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Soloflex vs. Bowflex

Soloflex vs. Bowflex

At a Glance

Although the Bowflex offers a greater variety of exercises than the Soloflex, the Soloflex is a more compact home gym and might be the better choice for those with little storage space.

Buying a home fitness center isn’t a decision that should be taken lightly. There are so many factors to think about before making the investment. Two of the more common home gym systems are the Soloflex and the Bowflex. Even though the names are similar, the systems are not completely alike and are different enough to carefully consider each factor before making the purchase. One is not necessarily better than the other because the best system is the one that meets your fitness goals.


Pictured at top: Bowflex Revolution Home Gym

The type of resistance is different for each machine. The Bowflex uses power rods for resistance. Cables clip to the rod ends and they bend while pulling on the cables to increase resistance. More expensive models utilize discs with straps instead of the power rods. You can buy more rods and discs to increase the resistance up to a maximum of 410 pounds.

The Soloflex machine uses elastic straps. The straps attach to pegs on the arms of the machine and then stretch according to how much resistance you want. An extra benefit is that you can add 500 lbs of traditional weights on the Soloflex barbell arms, something the Bowflex doesn’t incorporate into its design.


The Bowflex offers two main stream home gym models; the Bowflex revolution home gym and the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE home gym. Each model varies in price, the number of exercises that can be done, length of the warranty and overall size of the machine. The Soloflex is an older home gym system that was introduced in the 1970’s and is still available with minor tweaks. They also offer an option that includes a butterfly and leg extension.

Both systems allow you to complete a full-body workout. The Bowflex models offer either 70 or 100 exercies, while the Soloflex is more basic and offers just over 30 different workouts to give your body the total burn you seek. If you want a more basic machine the Soloflex should be in your sights, while a Bowflex might be more appealing if you need variety in your exercise routine.


The Soloflex wins in this category hands down and is one of its major appealing factors. It measures four feet wide by four feet deep and six feet tall. The Bowflex requires significantly more space to be set up. The more extensive model measures nine feet four inches long and is six feet tall. The more basic model is significantly smaller and measures close to the Soloflex at four feet five inches long, but it requires nearly seven feet of height clearance. The best machine is one that you have adequate space for in order to do the type of workouts you desire.


The price of the lower-end Bowflex retails for $1,599, while the more advanced model is significantly more expensive with an MSRP of $2,999. The Soloflex costs $1,695 for the basic muscle machine and $2,425 for the machine that includes a butterfly and leg extension for more varied workouts.