Exercise Equipment Review

Bowflex Home Gym Review

The Bowflex made by Nautilus is set to be one of the best selling home gyms for years to come. Along with its main competitors, the Weider Crossbow and Band flex, its unique system of resistance replaces heavy weight stacks that cost a fortune to ship...

But just how different is it from a conventional home gym? And if it is so much better, how does it compare to the lower priced competition?

Firstly let’s compare it to a middle-of-the-range multi gym. You could expect to pay in the region of $500 to $600 plus another $150 for shipping for a conventional home gym that works all the major muscle groups. The total resistance would likely be 200lbs and you would need a dedicated space of roughly 10 X 6 feet.

The numerous Bowflex models (about ten in all) range from $700 to $2000. Not all will give you a total body workout. For example the lowest priced models don't have a lat tower (for back exercises) or leg attachment over $1000 for a machine that will work your entire body plus an additional $100 shipping.

Be Fit.  Be Strong.  Be Bowflex.

It's fairly obvious that the Bowflex is not a low cost alternative to a traditional home gym (we'll get to those in a moment) but then it doesn't claim to be. So what does it offer that conventional multi gyms don't?

According to both the manufacturers and far more importantly independent reviews, the Bowflex provides a workout similar in feel to free weights without the associated risk of injury...

One of the problems with resistance machines and home gyms in general, is the uncomfortable plane of movement of certain exercises. You have to fit round the machine whereas free weights fit round you. Of course free weights can be dropped and not just on your toe, making them less suitable for solitary training. They are also much more inconvenient requiring you to change plates and collars every set rather than simply adjusting a pin.

The Bowflex combines the best of both systems and this is one of the main reasons it has received some glowing testimonials. Why else is it preferred by many to a conventional home gym?

It offers far more exercises. Assuming you opt for one with a lat tower and leg attachment you can choose from around sixty exercises all featured in the accompanying training manual. The Bowflex offers about 210lbs of resistance which is the same as most other multi gyms and is perfectly adequate for the vast majority of users. However, the “Power Rods” on a Bowflex weigh considerably less than a 200lb stack of cast iron making it much easy to move around and store away…

Although the Bowflex requires about the same amount of space to comfortably workout in, unlike any traditional home gym it can fold into a space about 2 feet square. Don’t underestimate this feature. Very few homes can afford to permanently dedicate half a room to a piece of exercise equipment!

Many independent reviews (as apposed to testimonials) for the Bowflex come from people who've had their Bowflex for several years and still use it religiously. That’s a great testimonial in itself because most people who pay a similar amount for gym membership cannot say the same.

In brief, the Bowflex is safer than free weights and allows a greater range of motion than machines… plus it takes up far less room than both of them. Undoubtedly the most common criticism of the Bowflex is the price. That's lead to two similar but lower priced gyms coming on to the market...