Top 6 Best Bowflex Home Gym Machines


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Bowflex has a lot of offerings on the home gym front. With all the different configurations and options, it’s hard to know which one is right for you. So what is the best Bowflex machine for a home gym?

The best home gym offerings from Bowflex are the Revolution and the Xtreme 2SE. These allow the most exercises and hit all the major muscle groups. The rapid configuration from one mode to another means overall these are the best home gyms.

We’ll take you through a review of the offerings from Bowflex in the home gym niche including the Revolution, Xtreme 2SE, Blaze, PR1000, and PR3000. We’ll look at what can be done on the machines and any particular quirks about them that should be known.

The Top 6 Best Bowflex Home Gym Options in 2021

Product

Header

Price

Detail

Xceed

Bowflex Xceed Home Gym

$$

  • Best Bang for Buck
  • 65+ Exercises
  • 410 lbs of resistance

Bowflex Blaze

Bowflex Blaze Home Gym

$$

  • Rowing Machine
  • 410 lbs of resistance

Xtreme 2 SE

Bowflex Xtreme 2SE Home Gym

$$$

  • 70+ Exercises
  • Adjustable Cable Pulley Positions

PR1000

Bowflex PR1000 Home Gym

$

  • Most Affordable
  • Rowing Machine

PR3000

Bowflex PR3000 Home Gym

$$

  • 50+ Exercises
  • Quick Change Power Rod System

Revolution

Bowflex Revolution Home Gym, Home Gym only

$$$$

  • Spiral Flex
  • 100+ Exercises
  • Adjustable Bench Setup

1. Bowflex Xceed Home Gym

Bowflex Xceed Home Gym

Overview

Brand

Bowflex

Model

Xceed

Weight

-

Dimensions

53" x 49" x 82"

Type

Multi-gym

Summary:

The Xceed offers over 65 different exercises to choose from. Much like the other models, it features 210 pounds of resistance to start but you can upgrade to 310 or 410 if you choose. Experienced gyms goers will most likely want to start with 410 as it can take longer than expected to install the upgrades. It is best to just initially use the strongest one you think you'll need to avoid the headache.

There is a very heavy-duty steel frame that holds this unit together. It is extremely durable and the best built of all the Bowflex units. The adjustable pulley positions help you design your own workouts if the presets aren't doing it for you. You can purchase a separate power rod rejuvenator if you would like to keep them as strong as possible after intense workouts.

The quick-release seat makes it very easy to adjust your position when transitioning from one routine to the next. This foam cushion gives you great comfort if your workout requires you to sit for most of it. An ab training strap, lat bar, and squat bar are included with every purchase.

Pros:

  • Very small and can fit almost anywhere
  • Extremely sturdy steel frame at the center
  • Every part is adjustable for custom workouts

Cons:

  • Squat bar straps slide when adjusted
  • Cables and pulleys take a while to switch

2. Bowflex Blaze Home Gym

Bowflex Blaze Home Gym

Overview

Brand

Bowflex

Model

Blaze

Weight

-

Dimensions

90" x 38" x 83"

Type

Multi-gym

Summary:

The Bowflex Blaze home gym offers over 60 workouts which are actually quite impressive. This is where these machines start to rival commercial gym setups much more. The standard power rod resistance is 210 pounds but can be upgraded to 310 or 410 if you outgrow the initial settings. It comes with seven workout regimens that were curated by professional trainers. This gives you a great place to start if you have no clue what goes into a full session.

The seat rail slides allowing you to perform rowing exercises and leg presses. There are multiple pulley positions so you can customize your own workouts once you have gained more experience. YouTube offers tons of tutorials on how to creatively use these machines to their fullest. The included lat and squat bar make it very easy to target those muscles in a timely manner.

You can fold it up for easy storage and the wheel on the bottom make it easy to move around the house. The triple function handgrips and ankle cuffs provide even more options for getting the perfect angle for each exercise. The strong construction helps maintain the shape of the tower during even the most rigorous activities. This machine will last for years of high-quality workouts and can fit just about anywhere in the house.

