Bowflex Xceed Review – Is This Home Gym Value For Money?

Home gym systems offer a one stop shop for your workout needs, but it can be difficult to know which is best.

Bowflex make a range of popular home gym systems and the Bowflex Xceed is their most affordable model. Before you rush off and buy it, it's important to know if it will help you reach your fitness goals.

In this Bowflex Xceed home gym review, we'll take a closer look so you can make an informed decision about whether it will work for you.

Our Ratings

Workout Versatility

8.5

Value For Money

7.5

Ease Of Use

8.0

Ease Of Assembly

7.5

Materials & Durability

6.0


Overall Rating

7.5

Product Specifications 

Dimensions

53 x 49 x 82 inches

Maximum User Weight

300 lbs

Maximum User Height

78 inches 

Power Rod Resistance

210 lbs 

Product Weight

182 lbs 

Workout Area Required

96 x 84 x 78 inches

Warranty

5 years

The Bowflex Xceed has everything you need to train your upper and lower body, effectively removing the need for different equipment.

I've been using the Xceed for over a year now and I've really got to grips with where it works well, and where it has some limitations.

I've split my review into sections so it's easier for you to decide if it's worth it.

Brand Reputation

Bowflex are home gym equipment specialists with a range of popular models designed specifically for home use. 

The overall brand reputation is good and there are a lot of positive reviews out there. However, they definitely aren't a premium brand and while their products are affordable, it doesn't mean they're the best on the market. 

Bowflex gyms are fairly good quality, simple to assemble when compared to more expensive models, and easy to use for beginners on there fitness journey. 

They aren't designed for really intense strength training, but they offer an affordable way to tone your entire body and lose weight.  

Bowflex are known for making great equipment for beginners, and the Xceed is definitely for those starting out and not for those looking for serious strength training. 

Size & Dimensions In The Home

The Bowflex Xceed is the most compact of the budget Bowflex home gyms (the Bowflex Revolution is smaller, but a lot more expensive). 

It's only 82 inches tall, so it should fit in most garage gyms, and the fact it uses a power rod system instead of a weight stack means it can be set up in a reasonably small space. 

The Xceed doesn't fold like the Blaze or PR1000, but it doesn't really need to.

Like the PR3000 and Xtreme 2SE there's no exercise bench, but it still supports over 65 exercises, so it may actually replace other exercise equipment and save you space. 

If you want a Bowflex gym and size is your key consideration then the Xceed is the best choice

Quality 

Bowflex make fairly good quality equipment which is reasonable considering the price.

The Xceed is a bit lighter than most other Bowflex gyms but it's still sturdy. It has a metal frame which is reasonably durable, but some of the smaller parts are made from composite plastic and aren't as solid. 

The polyurethane high-density foam cushioning on the seating is tough and durable, and even after a year I've not noticed any visible damage. 

Bowflex uses power rod technology in their home gym system and these definitely aren't as tough as weight plates or a weight stack like you'll find in the, slightly more expensive but much higher quality, Body Solid BSG10X. 

They can bend if you're using the Bowflex regularly, and while I haven't noticed any impact on the maximum resistance levels, it may mean that you have to replace them every few years. 

Bowflex have deliberately designed their home gyms with fewer parts so they're easier to put together and use.

The overall quality is ok, but some of the smaller connections and the power rods could cause issues over time. 

That being said, it's reasonable quality for the price and definitely isn't flimsy. Just be aware that the max user weight is 300lbs and it may not be suitable for larger users. 

To be honest, if you're looking for the best value for money home gym system, check out our Body Solid BSG10X review here. It's a much better machine for just a bit more money.

Performance 

The Bowflex Xceed offers a great deal of versatility for a smaller home gym. 

It can support over 65 different workouts, which is more than the Bowflex PR3000 or the PR1000.

It also comes with a detailed exercise guide to help explain how to use the machine and structure your workout. [1]

There are 8 different pulleys that can be moved into various positions. 

These are reinforced with fiberglass and move very smoothly, making the exercises easier on your joints and lowering any risk of injury. 

There are multi-functional press arms, which allow you to perform many movements without having to change handles, but unlike the PR3000 it doesn't have the quick change pulley system.

This is a bit frustrating because you do have to get up and reconfigure the machine between sets which can ruin the flow of a good workout.  

