Bowflex home gyms are really popular, and the Xtreme 2 SE is one of their more advanced home gym machines.
However, home gyms are expensive and you don't want to spend the money until you're sure it can help you reach your goals.
In this Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE review, we'll take a deep dive into this popular model so you can decide if it’s worthwhile for you.
- Our Review Of The Bowflex Xtreme 2SE
- Pros & Cons Of The Bowflex Xtreme 2SE
- Who Is It Best For?
- Unique Design Features Of The Bowflex Xtreme 2SE
- Comparing Xtreme 2SE With Other Bowflex Home Gyms
- Bowflex Xtreme 2SE Replacement Parts
- Assembly & Disassembly Of The Xtreme 2SE (DIY Guide)
- Types of Exercises You Can Do With Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE
- Frequently Asked Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE Questions
Our Review Of The Bowflex Xtreme 2SE
Bowflex Xtreme 2SE - Our Ratings
Value For Money
Ease Of Use
Ease Of Assembly
Materials & Durability
57 x 49 x 84 Inches
Maximum User Weight
Maximum User Height
Power Rod Resistance
Workout Area Required
96 x 72 x 88 Inches
The Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE multi gym is part of a line of popular Bowflex home gyms.
It's designed to give you a full body workout without the need for lots of different equipment, allowing you to maximize your space and your home gym budget.
I've been using the Xtreme 2 SE for over a year now and I know all the strengths and weaknesses. I'll take you through my experience so you can decide if it's right for you.
Bowflex are a specialist home gym brand and their home gyms are some of the most affordable on the market.
They get a lot of good reviews and are known for their simple to assemble and easy to use home gyms.
Bowflex make reasonably good quality products, but they're no match for some of the more expensive premium brands or multi-functional gym power racks.
However, they've got a great reputation with beginners and casual fitness enthusiasts, and that's exactly who the Xtreme 2 SE is best for. This is a brand I know and trust for beginner's home gym equipment.
For more excellent Bowflex home gym products, check out our review of Bowflex dumbbells!
Size & Dimensions
All Bowflex home gyms are designed to be compact, but there are two different designs.
The Bowflex PR1000 and Bowflex Blaze both have a foldable exercise bench attachment, whereas the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE uses a rolling seat.
This means with the Xtreme 2 SE you can't do some horizontal chest and leg exercises, but it also means that the Xtreme is noticeably smaller when it's in use.
The Xtreme 2 SE uses power rods for the resistance system, which are used in all Bowflex gyms.
These are much smaller than weight stacks and slim down the whole machine, so even though it has a built in leg extension attachment, it's suitable for a limited workout space.
The Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE is one of the modern Bowflex models that combines versatility with a space saving design.
It's extremely compact, even compared to other brands, and only needs a work space of 8 x 6 (L x W).
Also, because it's a multi gym system that offers over 70 different workouts, it can actually save you space by removing the need for other equipment.
The Xtreme 2 SE should fit in almost every home gym, but it is 84 inches tall, so if you have a very low ceiling in a basement or garage gym it may be an issue.
The Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE is a step up in quality compared to other Bowflex machines.
The frame is made from premium heavy-duty steel, and heavier than other Bowflex home gyms. It didn't move or wobble when I was using it and felt sturdy.
It can support users of up to 300 lbs. This weight capacity is fairly standard for home gyms, but may not be enough for larger users looking to get in shape at home.
The pulley system, handles, and seats are also durable.
The main issue with the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE is the power rods. If you're using the Bowflex machine regularly then the rods can start to bend.
This hasn't impacted the resistance for me yet, but I think I'll need to replace them after a couple of years.
Alongside the power rods I found that some of the connecting parts weren't as durable as the frame.
The Xtreme 2 SE is probably the toughest Bowflex home gym (except for the Revolution which is much more expensive), but Bowflex are an affordable brand which don't have the most durable products.
However, the Xtreme 2 SE is well designed, looks good, and definitely isn't flimsy. If you want a sturdy Bowflex then this is the one to choose.
Performance When Working Out
The Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE uses power rods to create resistance. This resistance system doesn't have the same feel as iron, but the resistance rods are compact and effective, with the standard Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE offering up to 210 pounds of resistance.
This is reasonable for beginners but not lifters with a bit of experience, and I'd recommend that you upgrade your weight system with additional rods to get the most from it.
You can add up to 200 extra pounds of smooth resistance to give a total weight of 410 pounds.
One downside with the power rod resistance system is that they aren't 100% accurate, so unlike weight plates, you may have a slight variation in what you lift.
This could mean you're losing weight from your personal best.
