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Bowflex PR1000 Review

The PR1000 from Bowflex is a midrange home gym machine from one of the leading brands in the market. The PR1000 allows more than 30 different strength exercises. With the power rods, you can create a maximum of 210 pounds of resistance.

It's easy to adapt the exercises to your experience and strength level, making the PR1000 a good fit for both new and advanced users of home exercise equipment.


  • Has a good variety of over 30 strength exercises
  • ​Changing from one workout to another doesn't take much time
  • You can use the built-in rowing station for a cardio workout


  • Focuses on the upper body
  • The maximum resistance can't be upgraded
  • ​Does not have wheels for transportation


  • The machine has over 30 strength exercises. In the manual, you'll find: 5 arm, 4 chest, 2 ab, 3 back, 4 shoulder, 6 leg exercises. All of the exercises in the manual include step by step instructions with pictures. The detailed instructions might be useful for beginners.
  • Apart from the strength exercises, the PR1000 has a cardio feature, because you can also use it as a basic rowing machine. The rowing element is slightly limited: no stopwatch, no heart monitor, and no calories burned indicator. But in terms of form, rowing on a sliding seat is an efficient style of cardio workout that provides toning for the arms and back at the same time. Plus, most home gyms don't have a cardio option at all.
  • The rowing rail is foldable, which is useful for people without a lot of space. However, the machine doesn't have transportation wheels. So it's not made to move around. Make sure to follow the safety instructions in the manual to prevent injuries, before you start to fold the rowing machine rail.


Training Variety: 5/5

The PR1000 uses the hand grips, sliding seat, and roller cushions to provide a diverse assortment of exercise choices. There are more upper body exercises than lower body ones, but with six leg exercises and a cardio rowing feature, the amount of exercises is still large enough to perform an entire full-body workout.

Because it is all in one place, the PR1000 is good for short, efficient workouts that can tone the whole body without needing to spend hours at the gym.

Cardio Exercise

The cardio-focused rowing bench deserves its own section. Cardio is important both on its own and as a warmup for strength training. Rowing is one of the best forms of cardio because it lends itself well to high-intensity interval training as well as prolonged sessions.

Regardless of how you implement cardio into your routine, you have access to a cardio workout without having to leave your machine. Not every Bowflex machine ​offers ​a combination of strength and cardio​. ​So this might be an interesting feature.

Ease of Use: 4/5

When it is fully assembled, the PR1000 measures 84" by 38" by 82" and weighs 131 Lbs. That's probably why the assembly requires two persons.

Please note that according to Bowflex you'll need to keep at least 36" of free space on each side of the machine. The extra free space is required for your own safety and the safety of others. So you'll need to take that into account when you're choosing the right place for the machine.

When it comes to using the machine itself, it is easy to adjust the settings and the positioning of the moving parts to customize your workout. You can smoothly move from one exercise to the next, without wasting a lot of time on changing the whole setup of the machine.

Resistance: 4/5

The PR 1000 uses the Power Rods to create resistance. It has a maximum of 210 Lbs of resistance. This is probably enough for most beginners, but this could be insufficient for experienced users.

It's not possible to upgrade the maximum amount of resistance. The PR3000 and the Bowflex Blaze do have the option to upgrade the resistance, which might make these models a better choice for experienced users.

The feel of the Power Rod system itself is similar to traditional weight training with dumbells. It might even be safer than traditional weight training because it tends to put less pressure on your joints.


Bowflex PR 3000

The PR3000 sacrifices the rowing ability for a larger amount of strength exercises. The PR 1000 has over 30 strength exercises, while the PR 3000 has more than 50 strength exercises.

If you can take care of your cardio just by running, or you already have a machine for cardio (or simply don't care about cardio), then the PR3000 might be a better choice because it has a larger selection of exercises. But, it doesn't have the cardio rowing feature.

Furthermore, the PR3000 has the same standard maximum power rod resistance of 210 Lbs. However, the resistance of the PR3000 is upgradable to 310 Lbs. The upgradable resistance may be a benefit for more experienced users who might want or need more resistance (in the future).

Marcy MKM-81010 Stack Home Gym, 200 lb

The MKM-81010 from Marcy is a slightly more compact option that has a different assortment of exercises. For example, it has rowing arms, but they are for upper body development, not cardio.

It has a classic weight stack in the back that can be locked in place at a certain resistance level with a maximum of 200 pounds. The Marcy is closer to the kind of machine that you would usually find in a gym with its pressing arms and leg developers. So if you are used to a public gym machine, this is a closer match to that experience than the Bowflex model.

Bowflex Blaze

The Bowflex Blaze is a higher-end machine that balances the features of the PR1000 and PR3000. It has an even bigger assortment of exercises than the PR3000.

On the other hand, it also includes the rowing bench for cardio access. It has a standard resistance of 210 Lbs, but the resistance can be upgraded to a maximum of 310 or 410 Lbs.

Additionally, it has more than 60 exercises. That's why it might be a better choice for serious users who want more exercises and an upgradeable resistance.


If you should buy this Bowflex machine or not mainly depends on your level of fitness. The PR1000 is a good choice for a beginner or intermediate user because it has various exercises which you can perform at your own resistance level.

It has no advanced electronic features like an app or a data recording service. If that's something you want, then the PR1000 might not be what you're looking for.

More experienced users can still make good use of the machine, although they might prefer one that includes more exercises and an upgradable resistance. If you're a more experienced user, then you might want to consider the Bowflex Blaze with cardio row or the PR3000 without the cardio rowing feature.

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