Bowflex, a Nautilus-owned brand, has been around a long time. The company touts its weightlifting machines as an alternative approach to free weights and has produced numerous variations of its rod resistance weightlifting machines. Among its batch of pricey retail home gyms is the Bowflex Power Pro XTL and its younger brother the Bowflex Elite. The difference between them is that you can buy one but you should avoid the other at all costs.
Not Your Normal Comparison
If you're asking the question which of the two is better, chances are, you're looking for a cheap deal and are scouring eBay and other retail stores for discounted machines. Be warned, the Bowflex Power Pro XTL was recalled in 2004 because of numerous complaints that two of the cables were becoming disengaged while in use. For this reason, there really is no comparison between the two machines. Bottom line: Don't by a Bowflex Power Pro XTL. Since you can no longer purchase a new XTL from the manufacturer, you don't know if the machine has been fixed or is still releasing cables during workouts.
Now, if you're wondering about Bowflex Elite home gym, this is actually a safe weightlifting machine. It has 310 lb. of resistance and can be upgraded to 410 lb. There is also an adaptable bar on the machine for upper- and lower-body exercises. Another important note about the machine is that the Bowflex Elite home gym is not sold on the Bowflex or Nautilus website but is usually sold through Bowflex retailers; Costco is one example.
All said, there are 63 different exercises that can be done on the Bowflex Elite home gym. They are divided into five categories: chest exercises, shoulder exercises, back exercises, abdominal exercises and leg exercises.
If you are able to purchase the Elite home gym from an actual retailer--it's getting harder since the machine is getting older--you'll be given a 5-year warranty if you buy it new. However, Nautilus says that your warranty is voided if you are over 300 lb. or use the machine for commercial purposes.
Other Bowflex Machines
Since the Bowflex Elite is an aging machine, it would be best, if finances allow, to buy a machine that is currently being sold on the Bowflex website. The two machines Bowflex is selling directly are the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE Home Gym with a full retail price of $1,599 and the Bowflex Ultimate 2, retailed at $2,499 as of 2009. The Ultimate 2 was recalled for similar reasons but has been fixed.
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