Choosing the best Bowflex home gym for you is no easy task. There are so many different models that exist and they all provide different exercises.
So we have compared and tested the main Bowflex models out there. This includes over 20 hours of research to summarise the best machines.
If you’re in a hurry, the Bowflex Xtreme 2SE is our overall top pick. It provides a lot of the same features as the more expensive models out there.
Bowflex Xtreme 2SE
- 11 Best Bowflex Home Gyms
- 1. Best Bowflex for home gym- our pick: Bowflex Xtreme 2SE
- 2. Best Bowflex for strength training: Bowflex Revolution
- 3. Best budget Bowflex: PR1000
- 4. Best Bowflex for seniors: Bowflex PR3000
- 5. Best compact Bowflex: Xceed
- 6. Best Bowflex for small spaces: Bowflex Blaze
- 7. Best Bowflex for building muscle: Bowflex Ultimate 2
- 8. Best bodyweight Bowflex: Body Tower
- 9. Best Bowflex for weight loss: Bowflex HVT
- 10. Best Bowflex for legs: Bowflex M5 Max Trainer
- 11. Best Bowflex cardio machine: Bowflex TC200 TreadClimber
- Bowflex home gym buyer’s guide
- Bowflex exercises
- Frequently Asked Questions
- The bottom line for the best Bowflex
11 Best Bowflex Home Gyms
Here is a quick overview of the best Bowflex machines we found. Feel free to click on any model to find the current price and other people’s reviews.
|Bowflex Xtreme 2SE||Overall||$$$|
|Bowflex Revolution||Strength training||$$$$$|
|Bowflex Blaze||Small spaces||$$|
|Bowflex Ultimate 2||Building muscle||$$$$$|
|Bowflex Body Tower||Bodyweight||$|
|Bowflex HVT||Weight loss||$$$|
|Bowflex M5 Max Trainer||Legs||$$$|
|Bowflex TC200 TreadClimber||Cardio machine||$$$$|
The Xtreme 2SE is the best bang for your buck if you’re looking for an all round home gym machine.
Covering the entire body, the 70+ exercises you’re able to perform make for a truly adaptable, flexible machine.
The adjustable Quick Change Power Rod system is what makes this model stand out compared to the others. Move from one exercise to another quickly without needing to switch the cable.
If safety and comfort are important to you then this machine won’t let you down. The ergonomic high-density foam seat, heavy-duty steel and smooth cables make this machine sturdy and comfortable to use.
You’ll likely never outgrow this machine either.
The 210lb resistance can be upgraded to 310lb or 410lb resistance at any stage.
If that wasn’t enough, you’ll also receive:
- Five way hand grip and ankle cuffs
- Ab training strap,
- Squat and lat bar,
So your exercise possibilities really are endless, all thanks to one convenient package! Check out the 90 second video below to see it in action…
- 70+ different exercises- tons of variety to choose from so you won’t get bored.
- 210lb-410 lb resistance- more than enough resistance for most people.
- Quick Change system- lets you slide effortlessly between exercises.
- Accessories- allows more variety to make your workouts unique to you.
- Long bench not included- some people prefer a horizontal workout position.
If money is no object to you, then this is the machine we would recommend.
The SpiraFlex technology is the stand out feature of this Bowflex home gym. It was developed by NASA to help astronauts stay in shape without gravity.
It’s different to the Power Rod technology as it provides the full resistance throughout the whole range of motion. Power Rods actually provide more tension at the end of the moves due to the increased tension.
With a potential 600lbs resistance this machine provides the most resistance of any machine by far. So if you’re looking to build muscle, you should really consider this model.
- Bench folds to save space- ideal if you need to store the machine in a small space.
- SpiraFlex technology- provides full resistance throughout the whole range of motion.
- 210lbs-600lbs resistance- more resistance than any other machine.
- 100+ exercises- more variation than any other Bowflex model.
If you are on a tight budget then this is the best Bowflex machine for you.
Maximize your home gym space with the vertically folding bench on this Bowflex Pr1000.
It offers more than 25 different exercises to cover your whole body. So there’s still plenty of versatility in this baby brother of the Bowflex family. Although, without as much versatility to other machines it’s perhaps best suited for those beginning their home gym journeys.
It offers 210 pounds of that classic Power Rod resistance, which is still plenty for most movements.
- Price- you won’t find another all in one home gym for this value.
- Vertical folding bench- maximizes space and reduces room needed for storage
- Rower- bench converts to rolling seat for aerobic rowing.
- Built-in media rack- for phone or tablet to get gym inspiration and ideas easily.
- Fewer possible exercises- compared to other Bowflex home gyms.
If you want an easy to use Bowflex home gym then this is perfect for you.
The no-change cable pulley system lets you move directly from one exercise to the next on your list. So there’s no need to waste time stopping and starting or setting up additional equipment. This is why this is our recommendation for seniors or beginners that don’t want the hassle.
It offers over 50 gym-quality exercises that will work out your whole body. The frame is constructed from heavy-duty steel that promises long term durability.
Also provided as part of your purchase are an integrated instructional workout placard to offer inspiration and ideas. This machine is very intuitive and there’s no complicated parts to it.
