Bowflex vs Free Weights – Which is Better?

Bowflex or Free Weights?

In this article, we'll compare the Bowflex vs free weights so you'll have a clearer idea which one is more effective. The truth is that regardless of the type of equipment you've chosen to use, they'll both provide you with great results if done right. However, they each have their advantages and disadvantages.

For example, if you want to be a powerlifter, then using Free weights is the best way to go. However, if your priority is to gain some strength and muscle, then a Bowflex could be the only thing you need.

But, of course, like any other fitness solution, there are some benefits and disadvantages to using both methods.

The truth is that both of them are equally effective. However, both have their place in the field of fitness. So, let's look at what each has to offer and compare scenarios.

Bowflex vs. Free Weights Comparison

At present, Bowflex Home Gyms come in several models that offer an excellent workout. It utilizes power rods which are used to provide weighted resistance. The power rods each have varying resistance weights to them, which when pulled on increases in resistance.

Free weights, on the other hand, have a weight that is only constant when it is stationary. For example, when you hold a 20 lb free weight at a uniform height or angle, it weighs a continuous 20 lbs. But when you start doing reps with it, that weight fluctuates greatly.

This leads us to the main point:

What is the difference between Bowflex and free weights?

The main difference between Bowflex and free weights is that a Bowflex provides a steady increase in resistance when pulled on, and free weights fluctuate through motion.

Apart from resistance, there isn't much difference between the two, as they can both provide great workout results.

Watch the video below for a clearer picture of the differences between the two.

Which is the cheaper option?

If you get a Bowflex PR3000 Home Gym, it will cost you about $398 to $750, depending on the other extra accessories that you may purchase along with the machine. Newer models in the market range from $1500 to $2500.

Free weights, on the other hand, depending on the type of metal that is used to manufacture the handles and the weight discs, have varying prices. Cast iron metal type of free weights are the cheapest in the market. In general, the average costs of dumbbell sets will run you for a 50-pound range of about $500, including the handles, weight discs, and racks. A full barbell set that includes bars, discs, and sometimes racks will cost about an average of $1400 to $2000.

If you are on a budget, then Free weights might be cheaper compared with a Bowflex.

Bowflex or Free Weights, Which one builds the muscles faster?

Well, as mentioned earlier, the free weights are the way to go if you want to gain muscle mass. Machines like the Bowflex often limit the movement of some muscles. Free weights, on the other hand, have no such restrictions as it allows the stimulation of more muscles than the Bowflex.

Also, with Free weights, the up-down movement and higher fluctuation of the resistance due to gravity puts more shock on your muscles. As a result, you will gain muscles faster.

However, this doesn't mean that Bowflex does not provide any muscle gain. It merely is that it is not a faster way to gain muscle mass like the Free weights. So, if you want to build muscles faster, then Free weight exercises are recommended.

Which is the better option for beginners?

Bowflex home gyms are the better option for beginners when compared with the Free weights. They are considered better because of the gradual increase in resistance that the Bowflex Power Rod resistance provides. With this gradual increase in resistance, beginners can moderately improve their fitness and strength while reducing the risk of injury.

Moreover, since the parts on a Bowflex are fixed, it makes it harder for a beginner to employ improper form during exercises.

With Free weights, the movement of the body and the muscles aren't restricted, leading to a beginner requiring better control of both their movement. And thus, it can often lead to injuries that may or may not be damaging.

As such, we recommend that beginners go with a Bowflex over free weights.

Which is safer between Bowflex vs Free Weights?

Honestly, as discussed in the best for beginner's section, the Bowflex machines are much safer than the free weights. They are safer because Bowflex machines are designed with safety as the main priority. In contrast, free weights are inanimate objects, and what you do is reliant on your ability to control them. As such, you are more prone to injure yourself with free weights.

However, these injuries can be prevented if you have had the proper training or a training partner to help you during your routine.

The Bottom Line

Both Bowflex and Free weights give you very different benefits and workout options. Ultimately, they both have their pros and cons, and your choice should be dependent on your overall fitness goal. Whether you aim to build muscles, or do simple strength training exercises.

With that said, you should now have a better understanding of the differences between a Bowflex vs free weights. So which one do you prefer? Share your thoughts below.