MB Madaera
Lost 31.7 lbs fat
Built 11.7 lbs muscle


Chris Madaera
Built 9 lbs muscle


Keelan Parham
Lost 30 lbs fat
Built 4 lbs muscle


Bob Marchesello
Lost 23.55 lbs fat
Built 8.55 lbs muscle


Jeff Turner
Lost 25.5 lbs fat


Jeanenne Darden
Lost 26 lbs fat
Built 3 lbs muscle


Ted Tucker
Lost 41 lbs fat
Built 4 lbs muscle

 
 

Determine the Length of Your Workouts

Evaluate Your Progress

Keep Warm-Up in Perspective


ARCHIVES >>

"Doing more exercise with less intensity,"
Arthur Jones believes, "has all but
destroyed the actual great value
of weight training. Something
must be done . . . and quickly."
The New Bodybuilding for
Old-School Results supplies
MUCH of that "something."

 

This is one of 93 photos of Andy McCutcheon that are used in The New High-Intensity Training to illustrate the recommended exercises.

To find out more about McCutcheon and his training, click here.

 

Mission Statement

H.I.T. Acceptable Use Policy

Privacy Policy

Credits

LOG IN FORUM MAIN REGISTER SEARCH
Bowflex or Free Weights
1 | 2 | Next | Last
Author
Rating
Options

BobS

Hi Dr. Darden or anyone else

I am really considering buying a Bowflex but I just heard that it is only good for toning. Is this true or can you build just as much muscle as free weights ?

My goal is to gain as much muscle as I can. I would also like to try H.I.T but I need equipment as I do not like going to the gym. Should I get the Bowflex or just by free weights ?
I just don't want to waist my money and time on something that will only get me toned.

Bob
Open User Options Menu

davise

If you are young and have space I would go with freeweights. If you are over 50 and safety is of the utmost get a bowflex. How about a bowflex and some adjustable dumbbells, chin up/dip bar and a bench. Regardless of what you get make the most of it and train hard.
Open User Options Menu

simon-hecubus

Texas, USA

Bob,

All your muscles know are resistance; they can't tell if it's free weights, or machines or a bunch of rubber bands.

Bowflex is well-suited towards HIT as taught by Dr. Darden, primarily with regard to quick set-up and changing the resistance bewteen sets.

Check-out the "Home Gym" thread on these Discussion pages and you'll see the problem one fellow is having with his free weight set-up.

You can start with the BF and then add some dumbells later, for crucial exercises like lateral raises, flyes, side bends, and all the great DB exercises for your biceps and brachialis.

Scott
Open User Options Menu

Drew Baye

Florida, USA

How you train is far more important than what equipment you use. Proper training will produce better results with very primitive equipment than improper training can produce with the best equipment in the world.

Drew Baye
Open User Options Menu

AShortt

Ontario, CAN

I use some free weights for variety and enjoyment however the Bowflex is far more efficient. There are many excellent and efficient free weight moves but if you are going to choose one or the other hands down the Bowflex is the way to go.

I have trained utilizing every thing from dumbbells to MedX and I am literally in love with my Bowflex. Sounds stupid but let me tell you for a machine that offers the variety and quality of movement the Bowflex does it is a love affair in my books.

It must me remembered though that just like free weights you need to know what your doing or it won?t matter what you train with/on. Furthermore the Bowflex is a severe ?multi station?. You need to understand how to properly utilize it to work around any shortcomings you may run into. It is built to accommodate an incredible range of possibilities and may require experience and minor tweaking to fit it to you in the best way possible.

How much do I love it? 75 to 100 percent of all the exercise I give my clients is with my Bowflex Sport. Furthermore as I mentioned elsewhere I won a brand new fully loaded Ultimate for a case study I conducted ?solely? with my Bowflex. My brother-in-law offered me full pop to buy it and I refused. It sits proudly in my living room.

Read here about a learned fellow who has an incredibly well stocked gym/clinic and took his Ultimate for a thorough test run: http://exercisecertification.c...
That is the article that clinched it for me and I wasn?t disappointed.

By the way, I wouldn?t forget about a chin bar and dip rack, I consider those invaluable staples of resistance training.

Regards,
Andrew
Open User Options Menu

BobS

Thanks everyone !

I feel allot better now about the Bowflex. That was a great article AShortt.
I think I will go with the Bowflex then.
It is just allot of money and I wanted to make sure it is not just a muscle toning machine.

