Total Gym Vs. Bowflex

Total Gym Vs. Bowflex

Total Gym and Bowflex have always been the leading home gym brands in the fitness industry. They both present a vast spectrum of different workouts and prominent features. Nonetheless, deciding on the best brand to purchase is always tricky.

Today, we’ll compare the Total Gym vs. Bowflex to see which is better to get along with.

Securing Total Gym or Bowflex home gym is always a strong alternative to being exposed to commercial gyms. You save yourself the travel time, fuel, gym machine lines, along with the wasted membership.

In fact, most commercial gym subscribers never show up, and to make it even worse, most people don’t know exactly what to do while in the gym. This is precisely where the need for a Total Body workout machine from either of these brands comes in.

Bowflex vs. Total Gym Brand Comparison

Bowflex and Total Gym are the two incredibly popular brands in the home gym category. Both have introduced numerous pieces of workout equipment. They both have excellent customer support with thousands of satisfied users across the globe.

As such, every dedicated trainee should be aware of these two brands. Nonetheless, for those who are yet, below is a quick overview.

Bowflex brand

The Bowflex home gym brand was founded back in 19b6. It has since been a prominent brand name recognized for a great variety of fitness training machines. Some of the popular products they trade are home gym solutions. Indeed, they have several versions of home gyms.

Bowflex initially sold their products through TV infomercials before advancing to selling them through their official website along with other vendors. Working on a Bowflex, you can perform pretty much strength training exercises offered with your typical gym.

Total Gym Vs. Bowflex

Moreover, some of their home gym models provide users with the ability to execute aerobic rowing, squats, and Ab Crunch workouts. In other words, Bowflex is special for anyone longing to get in shape.

Total Gym

Total Gym released their first model over 20 years ago through an infomercial. They have since been one of the most acknowledged home gym brands with more than 4 million happy customers.

Boasting celebrity endorsements from fitness expert Christie Brinkley and movie star Chuck Norris, the Total Gym has become an industry leader and a strong fitness solution to most households today.

They first manufactured their products for the rehabilitation of physical injuries. But as they evolved, more and more households started using Total Gyms for full-body workouts.

A standard Total Gym model is far less complex than any model from Bowflex available now and often can support far more variances in workouts.

Total Gyms are sturdy, reliable, and will fit almost any user or home.

A point to note:

Total Gyms are significantly different from Bowflex home gyms primarily because of the weight resistance concept and overall design. However, both models will effectively grant you a full-body workout.

In the following section, we’ll briefly discuss their respective forms of resistance and how they work.

Differences Between Bowflex and Total Gym

  • Bodyweight vs. Resistance: In essence, both Total Gym and Bowflex utilizes a form of resistance when training to provide the best results. The main difference between Bowflex vs. Total Gym is that the total gym utilizes bodyweight resistance. In contrast, Bowflex utilizes an innovative mechanism called Power Rod Technology.
  • Total Gym Bodyweight Resistance: Generally, Total Gym workout machines come with an inclined glide-board that counts on your bodyweight and gravity to create resistance. On a Total Gym, you can adjust the resistance to as much as 56% of your body weight. Still, some models will let you add a weight bar to intensify that weight further.

Total Gym Vs. Bowflex

This resistance type is great for beginners who want to improve their strength gradually. Additionally, it helps in rehabilitating physical injuries as it offers more control to moderate your exercises. To increase or decrease the intensity, you just have to adjust the available incline levels.

Total Gyms are excellent choices for virtually any sort of fitness goal. From aerobic exercises for weight loss or strength training workouts for building muscles, it’s great for both.

Bowflex and Total Gym Detailed Comparison

Bowflex Power Rod Resistance Technology

Bowflex home gyms are better for muscle building toning and keeping fit. Also, you can complete a few aerobic moves with it. The resistance system of the Bowflex is perhaps the most distinctive under the home gym category. It employs malleable tensile steel bars that bend when pulled.

Every power rod present on a Bowflex offers a unique weight ranging from 5 pounds to a max base weight of 210 pounds on their best models. Nonetheless, some models can allow for Power Rod Resistance upgrades of 310 or 410 lbs. One notable thing about Bowflex resistance is that it increases gradually.

