Bowflex HVT Home Gym Review – a New Cross-Training Machine from Bowflex 

Bowflex HVT Home Gym

December 29, 2019

When it comes to innovation in the home fitness market, no one does it better than Bowflex. This company revolutionized the industry 35 years ago with the introduction of their power rod resistance system. Now they’ve done it again with the Bowflex HVT Home Gym. The HVT is a sleek, futuristic-looking combination of a strength and cardio machine that allows you to work your entire body to build muscle, burn fat and enhance your functional strength.

Today we take a close look at the Bowflex HVT Home Gym so you can assess whether its the right fit for you.

About Bowflex

The name Bowflex is one of the most recognizable in the fitness industry. The Bowflex 2000 was introduced in 1986, bringing its unique polymer rod resistance system to market. Since then they have brought a whole stable of celebrated products to the home gym user. Their reputation and customer service record is among the most impressive in the entire fitness industry.

Bowflex HVT Home Gym

Bowflex HVT Machine

Key Specs:

  • Workout Programs: 3 pre-programmed
  • Videos: 50
  • User Profiles: 4
  • Display Type: LED,/LCD Dynamic Coaching Console
  • Resistance Levels: 16
  • Resistance Technology: Progressive fan
  • Heart Rate: Telemetry enabled (chest strap not included)

Smooth Magnetic Resistance System

The Bowflex HVT does not use the famous carbon polymer rods that are used on many other Bowflex home gyms. Instead, it relies upon a unique magnetic resistance that provides a very smooth range of motion through every exercise that you perform. This system is very easy to use and adjust. Changing the resistance simply involves turning a dial and selecting between different resistance modes. This is far easier and faster, not to mention safer, than adjusting free weights.

Bowflex HVT Machine

The fast change between exercises and resistance levels allows you to get a full-body workout in on the HVT in just 20 minutes.

150 Exercises

The range of exercises available on the Bowflex HVT is vast. You can do a total of 150 exercises, including virtually every move that you can do in a full commercial gym. These include the big power training moves like squats, bench presses, and deadlifts, along with a full complement of angled cable moves.

Bowflex HVT Machine

50 Workout Videos

The Bowflex HVT home gym comes with its own built-in media rack. This provides you with access to a full video library of personal trainer-led workout videos covering muscle building, fat loss, heart rate training and general fitness goals.

Bowflex HVT Machine

Bluetooth Connectivity

The HVT console is Bluetooth enabled. This provides you with access to the HVT app along with many other health and fitness apps to enhance your training.

Versatile Handles

The HVT comes with 6 different premium grip handles to provide you with a whole lot of versatility when it comes to holding and gripping the cables for your various exercises.

Strength & Cardio Combined

The Bowflex HVT blends strength and cardio exercises into a smooth series of exercises that provides you with very effective workouts. It is suited to meet all exercise levels from beginners to advanced trainers. The customizable workout programs are designed for all experience levels.

Bowflex HVT Machine

Build Quality

The Bowflex HVT is a very cool looking workout machine. It has a sleek, futuristic look and is very well constructed. The quality for which Bowflex are well known is certainly on display here with a solid, high-end steel frame, poly carbon plastic housing, and airplane quality cabling.

Compact Floorspace

When you take into account the huge exercise potential of this machine, it takes up impressively compact floor space. The dimensions of this machine are 65.6 inches in length by 46 inches wide and 83 inches in height.

Ease of Assembly

Putting together a home fitness machine is never much fun, but the detailed instructions that you get with the HVT make the process that much less painful. It will take a couple of people around two hours to completely put the HVT together, which is petty good for a machine of this caliber.

Three Built-In Workouts

There are three built-in programs with the HVT as follows:

  • Sprint (18-minute workout)
  • Circuit (21-minute workout)
  • Builder (21-minute workout)

You can also create your own workout as well if you don't want to use one of the above workouts.

These programs have been designed to provide the best results in the shortest amount of time.

Four User Profiles

The Bowflex HVT allows four different people to save their user-profiles and maintain an ongoing onboard record of their workout performance.

16 Resistance Levels

The Bowflex HVT provides you with 16 levels of resistance. This makes this a great machine for users of all experience and fitness levels. It also allows you to progressively increase your resistance level as you get stronger.


The warranty on the Bowflex HVT provides you with the following coverage:

  • Frame - 2 years
  • Electronics - 2 years
  • Mechanical parts - 2 years
  • Labor - 90 days

What’s Not So Great

The resistance that you get on the Bowflex HVT is quite different than what you get with free weights. It makes use of a flywheel to provide the resistance. You will not get the true resistance that you do with free weights, meaning that the HVT is not as an effective muscle builder as free weights or machines that use plate resistance. That makes this a less than ideal machine for those who are focused on anaerobic training. However if you are looking for a machine to help improve your cardio vascular workouts and don't have a lot of time the HVT is a great choice.

What Others are Saying

The Bowflex HVT home gym has a large number of online reviews from verified purchasers. Most people are complimentary about the cardio training and HIIT workout potential of the machine. They seem to love the 50 built-in video access and the wide range of exercises available. The sleek look and strong build are also often mentioned.

On the not so positive side, quite a few people who bought the HVT to build muscle were not pleased with its lack of true free-weight feel and resistance level.

Read how Bowflex HVT compares to NordicTrack Fusion CST.

Final Thoughts:

The Bowflex HVT is a great cross-training machine for cardio and HIIT style workouts. However, those who are after pure muscle workouts are better off sticking with conventional free weights or plate loaded machines.

About the author 

Kevin Lee

Health and fitness have always been a passion for me; whether its being in the weight room, going for a run before work or even participating in a half iron man triathlon. ShapeJunkie was created to share to knowledge and love of fitness with others.

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