This is an important question to ask yourself prior to
purchasing a Bowflex. To help you make your decision,
here are a few factors to consider:
- Bowflex is a rather pricey piece of equipment, with most models ranging between $900
and $2,800. Low monthly financing plans are offered by most vendors.
- Bowflex does require assembly after purchase, which may pose a problem for those not
- Bowflex occupies a fair chunk of space in your living quarters, and requires an even
larger exercise area during active usage.
- With most models, cables and power rods need to be manipulated during the workout.
- Bowflex may not be the equipment of choice for advanced exercisers, such as body
builders or power lifters. (A traditional home gym may be a better option in such cases.)
- To get the desired benefit from your Bowflex, it's important to understand how the
machine works and use it correctly. An instructional workout video is invaluable for this
purpose, so make sure you get one with the purchase of your Bowflex.
- The above being said, Bowflex offers a decent muscle toning workout, targeting most of
the muscles in the body. Additionally, some Bowflex models offer a rowing feature for
- Overall, Bowflex is an effective machine, achieving visible results with relatively short
workout times. A 20-minute workout, 3-4 times a week, is usually sufficient to deliver
By and large, there are 2 types of Bowflex models:
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- Power Rod based models
These are the older Bowflex models, including:
These models work based on the following mechanism: As you are pulling against
various cables during the workout, the force is transferred to a rigid power rod, which is
being bent and thereby creates resistance. By grouping a certain number of power rods
together, you can modify the level of resistance.
- Bowflex Ultimate XTLU
- Bowflex Ultimate 2
- Bowflex Xtreme SE
- Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE
- Bowflex Blaze
- SpiraFlex based models, including:
These newer Bowflex models use the SpiraFlex technology, which creates resistance internally by means of elastic straps and
resistance plates. The advantage is there are no power rods to manipulate during your
- Bowflex Revolution
- Bowflex Revolution XP
I. Power Rod based models:
- Bowflex Blaze is the most inexpensive option, listed at $899 on the official
- Bowflex Xtreme SE comes in at $1,299, followed by Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE at
- Bowflex Ultimate XTLU is listed at $1,899, and Bowflex Ultimate 2 at $2,299
- Attachments and accessories:
- All power rod based models include a Lateral Tower Attachment, Leg Attachment,
and Squat Station. A cardio rowing feature is also provided with all models, except
for the Bowflex Xtreme SE and Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE.
- Bowflex Ultimate 2 features an optional integrated Ab Crunch Attachment. This
option is not available with the other power rod based models.
- An adjustable main pulley system is included with all power rod based models except
the Bowflex Blaze.
Bowflex Ultimate 2 features 5-position adjustable pulleys, while Bowflex Ultimate
XTLU has 2-position adjustable pulleys.
Both Bowflex Xtreme models have 4-
position adjustable pulleys.
- A Preacher Curl Attachment is included with Bowflex Ultimate 2, but none of the
other power rod based models.
- All power rod based models require changes in the cable pulley system during the
workout, except the Bowflex Ultimate 2 and Xtreme 2 SE.
- Exercises and resistance:
- Bowflex Blaze, Xtreme SE and Xtreme 2 SE offer about 65 exercises and 210 lbs (95
- Bowflex Ultimate XTLU and Ultimate 2 offer about 90 exercises and 310 lbs (140
- Bowflex Xtreme SE and Xtreme 2 SE are upright models (with vertical workout
position), which makes them more compact as compared to the other models.
- However, please note that the upright models do not fold for storage.
- As far as the required exercise area during active usage, the official Bowflex site
indicates at least 8'4" x 6'6" for all models, except Bowflex Ultimate XTLU which
requires 9' x 7'. (As you can see, using your Bowflex takes up ample space.)
- All power rod based models include a no-time-limit power rod warranty.
- A limited machine warranty is also offered, which varies between 5 and 12 years
depending on the model.
II. SpiraFlex based models (Bowflex Revolution and Bowflex Revolution XP):
- Bowflex Revolution comes with a price tag of 2,799, while Bowflex
Revolution XP is priced lower at $2,299.
- Attachments and accessories:
- Both Bowflex Revolution and Bowflex Revolution XP allow an effective total body
workout. However, the Bowflex Revolution is somewhat superior as far as features
and attachments: It comes with a leg press plate, preacher curl attachment, 5-position
foot harness and hand grips. It also offers a cardio rowing option, which is not
available with the Revolution XP.
- The Bowflex Revolution XP is designed to provide a more powerful upper body
workout: It comes with an optional lateral tower and 80 extra lbs of resistance (total
resistance up to 280 lbs). Both Bowflex Revolution and Revolution XP allow for
core and abdominal workouts.
- Exercises and resistance:
- Bowflex Revolution offers about 100 exercises and 220 lbs resistance.
- Bowflex Revolution XP offers about 90 exercises and 200 lbs resistance (plus an
optional extra 80 lbs, up to 280 lbs total).
- Bowflex Revolution requires a larger exercise area (9'4" x 5'3"), while the more
compact Revolution XP only requires 7' x 5'4".
- Both the Bowflex Revolution and Revolution XP offer a 10-year weight stack
warranty and a 10-year limited machine warranty.
For further information or to make a purchase, visit The Official Bowflex Site.
Please note: Although the information on this page is correct to the best of our knowledge, no guarantee is made as to its accuracy or completeness. Please verify all data with an official Bowflex vendor prior to making a purchase.
Note: It is prudent to consult with your doctor prior to starting an exercise program, especially if you are new to exercise, suffer from any medical conditions, or are a woman over the age of 50 or a man over the age of 40.
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