Total Gym Vs. Bowflex

Total Gym vs. Bowflex Exercises Comparison

  • For detailed workouts comparison, we had to put both brands’ top sellers side by side. The Total Gym’s current top seller is their total gym XLS, while the Bowflex best seller is the Bowflex PR1000. Currently, the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE has turned out to be a prime model for purchase. However, the price is much higher than the Total Gym Xls. As such, we picked the PR1000 model for comparison instead.
  • Either brand has several models that incorporate a varying extent of exercise. Furthermore, each model features different weight resistance.
  • With the Total Gym top selling model, XLS, you get the capabilities to complete 80+ exercises. These workouts include everything ranging from cardio, strength training, squats, ab workouts, and leg exercises. On the total gym, you can still execute Pilates if you buy the corresponding attachments.
  • The newbie-friendly Bowflex PR1000 version is slightly less versatile in comparison to the Total Gym Xls. It only allows for 30 different exercises. However, though fewer, these exercises are more targeted to strength training and muscle building.
  • The Total Gym is more versatile in terms of the number of exercises you can complete. But it grants lesser control over workouts unless you purchase a machine with 12 resistance options.
  • Bowflex Home Gyms presents a much greater control and strength training as it is more like free weights than a bodyweight unit. You can also alter the resistance power rods from 5 to 210 pounds.
  • When you purchase a Bowflex, you’re likely to get access to various trainer-built workouts. Likewise, most Total Gym models include free weight workouts DVDs to guide along.

Total Gym vs. Bowflex Unit Size Comparison

The dimensional difference between the Total Gym vs. Bowflex is quite significant. All Bowflex home gyms come in the style of a tower. Meaning, they are typically very tall and broad and can take quite a chunk of space. Total Gym models, in contrast, are more parallel to an iron board. They have an extended design, but still more compact compared to Bowflex gyms.

Total Gym Vs. Bowflex

The actual dimensions of the Bowflex PR1000 are 76 x 86 x 82 inches length, width, and height, respectively. A Bowflex will require a workout space of about 100 x 72 inches and can accommodate a user weight of up to 300 pounds.

Total gyms measure about 90 x 19 x 43 inches in length, width, and height when in use. When folded, the unit measures 51 x 19 x 9 inches in length, width, and height, respectively. Besides, the XLS model has a specified user weight limit of 400 pounds.

Overall, a Total Gym is much compact compared to a Bowflex. They don’t require much space for workouts, and it’s easy to store away- contrary to the Bowflex. There’s also no assembly with a Total Gym, while for the Bowflex, it can take a whole hour to put things together.

Price Comparison

The cost difference between the Total Gym vs. Bowflex is also significant. At present, though it may vary, the total gym cheapest model is the Total Gym 1400. Contrary, the most low-cost model in the Bowflex line-up is the PR1000 model.


With a Bowflex, buyers get a one-year warranty covering the frame, 60 days for parts, and a five-year warranty for the power rods. Total Gyms provides a lifetime warranty for the frame plus six months warranty on parts.

You might want to choose a Total Gym model if:

  • You weigh more than 300 pounds
  • You want to rehabilitate a physical injury
  • You want a workout machine that you can easily stow away after use.
  • You want a great variety of workouts from one piece of equipment.
  • You are willing to spend more for a more versatile workout machine.

Total Gym Pros and Cons


  • Total Gym provides more workout variations.
  • It features a higher user weight capacity than the Bowflex.
  • They incorporate more exercise content compared to Bowflex.
  • Total Gym models can be more affordable than a Bowflex.
  • Folds easily for storage after use
  • Total Gyms are more compact than Bowflex models


  • Total gym workouts might be slightly complicated
  • Most Total Gym models have less resistance than Bowflex

You might want to purchase a Bowflex if:

  • Your body weight is less than 300 pounds
  • You mainly want to concentrate on strength training and muscle building
  • You have a good enough room to set up a Bowflex
  • You don’t want to spend the extra $100 on a Total Gym resistance
  • You can work out with 210 or 410 pounds of resistance

Total Gym Vs. Bowflex

Bowflex Pros and Cons


  • More focus on strength and muscle building.
  • Greater control over the resistance system.
  • It offers a decent warranty.


  • Not easy to move or relocate.
  • Takes a substantial amount of space than Total Gyms.
  • Resistance system might lose tensile-intensity overtime.


Having a home fitness solution is a hearty investment.

But purchasing the right unit is always difficult, especially when most promises so much. From our Total Gym vs. Bowflex comparison, it’s quite apparent that either brand offers great value.

Yet they have many variances that may be ideal or rather unideal for you. As such, to the best brand for you, you need to comprehend why you need the home gym. Whether for strength and muscle building, or you just want to get in shape; such partialities will help determine which brand to choose.

You might also like to read about: Soloflex or Bowflex Reviews

About Gaurav Dhir

Gaurav Dhir, B. Tech, PGDCM is an engineer and MBA by training. A fitness aficionado, Gaurav follows a strict diet and exercise regimen to keep himself vigorously active. He loves playing sports and being outdoors. Gaurav is responsible for the health and wellness of 4 generations including his son, elderly parents and very elderly grandparents.