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Bowflex Blaze Home Gym
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- Home gym with more than 60 gym-quality exercises for all muscle groups
- Lower pulley/squat station for working glutes, hamstrings, and quads
- Lat tower with angled lat bar helps build back and shoulder muscles
- 210 pounds of Power Rod Technology resistance (upgradable to 310 or 410 pounds)
- Leg extension/leg curl attachment; measures 90 by 83 by 38 inches (W x H x D)
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Get in shape from the comfort of your home with the Bowflex Blaze Home Gym. Available exercises include lat pull-down and bench press, plus a lower pulley and squat station for glutes, quads, and hamstrings. Use the lat tower with angled lat bar to feel the burn in your back and shoulders. Over 60 strength-building exercises are available in total. A manufacturer's warranty is included - see the complete details in the Product Guarantee area. Over 60 strength-building exercises. 210 pounds of Bowflex power rod resistance. Upgrades available to 320 or even 410 pounds. Measurements: 59L x 23W x 14H inches. Manufacturer's warranty included (see product guarantee).
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Safety WarningAs with any exercise program, consult your physician before you begin.
Top Customer Reviews
Before I get into my tips, I'll give a brief review. I've had this machine for 10 months now and I am mostly pleased with it. I started out as a computer desk nerd with no strength and I've worked up to about average guy strength - I can bench about 200 bowflex pounds now, more than twice what I started at. So it works - just don't expect the miracles they advertise. The best thing about it is that is uses a pully system which makes it extremely versatile. The worst thing is the bows, which are elastic. If you can find a machine that uses pulleys like the Bowflex but has a weight stack instead of bows, that would be best, but I don't think there is one in this price range.
Now for the tips.
1. The bows work by stretching, and can get stretched out of shape like a rubber band. So make sure you tie them back with the included strap after every workout. If you mess up and stretch them out, you *could* try connecting them to the opposite hook and leaving them like that for a couple of days. I did this and it seemed to fix the issue.
2. By the same token, the resistance varies with temperature. I found this out by accident when my AC stopped working. The temp went up by 10 degrees and I was suddenly able to lift about 10% more.
3. The bows are not like physical weights. The resistance changes from easy at the beginning of the motion to hard at the end. Also I believe they are overall lighter than physical weights.
4. The weight labels on the bows don't add up mathematically. For example, 30lbs + 10lbs + 10lbs is much "lighter" than the 50lb bow. So while you are making gains you should actually increase from 45 to 30 + 10 + 10 to 30 + 10 + 10 + 5 to 50 instead of jumping directly from 45 to 50. Another way to think of it in your head is that the 50lb is actually 60-ish in Bowflex units. This is also true for the jump from 25 to 30. Since there are only 2 10lbs weights I get around this by doing extra reps at 25 until I can finally do a full set at 30. You could also try raising the room temperature by about 5 degrees which should soften them up to start, and gradually increase it with each workout.
4. Despite what Dr. Bowflex says, the machine just isn't made for a cardio. I got a schwinn exercise bike to compensate for this. I immediately noticed being able to have longer workouts due to my increasing cardiovascular endurance.
5. The manual also states not to rest more than a minute between each exercise. I did this at first, but then (anecdotally) I discovered that if I rested longer in order to catch my breath, I could do more reps and make faster gains.
6. Certain exercises just don't work that well - basically anything involving legs, feet, or cardio. The supposed rows are not even worth it. Also the leg curls are very awkward. The manual does not even describe how to do them but according to an old manual I found on the net, you need to lie halfway on the leg station seat and halfway on the bench (the opposite exercise - I forget the name - let's call it "leg raise" - does work rather well though). Finally the leg press might be worth it after you upgrade to 310 or 410 pounds, but at 210 even someone completely out of shape might find them wanting - mainly because your legs are the strongest part of your body, even on a sedentary person. On top of this it is hard to get the leg press strap to stay in place when you are first getting into position.
7. In my case there were some exercises that hurt my joints. I've never had joint injuries that I know if, so it may just be my body shape. I'm pretty sure I did them correctly. However, in the manual it lists the muscle groups of each motion. Instead of trying exercises that hurt, I picked others that would exercise the same groups.
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.
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.