Comparison of the PR1000, PR3000, Blaze & Xtreme 2SE
The idea of using resistance bands to get a gym-quality workout might seem strange to many of you, but you have to consider that most times you’ll likely be working out alone, and the resistance band technology eliminates the risk of most serious injuries that can happen in a home gym. That’s why Bowflex home gym machines and their original resistance technology has become so popular.
Anybody can still pull a muscle using a Bowflex home gym, if they’re not careful. However, you don’t have to worry about falling over with hundreds of pounds on your back while doing free-weight squats, or getting 200lbs or more stuck on your chest while bench pressing. There are of course, many other potential issues that using a home gym with flawless safety features can prevent.
Considering how long they’ve been around, there’s little doubt about the effectiveness of using a Bowflex home gym machines to build and/or tone your muscles. As an added benefit, two of the machines reviewed on this page (the PR1000 and Blaze) also offer a cardio row option if you’re interested in adding some cardio equipment to your home gym area.
That being said, I’ll start this comparison by highlighting the key specs and exercise options of each Bowflex home gym.
Afterward, I’ll detail what I feel are 7 key points of comparison between the four machines:
- Space Available for Workouts
- Space Available for Storage
- Exercise Variety Needed
- Available Resistance (i.e., weight)
- Cardio Options
Then I’ll tell you the best (in my opinion) Bowflex Home Gym available to you currently!
|Bowflex PR1000||Bowflex PR3000||Bowflex Blaze||Bowflex Xtreme 2SE|
|Space Requirements: 103" L x 80" W x 82" H||Space Requirements: 96" L x 78" W x 83" H||Space Requirements: 90" L x 38" W x 83" H||Space Requirements: 96" L x 78" W x 83" H|
|Fold up bench for compact storage||Unique horizontal design to minimize space (length) requirements||Fold up bench for easy storage||Unique horizontal design to minimize space (length) requirements|
|PR1000 weighs 203lbs||PR3000 weighs 203lbs||Blaze weighs 203lbs||Xtreme 2SE weighs 203lbs|
|30 available exercises||50 available exercises||60 exercises available||70 available exercises|
|Offers 210 pounds of resistance out of the box||Offers 210 pounds of resistance out of the box||Offers 210 pounds of resistance out of the box||Offers 210 pounds of resistance out of the box|
|No upgrade option to increase resistance||Can be upgraded to 310 pounds of resistance||Can be upgraded to support 310 or 410 pounds of resistance||Can be upgraded to support 310 or 410 pounds of resistance|
|User Weight Capacity = 300lbs||User Weight Capacity = 300lbs||User Weight Capacity = 300lbs||User Weight Capacity = 300lbs|
|1 Year on Frame||1 Year on Frame||1 Year on Frame||1 Year on Frame|
|60-Day on Parts||60-Day on Parts||60-Day on Parts||60-Day on Parts|
|5 Years on Power Rods||7 Years on Power Rods||5 Years on Power Rods||Lifetime on Power Rods|
|6 Leg||7 Leg||13 Leg||12 Leg|
|3 Back||4 Back||9 Back||18 Back|
|4 Chest||3 Chest||8 Chest||6 Chest|
|4 Shoulder||6 Shoulder||14 Shoulder||16 Shoulder|
|5 Arm||4 Arm||16 Arm||24 Arm|
|2 Abs||2 Abs||5 Abs||3 Abs|
|*Cardio row||*No cardio row option with the PR3000||*Cardio row||* No cardio row option available on Xtreme 2SE|
7 Key Points of Comparison Between The PR1000, PR3000, Blaze & Xtreme 2SE
Space Available for Workouts
None of these machines exceeds 83 inches in height, so height won’t be used as a point of comparison.
The Blaze takes up the least amount of space width-wise at only 38 inches. This might be significant for you because that makes it half the width of the PR1000, PR3000, and Xtreme. All of which are 78 – 80 inches. When you first get your machine together, it might seem like you don’t need the advertised width, until you start using it and the rods start bumping into (scratching) your walls! The Blaze takes the cake in the width department because of its narrower design.
The PR1000 takes up the most room when in use, needing 103 inches, if you want to use the leg extension feature. The Blaze only takes up 90 inches. The PR300 and Xtreme 2SE each need 96 inches. These numbers might be of real importance to you if you’re working out in small room, especially if there’s furniture or other equipment in the way.
Keep the design of each machine in mind before deciding though. The longest of them all can quickly become the shortest if it folds up for easy storage!
