Bowflex PR1000 vs Blaze: Which One Should You Buy?

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Is the Bowflex PR1000 or Blaze better? They’re similar enough at first glance and both use the power rod resistance system, but there are some marked differences between the two home gyms that make one better than the other, in my opinion.

We’ll compare the ability of these machines to adapt with you as you gain muscle and get stronger, consider the number of exercises you’ll be able to do with these Bowflex Home Gyms, and more, so you can decide if the Bowflex PR1000 or Blaze is better for you.

Our Pick
Best Overall: Bowflex Blaze | Bowflex

The Bowflex Blaze offers more than sixty exercises and is a BETTER OPTION than the other models. It's MORE USABLE, space conscious, and a great mid-point price that is definitely the best value of the Bowflex home gyms.

Check Price Buy at Amazon.com
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Main Differences Between Bowflex PR1000 vs Blaze

The main differences between Bowflex PR1000 vs Blaze are:

  • Bowflex PR1000 is available on the Bowflex website, whereas the Blaze is no longer available there.
  • Bowflex PR1000 allows you to do 30+ exercises and rowing, whereas the Blaze lets you do 60+ exercises, rowing, and leg presses.
  • Bowflex PR1000 cannot be upgraded with more weight as you get stronger, whereas the Blaze allows you to move from 210 pounds up to 310 or even 410.
  • Bowflex PR1000 has a spot to put your device so you can follow along with workouts, whereas the Blaze does not (instead, it has a guide for a 20-minute workout in that spot).

What to Look for in a Home Gym

There are a lot of home gym options out there, but once you have a checklist or guide in mind, it’ll be easier to sort out which one is the right one for you. Here is what I recommend looking at:

  • How many exercises can you do with it?
  • How high does the weight go?
  • Can you add weight as you get stronger?
  • Will your whole family use it? If so, how much weight will they likely need now and after a couple of years?
  • How much room does it take up when in use?
  • Can you easily fold it up and store it if you need to?
  • How easy is it to deal with if something breaks?
  • How is the warranty?
  • Is there a cardio component, or will you need something else for that?
  • Can you effectively work all the parts of your body the way you like to (for example, do you need a leg press option)?
  • Are there any training programs that come with it?
  • If you like already like following a specific program online or in an app, are you going to be able to modify your workouts with this home gym and still feel satisfied?
  • Will you want to supplement with any other equipment?
  • What accessories come with it?
  • Can you buy additional accessories for it?

The Bowflex PR1000

I’ll go ahead and tell you this isn’t my favorite option for a home gym. However, it is good for beginners and those on a budget who aren’t likely to need more than the 210 pounds of resistance provided here. Read our full PR1000 Review.

pr1000

Let’s break it down by feature, look at the pros and cons, and see what others have to say about the Bowflex PR1000.

Features

  • Media rack for your device
  • Two training videos
  • Seven workouts included, so you’ll know where to start right after setting it up
  • Two 5-lb rods, four 10-lb rods, two 30-lb rods, and two 50-lb rods

Pros

  • The bench can lie flat so it’s easier to work your whole body
  • Less expensive than other options
  • It folds up
  • If you don’t have any other cardio machine in your home gym, you’ll love that the seat slides and the PR1000 can be used as a rowing machine for cardio benefits
  • Good for beginners
  • It’ll hold your device so you can follow along with workouts more easily, look up proper form, or just watch your favorite show or YouTube videos

 Cons

  • You can’t add weight to it later, so once you’ve gotten strong enough to max out that 210 pound limit (it may happen sooner than you think!), you’ll probably be looking to upgrade
  • It takes up more room than the Blaze—not a lot, but a few inches
  • If you’re not a beginner, you’ll probably wish it could do more
  • You only get 30+ exercises, as opposed to others that can do more (like the Blaze, which boasts 60+ exercises you can do)

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 Amazon.com
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

Reviews

Reviewers on Amazon tend to be pretty happy with their purchases, overall. As you may expect after reading the pros and cons above, some users don’t feel like there’s enough weight there to really build their muscles.

