Thank you for reading our Bowflex PR3000 vs Xtreme 2 SE review. These are two of the higher spec models in the Bowflex rang and come packed full of features that will keep your home exercise regime nice and varied.
But, it is highly likely that you only want one! So which one should you go for? Well, in this Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE vs PR3000 comparison review we will cover all the key features and differences between the two so that you can make an informed choice and buy with confidence.
Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE vs PR3000
What is the Bowflex Power Rod Resistance System?
Before we go any further into comparing the PR3000 and Xtreme 2 SE, it is worth explaining the resistance system that they have in common. It is a tried and tested system that is common to lots of Bowflex machines, but it is a bit different from what you may be used to using in a commercial gym.
Bowflex home gyms are instantly recognisable to anyone that has ever seen one before. They have characteristic bows at the back which give the machines a distinctive look. But this is not just for show, the bows create the resistance system that is unique to Bowflex home gyms.
Bowflex has taken its company name from the bows that flex out to the sides of these home gyms when you exercise. It is the bows that create resistance and provide strengthening exercises for your muscles.
All Bowflex home gyms use this system of flexible polymer rods to provide resistance. This idea and feel is quite different from a normal free weights machine as there aren’t actually any heavy weights involved.
The Bowflex system has been inspired by the tension created by a traditional bow and arrow. When you first pull (on a bow or on the Bowflex machine), it is fairly easy. But as you pull further the tension increases and the resistance builds. The further you go, the harder it gets.
This design creates a smooth and fluid movement which is great for your body as it puts less strain on joints and tendons. This means that you are less likely to injure yourself or pull any muscles.
The power rods themselves do not move (other than to flex). To provide resistance to the range of exercises, you have to connect a different series of cables to the power rods. By using the pulleys you are able to perform dozens of different upper body, lower body, and core exercises.
As the resistance is greatest when the bow is fully flexed, it means that you do not always have a constant strain on your muscles in the same way that you would if you were lifting weights.
Some gym-goers like to know the exact weight that they are lifting and aren’t so keen on this system. On the other hand, it offers a progressive workout that is good for your muscles, and it offers a very effective strengthening exercise.
It has been proven that the use of elastic resistance provides very similar benefits to conventional weight training. The Bowflex PR3000 and Xtreme 2se machines still enable you to increase strength and gain bigger better-toned muscles. If you are aiming to lose weight then these machines offer a great way to reduce your body fat percentage.
In many ways, resistance machines can actually offer a better workout than traditional weights as they are better for increasing your functional strength. Your support muscles, tendons and ligaments will gain strength too.
One of the great benefits of the Bowflex power rod system is that it is much safer to use when you are on your own. As there are no weights, it means that there is no need to have a spotter with you. This is perfect for a home gym and allows you to safely work out when there is no one else around.
It also means that it is easier to move the machine around. This means you can keep you Bowflex in a corner when you aren’t using it. Then, when you want to use it you can easily pull it out to where you have enough space. They are also far smaller than machines from the likes of Total Gym so will take up less space in your home.
PR3000 vs Xtreme 2 SE: Which has greater resistance?
Both the PR3000 home gym and Xtreme 2SE come with a number of different power rods. By varying the combination of rods, you can vary the resistance offered by the machine.
You can start at just 5 pounds. As your strength and fitness improve, you can add all the rods until you reach 210 lbs which is the maximum resistance that comes with both machines as standard.
If you are looking for a tougher workout than this then you will be pleased to hear that both pieces of gym equipment can be upgraded.
The Xtreme 2 SE has the upper hand in this respect as it can be upgraded to 410 lbs weight resistance by purchasing additional rods.
A pair of 50lb rods should cost under $100, 2 extra rods will give you 310 pounds of resistance whilst you will need 4 to raise resistance to the maximum level of 410lbs for the Xtreme.
The PR3000 only allows you to add two extra rods so the maximum resistance is 310 lbs.
Clearly, if you are looking to really work your muscles, the Xtreme 2 SE is the better machine in this respect, however, 310lbs is more than enough for lots of home gym enthusiasts.
One of the great things about the Bowflex system is that you can use the lower resistance rods to increase resistance in small increments so that you can make small, incremental gains.
Whilst you might not this that an extra 10 pounds sounds like much, over repeated exercises it can make a big difference and you will make progress for sure. This progress should provide a huge mental boost at the same time and encourage you to keep up your exercise regime.
Bottom Line: The Xtreme 2 SE can be upgraded to a maximum of 410lbs weight resistance, a full 100 pounds more than the PR3000. Both come with 210lbs as standard.
PR3000 vs Xtreme 2 SE: Which is the Most Versatile?