Space Available for Storage
Height and width aren’t an issue when considering your storage needs for any of these Bowflex machines. Neither factor is adjustable.
If fold-up storage is a major consideration, the PR1000 or the Blaze are the only options. Both have fold up benches which cuts their stored length to about 50 inches.
At over 200 pounds in weight, it isn’t practical to assume you’ll be moving any of these machines around without assistance.
Overall, the Blaze wins in both working space and storage. Hands down.
Exercise Variety Needed
I’m not going to go into crazy detail about the available exercises on the other 3 machines. I mean how many of us are ever going to do the full 50, 60, 70 exercises claimed by the PR3000, Blaze and Xtreme 2SE?
The PR1000 falls right off the map in this category, however. While you’ll still get a decent workout with it, the Blaze costs right around the same price and boasts 60+ available movements to the 30+ claimed for the PR1000.
I will also say that the Xtreme 2SE offers way more gym-quality exercises like deadlifts and a host of unique shoulder, arm and calf exercises that the others simply don’t.
The sliding seat on the PR1000 and Blaze offer the addition of a rower, which can also act as a leg press. As you can imagine, I’d recommend the Blaze over the 1000, as leg presses with only 210 pounds won’t be enough for most of you.
The PR1000 doesn’t have the provisions for any resistance upgrade. You’re stuck with 210 pounds.
The PR3000 is only upgradable to 310, which is plenty resistance for many of us. The question really comes down to why anyone would pay $150 dollars more for less resistance, less exercise options, and no foldup option for storage.
Both the Blaze and Xtreme 2SE offer upgrades to 310 and 410. Each hundred-pound upgrade costs around $80 – $99 on Amazon.
The PR1000 and Blaze both have a built-in sliding seat to use as a rower.
With respect to cardio options: keep in mind that each of the Bowflex machines I’ve detailed are perfect for circuit training, which are cardio workouts too. Don’t be too quick to choose one machine over the other because of the rower option.
In my honest opinion, and based on many of the reviews out there: you’ll either really like the cardio rower, or you’ll really hate it! Some people just can’t get used to the band resistance when compared to more common air and hydraulic rowers.
Due to the extensive warranty offered on each machine, we can assume the build quality is sturdy and made to last, though you’ll want to pay particular attention to the Xtreme 2SE, which offers a lifetime warranty on the power rods. This makes it a really attractive purchase if you’re worried about the rods wearing out over time.
The PR3000 offers a 7 year warranty. Considering its major drawbacks, which include a high price tag, I don’t think this makes the PR3000 more attractive than the Blaze and its 5-year warranty.
If you’re looking for the best guarantee, go with the Xtreme 2SE.
How much will it cost me? That’s what it all comes down to for most of us, right?
I’m going to recommend that you not consider the PR3000 at this time, due to its high price (about $950) and few value-added-features.
The PR1000 costs about $490, but it lacks many of the options offered by Blaze, PR3000 or Xtreme 2SE.
While both are excellent choices, there’s a significant difference in price between the Blaze at $800, and the Xtreme 2SE which costs about $1,240.
So, What’s the Best Bowflex Home Gym?
I know you’re probably hoping that I was going to make the decision super-easy for you, proclaiming the obvious winner!
However, the fact is that both the Blaze and Xtreme 2SE offer excellent value for their respective prices:
- The Blaze offers the great price and storage ability, and can be upgraded to the same level of resistance as the Xtreme can at 410 pounds.
- The Blaze also offers 60 possible exercises, including a rowing exercises. Though as mentioned: how many of you will really use all those exercises? Many are isolation movements that you’ll quickly get bored with soon after the first time you do them.
- The Xtreme does offer a lot more exercises. Most of them are of no interest to most people, but they may be to you. Perhaps worthwhile enough to consider paying about $300 more over the Blaze?
- The lifetime power rod warranty + the increased exercise range on the Xtreme 2SE makes it a worthwhile consideration over the Blaze. If you can see yourself putting in the hours on your Bowflex home gym, year after year: a lifetime warranty offers a lot of insurance against breakage or waning resistance!
So, the final decision really comes down to you; your workout preferences and how much you’re comfortable spending!
Note about the Bowflex Revolution:
If you notice the Revolution model missing from this comparison, and it isn’t because I forgot about it. It’s just too expensive currently.
Don’t let my thoughts discourage you though: if you’ve got the cash and it’s burning a hole in your…well, click here to check its price.