Bowflex vs Total Gym – Which One Fits You Better?

Written by Daniel Mesa
Last Updated On

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Do you want to find the perfect home gym equipment? If so, you might be torn between two popular brands: Bowflex and Total Gym. Both promise to deliver efficient and convenient workouts, but which one is more suitable for you?

Having used both products extensively, I want to share my firsthand experience and provide an in-depth comparison to help you make an informed decision. So, let’s explore the similarities and differences between Bowflex and Total Gym and discover which one truly reigns supreme.

Bowflex vs Total Gym: A Quick Look

When it comes to home gym systems, Bowflex and Total Gym are two popular brands that can help you achieve your fitness goals. In this quick look comparison, we will provide you with some tips, and look at the pros and cons of each brand, to help you choose what brand is best for you.

Our Tips

Before choosing between Bowflex and Total Gym, you must assess your fitness goals and the types of exercises you want. Consider whether you prioritize strength training, cardiovascular workouts, flexibility, or a combination of these factors. Understanding your fitness needs will help you determine which brand aligns better with your goals.

Both Bowflex and Total Gym offer various models with different features and capabilities. Take the time to research and compare the specific models that interest you. See the exercise options, resistance levels, weight capacity, attachments, and accessories. This will ensure you choose a model that suits your preferences and requirements.

Home gym systems can vary in size and portability. If space is a concern in your home, look for a compact and foldable design that can be easily stored when not in use. Additionally, consider the weight and ease of transportation if you plan to move the equipment frequently or have limited space for a permanent setup.

Bowflex

Pros

  • Wide range of exercise options targeting various muscle groups.
  • Adjustable resistance levels to accommodate different fitness levels.
  • Innovative technologies, such as Power Rods or Spiraflex, provide smooth and consistent resistance throughout the range of motion.
  • Many models have built-in training programs and digital interfaces for tracking progress.

Cons

  • Some models may require assembly and more space than Total Gym.
  • The resistance provided by Power Rods or Spiraflex may not replicate the feel of traditional free weights for experienced lifters.
  • Higher-end models can be costly.

Total Gym

Pros

  • Utilizes bodyweight resistance, making it suitable for all fitness levels.
  • Provides a full-body workout in a compact design.
  • Offers low-impact exercises that are gentle on the joints.
  • Easily adjustable incline levels for modifying the intensity of the exercises.

Cons

  • Limited weight capacity compared to Bowflex machines, which may not be suitable for individuals with higher strength levels.
  • May have a learning curve to adapt to the bodyweight resistance and the incline levels.
  • Attachments and additional accessories may come at an extra cost.

It’s important to note that the suitability of Bowflex or Total Gym ultimately depends on your individual preferences, fitness goals, and budget. Consider these tips, pros, and cons to make an informed decision that aligns with your needs.

Total Gym vs Bowflex Brands Compared

FeaturesBowflexTotal Gym
ResistancePower Rods or Spiraflex®Bodyweight and Incline
LevelsUp to 410 lbsAdjustable
Exercises30+80+
FoldableYesYes
DimensionsVariesVaries
Weight LimitVariesUp to 400 lbs
WarrantyVaries (typically 1-3 yrs)Varies (typically 1-5 yrs)

What Is Bowflex?

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Bowflex is a renowned fitness equipment manufacturer that has captivated fitness enthusiasts with its cutting-edge home gym solutions. Known for its power rod resistance technology, Bowflex allows users to adjust the resistance level to suit their fitness goals. With a range of models catering to different workout preferences, Bowflex offers versatility and convenience for individuals seeking a comprehensive strength training experience.

Nowadays, the best Bowflex home gym models are the Bowflex Revolution and Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE. With the PR1000 and PR3000 being the older models that are beginning to be phased out.

What Is Total Gym?

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Total Gym has revolutionized the concept of bodyweight training, leveraging a glide board and adjustable incline system. By exploiting gravity and your body weight, Total Gym enables various exercises targeting various muscle groups. Its compact design and ease of use make it an appealing option for those looking for a multifunctional home gym solution without needing bulky weights or complex setups.

