Bowflex Revolution Home Gym Review (Is It Worth The Money?)

If you are building a home gym or upgrading to better home gym equipment, you will most likely be looking for a whole-body workout machine. 

The Bowflex name is well known in the home gym space, and there are several machines made by the company that fit the bill. Knowing which one is best for you is always a difficult decision. 

In this article, we will rate, compare and review the Bowflex Revolution Home Gym. Our detailed guide will explain every aspect of the machine and help you decide if it is a good fit for your home, your space, and your needs. 

The Bowflex Revolution is more than just a name. This is a revolutionary piece of workout equipment. The apparatus is compact, durable, and capable of performing over 100 full-body workouts with minimal adjustments. 

Everything from rowing and leg presses to bench press and lat pull downs are all completed by one machine. It also utilizes “SpiraFlex technology which adds no-gravity, inertia based resistance by adding new Spiraflex coils, just like adding weight plates at the gym. 

The single piece of home gym equipment features 10-position independent arms with a total of 170-degree adjustment. The leg press also accommodates up to 600 pounds of total resistance. 

This full-body workout station is designed for smaller home gyms that need a compact piece of equipment or for homes that need an easy-to-store workout piece. The vertical bench and leg press fold up flat for a smaller footprint when not working out and for easier storage. 

You can even customize the system with additional resistance (up to 300 pounds total), purchase an ab attachment, a preacher curl attachment, and even motivational workout DVDs.  

Bowflex Revolution

Revolution Home Gym Pros & Cons 

There is a lot to like about the Revolution home gym. There are things you may not like, as well. We have compiled a list of the aspects and features we like (and dislike) the most. 

Pros

  • The system is easily adjusted, so you don't lose momentum 
  • Adding resistance is as simple as adding more plates 
  • Small footprint when folded 
  • Actual full-body workout is finally possible 
  • Able to grow as you get stronger 

Cons

  • There isn’t a media rack to store tablets or MP3 players 
  • It doesn’t come with all possible configuration pieces, adding to the total cost to get them all

Unique Features Of The Bowflex Revolution Home Gym 

The Bowflex Revolution has a lot of innovative and unique features. Many users find these features to be the buying catalyst, while others see them as a deal-breaker. Only you can decide for yourself. 

SpiraFlex® Technology 

Unlike free weights that rely on gravity, Bowflex systems use resistance. In the past, they have relied on pulleys and bands for resistance. The Revolution, though, uses SpiraFlex discs. These discs give the look and feel of free weights but don't rely on gravity. 

Instead, the discs (called FlexPacks) slide on the bar and lock into place. When you pull the handles or lift the bars, the FlexPacks twist, using inertia to create resistance. 

The Freedom Arms® 

The Freedom Arms are multi-positional arms that adjust up to 170 degrees giving you range and motion for over 100 exercises. Each arm moves independently of the other, so you can position them at the right height and angle needed for the workout of choice or use only one and have the other folded out of the way. 

Leg Press Station 

When the bench is unfolded and laid flat, the seat will glide along the rails allowing you to row. You can also lock the seat for leg curls, leg press, and other lower body workout routines. You can also angle the bench for more power lift styles if you prefer. 

Preacher Curl Attachment 

As an optional accessory, there is also a preacher curl attachment. This works to force you into negative movement, thus increasing the resistance and muscle growth. With the attachment, you can use the bench in a squat-kneeling position and perform your bicep curls just like in the gym. 

Vertical Bench Press 

With a few simple adjustments to the Freedom Arms and the bench position, you can easily perform a variety of bench press maneuvers. From flat to incline, your chest and shoulder workouts will never be the same. 

5 Position Foot Harness 

As if the leg press station wasn’t enough, you can also use the Freedom arms with the 5-position foot harness to kick, glide, slide, roll or lift your feet, legs and calves to a powerful workout for total lower body benefit. 

Durable Build Quality 

All Bowflex machines are built rock solid, and the Revolution is no different. With hardened steel, comfort grip, and excellent padding, you won't have to worry about uncomfortable positions again. Whether sitting, standing, or laying, the machine is soft where it needs to be and gives support with a highly durable frame and mechanics. 

Space-efficient Design 

With many home gyms, they expect you to have a full basement to set up and work out in. Reality strikes when you understand you may not have the space for a full home gym set up. At least, until now. 

The Revolution not only provides an entire gym workout for every part of your body but also folds up to stay out of the way when not in use. You can even transport it to another room for storage when company comes over. 