The Xceed comes with 210 pounds of resistance as standard. This is maybe enough for some beginners, but if you're a more experienced lifter then you will need to add extra power rods. It supports up to 410 pounds which is the same as the PR3000, Blaze, and Xtreme 2SE.

The Xceed offers a lot of versatility and resistance for a small machine. It doesn't offer enough for experienced lifters, but beginners will get a lot of use out of this model.

One problem with the power rod system and max resistance on this machine is that even beginners will likely grow out of it quickly and have to spend more money on an upgrade.

The Body Solid BSG10X will last you for many years and you won't outgrow the weight stacks nearly as quickly.

Ease Of Use 

bowflex xceed seat

In my experience, a high performing home gym system isn’t always easy to use, but Bowflex has done well.

You will need to assemble it yourself, but we found the assembly instructions easy to follow.

You’ll need to allow 2-4 hours for assembly. 

If you get stuck, there are also some YouTube videos that can take you through it.

Once assembled, we found it fairly easy to move between workouts. 

The user manual is helpful, but honestly, a lot of it just seemed intuitive.  

Bowflex home gym systems have always been very easy to use, and the Xceed is no different, so it’s great for beginners with limited experience 

Read More - Home Gym Vs Gym Membership

Workout Stations & Versatility

There are over 65 different exercises you can do with the Bowflex Xceed and it's designed to give you a full body workout. 

What's good about the Xceed is that it comes with a lat bar to train your back, a squat bar for your legs, and an ab attachment for core training.

There's also a vertical bench press option for chest exercises and fittings for shoulder exercises and arm exercises.

All of this means you can train your whole body as standard without having to purchase any additional equipment.

The Xceed gives a better balance of upper and lower body training than most other Bowflex machines. The leg attachment and squat station make it easy to have an effective leg workout and it's straightforward to move between workout stations. 

The Xceed doesn't have a foldable bench option which limits your chest and leg exercises slightly. There's also no option for aerobic rowing either, and you can't use the Xceed for deadlifts.

This makes the Xceed a bit more limited compared to other Bowflex models, and it definitely won't fulfil your cardio needs

It's difficult to switch between handles and accessories without the quick switch system that the PR3000 and Revolution have. This made my workouts more disjointed and I was reliant on the manual at first to get the machine set up in the right way. 

There's also no storage, so your handles may end up scattered around the machine leaving your gym looking a bit untidy.

The Xceed isn't as versatile as the Bowflex Xtreme 2SE or the Bowflex Revolution, but it has more than enough for beginners. 

It's a bit more work to get full use of it, but it's good for functional strength training and targeted rehab exercises. 

Price & Warranty 

The Bowflex Xceed is the most affordable Bowflex home gym system, and you can pick it up for under $700

This is a really budget model even compared to other Bowflex models, but is literally thousands of dollars cheaper than some other brands.

It's not the toughest or largest model on the market, but it offers some good value at this price. It also comes with a 5-year warranty to help protect your investment. 

Overall, this machine is okay for beginners at this price point, but my recommendation for an even more budget-friendly model (under $500) with more features would be the Marcy MWM-988 home gym. 

Shipping 

The Bowflex Xceed has been discontinued but it's still available from Amazon, large fitness stores, or Walmart. 

Exact costs and shipping times can vary depending on region and seller, so be sure to ask.

I ordered my Xceed from Amazon and it arrived in under 10 days which is fairly standard for this type of equipment. 


Who Is It Best For?

The Xceed is great for beginners looking to get started with strength training, those looking to improve their mobility and flexibility, or anyone recovering from an injury.

It's also perfect for anyone with a very tight budget and limited space at home. 

The wide range of movements and exercises you can do with the Xceed means that you can target large or small muscle groups easily.

It comes with most of the handles and accessories you need, and it's simple to use. It's also really affordable so you can train without spending a fortune.

The resistance from the Bowflex power rods is good, and can really help to improve your posture, flexibility, and functional strength.

However, while the Xceed is useful for injury recovery or targeted training, it isn't as effective at helping you build lean muscle and won't work as well for advanced lifters.

The Xceed is affordable and effective for casual lifters, and works best for those who want to work out in their own home whenever it's convenient for them.

If you've got a lot of experience and you're looking to build serious muscle quickly then you may be better off with a set of free weights or a weight stack home gym like the Body Solid BSG10X or Marcy MWM-988.