The other issue with the power rods is that they just aren't the same as weight plates.
Using them feels more like resistance band training, and if you're looking to build muscle then you're better off with a set of free weights.
This Xtreme 2 SE home gym setup is Bowflex's most versatile and can be configured for over 75 different exercises which target different muscle groups.
It has a range of handles and accessories for different upper body exercises and it has an integrated lat pulldown bar for back exercises.
It also comes with a leg extension attachment and squat bar as standard, so it ticks all the boxes for lower body too.
There's no bench attachment though, and I'm not as big a fan of the vertical bench press (but it does work).
The Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE multi gym comes with a detailed user manual so you can explore the multiple setups and get the most from your workout.
This is actually quite good, but I would have preferred some video content to accompany it.
What I really like about the Xtreme 2 SE is how versatile it is when I'm training. There's exercises for every part of your body and you don't need to buy many extra accessories (except power rods).
It also has a quick change pulley system which some other Bowflex models don't, so you can easily shift between exercises without disrupting your workout.
However, the power rods and motion do take some getting up to, and it's definitely no replacement for free weights.
If you're fairly new to fitness and you want to tone up and lose weight it can really help you, but if you want to build muscle then weights are better for you.
Related Article - Best Upper Body Gym Equipment
Assembly And Ease Of Use
Bowflex gyms are designed for beginners looking to train at home and the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE multi gym is easy to assemble.
There are more parts compared to other Bowflex models, but the instruction manual should take you through each step.
It should come in 4 boxes, none of which are too heavy, and even on your own assembly should only take a few hours. Just make sure you have a socket wrench handy to tighten everything up.
In terms of using the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE, it's really straightforward.
There are a few pulleys to provide resistance across multiple exercises and they've incorporated a quick-change pulley system into the Xtreme 2 SE so you can go from one exercise to the other without having to reconfigure it.
The quick change pulley system is great for those performing circuit style workouts, or doing progressive resistance sets, and can really help you streamline your workout.
If you're a complete beginner, then all home gym systems can be daunting, but the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE is one of the best we've used.
Just make sure you follow the user guide, and you should be fine.
Price And Warranty
Bowflex home gyms are all budget and much more affordable than other brands.
The Xtreme 2 SE multi gym is one of their more expensive models and you should expect to pay $1,500-$1,800, but it's still thousands of dollars cheaper than other premium brands.
The Xtreme 2 SE offers some good value for money, but it doesn't blow me away. The quality is fair and the versatility is good, but for a similar price you can get the Body Solid BSG10X which is a better model.
The Bowflex 2SE is affordable, but it's at the top end of the Bowflex price range. If you're on a very tight budget you may be better with the Bowflex Xceed.
The Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE has actually been discontinued by Bowflex now so you can't buy it from them directly.
It's still easy to find it in places like Walmart, Amazon, and large fitness stores, but the price may vary.
The Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE comes with an extended warranty. This covers all parts for 7 years, 2 years longer than the warranty on other Bowflex models.
Some other brands do offer a lifetime warranty, but this still provides some protection to help protect your investment.
Shipping & Support
You can no longer purchase the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE from Bowflex directly because it's been discontinued, but you can shop of Amazon, Walmart or a range of fitness companies.
The shipping details can vary for each but I ordered from Amazon and it took 8 days to arrive.
For international shipping you may have limited options and you'll have to allow a longer lead in time to receive it.
Pros & Cons Of The Bowflex Xtreme 2SE
Things We Like
Things We Don’t Like
Who Is It Best For?
The Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE is one of the more advanced Bowflex home gym systems, but it's best suited for beginner or intermediate lifters.
It can also be useful for those looking to improve their mobility or rehabilitate from injury, but if that's your goal you'll get better value from the cheaper Bowflex Xceed.
The resistance rods make the pulling, bench, and squat functions on this home gym really smooth and effective.
The set up is a little confusing at first, but once you understand it you can get a great full body workout. This makes the Xtreme 2 SE useful for those who want a single piece of equipment for all their strength training.
The Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE is a step up from the Bowflex PR1000, PR3000, and Xceed, so it's suitable for lifters with a bit of experience as well as complete beginners.
It won't be appropriate for advanced lifters. The power rod system is good, but it's not a replacement for iron, and free weights are still the best way to build lean muscle quickly.
If you have a bit of experience with home gyms then the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE can help to take you to the next level.
However, if price is a determining factor for you then you may be better off looking at the Bowflex Xceed which offers a lot of the same functionality at a lower cost.
