Bowflex PR1000 Review

Bowflex PR1000 Review: Is It Worth Buying in 2021

Bowflex is a household name when it comes to exercise equipment, but does the PR1000 deserve the reputation? In this Bowflex PR1000 review, I’ll discuss the pros and cons of the home gym, who it’s right for, and what you may want to consider instead. It’s great for some people, but keep reading to see why it might not be the best choice for you.

How to Choose a Home Gym – Some Decision-Making Tips

Whether you ultimately decide to go with the Bowflex PR1000 will depend on what you need, your budget, the amount of space you have in your home, and what you expect from exercise equipment like this.

Here are some tips that will help you decide whether the PR1000 is the best choice, or if you may want to keep looking. Keep them in mind as you read over the features, pros, and cons.

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Bowflex PR1000 Home Gym | Bowflex

Get a total body strength workout with affordable home gym, includes rowing machine rail.

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Will It Grow with You?

You’re probably buying this because you want to get stronger, right? I recommend looking for a machine that will grow with you as you get stronger.

Some home gyms can be upgraded with additional weight, while others cannot. Even if you’re not springing for the extra weight now, having that option available for later, just in case you need it, isn’t a bad thing.

gym equipment

How Much Room Do You Need?

There are a few things to consider here:

  • How much room does the machine itself need (don’t forget to check the height)?
  • How much will you need while it’s in use?
  • Can all or part of it be folded out of the way? How much does it require when not in use, when stored away?

Can You Really Work Your Whole Body Well?

Are there multiple heights for the cables and pulleys that you’ll be able to choose from? Is there a way to work the backs of your legs (hamstring curls, for example?) or even your quads (leg extension or squat bar)? Will you be able to work your back with rows and pulldowns? Which exercises will require you to stand vs sit (and how much does that matter to you)?

Will the Parts Wear Out Over Time? What Does the Warranty Cover?

Most home gyms like this will have parts that wear out over time. Check into the replacement parts available, how much they cost, and what’s covered under warranty.

Remember that if you replace a rod, for example, on one side, you’ll need to replace it on the other side, as well, to keep the resistance the same. Some parts may even be covered under a lifetime warranty.

However, the power rods on the Bowflex PR1000 are only under warranty for five years, though that’s likely to be for breakage rather than general wear and loss of resistance over time.

Will This Home Gym Help Me Reach My Goals?

Any of them can help you burn calories and gain strength, but what if you’re looking to really build muscle and want a cardio component, too? Will you have to buy additional equipment to reach your goals, or does the home gym you’re considering check all the boxes for you?

There’s no right or wrong answer, but it’s important to get clear on your goals and the types of workouts you want to do (or other equipment you ultimately want to buy) before you take the plunge with a big home gym purchase.

Bowflex PR1000 Review

Key Features of the Bowflex PR1000

Here’s what you get with the Bowflex PR1000:

  • A good machine on a budget (check around because the prices tend to vary from retailer to retailer)
  • 210 pounds of resistance to work with, in the form of power rods
  • A folding design that keeps it out of the way when not in use
  • A rowing station for cardiovascular fitness and a full-body workout
  • 30 strength exercises you can do
  • 7 workouts created by trainers
  • 2 workouts you can follow along with using the media rack
  • A media rack so you stay entertained, motivated, or inspired as you work out, or follow along with your favorite workouts via your device


Though I don’t think this is the best home gym on the market, it does have some pros to consider:

  • It’s one of the more affordable options for a home gym, even within the Bowflex line.
  • This could be a good option for beginners or people who don’t think they’ll ever max out the 210 pounds of resistance it comes with, even if the rods wear out over time and don’t provide quite as much resistance as they did when they were new.
  • Being able to fold it up makes it easier to move out of the way if your fitness goals are put on hold, you have guests, or just want more space for daily living than a full dumbbell rack, power tower, etc., would.
  • Using power rods vs dumbbells means you have even resistance all the way through the move.
  • As cardio is an important part of a well-rounded fitness plan, this machine checks most boxes without the need for additional equipment. The rowing component may not be everyone’s favorite way to maintain cardiovascular health, but it will definitely get your heart up and it’s perfect for days the weather isn’t nice enough for a run or walk outdoors.
  • This machine can still do more than your average set of dumbbells and a bench because it makes back workouts, leg extensions, and leg curls much more doable than other simpler at-home setups might be. (Ever try holding a heavy dumbbell between your feet for leg extensions and curls? Not fun, and even kind of scary at times.)


