Bowflex Blaze Reviews

When picking a home gym, there is a long list of important factors to consider. Before making a purchase, it is vital that you develop a clear exercise plan so you can purchase the most effective home gym for your workout goals. Some gyms are small and inexpensive, which is helpful if you don’t have a lot of home space to dedicate to your workout area. However, it’s important to keep in mind that smaller gyms offer less of a workload and lack flexibility in the number of exercises. Gyms such as the Bowflex Blaze offer a great value of workload at a reasonable price while taking up a minimal amount of home space.We compared the Bowflex Blaze to three other gyms of various design and capacity to provide a context for how the Bowflex Blaze performs. We tested the gyms on factors that included: workload, required set-up space, price, overall design, and other criteria specific to each individual unit. At the end of our rigorous testing, we found the Bowflex Blaze to be a highly functional, intuitive and fun choice for all health goals ranging from rehab to extreme lifting.

What Is the Bowflex Blaze?

The Bowflex Blaze is a well designed and engineered home gym that features over 60 different exercises. The unit has a horizontal bench press rather than the vertical bench press featured on some other Bowflex units. The bench also features a sliding track which allows for an aerobic rowing feature. The Bowflex Blaze provides its workload through Bowflex’s Power Rod resistance system. The unit comes with 210 pounds of resistance out of the box, but it is upgradeable to 310 or 410 pounds. The unit is overall very attractive and can be folded to reduce its footprint when not in use. The unit’s Power Rod resistance system makes the Bowflex Blaze easier to maneuver than gyms with a traditional weight stack.

Product Specs

The Bowflex Blaze has a footprint of 90″ X 38″ and requires a height of about 83″. The unit’s Power Rod system allows users to switch exercises quickly and efficiently through multiple cable and pulley positions. Included with the gym are seven trainer-built workout regimens. This gym also includes a lat bar, a squat bar, and triple function hand-grip/ankle cuffs. The maximum user weight limit is 300 pounds.

Pricing

The Bowflex Blaze is available for around $800 to $1,100. It is available on Amazon.com, at your local sporting goods store, or directly from the Bowflex web page.

How It Compares

We picked a few similar products available on the market to get a sense for how well the Bowflex Blaze performs. Our test gyms included: the Weider Ultimate Body Works, the Body-Solid Best Fitness Gym, and the Marcy Multifunctional Home Gym. We selected our comparison units to get an overview of common solutions manufacturers have used to solve the unique problems of designing an efficient home gym. Based on our testing, the Bowflex Blaze is one of the top home gyms available on the market.

Bowflex Blaze

Bowflex Blaze

Ease of Use

Setup Time

Design Quality

Warranty

Price

$800-$1,100

‚ÄčEase of Use

The Bowflex Blaze offers a highly intuitive system for maximizing weight and switching up exercises. We found the Power Rod system very effective in providing consistent resistance and setup for various exercises was simple and convenient. The various exercises provided in the workout manual were effective in targeting and working specific muscle groups. Overall, Power Rods make for a machine that is a lot easier to maneuver than one featuring a traditional weight stack. The lat bar and squat bar provide for a large range of full body exercises, and the rowing feature was highly effective.

‚ÄčAssembly Time

The Bowflex Blaze comes with an easy-to-follow instruction manual. The unit is also easy to disassemble, but we would recommend that you keep the instruction manual in case of the need for reassembly. The shipping boxes were small enough that one person can assemble this unit with little difficulty.

‚ÄčDesign Quality

The Bowflex Blaze boasts a heavy duty steel construction, which is both attractive to look at and designed for long term durability. The unit is efficient and compact, and can be folded to free up space.

‚ÄčWarranty

Bowflex offers one of the best warranties in the business. The warranty on the machine is for five years, and the Power Rods have a lifetime warranty.

PROS

  • Compact, attractive unit that doesn’t take up a lot of space in your home
  • 60 highly effective exercises
  • Great warranty

CONS

  • Other Bowflex models offer more exercise options
  • Out-of-box resistance is only 210 lbs.
  • Higher price than other models tested

Weider Ultimate Body Works

Weider Ultimate Body Works

Ease of Use

Setup Time

Design Quality

Warranty

The Weider Ultimate Body Works is an adjustable incline bench on wheels. There is a cable and pulley system that allows the user to lift his or her own body weight at increasing difficulty levels based on the steepness of the incline. Also included are four resistance bands which can further increase weight resistance. The unit claims to feature over 50 body shaping exercises although they all feature the same body weight resistance training method. We did not find the incline pulley system to be as effective as the Bowflex Blaze in targeting specific muscle groups. It lists the maximum user weight as 250 pounds.

Price

This is a good, basic piece of gym equipment that is small and easy to maneuver. However, the simple nature of this machine means that it has a limited ability to target specific muscle groups. Also, the amount of resistance is limited by the weight of the user plus the provided resistance bands.

‚ÄčEase of Use

This is an easy machine to use. You sit on the sliding rail and pull your weight up the incline with the pulley system. You may add or subtract from your workload by varying the incline of the bench. However, we found that the unit felt unstable at an extreme incline. Application of the resistance bands increased the workload, but we found the effect to be minimal.

‚ÄčAssembly Time

The unit comes partially assembled and is easy to put together. The provided instruction manual is clear and easy to follow.

