The Boflex

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 18, 2007 4:25 PM GMT
    I recently bought a boflex , has anyone else bought one and , have you gained muscle mass or not?
  • gsh1964

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    Mar 19, 2007 2:14 AM GMT
    My roommate owns one and he swears by it. I have a different opinion. I think they are a good suppliment to working with free weights. I did the bow flex for about a month to get my body ready for full workout's at the gym. Went through all the soreness and pain, then hit the gym using free weights. I got sore all over again, plus 50 lbs is different on the bowflex compared to free weights. Again, my roomate loves his. I was not as happy with it as he is. Hope this helps.
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    Mar 19, 2007 3:14 AM GMT
    I have heard that the difference between using an exercise machine and using free weights is that the machine concentrates your effort on very specific muscles, whereas with free weights you also have to use other smaller muscles to stabilize and control the free weight.

    There is good and bad in both. With free weights, there is less concentration on the target muscle(s) but you give exercise to a greater group of muscles. With a machine, it is vice versa
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    Mar 19, 2007 10:45 AM GMT
    The first time I owned a Bowflex, about 7 years ago..I was not impressed. I then purchased the latest model a year ago. If you just go through the motions, you may receive some benefit. If you focus on the muscle you are actually working, as they suggest, I think it beats having a rack of weights, and I can increase my muscle mass fairly quickly. I would recommend.
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    Mar 20, 2007 7:56 PM GMT
    I used my Boflex for about 8 months before deciding that I needed to use the gym to make real gains. Like Gsh1964 says, the weight is different. I noticed that the resistance a the start of the motion is significantly less that the end, as much as 15% (I hung a 50lb dumbbell, the 50lb bow moved more than half its range before stopping). It also can be difficult to get in a position you want to work the muscle you want.

    After saying all that, I still use it. It has a convienance value, being in the other room, and it does work, it's just a matter of working with it.
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    May 18, 2007 10:31 AM GMT
    I bought one and used it for almost 2 years before going back to the gym. I lost 50 lbs of fat and gained about 20 lbs of muscle in that time so I found it really worthwhile. When I started I wasn't comfortable about going to the gym and since it was 'right there' I could use the excuse of having the time to go to the gym.

    Now if I don't have time to get to the gym, no problem, its right there.

    Like any workout regimine, its about discipline and consistency. The bowflex it just a tool and like any tool, the more you know about how to use it, the more you'll get out of it.
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    May 19, 2007 4:06 AM GMT
    Hey All,

    My Partner and I use the Bowflex. We live a long way from any convenient Gym. Yes we live in the sticks literally.

    I used one years ago and got great results. It will give you a "Gym, muscled Body" but if you want to get really huge you may need to supplement with 'roids and or free weights.

    Also, right out of the box it lacks some adjustment to the bench and positions on the priamry hand-grip pullies. Why didn't they drill some more holes for adjustment?

    We drilled more holes so you can put the bench and the main pullies in more positions this helps a lot. Also You have to get really creative with it.

    If you force yourself to move more slowly with a lot of concentration it will work well. It is a different technique that you have to aquire...

    You can fake most Gym excercises pretty well but I would say that the downside to the machine is legs and calve excercises. There just is NOT enough resistance to get big legs.

    All things considered for our situation, we would give it a 7 out of 10 rating.
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    May 20, 2007 1:38 AM GMT
    This is the biigest difference between Boflex and other weight training equipment and free weights:

    1. Boflex uses a user defined motion path, more similiar to cables then dumbells. BUT ALL user defined motion path exercises works best with the force of resistence IN LINE with gravity, and in the case of cables and Boflex, first in the line of cable resistance and 2nd to the line of gravity. If the resistance is NOT in line with gravity, the user defeind path of motion would feel very awkward and unstable.

    2. All other machines operate on the machine defined path, how many planes of motion varies from machine to machine. Machine defines paths requires less stabilization thus gives you increased isolation.

    3. The resistence on the Boflex increases as you go through the movement, this is because the resistance is generated through bending of the blades.

    4. Free weights and even machine defined exercises depend on a constant resistance source: A weighted plate. BUT, the actual amount of resistance generated by a motion is LARGELY dependent on the torque generated by the angle of the motion AND also the camber shape and mechanism of the machine. THEREFORE, the designer of the machine can selectively choose the point of the greatest resistance in the path of the motion. It can be at the begining of the motion, middle, the end, etc, etc.

    5. All joints tend to be the strongest at the mid portion of the motion and the begining the weakest. This is becasue the microscopic contractile units of the muscle fiber just does not work very well when it is at its shorted and longest states. Furthermore, at the beginning of the movement when the muscel is at its longest state, it loads very poorly and a lot of the load is transfered to the tendon, ligaments, and joint capsules, which are not contractile tissues and can get injured from too much loading.

    Boflex is a rather safe equipment because it places the least amount of resistance at the begining of the motion (or when the muscle is at its longest state.) However, this is not all that natrual as it does not coincide with the normal strength curve of the muscle, meaning not giving it enough resistance when the muscle fiber is natrually at its strongest position to take advantage of resistive traiing... So you will get great results, but just not like a real gym...
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    May 20, 2007 1:48 AM GMT
    One correction:

    The above is the reverse when doing squats on the Boflex..

    The Boflex would still provide an increasing amount of resistance as the movement nears completion, but in the case of sqauts, the beginning of the movement is where the muscles are at its longest position, and shortest at the end of the movement.

    Squats on the Bowflex, given enough resistance, is actually harsher on your knee and hip joints than machine sqauts...
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    May 20, 2007 1:53 AM GMT
    Forgive me! Correction again.

    Ignore the above post.

    The Bowflex is not harsher on the knee joints than machine squats.

    The same applied to squats with the Bowflex as with other exercises described.

    The end of the motion is the shortest state of the muscle, and Bowflex provided the maximum resistance at the end, so rather safe for joints.

    I must have been thinking things upside down. SORRY!
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    May 20, 2007 3:11 AM GMT
    This post drifts off the point a bit, but bear with me....

    That the Bowflex (and other similar machines like Soloflex) does not 'pre-load' the muscle before movement takes place makes is inherently less effective than other approaches to exercise like cables or free weights or plate-loaded machines.

    Bowflex and Soloflex make most of their money on financing your purchase, and they accept a fairly high rate of customer returns. In this regard they are a bit like a Bally's gym - financing your membership is their true objective. Try to do a single-pay contract at a Bally's sometime - chances are the salesperson won't even know how to do it.

    In my opinion, while it is possible to gain some muscle by using almost any system of exercise, looking at it on a cost basis, Bowflex is a very expensive way to build any muscle. A good quality adjustable bench and a good set of dumbbells will go a lot further for a lot less money. If space is a consideration, adjustable dumbbells will get you started in a more expensive way - but still cheaper than a Bowflex.

    For those of you that have already bought them, and you are out of the return period, your best bet is to use them as religiously as possible until you find the workouts no longer satisfying, then augment them with dumbbells, etc. -

    Joey, NSCA-CPT
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    May 20, 2007 3:43 AM GMT
    Great point that I did not consider!

    It makes obvious sense that in such a system, the initiation of the movement is with very little resistance as I explained before, therefore the muscle is not pre-loaded.

    In addition to producing resistance not coiciding with the muscle strength & length ratio curve, the purpose of Bowflex and the likes for body building is limited, but it is still rather safe... Not unlike elastic bands given to injured or deconditioned patients..