It’s a Sunday afternoon and it took me almost an hour to go over each exercise variation before writing this Bowflex PR1000 home gym review. So here are my thoughts on what is arguably one of the most popular fitness and home gym items on Amazon.
On the visual side, the Bowflex PR1000 commands attention – it is an elegant looking piece of machinery, with neatly arranged parts that fit into a very cohesive design. The station is surprisingly heavy and sturdy, and feels glued to the ground.
Surprisingly sturdy and comfortable
On first contact with it, I was surprised by the lack of noise – nothing feels loose, squeaky, or otherwise cheap. It doesn’t feel like a piece of home gym equipment, but rather a premium-grade, commercial gym inventory.
I do love the tactile experience of the handles, as well as the feeling you get when the entire machinery is working. It feels stable, controlled, and very satisfying.
The cushion pads are very dense, yet comfortably soft. And I definitely love the geometry of the entire set, from bench, to tower station, and roller cushions for the leg extensions. These, however, are not your clever way of training legs if you are into a more serious training regimen and routine. For the strength and fitness enthusiast, who never trained legs separately, I can see how they might suffice.
The Bowflex PR1000 offers more exercises than you can chew
While having 210 pounds of maximum power rod resistance doesn’t sound much, the sheer number of combinations and angles from which you can stress each muscle group nicely compensate and then some.
You’ll be able to train the chest, shoulders and back with a garden variety of moves. There are so many wide and narrow positions that you’ll see faster and more symmetric growth. It’s like having a room full of resistance machines, packed in a convenient workout station.
With few attachment replacements, you can even work on moves that the Bowflex PR1000 wasn’t even designed for. Consider buying an ankle strap, and maybe a straight bar with three attachment points.
I did a variety of fly moves, bicep curls, triceps extensions both overhead and pressing down, and several bench exercises that worked my chest and shoulders from all the angles imaginable.
Combined with some cardio work, this is all the equipment you’ll ever need in order to look like a freaking model. The uncompromising symmetry and range of motion for each exercise will dramatically improve your performance, increasing strength in your chest, arms, back and core (even legs, although much less in comparison to these).
What you get
- Easy to assemble workout station
- Sturdy and durable
- Heavy so it feels glued to the floor
- Dense and comfortable cushioning
- 210 pounds of resistance
- Smooth cable machinery
- Doubles as a rowing machine as well
- Allows for dozens of bench exercises
- Lat pull-down machine
- Number of biceps and triceps exercise variations
- Replaceable handles, so you can try other attachments as well
The only con I can think off is the leg exercises attachment, which though decent, is subpar when compared against the other features. It’s mostly due to geometry, so consider it an added bonus and you won’t be disappointed. For a casual leg training session though, it would suffice.
Also important to know
The price for such a premium quality and complete workout station is ridiculous. Though over the $400 mark, it is still super affordable considering what you get. The Weider Home Gym or the Gold’s Gym XRS50 can try to compete with the Bowflex, but only in certain aspects, so I will scratch them from the list and place this model as the number one within its category.
The rods are replaceable, so you can very well lower the resistance down to a minimum and have your significant other, or even kids participate and train.
You get a 5-year warranty on each, though it doesn’t cover the usual wear and tear. I do assume they will lose some of the elasticity and hence resistance over time, but it’s not likely to happen before several years go by (I’ve read few reviews saying at least 5 or 6). Even if this happens, you can always replace the rods which are fairly inexpensive.
You’ll have to reattach the cables when switching between the lower and upper position with some of the exercises, but it is a few seconds worth of effort so it doesn’t feel like a chore – definitely much easier than loading and unloading weight plates.
You cannot increase the resistance beyond 210 pounds, so that might seem to be a downer for some. But if you need more resistance, I’ll go ahead and put a wager that you don’t need much of an exercise anyway.
Before I wrap this up…
You’ll get an instructional manual, so the assembly process should go very smooth. However, many customers complain that there is no DVD included, with all of the exercise variations for the Bowflex PR1000. While this is true, and you cannot relly on your ingenuity and creativity to figure out each and every move, you can visit YouTube where people have been uploading videos of all the possible exercise variations.
The Bowflex PR1000 is backed up by many expert reviews, and several publications place it on top of the under-$600 home gym category.
Looking for a retailer, do note that Amazon provides free shipping, and 5 years warranty for the resistance rods, and one year plus two months for the frames and parts respectively.
Folding up this letter, I’m ending this Bowflex PR1000 Home Gym review with a highly positive verdict.
If you need a home gym station, primarily focused on the upper part of your body, which offers quite a lot of resistance and even more exercise combinations, definitely consider the Bowflex PR1000 Home Gym. Compared to other models that fade away when placed side by side for comparison, the Bowflex PR1000 is extremely versatile, sturdy, and super affordable. It is a premium grade quality workout station that you won’t likely grow out of. If I ever decide to spice up my training with strength and resistance machinery, this is definitely the first (and probably last) item that I’m going to buy. Highly recommended!