Features Of The Bowflex Revolution Home Gym

Bowflex Revolution Home Gym Reviewed 

Bowflex Revolution Specifications 

Resistance 

220 lbs standard (Up to 300 lbs. with resistance upgrade) 

Dimension 

73 x 38 x 112 Inches 

Material  

Steel, Polyurethane, Rubber 

Workout Area 

120 x 84 x 83 Inches 

Folded Footprint 

55 x 38 x 73 Inches 

Assembled Machine Weight 

336.2 Lbs. 

Maximum Capacity 

300 Lbs. 

Bench Design 

Bench with leg press attachment 

Warranty 

10 years 

Bowflex, now manufactured by Nautilus, has made home gym and exercise equipment for decades. So it is no surprise that the brand is one of the leaders and most well-known names in the industry.  

With the release of the Bowflex Revolution, the company has, as the name implies, revolutionized home workouts. Using SpiraFlex technology, licensed from Oyo and used by NASA, you can have non-inertia workouts at home. 

SpiraFlex uses resistance coils instead of gravity or weight to add muscle tone, strength, and even cardio to your routines. With this home gym setup, you can have a full-body workout in less than 30 minutes. 

One of the second-best features (behind the SpiraFlex packs) is the Freedom Arms. The independent arms allow you to set 10 positions and 170 degrees of rotation to perform everything from a bench press to lat pull downs. 

The bench seat also glides on the railing to allow for cardio and rowing exercises. Or, you can lock the seat into position and use the leg lift attachment for leg lifts, curls, and calf exercises. 

In total, there are over 100 exercises to perform with up to 400 variations. You can even offset the weight resistance and workout with one side heavier than the other, without having to make major adjustments. 

When your workout is completed, you can fold the leg and bench section up for better storage or wheel the unit to another room and reclaim your space for day-to-day living. 

The intuitive design, ease of use, and quick adjustments mean no cool-down period between sets or exercises, so your heart rate stays elevated, and you stay in the zone. 

With a 10-year warranty backing the steel construction, Spiraflex packs and cables, your investment is secure. The only thing you have to worry about now is how long until your next workout. 


Add Ons & Accessories For The Bowflex Revolution 

One thing to note is that the Bowflex Revolution does not come with all the possible accessories. Some consumers see this as a drawback or a marketing ploy to get more of your money. However, it should be seen as an opportunity. 

First, you may not need the accessories, in which case it is an opportunity to save money. Buying things you don't need or won't use is a waste, and having these accessories as a separate purchase allows you to not waste your money. 

However, if you need the ab attachment or the preacher curl attachment (or both), you can add them to your cart before you check out. 

While the Revolution does come with a workout DVD, there are others you can buy, too. Following a workout DVD that takes you on trails, through nature, or following a more intensive workout regimen may be what you need, and that option is available. 

Finally, you can also opt to buy a workout mat. This padding goes underneath your home gym to add a layer of protection and additional cushion for your workouts. 


Comparing Different Bowflex Home Gym Models 

Bowflex is not a company without options. They have a long standing history of home exercise equipment and home gym setups. The Revolution certainly isn't the first, and it won't be the last. How does the Revolution stack up against the other major Bowflex machines? Let’s find out. 

Bowflex Revolution Vs Bowflex Blaze/Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE 

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Bowflex Blaze Home Gym
  • 60+ exercises for a full body workout
  • 210 lbs of Power Rod resistance, upgradable...
  • Bowflex provides 7 free trainer-built workout...
  • Bowflex provides 7 free trainer-built workout...
Bowflex Xtreme 2SE Home Gym
  • 70+ exercises that cover the entire body
  • The home gym comes standard with 210 lbs.,...
  • The pulley system lets you move from squats...
  • Ergonomic adjustable seat with polyurethane...

The Bowflex Blaze and Xtreme 2 SE are both highly rated, well reviewed, and popular machines. These two are quite similar, both using the Bowflex Power Rod technology. They both also feature no-change pulley systems, so you can move from one exercise to the next without needing to stop for adjustments. 

The one stark difference is that the Blaze comes with a gliding seat to enable rowing and other cardio-style exercises, while the Xtreme 2 SE only has a seat. Each offers between 60 and 70 total workout exercises to perform and are compact enough to fit in almost any gym space in your home. 

The Revolution, as we have discussed, does away with the power rods and uses the SpiraFlex packs for less resistance and more movement throughout the routine. The Revolution is considered top of the line for Bowflex and comes with a much better warranty than the Blaze or Xtreme 2 SE. 

