Bowflex Revolution is simply one of the best and most easy to use home gyms available--unfortunately it has an impressive price tag to match the features. The Bowflex Revolution, which debuted in 2006, is unlike the previous, power rod-driven models so familiar from late-night informercials (and excellent products in their own right--the Bowflex Classic is still available for only around £400). This new design uses circular plates containing coiled straps around a cam which can interlock in place of the polymer rods.
The absence of the long rods makes the system very compact (much smaller than an equivalent set of weights), easier to use, and capable of doing many more exercises--over 100 in fact. While the old bow rods are gone, the Revolution still is novel, and doesn't use old fashioned iron weights--instead, Spiraflex resistance plates can simulate up to 220 pounds of resistance, upgradable to 300 pounds--more than enough for all but an advanced bodybuilder. For lower body, there are up to 600 pounds of resistance, with upgrades. These plates are filled with coiling elastic straps--technology developed to fight muscular atrophy experience by International Space Station astronauts. This allows smooth, consistent resistance throughout the range of motion.
In essence, you can do almost any exercise you can do at the gym. The Freedom Arms adjust 170 degrees to work muscles from various angles, and there is a Preacher Curl attachment to isolate biceps in a way which free weights simply cannot duplicate. Lower body workouts similarly benefit, with great flexibility for a home gym set. There are many core and abs workouts and even a cardio option--a built in rowing machine useful for warm-up and cool down, as well as general calorie burning.
And from a lifestyle point of view, this gym is easy to fold away, going from 9 ft x 5 ft fully extended to a 4.5 ft x 3 ft footprint. The Bowflex Revolution has garnered rave reviews from Popular Mechanics and Men's Health among others.
Bowflex was founded in 1985, and grew so successful with its bow-like power rod models that it bought the Nautilus Corporation, Schwinn Fitness, and Stairmaster Fitness, renaming itself the Nautilus Group in 2002.
Prices: The Bowflex Revolution retails for around £1815. The machine carries a generous ten-year guarantee.