One of the things we love about Bowflex gyms is the huge number of exercises you can do with one piece of exercise equipment. The only other home gyms that come close to offering the same versatility are the ones made by Total Gym.
The Xtreme 2 SE has the most exercises of the entire range of Bowflex home gyms, with over 70 different exercises that you can do. The PR3000 lacks some of this variety as it only has 50 (still a decent number!). Both machines have a vertical bench.
As you can see, they both have a good range of different exercises so you can put together a bunch of different routines and vary the muscle groups that you work on during the week.
Many of the exercises are the same on the two models, the Bowflex PR3000 exercises include various arm, shoulder, chest, back, abs, and leg exercises. The Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE has a total of 70 built-in exercises, and feature a squat station, abdominal crunch shoulder harness, abs attachment, and preacher curl attachment.
Another difference between these two models is that Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE has multiple grip options. Unlike Bowflex PR3000, it comes with the regular grip, non-grip cuff, shoulder cuff, ankle cuff, and foot cuff. These options are great, as they add more leg exercises that you cant do on the Xtreme.
Both machines come with a booklet that describes the exercises that you can do in detail. There are diagrams and detailed descri[tions, along with tips on how to get the most out of the exercises.
The Xtreme 2 SE also includes 7 specially designed workout programs. These include a 2-minute better body, 20-minute upper body, 20-minute lower body, bodybuilding, circuit training anaerobic, true aerobic and strength training routines.
Bottom Line: The Xtreme 2 SE will give you a significantly greater range of exercises (70 vs 50) and you get free workout plans included.
PR3000 vs Xtreme 2 SE: Quick-Change Pulley System
Both the PR3000 and the Xtreme 2 SE feature the innovative quick-change pulley system. This is a feature lacking from many other models, like the Blaze, PR1000 and even the Xceed.
This quick-change system means that you can move from squats to lats to leg workouts without ever changing cables. You’ll save time and keep your heart rate up as you progress through your workout.
We think that it is a big improvement over the other models, but in terms of this comparative review of the PR3000 and Xtreme 2 SE, the are equally matched.
Bottom Line: Both of these models have the quick-change pulley system. This is a great feature to have and is one of the reasons why these are two of the best Bowflex home gyms.
PR3000 vs Xtreme 2 SE – Design and Build Quality
The two machines are quite similar in design. The PR3000 is red compared to the grey of the Xtreme 2 SE, but the overall size and shape are pretty similar.
Both machines built with a heavy-duty steel frame which is very sturdy and built to last. The components are generally slightly better on the Xtreme, you get nicer handles and a better shaped more comfy seat.
We haven’t heard of many problems from owners of Bowflex machines, but it is always nice to get a decent warranty. It shows that the manufacturer has faith in its product.
Both the Xtreme 2 SE comes with a 7 year warranty on the frame, and a lifetime warranty on the power rods. The PR3000 has a 1 year warranty on the frame, 7 year warranty on the power rods.
The solid construction means that users up to 300 lbs can use the Xtreme 2 SE and PR3000 home gym.
Once your new machine arrives you will have to put your excitement on hold for a bit whilst you build it! It will take a couple of hours but shouldn’t cause too many headaches. The instruction manual is well written, clearly laid out and has helpful diagrams.
You will need your own tools though, a couple of screwdrivers and an adjustable wrench should get the job done. If you can rope a friend into helping you then so much the better but it is perfectly easy to construct either of these machines on your own. I don’t think it should be a major factor in your purchasing decision, but the PR3000 is a bit easier to put together.
The Xtreme measures 53″ L x 49″ W x 83.25″ H when constructed, the PR3000 is slightly smaller 64″ L x 41″ W x 83″ H.
These measurements are pretty small compared to home gyms form other companies and will fit in a good-sized room or garage. Check your ceiling height is at least 7 foot.
Bottom Line: Both machines are really well built and have a similar design. The Extreme 2SE is the overall better machine with nicer components and a better warranty
Bowflex PR3000 vs Xtreme 2 SE – The Verdict
So, we have looked at all the different factors between the Bowflex Xtreme 2se and the PR3000, but which one is best?
Firstly, we will say that they are both great home gyms and you will likely be very happy with either machine.
Having said that, we can say that there is a clear winner. The Xtreme 2 SE is the better machine.
It offers more exercises and can be upgraded to 410 lbs of resistance. This makes it a machine that grows as your strength does, whilst the greater range of exercises gives a better all over full-body workout and allows you to create more varied exercise routines.
However, these extra exercises and some refinements to the quality of attachment means that the Xtreme comes with a higher price tag. The difference is not huge, but it does vary so click the button below to check the price difference.
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If you can stretch your budget to the Xtreme2 SE then we recommend that you do. It is a top of the line model from a fantastic manufacturer and you will not be disappointed.