving storage. That means it works well no matter how big or small your workout space is. However, you still need to allow space for the flat bench when it’s being used.
The PR1000 includes a built-in media rack and access to a trainer-led workout DVD. However, you will have to change cables as needed when you change to a new exercise.
Finally, the Bowflex PR1000 has good features and versatility matched by a good price point, making it the best-budget Bowflex home gym.
- 25 Exercises – 210 lbs. Of Classic Power Rod Resistance
- Includes A Bench For Flat and Incline Exercises
- The Bench Converts To A Rowing Machine For Cardio
- Does Not Include The Quick Change Cable System
- May Not Work For Very Small Spaces Because The Bench Takes Up Extra Space
4. Bowflex PR3000 – Best Space Saving
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The Bowflex PR3000 Home Gym comes with 210 lbs of Power Rod resistance. The maximum resistance for this Bowflex home gym is 310 lbs, available as an extra-cost option.
The PR3000 features a steel frame and user weight capacity of 300lbs.
There are over 50 exercises, and the Bowflex PR3000 Home Gym has the “quick change” cable system. This means no cable changes are required when you change exercises.
Also, there are 2 sets of grip handles, so you can move between exercises without changing handles. Plus, during your workouts, you can increase the resistance in 5lb increments.
There’s no bench, so chest work is done seated. Still, this also means the unit is more compact.
There’s also an integrated instructional workout placard right on the front of the machine.
- Up To 310 lbs. Of Resistance (With Extra Cost Upgrade)
- No Between-Set Cable Changes Needed
- Over 50 Available Bowflex Exercises
- Comes With 210 lbs., The Upgrade To 310 lbs Is An Extra Cost Option
5. Bowflex Xtreme 2SE Home Gym – Best Versatility
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The Bowflex Xtreme 2SE Home Gym provides 70 exercises and comes with a height-adjustable lat tower. The user weight capacity of the 2SE Xtreme is 300 lbs.
There’s 210lbs of Power Rod resistance that can be upgraded (at extra cost) to either 310 lbs. or 410 lbs maximum resistance. Unlike other resistance machines, this type of resistance feels like you’re using free weights. That’s one of the advantages of Bowflex over other home gyms.
The 2SE Home Gym also comes with an Ab training strap, lat bar, and 5-way hand grips. The hand grips can also be used as ankle cuffs. Plus, there’s a squat bar for effective lower body workouts.
The Xtreme 2SE has the “quick change” cable system so you can move from exercise to exercise easier and faster. That makes it a good choice for circuit training.
Included with this Bowflex machine is the 7 workout program feature you’ll find on some of the other Bowflex Home Gym models.
Additionally, the lack of a flat bench makes this a more compact design. The Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE is the top of the line for Bowflex Home Gym models using the classic Power Rod Technology.
- 70+ Bowflex Exercises
- Height Adjustable Lat Tower
- Includes The Quick Change Cable System
- No Bench For Flat/Incline Chest Work
- No Aerobic Options
6. Bowflex Revolution Home Gym – Best Exercise Selection
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The Bowflex Revolution is a new Bowflex home gym design that uses a weight plate-like technology they call “SpiraFlex”. This type of weight resistance provides an even, smooth feel throughout the range of motion.
This fitness machine features up to 600 lbs of resistance (with extra cost upgrades) and 100 exercises. There are also 400 variations to these exercises for complete full-body workouts.
The other unique feature of the Bowflex Revolution Home Gym is the “Freedom arms” that move independently of each other. The Freedom arms feel like dumbbells and feature 10 positions with 170-degree adjustments.
Also, there’s an adjustable bench that allows for flat and incline work, and it folds up for storage. Like other Bowflex home gyms, the user weight capacity is 300 lbs.
Plus, there’s the sliding seat rail some of the other Bowflex home gyms have. This creates a leg press station and lets you do aerobic rowing exercises. With this option, your workout routine can include a wide variety of lower body and upper body exercises.
When it’s all said and done, this is the best Bowflex machine for muscle building.
One downside is that there’s no lat bar or straight bar of any kind. This will affect users’ ability to do some exercises. Still, this is the most versatile and innovative Bowflex home gym available.
