Bowflex Blaze Home Gym Review – Worth It? | Garage Gym Pro

The Bowflex Blaze is one of the most popular home gyms on the market, but is everything you need in one machine?

It's got a lot of functionality on paper, but before you replace your other equipment, you need to make sure it's right for you.

In this Bowflex Blaze review, I'll go through all the features, pros, and cons so you can decide whether this home gym will help you reach your goals.

Our Rating

Workout Versatility

8.0

Value For Money

7.0

Ease Of Use

8.0

Ease Of Assembly

7.5

Materials & Durability

6.0


Overall Rating

7.3

Product Specifications

Exercises Available

25 +

Power Rod Resistance

210

Upgradeable Resistance

410

Instructions Provided 

Yes

Folds Up

Yes

Squat Bar

Yes

Rower

Yes

I've been using the Bowflex Blaze home gym for just over a year now, and I've really gotten to grips with where it's good and where it's more limited.

Here's my first-hand experience of everything from ordering it to using it.

Our Experience Using This Home Gym

Bowflex Blaze Home Gym

The Bowflex Blaze home gym is designed to give you a complete body workout, including cardio and strength training.

It has a range of handles and attachments, but once I had it set up, it was easy to use.

Unlike the Bowflex PR1000 and PR3000, it comes with a lat and squat bar as standard, and these are easy to clip on as needed.

The cables and pulleys all move well, and there is consistent resistance throughout the movements.

There's a full fold-out bench which I found useful for horizontal chest exercises, and a rowing machine attachment which I used for aerobic rowing cardio.

The Bowflex Blaze home gym uses a power rod resistance system instead of a weight stack or weight plates.

These resistance rods work similarly to resistance bands, bending to provide the weight.

This is a bit different and takes some time to get used to at first because the tension is closer to using resistance bands and quite different from selectorized or free weights.

What I really like about the Bowflex Blaze is how comfortable and easy it is to use.

There's a wide range of exercises to train your entire body, and there's a good balance of upper and lower body options.

I didn't like that you have to remove the handles and reconfigure cables every time you're changing the exercise.

This doesn't take too long, but considering the machine is designed for multi-functional use, it seems like a design flaw.

This was a good enough home gym to use, but it didn't blow me away, and it was definitely better for toning and losing weight rather than building mass.

Also, the maximum resistance from the power rods was limited, and you need to buy additional power rod resistance if you want to get the most from this home gym.

Size & Dimensions In The Home

woman doing lat pulldowns on bowflex blaze home gym

There are two designs for a Bowflex home gym, one with a folding bench and one without.

The Bowflex Blaze uses a folding bench, which is great for bench press exercises but makes it a lot bigger when it's in use.

While it isn't as big as the PR1000, it's still 90 x 38 x 83 (L x W x H), and you need clearance space around that to use it properly.

However, while the Bowflex Blaze is bigger than other Bowflex models, the bench folds up to make it a compact machine when it’s not in use.

This is great for those who won’t use it every day and don’t want it to take up too much space.

The power rods are much smaller than weight stacks too.

Despite some space-saving features, it's still a larger home gym, and you need to measure the space to be sure you can accommodate it.

It's 83 inches tall too, so while it should fit in most home gyms, it may be a tight fit if you have low ceilings like in a basement home gym.

This should fit in most home gyms, but if space is at a real premium, then you should consider Bowflex Xceed instead.

Design & Build Quality

The Bowflex Blaze is designed to give you a full body workout without taking up too much space, and it does achieve that.

It looks pretty sleek, and it fits nicely alongside other modern gym equipment.

The quality of the Blaze is pretty average. The frame is made from a high-grade composite, but many of the smaller connecting parts are plastic rather than metal.

It doesn't feel bad or fragile, but it's no comparison to the thick metal used that Body Solid and other brands use.

The power rod resistance system isn't as durable either, and the power rods can start to bend if you use it regularly.

This hasn't impacted the resistance rods for me yet, but they'll need to be replaced every few years.

As fitness equipment goes, it's not poorly made, but you shouldn't expect it to last as long as some premium models.

The max user weight is 300lbs, too, so larger users may need tougher gym equipment.

Workout Stations & Versatility

The Blaze home gym supports 60 different exercises to engage muscle groups across your entire body.

This is much better than the PR1000 (25 different exercises) or PR3000 (50 different exercises), but isn’t as many as the Bowflex Xtreme 2SE (70+ exercises).

The fold-out bench adds to the versatility of the Blaze and means you can do proper chest press exercises, not the vertical press, which I don't find as effective.

bowflex blaze home gym front view with fold up bench

The Blaze also does well at balancing upper and lower body workouts. It has a leg attachment as standard, which lets you do leg extension exercises and leg presses, and there's a squat bar too.

The Blaze offers a lot of versatility for the price and can definitely be used for a good full-body workout.

Weight Range

The Blaze home gym comes with 210 lbs of resistance from the power rods as standard.

This is good for most isolation exercises, but for compound movements, it won't be enough for some users.

You can upgrade with extra power rods so it has a maximum resistance of 410lbs, and I think that's a good investment for everyone. The extra power rods come in 5lb or 50lb increments.

