Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE Review

Written by Daniel Mesa
Last Updated On

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bowflex xtreme 2 se review

Quick Overview

The Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE home gym is a premium multi-gym which makes use of power rod technology and multiple included attachments. The versatility makes it an easy recommendation for people of all fitness levels.



Overall Rating 9.1/10:

Specs 9.1/10

Build Quality 9.1/10

Portability 9/10

Versatility 8.7/10

Value 9.5/10

Who Should Buy This

  • Those looking for an all-in-one home gym solution
  • People who are looking for a total body workout
  • People who want a home gym but are short on space

Before You Buy

  • Bowflex recommends an 8′ x 6.5′ space for this machine
  • Only 210 lbs of resistance is included although you can purchase additional rods for more resistance

In the world of home gyms, the name of the game is versatility. With space and money often being the limiting factors, a home gym machine that works out your entire body and emulates several machines in one can be the perfect option for anyone looking to get in shape. The Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE fits the mold with its power-rod resistance and endless versatility. 

In this Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE review, we will break down all the features and discuss our experience with the Xtreme 2 SE from the perspective of a fitness professional. We will cover everything including the pros and cons, exercise options, and even compare it to other top home gym models on the market. 

Is the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE worth the money? Keep reading to find out

Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE Home Gym
4.7

Get a full-body workout in the comfort of your own home with the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE, offering over 70 exercises and a space-saving design for ultimate convenience.

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Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE Review: A Quick Look

The Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE really is a marvel of engineering and a testament to the constant innovation occurring at Bowflex. Similar to other machines in the Bowflex home gym lineup, the Xtreme 2 SE makes use of power-rod resistance to eliminate the need for bulky free weights. 

However, do not be fooled. Despite the lack of free weights, the numerous attachments and adjustments mean that you can properly challenge every muscle in your body. With over 70 exercise options from the comfort of your home, the Xtreme 2 SE is one of the best home gym models on the market. 

bowflex xtreme 2 se home gym reviews

Our Tips

  • Ensure that you have a dedicated space in your home large enough to use the machine safely
  • Take advantage of the endless resources available online for workouts

Pros

  • Durable build quality
  • Very beginner-friendly and safe
  • Can workout the entire body with one machine
  • Smooth resistance and movement
  • Over 70 exercise options
  • Easy to assemble
  • Can quickly switch between exercises
  • Can upgrade to more resistance as needed
  • Great warranty

Cons

  • Power rods will lose resistance over time
  • Lacks horizontal bench or cardio option
  • Limited range of motion for taller users

Is The Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE Worth It?

There is no denying that the Xtreme 2 SE is certainly one of the more premium, expensive home gym options on the market. Not exactly ideal if you are trying to build a home gym on a budget. However, when it comes to purchasing things like the Xtreme 2 SE, you have to consider the real value that you are getting. 

Consider the basic cost when it comes to having your own home gym compared to a commercial gym membership or personal trainer. With the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE, you are getting something that can be used on a daily basis for decades. The only catch is that you have to spend the money upfront. 

The next thing you have to consider is the versatility. Put simply, home gym machines like the Xtreme 2 SE are the most versatile pieces of equipment in this fitness industry. When you really take into account the number of machines that a home gym can emulate along with the exercise options, the prices start to become more appealing.

Personally, I think that the flexibility allowed by having a home gym is worth it. Knowing that I can workout anytime I want from my home is something that I and many others will certainly place a high value on. 

Great For

  • People looking for an all-in-one home gym solution
  • Those looking for a total body workout
  • People that want to workout from home but have limited space

Not Recommended For

  • Lifters looking to closely track their strength
  • Very tall lifters may experience a limited range of motion
  • People looking for a budget home gym option

Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE Specs

SpecificationDetails
Exercise Stations70+
Resistance TechnologyPower Rods
Maximum Resistance210 lbs (can be upgraded to 410 lbs)
Number of Power Rods4x 5 lbs, 4x 10 lbs, 2x 30 lbs
Weight Capacity300 lbs
Dimensions53″ L x 49″ W x 83.25″ H
FoldableNo
Workout Area8′ L x 6’5″ W
Upholstered Roller CushionsYes
Multiple Cable/Pulley PositionsYes
Adjustable SeatYes
Leg Extension AttachmentIncluded
Lat Tower AttachmentIncluded
Squat Station AttachmentIncluded
Abdominal Crunch Shoulder HarnessIncluded
Exercise Wall ChartIncluded
WarrantyFrame: 7 years

Using The Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE

To get the full experience, I exclusively trained with the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE over the course of a few weeks. Knowing that this will likely be the only piece of equipment that most home gym owners buy. I wanted to emulate this as best as possible. 

