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Bowflex PR1000 Review – The Best Budget Home Gym?

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The Bowflex PR1000 has been around for many years and offers home gym users a very affordable way to start exercising from home. In this Bowflex PR1000 review, we will be looking at the features of the Bowflex 1000 so that you can decide whether it is the right home multi gym for you.

Bowflex PR 1000 Review: Quick Summary


  • Great Value
  • Foldable, horizontal bench with rowing attachment
  • 30+ different exercises that cover the entire body
  • Over 200 pounds of Power Rod resistance
  • Bench converts to a rolling seat for aerobic rowing
  • Built-in media rack
  • Multiple cable pulley positions allow you to easily change the angle of resistance and increase the effectiveness of many exercises


  • The 210lb resistance cannot be increased (unlike some Bowflex models)
  • Relatively few exercises compare to other home gyms


This is a great home gym that offers great versatility for a very low price. The price point and range of exercises makes it perfect for anyone that is looking to get started with home exercise. More seasoned gym-goers that are looking to build muscle might need higher resistance levels and greater variety so could consider upgradable models like the Bowflex Blaze, PR3000 or Xceed.

Bowflex PR1000 –  Weights System

All Bowflex home gyms use flexible polymer rods to provide resistance, rather than using heavy free weights and gravity, as you find on a traditional free weight machine. 

Using this system is a lot like using a bow and arrow. As you start to pull it is fairly easy, but as the tension increases, the resistance builds and you get a tougher workout. 

This smooth and fluid movement reduces the strain on joints and tendons and reduces the risk of connective tissue injury. 

The progressive resistance of the power rods increases as you work out so it gives your muscles a chance to warm up and ease into your exercise but then ramps up the difficulty level so that you can push your limits.  

Studies have shown that the use of elastic resistance provides many of the same benefits as conventional weight training. You can still increase strength, gain bigger and better-toned muscles, and reduce your body fat percentage. 

In fact, resistance machines can actually offer a better workout than standard weights as you will gain more functional strength, your support muscles, tendons and ligaments gain strength too and you can quickly and easily change which muscle group you are working on. 

The resistance system is very easy to use and you will quickly get used to the movements. Using the power rods does feel different from a conventional weights machine and the movements are far smoother. 

Bowflex power rods are made from a composite material and covered in a protective rubber coating. Each rod provides resistance from 5 lbs to 50 lbs. The PR1000 has up to 210 lbs of resistance. Unlike many other Bowflex machines, it is not possible to upgrade this to higher resistance levels.

One of the benefits of the Bowflex system is that it is far safer than using a standard free weight or weight stack system and there is no need to have a spotter with you so you can safely exercise alone.  

The use of power rods instead of heavy weights makes the whole machine far lighter so it is easy to move about. This means you can tuck it away in the corner when you don’t need it, but easily pull it out where there is more space when it is time for your workout. This makes it an ideal solution for people that have smaller homes.

What exercises can you do on the Bowflex PR1000?

The Bowflex PR1000 allows you to do over 30 different exercises. This includes bench pressing in three different positions (horizontal, incline decline), low back extensions, shoulder press, shoulder raise, bicep curls, wrist curls, seated lat pulldowns, ab crunches, calf raises, leg press (a leg press belt is included that helps you to perform this exercise safely) and leg extensions.

The PR1000 has an inbuilt rowing machine thanks to the moveable seat on the horizontal bench. This is a feature that is missing from the more expensive Bowflex home gyms.

Rowing is a great way to add some cardio training to your exercise program. It will help you to increase stamina and it tones and builds your muscle. It requires you to use all the major muscle groups and gives you a great upper and lower body workout. As your heart and lungs get going it gives you a great aerobic workout which is great for both fitness and weight loss. It may not be quite as good as a dedicated rowing machine, but it is a nice addition to the PR1000 and works perfectly well.

Overall the PR1000 is a very versatile piece of equipment. The range of 30 exercises allows you to engage your whole body and offers ways to focus on individual muscle groups to develop better strength and functionality. 

The maximum resistance is 210 lbs which may not be enough for anyone looking to build up serious muscle. 

Bowflex PR1000 Home Gym Review – Design and Build Quality

Bowflex has a reputation for building quality machines. Although the PR1000 is a budget model it is still made from high-quality commercial steel. It is coated with anti-scratch and anti-corrosive paint to protect it from wear and tear. The tension cables are made from high strength braided steel. The PR1000 comes with a comfortable seat made from tear-resistant Durafirm leather padding. 

Bowflex has confidence in its gym equipment and offers a great warranty as standard. The PR1000 is covered by a 5 year warranty on the power rods, 1 year for the frame and 60 days for other parts. If you buy the machine direct from Bowflex you can return any part of the machine within 6 weeks of purchase, for any reason at all. 

Bowflex PR1000 – How much space do you need?

One of the great things about a home multi gym is that you can do so many different exercises in one machine and in a small amount of space. 

But, you do still need a bit of spare space to use them. PR 1000 measures 103 x 80 x 82 inches when in use and you will need some extra space around that to exercise comfortably. When not in use the bench can be folded up for easier storage. It is recommended that you remove the rods when you are not using the machine. This is a bit time consuming and to be honest, we doubt many Boflewx users bother to do this. 

The PR1000 is suitable for users up to 6’7” and 300 lbs. 

When your machine arrives you will need to assemble it. This should take less than 2 hours and the instructions are easy to follow. This is not a bad time investment for a machine that should provide you with versatile home exercising for years to come. 

It comes with a comprehensive workout guide so that you can get started straight away. Alternatively, you make like to check out some videos on YouTube. 

Is the Bowflex PR1000 worth it?

We think so. The PR1000 is a mid-range machine that allows you to do a full body workout from the comfort of your home, for just one low priced investment. It is one of the cheapest home gyms that you can buy and far cheaper than some home gyms that cost several thousand dollars. 

We think that the PR1000 is fantastic value and one of the best Bowflex gyms. It is a great piece of equipment for anyone who is looking to improve their home workout options. 

Getting the PR1000 could even save you money in the long run as you will not need to pay for an expensive gym membership.

Bowflex PR1000 FAQs

Does the Bowflex PR1000 home gym fold?

Yes, the horizontal bench bar can be folded up, and secured to the lat bar of the machine. To fold it up, you simply lock the bench in the horizontal position and undo the pin that connects the bench bar to the frame.

Can you upgrade the Bowflex PR1000?

No, the PR1000 has 210lbs of resistance and cannot be upgraded. If you are looking for a machine that offers greater resistance, consider the PR3000, Blaze or Xceed.

What are the Bowflex PR1000 dimensions?

The PR1000 has a footprint of  84″ long by 38″ wide. However, to use it the bows need to bend out and the bench fold down, so the true size is 103L x 80W. The Bowflex PR1000 is 82” tall.

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