Bowflex Home Gym Review – Which Option Is For You?

bowflex home gym review

For those of you who usually hit the gym to get your workout in, COVID-19 has been a huge interruption to your fitness routine. With gyms closed everywhere, you might be thinking it’s going to be tough to get the same experience at home. There are a lot of solutions, but during this Bowflex home gym review, I’m looking to give you a few all-in-one options!

There are a lot of home gyms out on the market. Many of them resemble the weight machines you find in the gym. Now, I know there is always going to be the great debate over what kind of weight lifting is best. Some people say free weights. Others say machines. They both have their pros and cons, which a great article by Built Lean goes into.

To summarize, it all depends on what you are looking for. Weight machines are great if you are just starting out or if you are getting older. There isn’t a lot of technique to learn since the range of movement is set for you. They also allow you to target specific muscle groups at higher weights, which is especially helpful to those looking to put on size.

However, weight machines also have their shortfalls. Since you are locked into a certain movement pattern, it is much harder to mimic actual functional movements. Additionally, since machines isolate muscle groups, they don’t do a good job of recruiting your stabilizing muscles. Remember, the more muscles involved in a movement, the more calorie burn you get.

Free weights, on the other hand, are great for those who are into bodybuilding and have some experience with weight lifting. Not only do they allow you to perform a wider range of motion, thus recruiting more primary and stabilizing muscles, but the movements are more functional in nature.

They also have the potential to give you more mobility in where you work out and more flexibility because they don’t always cost nearly as much as machines.

Free weights aren’t perfect either, though. In order to get the most out of this type of lifting, you have to learn proper form or you risk pretty severe injury. It’s not that injury can’t happen with weight machines, but…well, well take a look at this video to see why proper form is so important.

Not only is it best to learn proper form so you don’t injure yourself, but also because you don’t want to look like some of those people and gain internet fame next time you step into a gym.

With the Bowflex home gym series, I feel that you get some of both worlds. There are exercises that isolate like a machine, but also exercises that will challenge your stabilizing muscles.

This review is going to be a little different from my normal reviews, as I will be going over the information, pros, and cons of each version in Bowflex’s home gym series.

There are six versions to go over, so let’s get started!

Bowflex’s Story – Bringing Quality Fitness To The Home

In previous posts about Bowflex products, I have given a short overview of the company, so here is a reminder.

Bowflex has been making fitness equipment since 1986. Their goal has always been to bring gym-quality equipment into the home, making fitness both effective and readily accessible. That is where their motto of “Be Fit For Life” comes from. If you want to read more about the company, CLICK HERE for their “About Bowflex” page.

If you would rather just browse their main website or check out some other products they offer, you can see their homepage if you CLICK HERE.

With that being said, let’s get into the different versions so that you can decide if one of them is for you!

1. The Bowflex PR1000 Home Gym

What You Need To Know:

The PR1000 is Bowflex’s base model home gym. It is the most budget-friendly and features their Power Rod technology. It allows you to do over 25 different exercises that cover the entire body, features 210lbs of resistance, an adjustable bench seat that also slides for rowing exercise, multiple cable and pully positions, and an adjustable media rack that fits a tablet.

  • The Pros:
    • The over 25 exercises cover the entire body, helping you to build muscle everywhere.
    • 210lbs of resistance is a very good amount for beginners and those who don’t want to pack on a bunch of muscle.
    • Having a bench that can be placed in multiple positions or even converted to a sliding rowing seat brings even more versatility to your workout!
    • It has a station for doing squats, which is unique from a lot of the plate machines you find on the market.
    • The bench portion folds up to save you nearly 50% on space when you are finished with your workout!
    • It is the most budget-friendly model they have, especially when you consider that it is currently over 30% off, making it under six-hundred dollars! That and it ships free!
    • The frame has a warranty of 1-year while the Power Rods have a warranty of 5 years.
  • The Cons:
    • While the over 25 exercises cover the entire body, other machines from Bowflex allow you to do a lot more varieties of movement.
    • 210lbs is nice, but some may want the ability to go beyond that with their weight. While other Bowflex models allow you to add on more resistance, with the PR1000, you are stuck at the base weight.
    • You have to change the cables when you want to switch to certain types of exercises.
    • Unfortunately, the parts only have a warranty of 60 days, which seems short compared the other included terms.

Overall, I feel that the PR1000 is a very good, budget-friendly option if you want to get into Bowflex. As long as you aren’t looking to really go super high in weight, this could be the perfect fit for you.

2. The Bowflex PR3000 Home Gym

What You Need To Know:

The PR3000 is the next model up as far as exercises are concerned. It also features Power Rod technology, the ability to do over 50 exercises, 210lbs of resistance that can be upgraded to 310lbs (for an additional $100), an adjustable, vertical bench seat, multiple cable and pully positions, and an instruction placard on the frame.

