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With home fitness more popular than ever, you may be considering investing in a home gym. The Bowflex Revolution Home Gym is a comprehensive, full-body home gym workout machine that allows for 100 exercises with 400 variations.
The machine is built with SpiraFlex technology, a technology that astronauts use on the International Space Station. While that sounds intriguing, what does it really mean?
This article will explain the technology and provide a comprehensive overview of the Bowflex Revolution Home Gym.
- both strength and cardio exercises
- adjustable Freedom Arms
- leg press
- SpiraFlex technology
- long warranty (10 years)
- quite expensive
- takes up a lot of space
- difficult to assemble
Bowflex is best known for its total home gyms, such as the Bowflex Revolution and others, but the company also produces stationary bikes, treadmills, and other home fitness equipment.
Bowflex also offers JRNY, a subscription service that provides on-demand classes and more, although only the brand’s cardio equipment (the treadmill, bike, and Max Trainer) is compatible.
Is the Bowflex Revolution easy to assemble?
Many consumer reviews report that the Bowflex Revolution can be difficult to assemble.
The Bowflex Revolution arrives in nine boxes. Most of the parts come pre-assembled, but you will need to put the large pieces together.
User reviews mention that assembly is difficult because of the weight of the pieces, so you’ll likely want to enlist some help from a friend or two or pay the extra fee for in-home assembly.
Once the home gym is assembled, you can move it around by using the handle on the back and the front wheels.
However, the machine is pretty heavy at 336 pounds (152.4 kg), so you may want to choose one spot for it to live in permanently. Because of the machine’s weight, it’s a good idea to invest in a mat to put underneath it to protect your floors.
How do I use the Bowflex Revolution?
When you’re ready to get started with the Bowflex Revolution, you can load up the resistance packs to match the amount of resistance you’d like to work with.
While the packs will feel like just a few pounds each, inside of each is the SpiraFlex technology that provides the equivalent of 5, 10, 20, or 40 pounds (2.3, 4.5, 9.1, or 18.1 kg) of resistance in a single pack.
To attach each pack to the machine, you simply need to slide the pack onto the shaft, similarly to how you would load plates onto a barbell. Next, you’ll need to turn the pack so that it locks into place.
The user manual includes photos of how this looks so you can ensure that you’ve loaded the packs on correctly before beginning your workout.
You’ll need to adjust the machine for each exercise you want to perform. For example, if you’re performing an arm exercise using the Freedom Arms, you can adjust the angle of the arms by pressing a lever, moving them, and then releasing the lever so it can click into place.
There are quite a few other ways to adjust the machine to work different parts of your body. For example, to move from the leg press to using the Freedom Arms, you’ll have to unhook certain parts of the machine.
There may be a bit of a learning curve as you navigate how to set up the machine for each exercise, but many user reviews mention that adjustments to the machine between exercises are quick and easy, making for smooth transitions during the workout.
How can the Bowflex Revolution support my goals?
If you’re new to exercise or looking for some ideas for what workouts to try on the Bowflex Revolution, the user manual includes sample workout programs for conditioning, strength, bodybuilding, and circuit training.
It also provides some guidance on designing your own exercise program, along with pictures and descriptions of possible exercises you can perform for each body part.
In addition to fitness guidance, the user manual has a weight loss guide with tips for both diet and exercise and even a sample meal plan.
One of the most unique features of the Bowflex Revolution is the use of SpiraFlex technology, which was originally invented by Paul Francis for use on the International Space Station.
Because there is zero gravity in space, resistance training seems impossible, as the weights used for lifting would essentially be weightless.
The Bowflex Revolution uses FlexPacks, which look just like the weighted plates you might see at the gym. Each pack weighs only a few pounds but has the resistance equivalent to 5, 10, 20, or 40 pounds (2.3, 4.5, 9.1, or 18.1 kg).
Within each FlexPack is a heavy-duty spiral spring that rotates and wraps more and more tightly around the center to create resistance as you perform an exercise. So the power of a workout on the Bowflex Revolution comes from resistance rather than from a weighted load.
Unlike a resistance band, the cam and pulley system used in the Bowflex Revolution applies the resistance right away so that you feel it throughout the entire range of motion rather than only at the full extension, as with a traditional resistance band.
You can use up to 220 pounds (99.8 kg) of resistance for any given exercise. You can also purchase an upgrade of 80 pounds (36.3 kg) of resistance for an additional $99.
The home gym has the capability for 100 exercises with 400 variations, although changing from one exercise to the next may require some adjustments to the machine.
It does have wheels in the front and a handle on the back in case you need to move it to another spot in your home, but keep in mind that it weighs 336 pounds (152.4 kg).
Most home gyms are limited to resistance training, but the Bowflex Revolution can be adjusted to serve as a rowing machine, which can be an effective cardiovascular workout.
It takes up quite a bit of space, and you’ll want to make sure there is enough room surrounding the machine to allow for full range of motion as you perform any given exercise. If needed, the home gym does fold into a smaller size to save some space when it’s not in use.
