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on August 18, 2010
This started out as such a short review: I bought one, I've used it, it works.

But it turns out I have so much more to say...

Bullworkers may have been something of a fad way back when. But a rare few fads do have real substance behind them, and this is one of them. Perhaps that's why the bullworker seems to be making a comeback.

Bullworkers are probably not quite as effective as a traditional program of progressive resistance training lifting weights. But they're still pretty damn good. And they do have their own advantages, not the least of which are that they're both portable and convenient. Furthermore, many people with joint problems who find that they can no longer work out with weights report that this form of training is ideal for them. Another advantage of bullworkers seems to be that they practically last forever. I'm not speaking from personal experience here, but I have heard from people who claim to have working models that they've owned for literally 20 years.

Because bullworkers are normally used isometrically, a bullworker workout can be extraordinarily quick and still very effective. If the word "isometric" is a new one for you, you might like to check out my review of Max Contraction Training : The Scientifically Proven Program for Building Muscle Mass in Minimum Time, where I go into the pros and cons of this training method in much more detail. Amazon won't let us put links to other reviews inside a review itself, but in case you're interested, I have put a link to that review in a comment under this one.

One piece of advice I would give you from hard won experience is to follow the instructions that come with the product - and I'm talking about one instruction in particular. If you read the directions, you'll note that they tell you to apply only about 70% of your maximum effort when using the bullworker. Trust me: this is good advice. The problem here is that with isometric exercises your muscles can gain strength far more quickly than your tendons. So you can give yourself tendonitis if you go all out. I have heard from some people who go all out without encountering any problems, so I'm not saying it happens to everyone. But do be aware of this issue.

When it comes to specific models, you might like to put some thought into which you want to get. The choice you make probably won't make a great deal of difference, but there are some twists and tweaks. The current "full sized" model is the Bow Classic. However, you might also want to consider the Steel-Bow Bullworker - Flex the Ultimate Total Home Gym includes 2 FREE DVDs. The steel bow is much smaller than the bow classic, but smaller should not be equated with easier or inferior. It has been claimed that the smaller size gives you even more options in how you use it. One big advantage of the Steel Bow is that you can take it apart and replace the spring. It actually comes with three different springs, which obviously gives you more options in terms of resistance level.

Note that both of these are models made by Bullworker themselves. There are also competing models made by other manufacturers, but I think Bullworker still has the best reputation quality-wise. You should also know that there are a lot good videos on YouTube uploaded by both sellers and regular users. I encourage you to check some out so you can see the models in action before deciding what to buy.

One last piece of advice: If you're serious about getting into this form of training, I strongly suggest you check out the Bullworker group on Yahoo!. There's a great deal of lively debate about the best models and training methods. You don't have to just stick with the program that comes with the device any more than you would have to with a set of weights. That doesn't mean you can't hurt yourself if you start doing stupid things, but it is possible to get creative here, and to take advantage of the fruits of other people's creativity. It's entirely up to you to decide how far you want to explore this stuff, and which methods are right for you.

Good luck with your training!

Theo.
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on December 14, 2009
From someone who lifted free weights for years and developed Arthritis in both shoulders. I was to the point where I could no longer workout with the weights. I can workout with the BOW Classic without joint pain, and get a full upper body workout in less than 30 minutes. I've been using it only about a month and am already seeing results.
I only regret not discovering this piece of equipment years ago, I could have saved alot of wear and tear on my joints.
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on March 15, 2009
I ordered the Bow Classic a few weeks ago and I'm really enjoying it. I'm now 63 years old and was wanting something to use at home to do some basic exercises to improve muscle tone and strength. I was not particularly looking to increase muscle mass, just to be in better shape. This product is perfect for my purposes. Since I've been using it, I feel much better and the muscle tension I used to carry in my back and shoulders is gone. By the way, I don't look anything like the guy in their ad nor do I expect to.

The reviewer who complained that the Bow Classic is too long would probably have been happy with their shorter product, which I think is called the Steel Bow and which comes with adjustable springs. My son, who is shorter than me tried to use the Bow Classic and found it a little long for him (I'm 5'9" and he's 5'6'). As you can see, I'm a contented customer. If you are a shorter than average person, I would suggest reading the descriptions and comments on both this and the shorter product before making a purchase. I have only the Bow Classic and it's a quality piece of equipment at a very fair price.
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on April 6, 2012
I bought the new, full sized Bullworker, the Steel Bow, and the Bullworker Bow Extension. I've used Bullworkers since I was in the Army in South Korea in the early seventies. I love them! Sometimes when a company seeks to improve upon a product, they really screw it up. I remember owning one of the original Bowflex machines. It was simple and effective. Later I bought into a newer model with all the attachments and it was nothing but a piece of junk. So, I was really glad to see changes made to one of my favorite exercise devices that actually improved its functionality. The rubberized hand grips are awesome and allow for a much better hold and a more comfortable workout. It may not seem like much, but if you use one you'll be able to tell immediately.