This could be the perfect machine for some people, but there are some cons to consider before you dive in and click Buy Now:

  • It’s no longer sold on, so you’ll have to go somewhere else to get it. As of this writing, you can find it at Amazon and Walmart.
  • The weight can’t be upgraded, so when you are able to comfortably lift the 210 pounds for your desired number of reps, the only thing left to do is replace the whole machine.
  • If the power rods lose some of their resistance over time, you’re not getting stronger. You may not know how much resistance you’re really working with.
  • Because you’ll probably be upgrading to a different home gym option eventually (assuming you need more than 210 pounds), it may not be worth the financial investment in the long run. If your budget can handle it, an alternative with the option of adding more weight may be a better choice.

Alternatives We’d Recommend

If the Bowflex PR1000 isn’t right for you, maybe one of these will be the perfect fit instead:

Bowflex Blaze

Bowflex Blaze

I did a full comparison of the Bowflex PR1000 vs Blaze, but here’s the short version:


  • It doesn’t cost that much more
  • You can do more exercises with it
  • You can still row
  • It also folds up
  • You can add weight to it so you can lift up to 410 pounds total
  • You can do leg presses
  • It’s slightly smaller than the PR1000


  • It does cost more, so it may not fit every budget
  • You’ll still have to pay more when you’re ready to upgrade; it’s not included in the price
  • It’s not sold on the Bowflex website, so you’ll have to find it at another retailer
  • No holder for a device

Question: Is the Bowflex PR1000 worth it?

Answer: Yes and no. For beginners and people who don’t see themselves ever needing more than 210 pounds of resistance, it might be worth it. However, if you ever want to upgrade or you want a wider range of exercises you can do, it’s not the best choice.

Question: Does the Bowflex PR1000 fold?

Answer: Yes

Question: What exercises can you do with Bowflex PR1000?

Answer: You can do leg extensions, leg curls, rowing, leg presses, lat pulldowns, curls, crossover rear delt rows, seated lat rows, bicep curls, bench presses, shoulder presses, shoulder raises, standing leg kickbacks, trunk rotations, crunches, seated hip abductions/adductions, calf raises, tricep pushdowns, tricep extensions, and more.

Question: Can you really build muscle with Bowflex?

Answer: Yes, but make sure you’re fueling your body correctly in order to see the best results.

Question: Is Bowflex better than free weights?

Answer: It depends on where you are in your fitness journey and what you need. Machines (and even machines in the gym, so I’m not just talking about Bowflex and similar home gyms here) and don’t always recruit as many stabilizing muscles as free weights and they may limit your movement on some exercises. This can be a good thing at first, especially if you’re worried your form will be wrong and you need additional help with stability as you learn how to perform the exercise movements and get stronger.

Free weights will generally work more muscles and give you more freedom in the exercises you can do, but the stability, coordination, balance, form, and rage of motion will be all up to you and your muscles.

Question: Can you upgrade Bowflex PR1000?

Answer: No, unfortunately, you cannot upgrade the Bowflex PR1000. Other Bowflex home gyms do have this capability, however.

Question: What’s the best Bowflex gym?

Answer: The Bowflex Blaze is pretty good, but it’s another one you won’t find on the Bowflex website. Of the current offerings, the Bowflex Revolution is the most versatile and has the best warranty. However, it’s much more expensive than any of the other options, at nearly $3000.00 before tax. The Blaze or Xtreme 2 SE home gym are excellent middle ground choices.

Question: Does Bowflex home gym really work?

Answer: Yes, if you’re consistent with your workouts and eat right for your age, weight, activity levels, and goals, there’s no reason to think the Bowflex home gym wouldn’t work (unless you’re already a serious bodybuilder who needs more resistance).

Conclusion: Pass on the PR1000

Though the Bowflex PR1000 is a decent home gym option and good for beginners, I recommend going for something different, whether it’s from the Bowflex family or another brand.

There’s a good chance you’ll outgrow the machine if you lift regularly and there are options on the market that will let you add weight. The inability to grow with you (especially since the rods may even lose resistance over time) is my biggest gripe about this piece of exercise equipment.

Most Affordable
Bowflex PR1000 Home Gym | Bowflex

Get a total body strength workout with affordable home gym, includes rowing machine rail.

Check Price Buy at
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.


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