The Best Bowflex Home Gym Alternatives in 2020

Home gyms may once have been thought of as a luxury. Yet more people than ever are building home gyms to save more in the long run, and seeking products like Bowflex home gyms for total body workouts. Home gyms were already rising in popularity but since the pandemic closed or limited traditional gyms, more people, from professional athletes to someone just looking to get in better shape are seeing the many advantages.

When we’re discussing home gyms there are two options: either building up a gym at home with multiple pieces of exercise equipment or opting for an all-inclusive home gym machine, like Bowflex offers, for a full-body workout.

In this article, I’ll give you tips and my go to’s when you need alternatives to Bowflex to build your best home gym possible while still staying on budget and building your strength, one day at a time–whether you want an alternative home gym machine or a brand you can rely on for some great equipment.

Best Recommendation Total Gym APEX G5
$499.00

Total gym is a highly reputable company and probably one of the best Bowflex alternatives out on the market today. They have a record of selling high-quality gym equipment since 1974 and have certainly improved and maintained their standards to this day.

09/30/2020 07:21 pm

What is Bowflex?

Bowflex is best known for its dumbbell set in some ways, but it’s actually a well-established brand for a slew of home gym equipment. Bowflex is based in Washington and has been selling home gym equipment since 1986, specializing not only in dumbbells but also in a variety of cardio and weight/ strengthening machines.

Bowflex has enjoyed innovation and reader’s choice awards; media coverage and high sales levels. Though it’s certainly now in a competitive market, for many, Bowflex remains a go-to name for fitness and gym equipment.

What does Bowflex sell?

Bowflex sells nearly any home gym equipment you can imagine. Indoor exercise bikes include options for personalized coaching, tilting frames, and connection to apps.

Max cardio trainers are used for steady state cardio, while treadmills and tread climbers provide more classic workouts when you can’t hit the trails. Bench presses, kettlebells, and more make up their strength training inventory.

And of course, Bowflex sells all-inclusive home gyms.

Why would I want alternatives to Bowflex Home Gym systems?

There are a few reasons why it’s important to consider alternatives to Bowflex Home Gyms. And regardless of the brand, it’s always good to shop around, whether you’re looking for multiple equipment pieces to build your own gym at home or an all in one home gym machine. Whenever I’m investing in fitness equipment, I make sure I understand all my options.

Recalls

All brands have some concerns with their equipment from time to time, but it is true that Bowflex has been the subject of a few recalls. One of the most notable recalls was in 2004 when hundreds of thousands of Bowflex machines were recalled for safety issues; these resulted in about 70 injuries.

Recalls also occurred in 2006, for around 17,000 Bowflex machines, and in 2007, where almost 70,000 home gyms had to be replaced. The most recent widescale recalls occurred in 2009, a sign that the company is upping its standards and that things are being addressed.

Better Business Profile

The good news: Bowflex, through its parent company, Nautilus, has an unofficial A plus rating. But customer reviews are low on the site, and though it’s been selling products since the ’80s, it’s not accredited. This is certainly not a deal-breaker but could be better.

Price

The best reason, however, to seek alternatives for Bowflex Home Gym Systems is the price point. Though you can purchase Bowflex machines through a large variety of outlets, you’ll pay a pretty penny.

Home gyms. Which offer all in one strength and cardio workouts start at $1500 for the most affordable model; the Bowflex Revolution will land you just shy of $2,900 as a starting point.

Different Features

There is much to like about Bowflex machines, but it’s possible you’re looking for specific features especially if you’re purchasing a home gym system. The home gym machines by Bowflex come with resistance training; leg developers; DVDs; bench presses; ankle cuffs; and ab attachments–impressive, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look into what features others have to offer.

What are the best Bowflex alternatives?

When searching for the best Bowflex alternatives for home gym sets, it was important for me to keep in mind three things: quality, price, and advantages.

I’ve categorized this differently than a typical review. I’ll start by recommending a brand as an alternative to all gym equipment you might be interested in, explain the brand’s specialty, and then recommend a specific home gym machine that the brand offers that I see as the best alternative to a Bowflex home gym machine.

