Home gyms are great for whole body workouts, but they're more expensive than most gym machines, so it's important you find one which supports your goals.
Bowflex are well known in the home gym space, but the Bowflex Revolution home gym is different from other Bowflex home gyms.
In this Bowflex Revolution review we'll give all the information you need to decide if it's a good fit in your home.
Table of Contents
- Our Review of the Bowflex Revolution Home Gym
- Bowflex Revolution Pros & Cons
- Who Is It Best For?
- Unique Features Of The Bowflex Revolution Home Gym
- Add Ons & Accessories For The Bowflex Revolution
- Comparing Different Bowflex Home Gym Models
- Comparing Bowflex with Other Home Gyms
- Bowflex Revolution Workout & Exercise Programs
- Common Questions About The Bowflex Revolution
- Conclusion - Is It Worth The Cost?
Our Review of the Bowflex Revolution Home Gym
Value For Money
Ease Of Use
Ease Of Assembly
Materials & Durability
220 lbs standard (Up to 300 lbs. with resistance upgrade)
73 x 38 x 112 Inches
Steel, Polyurethane, Rubber
120 x 84 x 83 Inches
55 x 38 x 73 Inches
Assembled Machine Weight
Bench with leg press attachment
Our Experience Using This Home Gym
The Bowflex Revolution home gym is very different from other Bowflex home gyms.
It uses SpiraFlex resistance coils instead of their patented power rod technology, and it feels completely different.
The SpiraFlex technology, licensed from Oyo and used by NASA, is actually used on the international space station. It doesn't use weights, or gravity, but gives you non-inertia workouts at home.
What does this mean in practice? Well, it takes a little getting used to. I found less consistent resistance during a lift, with more resistance at the end of a rep.
However, it doesn't feel too different to traditional free weights and it's definitely a big step up from power rods that most Bowflex models use.
What I really liked about using the Bowflex machine was the flexibility, and it supports an entire range of exercises.
The independent arms gives you 10 exercise position options and 170 degrees of rotation to perform everything from a bench press to lat pull downs. There's even a station for leg workouts which includes greater resistance levels.
The bench seat also glides on the railing to allow for a cardio workout. This was an option on the Bowflex PR1000 and Blaze, but it wasn't as effective. The Bowflex Revolution home gym is a big step up and is definitely better for cardio.
In total, there are over 100 exercises to perform with up to 400 variations. You can even change the resistance on one side to do targeted strength training on different parts of your body.
However, there were a few things I didn't really like about this Bowflex machine.
You can only adjust the resistance by a minimum for 5 lbs. This may not seem like a lot, but when you're first starting out you want to be able to move it by just a few pounds at a time for progressive overload workouts.
The other issue was moving settings between workouts. The Bowflex Revolution home gym is better than the Bowflex PR1000 and Bowflex Xceed which didn't even have a quick change system, but it still takes a bit of time.
This makes it more difficult to get a complete body workout without gaps between sets.
All in all, I found the Bowflex Revolution home gym was good to use, but I wasn't blown away. The SpiraFlex technology is interesting, but I did question why we really need international space station technology in a home gym.
The truth is, this machine is interesting to use but it doesn't offer the same value for money that you can get with other home gyms.
If you want to focus more on muscle-building instead of enhanced resistance band training, you should look at a more robust option like the Force USA G6.
This machine offers a smith machine, functional trainer, and power rack all-in-one for cheaper than the Revolution.
Size And Dimensions In The Home
Bowflex specialise in making compact home gyms, but the Bowflex Revolution home gym does need a fair amount of space.
You'll need an area 10 x 7 x 7 feet to use it fully, which is more than some home gyms can accommodate.
The good news is that the Bowflex Revolution home gym is a folding model, so when it's not in use it's compact and out of the way.
To use the Revolution properly you will need to devote some space to it - more space than other Bowflex machines need.
However, it does offer a complete workout station and may replace other equipment you'd have in a traditional gym.
