Reviewed: Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE
For many people, having to go to the gym can be a bothersome chore, but it’s often necessary to help them lose weight and maintain their fitness. But you can get a home gym that offers many of the crucial benefits of a commercial gym, and it also offers the advantage of no longer needing to go out of the house to exercise. And for many, the Bowflex Xtreme 2SE Home Gym is one of the best alternatives to becoming a gym member.
Nautilus, the parent company of Bowflex, is a highly regarded company and is well-known in the fitness equipment industry. Its other products include the Schwinn Exercise and the iconic Stairmaster. They are also responsible for producing high quality adjustable dumbbells.
The Xtreme 2SE is also one of its bestsellers. So what differentiates the Bowflex Xtreme 2 from its competitors? Let’s take a look at its key features:
The first thing you need to do when you buy a home gym is to make sure you can actually fit one in your place. And that shouldn’t be a problem with the Bowflex Xtreme SE as it’s one of the most compact designs for home gyms in the market.
You just need to make sure that you reserve a space of at least 8 by 6.5 feet for its use. You also need to make sure that you have enough space to accommodate its 83-inch height (almost 7 feet). Finally you have to be certain that your floor can take the 185-pound weight, but at least it doesn’t weigh 350 or 400 pounds like most other home gyms. With this unit, at least it’s still possible to move it around to a different location with the help of friends.
The home gym features a single seat. It’s adjustable and quite comfortable, as it offers full support with its polyurethane cushion. It also features a 5-way hand grip, which offers a regular grip, a non-grip cuff, a shoulder cuff, an ankle cuff, and a foot cuff.
It’s axiomatic in strength training and weight loss workouts that you need to lift weights to achieve your fitness goals. But the Bowflex Xtreme 2SE doesn’t use weight stacks like with dumbbells and barbells. Instead, it uses the Bowflex Power Rods to offer resistance that function just like weights. The basic configuration offers up to 210 pounds of resistance. It also comes with a lat tower and an angled lat bar.
Instead of lifting heavy weights, here you use a cable pulley system. But you don’t need to change the cables when you wish to do a different exercise or focus on other muscles in your body.
With this system, you can perform more than 70 different exercises to keep yourself fit. You can also get into 4 different positions that offer you different angles and degrees to work out your entire body. You can focus on your abs with the use of the abdomen harness, and the leg extension lets you focus on your leg muscles.
Support and Upgrades
The Bowflex Xtreme 2SE Home Gym comes with a great warranty, as it offers a 7-year warranty for the frame along with a lifetime warranty on the power rods. In addition, the customer support is unquestionably superb. You can send an email or call them directly, and the support will respond quickly and offer detailed answers and suggestions.
The resistance can be upgraded to 310 or even 410 pounds, which greatly enhances its functionality. It already has the lat tower and the angled lat bar, so you pretty much have all that you really need. But you also have other options, such as adding an ab attachment or a preacher curl attachment to really boost the versatility of its functions.
Pros and Cons
So let’s summarize its advantages and drawbacks.
The compact size is a definite advantage, as you don’t really need a huge room to accommodate it and to use it properly. That makes it ideal for those who live in a small apartment. It’s comparatively light weight means you can more easily change its location with the help of a few friends, and it also means you aren’t likely to damage your floor.
The resistance levels are more than adequate for beginners. With up to 210 pounds of resistance, newbies can really challenge themselves so that they can lose weight and build muscles. But that doesn’t mean that it is only for beginners, as the option to upgrade to 310 o 410 pounds means that it can still be useful to more advanced gym users.
It offers full body workouts, so that means you don’t really need to make another expensive purchase. You may have to buy additional attachments to improve the functionality, but at least the expense is not that great. And since it doesn’t use weights, you don’t need to buy a weight rack. That can be an expensive purchase.
The 70 possible exercises you can perform is a huge advantage. You have a lot more options with this home gym system than with many other units, as typically they only offer as many as 20 to 30 exercises for you to do.
The seat is a nice touch, and in general you’ll be comfortable while you do your workouts. Exercising is already difficult enough and you don’t need an uncomfortable seat to make things even harder.
All in all it’s very easy to use. You can really breeze through all your preferred exercises, or even through all of them. It can be fun to use, but it offers enough intensity to really help you achieve your fitness goals.
It needs to be assembled, but that’s not really a problem as the setup is very easy. It is solidly built, and you shouldn’t have any problems with parts breaking down prematurely. That makes it really safe to use.
The warranty is also much better than what you can find with other home gyms. In addition, there’s really nothing out there that surpasses the helpfulness of the Bowflex support staff. These people are prompt with their replies and patient when you have multiple questions and concerns. They actually provide complete answers to your questions.
It is not absolutely perfect, however. The most glaring drawback is the absence of any DVD that contains the videos showing you how you can do the exercises properly. That means you’ll have to use a tablet (and a stand) to go online so you can do research on what kind of exercises you can do with the Bowflex Xtreme 2. That can be very tedious, and it really takes away some of the fun of using this home gym.
So should you get the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE? If you’re in need of an alternative to expensive gym memberships and you don’t want to bother having to travel to work out, then this is an extremely good choice. It’s now very affordable since it was first launched in 2007, but you wouldn’t call its features outdated at all.
What’s more, it really works. As is, it offers many opportunities for beginners to ease into a developing a proper workout schedule and it will take a long time before a newbie needs to upgrade the system. But with upgrades, even a more advanced gym rat will appreciate this.
So if you need a home gym system, this is a great option. Buy the Bowflex Xtreme 2SE Home Gym today and get the muscular physique you’ve always wanted.