Best Incline Alternative: Nordic Track

Nordic Track is without a doubt the leader for home gym equipment. It’s been around even longer than Bowflex and selling equipment since 1975. Headquartered in Utah, its products have received recommendations from Consumer Reports and garnered awards including Best Buy; Recommended Buy; and media features.

If you’re interested in the idea of an overall body workout but don’t want to go with a full home gym machine, I love the overall quality of their other products, too.

Speciality

Nordic Track is best known for its incline trainers, and the ability to reach up to 40 percent incline for an intensive at-home workout. In fact, most of their treadmills are equipped with inclines, smart technology, and sturdy steel frames.

The other thing I know them for is their IFit programs, which offer personalized coaching at home. Professional trainers help you plan and track workouts, from duration to resistance levels and more.

Other Equipment

You’ll find bikes, ellipticals, strength training equipment, rowing machines, and more.

Home Gym Machines

Nordic Track offers three levels of Home Gym Machines, two of which are comparable to the home gym machine from Bowflex, and two that are more budget-friendly. The Fusion CST offers full-body strength and cardio, with live interactive trainers, resistance training, and curated workouts.

Price Point

If you’re looking to save money, I would say Nordic Track is a reasonable option, but the savings won’t be huge. For the Home Gym, for instance, you shave off seven hundred dollars, but you’re swapping many features for instead a personal trainer. Overall, Nordic Track machines are slightly more affordable, but still range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars

Main Advantage

Nordic Track offers different machines and different features than Bowflex, but by far my favorite feature is the addition of personalized virtual trainers. Instead of DVDs, you’ll get one on one coaching, which is a great deal considering you’ll still save some money. I also love Nordic Track as an alternative to Bowflex if you’re insteading shopping for a cardio treadmill and/or incline machines.

My Pick Where to Buy: Nordic Track Fusion CST

Best True Alternative: Tonal

Tonal is a bit different than the other alternatives I’ve included so far, but still a true competitor if you’re looking for something to serve as an alternative to Bowflex. Tonal has physical showrooms in Boston, Minneapolis, Seattle, New York, Los Angeles, Plano Texas, and Short Hills New Jersey. Its innovative model has earned the nickname the “Peleton of strength training.”

Speciality

Unlike other alternatives, Tonal specializes in a single product: an all-inclusive home gym system that combines cardio, strength, and stamina uses electromagnetic technology useful for cardio and strength training, but even exercises as diverse as yoga. In addition, it’s an intuitive machine, adapting to your own fitness levels and workouts.

The design is likewise unique: with a minimalist design, the machine sits near your wall with arms on either side and a central screen interface. Like the Bowflex gym system, there are hundreds of different workouts you can perform, making it the closest alternative.

What Makes it Stand Out

The workouts are unique, in that you not only have standard cardio and strength training workouts, but even options for partner workouts to keep you motivated and the ability to build your own custom plans. Smart accessories and streaming services, along with the pleasing design and intuitive use means that you’ll get the feeling of a professional in-person class at home.

Price Point

My biggest critique of Tonal as an alternative for Bowflex Home Gym is you won’t be saving any money. The base machine costs a bit more, at just under $3,000 but to get the full impact you’ll be adding a subscription for classes for $49 a month, as well as additional accessories if you want for up to a few hundred dollars. In short, this is a good alternative for a more immersive experience than Boxflex, but not the best for your wallet.

My Pick./ Where to Buy: Tonal Home Gym Machine

Best Budget-Friendly Home Gym Alternative: Lx Free

Lx Free is not as well known as some of the other alternatives on this list but offers a budget-friendly alternative for both general types of equipment and for a replacement to the Bowflex Home Gym system.

LxFree is relatively unknown and sells its products through Amazon, with a positive but modest number of reviews. In short, I mostly know Lx Free for a single piece of equipment.

Speciality

The specialty for Lx Free is the Power Tower, a home gym machine that, although simple in design, allows for a wide range of exercises, including pull-ups; push-ups, chin-ups, and other strength training exercises, while still building stamina.

With minimalist design at an incredible price point, I love how it’s made out of sturdy steel but is also easily adjustable for your needs. In a way, it’s a simple, pared-down, but useful replacement for the more high-end Bowflex Home Gym machines.