‚ÄčDesign Quality

The Weider Ultimate Body Works is a clever piece of equipment in concept, but we found the execution to be lacking. The construction material seemed flimsy, and we had concerns that this gym would not hold up to strenuous usage.

‚ÄčWarranty

The machine comes with a standard warranty that requires owner activation on the manufacturer’s web page. However, when we went to the provided URL, the page was unresponsive.

PROS

  • Relatively inexpensive
  • Compact for easy storage

CONS

  • Limited amount of exercises
  • Limited amount of total resistance
  • Poor warranty

Body-Solid Best Fitness Gym

Body-Solid Best Fitness Gym

Ease of Use

Setup Time

Design Quality

Warranty

The Body-Solid Best Fitness Gym is a vertical bench home gym featuring a 145-lb. weight stack. The unit measures 64″ X 47″ and requires a height of 78‚ÄĚ. It is compact, but we did not find it to have a solid construction equivalent to the Bowflex Blaze. The gym is red, which is an unusual choice for workout equipment, and features a fiberglass pulley system. The unit does not come with a lat or squat bar, which reduces the total number of exercises. The machine has press arm and pec fly functionality, but features limited options for lower body workouts.

Price

This is a more economically priced home gym, but the total number of exercises available are limited.

‚ÄčEase of Use

We found the weight stack included with this device cumbersome compared to the Bowflex Blaze’s Power Rod system, and it provided less total resistance out of the box. The workouts were effective, but there was a limited variety. This unit is more ideally suited to upper body rather than full body workouts.

‚ÄčAssembly Time

The unit went together fairly easily, but this was more due to the simplicity of the unit than the design or manual.

‚ÄčDesign Quality

This is a very lightweight gym compared to the other units we have tested. It is good for home usage, but we did not feel it would hold up to rigorous programs.

‚ÄčWarranty

Standard limited manufacturer’s warranty.

PROS

  • Compact, effective unit
  • Inexpensive
  • Requires slightly less operating height space than the other units we tested

CONS

  • Limited number of exercises available
  • Lightweight gym compared to the other models
  • Only comes with 145-pound weight stack

Marcy 150-lb Multifunctional Home Gym

Marcy 150-lb Multifunctional Home Gym

Ease of Use

Setup Time

Design Quality

Warranty

The Marcy 150-lb Multifunctional Home Gym is a compact, vertical-bench home exercise machine. Its assembled size is 68″ X 36″ with an operational height of 79″. The unit features a 150-pound weight stack and boasts premium steel construction. Featuring dual action press arms, this is a great unit for working on your upper body, but, like the Body-Solid Best Fitness Gym, this gym lacks whole body specific capacity. The gym also features a leg station with limited functionality.

Price

Good price point for a basic piece of gym equipment that mainly features chest and arm exercises.

‚ÄčEase of Use

The machine is like one of the basic stations you find at any professional gym. The weight stack is of high quality, and there is a workout chart built directly into the main frame of the machine for easy reference.

‚ÄčAssembly Time

Assembly felt overly complex, and the manual was frustrating and somewhat confusing.

‚ÄčDesign Quality

This is a very lightweight gym compared to the other units we have tested. It is good for home usage, but we did not feel it would hold up to rigorous programs.

‚ÄčWarranty

Standard two-year limited warranty.

PROS

  • Inexpensive gym
  • Easy to put together and use
  • Good variety of upper body workouts

CONS

  • Lower body workouts weren’t as numerous or effective as the upper body workouts
  • The unit does not have a great warranty

Conclusion

An ideal home gym is one that offers the closest approximation of the workout available at a professional gym, but also one that does not require the large amount of space typically dedicated to professional equipment. Users want a good workload and an attractive design. The gym must be durable, but also flexible enough to conform to the users needs. Of the gyms we tested, the Bowflex Blaze offered the best combination of flexibility, efficiency, and attractiveness, doing so at the most competitive price.The Weider Ultimate Body Works was a nice, basic piece of equipment. The sliding bench with an adjustable incline allows the user to use his or her own body weight as a source of resistance. The included resistance bands further increased potential resistance. However, this machine does not allow the high resistance available from weight stacks or Power Rods and is therefore limited. Also, although the gym boasts over 50 exercises, they are all some variation on sliding up the incline bench. We found some exercises included in the workout chart to be of limited effectiveness.The Body-Solid Best Fitness Gym was a good, lightweight, upper-body workout station, but was extremely limited compared to the versatility offered by the Bowflex Blaze. The overall construction of the machine did not impress us, and we found the unit to be fairly unattractive and unstable under duress. The manufacturer’s choice to use a weight stack also made this machine difficult to maneuver once assembled. Overall, this was a good upper-body workout home gym, but was lacking in full-body workout options.The Marcy 150-lb Multifunctional Home Gym was very similar to the Body-Solid Best Fitness Gym both in assets and liabilities. The unit comes with a slightly larger weight stack out of the box and is overall of a more sturdy design than the Body-Solid. However, the unit is only useful for a limited amount of upper-body specific workouts. We also felt that the overall aesthetic of the unit was not at all attractive.The Bowflex Blaze offers many unique and effective solutions for the difficulties inherent to picking a home gym. The unit is compact, and the Power Rod system makes it easy to adjust the machine for different workouts. The unit is attractive and easy to assemble or disassemble, and it offers the greatest variety of exercises of all the units we tested. A competitive price and an above average warranty make the Bowflex Blaze our choice for a home gym that will meet all of your home workout needs.

Final Verdict 

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