Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE Power-Rod Based Home Gym Review 

Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE Home Gym

December 30, 2019

If you’re in search of a trusted, versatile and functional workout station for your home gym then you’d be foolish to go past the Bowflex range. While not for everyone, the Bowflex power rod-based home gym series is extremely popular and very affordable. In this article, we focus on one of the most popular of them all – the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE.

About Bowflex

The Bowflex name is recognized all over the world as a leading brand in the fitness industry. For more than 35 years, the company has been innovating in the home fitness industry, starting with their unique power rod resistance system. Bowflex remains one of the most trusted names in the industry, with a reputation for producing stylish products that are durable and functional.

Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE

Bowflex Xtreme 2SE Home Gym

Key Specs:

  • Resistance -Power Rods
  • Max Weight -210 lbs.
  • Max User Weight -300 lbs.
  • Exercises -70+
  • Dimensions – 4’10” long x 4’1” wide x 6’1” high


  • No change cable pulley system
  • More than 70 exercises
  • 210 Pounds of resistance (upgradeable to 410 pounds)


  • Limited negative resistance
  • Not foldable
  • No rowing option

Power Rods

The Xtreme 2 SE is built around the iconic Bowflex power rod resistance system. This system utilizes flexible polymer resistance rods that bend just the same way that a bow does. The power rod material is made from a composite material that is covered with a protective rubber coating. The power rods come in different weight ratings as follows:

  • 5 pounds
  • 10 pounds
  • 30 pounds
  • 50 pounds

The Xtreme 2 SE gives you a maximum combined power rod resistance of 210 pounds. This can be upgraded to 410 pounds with the purchase of extra power rods.

Bowflex Xtreme 2SE Home Gym

70+ Exercises

The Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE provides you with more than 70 exercises, which is about 20 more than you get with the Bowflex PR3000. Exercises include a two-position adjustable lat pulldown tower, four-position low pulley squat station, shoulder press, shoulder raise, bicep curls, wrist curls, ab crunches, leg extensions, leg press, calf raises and hip abductions.

Bowflex Xtreme 2SE Home Gym

No Change Cable Pulley System

The Bowflex no-change cable pulley system is built into the Xtreme 2 SE. This allows you to move from exercise to exercise very quickly without having to change the cable setting. This is great for those who are wanting to keep their heart rate up when doing HIIT workouts.

Bowflex Xtreme 2SE Home Gym

Multi-use Grip/Ankle Attachments

The Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE comes complete with 5-way hand grip/ankle cuffs to add variety and flexibility to your training. The range of grips includes Regular Grip, Non-Grip Cuff, Ankle Cuff, Foot Cuff, and a Shoulder Cuff. This grip variety allows you to very precisely work your muscles from different angles with the cables on this machine.


The Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE keeps up the high construction standard that the Bowflex brand is known for. It is made from commercial quality steel, with vinyl leather and thick plush padding.

Bowflex Body Plan

The Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE comes with a Body Plan workout designed to give you fast results. There is also a detailed user manual and fitness guide designed to provide you with everything you need to get up and working out.


Bowflex has a great reputation when it comes to customer service. They have provided some good support for the Xtreme 2 SE. The instructions and user guides that come with it are better than you would get on most machines. When it comes to shipping, Bowflex often offers free freight but you will have to check at the time of ordering your Xtreme 2 SE.


The Bowflex Xtreme provides you with an impressive warranty. Here’s what you get:

  • 7 years on the body of the machine
  • Lifetime on the power rods
  • 60 days on parts

What’s Not So Good

- Unreal Resistance Equivalency

Even the Bowflex 2 SE claims to provide you with a resistance of 210 pounds, this is not directly relatable to the weight you get with free weights. That is because the power rod system only provides maximum resistance during the last one-third of the repetition. For that reason, a 210-pound resistance with free weights is about the same as 150 pounds with the power rod system.

The power rod system also provides a different feel than free weight or cable machines with plate loaded weight systems. Many people find that it doesn’t stimulate their muscles as effectively as free weights. However most users that purchase a Bowflex are looking for an all in one home gym that will not take up a lot of room and will allow them to get a good HIIT or cardio workout in.

- Not Foldable

The Xtreme 2 SE is not foldable so it will stay in place once set up.

What Others Are Saying

There are many online reviews from verified customers of the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE online. Many of the reviewers mention how much they appreciate the two-position lat pulldown machine and the four-position low pulley squat station. These provide full squat and pulldown options that are pretty rare on home gym machines. Other customers wrote about the cool look of the machine and the variety of exercises that you can do on it. There was also positive mention of the quick-change cable system.

Some customers seemed disappointed to discover that the resistance level on the power rods is not equivalent to the use of free weights, with one mentioning that he had bought the machine for bodybuilding but will now be selling it and getting some free weights.

Final Thoughts:

The Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE sits in the mid-upper range of the Bowflex range of power rod-based home gyms. With 70 or so exercises, a quick-change cable system and potential to upgrade to 410 pounds, it is beefier than most in the range. The 2 SE provides a four-way low squat attachment, which is something that you don’t get on the Bowflex PR3000. It is designed for more advanced trainers. However, if you are focused on muscle building as opposed to general fitness, you will be better off investing in a free weight-based workout system.

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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