What Makes it Stand Out

The first thing that stands out is the price point, but after I got past the price point, I really did enjoy the features Lx Free has to offer with its Power Tower.

First of all, easy installation is actually a great feature, especially when you consider that most Box Flex home gym alternatives are hard to install at best, and in some cases may even require a professional.

An ergonomic design also provides comfort, which is great for the price point. Plus, this is a nice option if you have less room or want more flexibility in where you’re arranging your room, or even if you plan to move.

Price Point

Make no mistake: I am not recommending this as a direct alternative. LxFree’s Power Tower simply does not offer the classes and a wide range of activities you’ll find in my previous picks. That said, there simply is no beating the price point, at under two hundred dollars, a mere fraction of other equipment.

Pair with a cardio machine and you’ll still slash over a thousand dollars, if not thousands of dollars. I recommend this for someone who also can do without personalized classes and just wants some equipment to get a solid workout in.

Best Budget Streaming Based Home Gym: Total Gym

total gym

 Total Gym is a well-known brand in the world of home gym equipment, a record of selling equipment since 1974, wide availability both on their site and in other markets, and plenty of media attention. Whether you’re looking for general strength training machines or row trainers, there’s a nice selection of products.

Specialty

If nothing else, Total Gym is known for its incline strength training machines, much the same way Nordic Track is known for its incline machines, so if you want an alternative to a home gym system and to focus more on strength training, but with more full-body workout capability than typical weights, this is a good option. I love the incline and resistance training features in one easy to use device.

Home Gym Machines

Total Gym does offer some home gym machines as well. My favorite is the Total Gym APEX G5, with a competitive price point and some great features. Capitalizing on their specialty of using inclined to provide a dynamic workout, complete with ten different resistance levels and fairly intuitive use.

What Makes it Stand Out

What I love is how simple and approachable Total Gym makes most of its machines, and that’s true especially if you’re going for a home gym direct alternative to Bowflex. But unlike Bowflex, you’ll also get streaming services. While some others offer this, no other brand on my list offers a variety of workouts and streaming services at such an affordable price.

Price Point

You’ll save lots of money with Home Gym Apex G5; at around $500 with the machine, you’ll get strength and resistance training plus streaming. If you’re looking for a full replacement for the exercises offered through a Bowflex Home Gym, then you’ll still have money to buy another machine.

Best Recommendation Total Gym APEX G5
$499.00

Total gym is a highly reputable company and probably one of the best Bowflex alternatives out on the market today. They have a record of selling high-quality gym equipment since 1974 and have certainly improved and maintained their standards to this day.

09/30/2020 07:21 pm

FAQs

What is a home gym?

When someone mentions a home gym, they could be discussing one of two things: either building up a home gym on their own, with a variety of equipment such as dumbbells, inclines, bikes, and rowing machines; or an all in one machine. Bowflex is especially known for its all in one home gym machines, which allow you to perform cardio and strength training in one piece of equipment.

Why is Bowflex so expensive?

Bowflex may be one of the most loved brands for home gym equipment, but there’s no denying that it’s also expensive. Bowflex tends to be expansive for a few reasons, including brand recognition, high-quality construction, and the sheer number of features you get in a home gym set; you’ll also get workout DVDs and support, as well as a warranty.

Are Bowflex machines any good?

Bowflex has a wide range of products for a home gym and is especially loved for its strength training and dumbbell systems. On Consumer Affairs, the brand comes out with average reviews overall, with some machines rated above others. While the machines themselves are typically good quality, some feel they are rather expensive for the features you get.

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re looking to save money, looking for different features, or even consider other equipment, there are a few great alternatives to Bowflex home gym machines.

Whether you decide to buy a direct replacement home gym machine or build your gym at home with several pieces of gym equipment, there are plenty of ways to get your sweat on.

Best Recommendation Total Gym APEX G5
$499.00

Total gym is a highly reputable company and probably one of the best Bowflex alternatives out on the market today. They have a record of selling high-quality gym equipment since 1974 and have certainly improved and maintained their standards to this day.

09/30/2020 07:21 pm

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