People who bought it for overall health vs. serious lifting/training seem to be satisfied with the amount of weight there. Some mention that they especially appreciate the cardio component of the rower.

bowflex pr1000 home gym

It doesn’t seem that intimidating or challenging to put together. One reviewer said it took him and one other person about two hours to put it together. Another one said their whole family enjoys using the PR1000.

Reviewers at Walmart.com generally gave the PR1000 a good rating, as well. They love the convenience of having a machine like this in their home, ease of assembly, the versatility of exercises that keep their muscles toned, and the fact that you don’t need a spotter to get a solid workout in.

One reviewer, kv, did say theirs was imbalanced, shaky, and inconvenient to use. A lot of people said the machine didn’t just meet, but exceeded, their expectations, though.

The Blaze

I’m really impressed by how much you can do with the Bowflex Blaze because it takes up even less space than the PR1000.

It’s too bad that you can’t order it straight from Bowflex, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to get. (Full Bowflex Blaze Review here.)

blaze

Features

  • Squat bar
  • Angled lat bar
  • The bench that lies flat
  • The seat that glides back and forth so you can use the Blaze as a rowing machine for cardio benefits
  • Variety of cable and pulley positions
  • You get a triple function hand grip or ankle cuffs
  • 210 pounds of resistance to start

Pros

  • Starts at 210 pounds of resistance like the PR1000, but can be upgraded to 310 or 410 (the biggest pro, in my opinion)
  • Takes up less space in your home
  • You can do over twice as many exercises with this one than you can with the PR1000
  • The bench lies flat, so it’s easier to get your full body workout in
  • Wheels make it easy to move when it’s all folded up and needs to be pushed out of the way
  • Has a squat bar and angled lat bar

Cons

  • Not available on the Bowflex website anymore, so you may have trouble tracking one down
  • It costs more than the PR1000
  • There’s nowhere to put a device for entertainment or new workouts. Instead, you get a written walkthrough of a 20-minute workout on the Blaze where the device holder is located on the PR1000.
Our Pick
Best Overall: Bowflex Blaze | Bowflex

The Bowflex Blaze offers more than sixty exercises and is a BETTER OPTION than the other models. It's MORE USABLE, space conscious, and a great mid-point price that is definitely the best value of the Bowflex home gyms.

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

Reviews

All the reviews for the Bowflex home gyms are lumped together on Amazon, so make sure you’re reading through the ones for the machines you’re specifically interested in.

For the Blaze, reviewers seem even happier with their purchases than those who bought the PR1000. They report sturdiness, even more exercises on the machine than they say (one person says there are 80+ exercises you can do), convenience, and the feeling that they got a solid workout when they’re done (some feel that the leg exercises are lacking in comparison to what you can do for your upper body).

bowflex

Whole families can use and enjoy this one, as well, from teens to seniors. Reviewers remark that this machine in particular is great for just about any fitness level. Serious bodybuilders and athletes may be disappointed, but if they add the resistance on, this could still be a solid option for them, too.

Blaze reviewers at Walmart.com were generally happy with their Bowflex home gyms, too. They find it solid, convenient, easy to put together, effective (so effective it can take the place of going to the gym), and great for the whole body. Some reviewers feel that it should come with more resistance for the price (I agree).

Some comments note that it can be a pain to change the cables and handles between exercises, but that will be the case with most Bowflex (and similar) machines. One reviewer, BetoARM, said they saw wear on the frame after two months

Comparison at a Glance

Here’s a quick glance at how the Bowflex PR1000 and Blaze compare:

  Bowflex PR1000 Bowflex Blaze
Price Starts around $599.00 (Check Latest Price) Varies by retailer, not available on Bowflex site anymore, usually around $700.00 to $800.00 (Check Latest Price)
How many exercises 30+ strength, plus rowing 60+, plus rowing and leg presses
Trainer workouts included 7 7
Does it fold up? Yes Yes
Pounds of resistance 210, cannot be upgraded 210, can be upgraded to 310 or 410
Features and accessories included Sliding seat for rowing, triple-function hand grips, ankle cuffs, built-in media rack, multiple cable/pulley positions Sliding seat for rowing, multiple cable/pulley positions, angled lat bar, squat bar, triple function hand grip, and ankle cuffs
Dimensions 103” L x 80” W x 82” H 90” L x 38” W x 83” H

