Much hype surrounds trendy workout machines, as seen in infomercials. There are so many to pick from, and while the various systems offer different exercises, they all promise the same thing: the body you’ve always wanted, as well as an overall improved lifestyle.
There’s a hurdle to climb, however: some systems may not be practical for the way an individual wants to work out.
Nautilus has been producing Bowflex systems for about 20 years as of this writing, and these systems are extremely popular. They are not cheap, though, so be prepared to part with considerable cash when buying a new machine. While the company has a trial period and will refund your money if you’re not satisfied, they won’t refund the shipping charges, which can be immense for products the size of exercise machines. So, it can be helpful to try out the product you’re interested in, if possible, before buying it.
Is there any merit to a home workout machine? Only if used as directed, as often as specified, and stuck to as a habit. That is what most consumers just won’t do. One reason could be that the exercise is never enjoyable or convenient enough to become a likely habit. Another could be laziness. Yet another could be that the equipment is so large and cumbersome that it takes up too much living space, creating resentment, and would actually get more use if the person were to go to the gym to use it.
Bowflex has a system that mimics traditional weights through the use of various discs with built-in tension coils, as opposed to bars. When purchased new, this system, the Bowflex Revolution home gym, comes with 220 pounds of discs and is capable of around 100 exercises. How many people will actually take advantage of all 100? Probably very few. Most will probably do the basics: bench, leg extensions, curls, etc. It can definitely do some good, although there is no real sense of weight balance because everything works through two pulleys. The Bowflex Revolution works off resistance, so it’s not as specific a workout as you would get from free weights, or a machine with a fixed bar.
Revolution is also not meant for tall people. Those over 6′ will very likely find it to be too small. There just won’t be quite enough extension to do proper leg presses, for example.
There are pros and cons to any equipment, and no product is entirely perfect. The Ab Lounge for example is highly coveted for what it can do for abdominal strengthening, but some people find it to be so comfortable that they end up using it as a chair to watch television from instead of working out. It’s good that it’s comfortable — that’s the whole point, to make it comfortable to do crunches — but that comfort may signal to some that they need to kick back instead of work out. So, it’s impossible for every machine to be a winner for every person.
The bottom line: do your homework and take opportunities to try out equipment before you buy it. You know yourself better than the infomercial writers do, so do what is best for you and will serve your ultimate fitness goals.