Bowflex PR1000 Home Gym Review

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Bowflex PR1000 Home Gym Review Review Facts

Bowflex has been revolutionizing the home fitness industry for more than three decades. Their power rod resistance system has become well known as a replacement to the traditional iron plate forms of resistance. The PR1000 home gym was introduced to the market in 2008 and has proven to be one of Bowflex’s most popular selling home gym offerings.

In this article, we go in-depth on the Bowflex PR1000 so you can determine if it is a good fit for your home gym.

Editor's Pros & Cons

Quite sturdy steel frame which is foldable

Durable faux leather bench upholstery

Bench with both incline and decline

Built-in Rowing machine

Power-rod weight resistance system


Cannot be upgraded, maximum weight which can be used is 210 pounds

Time-consuming assembly

Power-rods tend to use elasticity over time

Weight System

The most identifiable feature of any Bowflex home gym is its use of flexible polymer rods to provide the resistance. The great advantage of these rods is that they are lightweight and compact when compared to using traditional iron plates. These power rods provide you with a very smooth and fluid movement, which will prevent connective tissue injury. The power rod system operates a lot like a bow and arrow. As you load the bow by pulling back on the string, it gets harder and harder to pull. It’s the same with a power rod. During the first one-third of the movement, the resistance is relatively easy, increasing during the second third and reaching a peak during the last one-third of your range of motion. This is because the rod gets much tighter at the end of the movement. Bowflex power rods are made from a composite material. The rods are sheathed with a protective rubber coating. Each rod has a weight rating, ranging from 5 to 50 pounds.

The combined potential maximum weight allowance on the PR1000 is 210 pounds, which is not a great deal if you are intent on building muscle. You are unable to add extra resistance to the system, so you are not able to progressively increase your workouts over a period of time.​


The biggest benefit of the power rod system is that uses an elastic resistance similar to that of a rubber band. A study conducted by Dr. Jim Stoppani compared the muscular strength and hypertrophy effects of using elastic resistance compared to conventional iron weight training. Machines using this type of resistance provides us with many benefits that free-weights give us, and those benefits are more strength, an increase in muscle size, toned muscles, and of course, a smaller body fat percentage.

But the iron rods give more benefits that what we already mentioned. You can gain more functional strength, which will allow you to go through life with ease thanks to your newfound power. Your support muscles and the tendons and ligaments surrounding them will become stronger as well, which in turn prevents injuries. You will be able to change which muscle group you're focusing on quickly, and your muscles will develop more. Plus, it's easy to use! The power rod system feels different than using traditional weight machines. The positive part of the movement (concentric) is more fluid than on normal weight machines. However, the big negative when using power rods is that it has very little in the way of negative, or concentric, resistance. With studies confirming that the eccentric part of the movement actually builds more muscle than the concentric, this is a problem if you are buying a Bowflex power rod gym to build muscle.


The Power Rods have been in use for a long time now. Many user reviews reveal that they are prone to losing their elasticity and resistance over time. Although the rods come with a five-year warranty, this does not cover normal wear and tear.

The rest of the machine can withstand a lot of wear and tear damage, and it will generally last for a few years. If something fails though, other parts are also covered by a warranty that is not as long as the one for the power rods, but still good enough. The frame of the machine has a one-year warranty, which is pretty decent. Other parts have a 60-day warranty. This can stand to be a bit longer, mostly because those parts are prone to breaking and tearing and whatnot. However, if you purchase the machine from Bowflex, you can return any piece of the machine within six weeks of purchasing it, for any reason whatsoever!


The Bowflex PR1000 provides you with the ability to do more than 30 exercises. These include the bench press at all three angles (horizontal, incline, decline), seated lat pulldowns, rear delt rows, scapular rotation, low back extensions, shoulder press, shoulder raise, bicep curls, wrist curls, ab crunches, leg extensions, leg press, calf raises and hip abductions.

The Bowflex PR1000 includes a rowing machine rail. This allows you to add a form of cardio training to your workout program in order to burn fat and get aerobically fit. While it is not the best rowing machine out there, it is functional, allowing for a full range of motion to get those calories burning. The PR1000 comes with a range of hand and foot grips to enhance your hold while exercising. Comfortable cushion padded grips allow for a strong, secure hold. You also get a leg press belt that secures around your waist and allows you to safely perform such exercises as the leg press.