Bowflex Revolution Vs Revolution XP 

The Revolution doesn’t only come in one style. The Revolution XP and Revolution are almost identical. They both have the same features, work out capabilities and use the SpiraFlex plates for resistance training. 

The biggest difference is the bench. The XP model only has a seat and doesn’t glide for rowing. The Revolution also has a 20 pound higher base resistance, though both models can be upgraded to 300 pounds. 

The XP also doesn't come with the Lat bar, but it is an optional accessory that you can purchase later. The other major difference is the one that really matters. The XP model doesn’t fold up. It can still tilt up on wheels for transport, but the assembled unit doesn’t collapse any more compact than it already is. 

You can save money with the XP or have a more complete workout system with the Revolution, but either way you go, you will have one intense workout. 

Bowflex Revolution Vs Bowflex HVT 

Bowflex HVT Machine (Discontinued)
  • Provides whole-body fitness with Hybrid...
  • 3 pre-programmed workouts (sprint, circuit,...
  • Manual mode allows you to build your own...
  • Syncs with free HVT app and workout videos...

Hybrid Velocity Training (HVT) is the name (and type) of a Bowflex machine that is both revolutionary and innovative. The HVT is two machines combined into one. The HVT combines the benefits of cardio workouts with strength training. 

The system is compact and fits in the corner of almost any room of your home. You don't need 10 feet of clearance like you do with the Revolution. However, the resistance is fan assisted, not band, rod, or SpiraFlex. 

It comes with 3 programmed workouts designed for cardio, strength, or a combination of the two. You can also use the machine in manual mode and select 50 different activities to suit your needs. 

The Revolution does not have a workout app for mobile devices, but the HVT does. The free HVT app is available for both Android and iOS, and the machine also comes with Bluetooth technology to connect your favorite devices. 

However, the Revolution has an answer for any workout routine you can come up with and offers you more. While the cost is higher, the workouts are more thorough and provide more muscle-building opportunities. The Revolution also has a better warranty and is built with stronger materials to last even longer. 

Bowflex Revolution Vs Ultimate 2 

Bowflex Ultimate 2 Home Gym
  • Refurbished home gym provides a total body...
  • Provides 310 pounds of resistance via Bowflex...
  • Includes a lat tower, leg extension/leg curl...
  • Folds to a compact size (44 by 46 inches);...

If you take the Bowflex Blaze and the Xtreme 2 SE, give them whey protein and creatine and let them work out for a few years, the result would be the Bowflex Ultimate 2. Like these two other machines, the Ultimate 2 uses the Power Rods for weight training. However, with higher limits and more exercises, you can do a lot more with the Ultimate 2. 

If you are serious about muscle growth, the Ultimate 2 can be upgraded to a total of 400 pounds of resistance, compared to the 300 pounds of the Revolution. 

The Ultimate 2 also includes leg extension, leg curl, preacher curl attachment, squat station, and built-in rowing machine. You don’t need to pay extra for the accessories like you do with the Revolution. 

Both models also fold up for easier transport and storage when not in use. However, the Revolution is easier on joints, gives you a wider range of motion, and performs more exercises than the Ultimate 2. Both are exceptionally well built and will give you the workout you need. 


Comparing Bowflex with Other Home Gyms 

Comparing between the same brand will only get you so far. If you haven’t decided on a specific brand, this section is for you. We compare Bowflex to other high-quality brands to see which is the best fit for you. 

Bowflex Revolution Vs Bio Force Home Gym 

Bio Force 2.2 Home Gym
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  • Total NitroCell Technology creates consistent...
  • Slide-n-Lock weight-changing system makes it...
  • 220 pounds of total weight resistance;...

Bowflex isn’t the only major home gym system to come to prominence in the late 1990s. Bio Force is another major player. You may know their products such as the Ab Lounger and Tony Little’s Gazelle Glider. 

The Bio Force home gym is a smaller and more compact version of the Revolution. It costs up to $1500 less, too. On top of that, the Bio Force option has a lifetime warranty. While all of this may sound great (and it is), the Revolution is that much better. 

With the exception of the initial cost and warranty terms, the Revolution is a much more efficient machine. With the SpiraFlex technology, you don't have to worry about strain on the cables, adjusting cables and weight pins between each set, or making lengthy bench adjustments. 

Everything about the BowFlex Revolution is smooth, fast, and easy. If it is in your budget range, it is highly advised you choose Revolution over Bio Force simply for ease of use and reliability. 

