bowflex xtreme review

Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE Review

The Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE home gym has some exciting new specifications to make your workout hassle-free. 

It’s ergonomically designed for an optimal workout without the difficulties involved in hooking and rehooking cables to change from one workout to the next. 

With the original Power Rod® technology the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE offers more than 70 different exercises for a total workout that builds and strengthens your muscles.

Where Does It Come From?

Nautilus Inc., an American company, located in Vancouver, Washington, sells an impressive array of trusted brand name exercise equipment. 

The company manufactures the brands: Bowflex, Nautilus, Schwinn Fitness, Octane Fitness, Universal, and Modern movement. 

Nautilus sells globally through the internet, infomercials, call centers, and retail stores. If you want safe exercise equipment, Nautilus is the company to look at.

Do We Recommend The Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE?

How would I rate the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE home gym? This home gym is by no means the perfect choice for everyone. 

It’s great for those who have joint pain and injuries as the rod and pulley system is easier on the joints than free weights or other home gym sets. It’s great for beginners or those who would like to maintain a nicely toned physique. 

However, for the powerlifters and competitor bodybuilders pushing very high weights, they will likely find that it does not have enough resistance even with the rod upgrades. 

I give it a 4/5.

The cheapest place to buy is from their homepage.

What You Need To Know:

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The Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE comes with 210 lbs of Power Rod® Resistance. This is the Standard Bowflex® Power Rod® units. 

For the average user, they’ll provide you with plenty of resistance. Those more serious about bodybuilding will need to upgrade from the standard 210 lbs set to the 310 lbs set, or even the 410 lbs set.

The Bowflex rod and pulley system eliminate the risk of joint pain and injury commonly associated with the use of free weights. Yet it still offers the resistance necessary to maintain a fit build. 

What the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE has improved upon (compared to the other Bowflex models) is the new “No-Change Cable Pulley System”

Unlike the past, to use different parts of the home gym, you no longer have to stop, change cables before continuing your work out. There’s no more changing, and no more drop in heart rate. 

In addition to the 210 lbs rods, the standard machine includes a lat tower with an angled lat bar, a 4-position lower pulley station for squats, a squat bar, and a shoulder harness for ab crunches. 

Other available attachments, for an additional fee, include the Preacher Curl, and the Gym Style Ab Crunch.

So what’s so great about all of that? You truly can get a full-body, complete workout with the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE. 

With the exercises and videos that come with the gym, you will challenge yourself with an aerobic workout,  some definite bodybuilding, circuit training anaerobic, and strength training routines.

Exercises You Can Do With The Bowflex Xtreme

Upper Body Workouts 

First, let’s talk about the upper body. With this Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE, you really can work all the muscles in your upper body. 

Others may so no, but it’s more of a matter of reading the manual and watching the videos that come with your purchase. 

Nautilus wants you to be satisfied. So follow their instructions and exercises for complete satisfaction. 

With the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE your upper body exercises could include shoulders workout, triceps and biceps work, as well as back and chest. The Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE includes many options to work these muscles, and you can even switch around your routine so you don’t get bored. 

Try out these exercises that the Xtreme 2 SE offers: bench press, seated shoulder press, reverse fly, chest fly, biceps curl, hammer curl, wrist curl, rear deltoid row, bent over row, front shoulder raise, triceps kickback, low back extension, resisted dip, triceps pushdown, seated lat pulldown, and reverse grip pulldowns.

Lower Body Workouts 

Next, let’s review what the Xtreme SE 2 can do for your lower body. It doesn’t have as many options for the lower body. 

But, you can meet your lower body goals on this home gym and work out your hamstrings, glutes, calves, and quadriceps. You’ll have to work out a few muscles at a time. 

Here are some of the exercises offered: leg extensions, deadlifts, leg kickbacks, squats, hip adduction, calf raises, hip flexion, and standing hip extensions.

Core Workouts

Now we’ll move onto core exercises and what the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE affords. These common exercises: trunk rotation, seated weighted oblique crunch, and seated weighted abdominal crunch will get you where you need to go for your core and can all be done on the Xtreme SE 2.

Finally, use Bowflex’s 20-minute Better Body routine for general conditioning. Start with two sets of 10 or so reps 3 days a week and work your way up. For more advanced conditioning, you’ll need to use your home gym 30 to 45 minutes every day.

