Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE Review
In our current times, a lot of people are turning to setting up home gyms in their garages, basements, or really any free space while the pandemic and different lockdown measures have limited their access to public gyms.
However, I think once everyone realizes how easy and time efficient home workouts are, this habit will stick around long after pandemic restrictions and concerns have dissipated.
When setting up a home gym, you have a lot of important decisions to make. What equipment do you need? How heavy should your weights be? Do you have the space?
To make this endeavor of establishing a home gym a lot easier, a lot faster (it can be a headache tracking down the individual equipment you need), and way more cost efficient, I recommend you check out a Bowflex home gym.
Currently, Bowflex has a great home gym available for casual gym goers and high level athletes alike: the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE.
This article is going to be a Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE review to help you know if this is the product that will suit you best when you want to get your home gym up and running.
What is the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE?
The Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE is an all-in-one home gym that allows you to perform over 70 different exercises on one machine.
The idea here is that you do not need a ton of space to have a complete home gym at your disposal, and nor do you need to scramble around trying to find all the individual equipment from different supplies.
Instead, with one purchase of the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE, you essentially have an entire gym in a way more compact and economical size.
The Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE is designed with space in mind. The machine itself measures approximately 53 inches L x 49 inches W x 83.25 inches H.
However, it is recommended that you have a workout area of 8 feet x 6 feet 5 inches to perform all your exercises safely and comfortably.
Once assembled, the product weighs a surprising 185 pounds, which is impressive for how much weight it allows you to lift during workouts.
However, despite its compact size and light weighing frame, the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE can safely accommodate users at 300 pounds.
I would recommend this home gym for people who have a smaller space to offer their workout equipment, or who do not want to have a whole room in their house taken up by weights and racks and benches.
What is most impressive about the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE is the Bowflex Power Rods. Let explain this unique workout technology: the Bowflex Power Rods are a system that give you the resistance or weight of 210 pounds without the complicated pulley system you will find on more equipment at the gym.
This means that you do not need to do any swapping or changing of cables when you work out: it is all available already for you, making your workout that much more time efficient.
Often time with pulley systems allow you to “cheat” on your reps by creating movementum within the system that will give you that extra push.
The same goes for free weight exercises (using dumbbells during reps) where people tend to swing the weights when the reps get tough.
The Bowflex Power Rods help you resist this tendency to “cheat” your reps, creating workouts that feel similar to free weight movements, but force you to complete the full rep and get the full benefit of each movement.
As well, oftentimes people will workout with free weight improperly, whether they are new to exercising and are just learning the movement, or they are performing the movement with improper form and putting themselves at risk of injury.
By working out with Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE’s Bowflex Power Rods, you can be more confident with your form and reduce your risk of joint pain by following the suggested exercises and movement patterns that the Bowflex Power Rods create for you.
If you are unsure whether the 210 pound weight cap on the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE is enough for you, rest assured that this can be changed. You can customize the maximum weight of this machine up to 310 pounds or even 410 pounds.
What I like about this customized weight max is that as your gain strength, you will not be limited by the capabilities of the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE; it can grow with you.
How Do I Use the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE?
Now, as I mentioned earlier, the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE allows you to perform over 70 possible exercises- too many to feature in one Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE review.
But, let me go over the ones that I think are most beneficial and explain how exactly you can achieve so many effective exercises from one single home gym.
#1. Upper Body Training and Toning
With the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE, you will be able to perform essentially all the trusted upper body exercises that you could at a regular gym.
A highlight of this home gym is its lat tower that features an angled lat bar to really allow you to strengthen and build your shoulders, biceps, and back.
For people looking to strengthen their chest, the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE allows you to perform a vertical bench press.
It also comes with a 5 way hand grip that allows you to change between bicep, tricep, lateral, and pull exercises to target your arms, wrists, shoulders and back.
If you are looking to build strong biceps, you might consider purchasing the additional preacher curl attachment to allow you to really challenge your arm strength.
Finally, the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE comes with an ergonomic and adjustable bench seat so that you can perform all of these movements safely and comfortably from a bench height that suits you.
#2. Lower Body Strength Building
What impresses me about the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE is that it is just as effective at training your lower body as it is your shoulders, back, and arms.
This is ideal because you want to be well-rounded with your strength training to get optimal results.
The Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE comes with a 4 position lower pulley or “squat station” that allows you to effectively build your quads, glutes, and hamstrings.
Just attach the included squat bar to perform effective weighted squats.
It also comes with a leg extension (a popular tool for bodybuilders!) that will help you build strong, toned quad muscles.
#3. Overall Fitness
The reality is, upper and lower body strength is nothing without a strong and stable core to allow you to perform these movements with solid form and stability.
Bowflex understands this too, and the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE features an ab crunch shoulder harness to let you perform weighted ab exercise on this home gym.
If you want to take your ab training up a notch, you can consider purchasing the additional gym-style ab crunch that Bowflex also sells to extend the core capabilities of your home gym.
So, how does this all work exactly?
These Bowflex Power Rods that the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE operates with are easily adjustable to control the weight and level of resistance you want for each exercise.
So essentially, the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE is so effective because it works on the basic fitness concept of progressive overload: you start with a low weight that you can easily perform for let us say, 12 reps for 3 sets.
Then, as that becomes too easy, you increase the weight resistance by small increments to continue to challenge your muscles.
This means that as you workout, you are challenging yourself, building muscle, and getting stronger every single time. That is the foundation of an effective workout and brings results.
Is the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE the Home Gym for you?
While the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE really suits any gym enthusiastic or person looking to get results from a regular fitness routine, I think it is particularly effective for the following people:
#1. People Who are Looking to Build Strength
The Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE is a strength training home gym, meaning that if you are looking to improve your cardio, you might want to consider Bowlfex’s cardio trainers instead.
With that being said, it is not to mean that strength training does little for your heart health.
In fact, if you are not taking extended breaks between your exercises and are challenging yourself with the resistance and number of reps you are performing each strength exercise with, you will absolutely notice your heart rate go up and I guarantee you you will be breaking a sweat.
The difference is, cardio trainers like treadmills and ellipticals are excellent at endurance and cardio training, but they just don’t target muscle gain like home gyms do.
This is why the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE is perfect for people who are looking for overall improved fitness and improved strength.
If you are interested in strength training but don’t know where to start, Bowflex gives you guidance with the detailed manual and instruction guide the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE comes with.
This guide will take you through 7 structured workouts created by Bowflex fitness trainers. You can decide to focus on full body fitness, upper body, lower body, circuit training, or on getting your heart rate up while strength training. And the best part? These workouts are only 20 minutes long.
#2. People Who are Short on Time
When you add it all up, it is really remarkable just how much time you save by having a gym in your home.
With the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE, you cut out driving time to and from the gym, time to change in a changeroom, and the really frustrating time it takes for other people to finish up on the gym equipment you want to use.
With the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE you have everything that you need for an effective workout at your convenience.
This means that when you need to fit in a workout on a time crunch, it is not a problem. In fact, you can easily fit in a strength workout in whatever time you have with the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE. 1 hour? 30 minutes? 15? It is all possible.
I mean honestly, I find myself getting in reps between phone calls and commercial breaks throughout my day, meaning I am staying way more active and consistently working towards my fitness goals without even worrying about setting aside a block of time.
All in all, it's the convenience of the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE that will keep you motivated and excited to stick to your fitness goals.
There aren't many fitness machines or home gym devices out there that can compare to the versatility of the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE.
Its adjustable features and wide range of exercise possibilities makes it an effective workout tool for every person, and the results you get from consistent strength training will keep you coming back to this home gym.