Is your gym card lying in the corner of your wallet, crumpled and half torn, because you hardly ever find the time to work out?
Everyone wants to get in shape, but few people are dedicated to regularly visiting the gym. They need a more convenient and practical solution, and that’s where home gyms come in handy.
While there are several options on the market, most consumers choose between the Bowflex PR3000 and Bowflex Xceed models, given their user-friendly features. So, if you want to fulfill your fitness goals, read our guide as we review the 2 best Bowflex home gyms.
Best Bowflex Home Gyms Reviewed
1. Bowflex PR3000
The Bowflex PR3000 is one of the best Bowflex machines on the market and is ideal as a home gym. You can perform a full body workout, thanks to its 50 strength exercises, without opting for cable changes due to the quick change power rods.
Compared to other exercise equipment, we noticed that this Bowflex machine is easy to use and comes in an uncomplicated design. Best of all is the compact construction, which proves especially handy for home gyms, complete with a removable seat.
What separates it from other Bowflex models are the accessories, reducing the need for additional purchases. You will find an integrated instructional workout placard to exercise all the muscle groups combined with multipurpose hand grip/ankle cuffs that enhance flexibility for improved performance.
Going by the Bowflex home gym reviews, people love the vertical alignment of the PR3000, supported by a heavy-duty steel frame for much-needed durability. This allows you to use anywhere between 5 and 210 lbs for power rod resistance training.
It is further supported by upholstered roller cushions for curls and leg extensions, while the pulley system helps you switch between exercises smoothly. Hence, it’s one of the most versatile Bowflex home gym machines available right now.
- Versatile unit
- Power rod technology, customizable to 310 lbs
- Roller cushions for leg exercises
- Compact shape
- Sturdy design
- 50 strength exercises
- Workout chart
- Flexible hand grip
- Quick change pulley system with no-change cable
Areas Of Improvement
- Assembly could be challenging
- Not suitable for lat bar pull-downs
2. Bowflex Xceed
Many people regard the Xceed variant as the best Bowflex home gym, designed specifically for strength training, with over 65 workouts for the entire body. People who are into serious strength-building exercises can use it for aerobic rowing, chest exercises, leg extension, squat station, bench press, etc.
Like the Bowflex PR3000, this model is compact and features an upright steel frame that lends durability and keeps the various parts in top shape for a long time. But the bigger advantage is that it helps you maintain the correct posture to use the Bowflex power rods for resistance workouts.
These rods have an average strength of 210 lbs, but you can upgrade them to 310-410 lbs when needed. Further adding to the flexibility is the adjustable seat with a quick-release mechanism for extra space-saving purposes. Best of all is the polyurethane high-density cushioned surface for maximum comfort even after working out for extended durations.
You also get several cable and pulley systems for customizing the workouts, while this Bowflex home gym comes with a squat bar, strap, and lat bar. Its impressive performance is most noticeable when you want to build shoulder and back muscles fast, for which the angled lat bar and lat tower come in handy.
Moreover, when performing squats, you can remove the leg curl/leg extension attachment for greater convenience.
- Full body workout
- Bowflex power rods for strength training
- Remove leg extension
- Adjustable seat with polyurethane high-density cushioned surface
- Customizable resistance
- Great for the back and shoulder muscle group
- Steel construction
- Pulley system
- Comes with all the necessary components
- Over 65 workouts
Areas Of Improvement
- You will need to change the cable between exercises
- Poor assembly instructions
Bowflex PR3000 Home Gym Vs. Bowflex Xceed Home Gym Differences
1. Number Of Workouts
The primary difference between these Bowflex home gyms is the number of workouts they support. While the Bowflex PR3000 supports 50-strength exercises, the Bowflex Xceed has over 65 workouts for the entire body to help you lose weight faster.
Another aspect is how much resistance each Bowflex model has; even in this regard, the Bowflex Xceed has a slight edge. Compared to other home gym equipment, the weight resistance of the Bowflex Xceed is 210 lbs, which can be increased to 310-410 lbs. With the Bowflex PR3000, you get a maximum resistance of 310 lbs, which is marginally less.
