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Bowflex Home Gym vs. Free Weights

When it’s about resistance training in home gyms, Bowflex is the crowd’s favorite. But some workout enthusiasts think that free weight exercises are a cheaper option and offer more significant benefits for enhancing muscle mass. 

For all those beginners who want to start resistance training, Bowflex will be an amazing option. And when it is about gaining more muscles and doing extensive workouts, free weights will be the greatest method.

Today we’ll discuss everything about Bowflex home gym vs. free weights to help you make the best decision for your strength training. So let’s dive right in…

When Should You Choose Bowflex Home Gyms?

If you think that keeping free weight gears all over your workout space isn’t safe, the Bowflex gym will be the best option for you. It is easy to use and helps you to exercise pretty effortlessly. So, here are the reasons you should consider while choosing Bowflex. 

Exercise without a Spotter

While exercising at home, you won’t have anyone to help you with your resistance training or give you the proper instruction. And if you are a beginner, it will become more challenging for you to do certain exercises without anyone’s help. In that case, Bowflex machines can be your savior.

When you use it, if you fail to complete the rep, the cable of the equipment will return to its original position. As a result, you can gain muscle mass without fear of accidents. But if you are at the gym, we’ve put together an article on how to ask for a spotter.

Isolate Your Muscle for Long-Term Endurance

Most exercises on the Bowflex machine focus on a specific muscle group. Suppose you are doing a chest fly on your home gym; it will use both your triceps and chest. On the other hand, if you do this with free weights, you will only benefit your abs. 

Offers a Better Low-Impact Workout

Low-impact workouts offer greater benefits for people of all ages. Moreover, it doesn’t create pressure on your joints, so you won’t have to worry about any physical damages. 

With this machine, you can do unique low-impact workouts to gain more muscles and burn excess body fat. Therefore, if you want to get into proper form pretty effortlessly, go for it without hesitation. 

When Should You Choose Free Weights Exercises?

Well, Bowflex offers tons of benefits; there’s no doubt about that. But when it comes to the best exercise options for gaining muscle mass, free weights will always be on the top. So, let’s see the reasons behind choosing free weight exercises instead of Bowflex. 

Free Weights Are Space Savers

You should surely go for free weights when you don’t have much space to spare for your exercise equipment. They take less space than Bowflex machines, which can be great news for people who live in small apartments. 

Gain Muscles Quickly

Kela, a wellness professor says “Lifting your dumbbells in a variety of ways with proper form and appropriate numbers of reps will build muscle“.

If you are in an improper form and want to gain muscles quicker than ever, free weights will be the best workout regime for you. As these workout systems target several muscles simultaneously, you get fit in the shortest possible time. 

Takes Less Time to Set up

When it comes to Bowflex vs. free weights, you can set up the machine in a breath. All you have to do is to adjust the dial and start exercising. And that’s something remarkable, don’t you think?

Advantages and Disadvantages of Bowflex

Before you start using Bowflex home gyms, let’s look at the benefits and disadvantages it offers. So, let’s get started, shall we?

Advantages of Bowflex

  • You can perform several workouts on one machine
  • Simple pulley system that cuts down on time as you don’t have to adjust the machine
  • You can do various core, upper and lower body exercises such as leg extensions, chest fly, and abs crunch
  • This equipment provides resistance enough for any beginner or intermediate gym enthusiast
  • It offers you safety while exercising without any spotter

Disadvantages of Bowflex

  • The machine is more on the expensive side
  • It doesn’t offer many options for advanced lifters

Advantages and Disadvantages of Free Weights

As we mentioned earlier, free weights help you gain muscles quickly, and if you want to become an expert weight lifter, this is the best option you have. But it also has some drawbacks so let’s take a look at the things it offers. 

Advantages of Free Weights

  • Free weights are amazingly versatile, and you can do many exercises to improve your muscle mass; the vast majority of gym enthusiasts love free weights for this purpose
  • These free weights exercises are functional, meaning you can use these movements in the real world; it allows you to enhance your core strength to lift more weight daily
  • With free weights exercise, you can unleash the full range of motion; it will activate the stabilizer muscles and reduce the chances of injuries

Disadvantages of Free Weights

  • Free weights exercises require a spotter if you want to be on the safe side; workouts such as the power rack routine can be dangerous if there’s no one to help you
  • These workouts are a bit complicated; hence, beginners will feel a little overwhelmed

Bowflex vs. Free Weights – Side by Side

As you can see, Bowflex and free weights both come with perks and cons. So, which one is the most suitable method for you? Well, to know that, you need to go through this section below…

Ease of Use

Bowflex home gym is the winner here if it is about being user-friendly. Any beginner can use this machine to get a fit body; that’s no secret. 

In contrast, free weight exercise is more on the complicated side. And this is one of the reasons why most people tend to avoid it. But people who are into an extreme workout regime should pick this method instead of Bowflex. 

On top of everything, Bowflex comes with plenty of tutorials for informational and educational purposes, which makes the experience breezier. 

Injury Risks

As you do most workouts in a seated position in Bowflex, you won’t need any spotter to help you with the power rods. But free weights exercise requires proper guidance and a helper so you can finish the reps without any trouble. 


When it’s about Bowflex vs. free weights, you will get more versatility with Bowflex’s home gym. It will help you to do a full-body workout pretty effortlessly. 

On the other hand, if you want versatility from free weights, you will need more gears, which will cost you some more money. Though cheaper, free weights can still be expensive at times.

Gaining Strength

If you want to increase your core strength, you need to do free weight workouts instead of Bowflex to get better results. These workouts mimic how you lift things in real life, so you will be able to use these tricks every day. We also put together an article on natural vs gym strength you might want to check out.


Resistance training with Bowflex can be costly as the newer models are available within $1500-$2000. Alternatively, if you go for a complete set of weights, including weight disc, handle, rack, and other stiffs, it will cost you around $200. 

Hence, if you are looking for affordable home gym equipment, you can go for free weights without hesitation. 

So, Free Weights vs. Bowflex, Which One Is Better?

Bowflex will be an excellent option for your home gym if you are a beginner and new to resistance training. It is easy to use, safer, and offers versatility. So, when you have the budget for it, go for it without thinking twice. 

Conversely, free weights are more for the experts, who have tons of experience in strength training. Moreover, it will help you gain muscle mass in the shortest amount of time, which is impressive. 

However, the techniques of this workout aren’t beginner-friendly; and that can be a bummer. But the weights are pretty cheap, which is good news for some people. 

Both of these methods come with plenty of benefits and a few detriments. So which one is the best workout totally depends on your preference. 

The Bottom Line

For all those beginners who want to start resistance training, Bowflex will be an amazing option. And when it is about gaining more muscles and doing extensive workouts, free weights will be the greatest method.

So, here was everything on Bowflex home gym vs. free weights. Now that you know everything, start working out and get ripped in no time.

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About Ben Adler

I'm Ben, a passionate fitness enthusiast on a mission to help you achieve your fitness goals. With a love for lifting and building a well-rounded physique, I founded Swole Class to provide beginners with the guidance and knowledge they need to navigate the gym and embrace a healthier lifestyle. Join me on this journey as we unlock our potential and inspire greatness together. Learn more about me