Pros:

  • Provides even more exercises than advertised when used creatively
  • Has a great set of add ons
  • Extremely sturdy and reliable

Cons:

  • Takes a long time to assemble
  • Resistance is lighter at the top range of the motion

3. Bowflex Xtreme 2SE Home Gym

Bowflex Xtreme 2SE Home Gym

Overview

Brand

Bowflex

Model

Xtreme 2SE

Weight

-

Dimensions

53" x 49" x 82"

Type

Multi-gym

Summary:

This versatile home gym is the most expensive of the Bowflex power rod home gym machines. It facilitates a whopping 70 plus exercises right out of the box. It comes with 210 pounds of power rod resistance but much like the Blaze, it can be upgraded to either 310 or 410. It also comes with seven workout regimens that are more or less the same as the blaze. This is fine though as most people only buy one Bowflex machine as they can be used by the whole family.

The adjustable seat is ergonomic and comes with a polyurethane high-density foam cushion. If your butt has become sore when sitting on other benches, try out this one for some extra padding you need. The included ab training strap gives you a variety of options for working the abdomen. This is a muscle group that has been underrepresented in previous models so it is good to see it covered more thoroughly with this unit.

Both the ankle cuffs and handgrips feature five-way functionality that gives you a ton of flexibility in how you use them. The solid steel construction is very durable and resistant to scratches. The angled lat bar provides even better lateral exercise positions that are sure to tone up your arms.

Pros:

  • Great for doing many reps at once
  • Very easy and quick to assemble
  • Instructional DVD is very well put together

Cons:

  • You have to disassemble the unit to add more weight
  • Resistance bands don't have accurate numbers

4. Bowflex PR1000 Home Gym

Bowflex PR1000 Home Gym

Overview

Brand

Bowflex

Model

PR1000

Weight

-

Dimensions

103" x 80" x 82"

Type

Multi-gym

Summary:

You can perform over 25 exercises that cover each muscle group throughout the body. The power rods have up to 200 pounds of resistance. You can adjust them to your liking so both beginners and experts can find the perfect setting. The bench can convert into a rowing seat with a simple mechanism. This helps you perform rowing exercises in a relatively small amount of space.

The built-in media rack allows you to store and access each piece of equipment without getting up. There is even a spot for your phone if you love to listen to music or podcasts while exercising. The squat station and pulley lower down for quick transitions during circuit workouts. You can change the angle of resistance on each pulley to make things more challenging or to emphasize other muscles.

It is simple to assemble and having a second person to handle the unboxing will make your life much easier. While not the highest quality construction, it holds up pretty well over time. As long as you treat this machine with some respect it will no doubt last you for a good long while.

Pros:

  • Can be placed very close to walls without worry
  • The rowing equipment makes exercises fun to do
  • Great for rehab and toning your muscles

Cons:

  • Limited weight for experienced body builders
  • Pulleys need to be adjusted constantly

5. Bowflex PR3000 Home Gym

Bowflex PR3000 Home Gym

Overview

Brand

Bowflex

Model

PR3000

Weight

-

Dimensions

76" x 86" x 82"

Type

Multi-gym

Summary:

This upgraded version of the PR1000 features over 30 different exercises to perform. The power rod resistance can range anywhere from five to 210 pounds. The quick-change system helps you transition to different pieces of equipment much quicker than before. You can swap out ankle and hand grips very quickly to continue your workout without much of a break in between.

If you need even more weight, you can upgrade the resistance up to 310 pounds. This is a great feature for bodybuilders who are trying to put on some serious muscle mass. The instructional placard makes learning each new technique a breeze even if you are new to fitness.

The construction consists of a heavy duty steel frame that is much stronger than the older model. You can really tug on this thing without it bending or warping at all. The roller cushions make it very comfortable on your legs when doing extensions and curls. The freedom arms can be adjusted up to 170 degrees to support a variety of muscle groups.

