Bowflex Home Gyms


Bowflex Xtreme Home Gym

Bowflex is a brand of patented home gyms produced by Nautilus Fitness. You've no doubt probably seen the late night infomercials promoting Bowflex and how easy it is to get in fantastic shape using them. Is it really possible to get a rock hard physique using a Bowflex for only 20 minutes 3 times a week? The answer may surprise you.

I'm a firm believer in weight training and the many benefits it provides to people of both genders and all age groups. I directly attribute my good health and stamina at age 50 to having lifted weights since my mid-teens and throughout my adult life. Weight training, or more precisely "resistance training", has allowed me to keep my weight under control and to develop a modestly muscular physique. This has contributed to an overall increase in well-being and self-confidence.

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So what does this all have to do with Bowflex? Well, if you're serious about adding resistance training to your exercise regimen and you don't have the time or inclination to fight the evening crowds at your local gym or health club, then I think a home gym from Bowflex may just be the answer for you.

Now, personally, I need to get away from the house or the office for a workout at my gym. It's what keeps me centered and I enjoy the atmosphere of the gym. I find it motivating to have other folks around all sharing in the same pursuit. However, I know there are quite a few people who for whatever reasons, would love to take up resistance training, but can't or won't join a gym.

For these people there are essentially four basic options:

1. Purchase a set of dumbbells
2. Purchase a free weight set along with a bench or two.
3. Purchase a home gym
4. Purchase a Bowflex home gym

A set of dumbbells is great to get you started, but you'll be limited to the types of exercises you can perform especially for your legs. You'll also quickly need additional resistance, which a basic dumbbell set won't provide. A full set of free weights increases the number of exercises available to you, but without machines such as a lat pulldown and leg extension machine you'll still run up against exercise limitations. A home gym is sort of the best of both worlds -- it has a wide variety of exercise options, but a decent sized one is extremely heavy and takes up a bit of space. So make sure you have an entire room or a section of your basement carved out for it. A home gym may also still have some limitations on exercise options especially for your legs. For example, many home gyms don't have a squat station, which is one of the best exercises you can do for your quads.

The other thing to be aware of with a home gym is that the construction of the various machines it's comprised of all exercise your muscles in isolation. Whereas, free weights call into play additional supporting muscles to stabilize the primary muscles during the exercise. This provides a more efficient workout and also keeps your muscles more flexible. There certainly is a time and place for isolation movements, but not when lifting heavy and all out.

The design of Bowflex home gyms closely simulates the range of motion achieved from using free weights. Instead of using the force of gravity on iron plates, the resistance in a Bowflex gym is produced by the force produced by a cable and pulley system pulling against resistance bars. The bars act like springs that have stored potential energy, which provides the resistance. This really is an ingenious design in that it allows for positioning your body without respect to gravity. This allows the Bowflex to be as compact as possible since you can perform a bench press while seated instead of spread out along a weight bench. The use of resistance bars also greatly reduces the overall weight of the gym itself. Forget about ever moving a home gym once it's set up in your basement. A Bowflex home gym is much easier to move and transport if the need ever arises.

Another neat feature of a Bowflex is that you can quickly change the resistance without having to get up and pull plates on and off like with free weights. This makes advanced training techniques such as pyramids and drop-sets extremely easy. It's also a huge time saver. The range of exercises you can perform on a Bowflex is staggering. The Bowflex Xtreme2™ lets you perform over 70 exercises including squats, which is hard to find on a typical home gym.

As for getting a rock hard physique performing only 20 minute workouts on a Bowflex, I think you can go pretty far with an abbreviated workout like this on a Bowflex just 3 times a week. If you're just starting out, I would focus on the compound movements such as bench press, rows, shoulder press, biceps curls, triceps press, dead lift, and squats. Do a warm up set or two and then perform 2-3 sets of each exercise. Perform this workout on the Bowflex 3 times a week on alternate days. Also be sure to fit in some cardio work such as an elliptical trainer workout on your off days and also be sure to firm up your diet. Do this and you'll definitely see some great results.

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