- Features SpiraFlex Technology – 600 lbs Upgradeable Resistance
- Freedom Arms Allow 10 Positions & Multiple Adjustments
- Adjustable Bench That Converts Into Sliding Seat For Aerobic Rowing
- Folds For Storage
- There’s No Lat Bar Or Squat Bar
- The Biggest Bowflex Home Gym
Bowflex Body Tower – Best Body Weight Home Gym
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Are you looking for bodyweight workout equipment? Look no further than the Bowflex Body Tower. This is definitely a different type of Bowflex fitness equipment.
The Body Tower lets you perform over 20 exercises. That may not seem like very many exercises, yet you can get a whole-body workout with the Body Tower.
The exercises you can do with the Body Tower include mass builders like pull-ups, chin-ups, and dips. It also includes push-ups, single-leg squats, and leg raises.
The Body Tower comes with an instructional placard, hand grips, and sling straps.
This bodyweight home gym is compact yet tall. It has a height of 77″, so be sure you measure your ceiling height.
Finally, use the Bowflex Body Tower by itself, or along with any other Bowflex home gym.
- Features Bodyweight Resistance
- You Can Work Your Entire Body
- Includes Sling Straps
- May Be Too Tall For Some Home Gyms
Buying Guide – How To Choose The Best Bowflex Home Gym Machine?
Bowflex – A Little History
Bowflex Home Gym equipment has used Power Rod Technology since 1986. It is the first home gym design that used this type of resistance.
All Bowflex home gyms are designed to provide a full-body workout, and some include cardio options as well. As noted, this means users can train for size and strength as well as perform cardio.
The Bowflex Home Gym concept is similar to the single-weight stack style of exercise machine except the weight stack has been replaced with “Power Rods”.
The Power Rods provide good resistance and the machines are well built, making a Bowflex gym a good choice for anyone considering a gym for home use.
Bowflex is a member of the Nautilus company, which includes Schwinn, Universal, Octane Fitness, and Modern Movement.
While Bowflex is mainly known for its home gyms, the brand makes numerous types of home fitness exercise equipment, including benches, treadmills, ellipticals, and HIIT trainers. (1)
Power Rod vs. SpiraFlex Technology
What Is Power Rod Technology
As we have noted, Power Rod Technology has been the standard form of Bowflex resistance since 1986. The Bowflex Power Rods are patented flexible polymer rods that are located at the back of the Bowflex workout machines.
With Power Rods, the start of the exercise is reasonably easy but gets progressively harder as you go through the movement.
The thinking here is that you are weakest at the beginning of a movement, therefore easier resistance means less strain on your muscles and joints.
This approach may not be the best choice for every type of training style. Still, it’s an effective way to train and is a good solution for naturally varying degrees of strength during an exercise.
The downside is that the start of the movement isn’t helping you get stronger. The reason is that strength training means you are strong right from the start. Otherwise, you won’t be able to lift off with a weight you can handle at other points of the range of motion.
As far as available weight, the standard resistance on Bowflex models is 210 lbs. There are extra cost upgrades available depending on the machine. You can upgrade to 310 lbs or even 410 lbs.
What Is SpiraFlex Technology?
SpiraFlex Technology is the newest type of Bowflex resistance technology. It’s used mainly on the Bowflex Revolution Home Gym. It provides an even amount of resistance throughout the entire exercise.
SpiraFlex uses a disc design that looks like weight plates. Inside these discs are resistance bands that are pulled in a rotating fashion as you exercise.
Like Power Rods, the SpiraFlex plates don’t weigh as much as the resistance might suggest. Also like the Power Rod, the standard resistance is 210 lbs. It is upgradeable at extra cost to 300 lbs, and 600lbs with the leg press.
Bowflex Home Gym Models – Available Exercises
Depending on the Bowflex model, you can perform from 25 to as many as 100 exercises.
Since Bowflex home gyms are versatile, there are several ways you can set up a workout program. A Bowflex gym offers strength training, circuit training, and cardio.
That means you can train for muscle building or weight loss. Or, you can train for general fitness. The great thing is, anyone can use a Bowflex.
As far as exercises, not all Bowflex home gyms come with a lat bar, but you can perform all the expected exercises on any Bowflex model. This would include chest presses, back work, shoulder work, arm work, abs, and legs.
A lat bar, if available, adds several additional back and arm exercises.
Specific exercises can be performed based on the machine. For example, exercises such as bench presses can be done using a flat/incline bench on some machines, such as the PR1000. while on others it’s done seated.