Pros:

  • Very easy for anyone to use
  • Not having to change the pulleys saves a lot of time
  • Extremely durable and doesn't wear down

Cons:

  • Resistance markers are not accurate
  • Lat and squat bars may not be included

6. Bowflex Revolution Home Gym

Bowflex Revolution Home Gym, Home Gym only

Overview

Brand

Bowflex

Model

Revolution

Weight

-

Dimensions

38" x 72" x 65" 

Type

Multi-gym

Summary:

The Revolution is stated as having over 100 exercises available to be performed. Based on SpiraFlex technology, this system works to provide resistance without excessive inertia that is common with other cable-based home gyms. Given that the 100 exercises can also be performed with variations, Bowflex claims up to 400 variations in total are possible. This is the key to getting a true full body workout.

Spiraflex is a move away from the traditional Bowflex Power Rod system. It involves weight plates added to a hexagonal bar that rotates to provide resistance. The SpiraFlex system can also be upgraded to take it to 300 pounds. The standard resistance is 210 pounds. With the leg press station set up, you can push it to a maximum resistance of 600 pounds.


It features independently moving arms that can be configured into 10 different positions and 170 degree adjustments. Even just a small change in angle can allow different parts of the muscle head to be hit. This can be particularly useful for hitting all three heads of the shoulder.

The inclusion of an adjustable bench allows a wide range of exercises and folds for storage. The unique addition of a sliding seat rail allows you to perform rowing, leg presses, and other lower body workouts. It comes with a platform to position your feet for leg press, as well as being able to perform leg extensions in a different configuration.

You can also do curls and a variety of upper body exercises such as pressing, flys, and other chest exercises. It comes with a preacher curl attachment for further arm workouts, as well as an ab attachment to do weighted crunches.

Pros:

  • Very small and can fit almost anywhere
  • Extremely sturdy steel frame at the center
  • Every part is adjustable for custom workouts

Cons:

  • Squat bar straps slide when adjusted
  • Cables and pulleys take a while to switch

Factors to Consider For Buying a Bowflex Gym

There are a variety of things that make each Bowflex home gym stand out. 

For example, a home gym like the Bowflex PR1000 that has an adjustable bench gives you a lot of flexibility. You can get preacher curl attachments, lat pulldown handles, and a whole variety of possible exercises is doable with just a few attachments like this.

Bowflex’s range can generally have their resistance upgraded, such as via the Blaze, PR3000, Xceed, and Xtreme 2SE. This means you get more flexibility with these models, while also benefiting from the compact nature of the Bowflex Power Rod system. 

Here is a list of things to consider to find the best Bowflex machine for you.

Customization

All Bowflex systems offer customization to a certain degree. This is mainly through the resistance offered and also via attachments.

Any model with the Power Rod system can be upgraded. Although not applicable to the Classic, other models will go from the standard 210 pounds to 410 total with the optional extras.

If instead, you purchase a machine with the Spiraflex component, this will go up to 280 or 300 pounds. This is particularly useful as you get even more out of this when you use the leg press on the Spiraflex-based machine known as the Revolution.

Quick Change System

The Quick Change system lets you move from a leg workout to arms without ever changing cables.


It is only available on the PR3000, Xtreme 2 SE, and Revolution models. It allows you to change effortlessly from one type of workout to another in less than ten seconds, without needing to keep track of separate components.

What is the Maximum Weight Capacity?

Traditional machines are usually powered by a weighted stack. This creates a challenge for fueling resistance training in a home gym machine.


Example: if you wanted to lift 200 lbs in a home gym machine, you'll need 200 physical pounds present in your weighted stack to support this exercise.

Bowflex home gym equipment uses Power Rod Technology and Spiral Flex Technology to create resistance machines that aren't ridiculously heavy. Referring to the chart above, you'll see that all Bowflex Home gyms that use the Power Rod technology come at a default base weight capacity of 210 lbs, and the weight of the machine range from 150-200 lbs. For most Bowflex home gym models, you can upgrade the maximum weight capacity buy purchasing additional Power Rod Sets or Spiral Flex set for the Bowflex Revolution home gym.

When making your purchasing decision, ask yourself: what types of exercises will you be doing on this machine? For many users, the limited 210 lb weight capacity of the PR1000 seems best for users focused on training for rehabilitation or light workouts.