Design & Build Quality
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.
Like other Bowflex models, it's easy to use and configure, even if it does take a bit of time to move between exercises The resistance system is fairly easy to use too and it's ideal for regular use.
The build quality of the Bowflex Revolution home gym is good too. The metal frame seems solid, and the polyurethane cushioning on the bench doesn't have any damage, despite the machine seeing a lot of use.
In other Bowflex models the power rod resistance system was a bit susceptible to damage. This isn't an issue with the SpiraFlex technology resistance system which is much more durable.
However, some of the smaller plastic components and nylon straps are lower quality, but it didn't impact my use of the Bowflex machine.
The maximum user weight is 300 pounds. This may not be enough for some larger users and I wouldn't risk it, even if you're only a few pounds over the max weight capacity.
All in all, it seems like it's reasonably well made, and a level of quality I would expect from Bowflex.
Workout Stations & Versatility
The Bowflex Revolution home gym allows you to do over 100 different exercises. This is far more than any other Bowflex model, and better than most other brands too.
The flexible arm exercise technology can be configured into a range of positions for strength training, and the bench allows you to do a wider selection of exercises too. Plus, you can use the vertical sliding bench for cardio exercises.
The leg station is useful too. A lot of home gyms focus more on the upper body, so it's good to use the dedicated leg station to balance your training.
The versatility of the Bowflex Revolution home gym is one of the best features, and this has plenty of options for training your entire body.
The Bowflex Revolution home gym comes with 220lbs of resistance as standard. This is reasonable for beginners and intermediates, but you can also add extra resistance up to a total of 300lbs which is better for experienced lifters.
The only criticism I have of the Revolution is that it only goes up in 5lb increments. This can be too big a jump for some exercises and makes progression more difficult for beginners.
Generally though, the SpiraFlex resistance on the Revolution is good but if you're serious about strength training it's worth the upgrade to a better home gym system.
The Force USA G6 offers 220 lbs of resistance on each weight stack. Another positive thing is it actually feels like you're lifting 220 lbs as opposed to the SpiralFlex tech on the Revolution, which doesn't feel like you're pumping iron.
Assembling & Disassembling This Product
The Bowflex Revolution home gym comes with some assembled parts, but you will need to devote 3-4 hours to fully building it.
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:
If you need to collapse the Bowflex Revolution home gym for easier storage or transportation, there are a few steps you need to follow:
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 sliding 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 are generally considered a budget brand for home gyms, but the Bowflex Revolution home gym is noticeably more expensive.
The average Bowflex model is around $1000-$1500, whereas the Revolution is $4,500- $5,000. This takes it out of the budget category and into the upper mid-range for home gym machines.
The Bowflex Revolution home gym is a bit step up in terms of quality and functionality though, so you can see why it costs more. It offers greater versatility and a more authentic lifting experience that's closer to traditional free weights.
It also has the cardio and leg stations which removes the need for other pieces of equipment.
For experienced lifters it's no substitute for free weights and a power rack, but it offers some value for intermediates and beginners. However, most beginners are better off with something much cheaper - like the Body Solid BSG10X.
If you're serious about your fitness journey, I can't recommend the Force USA G6 enough. You're likely to outgrow the Revolution in a short time, but the G6 will give you plenty and then some to work with as you progress.
Shipping & Warranty
As Bowflex Revolution home gyms have been discontinued by Bowflex, I ordered it through Amazon.
It arrived in 5 days, which is fairly standard, though the shipping may vary depending on location.
The Bowflex Revolution home gym comes in 5 separate boxes, some of which weigh over 100lbs, so you may need to ask a friend to help you lift it all inside. It's all clearly labelled and easy to put together once you have it inside though.
Bowflex offer a 10-year warranty backing the steel construction, SpiraFlex packs and cables. This is a solid warranty, but other brands offer lifetime warranties on their home gyms in this price range so it's a bit below industry standard.
