Bowflex PR1000 Home Gym – Review, Tips & Guide

I was feeling really guilty. I knew I needed to work out at least a few times a week, but I never seemed to make the time.

But then I figured out what the problem was.

I was making working out too difficult! I figured out that I don't need to drive halfway across town to exercise. If I had a machine at home, working out would suddenly be so much easier.

So I began looking into machines, and knew I found the right one when I came across the Bowflex PR1000 Home Gym. Stay tuned to learn for yourself just how amazing this machine is, and how it can transform your life and your workout routine.

Bowflex PR1000 Home Gym



I checked out several Bowflex home gym models. While many were attractive, I kept coming back to the Bowflex.

There are several features that make this home gym stick out among the competition, even within its own brand. Consider the following features when making your decision:

  • The Bowflex uses unique power rods that provide resistance instead of weights, decreasing the risk for injury or joint pain.
  • Power rods can produce up to 210 pounds of resistance.
  • The machine doubles as a cardio workout with the aerobic Bowflex PR1000 rowing feature that burns calories at an impressive rate.
  • The included hand grips and ankle cuffs help add flexibility to your workout.
  • Roller cushions make leg workouts safe and comfortable.
  • The Bowflex comes with an expanded warranty that protects your investment.

There are tons of other home gyms on the market, like the Weider Ultimate Body Works, but you won’t find a lot that check off as many marks as the Bowflex.

If you’re looking for a home gym, you want one that does it all. The Bowflex definitely does.

What Is a Bowflex PR1000 Home Gym?

The Bowflex PR1000 is an all-in-one gym that can be used to target just about any muscle group on the body. It doubles as a cardio workout and weight machine, allowing you to complete a full workout in the comfort of your own home without dozens of machines, and faster than you ever could at the gym. Because of its versatility, it’s considered one of the best home gyms on the market.

How to Use It

The Bowflex does require some adjustments, depending on how you want to use it. Luckily, adjusting the machine is easy.

The Bowflex doesn’t use weight plates like you might be used to. It uses power rods to create resistance, so if you’ve never adjusted these before, it might take a little practice. But it’s faster and safer to use rods instead of weights.

The machine comes with one pair of 5-pound rods, two pairs of 10-pound rods, and a pair of 30-pound rods. When you’re ready, there’s also a pair of 50-pound rods. You can use just one rod or a combination to create the right level of resistance for your current skill level.

To do this, bend each required rod to the cable on the same side and weave the hook through the caps. It only takes a few seconds for each rod, so you can change resistance based on which exercise you’re doing. Just remember to disconnect the rods when the machine is not in use.

You’ll also need to adjust the bench, depending on your workout. It can either be flat, inclined, or upright with the seat attachment.

You'll find hinges on the bench and seat that can be attached and detached. The bench slides easily into each position, but don’t let this concern you. When you’re using the machine, you’ll feel completely stable and secure.

I needed to refer to the instructions during my first few workouts when adjusting the machine for new exercises. But now that I’ve done it several times, it only takes a matter of seconds to go from doing bench presses to resisted crunches to seated pulldowns.

Pros & Cons of Using the Bowflex Pr1000 Home Gym

Overall, this is a near perfect workout machine. But here’s a list of pros and cons for you to compare with other models.



There are very few home gyms that offer as many exercises as the Bowflex. No matter your workout goals, you’ll be able to reach them with this machine. You can drop weight, trim down, or bulk up, all with one piece of equipment.

This also makes it ideal for couples or families. Even if everyone has a different goal, you only need the money and space for one machine to make everyone happy.

Ideal for All Skill Levels

Whether you’ve never used a home gym before or spend at least an hour everyday working out, the Bowflex can be adjusted to match your current skill level. It’s also easy to work up to more advanced workouts by starting with some of the easier options.

Easy to Adjust

Because you’re working with power rods instead of weights, adjusting the machine for resistance takes less than half the time. It’s also safer. All you need to do is clip or unclip a power rod instead of carrying a weight across the room.

The rest of the machine also easily adjusts into different positions to allow you to workout facing forward, facing backwards, sitting up, and on your back.


The Bowflex is an affordable option for even smaller budgets. If you currently pay for a gym membership, the machine can pay for itself in a matter of months. With other home gyms costing more than a monthly mortgage payment, the Bowflex PR1000 comes in way under budget.


Resistance Limitations

If you do work out on a regular basis, you might find the resistance limitations a bit of an inconvenience. With weight machines, you can use heavier weights as needed.

But the Bow flex doesn’t have space for more power rods. However, there is an upgrade option that I’ll fill you in on later in the article.