For users with the intention of training for strength or size (especially when incorporating leg workouts), having the option to upgrade the base resistance is extremely important.

Power Rods

Flexible polymer rods are used to maintain constant resistance for your workout on certain models. The Power Rod system also helps reduce strain on your joints and tendons.

One aspect of the Power Rods that does not come through well via pictures is the compact nature of the Power Rod machines from Bowflex. This means they can fit in corners and up against walls much easier than other home gyms.

Without stacks of weights to tidy up or store, Bowflex Power Rod machines are surprisingly compact, even taking up less space than a weight and pulley-based home gym.

Option

Base Weight Capacity

Upgradeable Weight Capacity

Resistance Type

PR1000

210 lbs

None Available

Power Rod

PR3000

210 lbs

Up to 310 lbs

Power Rod

Blaze

210 lbs

Up to 410 lbs

Power Rod

Xceed

210 lbs

Up to 410 lbs

Power Rod

Xtreme 2 SE

210 lbs

Up to 410 lbs

Power Rod

Revolution

210 lbs

Up to 310 lbs

SpiralFlex

Dimensions, Compactness & Storage

Workout space might be limited to some users and Bowflex is aware of that. Bowflex does incorporate compactness to their designs but some models might be better suited for different users.

You'll notice that the PR1000, Blaze, and Revolution have a longer footprint because of their horizontal bench. The other options are more upright with their seat position. This difference generally affects the workout area you have to allocate to safely operate each machine.


For added compactness, Bowflex designed The PR1000 and Blaze to be fold-able for storage, a feature quite nice for apartment spaces, or very compact home gym setups.

Each machine also has a maximum user weight limit of 300 lbs.

Option

Dimensions

Weight

Workout Area

Foldable

PR1000

103” L x 80” W x 82” H

131 lbs

127” L x 82” W

Yes - 44.7" L x 80" W x 82" H

PR3000

76” L x 86” W x 82” H

154 lbs

-

-

Blaze

90” L x 38” W x 83” H

191 lbs

100” L x 78” W

Yes - 52" L x 38" W x 83" H

Xceed

53” L x 49” W x 82” H

157 lbs

125” L  x 121” W

-

Xtreme 2 SE

53” L x 49” W x 82” H

157 lbs

96” L x 78” W

-

Revolution

112” L x 37.8” W x 73” H

336 lbs

120” L x 84” W

-

Does It Include A Rowing Machine?

Bowflex Blaze Home Gym

A great feature of the PR1000, Blaze, and Revolution is that they include a built-in rower. A nice touch for users looking for a machine that provides both resistance and aerobic training.

Number of Exercises & Exercise Variability

Generally, the number of exercises you can perform increases as the machines get more expensive. We do feel that the PR1000 25 Exercises is quite limiting and having 70+ exercises on the Xtreme 2 Se & Revolution seems like overkill.


The exercises performable on the mid-tier machines seem like a good sweet spot. In addition to a great exercise set, units like the Xtreme 2 SE and Xceed include adjustable pulley locations which can allow users workout variety by hitting different muscles from different pulley angles.

Is It Worth The Cost?

Now that we've covered all the main strengths and weaknesses of each machine, we can now answer the question. Is the price point of each machine worth for you'll be getting?

Here are some comments we have for each of the machines:

PR1000: The PR1000 is Bowflex's most affordable option but is very limited to what it can do. Mainly, if the limited weight range and your fitness regime aren't too intense the PR1000 might be for you.

PR3000: The PR3000 is known to be the upgraded version of the PR1000 but there are many differences in their designs but in our opinion, its a different type of machine altogether. The number of exercise perform-able increases, the bench design is completely different from the PR1000, you lose the rowing machine option and the upgradeability only increases to 310 lbs. We're not really sure why Bowflex decided to cap this machine's resistance at 310 lbs especially when there are more affordable machines like the Blaze and Xceed that go up to 410 lbs.

Revolution: Being the most expensive item on the list, we expected more out of the machine. Many of the same features that it has can be found in more affordable options.

Blaze, Xceed & Xtreme 2 SE: These three options are moderately priced and provide great value. We think these three options are great at their price points and will definitely fuel great workouts.