Often the simplest of things can profoundly synergize an entire system. The Bullworker Bow Extension is just such simplicity and allows the Bullworker to attain a whole new dimension of exercise functionality. And the changes to the Bullworker System did not sacrifice the overall practicality of the product. Well done!
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on August 27, 2010
I have been using the Original Bullworkers for
over 35 years ! There is no better way to stay
stout ! Use it or loose it ! You will become addicted
to the short workouts ! Rapid stregnth gains !
You will tone exceptionally Fast ! You will feel
younger and more energetic ! I own three , bow
classic , steelbow , and thee X5-gold ! Every
Member in my Familly of five owns one ! Oldest son
age 19 has a Bully Extreme next son 17 has a bow
Classic ! My Daughter age 10 has an original
lady Bullworker ! My wife has an X-5 Bullworker.
Stay fit stay strong. BULLWORKER for Life !!!
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on April 2, 2011
I bought an Iso 7X at a discount department store a couple of months ago. I started using it and I liked it so I bought a Bullworker Classic. So I have been using both machines for about 7 weeks. What I like about them is the speed in which you can go from one exercise to another; no changing weights or resistance levels, just go. I work out for about 30-35 minutes. In that time I do about 40 different exercises, 6 each for the abs, legs, shoulders, back, arms, and chest and a few I like to repeat. I do 7 isotonic reps, (through a range of motion) and hold the last rep for 7-8 seconds for a isometric blast. I can definitely see the results. I watch my diet, try to eat higher protein, lower carb and fat and do the bullworker. I have lost 14 pounds, gone from a 36-38 pants size down to a 34 and have much, much more muscle definition and strength. I also have seen my energy level increase. I actually look forward to the workouts. You won't see instant results, nor will you turn into a bodybuilder with this routine but if you are consistent you will have a well toned, muscular body with a minimum of time committed and very little accompanying aches. (gain without pain.) So if you have time constraints as I do, I cannot think of a faster, easier way to build a good body than with the Bullworker. The Bullworker Classic has very strong resistance so I use the Iso 7 for exercises that are harder and need less of a resistance level. My wife noticed how good I was looking, asked about it and has ordered the Bullworker steel bow. I'm looking forward to trying it out!
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on October 17, 2009
The Bow Classic is the same sturdy product I remember owning in the late 70s (which was given to a buddy for rehab following his motorcycle accident). In fact, the current rendition provides the same great workout as the earlier model. I recommend the "Classic" for any couch potato fitness program. Buy new!
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on September 1, 2011
I bought a bullworker because I have had one all my life. The last one I had, I bought on the 25th. October 1981 and used it until two years ago. Then moving house I misplaced it and although I tried other methods of training I always missed my Bullworker. Therefore I bought this bullworker (Classic) and I find it to be more effective as there are a lot of new exercises. I recommend Bullworker to everybody as it gives me stamina and strength. Well done
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on August 28, 2013
This Bullworker is by far the best I've ever owned. No bull about it. The spring action and strength is superior to any other.
I have owned various bullworkers, The green handled Bullworker (Good one though. Lasted almost 40 years.), The Browned handled one (Slightly inferior to the green.), the X5 (no comments), and one of the new copies being sold....(Again no comments)
This Classic Full-sized Bullworker is the best ever. Quality is Excellent, The spring action is just perfect and the power of the spring is definitely the strongest ever PERIOD! (Plus Nice wall chart, rubber floor support, and the best carrying case! Been a Bullworker user for 40 years. Plan to continue 40++ more with this one now. 5 Stars again.
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on March 4, 2014
*****
Back about 20-some years ago I bought a "Macho-Power" isometric clone and the spring broke within a few months. Got my money back where I bought it from a local sports shop and got a Bullworker replacement. Been happy with it ever since. ( Btw., I am 74 years young as of this writing and am strong and tight, just the way a senior citizen OUGHT to be!) ;-)

Then, in August of '09, I got a 3-tube BullyExtreme and liked it better... at first.

The Bully had a stronger spring. But... after about four years the plastic coating on the steel cables began to crack. (Minute cracks, like crazing with age, but cracks nonetheless.) Very annoying, because it they began to pinch my fingers at maximum extension.

I contacted BullyExtreme, referring to their full LIFETIME money-back guarantee and was told, "Sorry. The guarantee is only for the MECHANISM, not the HANDLES." Period.

I cannot help but ask, "What GOOD is the device without the cable HANDLES?" (I do not think it would have "broke" them to replace my Bully. (At my recommendation both my sons had also gotten a Bully.) A replacement, with which I would have provided a grateful testimonial would have been good publicity. A satisfied customer is more valuable than a sale any day!) So, for the most part, I have had to revert back to my trusty old Bullworker. I am now thinking about ordering the "baby" Bullworker, called the "Steel Bow."

By the way, the plastic coating on the steel cables is still just FINE! For this reason alone--poor customer relations--Bully has lost a good customer. I would thereby recommend the Bullworker over the BullyExteme.

As an aside, the user will get the same results from either device because all you have to do is "crunch" or "pull" the device to the point where your muscles begin to quiver {maximum effort] and HOLD it for an isometric 7 to 10 seconds for maximum results. How far (in inches) the tubes actually collapse makes no difference. If you can only compress the device ONE INCH you are on the way -- Isometrics work on your RESISTANCE, not how far you can compress the device. Get one. Your body will be glad you did!

lwc
*****
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