T Nation

Better Than Bowflex Ultimate 2?


Does anyone knows a better piece than a bowflex ultimate 2 FOR SMALL SPACE???
yeah that the problem, i have no space for a big machine,i need something that is almost the same space as the bowflex ultimate 2,and i can't find something with enough excersizes, what you guys recommend???

that thing supossed to have 95 excersizes,but i dont knwo if are worth it,cause it's too much money for those tubes!


I think a basic bench, barbell, couple hundred lbs of weights and some dumbbells would not take up any more space than a bowflex and will give you a much better workout. Bowflex like machines are expensive as hell too, so that money can easily be put into a set of free weights that take up about the same amount of space.

Don't bother with machines.


Buy a bench, a small squat rack (e.g.
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000EY7WK8/nextag-sg-20/ref=nosim ), a barbell, some olympic DB handles, and a bunch of plates. Trust me, you don't want a bowflex body.


no bowflex!
Either get a gym membership or a squat rack olympic weight set, adjustable bench, and somepowerblocks.
I had this setup in a 10x12 room and it was fine.
you can get a high/low cable setup add on for most powerracks as well.


I would sooner cut my arms off then by a blow-flex. Their marketing ads are the phoniest BS. All of those models built there physiques with free weights. As the others have said get a bench and some free weights. Just my two cents.

Take care,



Bench, Power Blocks.


Great choice for limited space.


i have dumbells here,and a bench,but i think i need more excersizes for legs and body parts,seems like isn't easy,the problem is that everything is on my projection room,and everybody here is going to take me out with all the stuff,i saw the powertec multi system,and seems to be big for the room,any other suggestions?????


with the money you would spend on a bowflex you could just workout at a regular gym.


A good power rack, an adjustable bench and an olympic bar and weights and you can train every body part with all the best exercises. Nuff said


Get a heavy rock and a keg. Lift and repeat.

Also the keg can double as an end table and the rock a center piece or foot stool.


Get a pullupstand with a dip station and a backpack full of bricks! It will fit in the back of an apartment closet.


What more do you need besides squats, deads, front squats, overhead squats, lunges, split squats, reverse lunges, squat presses (not to mention a host of others) to build your legs ?


If this helps at all I've been training again less than a year and am no excessively strong guy anyway. Yesterday we were in Sears and I was able to pretty much handle the whole load of "power rods" on the extreme they had there for a few different movements I played around with.

You can get additional sets of power rods, but who knows how long before that would be conquered as well.

On the plus side it was really smooth and seemed to be well made, but moving iron against gravity is the way to go as far as I'm concerned. For a casual person concerned with just staying in shape, maybe, but not if you have any designs on serious muscle.


I think the bowflex would be a fine tool. No one should really be criticizing it unless they can max out all the rods in every exercise...

I have to admit though, 210, upgradable to 310 or 410, while nice, I wish it had a higher potential for adding rods. You add 100lbs by adding 2 50lb rods. So to get 410 up to 1010 would be pretty nice, but you'd need 12 more 50lb rods beyond the current maximum.

The 'bowflex revolution' seems like a better candidate for adding higher resistance, since it takes up less space. Look into it!


holy crap! is that little nemo in your avatar?


One thing I can't decide is good or bad is the fact that the resistance is greatest at the fully contracted position of the movement because as the rods bend it obviously gets harder.

It's kinda like using chains for progressive resistance except you don't have the choice not to.

If I had to choose I think I'd rather have it the other way around so you could squeeze out an extra rep or 2, but I guess it could go either way. I'll stick with iron or if I could afford it I wouldn't mind having one around just for a change of pace on occasion.


As far as machines go, to answer your initial question, the Bowflex U2 is probably one of the better ones. As for which would be best for you...you need to ask yourself some simple questions: is space the only concern?

Clearly, price is not an issue, so is it the time factor in going to a gym? I don't mean just the drive there but the waiting for racks, dealing with morons, etc. Do you value your privacy that much? What are your goals, or, what is the purpose, of your training. Simple fitness, competitive bodybuilder, elite atlete? All these will factor in to your decision.

There have been some good suggestions listed. A couple of words of advice if you go the Bowflex route:
1) get the 410 upgrade;
2) get all the attachments
3) if you need more resistance, add some power bands
4) if you squat more than the 410, you can always stand on a couple of books (the reistance is greater in the "up" position)

I have used a Bowflex and have had results. The listed resistance "weight" is somewhat deceiving: there is a noticeable difference when you use free weights.

Some thougts, and I know there are many more to come.