Unique Design Features Of The Bowflex Xceed Home Gym

There are a lot of home gym systems out there, but this is what we think sets the Bowflex Xceed apart from the crowd:  

65 Different Exercises 

By being able to perform 65 different exercises, you can save a lot of money and space in your home gym.

The multi-functional press arm and the additional leg attachments let you train every major muscle group at home and remove the need for several different machines.

See Also - Garage Gym Essentials Everyone Needs

Quick Release Seat 

This may not seem remarkable, but the quick release seat lets you move between workouts seamlessly.

This makes your exercise routine more efficient and can save you valuable time. 

The adjustable seat also allows for multiple users to jump in quickly and complete a set, which makes it perfect if more than one person in your household uses this home gym. 

I also appreciate this feature for supersetting different muscle groups.

bowflex xceed home gym

Comfortable Padding 

Some home gym systems focus on the frame and neglect the padding, but Bowflex hasn't. They have plush foam cushioning with faux leather coverings, which lets you exercise comfortably.  

Heavy Duty Pulleys 

The Xceed features 8 different pulley systems with steel ball bearings. These offer smooth operation, which puts less stress on your joints and will let you work out more comfortably.  

Space Saving 

The Xceed can't fold, but it is the most compact Bowflex model. This makes it perfect for small gym owners with limited space and low ceilings.  

Related Article - How To Build A Basement Gym With Low Ceilings

man working out with bowflex xceed home gym

Pros & Cons Of The Bowflex Xceed  

What We Like

  • Versatile
    The Xceed supports up to 65 different exercises which target your upper and lower body.
  • Compact
    This gym system is perfect for home gyms where space is at a premium. The slim dimensions mean it can work in a short or narrow space, and it will still leave enough room for other equipment. 
  • Easy To Use
    The Bowflex Xceed is simple to assemble and easy to use - perfect for beginners.
  • Affordable
    The Bowflex Xceed is the cheapest of the Bowflex models and one of the cheapest on the market at under $900.  

What We Don’t Like

  • No Quick Change System
    Most other Bowflex home gyms have a quick change system but the Xceed doesn't. This means you have to manually switch between exercises and really slows down a workout.
  • Low Resistance
    The Xceed comes with 210lbs as standard, which isn't a lot of resistance. To get the most from it you will probably need to invest in extra power rods. 
  • Limited Accessories
    This home gym system isn't compatible with some accessories (like ankle cuffs or an ab harness), and there's no bench, so you're slightly limited in how you work out. 

Comparing Xceed With Other Bowflex Home Gyms

Bowflex is the industry leader in home gyms, and all their models are well made. 

We’ve compared the Bowflex Xceed against 3 other Bowflex models so you can see how they match up: 

Bowflex Xceed Vs Blaze 

The Bowflex Blaze is another popular Bowflex home gym which a slightly different design. 

They key difference is that it has a folding bench so you can do a vertical bench press and a wider variety of leg exercises. It also has a build in cardio row system and squat bar. 

Both the Xceed and Blaze come with 210lbs of resistance as standard but can be upgraded to 410lbs. They're both well suited for beginners and should give you a good full body workout. 

The Bowflex Blaze is a good choice for anyone who wants a bench and has a bit more space in your home, but it is a bit more expensive. If you have a tighter budget or very limited space then you'll be better off with the Xceed.  

Model
Bowflex Xceed Home Gym
Bowflex Blaze Home Gym
Image
Bowflex Xceed Home Gym
Bowflex Blaze Home Gym
Dimensions
53 x 49 x 82 Inches
90 x 38 x 83 inches
Maximum User Weight
300 lbs
-
Maximum User Height
78 Inches
-
Power Rod Resistance
210 lbs
210 lbs
Product Weight
182 lbs
98 lbs
Warranty
5 Years
5 Years
Model
Bowflex Xceed Home Gym
Image
Bowflex Xceed Home Gym
Dimensions
53 x 49 x 82 Inches
Maximum User Weight
300 lbs
Maximum User Height
78 Inches
Power Rod Resistance
210 lbs
Product Weight
182 lbs
Warranty
5 Years
Model
Bowflex Blaze Home Gym
Image
Bowflex Blaze Home Gym
Dimensions
90 x 38 x 83 inches
Maximum User Weight
-
Maximum User Height
-
Power Rod Resistance
210 lbs
Product Weight
98 lbs
Warranty
5 Years

Bowflex Xceed Vs Xtreme 2  

The Bowflex Xtreme 2SE is the larger, bulkier version of the Xceed.