- 50+ exercises- add variety to your workouts.
- No change pulley system- move between workouts quickly.
- 210lb resistance upgrades to 310lb- you can add more resistance as you improve.
- Remove seat and leg extension- makes it ideal to perform regular squats.
- Doesn’t fold- can’t be stored away as easily as the PR1000.
If you’re looking for a compact footprint, then this is the best Bowflex for you.
It doesn’t have a folding bench like the Blaze but the actual workout space needed is smaller (96” length compared to 100”). So if you are tight on space and don’t have the luxury of moving it out into open space this model is perfect.
Designed for some serious strength training, the Xceed is another hit from Bowflex. Capable of performing over 65 exercises to the same standard as you would at your usual gym.
A unique pulley system allows for multiple cable positions. It helps to make the exercise more difficult when you’ve reached your next milestone.
Fully adjustable and offering a quick release, the high-density foam cushioned seat is convenient to use. It’s also super comfortable to sit on, so you won’t have to worry about unnecessary butt ache on top of your sore muscles!
- Adjustable pulley system- add variety to your workouts with 65+ exercises.
- 210lb-410lb resistance- great for building muscle.
- Accessories- including ab training strap, squat and lat bars.
- Compact- 53”x49” footprint makes this possible to use in very limited space.
- No rower- unlike the Blaze or PR1000
If you lack space for a home gym then the Blaze is a great option.
Thanks to the built-in wheels and a folding bench, you’ll be able to store your machine away when not in use. No need to completely dismantle (and then reassemble) the equipment every single time!
There are over 60 exercises you can perform on this machine. So you can create your own custom workouts with the multiple potential cable and pulley positions. The sliding seat rail allows you to perform classic aerobic leg presses and rowing exercises just like at the gym.
The patented Power Rod technology offers 210 pounds of resistance that can easily be upgraded to 310 or 410 pounds.
As part of your purchase, Bowflex also provides seven totally free trainer-built workout regimens. This is great if you don’t want to think about your workouts!
- 60+ exercises- a true full body workout.
- 7 workouts provided- perfect for beginners that want some guidance.
- Accessories- Hand grips, ankle cuffs, lat bar and squat bar all provided to customize your workout.
- Wheels and folding bench- allow easier storage.
- Slow to change exercise- when you want to change exercise you will need to change the cables, unlike the Xtreme.
If you are looking to build muscle then this may be the best Bowflex model for you.
It’s one of the more expensive Bowflex machines out there but for good reason. It’s very solid and it comes with 310lbs resistance. This is more than any other Bowflex model before upgrading the resistance bands.
Another premium feature is that the bench folds so you can store it in the corner of a room.
- Sturdy- very solid and heavy machine that won’t wobble when in use.
- 310-410lbs resistance- enough for most people to build muscle.
- 95+ exercises- don’t get bored with the versatile exercises.
- Bench folds to save space- ideal if you need to store the machine in a small space.
- Hard to move- not ideal if you need to store it somewhere else.
If you would rather focus on body control and more calisthenics movements then this is an ideal machine for you.
It provides variety to a normal bodyweight workout allowing you to perform rows, dips and pull ups. The ability to change the dip bars allows you to perform more exercises than standard body towers offered by other brands.
This tower also features in our best exercise machine for abs review, so it’s certainly doing something right.
It’s one of the most affordable Bowflex models on this list so it could be a great addition if space or money is tight.
- Easy to assemble- you don’t need to be great with tools to put this together.
- Sturdy- it hardly wobbles even when doing kipping pull ups.
- 7 adjustment levels- great for variation and adding different resistance to your dips and pull ups.
- Accessories- hand grips and sling straps included unlike some other power towers.
- No added resistance- not as good to build muscle and bulk up.
The HVT is designed to combine cardio and strength training.
If more than one person will use this machine then this Bowflex model is perfect for you. It accommodates different fitness goals within one machine.
There’s no need to buy extra machines as this includes a skier and a functional trainer all in one. This means you can save space and money instead of buying multiple machines.
It comes with pre made workouts, a phone holder and water bottle holder making it ideal for beginners.
- Best for HIIT workouts- ideal to lose weight using short 18 minute workouts.
- Sync with app- providing workouts so you don’t need to plan your routines.
- Combines cardio and strength- ideal for a family with different fitness goals.
- Great for all levels– easy for beginners to use and still a great workout for any fitness level.
- Assembly- can be tricky to put together.
The selling point of the max trainer is that you can get a complete workout in just 14 minutes.
If you are looking to tone and work your legs, this could be perfect for you. The unique motion and choice of three different hand grips allow you to engage more muscle groups than any other elliptical.
Make sure you spend time assembling the Trainer properly though. It can make noises if something is slightly out of place.
- Better than a normal elliptical- engages 80% more muscles.
- 14 minutes- all you need for an intense workout.
- Compact- only 30”x49” footprint that can fit in the tightest of spaces.
- Syncs with app- adapts to your fitness levels over time.
- Noisy- it can squeak or make a “knocking” sound while in use.
Combining a treadmill, stairmaster and elliptical all in one.