Height and Weight Restrictions

The Bowflex can accommodate users up to 300 pounds. If you’re heavier than this, you should not use the machine for safety reasons. Also, if you are over 6’, you might find it difficult to complete some of the exercises.

The same goes for anyone who is on the shorter side. It can be difficult to line up your legs with the rollers while working out your lower body. But for the majority of users, the size of the machine is perfect.

Limited Instructions

I wish the Bowflex came with a workout DVD to help me come up with the best routines for my needs. There is a card included that shows you how to adjust the machine and set it up for different exercises, but I’m a bit more visual.

Being able to actually watch someone switch the machine would have been nice. But I’ve been able to find several videos online to help me come up with some really great routines.

What Workouts Can You Do with the Bowflex PR1000 Home Gym?

Because the machine has so many features, there are dozens of workouts you can complete with the machine. Take a look at some of the exercises I use throughout the week:

Upper Body

  • Bench press
  • Shoulder press
  • Scapular retraction
  • Triceps extensions
  •  Bicep curls


  • Seated crunches
  • Trunk rotations


  • Leg extensions
  • Calf raises
  • Leg kickbacks
  • Leg press

Don’t forget that you can also get in a cardio workout by using the Bow flex rowing machine setting.

What Muscle Groups Can You Work Out?

The Bowflex does not discriminate. You can work out all the main muscle groups and even some that normally require special machines. Take a look for yourself:


Want a six pack? It’s possible, thanks to exercises that target both the upper and lower ab muscles, along with the sides.


You can target your upper and lower lats with different exercises, as well as your lower back, to completely erase back fat.


You can strengthen and broaden your chest muscles with several variations of the bench press and with the chest fly exercise.


You can work out every main muscle in your legs, including your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and calves.


Very few home gyms can work out the shoulders so extensively. You can target the front deltoid, outer deltoid, and rear deltoid with different exercises.


I’ve finally erased my flabby arms. You can focus on any of your own problem areas, including the biceps, triceps, and forearms.

Is Using the Bowflex PR1000 Home Gym Good for Building Muscle Mass?

Yes, you can build muscle mass using the Bowflex. That’s what makes this machine so amazing.

You can use it to burn calories and lose weight while sculpting muscles and bulking up. Because you can focus on any muscle group, you can completely transform your body with the Bowflex by working in a few half-hour workouts each week.

How to Upgrade the Bowflex PR1000

One of the issues some buyers have with the Bowflex home gym is that once they advance in their skills, they find the limited resistance to be an inconvenience. So to remedy this concern, Bowflex came out with an upgrade that increases the resistance from 210 pounds to 310 pounds.

There are no extra slots for more power rods, so you’ll need to remove some of the lighter ones and replace them with the upgraded rods. This takes a little time and a few tools, but you'll be able to continue building muscle mass with more resistance, and without buying a completely new machine.

Does It Take a Lot of Space?

You don’t need to have an entire room or all of your basement designated as a home gym to use the Bowflex. The Bowflex PR1000 dimensions for the assembled machine are 85”L x 38”W x 81”H.

When you’re not using the machine, the seat rail can be folded up to save space. But when measuring your allocated space, make sure you take the machine’s movements into consideration. You’ll need room for the rods to flex and for your own body to move.

How Long Does It Take to Assemble?

Don’t let the appearance of the machine make you think assembly will be impossible. There are quite a few parts, but it shouldn’t take more than a couple hours to set up. I had a friend help and it took us just over an hour to have the machine up and running.

I do recommend setting the machine up where you plan on keeping it. You won’t want to move it once it’s assembled. The machine comes with a few small tools, but you’ll also need an adjustable wrench and a few screwdrivers to make sure the machine is secure.

What Warranty Comes with It?

One thing that made the Bowflex home gym stick out to me was the amazing warranty. You won't find a warranty like this on most home workout machines.

The machines frames are under warranty for one year, while the parts are warrantied for 60 days. The power rods are covered for five years, but this does not include normal wear and tear.

You might still need to replace these, but I consider this an investment rather than a cost because of the value they add to the machine.

Now that I have my Bowflex, working out is no longer a chore. In fact, I actually look forward to my workouts now that they take place in the comfort of my own home. After each workout, I can shower and get back to my life without skipping a beat.

If your workouts have become too much work, getting a home machine could be the perfect solution. If you're ready to start your home gym, consider the Bowflex PR1000 Home Gym. It's affordable, versatile, and perfect for every skill level. You're sure to fall in love again with working out.

About Ethan Wells

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