Most machines include a lat station, but the Revolution doesn’t. Instead, as noted it features unique “Freedom Arms”, which function similarly to dumbbells.
Squat bars are available on some machines, and leg presses on a few others, but all Bowflex machines allow leg extensions and leg curls.
Ultimately, with the best Bowflex Home Gyms, you can target all muscle groups. This includes cardio and strength training.
Finally, only a few Bowflex machines feature the sliding seat/aerobic rowing option for cardio (the PR1000, Revolution, and our best overall, the Blaze). With these machines, you can lose weight and build muscle.
Like most home gyms, you’ll need to be sure you have enough available space for a Bowflex.
While many Bowflex gyms are relatively compact and some fold up, you still need a large enough workout area to use the machine.
For example, the bench on the PR1000 folds up, but if you want to do bench presses, you will need several feet of space for the bench to fold down.
Is your workout area large enough for that? You should always check the dimensions and measure your space, and most importantly measure the height.
As noted above, one advantage of a Bowflex is that the units are not as heavy as you may think. This is because, as noted, the Rods and SpiraFlex plates do not physically weigh what the resistance might indicate.
Instead, the resistance they provide is in the tension created as you go through the entire range of motion. This means it’s easier to move than a home gym with a 150lb or 200lb weight stack.
Bowflex models range in price, with a model that will fit most budgets. If budget is the primary purchasing factor, you may not be able to get the options you want. Still, Bowflex home gyms are a good choice regardless of your budget.
Benefits Of Bowflex Home Gyms
There are quite a few benefits to using a Bowflex, such as:
- On the models that use Power Rod resistance, you can change the level of resistance reasonably fast by connecting the rods to the cables. In terms of speed, think of this the same as you would changing plates on a bar.
- The “Quick Change” System lets you change exercises without having to switch cables, so you can train as fast as your program dictates. This can open up more exercise options.
- The variety of exercises offered by some machines makes it easier to add variety to your workout.
- Some units include rowing as a cardio exercise. This also can open up more exercise options.
- Since you can work your entire body with a Bowflex, they’re convenient. You only need one machine.
- The compact size of many of the Bowflex units, combined with the fact you only need a single machine, means you will not need a large space to work out.
Can I Really Build Muscle With A Bowflex?
Building muscle is less the result of the type of equipment you use, and more the result of how you use it. No matter what you’re using, you have to follow the principle of progressive resistance. That means consistently adding weight to the bar.
You also have to think in terms of good form, proper rep tempo, and a full range of motion.
Having said that, you want to use exercises that involve as many of the body’s muscle groups as possible. Bowflex home gyms do just that.
Can I Lose Weight With A Bowflex?
The best Bowflex home gyms include aerobic rowing. As noted, this means you can get in your resistance training and cardio on one machine. Add a fast-paced circuit training program, and you’ll lose weight even more quickly.
Of course, you have to be sure you’re putting in the work in the kitchen if you really want to get ripped.
Remember, high protein, low to moderate complex carbs, and healthy fats. Don’t forget your supplements!
Is A Bowflex Better Than Free Weights?
Ultimately, whatever type of fitness equipment you choose can work for you. Some users prefer free weights while others would rather use machines.
If you can, use both. Bowflex sells a wide range of workout equipment that includes their take on dumbbells, kettlebells, an EZ curl bar, and a barbell.
If you can only choose one, Bowflex Home Gyms are hard to beat.
In this guide, we have looked at every Bowflex home gym currently made. Our pick for the best Bowflex gym is the Bowflex Blaze. This unit offers up to 410lbs of resistance, over 60 exercises, and 7 trainer-designed exercise programs. One of the advantages of this machine is the included squat bar. It’s also foldable for easy storage.
If budget is a deciding factor, the Bowflex PR1000 is the best choice. There’s a flat bench for flat/incline work, and it converts to a sliding seat for aerobic rowing. There are also 7 trainer-designed programs.
Finally, there’s something completely different for Bowflex, the Revolution. This has the most exercise versatility with over 100 exercises to choose from.
It also has the exclusive Freedom arms that work independently like dumbbells, and feature 10 positions. This unit also has the SpiraFlex “Disc” Technology that provides even resistance throughout the movement.
There’s no doubt that with so much variety, Bowflex has a gym for everyone!