  • The Pros:
    • Having over 50 exercises is certainly a step up from the PR1000. It should provide a huge amount of variety to your workouts so that you are constantly challenged and never bored.
    • I like that you have the option to upgrade the standard 210lbs of resistance to 310lbs. That makes it an ideal purchase for those looking to put on some more muscle.
    • It has a station for doing squats, which is unique from a lot of the plate machines you find on the market.
    • You don’t have to change cables on this one, allowing you to switch from one exercise to the next quickly and effortlessly.
    • The frame is made of heavy-duty steel, which lends more durability to the home gym.
    • It comes with hand grips and ankle cuff for multiple uses.
    • Though the price is not as cheap as the PR1000, it is on sale right now for over 20% off bringing the total to just under a thousand dollars.
    • The frame has a warranty of 1-year while the Power Rods have a warranty of 5 years.
  • The Cons:
    • While I like the ability to upgrade to 310lbs, it’s not the highest you can go and it involves an extra purchase to do so.
    • You don’t have an option for a horizontal bench, which means you are stuck at the same angle for all bench-related exercises. It also doesn’t allow for the neat rowing feature of other models.
    • It lacks the built in media rack of the PR1000.
    • It cannot be folded to create more space, however this might not be too much of an issue since the bench doesn’t stick out much anyway. Still, it’s not the space saver other models are.
    • Unfortunately, the parts only have a warranty of 60 days, which seems short compared the other included terms.

Overall, I feel that the PR3000 is good for those who don’t need/want a horizontal bench or a rowing feature, but want to be able to have some extra weight as an option.

3. The Bowflex Blaze Home Gym

What You Need To Know:

The Bowflex Blaze is the next step up from the PR3000 as far as amount of exercises you can perform and mid-range as far as price is concerned. It allows you to do over 60 exercises for the full body, the horizontal sliding bench for rowing and leg exercises, and 210lbs of Power Rod resistance that can be upgraded to 310lbs or 410lbs (each $100 upgrades).

  • The Pros:
    • 60 exercises is more variety than you can shake a stick at, ensuring you will get a great, full-body workout.
    • Having the ability to upgrade to 310lbs or 410lbs checks off the boxes for those looking to build some serious muscle.
    • Like the PR1000, this also has a bench that can be placed in multiple positions or even converted to a sliding rowing seat brings even more versatility to your workout!
    • It comes with a bar for lat pull downs and squats so you don’t have to use handles.
    • Comes with 7 free workout programs.
    • Speaking of handles, it does come with multi-function handles and ankle cuffs.
    • The bench portion folds up to save you nearly 50% on space when you are finished with your workout!
    • For those with a mid-range budget, this fits the bill and is actually on sale for nearly 30% off with free shipping!
    • The frame has a warranty of 1-year while the Power Rods have a warranty of 5 years.
  • The Cons:
    • Again, I like the ability to upgrade from the standard 210lbs up to 410lbs, as that is plenty of weight, but it does add to the overall cost.
    • It does not have the built-in media (tablet) rack.
    • You have to change the cables when you want to switch to certain types of exercises.
    • Unfortunately, the parts only have a warranty of 60 days, which seems short compared the other included terms.

The Bowflex Blaze is a great, mid-range option that gives you plenty of exercises (including the rowing machine), and the ability to upgrade to the heaviest weight available for the Rod Technology. The addition of the 7 free workout programs is very nice!

4. The Bowflex Xceed Home Gym

What You Need To Know:

The Xceed is the next model up from the Blaze as far as number of exercises is concerned. It also features Power Rod technology, the ability to do over 65 exercises, 210lbs of resistance that can be upgraded to 310lbs or 410lbs, an adjustable, vertical bench seat, and multiple cable and pully positions.

  • The Pros:
    • Over 65 exercises is once again, a huge amount of variety for your workout.
    • Again, you have the option to upgrade all the way to 410lbs, which should cover most people looking to build serious muscle.
    • It has a bar for doing lat pull downs and squats.
    • The frame is made of heavy-duty steel, which lends more durability to the home gym.
    • It comes with hand grips and ankle cuff for multiple uses.
    • The frame has a warranty of 1-year while the Power Rods have a warranty of 5 years.
  • The Cons:
    • Again, any upgrade in weight comes with a higher price. However, at the sale price, this becomes a lot more doable!
    • You don’t have an option for a horizontal bench, which means you are stuck at the same angle for all bench-related exercises. It also doesn’t allow for the neat rowing feature of other models.
    • It lacks the built in media rack of the PR1000.
    • It cannot be folded to create more space, however this might not be too much of an issue since the bench doesn’t stick out much anyway. Still, it’s not the space saver other models are.
    • Unfortunately, the parts only have a warranty of 60 days, which seems short compared the other included terms.

Overall, I feel that the Xceed is great buy for those looking for even more variety in exercises.

5. The Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE

What You Need To Know:

The Xtreme 2 SE is the most expensive option that comes with Power Rod technology. It gives you the ability to do over 70 exercises that cover the full body, can be upgraded up to 410lbs., an adjustable, vertical bench seat, and a quick changing cable system.