Bowflex Revolution Pros & Cons
Who Is It Best For?
The Bowflex Revolution is not for suitable complete beginners, but also not for advanced lifters either. It's best suited to those looking to build some functional strength and lose weight, but not for building muscle or bulk.
The resistance and SpiraFlex system are a step up from other Bowflex models. The lifting experience is more authentic, and it's a better model for those with a bit of experience.
It's also good for home gym owners with limited space. It has a big footprint while in use, but it folds up, and the versatility means that it can replace some other gym equipment in your home.
Plus, it has built in cardio so you can free up some space there.
However, the Bowflex Revolution home gym is not for body builders or seasoned lifters. It's no replacement for a set of free weights, a good weight bench, and a squat or power rack. If your goal is to build muscle, opt for the Force USA G12 or G6.
The Bowflex Revolution is also a bit limited for older users, or anyone recovering from injury. It's good for targeting individual muscle groups, but you can only go up in 5lb increments which may be too big a jump.
Complete beginners will get better value from the cheaper Bowflex Xtreme 2SE, or Body Solid BSG10X, but if your goal is to do more than flexibility training, but not heavy strength training then the Revolution may be worthwhile.
Also See - Top Home Gyms For All Types Of People
Unique Features Of The Bowflex Revolution Home Gym
Unlike free weights that rely on gravity, Bowflex systems use resistance.
In the past, they have relied on pulleys and resistance bands for resistance.
The Revolution, though, uses SpiraFlex discs and this is the only machine to use them.
These discs give the look and feel of free weights but don't rely on gravity - which is why they're used on the international space station.
Instead, the discs (called resistance packs) slide on the bar and lock into place.
When you pull the handles or lift the bars, the FlexPacks twist, using inertia to create constant resistance.
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.
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 a great workout.
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 presses, and other lower body workout routines. You can also angle the bench for more power lift styles if you prefer.
Preacher Curl Attachment
The preacher curl attachment forces the arm exercises into negative movement, 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
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.
The Bowflex Revolution folds up when it's not in use. This makes it easier to move it out of the way when you aren't using it, and it's actually more compact than any other Bowflex model.
You will need a reasonably large work space to use the Bowflex Revolution fully, but being able to fold it means that it doesn't dominate the space all the time.
It's heavy, but has wheels so you can easily move it out of the way when folded too.
If you have a reasonably small space for a full home gym set up then this is a really useful feature.
Add Ons & Accessories For The Bowflex Revolution
The Bowflex Revolution doesn't come with all the possible accessories, but you may not need them.
There's an ab attachment or preacher curl attachment which help you target your biceps or core. It all comes down to what your goals are, but they can be useful for circuit training. It's worth noting that there is no squat bar attachment available.
The Revolution does come with a workout DVD, and you can purchase others to help guide you through workouts.
You can also buy extra resistance packs from Bowflex to increase the weight.
Finally, you can also opt to buy a workout mat. This goes underneath your home gym to add a layer of protection and additional cushion for your workouts.
Bowflex have discontinued the Revolution, but you can still buy these accessories directly from them.
Comparing Different Bowflex Home Gym Models
An important part of any Revolution home gym review is seeing how it compares to other similar models. Let's take a closer look.
Bowflex Revolution Vs Bowflex Blaze/Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE
Both Bowflex home gyms feature no-change pulley systems, so you can move from one exercise to the next without needing to stop for adjustments.
The key difference is that the Blaze home gym comes with a gliding seat which acts as a rowing machine, and supports other cardio 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 is completely different, using the SpiraFlex instead of power rods. This makes the movement and lifting much effective and closer to using free weight plates.
Plus, the Bowflex Revolution is one of the most versatile home gyms.
The downside is that the Revolution is much more expensive. If you're a complete beginner, or have a tight budget, then the Blaze or Xtreme 2 SE are the better choice.
Otherwise, go for the Bowflex Revolution because it's the top of the line Bowflex home gym.
- 60 plus exercises for a full body workout....
