Wonder why Bowflex chose the word “Xtreme” to describe its best-selling series of home gyms?
It’s a great choice of words; the Merriam-Webster Dictionary says it represents a type of sporting endeavour that involves “an unusually high degree of physical risk.”
If this is what you’re going for, the Xtreme 2 SE won’t disappoint.
This begs the question: must an exerciser go to extremes to develop the body they seek? Not really. Plenty of strength training newbies have adopted this equipment because they like what they read from the manufacturer and owners.
The 2SE is an impressive piece of equipment that takes you through 70+ specific exercises and you neither have to plug anything into a wall socket nor worry about a malfunctioning computer system to stay on your program.
Real-world gym quality separates the Bowflex Xtreme 2 from competitors and since it’s not the first Xtreme to be produced by this company, purchasers gain the advantage of a compendium of new and innovative features in concert with features that have been improved over time to advantage this equipment’s solid evolution.
Workout area: 8-feet long by 6.5-feet wide
Assembled weight: 185 pounds
Maximum user weight: 300 pounds (201 words)
- Comes standard with 210 pounds of Power Rod® Resistance.
- Resistance can be upgraded to 310 or 410 pounds.
- The no-change cable pulley system takes you from squats to lats seamlessly.
- A second (lower) 4-position pulley/squat station works quads, glutes and hamstrings.
- The integrated lat tower’s angled bar works shoulder and back muscles.
- Undertake 70+ separate exercises thanks to this gym’s design and versatility.
- Includes a leg-extension feature.
- The shoulder harness enhances abdominal crunches in concert with the ab pulley bar.
- Seat is adjustable, ergonomically contoured and built for extended wear.
- The gym’s reinforced X-shaped base offers maximum stability.
- 5-Way hand-grip/ankle cuffs promote performance excellence and flexibility.
Can a home gym be all things to all people? If it’s got the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE pedigree attached, that goal is possible. Use all of the features to accomplish your fitness goals and do so in a way that keeps you physically healthier because the joint pain and inertia that plague many people who use free weights isn’t a factor when converting to this system.
It’s never been easier to customize your routine; hook up the number of Power Rod units you need to match your current fitness levels and as your body grows accustomed to each stage, you continue to increase resistance and gradually move from 5 pounds to 210 pounds. Once you’ve attained that level of mastery you can increase resistance to as much as 410 pounds.
Video Review (1:29 Minutes)
Warranty, Shipping and Assembly
Bowflex Extreme 2 owners are complimentary about the ease with which this gym comes together without requiring a degree in mechanical engineering. The gym arrives in 4 separate boxes and Bowflex includes necessary tools for putting it together. If you can follow directions, you should achieve success.
One enthusiastic owner proclaimed them, “The clearest directions I’ve ever read.”
The machine itself is under a 7-year warranty. Bowflex says it will cover those power rods for the duration of the gym’s life. Look for the video and exercise poster packed into one of the boxes to help with the set up and use of your gym.
We feel the need to mention this equipment’s compact size first because it’s one of this product’s biggest selling points. You can fit this rig into a much smaller space than previous iterations of Bowflex Xtreme models, so if space has stopped you from buying a gym, you just lost your last excuse. Even the bench design is compact.
At the heart of the Bowflex Xtreme SE is what the company calls its “revolutionary no-change cable pulley system.” If you find it a pain in the neck to keep changing cables during your workout because you lose your momentum, those days are over the moment you set up your home gym and put it to work for you.
We’ve already mentioned the Bowflex X2 70+ exercise library, but in the interest of specificity, the owner’s manual/guide breaks them into these categories: 24 arm, 16 back, 14 shoulder, 6 chest, 10 leg and 3 abdominal exercises. Do the math; but if you need to work one area more than others, this could influence your buying decision.
Affordable and Versatile, the 2 SE checks all of the boxes in terms of your space, budget and workout needs, and if you decide you can’t live without this gym, you’ll join a legion of fans who wouldn’t think of buying another brand or another style of home gym once they’ve grown accustomed to their workouts.
The Not So Good
Some folks find that they simply can’t make the transition from free weights to the pulley-rod-resistance system featured on the Bowflex Xtreme 2SE, so you’ll want to make sure you can return the gym if this happens to you.
It’s true that the occasional Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE review goes into detail about how this system can’t come close to matching the free weight experience, but be of good cheer: many who complained at first (that includes the guy who wrote, “I hated it”) got used to the transition and adapted nicely, so acclimating yourself may not be hard.
The promise of a lifetime warranty on those rods remains a major sticking point with Bowflex home gym owners. One savvy Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE home gym owner was prepared for rod replacement down the line, but he bought anyway, claiming that if owners rotate those rods around 90-degrees from time-to-time, longevity can be extended. If you hate surprises, setting up a rod replacement fund from the get-go could ease your mind.