In this Bowflex PR3000 review, we will look at the features of one of the most popular Bowflex home gyms. The PR3000 is an upgrade on the entry-level PR1000 but still comes in at a fairly low price point compared to the top of the range models.
So, has it hit the sweet spot between budget simplicity and expensive top of the line models? Keep reading our review of the PR3000 to find out.
Bowflex PR3000 Review -Quick Summary
- Over 50 exercises for a great full-body workout
- Quickly switch between exercises for different muscle groups
- Upgradable to 310lbs resistance
- No horizontal bench
- No rowing machine
- Some Bowflex machines can be upgraded to 410 lbs
Verdict: The PR3000 is a great value home exercise machine. It has a great range of different exercises and the quick-change system helps your exercise routine to flow.
Bowflex PR 3000 Review
What weights system does the Bowflex PR3000 use?
All Bowflex home gyms use a patented system of flexible polymer rods to provide resistance. This offers quite a different feel to a traditional free weights machine which relies on heavy weights and gravity.
The system has taken inspiration from the design of 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.
As the movement is smooth and fluid, it reduces the strain on joints and tendons. This, in turn, reduces the risk of connective tissue injury.
The progressive resistance of the power rods increases as you work out, giving your muscles a chance to warm up. The difficulty ramps up the harder you work to give you the intensive workout you are looking for.
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 bu using resistance machines.
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 the PR3000 allows you to quickly and easily change which muscle group you are working on.
The 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 PR3000 has up to 210 lbs of resistance with the included power rods.
If you are looking to build strength further you can purchase additional rods to upgrade the PR3000 to 310 pounds of resistance.
One of the benefits of the Bowflex power rod system is that it is much safer to use when you are on your own. The lack of heavy weights means that there is no need to have a spotter with you, and this makes it ideal for use at home.
As there are no weights, it is easy to move the machine around. This means you can put it away in the corner when you aren’t using it.
When it is time to exercise you can easily pull it out to where you workout. This makes it an ideal home gym for anyone in a small house or apartment.
What exercises can you do on the PR3000?
The PR3000 allows you to start with a base rod resistance of 5 pounds and work your way all the way up to 210 pounds.
For most users, this 210 lb resistance is plenty, but if you want a more challenging workout it is possible to upgrade to 310lbs. This is enough for anyone focusing on building strength but it is not enough for full-on bodybuilding.
Where we think the power rod system excels is that you can use the lower resistance rods to increase resistance in small increments.
This allows you to make fractional progress – adding ten pounds may not seem like a huge difference, but do it multiple times and you will definitely make progress and give yourself a mental boost at the same time.
There are over 50 exercises that you can do with the Bowflex PR3000 so you will find plenty of ways to maintain and build your fitness.
It is easy to learn the exercises as you get a booklet detailing the exercises included with the machine. In addition, when you buy this machine, you get access to Bowflex’s Full Body Plan which gives you loads of great online workout resources.
The PR3000 has a leg developer so you can do leg extensions using the sturdy padded foam rollers, or you can remove it to work on your upper body.
The PR3000 tower houses a lat pulldown handle which is nicely curved to match the palm of your hands.
There are two handles, front and rear so that you can strengthen different muscle groups in your arms, shoulders and back. If you choose to sit and face the tower you will also work on your core strength.
The PR3000 also has a squat platform made of steel with grooves and a powder coating for safety and traction. On either side of the platform, there are two pulleys for you to pull, and the power rods will provide the resistance.
It is a little different to doing a squat with a loaded bar sitting on your shoulders, but it is still an effective workout. It requires less space and is safer to do on your own. Unlike some home gyms, the squat stand comes as standard.
The PR3000 comes with six cables and pulleys so that you can quickly switch between different exercises and work on different muscle groups.
This is great, and definitely an advantage over the cheaper PR1000. However, there are a few pieces that you need to remove to do squats.
Is the Bowflex PR3000 Home Gym well made?
We love the design of the PR3000 and think that the bows make it look pretty stylish and the black and red design will make it stand out.
What is probably more important is that it is of really sturdy construction and it definitely feels like it is built to last.
This is important in a home gym as we feel like it should be a purchase that you can use regularly for many years to come.
We certainly feel that the Bowflex machines are well made and you can see that many happy customers have been using their machines for years.
If something does go wrong, you can be reassured that the PR3000 is covered by a 1-year warranty on the frame, 7-year warranty on the power rods and 60-day warranty for parts. It would be nice if the part had a longer warranty but, generally, any issues are likely to be apparent early on.
The PR3000 does need to be assembled once it is delivered. It is fairly straightforward to do with just some basic tools required.
The assembly manual is well laid out and the instructions are clear. It should take less than 2 hours to put together which isn’t too bad considering how many hours of use you get out of it.
How much space does the Bowflex PR3000 need?
One of the key benefits of a home multi gym is that you can do so many different exercises in one machine and that you don’t need a whole lot of space to use it.
Having said that, you do want to be sure that you have enough space so be sure to check the space that you plan to use it.
The PR3000 measures 96 x 76 x 83 inches for the PR 3000. But bear in mind that you will need to have space around it to allow the bows to flex outwards and to give you space to perform your exercises.
Is the Bowflex PR3000 worth it?
Yes. We think that his is a great home multi-gym and offers good value for the price.
One of the big advantages of having a multi-gym at home is that it gives you the chance to use it pretty much every day and work on different muscle groups each time you work out.
One day you might try leg extensions and the following day you could work on your arms. This is beneficial as it gives your muscles time to recover between sessions and it also means that you can work on your whole body without having to do mammoth workout sessions.
In fact, the manual says to start with 20 minutes 3 times a week. It may not sound like much but if you manage an hour a week on the PR3000 you will definitely notice the difference.
If you are already used to exercising then, of course, you can go way beyond this and push yourself for longer ad more regularly. All without the hassle of leaving your home.
The PR3000 lacks the rowing machine that the PR1000 has (check out our PR1000 vs PR3000 comparative review), so you will need to look elsewhere for your cardio exercise.
Maybe you could look at getting a treadmill or elliptical machine for your home gym as well. One of the great things about the PR3000 is that it doesn’t take up too much room and is very affordable so can form part of a complete budget home gym.
PR3000 Review – The Verdict
The PR3000 is an easy to use machine that offers over 50 exercises. This gives great variety (you don’t want a machine that you get bored of and stop using!) and allows you to work out all of your muscle groups.
The multiple pulley system means that it is easy to switch between working on different muscle groups without having to interrupt your exercise.
The power rod resistance means that this is a machine that is easy on your joints and perfect for safely exercising alone.
All in all, the PR3000 is highly recommended as a versatile and great value home multi-gym.