You’re here because you’re wondering, the Bowflex Revolution home gym is it worth it?
Today we’re going to answer that question for you.
This has been the year of home workout equipment. We’re sure you’ve all been tempted to kit out your spare room so you never have to pay gym fees again (we know we have!).
However, when you start doing the math, suddenly the gym seems a bit more appealing.
$80 for a small set of weights that will be too light for you in 2 months. $2600 on a standing bike. $1600 on a treadmill. $120 on kettlebells…
What if we told you there was a machine that can replace your whole gym?! Yes, you read that right, one machine that lets you work out all your muscles and throws in a bit of cardio too.
That is what the Bowflex Revolution home gym claims to offer.
That’s too good to be true right? Well, by the time you’ve finished reading this article you’ll know enough about this home gym to make that choice for yourself.
In a hurry?
Here are our pros and cons for the Bowflex Revolution home gym:
- A whole gym (or home gym) in one machine – you can work out nearly every part of your body with this machine
- Comes with “bows” in a wide range of weight, this provides the opportunity for progression and muscle building
- Comes with everything you need, you just need some work out clothes and some gym shoes
- Easy to clean
- Multiple, useful attachments included with the machine when purchased
- Less expensive than 3 years of gym memberships (at a cheap gym)
- Many other accessories available from the company to mix up your workouts
- 10 year warranty
- Tidying away the plates and collecting the cables back together after every use gets really tiresome
- The cables aren’t long enough to fully extend – the shorter you are the more issue you will have with this
- This is a massive piece of kit, you need to set aside a lot of space to use it in
- Changing between exercises is tricky, particularly for beginners, although it does get easier once you get used to it
- Some users feel it is not as intense an exercise as it claims to be – they say it is good cardio but is not a strength workout
What is the Bowflex Revolution home gym?
Let’s start with the obvious and discuss what a Bowflex Revolution home gym actually is.
The Bowflex Revolution is an award-winning, all-in-one workout machine that allows users to work out almost every muscle in their body in one place.
The Revolution comes with up to 410 lbs plate resistance. Many of the parts of this machine are inspired by drawing a bow, the focus is more on tension than the actual weight. This means you can safely load up heavy ‘weights’ without putting a strain on your body.
The all-in-one home gym claims to offer over 100 different exercises that cover the whole body on one machine. With this machine, you will not need to add anything else to your home gym.
Bowflex Revolution home gym review
The Technical Features:
- Up to 410 lbs of resistance, can upgrade to 600 lbs
- Bench Press and Leg Curl included in 100+ range of exercises
- 10 independent positions available
- SpiraFlex® plate technology designed for NASA (doesn’t need gravity to work but we’ll get to this later)
- 170-degree adjustment
- Ample hands, grips, support built-in
- Comes with exercise plans, more available free on Bowflex’s website
Let’s start this review at one of the most important parts of researching a potential new purchase – customer reviews.
So what do customers think of the Bowflex Revolution home gym?
They love it. This is one of the most popular models from Bowflex as it provides over 100 different exercises on one machine.
Whereas other Bowflex models cater to the casual exerciser only, the Revolution can handle even the bulkiest fitness junky.
The Bowflex Revolution is award-winning and is stocked in gyms across the world.
It has glowing reviews from gym owns and home exercisers alike. It has been reviewed on USA Today, as well as in Men’s Fitness and The LA Times.
Jennifer Jolly from USA Today had this to say about the Bowflex home gyms, ‘If you’re looking for a way to scorch tons of calories without leaving your house, this is one of the best options.’
Does It Cover the Whole Body?
We’ll be the first to admit that when it comes to this question we were initially skeptical. Previous models from Bowflex have claimed to cover the whole body, but have missed out on a few ‘small’ areas, like say the legs…
However, the Revolution was a pleasant surprise. We tried really hard to find a muscle group we couldn’t work out on this thing and we failed, spectacularly.
It offers chest press options, leg curls, pulls ups, rowing, cable pulls, squats, and pretty much anything else you could set your heart on.
We were hugely impressed that the Bowflex was able to live up to its claim of being an all-in-one home gym. The range and variety it offers really are astonishing.
What particularly impressed us is how this felt like it was designed for fitness fanatics to use at home, and not just beginners. As is the case with lots of home workout machines.
The Plates and not the Bows:
Bowflex made its name on its Power Rod technology. These are rods that mimic the movement of a longbow, whilst providing tension to replicate weighted plates without the danger of moving the heavy objects around.