 

52” L x 38” W x 83” H folded

Workout space needed 100” L x 78” W 100” L x 78” W
Weight of home gym 131 lbs 191 lbs
User weight limit 300 lbs 300 lbs
Bench press Horizontal Horizontal
Leg extension/curl Yes Yes
Cardio option Rowing Rowing
Squat bar No Yes
Spot to hold your device so you can follow workouts Yes No
Exercises you can do Leg extension, leg curl, rowing, leg press, lat pulldowns, curls, crossover rear delt rows, seated lat rows, bicep curl, bench press, shoulder press, shoulder raise, standing leg kickback, trunk rotation, crunch, seated hip abduction/adduction, calf raise, tricep pushdown, tricep extension, and more Leg extension, leg curl, squat, rowing, leg press, lat pulldown, bicep curl, bench press, tricep pushdown, crossover rear delt rows, seated lat rows lying tricep extension, shoulder press, shoulder raise, standing leg kickback, trunk rotation, crunch, seated hip abduction/adduction, calf raise, and more
Warranty 1 year on frame, 5 years on power rods, 60 days on parts 1 year on frame, 5 years on power rods, 60 days on parts

FAQs

Question: Is the PR1000 worth it?

Answer: For a beginner, maybe. This is a solid home gym that works well, but you’ll probably want more resistance later and you won’t be able to add it to this one. With the Blaze, you can add up to 200 more pounds of resistance.

Question: Which is better, Total Gym or Bowflex?

Answer: They’re both good, but the Bowflex will allow you to move more weight. The Total Gym will mostly limit you to about 70 percent of your body weight.There are better Bowflex alternatives.

Question: What’s the difference between the PR1000 and the PR3000?

Answer: You can’t upgrade resistance with the PR1000, but you can add an extra 100 pounds on the PR3000 if you find the 210 to be unchallenging after a while. The bench press is vertical on the PR3000, whereas it’s horizontal on the PR1000. You don’t get the rowing option with the PR3000, but you’ll get to do about twice as many strength exercises as you do on the PR1000. The PR3000, as you may have guessed, also costs a lot more (just under twice as much).

Question: Is Bowflex Blaze good?

Answer: Yes, it’s a versatile machine that will allow you to do 60+ different exercises, including squats and lat pulldowns, plus rowing. It doesn’t take up a ton of space (less than the PR1000) and it allows you to work your whole body and upgrade to higher resistance when you need it.

Question: Does Bowflex build muscle?

Answer: It’s possible, yes. You’ll need to combine your exercises with a healthy diet, of course, and make sure you’re using weights that challenge you.

Bowflex PR1000 vs Blaze: The Verdict

This question of whether to buy a Bowflex PR1000 or Blaze is an easy one. If you can find a Blaze and your budget allows for it, get that one. More variety is always better with home gyms because it’ll be able to grow with you to a degree. With the Blaze, you get more exercise options and the ability to upgrade when it’s time.

Other than ease of purchase (because you can use the Bowflex site), there’s nothing that makes the PR1000 the better choice unless you can only find the Blaze at much higher prices or really want that device holder. It does pretty much everything the PR1000 does, plus some, and it even takes up a bit less space.

Our Pick
Best Overall: Bowflex Blaze | Bowflex

The Bowflex Blaze offers more than sixty exercises and is a BETTER OPTION than the other models. It's MORE USABLE, space conscious, and a great mid-point price that is definitely the best value of the Bowflex home gyms.

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

Final Thoughts

These are both excellent home gyms. They’ll take up a decent amount of space in your home, but still less than several pieces of exercise equipment. The prices are reasonable and both the Bowflex PR1000 and Bowflex Blaze do allow you to work your whole body without sacrificing a ton of space, time, or money.

Either one will make a great first piece of equipment for your home gym or round out an exercise area that mostly consists of a cardio machine and/or a few lightweight dumbbells.

The Blaze, in my opinion, is the superior option, but the PR1000 will still be good for a beginner or someone who doesn’t expect to need to add extra resistance later.

How To Build A Home Gym On A Budget

 

(Even if you have small or limited space!)

 

Enter your email to receive our free guide.