It allows you to perform about 25 more exercises and has 7 free built-in workout regimes included in the manual to help guide your training.

It's also slightly more heavy-duty, but both models are of reasonable quality.

The key difference for us was the ease of use. The Bowflex Xtreme 2 shifts between exercises effortlessly and doesn’t require as many of the actions that the Xceed does.

This makes it easier to work out and lets you get more from your workout. However, the Xtreme 2 is larger and more expensive, so it won’t be as suitable for everyone.  

If you're a bit more experienced and have enough space then the Xtreme 2SE is worth the extra cost, but if you're a beginner on a budget, we'd recommend sticking with the Xceed.  

Model
Bowflex Xceed Home Gym
Bowflex Xtreme 2SE Home Gym
Image
Bowflex Xceed Home Gym
Bowflex Xtreme 2SE Home Gym
Dimensions
53 x 49 x 82 Inches
57 x 49 x 84 Inches
Maximum User Weight
300 lbs
300lbs
Maximum User Height
78 Inches
76 inches
Power Rod Resistance
210 lbs
210 lbs
Product Weight
182 lbs
220 lbs
Warranty
5 Years
7 Years
Model
Bowflex Xceed Home Gym
Image
Bowflex Xceed Home Gym
Dimensions
53 x 49 x 82 Inches
Maximum User Weight
300 lbs
Maximum User Height
78 Inches
Power Rod Resistance
210 lbs
Product Weight
182 lbs
Warranty
5 Years
Model
Bowflex Xtreme 2SE Home Gym
Image
Bowflex Xtreme 2SE Home Gym
Dimensions
57 x 49 x 84 Inches
Maximum User Weight
300lbs
Maximum User Height
76 inches
Power Rod Resistance
210 lbs
Product Weight
220 lbs
Warranty
7 Years

Bowflex Xceed vs PR1000/PR3000 

The Bowflex Xceed is basically a more compact version of the PR3000. It doesn't have the bench of the PR1000, but still offers a greater variety of exercises.

All 3 home gyms are good for beginners, but the Xceed can be upgraded to 410 pounds of resistance while the PR3000 can only be upgraded to 310 pounds, and the PR1000 can't be upgraded at all. This makes the Xceed the most useful of the 3 and better for those with some experience. 

The main advantage of the PR3000 and PR1000 over the Xceed is that they have the quick change pulley system. This lets you move between exercises more quickly and makes workouts more efficient. 

The Xceed is a newer, smaller, and more affordable model. If you're happy without an exercise bench it offers better value for money in a small home gym.  

Model
Bowflex Xceed Home Gym
Bowflex PR1000 Home Gym
Image
Bowflex Xceed Home Gym
Bowflex PR1000 Home Gym
Dimensions
53 x 49 x 82 Inches
103 x 80 x 82 inches
Maximum User Weight
300 lbs
-
Maximum User Height
78 Inches
-
Power Rod Resistance
210 lbs
200 lbs
Product Weight
182 lbs
144 lbs
Warranty
5 Years
5 Years
Model
Bowflex Xceed Home Gym
Image
Bowflex Xceed Home Gym
Dimensions
53 x 49 x 82 Inches
Maximum User Weight
300 lbs
Maximum User Height
78 Inches
Power Rod Resistance
210 lbs
Product Weight
182 lbs
Warranty
5 Years
Model
Bowflex PR1000 Home Gym
Image
Bowflex PR1000 Home Gym
Dimensions
103 x 80 x 82 inches
Maximum User Weight
-
Maximum User Height
-
Power Rod Resistance
200 lbs
Product Weight
144 lbs
Warranty
5 Years

Bowflex Xceed Attachments & Replacement Parts 

The Bowflex Xceed comes with various handles and accessories, including an ab training strap, a squat bar, and a lat bar.

It’s enough to train the majority of your body, though you can order extra accessories for specific exercises.

For example, preacher curl attachments will help you grow strong biceps, and there are various leg attachments for lower body training.

The one thing we would recommend ordering is additional power rods. This will let you up the resistance and really challenge your body as you grow.  

From time to time, you will need to order replacement parts too. This is likely going to be your pulleys, handles, or power rods, but it can vary.

We’d recommend getting all your additional attachments and replacement parts directly from Bowflex so that you know they’re legitimate.


Bowflex Xceed Exercises & Workout Routines 

The Bowflex Xceed comes with a full guide of workout routines to help you target different muscle groups.

