Bowflex home gyms are known for the characteristic Power Rods that flex into the shape of a bow as they offer resistance, but new Bowflex offerings include health-club-style cam-based resistance in a compact home gym-style platform. Bowflex home gyms are a sizable investment, and the different resistance options may take some getting used to. But user reviews indicate that Bowflex machines are worth the money if you like them enough to use them regularly.
Bowflex home gyms feature one of two types of resistance: Power Rod or Spiraflex. Power Rods offer progressive resistance; the farther you flex the rods or, in other words, the farther you move through the range of motion, the more resistance they offer. The Spiraflex system offers the same resistance, no matter where you are in the range of motion.
The Bowflex Revolution and Revolution XP home gyms use Spiraflex technology. The Ultime 2, Xtreme SE, Xtreme 2 and Classic use Power Rods for resistance.
Standard resistance included with a Bowflex home gym ranges from 200 to 220 pounds for Spiraflex models such as the Revolution XP and Revolution, with optional upgrades of up to 280 and 300 pounds respectively. Power Rod models offer standard resistance of 210 pounds for the Xtreme 2, Xtreme SE and Classic, or 310 pounds for the Ultimate 2. All Power Rod systems except for the Classic have optional upgrades to a total 410 pounds of resistance.
All Bowflex home gyms have a leg developer attachment for doing leg curls and leg extensions. All models except the Bowflex Revolution have a lat tower or the option of adding one; the Revolution has two separate high pulleys instead. Additional optional attachments include a preacher-curl platform and gym-style ab attachment.
Although Bowflex home gyms are meant to save space over a full rack of dumbbells or a number of weight training machines, they’re still quite sizable and don’t fold up to save space. Be prepared for your Bowflex home gym to become a permanent fixture, wherever you place it. The home gyms are 72 to 83 inches tall, 58 to 112 inches long and 38 to 49 inches wide.
Maximum User Weight
All Bowflex home gyms have a maximum user weight of 300 pounds.
As of June 2010 the Bowflex Classic is the most affordable model still in production, retailing at $650. The most expensive Bowflex home gym, the Revolution, retails for $3,000.