We have spent the last couple months testing the leading home gym options for people. Ultimately you have to find what works for you and what is in your price range. Total Gym, Bowflex and Bodylastics are are three of our favorite options. And Bodylastics wins our "Editors Choice" award for the combination of ease of use, price and overall functionality. Bodylastics, at a $45-$99 product price range, represents the single best value on the market in this space right now, hands down. Click here for the best coupon currently available. We also feature an interview with the company CEO!!
But some people like the structure (and have the space and money) for a product like Bowflex. It is an excellent option and here is our take on their Revolution line.
The Revolution System:
The Revolution Systems are some truly kick-butt machines that give you the feel of lifting real weights. In fact, at the risk of sounding too hyperbolic, we’ll share what one of our fitness editorial team members said: in a word, “Awesome!”
This is definitely a top of the line home gym system. Of course cost is a major consideration for all of us, but our honest opinion is that unless you’re really just looking for more of a toning type machine- in which case the Power Rod Technology models should do the job for you- it’s worth spending the extra money to get a Revolution system. These are sturdy, rugged machines that will really do what you ask them to. You’re going to be hard pressed to find a more compact system that does as much as the Bowflex Revolution.
Another reason we like it is that it feels like a “real” piece of gym equipment. Granted, it should at that price point, but like many of you we’re tired of home gym equipment that feels shaky and unstable and like it could fall apart on you at any moment.
The Bowflex Revolution uses their proprietary SpiraFlex® Resistance Technology. According to the Bowflex website:
Patented resistance technology duplicates the benefits of free weights. You'll feel the difference compared to other home gyms. 220 lbs. (100 kg) of resistance standard (upgradeable to 300 lbs. (136 kg) for upper body workouts. Up to 600 lbs. (272 kg) of resistance for lower body workouts (with upgrade).
That upgrade they mention will cost you an additional $99.00.
Popular Mechanics magazine reviewed the Revolution, and here is what they had to say about it:
“We don't normally endorse anything sold via infomercials. But testing is believing and the Bowflex Revolution is the first Bowflex we've tried that lives up to its own hype. Using plates filled with coiling elastic straps - technology developed to fight muscle atrosphy suffered by the International Space Station's occupants - this compact gym provides, smooth constant resistance for a huge range of exercises. The resistance plates are useful for isolating muscles and avoiding potential injuries, making this machine a perfect fit for physical therapy as well as standard workouts. The gym's footprint shrinks to 55x37 in. with the arms and bench folded - small enough for an apartment, or possibly a space station.”
Some additional features outlined on the Revolutions website:
All the strength equipment at your local gym in one machine.
➢ Upper Body Workouts - duplicate almost any exercise from your local gym. The Freedom Arms" adjust 170° to work muscles from various angles. Featuring a Preacher Curl attachment to isolate your biceps and work your upper arms more efficiently than is possible with free weights
➢ Lower Body Workouts - work the leg press station with up to 600 lbs. of resistance, (with upgrade) and a range and power unheard of in a home gym
➢ Core and Abs Workout - features so many ab exercises you could do a different one each day of the week.
➢ Cardio Workout - Built-in rowing machine for calorie-burning, cardiovascular warm-up and cool-down.
➢ The space-efficient design easily fits in areas and rooms with normal ceiling heights. Comes complete with:
o Preacher Curl Attachment
o 5 Position Foot Harness
o Hand Grips
o Leg Press Plate
o Instructional Manual
o DVD Workout Video
It’s no wonder they were rated one of the top products my Men’s Health in 2005. Here is the price breakdown of the Revolution machines.
Revolution XP: $2499-$2877 (depending on accessories)
Revolution (best seller): $2999