The weight range for the Blaze is good compared to other home gym systems, but you definitely need to invest in the upgrades.

It’s not as effective as free weights for muscle development, but should be enough for most beginners.

Related Article - Can You Add Weight To A Home Gym?

Assembling This Product

This home gym machine is simple to put together and comes with detailed instructions. It seems like a lot at first, but once you get through the first few steps, it's straightforward.

It's worth having an adjustable wrench to hand to speed up the process, but it shouldn't take more than 2-3 hours. If this is your first time, I'd recommend asking a friend for help.

Price Guide

The Bowflex Blaze is part of the affordable Bowflex range of home gym equipment. It costs $800-$1100, which is cheaper than most Bowflex models and other premium brands.

Bowflex has discontinued the Blaze, so you can't buy it from them directly, but you can still get it from Amazon, Walmart, and other 3rd party retailers. This does mean the price may vary slightly.

The Blaze is fairly cheap, but I wouldn't say it's home gym equipment that's great value for money.

It has more versatility than the similarly priced Bowflex PR1000 but has fewer features than the Bowflex Xceed 2 SE, which is only marginally more expensive.

The Blaze gives you many exercise options, and a beginner's home gym can offer some good value because it's really affordable.

However, if you want a full-body workout that will support your strength training, it may be worth spending a little bit more on something like the Body Solid BSG10X, a more durable and effective machine.

If you're looking for a home gym with more versatility, head on over to our complete guide on the best all-in-one home gyms!

Shipping & Warranty

Since the Blaze has been discontinued, you have to order it from a third-party seller. Large fitness stores and Walmart stock it, but I ordered through Amazon.

It only took 5 days to arrive, and everything came in just a few boxes. Just ensure the power rods are all in good condition when it arrives because some people have had issues with bent rods.

The Blaze comes with a 5-year warranty which covers it from any defects.

The warranty is reasonable and offers some protection, but it's below industry standard because many other brands offer a lifetime warranty.

Make sure you register the product with Bowflex, so it's fully covered.[1]

bowflex blaze in spare bedroom home gym

Pros and Cons Of The Bowflex Blaze Home Gym

What We Like

  • Folding bench so you can perform chest and leg exercises without taking up lots of space
  • Smooth cables and easy to use
  • Simple to assemble
  • Can be used for more than 60 different exercises
  • Affordable compared to other brands

What We Don't Like

  • Need to upgrade to get decent resistance
  • Even with the upgrade, it’s not great for building muscle
  • Max weight of 300lbs

Who Is Bowflex Blaze Best Suited For?

The Bowflex Blaze is best suited for casual fitness enthusiasts who want to work out at home whenever it's convenient.

It's useful for resistance training, toning, and rehabilitation and can help you lose weight, but it's not workout equipment that will help you build muscle.

The Blaze is a versatile home gym that can be used for various custom workouts. The power rod technology is a little different, but it can work well with the upgrades.

The leg curl attachment and squat station give you plenty of lower-body exercise options, and the rowing station lets you do aerobic rowing exercises for some calorie-burning cardio (though it definitely isn't a cardio machine).

However, if you're a bodybuilder or have some fitness experience, then you'll find the Blaze slightly limited.

The fitness machine just doesn't match up to traditional free weights when it comes to building mass.

If you're a beginner who wants a single piece of compact exercise equipment, then the Blaze Bowflex machine is good.

However, it's worth exploring some of the Bowflex Blaze alternatives (like the Xtreme 2SE or Body Solid BSG10X), which offer a bit more for around the same price.

Unique Features of the Bowflex Blaze Home Gym

60+ Plus Exercises

Bowflex Blaze Upgradable Power Rod Resistance

The Bowflex Blaze is a serious step up from the PR1000 or PR3000 with a lot more exercise options.

This one machine has everything you need for a full-body home workout, and while it isn't a home gym replacement for a gym membership, it will support a lot of different workouts.

Upgradable Power Rod Resistance

The power rod system comes with 210lbs as standard, but you can upgrade with a few extra resistance rod attachments to give it up to 200lbs more resistance.

You will have to spend money on these, but it’s essential for any experienced lifters.

7-Free Trainer-Built Workout Regimen

bowflex blaze power rod resistance system with workout chart

The Bowflex Blaze comes with a manual that includes 7 different training programs.

They're suitable for users of all levels and showed me how to make the most of the home gym equipment.

I would have preferred more videos, but it's a useful feature for beginners and can help you develop multiple workouts for yourself.

Sliding Seat Rail

The sliding seat rail allows you to perform a leg extension and rowing exercises.

The sliding seat is simple but makes it more of a cardio machine, and it's useful if you're looking to design your own workout.

Triple Function Hand-Grip/Ankle Cuffs

The ankle cuffs/hand grips help you to perform some sideways leg exercises, and make it easier to use the machine.

I’m not really a fan of cuffs, but it’s good alongside the leg curl attachment and squat tower.

If you don't want to use the cuffs, there are plenty of leg curl alternative exercises you can do with this machine.

Lat Tower

The Bowflex Blaze comes with a built-in lat tower and angled lat bar. This makes cable back exercises much easier and saves you spending extra on accessories.