The best Total Gym models include the Total Gym FIT and Total Gym XLS.

Exercise Options

total gym reviews pros and cons

The Total Gym utilizes a unique bodyweight resistance system, allowing you to perform a wide range of exercises targeting different muscle groups. With adjustable incline levels, you can modify the intensity of your workout and effectively challenge your muscles. The Total Gym focuses on functional movements and offers exercises for strength training, cardiovascular fitness, and flexibility.

Bowflex home gyms provide a comprehensive range of exercise options. They use advanced technologies like Power Rods or Spiraflex to provide resistance throughout the entire exercise. Bowflex machines allow you to perform exercises for strength training, cardiovascular workouts, and muscle toning. With adjustable resistance levels, you can customize the intensity of your workout to suit your fitness level.

Space and Portability

Total Gym is known for its compact and space-saving design. It typically takes up less space than Bowflex machines, making it suitable for smaller workout areas or apartments with limited room. Total Gym models are often foldable, allowing for easy storage when not in use. Additionally, the lightweight construction of Total Gym equipment makes it relatively portable, enabling you to move it around your home as needed.

Bowflex home gyms are generally larger and may require more space than Total Gym. They often consist of multiple components, such as a bench, pulley system, and resistance mechanisms, which can occupy a dedicated area in your home. While some Bowflex models can be folded for storage, they may still require significant space, especially when fully assembled. Portability may be limited due to their size and weight.

Resistance and Weight Capacity

Total Gym machines rely on bodyweight resistance, utilizing your own weight as the primary source of resistance. This makes it suitable for individuals of all fitness levels, as the incline levels can be adjusted to increase or decrease the intensity. However, it’s important to note that Total Gym machines may have a lower weight capacity compared to Bowflex machines, which might not be suitable for individuals with higher strength levels.

Bowflex home gyms offer adjustable resistance levels, allowing you to customize the challenge according to your strength and fitness level. The resistance is provided through Power Rods or Spiraflex, which provide smooth and consistent tension throughout the entire exercise. Bowflex machines generally have a higher weight capacity, accommodating individuals with varying strength levels.

Price and Affordability

Total Gym machines are often considered more affordable than Bowflex. They offer different models at varying price points, making finding a Total Gym that fits your budget easier. While some higher-end models may come with additional features and attachments, Total Gym generally provides a cost-effective option for home fitness.

Bowflex machines, especially the higher-end models, can be more expensive than Total Gym. The innovative technologies, adjustable resistance systems, and added features contribute to their higher price range. However, Bowflex also offers more advanced workout capabilities and a wider range of exercise options, which may justify the higher investment for some people.

Is Bowflex Or Total Gym Cheaper?

Now, let’s talk about the price tag. I found that Bowflex models generally offer a broader price range, accommodating different budgets. While using the product, I discovered that the price varies depending on the features, resistance levels, and included attachments. On the other hand, Total Gym tends to have a more consistent pricing structure across its models, making it easier to choose an option that aligns with your fitness needs and budget.

Is Total Gym Or Bowflex Easier To Assemble?

Setting up your home gym equipment shouldn’t be a daunting task. Total Gym takes the lead when it comes to ease of assembly, as its glide board design requires minimal assembly and adjustments. Bowflex models may involve slightly more effort during the setup process, especially when dealing with the power rod systems. However, both brands offer clear instructions and online resources to guide users through the assembly process.

Assembling home gym equipment can be a hassle, but I found that both Bowflex and Total Gym offer clear instructions and online resources to guide users through the process. The glide board design required minimal adjustments and made the setup process hassle-free. With Bowflex models, especially those utilizing power rod systems, I found that more effort and time were needed for assembly.