Bowflex Revolution Vs Marcy Diamond Elite 

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Marcy Pro Smith Cage Workout Machine Total...
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Marcy Pro Smith Cage Workout Machine Total...
  • All-steel construction – This home gym...
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Marcy is another well known and established name in the home gym workout space. Their Diamond Elite Smith Cage is a sight to behold. Not only is the 14 gauge stainless steel frame durable, but it also supports up to 600 pounds (user and weights).  

Assembly for the Marcy system is pretty intense, and you will need the instructions and possibly a few instructional videos to get through it. However, once fully assembled, you are good to go for a long time. 

The Marcy system uses free weights, with Olympic or standard weight sizes. It does come with a standard bar, but if you wish to use an Olympic bar, it will accommodate you. The main drawback here is the overall size, difficulty in assembly, and the fact it cannot be moved or stored. 

The Bowflex Revolution, on the other hand, takes up slightly less space when fully assembled but folds for transportation or storage easily.

You can’t go wrong with either option as far as home workout systems go. But the Bowflex Revolution is a bit easier to set up and use.   

Bowflex Revolution Vs Body-Solid G1S 

Body-Solid G1S Selectorized Home Gym
  • Available for the 1st time online, the G1S is...
  • Easy to use, space saving, no-cable-change...
  • Floor Space Dimensions: 49”L x 36”W x...
  • Includes lat bar, straight bar, ankle strap,...

The Body-Solid G1S is everything you love from Body Solid's EXM1500S model, only better. The design was kept, but all aspects, including the troublesome pulleys, have been updated.

With the G1S, you now have more movement, higher weight limits, and higher quality components. In fact, Body Solid believes in this model so much, you get a full lifetime warranty on all parts. 

This home gym is smaller than the others on this list but has a slightly higher price point than the Bio Force. With the Body-Solid model, you get a full-body workout routine, a workout DVD to follow along with, and a system designed to not need cable or pulley changes during the workout. 

The Bowflex Revolution is larger, heavier, and offers more workout potential than the G1S. However, you will need to move your cables and pulleys around, adjust the Freedom Arms and move the bench or seat during your workout. 

Also, the big selling point of mobility and transportation goes to Bowflex since the G1s is designed to be assembled and stay in place. Still, if you have the room for it, the G1S is more affordable but may not be as sturdy in the long haul. 


Unboxing & Assembling A Bowflex Revolution Gym 

The Revolution ships almost completely assembled. The arm cables and center support bar are about all that is needed to properly set up. Before you begin, though, you need to ensure you read through the entire owner’s manual. 

Knowing the details of proper setup, use, and all the warnings before you begin will only make the use and installation that much better. 

Once the support bar is installed and the bench is in place, you must add the first FlexPack. Each side will use a 5-pound FlexPack as the initial weight that the other disks will lock into place with. 

When you add more packs, you can use any weight size you like. You can even have offset weights if you want or require it. 

Adding weight (or resistance) is as easy as placing another FlexPack on the weight bar and lining up the index marks. Next, you need to clip the cable clips to the Freedom Arms and the leg press or the handles (as needed). 

Once you have completed these steps, you can perform your workout. When you are done, you can disassemble and fold the unit for storage or leave it set for the next workout. 

For a more complete and visual example of the assembly process, check out this video from Bowflex:


Disassembling, Moving & Storing a Bowflex Revolution Gym 

If you need to collapse the unit for easier storage or transportation, there are a few steps you need to follow to ensure the equipment is stored properly and you are safe. 

The first thing to do is to raise and lock the seat and bench in place. Pull the pin to unlock the seat and lift the seat rail into its upright position. The pin lock will snap into place when it is in the final position. 

You also want to remove and store the FlexPacks to help minimize the overall weight and maneuverability of the unit. With the unit locked in its storage position, lift the machine using the handle on the back of the engine housing. 

Under the standing platform are transport wheels that will allow you to roll the unit when lifted. The machine is heavy, though. Even with the handle, you still need to use caution when lifting and moving the entire unit.  


Bowflex Revolution Maintenance Tips 

Cleaning and maintenance are critical for performance and longevity. You don’t want to make a time and financial investment like this and then let it go to waste because you didn’t maintain your equipment. 

The most important part will be dusting and vacuuming. You want to keep dirt and dust from accumulating around the pulleys, cables, and FlexPacks. Dirt and dust will also kick up from the floor underneath the unit, so a regular vacuuming of the area around and under the machine is important, too. Once a week for both should be just fine. 