Here is everything I noticed over the course of my review, including what I liked and disliked. 

Power Rod Resistance

Having used other Bowflex products before, I was already very familiar with the power rod resistance found in the Xtreme 2 SE. The technology itself is fairly simple, the polymer rods attack a pulley and create resistance as they bend. The more rods and the further the bend, the greater the resistance will be. 

Even though I have used power rods in other Bowflex machines, it is always an adjustment when I switch to it from the usual free weight training. For those who have never used a Bowflex machine before, power rods are most comparable to resistance bands in terms of their feel. 

The further you get in your rep, the more resistance the power rod will put on your muscles. Personally, I am a big fan of this style of resistance training compared to regular free weights. I find the gradual increase in resistance to feel very smooth and lead to less injury and soreness down the line. Research has also shown that elastic resistance may be better suited for muscle growth as it matches your strength during the different portions of an exercise. 

bowflex xtreme 2

Another major benefit of the rods is that there is no risk when you are working out alone. When using free weights, it is always best to have a spotter and safety mechanism in place ready to save you in the event of failure. With the Xtreme 2 SE, this is not even a concern. You can safely push yourself to failure with no issues. 

During my workouts, I like to frequently change the resistance because I do lots of pyramid and drop sets. I was happy to find that the process of adding or removing resistance was very easy and did not interrupt the flow of my workout at all. 

The Xtreme 2 SE comes standard with 210 lbs of resistance. Based on my experience, this should be more than enough for most people. However, if you are more experienced or stronger, Bowflex does offer the option to purchase additional rods to get up to 410 lbs. of resistance. 

The only downside of the power rods is that they may lose strength over time. Now, you can extend their durability by disconnecting them when not in use, but it is well-known that these rods lose their strength over time. Bowflex does not give a clear lifespan for their rods, but since there is a lifetime warranty on the rods you can replace them as needed. 

Included Accessories And Attachments

A major selling point of the Xtreme 2 SE is that it comes standard with a number of accessories and attachments that you would normally have to pay extra for with other home gym machines. Out of the box, you will find the following with your Xtreme 2 SE:

  • Ankles cuffs/ Hand Grip
  • Angled Lat Bar
  • Squat Bar
  • Ab Harness
  • Leg Developer

It is hard to deny the value of the Xtreme 2 SE when you take into account all of the accessories that you are getting. 

While working out with the Xtreme 2 SE, I was very impressed with all of the attachments and incorporated each one into my training in some way. 

Usually one of my biggest gripes with these home gym machines is that leg training is very limited, but that is not the case with the Xtreme 2 SE. The leg developer and squat platform make it very easy to properly load your legs. 

The squat platform, in particular, was excellent. Although different from regular barbell squatting, I found the platform and handle to be very stable and comfortable. I can imagine many people who have never squatted before doing it on the Xtreme 2 SE simply because it is just so easy. 

The lat pulldown bar was also very useful. I found it to be very ergonomic, and the variety of grips allowed me to work different parts of my back when I wanted to. 

Exercise Versatility

Officially, Bowflex claims that you can do over 70 exercises with the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE. This is an impressive figure and certainly puts the Revolution up there with the very best in terms of versatility.

If you purchase the Xtreme 2 SE, you will get a manual in the box with all of the listed exercises. This is very helpful, but there are tons of other resources you could use if you want to unlock the full potential of your Bowflex. 

bowflex xtreme 2 power rods

Personally, I would switch between creating my own workout using exercises in the manual and following an online YouTube workout. Either is a great option; just make sure you are using the proper form. Also, read our Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE Workouts Guide for a more detailed breakdown of workouts.

The only thing I will note here is that if you are a taller individual, your range of motion may be stifled by the rods and pulleys. I am quite tall myself and could make it work for most exercises but it is something to take into consideration. 

Quick Change System

Now, having 70 different exercise options is not exactly worth much if it takes 10 minutes to switch between exercises. Another key feature of the Xtreme 2 SE that helps justify the cost is the quick change pulley system. 

If you have ever used another home gym, you will know that switching between exercises can sometimes be a cumbersome process. Usually, you will have to move a few pulleys or cables around before you are ready to go. Personally, I am not a fan of any home gym that does this because it just ruins the flow of the whole workout. 

Thankfully, Bowflex remedies this in the Xtreme 2 SE with the quick change system. Essentially, instead of having one cable and pulley, the Xtreme 2 SE has extra cables and pulleys conveniently placed so that you do not have to do anything extreme to change exercises. 

Of course, you will still have to make some adjustments when it comes to attachments. But, nothing really compared to other home gyms. 

Build Quality

Given the large investment required by the Xtreme 2 SE, I had very high expectations for the build quality and overall durability. Although I have only been an owner for a few weeks, I can tell it feels like a solid piece of equipment. Nothing shakes or rattles, it simply feels like something could last in your home for decades. 