Other than that, the only major difference between these Bowflex machines is the price, which we will explain later. For now, note that the Bowflex PR3000 costs more than the Bowflex Xceed, but it all depends on your exercise routine.
Staying on the topic of available exercises and power rod resistance, we should mention that the Bowflex Xceed is more flexible. This allows you to customize the workout routines much more than the Bowflex PR3000.
Moreover, the power rods available with it come in pairs of 2, which ensures you can add or remove the rods depending on your needs. Added to that are extra bars for greater support and a multi-cable system suitable for targeting all muscle groups.
You will also enjoy using the leg extension, squat bar, and grips provided with the unit that helps you get into multiple positions faster. Meanwhile, the Bowflex PR3000 surpasses the performance of the Xceed in certain instances but lags in other aspects.
While there are fewer exercises, you can use this Bowflex home gym to either gain or lose weight conveniently. It’s backed by sturdy steel construction, pulleys, and resistance rods that ensure the unit lasts a long time.
In this category, you won’t lose out when you choose one of these Bowflex home gyms over the other, given their similar features.
We are slowly diving into the deeper end of the review, starting with the functionality of these Bowflex systems. The best way to rank these Bowflex models is to consider the exercises you can perform.
With the Bowflex Xceed, you can customize more training routines for targeting the various muscle groups throughout the body. This is down to its vertical bench and power rods that guarantee greater comfort during extended workout sessions.
A. Exercises With The Bowflex Xceed
Some of the popular exercises that are easier to perform with the Bowflex Xceed include –
- Shoulder exercises – internal and external shoulder cuff rotations, lateral shoulder raise
- Leg exercises – calf raise, squat, leg curl, deadlift
- Arm exercises – resisted dip, biceps curl, wrist extension
- Chest exercises – decline and incline bench press, chest fly
- Back exercises – shoulder pullover, reverse grip pull-down, bent over row
In all, you can perform 12 exercises for every muscle group. Moreover, the flexible grip replicates the feeling of using free weights when working with a lat pull, barbell biceps, or performing leg presses.
So, given that the Xceed home gym has all these features, why should you consider using the PR3000? This is because even though it may not be suitable for many different exercises, you can fine-tune the workouts for an all-around approach to meet your fitness goals.
B. Exercises With The Bowflex PR3000
Like the Bowflex Xceed, the PR3000 features Bowflex power rods and an upright bench for more stability and greater ease of use while maintaining correct posture. Moreover, this Bowflex system has a quick-change pulley mechanism, which makes it easy to switch from one exercise to the next.
You get a full body workout with this Bowflex home gym, so here are some common exercises –
- Leg exercises – squat, standing hip extension, leg extension
- Arm exercises – triceps kickback, seated biceps curl, stiff arm pull-down
- Chest exercises – incline, decline, and regular bench press
- Shoulder exercises – lateral shoulder raise, shoulder shrug, seated shoulder press
- Back exercises – reverse grip pull-down, narrow pull-down
The downside to choosing this Bowflex system compared to other models is it doesn’t come with a squat bar despite featuring a leg extension and lat bar. Plus, given the compact shape and upright design, you won’t be able to work on seated lat rows.
But many people have said it’s easier to perform aerobic exercises, like rowing, with this home gym equipment. So, after studying the functionality of these Bowflex home gyms, we believe that the Xceed home gym has a slight edge as it allows you to perform specific and basic exercises.
Both these Bowflex home gyms are quite compact and act as a space-saver, which makes them more highly sought-after than the Bowflex Revolution or the Bowflex Blaze models. But the Xceed home gym is the most suitable option for people who don’t have much workout area.
The entire model is 82 x 49 x 53 inches, for which you will require a workout area roughly 96 inches long and 78 inches wide. And since the Bowflex home gym is marginally less than 7 feet tall, you can keep it in any room.
On the other hand, the PR3000 is wider than the Xceed home gym, measuring 86 inches wide and 76 inches long. It’s also almost 7 feet tall, slightly more than the Xceed, and you will need a much wider area for storage.
We suggest that people living in apartments or small buildings opt for the Xceed as it’s more compact, while the PR3000 is ideal for homes with free space.
