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Bowflex Revolution

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Bowflex HVT Review

Quick Summary

The Bowflex HVT is a revolutionary machine which supports whole-body fitness via Hybrid Velocity Training (or HVT). By keeping users in constant motion through cardio and strength exercises, the Bowflex minimizes impact to maximize payback. Users can get impressive results in just 18-minute sessions without the hassle associated with higher-impact cross training machines.

While discontinued from sale through the Bowflex website, fitness fans can still find the Bowflex HVT in retail stores and elsewhere online. Somewhat resembling a functional trainer, the machine brings high-tech to the same cable exercises you’ve come to love in a commercial gym. With built-in Bluetooth 4.0 technology, the unit offers three pre-programmed workouts: Sprint, Circuit, and Builder. When in the Manual Mode, users can perform more than 50 different exercises, all of which are tracked for their own use. Designed to work in sync with the HVT App, the machine can be affixed with a tablet or phone to serve as the screen.

If the idea of a computerized cable crosser machine using magnetic resistance seems appealing, read our review of the Bowflex HVT below. These models can be found either new or used in retail stores or online and certainly make for a great addition to the right home gym.

Our Rating

88/100

Retailing around $1,799, there are lower prices found online and we expect to see discounts in stores from time to time. We see this as a great tool for a home gym where a cable crossover machine just won’t fit. Offering 16 levels of magnetic resistance, the Bowflex HVT features a dynamic coaching program by way of a tablet or display screen which for a great training partner which can track progress. The machine automatically syncs with the HVT App and workout videos which are also compatible with both Android and Apple iOS devices. As with any home exercise machine though, users can easily incorporate other apps into the mix and this unit does have a Manual Mode with more than 50 exercises from which one can choose.

The 2-year warranty for frame, mechanical, electrical, and parts is a bit lower than we’d like to see for equipment with this many pieces. That said, the ability to combine High Intensity Interval Training into traditional cable work is a big plus as there’s no question one can get a solid cardio workout with these movements. That said, the machine when fully assembled weighs only 182 pounds, which is terrific when one considers the weight of a stack of weight plates or separate barbells.

Pros:

  • Supports exercise for cardio and strength training simultaneously.
  • 16 levels of magnetic resistance is relatively gentle on the joints, minimizing the risk of exercise-related strain or injury compared to free weights.
  • The HVT gym provides excellent workout guidance with 50 video workouts plus preset routines and customizable programming.
  • Supports users of all skill levels and abilities thanks to tailored resistance and adjustable programs
  • Narrow footprint and attractive design make the Bowflex HVT home-friendly.
  • Competitive sale price for a high quality total-body trainer.
  • Durable construction and a money-back guarantee.

Cons:

  • Shorter trainees might prefer a home gym with smaller proportions. The pulleys might be placed a bit high for some.
  • If repairs are required, you might need to ship the machine.
  • The warranty seems a bit short relative to the price.

Full Review

Fitness buffs are thrilled with the latest offering from Nautilus, the Bowflex HVT, an all-in-one cardio and strength trainer and reviews are strong. This beautiful home gym saves time while reaching ambitious fitness goals. With sessions as short as 18 minutes, one can sculpt and strengthen the whole body while also building cardiovascular endurance.

The Bowflex HVT measures 65.6″ x 46″ x 83″ and weighs 182 pounds when assembled. The manufacturer recommends a maximum user weight of 300 pounds, but we can see where this could be a more forgiving machine in that respect relative to a treadmill. Users train while standing on a sturdy platform with access to various pulleys and handlebars. Unlike with most home gyms, users have access to workout feedback throughout the session. Each user can set a profile for accurate feedback about heart rate and calorie burn. Setting a profile also helps the HVT train one in “auto” resistance mode.

Users can also send Bowflex HVT training videos to the console through Bluetooth as well. The Bowflex HVT mobile app provides 50 video workouts led by personal trainers. A cooling fan and accessory tray are included. The machine is compatible with Android devices 5.0 or greater, or Apple iOS 9.0 or greater. And as with any home workout equipment, one can always park it near a television or incorporate other screens for streaming content.

