a woman training with Bowflex Xceed Home Gym

Bowflex Xceed Home Gym Review

For many athletes, finding the time or motivation to go to a brick and mortar gym can quickly become incredibly difficult.

People with busy work schedules, kids that need to be driven to school before you yourself go to work, or simply find the gym an uncomfortable experience can all be subject to this newfound lack of motivation.

It may be frustrating because while you might not want to attend the gym, that does not necessarily mean you don’t want to work out.

Often, the reverse is the case. We want to stay active, we want to stay in shape, and we want to stay strong – you should not have to go to a gym to achieve those goals. 

You should not have to drop $30 or more a month to secure your gym membership to train alongside a crowd of other people who sit on the benches you want to use, making the whole gym experience that much worse.

a man looking at his cellphone while supporting himself on gym equipment

For many of these people, the idea of building their own home gym is one that is ripe to take root. And it is a good plan – if you could gather all the equipment needed to train fully within the comforts of your own home, it becomes so much easier to find time to train.

You don’t have to deal with other people, you don’t have to clean your equipment before and after you use it, and you don’t have to deal with getting in a car and paying for gas. 

Overall, the home gym seems to be the way to go. But if you are new at this, it might seem a little daunting – what equipment should you buy? How much should you be spending? Is it really worth it?

These are all legitimate questions, all of which I aim to answer. You could, of course, go the standard course and buy a few yoga mats, a bunch of dumbbells (or one set of adjustable dumbbells), and maybe you want a pullup bar or a squat rack.

All in, you would be looking at a cost that could very easily exceed a thousand dollars, which is quite significant.

But there are a wide variety of exercise machines out there, that you can purchase for well under a thousand dollars, that accomplish everything a varied retinue of equipment can accomplish, while also taking up less space. 

Bowflex Xceed Home Gym

This machine takes the idea of resistance bands and revolutionizes it, into a compact device that is powered by something called Resistance Rods.

This machine includes a seat with a leg-attachment, on a wide-spread rubberized base. The backing of the seat is wide and tall – this is where the power rods are.

The machine includes a variety of pulleys, hooks, handles, and straps, that all combine to allow you to perform over 65 different exercises that train, tone, and build muscle across your entire body.

The $600 machine has a 4.3-star rating out of nearly one thousand customer reviews – it is tried and tested, and well-liked. 

What Can You Do With This?

You might think the idea that your entire home gym can exist within one relatively small machine is ridiculous, but it really is true, which is good news for you.

Here’s a sampling of the exercises you can perform on the Bowflex Xceed, for proof. 

  • Ab Exercises: seated crunch, seated oblique crunch, and trunk rotation. 
  • Leg Exercises: Leg extension, squats, calf raises, hip flexion, leg kickback, and more. 
  • Shoulder Exercises: Reverse fly, lateral shoulder raise, seated shoulder press, shoulder shrug, front shoulder raise, and many, many more. 
  • Back Exercises: Seated lat rows, pulldowns, reverse grip pulldowns, bent rear delt row, standing low back extension, and more. 
  • Chest Exercises: Bench press, chest fly, and incline chest fly. 
  • Arm Exercises: Hammer bicep curl, reverse bicep curl, wrist curl, triceps pushdown, rope pushdown, triceps kickback, resisted dip, etc. etc. – the list goes on and on. 

The point is that you can perform every exercise that you can perform in a gym, whether with free weights or machines, on the Bowflex Xceed – it is a complete home gym, in one small space.

And because it uses high resistance weights from its resistance bars, it will actually help you build muscle in addition to toning muscle, which is more than resistance bands could ever do.

Specs

Unfortunately, the machine comes unassembled and requires an extreme force of willpower to put together. (You’ll also need a Phillips screwdriver, a flathead screwdriver, and an adjustable wrench, as the machine only includes two Allen wrenches, which just isn’t enough).

But, should you persevere, you will have a machine that is 53 inches long by 49 inches wide, and 82 inches tall – it will fit under 7-foot ceilings.

The machine weighs about 157 pounds when fully put together, which allows for a sturdy base – this thing won’t shake around while you’re training.

Its maximum user weight is set at 300 pounds, which makes it accessible to most athletes. The standard level of weight resistance is at 210 pounds, but you can upgrade this number all the way to a maximum of 410 pounds, by simply purchasing more power rods. 

The power rods mean that this machine does not have the traditional system of stacks of weighted plates.

Instead, it uses a series of elastomer, rubberized resistance rods that are connected to the cable hooks – each time you perform an exercise, these highly durable rods bend, providing the resistance. 

The Verdict

Overall, this is a necessary addition to your home gym, making any other pieces of equipment utterly useless. Through its unique resistance system, you can tone and build muscle, something that is a rarity for most resistance-based exercises.

It is also relatively compact, easy to use, and, above all, cheap. If you spend $600 one time, you’ll start saving money from avoiding the gym after about 19 months – this is a long term investment, but it is worth it.

The only thing this machine does not provide is cardio. Regardless, it’s a good purchase for anyone seeking to create their first home gym. 

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Article by:

Daniel DeMoss

I’m a personal trainer based in Denver (Matrix Gym) and a true fitness nerd. If I’m not training clients or working out at my home gym, I’m probably skiing, cycling or hiking with my dog Rufus.  

Get in touch: [email protected]