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Bowflex Review


What is Bowflex Home Gym?

Bowflex Home Gym was patented and founded in 1979 by an engineer student in San Francisco. It is a resistance exercise machine that is small enough to fit at home in many spaces and serve a purpose of muscle building and toning. The Bowflex Inc.Home Gym machines stared selling in 1986 and are now widely available.

At the beginning the only way to buy a Bowflex machine was through TV infomercials, but today many sporting goods stores sell them. Bowflex is very versatile and allows for many exercises that can be done in the gym, but it can also fit under your bed. You can get your machine for anywhere between $650 and $2,000.

How does it work?

Older Bowflex Home Gyms use traditional Power Rod technology, while newer ones are equipped with SpiraFlex technology.

Power Rod technology employs pulley/cable system, where your resistance comes from long rods that are flexible and extend from the back side of the machine. As you pull numerous times for your reps what starts easy becomes more difficult as the tension increases. This tires you faster and you will need more reps to increase musculature when compared with gym machines that tend to keep tension steady, so you need fewer reps.

These are the models available with Power Rod:

  • Classic ($649) offers 30+ upper and lower body exercises
  • Xtreme ($1,299) offers 70+ exercises
  • Ultimate ($2,499) offers 90+ workouts

SpiraFlex technology was introduced in 2006. It also uses cables and pulleys, but resistance begins from round “cams” that coil against the applied force by the user. This way the resistance is more steady and similar to gym machines.

These are the products you can get from the new generation Bowflex:

  • Bowflex Revolution XP ($2,499+) with 90+ exercises
  • Bowflex Revolution ($2,999+) with 90+ workouts
  • Ab Attachment ($169)
  • Accessory storage rack ($199)
  • 410-lb resistance upgrade ($99)

Accessories are not included with any Bowflew Home Gyms.

What exercises is Bowflex best for?

Experts agree that upper body, especially chest exercises work great with Bowflex Home Gym. Do press and fly back-to-back with no rest in between and you will feel chest muscles working and having to “stabilize” against the pulley system.

Another recommendation is upper back workout – seated row and lateral pulldown with lateral bar attachment, which also uses pulleys and trains your muscles very effectively. All those exercises are easily adjustable just by changing you position or position of your hands and elbows. You should try different variations and interchange them for the maximum effect – palms facing up and then down, elbows close together and then elbows facing out.

When it comes to lower body workout, try seated leg extension. Squat and leg press is not as effective with Bowflex, so you are fine doing those with just your bodyweight. You can also try to do seated leg extension and then a squat right away to get your muscles to the point of exhaustion.

What are some cons of Bowflex?

  • Great for general level of muscle training and fitness
  • It’s easy to store and to use
  • It’s easy to change resistance and exercises
  • Bowflex is safe for various groups of people and fitness levels. It is often used for rehabilitating purposes.
  • Working out with Bowflex minimizes muscle soreness and exhaustion, especially for beginners, when compared to free weights
  •  Great for people who are looking to lose weight with light resistance training

What are some cons?

  • Not good for people who are looking to develop serious muscles and strength, such as bodybuilders and power lifters
  • Bowflex Home Gym is not advised for athletes who need specific resistance training
  • All Bowflex machines are very expensive when compared with other equipment on the market

In conclusion, Bowflex will work for some people, but not for all. How effective it’ll be for you depends on your goals. You can definitely work some muscles and muscle groups with resistance exercises on Bowflex just fine. The recommendation is 2-3 days per week to gain and maintain muscular fitness. Bowflex workout is perfect for those purposes.

However, most people won’t become what models in Bowflex commercials look just by using this machine alone. Competitive athletes won’t get much benefit either.

Finally, to get the best results from whatever fitness routine you want to try, you should eat healthy and get enough rest in addition to workouts.