To choose the best Bowflex home gym, it’s important to check the warranty period, especially for people who work out regularly. The standard warranty of these Bowflex home gyms covers issues with the leg attachment, power rod, pulley system, and lat bar.
We found that the Xceed comes with a 7-year warranty, while the power rods have lifetime coverage. This ensures you can repair the frame or individual components, but it depends on the vendor you’re purchasing from.
However, damage occurring due to misuse won’t be covered under warranty.
The PR3000 also has 7-year coverage, but the power rods and specific components might have a 60-day warranty depending on the vendor. This proves useful because the power rods undergo sufficient wear and tear since they are one of the main components in Bowflex home gyms.
As you can see, both Bowflex home gyms feature a standard warranty, and consumers opting for an affordable unit don’t lose out on the coverage. It’s important to note that to replace power cords and pulley systems, you will have to pay extra irrespective of your preferred Bowflex home gym.
The price is one of the most crucial factors that often sway people’s opinions. If you are a fitness enthusiast, you might be tempted to try out the Xceed home gym, given that it costs around $700-$800 while offering a range of exercises.
Using a squat station and leg attachment will increase the cost further, but it would be unfair to label it an expensive unit. Meanwhile, the PR3000 is priced close to $1,000 and is regarded by many as the best Bowflex home gym, often outperforming the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE.
The unit you choose ultimately comes down to your budget and preference. For a more affordable option that helps in muscle building, go with the Xceed but if you’re looking for a premium-quality unit that’s easy to use, choose the PR3000.
7. Customer Reviews
Another vital factor that consumers go over before deciding on their preferred Bowflex home gym is customer reviews. We visited the Amazon page of both products and found that Xceed has an average rating of 4.6/5 from over 1,500 reviews.
Most customers believe it can match the performance of the Bowflex Blaze and Bowflex Revolution, which makes it one of the best Bowflex home gyms on the market. Out of all the features, users like the customizable resistance load for strength training so that they can build muscles or get lean quickly.
Moreover, the leg attachments and lat pull-down components result in complete fat burning for the best results.
The PR3000 hasn’t received as many reviews as the Bowflex Xceed, but it still proves a reliable unit, with over 500 customers rating it 4.6/5. Consumers enjoyed using the power rod resistance, which is suitable for beginners and professional trainers.
Plus, the upgradeable weight resistance proves a bonus for different exercises.
Frequently Asked Questions About The Best Bowflex Home Gym
1. Are Bowflex home gyms good for building muscles?
To build muscles, you must focus on progressive overload by consistently stressing the muscles by increasing the load to trigger a reaction for larger muscles. Overloading the muscles regularly and proper sleep and nutrition will help you bulk up faster.
Since it doesn’t matter how you increase muscle mass, a Bowflex home gym proves more than useful because you can replicate the feeling of using free weights. Moreover, the functionality and convenience of the best Bowflex home gyms are unmatched.
2. Do power rods last a long time?
Power rods can last for 3-5 years, based on how frequently you use them. In most cases, they are highly durable and last several years with proper maintenance. You can check the manual for maintenance tips or contact the vendor’s customer care center.
But if one of the individual rods is damaged or breaks, you won’t be able to claim a warranty.
3. How are the working area and footprint different?
Many people confuse the working area and footprint of home gyms, but there’s a difference between them. The dimension of the Bowflex home gym when you are not using it is the footprint of the machine.
But during operation, several components, like the leg extensions, project out, which changes the dimensions of the unit. The minimum area you need to get the most out of the best Bowflex home gyms is its working area.
After much debate and discussion, it’s time to answer the all-important question – should you choose the Xceed or PR3000 home gym?
Both units have their advantages and not-so-good points, but we prefer the Bowflex Xceed over the PR3000. This is because it costs less and offers more exercises than the latter, which is ideal for strength training and building muscles.
But given their impressive warranty and durable design, you can choose either model and won’t be disappointed. If you want to focus more on the upper body, go for the Bowflex Xceed to bulk up the arms, shoulders, and back using different resistance levels. However, when you want a balanced body workout, the Bowflex PR3000 is a slightly better choice.