- 210 lbs of Power Rod resistance, upgradable...
- Bowflex provides 7 free trainer-built workout...
- Sliding seat rail allows you to perform...
- 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...
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 you can purchase it separately. The other key difference is that the XP model doesn’t fold up. It can still tilt up on wheels for transport, but the assembled unit doesn’t collapse at all.
If you're not as bothered about cardio options then the XP is a cheaper option which may work for you. However, if you have a smaller home gym then the Revolution is best because of the folding design.
Bowflex Revolution Vs Bowflex HVT
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 strengthening exercises.
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 options of exercise program: 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.
- 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...
Bowflex Revolution Vs Ultimate 2
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.
- 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);...
Comparing Bowflex with Other Home Gyms
Bowflex aren't the only brand out there, and this Revolution home gym review wouldn't be complete without looking at other popular models:
Bowflex Revolution Vs Force USA G6
The Force USA G6 home gym looks vastly different from the Bowflex Revolution. It is set up like a power cage and is a lot taller than the Revolution.
It costs anywhere from $500-$1000 less depending on where you buy. On top of that, the Force USA G6 has a lifetime warranty on the frame.
While both of these machines offer decent versatility, you can't beat the G6 for it's muscle-building functionality. You can do compound lifts with the smith bar or the power rack.
You'll also get double the resistance with two weight stacks of 220 lbs at a 1:1 ratio. That means you'll know exactly how much weight you can lift. This makes building mass and tracking progress much easier and more efficient.
For this comparison, I'd definitely put my money towards the Force USA G6.
Bowflex Revolution Vs NordicTrack Fusion CST
Another similar machine to the Bowflex Revolution is the NordicTrack Fusion CST. They both use similar technology and allow you to use resistance cables to train almost every part of the body.
The NordicTrack Fusion is cheaper than the Revolution by about $1000 or more. It's also a much "smarter" machine with a high-tech screen and lots of connectivity options.
Overall, neither of these machines utilize traditional strength training methods, which is a bit of a bummer. If I had to choose, I'd go with the NordicTrack model as it's fairly future proof and offers better connectivity and smart training options.
- Bring Home Interactive Personal Training...
- 10” HD Portal 10i Tablet Included; Stream...
- Automatic Trainer Control; Your iFit Trainers...
- 6 Smooth Cable Stations; Each station...
Bowflex Revolution Vs Body-Solid G1S
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.
The G1S is a more well rounded machine that offers better long term value for money. Unless mobility is a key consideration for you, you should go with the G1S over the Bowflex Revolution.
- 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,...
Bowflex Revolution Workout & Exercise Programs
The Bowflex Revolution home gym is a complete home gym which can help you build strength. With up to 300 pounds of resistance you can get in shape, stay in shape and even build some muscle from this one machine.
You can break your workout up however you want, but it's common to look at legs, core, and upper body.
For legs, you have the seat and leg press station. There are over 20 different leg exercises, plus another dozen that you can use with the Freedom Arms and foot harness.
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.
Common Questions About The Bowflex Revolution
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?
To fix the tension on the Bowflex revolution you need to follow several steps. 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 but should last for longer than 10 years. With proper use, maintenance and care, there is no reason for the Revolution to break before that period of time.
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 the Bowflex Revolution new-in-box through Amazon, where you can also add extended warranties, get deals on shipping or find replacement parts and attachments.
Conclusion - Is It Worth The Cost?
The Bowflex Revolution offers a lot of functionality to help you get a full body workout. However, this is much more expensive than other Bowflex models and home gyms.
If you're a serious lifter looking to build bulk then you're better off with a great power cage and functional trainer set up like the Force USA G6.
However, if you have a bit of experience and you're looking to lose weight and tone up then the Bowflex Revolution home gym can take you to the next level.
We recommend this instead!
Value For Money
Ease Of Use
Ease Of Assembly
Materials & Durability
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Last Updated on November 23, 2022