We’re so glad there are no Power Rods on this device. They’re a cool idea and they work well for around 3 months. But like all good things, they just don’t last. There is no way for them to maintain their integrity or strength for long periods of time.
This is not the case, however, with this SpiraFlex® plate technology. These types of plates were designed for NASA to allow astronauts to maintain their muscle mass in areas of low gravity.
Like the Power Rods, they work by using resistance to simulate the weight, rather than the weight itself. Where they differ is that three is no pulling or bending out of shape with the SpiraFlex® plate technology.
This technology allows you to load up your machine with ‘heavy weights’ without worrying about hurting yourself. It’s a really clever use of this kind of technology that takes a lot of the fear out of heavy lifting.
We also think it’s worth noting that this machine comes with twice as heavy ‘weights’ as previous Bowflex machines.
Because these plates interlock to build this tension they have a secondary bonus. They don’t take up very much space. That being said, this is a huge machine. However, we can forgive that as it saves us having to have multiple machines in the house.
If using one machine every day for years sounds like it’s going to get boring then Bowflex has the solution to your problem – attachments!
That sounds like an overstatement but some of their available attachments are real game-changers.
Not all attachments are made equal, but they all offer something unique. Some of the best attachments even come with the product when you purchase it.
The chest harness is one of our highlights as it makes it possible to use your machine to replicate TXR workouts.
We also love that they offer the option to upgrade your Revolution’s weight limit to 600 lbs. As progressive weight increase is so important to many of our fitness goals this is a really handy option.
The first issue we have with this machine is that to use it to its fullest potential you need quite a bit of space.
To use this safely it needs a 2-meter empty space around it. For us, that meant sacrificing a whole room to this.
It’s something we do not regret, however, as the Bowflex Revolution home gym has saved us so much time, and being able to workout with this range of weights at home has changed our world.
It is also worth noting that this machine can be stored upright. so you only need to make a lot of space for it whilst you’re using it, then you can store it in a corner.
People have also been questioning the effectiveness of the SpiraFlex® plate technology. We understand their concern as the Power Rod technology from Bowflex was not as effective as they claimed.
However, NASA themselves have done a few studies that prove this technology is just as effective as actual plate weights.
The main concern for us is that the resistance cables in this machine are both slightly too short and too thin.
The shortness is only an issue if you are trying to use the cables from the floor, but this has been an issue with previous Bowflex models. It is a shame they still haven’t fixed this.
The cables being too thin is an issue because they will be the first part of the machine to go, rendering the rest of it useless once they’ve broken.
The good news is that Bowflex offers a 10 warranty, so having the cables replaced should not be a trial.
What does the Bowflex Revolution Home Gym Cost?
Many people proclaim that the wonder of home workout machines is that they are cheaper than going to the gym. This is not necessarily the case for the Bowflex Revolution home gym. It’s generally priced around $2,900 – so not cheap.
However, if you factor in travel costs and the other extra expenses that come with the fitness lifestyle then you will most likely save money by using a Bowflex home gym.
For us, the most considerable saving is in the amount of time saved. Pre-2020, our commute to the gym was a 1-hour round trip.
Add to that changing times, waiting periods, and the stress of having to work out in public, and nothing seems more appealing than a home gym.
If you keep the Bowflex Revolution for the length of its warranty (10 years) then you will be paying less than half a dollar a day for absolute control over your fitness.
When compared to other home workout machines the Bowflex looks pretty good. Peloton charges +$2000 for their bikes, a gym quality treadmill is +$1500, and let’s not even get started on how expensive buying weights individually is.
Gym quality items cost more because they are designed to last, and Bowflex is gym quality.
One machine that provides over 100 types of exercises, for a similar price to one Peloton bike – where can we sign up?! Actually, you can get it here right from the manufacturer!
After you get the Bowflex Revolution home gym, will you be returning to the gym?
No. This machine was an investment, there’s no getting around that, but gosh was it worth it. We’ve reviewed a lot of home gym machines and nothing has come close to offering as much as the Revolution.
100+ exercises on one machine are hard to get our heads around. We remember the early Bowflex machines offering 30 exercises in one place and being impressed by that. This is a home gym that takes its users seriously.
You will be able to use it for years, you will always find new ways to challenge yourself on it, and with a 10-year warranty, you have the guarantee that it will last you for as long as you can use it.
With that 10 year warranty, we don’t even care that the cables don’t age well as we can get Bowflex to replace any problematic parts. Particularly when the Revolution works out at less than half a buck a day for the warranty covered period.
The versatility – outstanding.
The weight range – unbeatable.
The price – worth it.