Comparing the Bowflex Blaze With Alternative Home Gyms

Bowflex Blaze Vs PR3000

The PR3000 is another popular home gym similar to the Blaze.

They both feature the same resistance rod system, which can be upgraded to 410lbs, and are made with the same materials, but there are some key differences.

The PR3000 doesn't have a foldable bench, and while you can perform a vertical bench press, the exercise movement isn't really the same.

The PR3000 doesn't come with a squat station or aerobic function either, and you only supports about 50 different exercises rather than the Blaze's 60+.

The PR3000 is a bit more compact, but you can fold the bench away when you aren't using the Blaze.

The PR3000 is about the same price as the Blaze but offers less versatility. However, these are very similar machines and should help beginners reach their fitness goals.

Also Check Out - Bowflex PR3000 Tested & Reviewed

Bowflex Blaze Vs Xceed

The Bowflex Xceed is the budget Bowflex and a few hundred dollars cheaper than the Blaze.

It uses the same resistance rod system to provide elastic resistance and, like the Blaze, can be upgraded to 410lbs.

They both offer about the same amount of exercises and have similar attachments.

The key difference between the Blaze and Xceed is the size. The Xceed doesn't have the fold-down bench and is a good 50 inches shorter than the Blaze.

It's designed to fit in the corner of a home gym and won't take up much space at just 53 x 49 x 82 (L x W x H).

The Blaze comes with a squat bar, lat bar, and bench as standard, so you've got more workout options.

Both home gyms are designed for beginners, but if you have limited space and a limited budget, then the Xceed is the better choice.

Related Article - Bowflex Xceed Home Gym Review

Bowflex Blaze Vs Body-Solid G1S

The Body Solid G1S is another home gym system designed to be your one-stop shop. The key difference is that it uses a selectorized weight stack rather than power rods.

This makes it easier to switch weights during a set and makes it much easier to move between exercises because it all connects to one stack.

The Body-Solid G1S has a 12 gauge steel frame, with a lat bar, ankle strap, and straight bar included as standard.

It generally feels like a more durable machine and is more resistant to normal wear and tear.

The Blaze does have a few advantages, though. It's lighter, cheaper, and allows you to do more exercises.

It also has a foldable bench so you can do more leg and chest exercises and safely store it away once you're done.

The Blaze and Body Solid G1S are both designed for beginners working out at home.

The Body-Solid G1S will cost you a couple of hundred dollars more, but if you can afford it, it offers better long-term value.

For More Info - Body Solid G1S Complete Review


Bowflex Blaze Workout Programs & Training Exercises

Bowflex Blaze reviews aren't complete unless they give you a few new workouts to try. With a home gym, it's a good idea to train all major muscle groups a few times a week.

Here's an intermediate 1 hour workout to try:

3 Rounds of each with 30 seconds between sets:

  • 15 x Leg Curl
  • 15 x Leg Extension
  • 15 x Horizontal Bench Press
  • 15 x Seated Lat Pulldown
  • 15 x Lying Shoulder Pullover
  • 15 x Seated Abdominal Crunch
  • 15 x Incline Chest Fly
  • 15 x Biceps Curl
  • 15 x Tricep Extension
  • 15 x Lateral Shoulder Raise
  • 1 minute of Standing Calf Raise
man in red shorts doing bicep curls on the bowflex blaze

Make sure you check out the Bowflex Blaze manual, which has the same workouts and exercises that can show you how to make the most from the machine.[2]


Bowflex Blaze Home Gym FAQs

Can you build muscle with Bowflex Blaze?

Yes, if you're performing exercises where you're pushing your body, you can build muscle, but if that's your goal, then free weights will give you better results.

How much space do I need for a Bowflex Blaze?

You need a workout area of at least 8ft 4 inches x 6ft 6 inches (L x W) to use the Blaze safely. Anything less than that can make it a bit uncomfortable and impact your movement.

What year did Bowflex Blaze come out?

The Bowflex Blaze was first released in 2006 and was produced for over a decade before it was discontinued.

How long does it take to assemble a Bowflex Blaze?

If you follow the instructions and use an adjustable wrench, you should be able to assemble it in under 3 hours.

Is the Bowflex Blaze discontinued?

Yes, Bowflex no longer sells it directly, but it's still available from other 3rd party sellers or as a refurbished unit.

Our Ratings

Workout Versatility

8.0

Value For Money

7.0

Ease Of Use

8.0

Ease Of Assembly

7.5

Materials & Durability

6.0


Overall Rating

7.3

Conclusion

The Blaze is one of the most affordable ways to work out from home.

It offers many different workout options and some key features which show that it's a step up from the Bowflex PR1000, and PR3000.

It isn't the best option for experienced lifters aiming to grow muscle mass, but if you're a beginner looking to work out when it's convenient for you, then the Blaze is one of the most efficient tools on the market and worth considering.

References: 

1. https://www.bowflex.com/customer-service/product-registration.html
2. https://download.nautilus.com/supportdocs/OM/Bowflex/BFX_Blaze_OM_RevB_web.pdf 

Paul J

Last Updated on November 17, 2022