The Bowflex Revolution at a glance
- Weight: 336 pounds (152.4 kg)
- Weight capacity: 300 pounds
- Dimensions: 108 inches L x 38 inches W x 73 inches H (248 x 97 x 185 cm)
- Folded dimensions: 55 inches L x 38 inches W (140 x 97 cm)
The Bowflex Revolution Home Gym retails for $2,899, and you can pay an extra $299 for in-home assembly. There is an 18-month no-interest promotional financing option available. Payments would be $162 per month, subject to credit approval.
Standard shipping costs $199.99, while shipping to Alaska or Hawaii is $499.99. Including shipping within the continental United States, the minimum this home gym will cost is $3,098.99 — without in-home assembly.
Because the home gym is so heavy, you’re encouraged to purchase the Bowflex Machine Mat to protect your floors for an additional $99.
If you’d like to increase the maximum resistance from 220 pounds (99.8 kg) to 300 pounds (136.1 kg), you can purchase a resistance upgrade for another $99. Other optional add-ons include a triceps rope, extra hand grips, and a rack to store and organize accessories.
Does the Bowflex Revolution come with a warranty?
Yes. The warranty lasts 10 years and covers defective parts by either replacing or repairing them. The warranty does not cover damage to the home gym caused by incorrect storage or use or normal wear and tear.
In order to take advantage of the 10-year warranty, you’ll need to fill out the warranty registration card within 30 days of purchase.
Most reviews of the Bowflex Revolution are positive. Users say it’s a great home alternative to strength training in the gym.
Reviewers also describe the resistance as smooth and consistent and say that transitioning from one exercise to the next is simple — at least once they’re able to figure out how to click the resistance packs into place.
While some folks like the unique addition of the rowing machine for a cardio workout, others feel that it does not provide a true rowing workout and prefer to skip that function.
On a similar note, some reviewers mention that they wish the Bowflex Revolution included a bar attachment for a lat pulldown exercise, as the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE Home Gym does.
When it comes to assembly, most reviewers describe the instructions as clear and easy to follow, but some people do mention that it’s a two-person job because the parts are so heavy.
Some critical reviews mention that Bowflex’s customer service is disappointing and that ordering replacement parts or making returns can be a hassle.
While the Bowflex website mentions that the machine is suitable for individuals between 54 and 78 inches (137 and 198 cm) tall, some reviewers mention that they are either too short or too tall to use the machine comfortably, despite falling into that range.
Here’s how the Bowflex Revolution compares with some similar home gyms on the market:
|Bowflex Revolution||NordicTrack Fusion CST Pro||Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE Home Gym|
|Price||$2,899 + shipping||$2,999 + shipping||$1,499 + shipping|
|Warranty||10 years (parts) |
90 days (labor)
|10 years (frame) |
1 year (parts and labor)
|7 years (machine)|
lifetime (power rods)
|Dimensions||108 inches L x 38 inches W x 73 inches H |
(248 x 97 x 185 cm)
|48.5 inches L x 71 inches W x 83.9 inches H|
(123 x 179 x 213 cm)
|53 inches L x 49 inches W x 83 inches H |
(135 x 124 x 211 cm)
|Weight||336 pounds (152.4 kg)||375 pounds (170.1 kg)||185 pounds (84 kg)|
|Weight capacity||300 pounds (135 kg)||N/A||300 pounds (135 kg)|
|Subscriptions||none||$396/year (first year included)||none|
|Other features||SpiraFlex technology, leg press, Freedom Arms||tablet, heart rate monitor, pullup bar||lat tower with bar attachment|
Overall, the Bowflex Revolution includes a few perks that are not found in other models, such as SpiraFlex technology, a leg press attachment, and adjustable cable arms.
For a similar price, the NordicTrack Fusion CST Pro includes a tablet with access to trainer-led workouts for the first year.
The Bowflex Revolution Home Gym may be a great fit for you if you’re looking for an all-in-one piece of equipment for strength training. While some reviewers describe the rowing function as a miss, others enjoy the benefit of having a cardio workout included in their home gym.
The user manual provides plenty of guidance for someone who is just getting started and unfamiliar with strength exercises. It also offers information on weight loss and other goals to help beginners get started.
On the other hand, the home gym is also a good fit for more advanced lifters, with its 220–300 pounds (99.8–136.1 kg) of resistance.
However, if you’re looking for a trainer-led workout, you may want to consider something like the NordicTrack Fusion CST Pro, which retails for about the same price.
The Bowflex Revolution Home Gym is a versatile workout machine that, unlike other home gym machines, includes features such as a leg press, adjustable cable arms, and even a cardio component.
With hundreds of exercise variations and workout samples in the user manual, it’s a great full-body workout option for someone of any fitness level.
The price point is higher than those of some other Bowflex home gyms, so be sure to consider what features interest you the most, as well as which system is best for your budget.