T Nation

A Bowflex Workout

Anybody think a Bowflex could give actually give you a decent workout? Would you consider it a good purchase?

Yes you can get a good workout with a bowflex, generally it is ideal for someone with very limited space and not much budget concerns. Of course, just joining a gym is a better plan unless there aren’t any close by and you have time constraints.

It’s also quieter so you can workout in an apartment late a night or early in the morning without disturbing neighbors banging weights.

If you are looking for pure looks, you can achieve very good results with a bowflex. However, the resistance is very light at the bottom of the range of motion and gets heavier through the range of mation, therefore any real lifting won’t transfer appropriately.

I own one and use it along with my freeweights, it’s fun and easy to use, plus I like the feeling of active resistance, or not being able to create momentum. You obviously cant do olympic lifts or much powerlifting with it, but it’s not intended for that use. It’s good for any isolation, or concentration type moves, if they are a part of your current regimen

Also, there may be better ones out there at this point, I bought mine several years ago and haven’t researched the current market of home gyms. I actually really like thier new dumbell concept as it looks a lot less bulky than some other adjustable dumbells, though the only go up to 55 lbs or something.

V

I am not saying buy one, but if you decide to buy it Google Elliot Darden’s book A Bowflex Body. I haven’t seen or used the book, but I am sure it has some good workouts specifically for the Bowflex.

[quote]Joebob wrote:
I am not saying buy one, but if you decide to buy it Google Elliot Darden’s book A Bowflex Body. I haven’t seen or used the book, but I am sure it has some good workouts specifically for the Bowflex.[/quote]

And as I’ve said before, check your classified ads and ebay. They go cheap in those sometimes.

I remember a while ago I called Bowflex Customer Support and asked them if the Bowflex has any exercises for the trapezius muscles. (yes, I said trapezius instead of “traps”)

I could almost feel the pain in the guy’s voice when he said “Um, ummm where exactly are the trapezius muscles?”

I wasn’t planning on buying a Bowflex nor was I interested if it has any exercises for my traps, I just wanted to see how incompetent their customer service people were.

If you are considering a Bowflex, you may want to read this article. They recently paid $950,000.00 in fines for not disclosing injuries and problems using one. Also, if you buy a “used” one you will need to re-fit it most likely.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7468524/

[quote]Vegita wrote: Also, there may be better ones out there at this point, I bought mine several years ago and haven’t researched the current market of home gyms. I actually really like thier new dumbell concept as it looks a lot less bulky than some other adjustable dumbells, though the only go up to 55 lbs or something.

V[/quote]

The bowflex dumbbell is flimsy plastic crap. Powerblocks are a much better adjustable DB, as they can go up to 125, and still feel nice.

Slightly shameless plug for a cable-based home gym: http://us.home.lifefitness.com/content.cfm/g5

It’s a neat design, with separate handles, for a “Bowflex-like” constant tension feel, but it works off a traditional weight stack, not “power-rods”. Also, the bench is sturdy, removeable for DB work, and can adjust with inclines up to 90 degrees.

With that said, the thing’s still going to run you over 2400 bucks. For that money, I’d rather invest in a great power rack, olympic weight set, and a boatload of protein powder.

…Or bodyweight calisthenics…

‘I know people that ate sandwhiches and lost weight, but I don’t see them on TV with their shirt off’

jaystyles

protein powder, supplements, hard core workouts…all good. However you guys are forgetting that the majority of people don’t work out at all. The bow flex has proven to help people get into shape and strengthen muscles, all using proper form.
Over time, of course they will have to get into the free weights. For people who are already into intense workouts, sure the bowflex would be a waste of time.

Getting into paying money for not telling people about injuries…i once heard a story of a man who was on the interstate driving, put his car into cruise control and crashed the car. He thought the cruise control steered his car as well. Of course he sued and won as there were no instructions.

People that naive shouldn’t be behind the wheel. People who do not know that improper exercise can cause injuries should stay on the couch.

A PT I volunteer with likes them for rehab. Some people are either too old, too uncoordinated or too injured to use regular machines or free weights.

If I were you i’d take the money you would spend on the bowflex and buy a good barbell and a bench, and weights. And if there is any money left put it towards some squat stands or a power rack.
MY .02
Will42