Top critical review
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PR1000 adquate but get a PR3000 instead
on May 13, 2010
This review is broken into the following sections:
* Ordering and Shipping
* The Machine
Ordering and Shipping:
I purchased this for a good price via Amazon. Shipping went well, product arrived in a timely manner.
I assembled the machine yesterday. For a short woman in her 50's whose only "helper" was her dog, I found the assembly went pretty well (4 hours). In a couple of places the instructions could have been a bit clearer. I can see how assembly would have been a snap if I had had a different helper or if I were taller - or if I already had a bowflex body :-) for tightening down all the bolts - but all it all, assembly wasn't too bad.
The machine includes an Owner's Manual which describes two things.
1. Various exercise routines (list of exercises) you can follow depending on your goals and current level of fitness. These purport to be aligned to adhere to the 20 mins-per-day, 3 days-per-week mantra that is part of their advertising.
2. A title of each exercise, the equipment to use for the exercise, and a drawing attempting to depict the movement being done in the exercise. This is the first place where I found the "system" to be lacking. Not having been a gym rat, I had had only minimal previous experience with gym equipment and the drawings aren't clear what movement is expected. They also provide a card that gives the initial and final position for some of the exercises, but again, no information on what one is to do to get from A to B. Between the manual, the card, and a few videos out on the Internet, I could figure out what most of the exercises are, but this area is sorely lacking. Since this is supposed to be an entry-level machine, it would have been expected that Bowflex would provide better guidance in this area. So I docked them one star for this.
The machine itself appears to be of good quality. And after the first workout, I am sore, which is what's to be expected. But I am an overweight, out-of-shape, 50-yr-old woman and even I could Leg Press the full weight (210lbs) on my first workout. And unfortunately, as others have observed, you cannot upgrade the PR1000.
This seems to me to be the second drawback, for which I docked them their second star. Coupled with the relatively low maximum weight, I could see the inability to upgrade being a big limitation for most men and any strong woman who is already in great shape. If that's you, I would skip this machine and spend the money on another model - or plan to supplement it.
Since I don't come anywhere near to maxing out the weight for any of the upper-torso exercises, the machine is still very useful to me. If my upper body is able to max it out in a year or two I will be delighted. But for a really effective full-body workout, I'll have to pull out my old "Thighs of Steel" and "Buns of Steel" videos to supplement my treadmill/Bowflex regimen.