T Nation

Bowflex, et al.


#1

I don't know if is works (probably not) or has ANY redeeming qualities. But, I get such a kick out of watching this clown try to pawn this crap on TV. You know what nut I'm speaking of. The 4'11", brown haired pretty boy who claims he got his rocks from a bowflex. Unfortunately, people buy into it. I especially enjoy the 30 min infomercial that has some guy trying to mimic a bench press. Have you seen this? He begins the movement and his arms look like they are about to fall off from shaking so much. Oh, and our favorite host claims he's simply working all of those "stabilizing" muscles trying to control the weight and that is good for him.

What are your thoughts on this piece of junk? I'd like to hear some entertaining thoughts and if there are any reasons to ever use such a contraption.


#2

If the "four-foot eleven-inch pretty-boy" you're referring to is Randy Potter, you should know he had a financial interest for saying so. Don't know if he's still there, but at the time he was vice-president of marketing for Bowflex.

As to its efficacy, it all depends on what an individual's goals are. For the goals of most T-maggers, it's likely not a complete solution, particularly for the lower-body. For the individual whose only other activity option is scarfing Ding-Dongs during "Too Close For Comfort" marathons, it's not a bad choice.

I'd rather have first-timers try it than not do anything at all. When they reach the limits of what they can accomplish with it, then they'll hopefully look to the next level.

Sure do see a fair amount of them for sale in the classifieds, though...

T.E. Young


#3

I got one given to me (my dad bought and didnt use it) the only thing I use it for is lat pull downs and a towel rack!

Mitch Green


#4

I tried one while I was at Costco the other day. I don't think any machine will ever match free weights.

While I was growing up, I had a Soloflex. It looked cool in my room at the time, but the resistance bands just plain sucked. I remember looking at the accompanying workout poster that came with it thinking, "That guy built his body on a Soloflex?"


#5

At least those things are actually working the muscles somewhat. For your average fatass, it's better than nothing. It looks so painfully awkward to use though. What gets me is all the various ab training ads that "guarantee" a flatter stomach within a few weeks. The latest one I saw was so dumb, It's just a round pad that goes under your neck, with ropes attached to it that you hold in your hands, to help you keep the proper crunching form. Such BS! Those guarantees should be totally illegal. How many people buy those things and then when it doesn't work, get totally turned off of exercise and just give up?

Nick


#6

Actually, I test tried the Bowflex at the gym that I work at. We have home gym products because we have a personal trainer online network so that people can get work-outs and give feedback online. Its, called MyFitnessExpert.

I actually, thought the bowflex gave a decent work - out. I thought at first this thing was BS. But, it actually isn't that bad. Do,I reccomend it over free weights, of course not. But, for people that don't have access to free weights this is a good subsitute if you have it already. I don't think its worth the asking price though.

In Health,

Silas C.


#7

I was thinking of getting one for my wife as a means to help her enter the magical world of strength training. No matter how much I try I can't get her to try compound free weight movements, but she said she's like a bowflex. I figure she can use it for a year or so and build up some strength and confidence and then I can seel her on real lifting. I also have a home gym consisting of a power rack, power blocks, olympic bar and weights and an ez curl bar. I figured I could use the bowflex for lat pulldowns and face pulls in my westside routine. (Please, oh please no one tell Louie I'm contemplating using bowflex for westside! I'm too young to die.)


#8

my roommate had one, and a few times i used it as an excuse to go to the gym. The chest flyes and presses along with some push-ups superset helped give me a decent pump, but i never got the results from a nice bench or DB press. The ab workouts where a good change, but i still can't find anything that will top French Ball slow situps yet...

They are a foot in the door, albeit an expensive one, i will give them that.


#9

most fitness products marketed today are focused on individuals who:
1. don't have enough time to go to the gym due to the demands of work, family, yada yada yada (which may be genuine)
2. are too fat and lazy and lack the discipline to get to a gym and think that having an irregular piece of artwork in their living rooms will automatically make them fit while wondering if its unhealthy to eat 2 buckets of KFC (most likely)
so, as people have posted, if it gets someone to get off their couch and actually engage in some physically activity, and maybe even encourage someone to take a more critical view of their health and lifestyle, then its a positive direction towards fitness. but anyone who trains in the gym and feels the weight of iron against their muscles knows that a machine like the bowflex won't cut it when it comes to working out.

but those 'power rods' are so good at hanging coats and keys and bananas and laundry and...


#10

three words...body by jake!


#11

I agree: the Bowflex is better than nothing. If nothing else, it beats the gizmo I saw on TV last night, which is, without a doubt, the dumbest piece of equipment I've ever seen. It's called the "Bodyboard21" or something like that. It is nothing more than a big foam pad in the shape of a pizza slice. On the pad are diagrams of 21 exercises you can do while laying on the pad. In short, you pay to lay diagonally on a foam pad and do exercises. They're pushing the 21 motif: do these 21 exercises 21 minutes a day, and you'll see results!

I've seen some bad stuff, but this is probably the worst. With all the stuff on TV now, I can't see how this can appeal to anybody. It has no fancy gadetry, and it requires 21 minutes to do! It goes against every rule of late-night fitness advertising.


#12

Body by Jake....

Oh man, I remember one of my friends buying one of those "60 lbs leg press" type gizmos with that name brand for like $500, and then invited me over to show me how I can "tone up my legs."

I showed him the body weight squat right after...


#13

AceQ,

Consider getting a Jumpstretch gym for your wife instead. It's lots cheaper, and the Jumpstretch bands are more versatile AND are Louie Simmons-approved for adding variable resistance for your PL lifts on dynamic effort day.

Go to www.jumpstretch.com


#14

Thanks Mike I'll check that out.