Unique Design Features Of The Bowflex Xtreme 2SE
The Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE has a lot of similarities to other Bowflex home gym systems, but there are a few key design features that make it stand out:
No-Change Pulley System
The Bowflex no-change pulley system allows you to shift from one exercise to the other more easily. The steel bearings help facilitate this, and we found it a really smooth operation.
This is great for circuits or quick workouts where every minute counts.
Full Body Work Out
Some of the older Bowflex gym systems offered fewer exercises, and it was more challenging to get a total body workout that hit all the major muscle groups.
The Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE is a step up from older models and has over 75 exercise options.
In particular, it has a lot more lower body exercise options as there's a squat bar, bar for deadlifts, and attachments for kickbacks, calf raises, leg extension, and hip extensions.
There are also some more core exercises available to train your abdominals with the cables. This means you can target your upper body and lower body, which makes it more useful for experienced users.
Bowflex provides a complete guide to making the most of the home gym system.
This is useful with the Xtreme 2 SE because having over 70 options for lower and upper body exercises can be daunting at times.
The guide includes workout suggestions and tips, making the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE easier for beginners .
Bowflex gyms use the power rod system because it's quieter, lighter, and more compact.
Some people have complained that Bowflex gyms power rods can lose resistance over time which impacts the maximum resistance of the whole home gym.
While we haven't noticed them lose resistance noticeably, the power rods definitely aren't as durable as regular free weights and plates, so you shouldn't expect them to last as long.
The Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE model starts with 210 pounds but allows you to upgrade the resistance rods.
By using the rods for progressive resistance even experienced lifters can get a good workout without a bulky weight stack.
Comparing Xtreme 2SE With Other Bowflex Home Gyms
There are a range of different Bowflex gyms, and we've compared the Xtreme 2 SE with their other popular models to see how it stacks up:
Bowflex Xtreme 2SE Vs Ultimate 2
The Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE and the Bowflex Ultimate 2 are ideal for anyone looking for a full-body workout.
They're both compact to fit in a small gym, and they are both well made and should last a long time.
The Bowflex Ultimate 2 offers more exercises (up to 95), so it's better suited for more advanced lifters.
It also has the advantage of being a folding home gym, so it will take up less space in your home. The downside is that it’s more expensive.
The Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE is the better choice if you're a beginner. It's more affordable, slightly smaller, and offers more than enough exercises.
If you're a bit more experienced, you may want to look at the Ultimate 2, but be prepared to spend more.
Bowflex Xtreme 2SE vs Blaze
The Bowflex Blaze is an older model, and it doesn't have all the functionality of the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE.
The designs are similar and they both use the Bowflex power rod system to create resistance.
The key advantage of the Blaze is that it has a foldable bench. This allows you to do more strength exercises and can be folded away when you're done for easier storage. It also includes a cardio row option for those who like this type of training.
The disadvantage of the Blaze compared to the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE is that it offers fewer exercises (only 60 compared to 75), and only has a 5-year warranty.
If you're choosing between these two models, we would recommend going with the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE, unless you particularly like rowing, in which case the Blaze will be better for you.
Read More - Our Review Of The Bowflex Blaze Home Gym
Bowflex Xtreme 2SE vs PR3000
The Bowflex Xtreme and PR3000 are probably the most similar models, and the Xtreme 2SE just feels like an updated version.
Neither of the home gym systems fold, they are both well made, and they’re both easy to use, making them an asset in any home gym.
The Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE is better than the PR3000 in almost every category. It offers over 25 more exercises, and it comes with additional equipment for different activities.
Most importantly, you can upgrade the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE to have over 410 pounds of resistance, whereas the PR3000 maxes out at 310.
The only real advantage of the PR3000 is the price because it’s an older model and you can pick it up more cheaply.
If you’ve got a bit of experience and you can afford it then you should go with the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE because of the extra resistance and functionality.
If you’re a beginner on a tight budget, then I would look at the Xceed rather than the PR3000, because it's cheaper and has more functionality.
See Also - Bowflex PR3000 Review
Bowflex Xtreme 2SE vs PR1000
The Bowflex PR1000 is an older model than the Xtreme 2 SE.
It’s big and bulky, and has a bench attachment as standard. This is good for different chest and leg exercises and offers up to 50 different workouts, but it can’t really compete with the newer Bowflex Xtreme.
The Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE offers 25 extra exercises, can support an additional 200 pounds of resistance because the PR1000 can't be upgraded with extra power rods.
It's also more compact when in use as the PR1000 needs a lot more space.
The PR1000 is a bit less expensive but the Xtreme 2 SE offers a lot more value. It also comes with an extra 2 years of warranty to help protect your investment for longer.