The seat will need the track lubricated, also. This needs to be done during assembly and once again after about every 250 hours of use (or 6 months). You can also lubricate the rails if the seat doesn't glide smoothly during your workout. 

Aside from that, a clean, damp cloth to wipe the machine down every week or two and a visual inspection of all moving parts before each workout will keep you safe and your Bowflex Revolution in fine working order. 


Bowflex Revolution Workout & Exercise Programs 

We keep talking about the Revolution as a complete home gym and that it can perform over 100 exercises. But what exactly does it do? Can you actually build strength and muscle with the Revolution? 

The short answer is yes. With up to 300 pounds of resistance and not relying on gravity, you can get in shape, stay in shape and even build muscle from this one simple machine. While we cannot express each and every workout routine that is possible with this machine, here are the basics. 

You can break your workout down as far as you want, but for our purposes, we will use three: legs, core, and upper body. 

For legs, you have the seat and leg press station. There are over 20 different leg exercises to use here, plus another dozen that you can use with the Freedom Arms and foot harness. Everything from leg curls to ankle lifts can be accomplished with any range of weight needed. 

The core area can also be worked with the rowing action of the bench, lying leg lifts, crunches, and other bench work, and you can add resistance with the hand or foot harnesses as needed. 

For the upper body, you have a full bench to work with. This allows you to do curls, bench presses, shoulder and lat pull downs, and much more. By changing the position and angle of the Freedom arms and the bench itself (flat to incline), you can perform over 60 different upper body exercises. 


People Also Ask (FAQs)

Where are Bowflex home gyms made? 

The parent company for Bowflex, Nautilus, produces, manufactures and ships from its primary location in Vancouver, Washington. 

How do I fix the tension on my Bowflex Revolution? 

Over time you may find that the clip on your cables doesn’t retract all the way to the pulley. This is normal after repeated use, and it just means that the tension has given way a little bit.

Locate the tension knob under the SpiraFlex plate arm. Pull the knob out and slowly turn in a clockwise direction. As you turn, the clip will move towards the pulley. Stop twisting when the clip makes contact and push the knob back into the seated position. 

Can I remove the tension shaft in my Bowflex revolution? 

Unless you need to completely disassemble the unit for long-term storage or relocation, there shouldn’t be a reason to remove the tension shaft.

However, if the need does arise, you can remove the shaft by taking out the allen screws on the tension shaft holder. Once all 8 screws are removed, take the holder plate off and gently pull the shaft outward in a slow, steady motion. 

How can I replace the Bowflex revolution rope? 

If the Revolutions cables ever become damaged, frayed or knotted, they will need to be replaced. You will want to remove any tension on the cables and ensure the clip is resting against the pulley.

Unclip the rope from the hand, foot or leg harness first, then remove the other end from the pulley-side clip. Open your new rope and clip it on at the pulley first and then to the required harness for use. 

How long does a Bowflex Revolution last? 

The Bowflex Revolution is warrantied for 10 years. With proper use, maintenance and care, there is no reason the Revolution won't last through the warranty period. If you take care of the equipment and properly maintain it, you can easily see 12 to 15 years of constant use from the machine. 

Is there an app for the Bowflex Revolution? 

Currently there isn’t a specific app for the Revolution itself. Only Bowflex SelectTech and JRNY enabled products have a dedicated app. However, most home workout apps will work fine since you can use the Revolution to perform over 100 weightlifting and exercise routines. 

Where can you buy Bowflex Revolution and all its replacement parts? 

You can buy a Revolution directly from the Bowflex website, though the list and options are getting shorter as newer machines are taking its place.

Your best bet to get a new-in-box system is through Amazon, where you can also add extended warranties, get deals on shipping or find replacement parts and attachments for the Revolution. 


Conclusion

Bowflex Revolution Home Gym (Discontinued)
  • 100 exercises for a full body workout
  • SpiraFlex technology works independently of...
  • Independently moving arms with 10 positions...
  • Work with up to 600 lb. of resistance with...

The Bowflex Revolution is a home gym that is uniquely complete. For such a compact unit, you can perform over 100 weight training and exercise maneuvers to complete an entire workout at any time. 

While this particular machine may not be for everyone, it is designed for the serious trainer that prefers to work out at home. From bench press to leg curls, you can do it all with one machine. The simple arm movements and weight resistance additions mean less time between sets and more output on your part. 

If you are looking for a complete gym at an affordable price that fits in almost any home, the Bowflex Revolution is it. You won’t be disappointed.