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  1. #1
    Registered User MarsScorpio's Avatar
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    Bowflex vs Olympic Barbell

    So at the beginning of this Pandemic I was still training at Gym and taking precautions... but then with numbers going up of those infected and having several family members who got infected my wife and I decided to to train at home instead for the time being.

    I was looking at the Bowflex vs Total Gym vs Olympic Barbell.

    I always liked the Bowflex a lot can do on it and I used one in a hotel once that I was staying. A lot of exercises you can do on it. The lack of deadlifting, squatting, cleans & snatches you can do with it was one drawback I did like not and also that it only comes out of box with 210 lbs of resistance. I also measured my basement and the 7-8 ft height I would need to fit this in the basement wouldn't work, my basement ceiling is just too short. Total Gym would fit easily in basement but was even less appealing to me.

    So I really thought about the 70+ exercises claimed you could do with the bowflex...and I don't know is more really better? Who cares you can do 70+ exercises I never incorporate that many when I go to my local health club.

    So then I look at all the exercises I can do with just an Olympic Barbell:

    Squat
    Clean & Jerk
    Snatch
    Barbell Curl / Reverse Curl
    Military Press / Push Press
    Pullovers
    Bench Press/ Incline Bench Press
    Tricep Extension
    Bent Over Rows
    Deadlift/ Romanian Deadlift/ Stiff Leg Deadlift
    Upright Row
    Good Morning
    T-Bar Row
    Pendlay Row
    Wrist Curls
    Standing Calf Raises
    Front Deltoid Raises w/ Barbell

    With free weights you can't do the lat pulldowns, with bowflex you can... but I have a pullup bar and can even at my fat overweight size still do pull-ups on that bar and I can squeeze out more with rubber bands to assist...so it didn't seem like a huge loss not having a lat pulldown machine.

    Then I thought of how long this Bowflex will actually last me before it breaks down and I will need to fix/ get a new one....

    Then I thought of the Broken Olympic Barbell and rusted weight set in my corner of my basement I was replacing. lets see I bought this rusted broken Olympic barbell 20 years ago at the age of 22 and it just recently broke. I also bought these Rusted Weights that have seen better days 20 years ago. They lasted me 20 years before they need to be replaced..... Will the Bowflex last me 20 years before it needs to be replaced?

    I choose the olympic barbell over the Bowflex in the end.

    In the end I decided to just buy a new Olympic Barbell and a Mix of Iron and Rubber bumper weights along with some light dumbbells for my wife. I also bought some stretchy rubber bands for me and my wife to train with as well. I hopped from about 8 different Dick Sporting Goods locations buying what last weights they had I could buy before sellers got their hands on them and sold them for 4 times the price online. I also bought some Iron weights online from companies that offered them way lower then your brand name companies. I saw some videos online that showed me that using a little magic I could get rid of rust off of my old rusted plates and restore them...I tried that and sure enough they are back to usable again.
    Last edited by MarsScorpio; 11-30-2020 at 03:21 AM.
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  2. #2
    Registered User gym62richard's Avatar
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    There you go, you made the correct decision.
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  3. #3
    Registered User MarsScorpio's Avatar
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    MarsScorpio is offline
    Originally Posted by TSpeed20 View Post
    They are different equipements.

    I would go for the olympic barbell first. I think It´s more important. Then, the bowflex are the perfect complement.
    If only I could afford both. It was either one or the other...and of course with the wife watching how much I am spending and the boss of the house it really was going be either one or the other I could spend money on...Then after I spent about $200 on a Rouge Barbell and $250 in plates just my lucky day to have my car break down and thats another $500 !

    I do love this new Rouge budget barbell i got. Its perfect for training just what I wanted with my home Gym. It was the cheapest bar they had for 200, but I absolutely love it already. Nice Chrome finish and feels great. Much better than trying to still lift with a 20 year old rusty barbell that was falling apart into pieces. If i balanced the bar just right when lifting with that old rusty bar the collars would still stay on, but any vertical tilt and they came flying off.
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  4. #4
    Registered User Brandon2576's Avatar
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    This isn't even a question. Barbell any day of the week.
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  5. #5
    Registered User BIG ACH's Avatar
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    Honestly there is no comparison... not saying that a Bowflex is bad.... I actually owned one for a long time and trained exclusively on it for over a year - even prepped for a bodybuilding show using it. But it's not the same....

    I find that the resistance from Bowflex is like that of resistance bands.... the beginning of the movement is easier than gets much tougher as you get to the end of the movement, there are tons of attachment and a ridiculous amounts of versatility. But then again with a barbell and a rack, you can also pick up some good resistance bands and boom you got some more exercises.

    Like anything training related, you get out of it what you put into it. Everyone is different and the best option is the one that keeps you coming back day in and day out for more pain lol

    I'm not one of those die hard MUST have a rack type of people, but there is a something really nice about the simplicity and reliability of a barbell and some weights.... (which is why I'll be adding a rack to my home gym later this year lol - been working off of a Body-Solid Multi gym and powerblocks since July)

    I will say this, some BowFlexes (Like the Bowflex Blaze) give you the opportunity to use them as rowers too - so you get a cardio machine out of it, which is nice:-D


    IFBB Pro Brad Rowe sure likes his Bowflex lol https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yq7juJFaB8c
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