The Bowflex PR1000 can be folded down to a compact size for ease of storage. It is recommended that the power rods be removed from the unit when not in use, so these will also have to be stored. Folding the unit up is quick and easy, however, having to attach and detach the power rods every time you use the machine is a little time-consuming.

The dimensions of the PR1000 when setting up for use are 84 x 38 x 81 inches. So you'll need a room which has a high ceiling. The machine gets it's width thanks to the rods, and they cannot be folded away, so keep that in mind, and remember that you will need even more space for leg curls and extensions! The minimum floor space that is recommended is 103 x 80 x 82 inches. The shipping weight of the unit is 148 pounds. It can accommodate users who are up to 6'7" tall. The PR1000 arrives in a box. It is relatively easy to set up. Your purchase arrives with a step-by-step instruction manual. It should take between 90 minutes and two hours to put together. By the way, your purchase also comes with a well written and comprehensive workout guide so you can get started immediately regardless of your experience level. The PR1000 can be folded easily, so you can store it away when you're not using it.


The Bowflex PR1000 is a budget model in terms of the Bowflex home gym stable. For a complete home gym that includes a rowing machine that comes in around five hundred dollars, the build on this machine is very good. This is in keeping with the great reputation that Bowflex have earned for themselves over the years.

The framing is made of high-quality commercial steel. The solid frame can withstand up to 300 pounds, or about 140 kgs, and the bench can support as much weight as the frame can, although the cushions may wear down faster in that case. The frame is coated with paint that is anti-scratch and anti-corrosive, protecting it from wear and tear damage. Tension cables are made from high strength braided steel. The power rods that provide the resistance system are even stronger than steel.

The seat on the PR1000 is very comfortable, making use of a durafirm leather padding. This material is tear-resistant and looks great to boot.

Ease of Use

The PR 1000 has been around for ages, and many refer to it as one of the standard pieces of equipment Bowflex has to offer. It's quite a basic machine, which makes it intuitive for users that have never used machines such as these. This is why this machine is usually recommended to beginners, as opposed to their advanced machines, like the Revolution.

The PR1000 is ideal for people who just want to get into shape, burn some calories and have fun while doing it. You can also gain some amount of strength while using it, although you will be limited as time goes by. The machine has a straightforward design that is easy to understand, settings which are adjustable to the needs of a beginner. which will guide them through each and every exercise. It's also great if you want to maintain your shape. You will easily readjust the settings to your skill level, and won't need to waste a lot of time readjusting and relocating everything.


The PR1000 is a mid-range machine that is appropriately priced. It costs around 600 dollars, which is great considering that it's a complete gym which can give your full body a workout. The PR1000 is actually one of the cheapest home gyms out there, with more advanced machines costing up to 3000 dollars! Considering the limited warranty and limited weight you can work with, the price the machine has is completely okay.


As we said before, the PR1000 allows you to do over 30 exercises on it, making it a very versatile piece. This is just enough to engage your whole body, and it also gives you a way to focus on individual muscle groups to develop better strength and functionality. With that being said, the maximum weight you can work with on this machine is 210 pounds, which may not be enough for serious fitness enthusiasts. The PR1000 has plenty of space, and you'll be able to really get creative when working out on it!

The Final Word

As we’ve seen, the Bowflex PR1000 provides you with a comprehensive range of exercises, including a form of cardio exercise at a great price. For people who are new to exercise, those looking to tone up or lose body fat, the PR1000 will be a good option. The machine uses power rods to create tension, allowing the user to fully control their movements and the amount of weight they are working with. You will be able to perform over 30 exercises. In addition, the PR1000 has a built-in rowing component that works on both your cardio and strength at the same time. The PR1000 is quite durable, and it has a warranty that covers most issues, but the rods lose their elasticity over time, and the warranty does not cover that.

However, people are experienced weight lifters will have to expect a major adjustment curve as they transition to the different type of resistance that comes from power rods. Combine this with the inability to progress beyond 200 pounds, and the lack of eccentric resistance and we have to conclude that the Bowflex PR100 is not the best choice if you are looking to seriously build muscle and boost your strength levels.