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Does Bowflex live up to the hype?

With gym memberships becoming a monthly expense that many cannot afford, people are finding home gyms to be a more financially manageable alternative. Bowflex has been around long enough to truly become a household name for home gyms. The difference between Bowflex exercise equipment and other home gyms is its "power-rod" resistance, which claims to be more effective than traditional stacked weight exercise machines. While that fact is debatable, the power-rod resistance does make for a considerably lighter, and therefore more portable, exercise machine, which adds to its popularity among home gym users.

Why a Bowflex home gym?

Bowflex claims to be an easy to move, easy to use home gym that can quickly be folded up and moved to another room – even hidden under a bed. This is all true. These features make the Bowflex system a convenient machine to have in the home. The power-rod resistance bar can produce up to 310 pounds of resistance and can be upgraded to 410 pounds. This is by no means a weak machine.

Which Bowflex is right for me?

There have been several incarnations of Bowflex exercise equipment over the years. From the original Bowflex Power Pro (which did not include a leg developer or a lat tower) to the Bowflex Xtreme and even to the Bowflex treadmills (for cardio support), there's an awful lot to choose from. Aside from treadmills, the Bowflex machines have subtle differences. With four main versions of the home gym and several variations for each machine, there are really 14 different machines in the Bowflex family.

The top-of-the-line model is the Bowflex Ultimate 2 Home Gym, which comes with all the different bells and whistles available. You can perform as many as 95 different exercises on this machine alone.

Is there a downside?

Yes. No Bowflex review is complete without touching on the rather high cost of Bowflex exercise equipment. At $2,000 plus tax and shipping, it's a pricey machine. However, the average person will spend more than that in two years on a monthly-renewed gym membership. The benefit of using a home fitness system is the convenience of having a gym you can use in complete privacy – a comfort for those who may not be comfortable exercising in a packed gym.

Though pricey, the Bowflex system does what it claims to do: it's ultra portable and provides the right resistance and variety for a solid workout – good for both the new and experienced strength trainer.

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