Exercise equipment manufacturers are on a constant hunt to improve their products and make them stand out from the field. Nautilus, producer of Bowflex home gyms, is no different. The Ultimate 2 replaced the Bowflex Ultimate home gym, offering all the same features plus a few upgrades from the former model, enough to justify a sizable price hike.
The Bowflex Ultimate is 83 inches tall, 50 inches wide and 90 inches long. The Ultimate 2 is slightly shorter and narrow, but a bit longer, at 82 inches tall, 46 inches wide and 92 inches long.
Both the Ultimate and Ultimate 2 come with 310 lbs. of standard Power Rod resistance, with an optional upgrade to a total of 410 lbs. The Ultimate 2 improves on the Ultimate's two-position pulleys with a five-position pulley system. The Ultimate 2's pulley system has also been updated so that you don't need to reposition cables as frequently as you did with the original Ultimate.
As of May 2010, the Ultimate 2 retails for about $2,500. The Bowflex Ultimate, now discontinued to make way for the Ultimate 2, retailed for about $1,900 when still in production.
Several options that come standard on the Bowflex Ultimate 2 were available on the original Bowflex Ultimate, too, but as additional-cost attachments. These include the lat tower and leg attachment. The Ultimate 2 also comes with a preacher curl bench that wasn't available for the original Ultimate model.
Both the Ultimate and Ultimate 2 feature a built-in rowing machine for a cardio workout. Place the seat in the free-sliding position, face the Power Rods and grasp the handles, then row just as if you were using a stationary rower.
Both machines come with a lifetime warranty against Power Rod breakage. The original purchaser also receives a 12-year limited warranty for the Ultimate 2, or would have received a 10-year warranty with the Bowflex Ultimate when purchased new.