Bowflex Xtreme 2SE – Bowflex Home Gym Reviews

Bowflex Xtreme 2SE Home Gym

Where To Buy:

Fitness Level: All Levels

Warranty: 1 Year (on frame)

Our Rating: 8/10



~ The Bowflex Xtreme 2SE Review ~


Bowflex Xtreme Overview

The Bowflex brand is marketed by famous gym equipment company, Nautilus, and has been around for almost three decades now. The very first Bowflex machine – the Bowflex 2000X – came onto the market way back in 1986. Instead of using weights and pulleys, the Bowflex design utilises a series of polymer rods to create resistance when working out.

The Bowflex Xtreme 2SE allows you to do total body workouts without breaking the bank. Compared to other home gym equipment with the same capabilities, this Bowflex model can do just as much for a fraction of the price. The machine is quite compact and offers the capability to perform over 70 different exercises.

There is not much you can’t do on a Bowflex. It covers everything from arms, shoulders, lats, legs and abdominal crunches. Even those all-important squats.

Using patented Power Rods – which provide the resistance when training –  the Bowflex system is smooth in its range of motion without the clunkiness of heavy weights, cords and multiple pulleys. There is not as much of a sudden release of weight (or resistance) as with free weights, ensuring less chance of muscle and joint injuries.


What Are The Benefits?

The Bowflex Xtreme is cheaper than a weight and pulley type machine, but offers just as many (if not more) exercise options.

It has a no-change cable pulley system. This allows you the freedom and convenience to change exercises without having to change any pulleys. This saves time, keeps your heart rate up and allows you to get through your routine quicker.

Capable of more than 70 different exercises in one compact machine.

The Power Rod system decreases the risk of injuries as compared to weights and pulleys, or free weights.

Resistance ranges from 5 pounds all the way up to 210 pounds (95kg). It is even upgradable to 410 pounds (186kg ) of resistance for serious power lifters.

Comes with an owner’s manual that gives instructions for over 70 different exercises.


Other Features

  • Lat tower
  • Leg extension
  • Squat station
  • Ergonomic adjustable seat
  • Abdominal crunch
  • 5 way hand grip and ankle cuffs
  • Multiple cable and pulley positions designed to change resistance angle
  • Compact design for smaller workout spaces
  • Owner’s manual



As I’ve said you can perform over 70 different exercises with the Bowflex Xtreme 2SE. I won’t bore you by listing them all here, but pretty much every muscle in the body can be worked out with this piece of equipment; which is one of the reasons the Bowflex is so popular and receives such high customer ratings.

  • Arm Exercises – 24
  • Chest Exercises – 6
  • Ab Exercises – 3
  • Back Exercises – 18
  • Shoulder Exercises – 16
  • Leg Exercises – 12



  • Height: 6’ 11” (211cm)
  • Length: 4’ 10” (147cm)
  • Width: 4’ 1” (125cm)
  • Machine Weight: 185 pounds (84kg)
  • Maximum User Weight: 300 pounds (135kg)


Workout Area Required

  • Length: 96 inches
  • Width: 78 inches
  • Height: 83 inches


The Cons

In the past there have been some major recalls of the Bowflex system due to product failure, or fundamental flaws in the structure of the equipment. So far I don’t know of any such issues with the Bowflex Xtreme 2SE.

There have been just a few complaints that the Power Rods tend to lose their resistance qualities fairly rapidly.

Make sure you purchase the Bowflex from an authorised dealer such as Amazon. Otherwise your equipment may not be fully covered under the manufacturer’s warranty.



  • Frame: 1 year
  • Parts: 60 days
  • Power Rods: Lifetime



I don’t personally own a Bowflex, but I have worked out on them a few times, including this model. The one I tried was close to brand new so the Power Rods were offering up heaps of resistance. I quite like the smooth, fluid motion of exercising on one of these as compared to free weights or pin weight machines.

Some of their earlier models had some design flaws and the machines weren’t standing up to the daily rigours of being used time and time again. Bowflex have ironed out those flaws now and the result is a very robust machine of very good build quality.

If you are looking for a compact piece of equipment with a fantastic range of exercises, then I’d recommend trying the Bowflex Xtreme. It doesn’t take up a lot of room, it’s tough and gets the job done. Plus, for what you get it really doesn’t cost very much. I’ve worked out on equipment that costs four times as much as the Bowflex and they don’t feel anywhere near as good to work with.

Traditionalists who just love pumping iron probably won’t be interested in a Bowflex. But if you’re more concerned about getting in shape than the ego of lifting plates of metal, then the Bowflex is perfect. It does all you need and more.

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  1. Ariel BaradarianAriel Baradarian
    November 2, 2015    


    I actually do own a Bowflex, and it is a pretty slid work out device, especially for those whom using weights is hard.

    But, I think using actually weights can get better results in terms of muscle tone and the like. When I used to work out, I felt I got more out of regular weights than the Bowflex.

    but then again, I think some people do prefer the Bowflex over other weight machines. It is nonetheless a fine workout device and it’s not hard to set up.

    Awesome article!

    • November 2, 2015    

      Thanks for reading and commenting, Ariel.

      Yes, I think it can come down to a matter of personal preference whether to use weights or a system like the Bowflex. To be honest I probably prefer the feel and result of using weights too, but I don’t mind the Bowflex. I know a few guys who actually prefer using the Bowflex over weights. I think it’s a good piece of equipment for those who aren’t very experienced with weight training; especially free weights.

  2. JessJess
    November 11, 2015    

    My fiance has wanted a Bowflex for some time. I’m going to share this review with him. The fact that you can perform over 70 different exercises is certainly appealing, it really is a “total gym” huh? Thanks for nicely laid out and detailed review.

    Do you find your results to be any better using this as opposed to free weights? Thanks!

    • November 11, 2015    

      Hi Jess. Thanks for leaving a comment.

      I wouldn’t say the results are better or worse than free weights. It just feels a little different doing the exercises as opposed to free weights. Unless you’re very careful with your technique with free weights, you have more chance of doing yourself an injury. The Bowflex feels more controlled and safer to work out on.

    November 15, 2015    

    I generally aim to exercise more outdoors… but I’m currently trying to get more into weight training (as opposed to just cardio) – and all that shopping just gets too expensive eventually!!!! 😛
    Nah, but for real – I guess weight training is much more difficult to do outdoors… so, for me, this is a really useful review – I appreciate your honesty on the flaws and complaints too.
    In general, do you think body weight training is better? or using special equipment such as this/other hand held weights?
    Thanks! Zoe

    • November 15, 2015    

      Hi Zoe,

      I think all training is good. Sometimes it’s just a matter of personal preference how you want to train and what equipment you want to use. It’s also good to mix things up a little and train on something different. One thing that’s really popular lately is training with resistence bands, and you can use these outdoors. I’ve written a review of them here:

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