Programs

The Bowflex HVT was among the first home gyms to include built-in computerized cross training workouts and a customized mobile app with workout videos. A colorful guidebook is provided as well. With the various machine attachments and six premium grip handles these training guides can help one tone and strengthen all the major muscle groups in their arms, legs, shoulders, back, chest, and abs. The 50 HVT workout videos are led by pro trainers to keep their sessions varied, motivating, and informative. Users can also design and save their own computerized workouts with workout feedback included.

Bowflex reports users are able to burn as many calories using this machine as they would running 1.5 miles on a treadmill at 7 mph, and the lunge/chest fly can activate 21 more individual muscles than when performed with a traditional machine. With six grip handles, users can perform overhead squats, lunges, curls, and pretty much any movement they would on a traditional machine. The HVT comes pre-programmed with three routines. The Sprint workout focuses on power, speed, and recovery, while the Circuit workout covers strength, form, and range of motion. Meanwhile, the Builder workout targets strength and endurance.

The fact that the machine works with 16 levels of magnetic resistance is also a big plus. Smooth and silent, this type of resistance has become the go-to for exercise bikes and rowers in recent years. Able to offer as much resistance as even experienced lifters need, there’s no clanging of weight stacks and a reduced chance of malfunction.

Features

The Bowflex HVT is roughly 6’6” tall but narrow enough to make the most of one’s living space. A sleek black and metallic frame that pops through red accents, the machine has an attractive look. Built with three sets of attached pulleys and six different grips, the angles of exercise offered come from the top, sides, and base of the gym. Two sets of stationary exercise bars come with the machine. The first are designed to meet at chest level and curved to support multiple grips/poses. The other workout bars start at the base of the machine and are angled to support various exercises as shown in the HVT guidebook and videos.

A ledge is provided for easy view of the tablet or other device running the HVT workout app. Also built into the frame are an accessory holder and cooling fan, and the six premium grip handles help you vary your programming and keep exercise new and exciting. Purchase includes an AC adapter.

Questions & Answers

  • Does the Bowflex HVT or its floor pad fold up after use to save space?
    No, this machine neither folds up nor does it store particularly well.
  • How do you adjust the height or resistance of the pulleys on the Bowflex HVT?
    On the console, there is a dial you can use to change resistance levels.
  • Is the Bowflex HVT safe to use for older users?
    Based on our experience and that of other reviewers, we’d say its safe for the 50+ crowd, ever bearing in mind that individuals vary widely in terms of health and wellness.
  • What are the main differences between the Bowflex HVT and the Bowflex HVT+? 
    The HVT+ comes with a tablet loaded with the HVT app and related workouts.
  • How difficult is the Bowflex HVT to assemble by one’s self?
    With any piece of exercise equipment, having helpers is always a good idea. This machine requires screws to be tightened and having someone to steady the unit while that is done would help. We figure at least three hours for assembly and unpacking here.
  • How much noise does the Bowflex HVT make when in use?
    This machine is relatively quiet and shouldn’t interfere with roommates as it uses magnetic resistance.

Warranty & Guarantee

The Bowflex HVT warranty breaks down as follows:

Frame: Two years
Parts: Two years
Electronics: Two years
Labor: 90 days

Conclusion

We’re excited to train with the Bowflex HVT. This new innovation from the Bowflex family combines cardio and strength exercises with lots of guidance to facilitate some of the fastest and most effective gym sessions possible. Sleek and affordably priced, this machine will enhance your health and physique without taking too much away from your savings or living space. Keep in mind that you’ll need a smartphone or tablet computer to enjoy this machine’s full potential.

Rating: 88/100

3 Comments

  • John December 26, 2020 at 2:52 pm from Lakewood nj
    What is the rating on the bowflex 3000
  • Hilario Ebershoff March 26, 2019 at 5:27 pm
    some really superb info , Glad I found this.
    • Courtney Grafton March 27, 2019 at 3:37 pm
      Thank you Hilario!

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