Bowflex vs Total Gym: Exercise Options

ExercisesBowflexTotal Gym
Upper BodyChest press, shoulder press, lat pulldown, bicep curl, tricep extension, rowing, etc.Chest press, shoulder press, lat pulldown, bicep curl, tricep extension, rowing, etc.
Lower BodySquats, leg press, leg extension, leg curl, calf raises, etc.Squats, leg press, leg extension, leg curl, calf raises, etc.
CardioCardio rowing, stair climbing, treadmill, elliptical, etc. (with separate attachments)Cardio rowing, stair climbing, treadmill, elliptical, etc. (with separate attachments)
CoreAb crunches, Russian twists, oblique twists, plank variations, etc.Ab crunches, Russian twists, oblique twists, plank variations, etc.
FlexibilityStretching exercises for the upper and lower bodyStretching exercises for the upper and lower body
Pilates
Pilates exercises with resistancePilates exercises with resistance
  • Both Bowflex and Total Gym offer a wide range of exercise options for both the upper body and lower body. You can perform exercises such as chest press, shoulder press, lat pulldown, bicep curl, tricep extension, rowing, squats, leg press, leg extension, leg curl, calf raises, and more on both machines.
  • In terms of cardio exercises, both machines can perform cardio rowing, stair climbing, treadmill-like movements, elliptical-like movements, and other cardiovascular exercises using separate attachments.
  • Core exercises are also possible on both machines, including ab crunches, Russian twists, oblique twists, and various plank variations.
  • Both Bowflex and Total Gym allow for stretching exercises to improve flexibility and range of motion in the upper and lower body.
  • Additionally, both machines can perform Pilates exercises with resistance, adding dimension to your workout routine.

Please note that the specific exercise options may vary depending on the model and attachments/accessories available for each brand’s home gym systems. It’s always recommended to refer to the manufacturer’s documentation or website for detailed information on exercise options for the specific models you are considering.

Customer Experience

Customers who have used Bowflex machines have reported positive experiences. They say the machines are easy to use and provide a challenging workout. Some customers have also said that they have seen results from using Bowflex machines, such as weight loss and muscle gain.

Customers who have used Total Gym machines have also reported positive experiences. They say that the machines are easy to set up and that they provide a variety of exercises. Some customers also said that they had seen results from using Total Gym machines, such as weight loss and muscle gain.

Customer Reviews

Overall, both Bowflex and Total Gym are good home gym brands. The best brand for you will depend on your individual needs and preferences. If you are looking for a machine that provides a challenging workout that is easy to use, then Bowflex may be a good option. But if you are looking for a machine that is easy to set up and provides various exercises, Total Gym may be the best choice.

Final Thoughts

After using Bowflex and Total Gym, I found each brand has strengths and advantages. Bowflex impressed me with its wide range of exercise options and the ability to customize workouts based on individual fitness goals. The brand’s reputation for quality and innovation is evident in its equipment’s attention to detail and durability.

On the other hand, Total Gym’s glide board technology and adjustable resistance offered a unique and effective approach to full-body workouts. The simplicity of the system, combined with its versatility, made it a great option for individuals of varying fitness levels.

In conclusion, Bowflex and Total Gym are reliable options for achieving your fitness goals at home. Choose based on your preferences, goals, and budget. Both brands offer quality and effectiveness in building strength, improving flexibility, and enhancing overall fitness.

FAQs

Can I build muscle using Bowflex or Total Gym?

Yes, both Bowflex and Total Gym are designed to help you build muscle. You can effectively strengthen and tone your muscles using these home gym systems with proper training and consistent use.

Are Bowflex and Total Gym suitable for beginners?

Yes, both brands cater to users of various fitness levels, including beginners. They provide adjustable resistance levels and offer beginner-friendly workout programs to help you start your fitness journey.

Can I assemble Bowflex or Total Gym on my own?

Yes, both Bowflex and Total Gym come with assembly instructions, and you can assemble them on your own. However, some models might require more complex assembly and additional tools. Always follow the provided instructions and, if needed, seek assistance from customer support.

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