opinion on bowflex home gym for bodyforlife challenge

  • going to buy a home gym for body for life challenge


    i was wondering what would you guys recomand the bowflex or free weights

  • I prefer free weights, but you have to be careful and think about it if you're going to be working out by yourself without a spotter.  I would suggest Powerblocks, which are adjustable dumb bells, which are safer than a barbell with heavy weights.  I've never used a Bowflex, so I can't give you much advice on that.  I've always read/heard free weights are better than machines.  -Mike

  • I've had both.  I got rid of my bowflex because even though it says you lifting X amount of weight it never felt like I was, and I didn't get the gains like I do with free weights.  I currently have an adjustable bench that does incline, decline, and flat bench.  I also have a set of powerblock dumbbells that go to 90lbs per hand.  I love these dumbbells!  I go to the gym because I need more weight than the dumbbells to get a good workout for my chest/back, but when I can't make it there I use the dumbbells and bench at home.  My set of the Powerblocks can go up to 125 per hand with an expansion pack, but as long as I have a gym membership I wont buy it.

  • I still have and use my bowflex and I bought it back when it first came out.  I used it for my very first challenge back in 2001.  I did very well with it. I am now going to buy a newer one.  Now, I also own dumbbells which are very helpful and I use them inconjuction with my bowflex.  It is an AWESOME TOOL...just that, a tool!  Free weights and dumbbells are better, but if you have no spotter, then the bowflex will be more helpful to you than you will know.  I hope this helps since it is a possitive report about a bowflex

    Tis better to look UP in the mirror to be inspired than to look DOWN at the scale and lose your desire!! - SEM

  • You may have already bought your gym but thought I'd share what I've found through research and experience.  

    Machines are typically safer (when they keep the weight more stable) and allow you to lift more weight (which can help with faster muscle growth).  The down side is that you aren't working the stabilizer muscles which give you control  and this can make you more prone to injury in other activities.

    Free weights can more easily cause injury if you don't use good form.  Because of the control needed, you develop the stability muscles which gives your body more control in general and can help make you less prone to injury in general (assuming you follow good form).  You typically won't have as much muscle growth this way (especially with dumbbells).  

    So in my experience I have had to decide what is most important for me - do I want to have more muscle growth or do I want to have more control.  I like the idea of mixing things up and working on muscle growth some and then doing something that helps my stability.  

    Barbell exercises sort of meet in the middle.  For example: Chest press with dumbbells requires the most control and use of stabilizer muscles so you likely won't be able to lift as much as a barbell bench press.  Lifting a barbell for a bench press is easier than the dumbbell press to control the weight so you can usually lift more.  If you use a machine with the chest press motion you can often lift even more because you usually only have to control the press motion.

    Hope this helps.

    2012 Body for Life Champion

    Men 18-29

  • The bowflex does work on stabilty since it does require you to use both sides of the machine as to where a workout station, say a chest machine(which runner09 is talking about) is one unit and one set of plates to lift..  If you want to lift say 40lbs on the machine, you could possibly push it up with 1 hand.  On the bowflex you can lift that amount with one hand...or you can add another 40lbs to the other side and make it seem like 80lbs.  Just remember though, these are powerbands and not dead weight plates...so the feel might be lighter than actual free weights.  Just my experience as an actual bowflex owner and continued user

    Tis better to look UP in the mirror to be inspired than to look DOWN at the scale and lose your desire!! - SEM

  • David(runner09) is from Hillsdale, Mi...our first BFL Champion in this small town!!!!!

    Tis better to look UP in the mirror to be inspired than to look DOWN at the scale and lose your desire!! - SEM

  • j_gilmer, you said your free weights can go up to 125lbs?  What brand do you use?  I have been looking on line for some ideas, as my hubby & I will start next month, but the heaviest I have seen for the power blocks goes up to 70lbs each.  Where did you get them?  Thanks! :)

  • ElisaAB,

    Go to www.powerblocks.com and request their catalog.  They have some awesome stuff.  You can get kettle bell style and even get something to hook up to barbells.  Check them out

    Tis better to look UP in the mirror to be inspired than to look DOWN at the scale and lose your desire!! - SEM

  • Elisa- I got mine off of Craigslist, and got them for a lot less money than brand new.  Here is a link to a 125lb per hand set.  This set can go up to 150lbs per hand with an expnsion pack, or you can buy them that way right off of the site.  www.powerblock.com/prod_homeuse_xxxl125.php

  • I meant to say they expand to 175lbs per hand instead of 150lbs.