BOWFLEX XTL BLOWS OTHER AWAY
Written: Aug 31, 2001 (Updated Dec 2, 2001)
a Very Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
Pros:Small size, lightweight, folds up for storage, versatile, LOTS OF EXERCISES!
Cons:Price, size of exercise footprint.
The Bottom Line: Bowflex rules the home gym market. As a veteran of Soloflex and NordicTrack Strength training products, they cannot hold a candle to the Bowflex family.
Summary: The Bowflex XTL is a member of the Bowflex family of home exercise systems. The Bowflex systems use a series of composite plastic (maybe fiberglass rods) enclosed in a rubber sheath. The resistance for the Bowflex system comes from a series of cables and pulleys used to bend these rods. The resistance to the bending is then applied through the same cables and pulleys to the user that is either pulling on handles, bars, or attachments.
Size: The Bowflex XTL is made up of the base machine, the Power Pro. By adding the lat tower for back and arm exercises and the leg extension attachment the Power Pro is then sold as the XTL. The lat tow extends to nearly 6.5’ tall. The leg attachment is only mounted when using the machine for exercise. It makes for a much longer bench. You might have trouble trying to find room for this system in a smaller bedroom. The bending rods also add to the width of the space required. When no tension is applied, the Bowflex is relatively narrow, but you must save space for the rods to bend to the side during exercise. Without using a measuring tape, I’d say that the system can be used in a space of dimensions of 8’ long x 7’ high x 5’ wide. This will give you plenty of space.
Resistance: This system can apply from 10 lbs to 410 lbs of resistance (the basic machine comes with 210 lbs). The differing combinations of power rods make this an ideal machine for homes. While the machine provides 410 lbs of resistance, the machine and the rods weigh far, far less, making it a possibility to have a home gym on a second or higher floor. Also, the system can be used by the whole family. Men, women, and even kids can get a decent workout on this system with such a wide variety of resistance levels possible.
Exercises: As a veteran of a number of other home gyms throughout the past 13 years, I can state quite confidently that the Bowflex is the most versatile machine on the market today. I have used Soloflex, two machines from NordicTrack, and now Bowflex. Bowflex’ 70+ exercises nearly double the number available used from any other system I’ve been on. If you get bored with this machine, it’s your lack of desire to use it…not a problem with the machine. Not only a strength training machine, but with the movable seat it makes for a credible rowing machine as well.
Price: At retail, this machine is worth the money, but I’d recommend that you look into the possibility of picking one of these machines up used. There are far too many Americans that believe the act of buying a Bowflex will get them in shape, whether they use it or not. Often, it won’t be long before someone realizes that getting into and staying in shape is really pretty hard work.
Conclusion: While I used to laugh at the Bowflex informercial each time I saw it on late night television, I wish that I had considered buying one years ago. This really is a great system.
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