This saves a ton of space and money if you wanted more than one of these machines. It provides more versatility than any other cardio machine on offer from Bowflex.
If your goal is to lose weight but you get fed up with running, this could be a great option for you.
- Low impact- good for you knees compared to standard treadmills.
- Versatile- combines a treadmill, elliptical and stepper in one.
- Calorie burner- burns twice as many calories as a treadmill at the same speed.
- Heart rate tracker- lets you know what heart rate zone you are in.
- 4.5mph max speed- not made for running at your best pace.
Bowflex home gym buyer’s guide
There are 4 things to consider before buying a Bowflex:
- Your fitness goals
- Space available for the Bowflex
- Exercises available on the machine
- The resistance of the machine
Your personal fitness goals will help to decide what Bowflex is right for you. But once you know what you are looking for you also need to consider some other important aspects…
Footprint and size
Whilst all of the above products are intended to be multi-use home gyms, some of them are bigger than others. Be sure to double and then triple check the dimensions of your chosen machine to ensure you can definitely fit it in your workout room!
If you are really tight on space then maybe a Bowflex option to fold away the bench may be best for you. For example, the Bowflex Blaze.
If you don’t have the room to dedicate to a full sized home gym, you may benefit from checking out our home gym guide.
This includes different equipment such as dumbbells, jump ropes to weight benches.
Each Bowflex model offers a different number of exercises, ranging from 30 right up to more than 100.
They are all designed to allow different styles of workouts.
Here are some more examples of what I mean:
- The cost-effective PR1000 only has 26 exercises.
- A Bowflex Revolution allows more than 100 exercises to be performed.
- The HVT is ideal for high-intensity interval training to lose weight and tone.
- The body tower only provides exercises using your bodyweight.
Resistance of the machine
Each Bowflex model has a different weight resistance.
- Bowflex body tower– relies on your body weight for resistance
- Xtreme 2SE– has 210lb upgradable to 410lb resistance
- PR1000– only has 210 lb resistance
The PR3000 allows you to change the resistance levels from 5lb to 210lb by adding or removing rods. It can be upgraded to 310 lbs. Whereas, the Revolution has a starting limit of 220lbs and can go up to 600lbs.
This is why your fitness goals are so important.
If you are purely looking to tone and maintain or lose weight, then any of the models above will provide enough resistance. However, if your goal is to build muscle mass and bulk, then you will likely need a machine that can handle more resistance, such as a Smith Machine.
One of the best things about Bowflex machines are the variety of exercises they provide.
If getting bored at the gym has ever been one of the reasons why you struggle to keep going, then a Bowflex home gym could be the perfect solution for you.
After all, one machine can provide over 100 exercises alone!
Check out our article on whether Bowflex machines actually work. You’ll learn more about why they are so convenient for some people, but also who should avoid them.
Many of their models come with manuals, DVDs or placards that demonstrate exercises available.
But you can also find a ton of great stuff on YouTube for free such as this 18 minute HIIT workout on a Bowflex HVT…
Or this 25 minute workout using a Bowflex Xceed or Xtreme 2…
It is important to make sure you start your training with a low resistance so you can perfect form. This 7 part video series by Tom Purvis explains all the important form tips to keep you safe from injury when using a Bowflex machine.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are Bowflex power rods made of?
Bowflex power rods are made of a composite material called poly hexamethylene adipamide. They are used for resistance instead of traditional free weights or machine weight stacks.
In an attempt to combat the lack of results many athletes were seeing from free lifting weights, Bowflex developed their Power Rod technology. The more rods you add on, the more resistance you are able to generate. Some models, like the Xtreme 2SE, allow you to remove or add more Power Rod.
Can you really build muscle with Bowflex?
Yes, you can build muscle with Bowflex machines! The Bowflex home gyms were initially designed to combat issues that some weightlifters were having with stunted progress. They are intended to help you build up muscle mass.
The limitation is that it provides a maximum resistance of 410 lbs. If you already bench more than this, then you probably won’t see muscle gains.
Is a Bowflex worth it?
A Bowflex is definitely worth it for someone that is looking to lose weight and tone. If you lack space and want a well-built machine for a reasonable price then it’s perfect. However, if you are looking to become a bodybuilder and want to lift heavy weights, the Bowflex is not ideal.
The maximum resistance is 410 lbs and it can feel like a lot less for a well trained free weight user.
Bowflex power rods vs SpiraFlex- What’s the difference?
SpiraFlex machines (such as the Revolution) are different from power rods because you will get the resistance throughout the full range of motion of the exercise. Whereas power rod technology gets progressively more resistant towards the end of the movement. This is due to increased tension on the rods.
Fun fact- SpiraFlex technology was developed by NASA as it provides resistance without gravity… perfect for astronauts in space!
Watch the video below to learn more about this technology…
The bottom line for the best Bowflex
Every Bowflex machine offers different exercises. Depending on your own fitness goals and budget there is a model that will be more suited for you.
Our overall top pick is the Xtreme 2SE because it offers the most versatility for the price. The PR1000 is your best option if money is tight and the Revolution is our top-rated machine to build muscle.