  • The Pros:
    • This is the cream of the crop as far as Power Rod models go, giving over 70 different exercises.
    • Upgrading to 410lbs is a great option that will give you the ability to go above and beyond when trying to build muscle.
    • It comes with a bar for lat pull downs and squats and a strap for ab crunches. Additionally, it comes with multi-function handles and ankle cuffs.
    • You don’t have to change cables on this one, allowing you to switch from one exercise to the next quickly and effortlessly.
    • It comes with free 7 workout programs.
    • The frame is made of heavy-duty steel, which lends more durability to the home gym and comes with an extra padded seat.
    • The frame has a warranty of 1-year while the Power Rods have a warranty of 5 years.
  • The Cons:
    • Again, the upgrade for more weight is going to cost you.
    • You don’t have an option for a horizontal bench, which means you are stuck at the same angle for all bench-related exercises. It also doesn’t allow for the neat rowing feature of other models.
    • It lacks the built in media rack of the PR1000.
    • It is definitely the most expensive in the Power Rod family, leaving it out of many people’s price range. There is also no sale at this point in time.
    • Unfortunately, the parts only have a warranty of 60 days, which seems short compared the other included terms.
    • It cannot be folded to create more space, however this might not be too much of an issue since the bench doesn’t stick out much anyway. Still, it’s not the space saver other models are.

If you are looking for the most variety of exercises and a high price doesn’t matter as much to your budget, it’s hard to go wrong with the Xtreme 2 SE. What you are giving up in not having the horizontal, sliding bench, you are more than getting in other ways.

6. The Bowflex Revolution Home Gym

What You Need To Know:

The Bowflex Revolution has the most of everything. It does not work on Power Rods, instead opting for Spiraflex technology for its resistance. If you are unsure of what Spiraflex is, you can check out this article from NASA (as it is used in space) or check out my review of the OYO Personal Gym, which uses the same technology on a smaller scale.

The Revolution gives you the ability to do over 100 different exercises (with apparently up to 400 variations), can be upgraded all the way to 600lbs, has moving arms that have 10 different positions, an adjustable bench that can be vertical for bench presses and horizontal for leg and rowing exercises.

  • The Pros:
    • I’m not sure I’ve seen one machine that can do so many exercises at over 100. That’s incredible!
    • I’ve also never seen machines that can go up to 600lbs in total resistance. That’s some serious muscle building ability!
    • The bench is incredibly versatile, allowing for vertical presses as well as the really cool sliding seat for rowing.
    • It features quick change cables, so going from one exercise to the next is smooth and easy.
    • Adding weight is as simple as putting on lightweight plates (due to the Spiraflex technology) and snapping them into place
    • The bench can be folded up and the arms can be folded down for ultimate space savings.
    • It comes with a 10-year warranty on parts and 90 days on labor.
    • Included is a leg press station and preacher curl attachment.
  • The Cons:
    • Upgrading to the full 600lbs is going to cost extra money for the already most expensive home gym Bowflex offers.
    • It lacks the built in media rack of the PR1000.
    • As said before, it is nowhere near budget-friendly.

The Revolution has the biggest price tag, but also the most options and versatility. It should definitely be seen as an investment, but if you actually use it, the machine will pay for itself when compared with gym membership costs.

The Verdict – A Model For Every Need And Budget

If you are in the market for a total home gym, then you can’t go wrong with Bowflex. I hope that this Bowflex home gym review has shown you that. Their models have a collective 4.4 out of 5 stars on Amazon (with 87% of the ratings being 4 or 5 stars). They are a quality company that has been creating quality and effective products for years now.

If you feel that one of the above models is for you, then feel free to click on any of the Amazon picture links under each model to be taken directly to the necessary page.

Now, it’s your turn! What do you think of Bowflex’s series of home gyms? Do you have any experience with any of them? If so, what were your thoughts? Do you own any other Bowflex products you think I should take a look at in a future review? Let me know in the comments below.

Please also feel free to ask any questions and I will try to help you out as best I can!

If you want to browse other products that can help you with your strength training (especially if you are on a tighter budget), check out these reviews below:

Free Weights:

Resistance Bands:

Power Towers:

Accessories:

If you liked the rowing feature of some of the above Bowflex models, but don’t want to purchase a home gym to get it, check out these great options:

If you are looking to get into a fitness routine, build muscle, and do it well, but need some help in doing so, check out these great resources:


Lastly, building muscle is great, but so is building up your bank account. I wrote several reviews of ways you can either make some extra cash or start your own business. I highly recommend you check those out below!

A Little Extra:

Make Money With Survey Junkie? Is It Possible?

Starting Your Own Online Business:

How Can I Earn Money Online? It’s Possible With Wealthy Affiliate!

Turn Your Passion For Fitness Into A Career:

Online Personal Trainer Certification – No Better Than ACE Fitness!

That’s all for now! As always, God bless and Happy Workouts!

Steve