In-Depth Specifications of the Bowflex Xtreme SE

Design Specifications 

You’ll want to know if this fits in your home before you make the purchase. So, the exact specifications are: 53″ L x 49″ W x 83.25″ H (135 x 124 x 211 cm). 

The workout dimensions are approximately 8 ft by 6 ft, so you’ll need a sizable room to comfortably house this equipment. 

And finally, in case you ever decide to move this by yourself, you’ll need to know that the Xtreme weighs 185 lbs (84 Kg).

Price of The Bowflex Xtreme SE 

It’s listed on the Bowflex website for $1,499.00.

They’ll also offer an 18-month payment plan with an $84 monthly payment. Expensive yes, but the rods are made from solid steel. 

There’s nothing cheap about the Xtreme. It’s built to last and comes with a nice 7-year guarantee and a lifetime guarantee for the rods.

Usability

Will the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE trip you up? Nope, not at all. Right here is the #1 reason to purchase this home gym as opposed to earlier models or other brand names. 

The new design makes this a true one use station. You won’t be dealing with clips that pinch and metal wires that scrape your skin because you won’t have to change the wires to work out the different parts of your body. 

When you need to increase or decrease the weight, you’ll find that to be fast and easy. Simply hook the cable to the rod cap and you’re done. 

In contrast to the weight plate home gyms, you’ll never need to buy and install new plates. Instead, you upgrade the rods to 310 lbs or 410 lbs rods. Additionally, the pulley and rod system is very quiet and very easy to use. 

Ease of Assembly

Unfortunately, this can be quite challenging to assemble! 

Don’t expect to assemble this beast on your own. It’s heavy and it’s complicated. There’s not even a video to instruct you. 

You’re left with the old-style manual with black and white photos and step by step directions that aren’t necessarily easy to follow. In fact, Bowflex offers an in-home installation for $299. 

That alone ought to tell you what it takes to put this thing together.

Warranty

Again, it comes with a 7-year guaranteed warranty. That’s good news, but even better news is that you can purchase and replace individual parts. 

You’ll need to keep your Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE in good repair. The wires will wear thin, especially as they’re regularly pulled through pulleys. Just take care of it and it will take care of you.

What Do People Say About the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE?

Overall Amazon Rating

Amazon customers give it a 3.3/ 5 stars with 40 reviews. 

Many reviewers complained about the shipping. That’s a problem with amazon and Bowflex. 

The two one star and the three two-star reviews complain that the work out is not at all comparable to free weights. 

This isn’t a machine for extreme bodybuilders. However, more people love it than hate it. It seems beginners like it for toning and the ease of joints. The Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE is an excellent, though costly choice for the average person who would like to get in shape and stay that way.

"The biggest selling point for this home gym is that you won't need to constantly switch cables. While that's true, you still have to constantly switch the handholds (not a big deal) - what annoys me the most is that the cables constantly get twisted. Aside from this major annoyance I've found this machine to be adequate but no substitute for a full gym."

Amazon Reviewer

"Good quality and well designed. I am a retired coach, physical educator and certified trainer. The Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE is a great home gym for over 50 crowds. The 15 to twenty-something serious athlete would demand more, however, this machine is great for general fitness, that is of course if you really use it. Sustained exercise on the unit will produce good results."

Amazon Reviewer

Overall Youtube Reviews

Youtube gives Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE: 258 upvotes and 18 downvotes.

They would like to see an advertisement in which normal looking people use the machine rather than bodybuilders. However, on the whole, they seem to either want to get one or like what they have purchased.

"I have one of these for the last 10 years. They really are great machines. If you don't have a gym close or a ton of free weights then these machines help. Great for arms, triceps, legs, shoulders, and flies."

Youtube Reviewer

The Round-Up: Should You Buy the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE?

woman in lat bar

Should you buy a Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE home gym? If you’re a beginner and just getting into your fitness, the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE is an ideal home gym for you. 

However, If you’re a gym guru or a bodybuilder, you’d probably want to stick to the free weights or a larger stack weight home system. 

What’s great with the Bowflex is that you can easily make your own repairs on it by buying replacement parts, so that makes it more of a lifetime purchase.

If you have any joint pain or injuries, the Bowflex system is much better than free weights. The cost is prohibitive, but it’s one time. 

The Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE is a good choice for many who need a safe way to exercise inside their own home.

The cheapest price found here.

PS! Also check out my Bowflex Xtreme 2 vs Xtreme 2 SE article where I compare the two products. 

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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]