Customer Review

82 of 84 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Overall a good machine, September 28, 2008
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This review is from: Bowflex Blaze Home Gym (Sports)
PROS -

1. You get to workout in the privacy and convenience of your home without having to lug free weights around, and/or without having to store a massive amount of dumbbells.

2. It is MUCH safer than free weights in that you can perform heavy lifting routines without needing a spotter. Ever think you can do one more rep of a heavy bench press on free weights just to realize "oops" you can't? It's not fun rolling that heavy bar off of your chest. For the most part you don't have to worry about injuries with the Bowflex.

3. This ties into #1 but you don't have to go to the gym. The time you spend packing your bag, driving to the gym, changing, getting to the machines (maybe they're open, maybe they're not), showering, getting dressed, and driving home, you can do at home with the Bowflex in probably half the time, or less.

4. There's something about it that makes it almost fun to use. You want to use it. Gym machines and free weights just don't have that same motivating effect.

5. If used properly you WILL see great results. I had an older model (Power Pro) a few years ago and used it religiously for heavy routines. People I didn't know (like at the checkout counter) would make comments about how I look like I like to lift heavy things.

6. Free weights generally need to be performed with a strict motion. Deviate from that motion and you just might pull a muscle, tendon, or worse. Bowflex gives you greater freedom to tweak the motions you use to better suit your body type, flexibility, etc.

7. You can quickly switch from one routine to a completely unrelated routine (like going from shoulders to legs) all in the same place. The speed at which you can adjust resistance and muscle groups being worked is unbeatable by any other method/machine.

8. It is a high quality piece of equipment, all the way down to the nuts and bolts. You'd have to tip this thing over and run it over with a tank to wreck it. After several years of hard use, the only things you might have to replace are the rods, hand grips, and cables. The rods are free for life, the hand grips and cables are covered for 5 years and after that are cheap (if not free depending on how your conversation goes with the customer service rep).

9. Oodles better and oodles cheaper than the Xtreme models. Having the long bench is SOOOO much better than the upright chair and shorter rods on the Xtreme models. I used to have one that was fully loaded (got it for free) but reverted back to the Power Pro (which had the long bench like the Blaze).

10. You get to work so many parts of your body (60+ exercises) on one machine. Many different machines advertise this feature, but only the Bowflex delivers on this.

11. If used properly and creatively enough, you can probably ditch your cardio routine unless you're already a hardcore jogger/runner.

CONS -

1. As has been stated by countless people before, the resistance ratings are overly generous. That's why I put "lbs" in quotations for the remainder of this review. Performing a routine with any given "weight" on the Bowflex is noticeably lighter than free weights. But if this is your only piece of muscle workout equipment, it doesn't really matter. Just know that if you can deadlift "200" lbs for example, that doesn't mean you can pick up a box that actually weighs 200lbs. But for most people it would be impossible to max out the machine for all but bench press and leg workouts. So this really isn't that significant of a con.

2. The 200 "lbs" it comes with won't be adequate for legs workouts or bench pressing. At least not for long unless you're someone that has little muscle mass and plans to stay that way, in which case you should just buy a Motivator 2 for $600. For the rest of us that want to gain some good muscle mass, you will have to buy the two $99/each upgrades to get to 400 "lbs". Once you factor those upgrades in, this machine is not such a great bargain anymore, but still much cheaper than the more expensive, yet inferior, Xtreme models.

3. The leg press basically cannot be done. The strap that goes around your back DIGS in to the point of pain, unless you're using such a low weight that you're not even giving your legs a workout anyway. An easy alternative would simply be to do squats or lunges away from the machine using only your body weight until that gets too easy. Then buy one pair of cheap dumbbells and go from there. But I might try putting a throw pillow between my back and the strap next time.

4. The 400 "lb" upgrade places the two rods behind the 5 "lb" rods instead of next to the other 2 50 "lb" rods. This gives a different feel to those distant 50 "lb" rods than the two that are next to each other. I wish Bowflex would have put all 3 pairs of 50's next to each other. It's not a huge deal though.

5. Unlike the old Power Pro, the flat bench cannot be pushed flat against the vertical bar for a good military press. Instead the shoulder raises are done at an angle. I miss being able to do shoulder raises straight up and down.

OTHER THOUGHTS -

Unless you're already very well versed in workout routines, I HIGHLY recommend the Bowflex iTrainer software. You have to buy it from Bowflex but it is so cool in that it plans your daily routines for you (you can edit them though) and provides small looping videos of how to do each exercise (instead of looking at a static picture). Get the iTrainer.

I bought mine directly from Amazon for $800, as well as both the 300 and 400 lb upgrades for a total of $1000. A day or so later the price of the machine only (with 200 "lbs") went up to 830, and as of now is 900 from Amazon partners. This is a decent machine but is overpriced at 900 or even 850 when you factor in the need to buy the additional rods. If you're positive that you'll never need the additional rods (but most men will, and some women will too), then you might as well buy the Motivator 2 for $600. The Blaze offers a few more things but the two are very similar.
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Tracked by 1 customer

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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 6, 2013 10:55:56 AM PDT
ima says:
I really need the LAT pull down and am thinking of getting the Bowflex 2 SE.
Please let me know you opinion .. Thank you.

Posted on Feb 1, 2014 3:42:16 PM PST
can you use any boflex rod upgrade?
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Location: Minneapolis, MN

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