Option

Price

PR1000

$

PR3000

$$$

Blaze

$$

Xceed

$$

Xtreme 2 SE

$$$

Revolution

$$$$

Other Things to Consider

Leg Workouts

These types of Bowflex home gyms aren’t built around a cage or rack system meaning they’re not great for leg workouts. It’s hard to simulate deadlifts and squats without a barbell and rack.

However, Bowflex does offer variations of squats via the ability to do exercises that work the same muscle groups. The Blaze, Xtreme 2SE, and Xceed all come with a squat bar, whereas models like the Revolution can be used to do leg presses with the included plate.

By looking to use the leg press function or doing rowing, you can still get a good workout on most Bowflex home gyms. The squat bar allows the cable system to attach to it and provide a back squat exercise without the need for a barbell.

Building the Bowflex

Delivery is via several boxes and requires some construction. You can always hire people off freelancing websites to come around and help set it up. However, reviews from users claim that it’s relatively straightforward to put together.

Power Rod Issues

Over time the Power Rod system has been shown to lose some of its stiffness over time. This can mean the stated resistance of the home gym can decrease over time. However, you can prevent this through two actions.

The first is to get the Power Rod strap. This goes over the Power Rods and keeps them in a bundle when you are not using the machine. This stops them from bending or being pulled constantly, which will cause them to lose their stiffness quicker.

The other option is to buy replacement Power Rods to replace broken ones or to upgrade your home gym.

Planning Is Vital

The entry level Bowflex products will be limited in the exercises you can do on them.

Make sure you carefully build a workout plan that will get you the results that you want, and ensure that what exercises you want to do are possible with the home gym model that you get.

Getting The Most Out Of Your Bowflex

Steel is heavy which will lead to increased costs for both transportation and manufacturer. As the purchaser, you're the one shouldering these costs.

To make a home gym like Bowflex’s offerings requires large lengths of metal. This, therefore, requires factories able to pull off this type of construction, further increasing the price.

However, properly made multi gyms like that from Bowflex are going to be durable and long lasting. Bowflex models differ on their warranties but generally, they come with a seven or 10 year warranty.

The warranty does not cover general wear and tear but will cover any manufacturing defects and Power Rod replacement in the event of breakage.

The construction is via joining pieces with nuts and bolts, and the equipment itself is basically going to last for a very long time with occasional repairs. You can use a socket set and proper wrench to really ensure that all joints and connections are solid.

Home gym areas are generally wherever you can fit your equipment. This means it will be a garage or unused room but either way you’re likely to be quite space limited. Home gyms are great as they are one piece of equipment allowing multiple exercises.

Related Questions

What Are Some Alternatives Machines To Bowflex Home Gyms?

If you've taken a good look at what Bowflex has to offer in terms of home gyms and you're just not that interested, we've provided a list of some alternatives that might suit you better. Marcy and Total Gym are two other big brands that focus on creating exercise machines for home environments. Below you'll find some of their popular options.

Marcy 150-lb Multifunctional Home Gym Station for Total Body Training MWM-990

Marcy MWM 990

A more conventional gym machine. A weighted stack home gym option with a 150 lb weight stack. Price rivals the Bowflex PR1000.

Total Gym XLS – Universal Home Gym for Total Body Workout

Total Gym XLS

A glide board style home gym. Uses your own body weight to power over 35 + exercises. Price rivals the Bowflex Xceed & PR3000.

Marcy Smith Cage Workout Machine Total Body Training Home Gym System with Linear Bearing Md-9010G, Silver (MD-9010)

Marcy 1090 G

A home gym option that most resembles what you'll use at a commercial gym. Uses free weight plates to power a leg developer, pulley system and smith machine. Price rivals the Bowflex PR3000 & Xtreme 2 SE.

Is Training with Power Rods Different from Training with Free Weights?

Training with Bowflex Power Rod's is much different from training with free weights. Since the resistance in Power Rod Home gyms is generated from the bending of rods, the resistance during an exercise will increase as the rod bends further from its original position while the free weight's the resistance remains the same throughout an exercise.

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