Bob
Open User Options Menu

ics1974

Bob

I own a bowflex and love the machine. I can switch between exercises very quickly. I have wondered the same thing about the bowflex because the positive part of a movement is great but the negative gets easier as the rods strenghten. I alway hear how the negative part of a exercise is so important and I wonder if the bowfex lacks in negative movements. I actually posted about this
http://www.drdarden.com/...ic.do?id=387093

Other then that the machine is awesome.

ICS
Open User Options Menu

simon-hecubus

Texas, USA

That's a great article, Andrew. I particularly liked the part about strength/resistance curve "zealots" and Brian's simple statement regarding muscle-building success.
Open User Options Menu

AShortt

Ontario, CAN

Bob,

If money is at all a question, go for the Sport over the Ultimate. Don?t get me wrong the Ultimate really is the Ultimate but you get just as many ?options? with the sport at half the price. This makes sense if you are going to ass other stuff anyways. However if you really want the full experience of what a Bowflex can do, with all the bells and whistles maybe a monthly payment plan with a Ultimate is the way to go.

Feel free to ask for details of comparison etc.

Regards,
Andrew
Open User Options Menu

karma50

Hi All,
I recently saw a small portion of a commercial for some adjustable dumbell thingy that Bowflex is selling. Anybody know anything about this?
Also, I worked out on a power-pro a few times and liked the machine overall, but didn't like the leg press. I have read this from others on the board. Has the new Ultimate altered the leg press for the better? Can you squat with it? deadlift?
Thanks,
Griff
Open User Options Menu

AShortt

Ontario, CAN

The dumbbell thingy is a dial-a weight set-up. You dial the weight at either end of the dumbbell and when you pic it up, that much weight comes off with the handle. I fooled around with one a bit and it was nicely designed, smooth and easy to use. However, power blocks have a fuller line of this type of thing. The power blocks are more compact and they offer greater variety and even an attachment for a straight bar to put between two blocks. The more compact design of the blocks allows you to get them closer to your body if you know what I mean. The Bowflex/Nautilus one is very esthetically pleasing and a bit more user friendly. They are around the same price as each other.

The Sport, Extreme (Extreme II) and Ultimate are light years ahead of the old power pro line. All three offer a great squat/deadlift set-up and the Ultimate has a killer leg press, probably one of the best I have ever tried.

Regards,
Andrew
Open User Options Menu

HeavyHitter32

Andrew,

Do you find the leg press on the Ultimate should involve the hips/glutes better? That is one of my critcisms of it. It does hit the thighs HARD though and is very, very smooth.
Open User Options Menu

AShortt

Ontario, CAN

Possibly but that also depends on the length of ones legs, maybe the bar could be wider to get you deeper. It takes a bit of getting use to because this leg press doesn?t squash you and is more natural in that you must push down and away. The squat with the bench up is a killer glute and hip exercise. I save the leg press to completely smoke my thighs without risk of hurting myself.

There is a smart alternative (or addition) to the squat/leg press issue that Brian Johnston shared with me. I haven?t used it seriously yet but when I do I will endeavor to post my thoughts here.

Regards,
Andrew
Open User Options Menu

ics1974

Bob if you are thinking of getting the Sport model get the Elite model instead.
It is identical to the Sport but it has adjustable pulleys on the main bar. The sport does not have adjustable pulleys.
The sport only comes with 210 standard and the Elite comes with 310.
I bought mine at Costco so I didn't have to wait 6 or more weeks to get it. Same warranty as well.
Here is a review on the elite with a picture.
http://www.fit-at-home.com/...lite-review.htm

ICS
Open User Options Menu

AShortt

Ontario, CAN

Bob,

The one issue to work around with the Bowflex is the rods ease up as they straighten. This is in most instances a good thing and well in keeping with muscle function and design. This speaks directly to the eccentric training as well.

You have many options here, the most straightforward of which would be to make your own custom length wires. However, I enjoy variety so I purchased all kinds of different handle attachments. These allow for different degrees of pull on the rods and help in making adjustments. Ex. a standard 15 dollar set of metal D handles shorten things nicely and offer a revolving/spinning grip. Handles that bring together the left and right wires do the same (possibly attached together with an extra clip and ring). Keep in mind that you can attach the left and right wires together on a grip that is only for a single hand.

You can customize wrist straps easily to attach right to the wire ends and perform back exercises without handles. This dramatically shortens the wires (engaging the rods much sooner) and with you hand loosely wrap around the wire you are pulling without using nearly as much arm.

Lots of folks love the Bowflex handles because of the grip and the back of the hand strap. You can get another pair and have them sewn short (suitable for only hands and not feet) on a commercial machine for next to nothing.

