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Total Gym vs. Bowflex

Total Gym vs. Bowflex

At a Glance

The Total Gym has as lower cost of entry than the Bowflex, and most Total Gym models fold for easy storage. However, more exercises are available with the Bowflex, which also offers greater maximum resistance and has no height or weight restrictions.

For those seeking fitness without a gym membership, a home gym is a beneficial addition to the household. Picking one, however, might leave one feeling more exhausted than HIIT. Although dozens of commercials about home gyms are on the televisions and you can try them out at stores, comparing is difficult. That is why two of the most of popular home gym systems—Total Gym and Bowflex—have been put side-by-side to look at which fits your lifestyle the best.

Total Gym History

Pictured at top: Bowflex Xtreme 2SE Home Gym

Aside from Chuck Norris endorsing the product—a definite selling point—the Total Gym has been around for a long time. Since 1974, Total Gym has developed functional and bodyweight training equipment to be used in over 23 countries for a variety of purposes. You might find a Total Gym at the local YMCA, in the physical therapist office, hospitals, schools, and even in your neighbor’s living room.

Bowflex History

This home gym has come quite a way. Distributed by Nautilus Inc., the same company producing Schwinn bikes and Octane elliptical trainers, Bowflex systems have gained rapid popularity around the world. Having started around the same time as Total Gym in the 1970s, Nautilus creates many trusted fitness and household products. They have also been named the Healthiest Employer for 3 years in a row. Says something about their philosophy.

Total Gym Overview

  • Available models include the GTS for $3,795.00 and the Power Tower for $5,295.00. However, lower cost options are available.
  • Payment plans are available.
  • Assembly is non-existent.
  • 5 year warranty on the metal frame, 1 year warranty on parts and upholstery
  • Comes with a workout DVD
  • Has some height and weight restrictions that make performing specific exercises, like lower body ones, challenging.

A glimpse at the two models shows that there is no humongous difference between them. The Power Tower merely offers more incremental levels of resistance than the GTS. Plus, it is motorized.

Over 200 different exercises can be completed on either system. Resistance is focused on your own bodyweight, ranging from 1-72%. Since the focus of the Total Gym is functional exercise and performance enhancement, the entire body is utilized throughout your workout. The cables and rolling glideboard can be adjusted to allow for traditional weight training, Pilates, rehabilitation and stabilization training. The glideboard can even be changed to allow for Plyometrics.

The Total Gym is a great choice for those with minimal room because it can be folded up.

Bowflex Overview

  • Two models are available: the Bowflex Revolution for $2,999.00, and the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE for $1,599.00.
  • Special financing is available. Your purchase can be paid off overtime if you choose to receive a Bowflex credit card. The website usually has coupon deals and free shipping offers, making this a financially smart buy.
  • In-home assembly required.
  • “Results in 6 weeks or your money back” guarantee.
  • 7 year warranty on the Xtreme 2 SE, 10 year warranty on the Revolution, and a lifetime warranty on the power rods.
  • Neither model has height or weight restrictions.

Let’s look at the home gym models:

The Bowflex Revolution can replace an fitness facility. Over 100 exercises and 400 variations can be done. The free plates that are included use SpiralFlex Technology, which was developed for NASA, and provide resistance without inertia. This means a reduction of sticking points, saving your joints. Nearly every exercise machine—sitting or standing—can be replicated. With an upgrade, the total resistance reaches 600 lbs.

The Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE features the innovative Power Rods that allow adjustments in resistance while providing constant tension, effectively working muscles throughout all ranges of motion. Since everything is cable-based, exercises can be connected seamlessly. The current model also provides an ab crunch seat. Standard resistance is 210 lbs, but with an upgrade, it tops 310 lbs.

Both offer a means of training explosively and through all planes of movement.

The only issue with Bowflex home gyms is storage.