You can use this with the muscle chart provided in the guide to help identify the best exercises to achieve your goals.

We’d recommend using the Bowflex Xceed to target 1-2 muscle groups in each workout and select 2-4 exercises for each muscle group.

By alternating between muscle groups, you leave your body time to recover and grow and should see the best results.  

If you're short on time, you can use the workout detailed below 3 times a week. This will help you develop your whole body and should only take 20 minutes each day.

Just remember to rest for 30-45 seconds between sets and keep the resistance low as you get used to each movement.  

ab exercises on bowflex xceed workouts

Assembly Instructions & General Maintenance Information

The Bowflex Xceed will take a few hours to assemble, but the assembly guide will help to explain all the steps needed.

It's essential that you follow this closely so that you assemble a fitness machine that is safe to use. You can also find videos on YouTube to help guide you through the process. 

The machine should arrive in one box weighing around 180 pounds.

Ask the courier to take it into the room you’re planning to use the gym system in because the boxes themselves can be difficult to lift. 

Unfortunately, Bowflex doesn't provide all the tools needed, so make sure you have the following handy: 

  • 7/16" Combination Wrench 
  • 9/16" Combination Wrench
  • Adjustable Wrench
  • Socket Wrench Set
  • Phillips Screwdriver
  • Flat Head Screwdriver
  • Rubber Mallet
  • Utility Knife
  • Scissors

Once you’ve unpacked all the parts and checked that everything is there, start by building the base frame.

You’ll need to screw the frame rails, base frame, and rear cross member together, making sure everything is secure as you go.  

Next, assemble the lower lat tower by attaching the power rod box into the lower lat tower frame and screwing it tightly. This can then be installed onto the rear cross member on the base frame.  

Next, install the seat support rail, the squat pulley frame, and the pulley arms into the frame. The slider pulleys should connect to the end of the pulley arms and screw tightly in place.

You then need to assemble the seat by attaching the seat backbone to the bottom of the seat cushion and then slide the leg extension in.

Attach the seat to the seat support rail, and then install the seat back pad above it.  

Finish the installation by installing the upper lat bar and connecting the cable system from the power rods to the bars.

Once completed, fully inspect the whole unit for any loose connections, cables, or screws. If you're confident it's all secure, then test it out, but keep it at a low resistance until you feel comfortable.


Common Bowflex Xceed Questions 

Can you bench press with the Bowflex Xceed?

Yes, the Bowflex Xceed offers a vertical bench press to target your chest muscles. If you prefer a horizontal bench press, you’ll need a larger home gym system like the Bowflex Blaze.

Are Bowflex rods guaranteed for life?

No, the power rod resistance Bowflex models are not covered for life and are only covered for up to 5 years.

How big is the Bowflex Xceed box?

The Bowflex Xceed comes in a box that is 55 x 27.5 x 10 inches and weighs 182 pounds.

How do I change the cable on a Bowflex Xceed?

To replace a cable on the Bowflex Xceed, you'll need to detach the old cable from the power rod by undoing the clip and removing it from the machine. Then, fit the new cable by threading the new cable across the machine and attaching it to the power rod using the cable hook. Always try to attach the cable to the nearest rod to stop them from crossing over one another.


Conclusion - Is It Worth It?

The Bowflex Xceed is one of the most affordable and compact home gym systems on the market.

It’s okay for beginners because it’s easy to use and assemble, but other than that, I think beginners would benefit and grow even more using a better (and cheaper!) machine such as the Marcy MWM-988.

On the other hand, if you're not an absolute beginner, you should be looking into better and more versatile home gyms.

I recommend the Body Solid BSG10X as the best mid-range home gym that costs only slightly more than the Xceed. It even comes with accurate 150 lb weight stacks, so you know exactly how much you're lifting.

Hopefully, this Xceed home gym review has given you everything you need to know about the Bowflex Xceed, and you now know whether it's the best option for you.  

We recommend this instead!

Body Solid BSG10X Home Gym

Body Solid BSG10X Home Gym 

Workout Versatility

9.5

Value For Money

10.0

Ease Of Use

10.0

Ease Of Assembly

8.5

Materials & Durability

9.5


Overall Score

9.5

References:

  1. https://download.nautilus.com/supportdocs/OM/Bowflex/BFX_Xceed_Plus_OM_RevC_web.pdf

Last Updated on January 2, 2023