The high build quality/materials also mean that this won’t look terrible in your home. As far as home gym machines go, the Xtreme 2 SE is one of the more stylish options. 

Is The Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE Assembly Easy?

I ordered the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE and assembled it by myself. It is a fairly easy process and really should not take you more than 4-5 hours. 

You will need some basic tools like a wrench and screwdriver but everything else is included. The manual is very detailed and easy to follow. Not something that can be said of most fitness pieces of equipment. 

Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE Dimensions

The Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE dimensions are 53” L x 49” W x 83.25” H when fully assembled. However, you will need a space of 8’ by 6.5’ to use the machine safely. So make sure that measure things out before putting your order in.

Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE Vs The Competition

Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE vs Revolution

FeatureBowflex RevolutionBowflex Xtreme 2 SE
ResistanceSpiraFlex® technology with up to 300 lbsPower Rod® resistance with up to 210 lbs
Number of Exercises100+70+
Workout Area10′ x 7′8′ x 6.5′
Weight Capacity300 lbs300 lbs
Leg DeveloperIncludedIncluded
Ab Crunch AttachmentIncludedIncluded
Preacher Curl AttachmentIncludedIncluded
Dimensions (LxWxH)112″ x 38″ x 73″96″ x 78″ x 82″

Bowflex Revolution Home Gym
4.9

The Bowflex Revolution home gym is a premium multi-gym packed with versatility suitable for people of all fitness levels.

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The main difference between the Revolution and Xtreme 2 SE is the resistance method used. As mentioned before, the Revolution makes use of the more modern Spiraflex technology, while the Xtreme 2 SE has the more traditional push rods. 

If you prefer the feel of free weights, the Revolution will no doubt be better suited for you. The power rod style does have its benefits, but most people tend to prefer the more smooth, linear feel of Spiraflex. 

In terms of exercises, both have plenty of variation, but the Revolution clearly wins by having an additional 30 or so exercise options. 

Lastly, the Revolution is the more expensive option of the two. Personally, I would spend the extra for the Spiraflex and its versatility, but the Xtreme 2 SE is a great home gym in its own right.  Read our Bowflex Revolution review for more details.

Customer Experience

Returns

Bowflex states that you are eligible for returns within 6 weeks of delivery as long as you have all of the parts in an undamaged state. Returns will not include refunds for shipping or assembly fees. 

Warranty

The Xtreme 2 SE has a great overall warranty with 7 years on the frame and a lifetime warranty on the rods. Chances are that you will not really need the warranty on the frame given the great build quality but it is always nice to have. 

Financing

Bowflex does offer financing options on the Xtreme 2 SE. Options can be as low as $67 a month. 

Customer Service

If there is one knock on Bowflex as a company, it is its customer service. I have personally never had any issues, but many customers online have claimed to have had poor experiences in the past. 

Customer Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE Reviews

The Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE has great reviews over at Bowflex. With over 1900 reviews, the Xtreme 2 SE has an average rating of 4.6/5. Some features which customers seem to really like include:

  • Easy assembly
  • Exercise versatility
  • Compact design
bowflex xtreme 2 se reviews

Why Trust FitDominium?

FitDominium’s team draws from a pool of fitness and wellness experts, from athletes and coaches to nutritionists and trainers, to guarantee top-quality product recommendations. We invest significant time in researching equipment, gear, and recovery tools, ensuring that our content is authentic and accurate. 

Prioritizing customer satisfaction, we only suggest highly-rated products. As fitness enthusiasts ourselves, we advocate for items we personally trust and use, blending professionalism with passion.

When it comes to home gym options, in particular, we are certainly not lacking in experience, having reviewed and used some of the most popular options on the market. 

Final Verdict On Our Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE Home Gym Review

Overall, the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE is an excellent home gym. For the price, it really is hard to beat the versatility you get in such a compact package. If you are tired of going to a commercial gym, the Xtreme 2 SE will be a great addition to your home.

Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE Home Gym Rating

Specs 9.1/10:

Build Quality 9.1/10:

Portability 9/10:

Versatility 8.7:

Value 9.5/10:

Final Verdict

Overall:

The Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE home gym is a premium multi-gym that makes use of power rod technology and multiple included attachments. The versatility makes it an easy recommendation for people of all fitness levels.

FAQs

When did the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE come out?

The Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE came out in 2008.

How much room do you need for a Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE?

Bowflex recommends a space of 8 feet by 6.5 feet to use the Xtreme 2 SE safely.

Can you do squats with Bowflex Xtreme 2?

Yes, the Xtreme 2 SE comes standard with a squat platform to do squats on.

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