Brian Johnston is an incredible ?artist? when it comes to body mechanics and positioning. He makes all the necessary adjustments to get a full hard resistant pull on the neg. and at the point of stretch purely through form. I consulted with him about the Bowflex and was blown away by his suggestions.

Simpler still, I regularly use heavy partials in the stretched position and perform heavy negatives from time to time. Just load up the resistance and away you go.

Ideally I would love a Bowflex that offers at least twice as many rods with duplicates that are shorter to choose from as well as a full set of varying length wires. I think the issues is - why this is important would be lost on the general public and make it tough to justify the added expense.

In the end the Bowflex is a wire and pulley system and thus offers an incredible versatility for the creative mind. This keeps you enjoying your machine far longer than most. Brian Johnston has a little convex pillow that he lays on the incline bench flat side against the bench. This sits at your low back and provides a killer way to perform the seated crunches off the mid pulley section. The possibilities are endless!
Open User Options Menu

Bad Boy

Florida, USA

The Bowflex is way over priced.
I had the XLT for 6 + years and I sold it to get a power rack, bench and cable crossover. In addition, I'm glad I did.
The money you could spend on a BF could just about fill a home gym with the most important equipment.
Just buy a cable cross over with a good bench and bingo you got it for lots less than a BF.

Thanks
Sonny
High Springs, FL.
Open User Options Menu

BobS

Well I think I am going to buy a Bowfex.
The cost of a Sport / Elite is about half the price of the Ultimate. I checked my local Costco and they sell the Elite model.
I think I may buy it tonight. I think 310 should be all I need for now.

Thanks everyone

Bob
Open User Options Menu

AShortt

Ontario, CAN

Bob, What exactly is the ?elite? I don?t recognize the name? Keep me posted if you get one.

By the way a fully loaded Sport is only 1500 Can. an excellent price considering all the possibilities.

Regards,
Andrew
Open User Options Menu

BobS

The Elite is identical to the sport but with more features.

See ICS's last post in this thread.

I will let you know what it is like if I buy one.

Bob
Open User Options Menu

Bad Boy

Florida, USA

Also the bows don't last forever, even if you do bind them up . Unless they made changes.
But to each his own .
The cheeper BF "were" made with partical board. So! make sure your don't get one of those.


I have about 1500 or less in my home gym and here it is .......
http://www.afn.org/...xercise/gym.jpg

Thanks
Sonny Lewis
High Springs, Florida
Open User Options Menu

hitter4Jesus

Why isn't the Elite sold at the bowflex website, www.bowflex.com ? I find this odd. Did bowflex discontinue it for some reason? I can't find anywhere online that sells the Elite.
Open User Options Menu

dalinden

hitter4Jesus wrote:
Why isn't the Elite sold at the bowflex website, www.bowflex.com ? I find this odd. Did bowflex discontinue it for some reason? I can't find anywhere online that sells the Elite.


As mentioned, the Elite is similar to the Sport, but has adjustable pulley positions. Currently, it is only available at Costco. $899 here in the USA. There have been some discount coupons available in Canada. It is not available from Nautilus/Bowflex online. In fact, it is not even listed on Costco's website. Apparently, sold in their stores only.
Open User Options Menu

Ellington Darden

Guys,

Bowflex wants to keep the machines sold through retail channels slightly different from the ones sold through TV and the Internet. That's why the Elite is only sold through Costco.

Ellington
Open User Options Menu

ics1974

Just because the Elite model is sold only at Costco doesn't mean it is not as good as what is sold at the bowflex site. It has the same warranty as the sport. The benefit of buying through Costco is you don't have to spend $100 for shipping or wait 6-8 week for delivery. I have had my Elite since October and it is a Rock solid machine.
Also if the bows ever ware out bowflex will replace them for free. Bowflex says that the have rods with over a million bends on them with no loss of resistence.
The only thing I think would make a Bowflex better is if they made a model with more then 410 lbs resistence. I bet I will need more resistence for leg presses in the future. For upperbody 410 is all you will ever need.
If you are considering a bowflex and are thinking of getting the Ultimate I would get the Elite instead. It is about half the price so I would spend the rest of that money on a power rack and some weights just for squats. (if you have the room). You can do everything else on the bowflex.

ICS
Open User Options Menu

Bad Boy

Florida, USA

What can you do on a BF that I can't do on my $600 cable cross over with a bench and leg attachment?
Just wondering!

Also, they would not replace my bows for free when I had the BF.
They must have changed their policy .

Thanks
Sonny Lewis
High Springs , FL
Open User Options Menu
1 | 2 | Next | Last
H.I.T. Acceptable Use Policy