Also Check Out - Bowflex PR1000 Tested & Reviewed
Bowflex Xtreme 2SE vs Revolution
The Bowflex Revolution is the newest gym system from Bowflex, and it is built to push your body.
The Revolution uses SpiraFlex instead of resistance rods. This gives a more even level of resistance throughout the movement and develop each muscle group more quickly.
The design also allows it to offer over 100 different exercises (25 more than the Xtreme).
It also supports more resistance, with 300 pounds as standard and upgrades of up to 600 pounds available.
In terms of pure performance, you can't really beat the Bowflex Revolution, and it certainly feels more like a commercial-grade piece of gym equipment.
However, it's almost twice the size of the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE and over $3,000 more expensive.
The Revolution isn't a budget home gym and caters to those with a much bigger budget.
If you want a home gym which will support more advanced workouts then it's worth considering the Revolution, but most beginners just don't need to spend that much and the Xtreme 2 SE offers greater value.
Related Article - Complete Review Of The Bowflex Revolution
Bowflex Xtreme 2SE Replacement Parts
The Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE comes with a lot more functionality than older models, and unlike the Bowflex PR1000 or Blaze, there's much less need to buy additional accessories because it comes with squat bar, core attachment, and an angled lat bar as standard.
The one thing it is worth investing in is extra power rods. These will allow you to up the resistance and continually challenge your body as you grow.
If you need to order power rods, or any replacement parts, then you are best going to Bowflex directly.
This will help ensure that you get the right parts for your model and let you see all the options available to you.
We've always found that handles and pulleys are the first to go, but Bowflex will stock all the replacement parts so you can fix your home gym fairly cheaply.
Assembly & Disassembly Of The Xtreme 2SE (DIY Guide)
The Xtreme 2 SE won't come built, so you'll need to assemble it yourself. Bowflex has created an assembly manual to follow.
The guide itself is straightforward, but you can also use the supporting tutorial video below to help you.
You will need about half a day, and it's worthwhile having a friend there to help you.
Unfortunately, Bowflex doesn't provide all the tools you need for assembly, so you should make sure you have the following:
Details can be found in the assembly manual, but these are the steps you'll need to go through:
- 1Build the base frame
- 2Assemble and attach the lat tower to the base frame
- 3Install the squat pulley frame and squat bar
- 4Install pulley arms
- 5Install slider pulleys
- 6Assemble the seat
- 7Assemble the leg extension and connect to the seat
- 8Install the seat pad
- 9Connect the seat
- 10Assemble and install the upper lat tower with angled lat bar
- 11Assemble the ab crunch station and attach to the upper lat tower
- 12Attach the pulley handles
- 13Connect the cables to each area
- 14Test the machine
If you wish to disassemble the machine, you'll need to work backward through these steps.
As a general rule, just remember that turn the nuts or bolts left to loosen and right to tighten.
Types of Exercises You Can Do With Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE
The Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE will let you target each major muscle group, and you can find all the details in the user guide. The most popular exercises include:
Your workout should be tailored to help you reach your goals, and the Bowflex guide will help you create your own tailored plan to hit each muscle group.
If you're a beginner, then it's a good idea to go for 3-5 full-body exercises a week, leaving some time in between so your body can recover.
Below is a sample workout which will take around 20 minutes:
Frequently Asked Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE Questions
How to adjust the resistance of the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE?
To adjust the resistance of the Xtreme 2 SE, just take the cable hook and slide it through as many power rods as needed.
Which is better, Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE or free weights?
The Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE is more expensive than a set of free weights but offers over 75 different exercises to choose from. This can actually make it more economical than free weights and save you space in your small home gym.
How to secure the seat locking pin?
The lock pin stabilizes the seat of the Bowflex Xtreme by sliding through the bottom of the seat into the frame. Ensure it's secure before working out, or the seat could slip.
Can you upgrade Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE?
Yes, you can purchase extra power rods to increase the resistance of the Xtreme 2 SE and challenge your body.
When did the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE come out?
The Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE first came out in 2014.
Bowflex Xtreme 2SE - Our Ratings
Value For Money
Ease Of Use
Ease Of Assembly
Materials & Durability
The Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE is a modern home gym system that offers a lot of functionality.
With over 75 different exercises, for beginners or intermediate lifters it essentially removes the need for other home gym equipment and can save you a lot of space, time, and money.
However, it's definitely not a full replacement for a commercial gym membership and isn't well suited for those looking to add muscle mass.
Hopefully, this guide has given you some useful information about this model, and you now know whether it's the best home gym system for you.
Last Updated on February 24, 2023