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Bowflex Xtreme 2SE Review

​Let’s face it, starting a workout routine is hard. I don’t know about you, but I can think of countless attempts when I thought everything was going to be different. This time I would get the body I always wanted, and I certainly wasn’t going to quit. No, not this time…

You can probably guess that most of the times, I gave up after a few weeks. If you want to improve your chances of success, then I recommend working out at home. For example, with a machine like the Bowflex Xtreme 2SE.

The 2SE can help you to achieve your goals. It’s an advanced home gym suited for beginners as well as more advanced users. In this article, I will review the machine and give you an overview of its pros and cons.


  • ​​The 2SE has more than 70 exercises, which you can use to vary your workout.
  • ​​The 210 pounds of resistance is upgradeable to 310 or 410 pounds. This makes it an interesting machine for more advanced users.
  • ​​You don’t have to change to cables to switch from one exercise to another.


  • ​​The assembly of the machine might take a while because the 2 SE consists of many parts. The full assembly of the machine takes 22 steps. Most of the steps have multiple substeps. So, take your time!
  • ​​The machine doesn’t have a cardio rowing seat like some Bowflex machines have.


  • ​​​The adjustable seat has an ergonomic design and is made from polyurethane, which feels a bit like leather. It also has extra knee and back support. This will give you more comfort during your workout.
  • ​​The no-change cable pulley system is useful to save time between exercises. This means the cables don’t have to be changed after each exercise.
  • ​​Another useful feature is the upgradeable resistance. The machine comes with 210 lbs of resistance, but you can upgrade it to either 310 or 410 lbs.


​Training Variety: 5/5

​​The machine provides more than 70 strength training exercises. You can use it to train your; chest, back, abs, biceps, triceps, shoulders, and legs. The exercises cover all of the major and minor muscle groups.

​It has a 4-position squat and pulley station, which you can use to work your quads, glutes, and hamstrings. Additionally, the lat bar and lat tower are useful for shoulder plus back exercises. Furthermore, the leg extension can be used to work the quadriceps.

If you want to strengthen your abs, you can use the shoulder harness. The wearable ab crunch shoulder harness is a simple to use ‘harness’ which is attachable to the machine. The harness provides extra resistance to train your abs.

The information above is only meant to give you an idea of the training variety. It doesn’t include all of the exercises and features of this machine. Although, by now, you probably understand that you won’t have to worry about the training options of this machine.

​Ease of Use: 4/5

​​At first, the variety of features may look a bit overwhelming. I can understand if you think this machine might be too complex.

Sure, it may take a few days before you're used to the 2SE. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s too complex. It is quite user-friendly.

For example, you don’t have to change the cables when you start another exercise. So you can quickly change exercises.

Another aspect that (indirectly) makes the machine easier to use are the detailed manuals. The machine comes with an assembly manual and an owner’s manual. As you might expect, the assembly manual guides you through the full assembly of the machine.

By taking a look at the owner’s manual, you can tell that Bowflex put a lot of effort into it. The manual covers a lot of topics. In my opinion, the instruction on how to perform the different exercises and the workout programs are the most useful.

The detailed owner’s manual makes it much easier to use the machine. So I recommend taking your time when you’re going to read it.

​Resistance: 5/5

​​One of the most important features are the power rods because the rods provide the resistance. In short, you’ll have to connect the cable hook to a power rod. You can choose to combine several rods to increase the level of resistance. So increasing or decreasing the resistance is pretty straight-forward.

As mentioned before, if you want to move from one exercise to another, you don’t have to change the cables. Depending on the exercise, you may have to connect another attachment, like; the grips, the harness or pulldown bar. After which you can continue your workout.

The 2SE comes with a standard resistance of 210 pounds. When you progress or if you’re a more advanced user then you’ll probably want to know that the resistance is upgradeable to 310 or 410 pounds. So even when you get stronger, the machine will probably still provide enough resistance for a challenging workout.

Comparison with other ​Bowflex home gyms

Bowflex Blaze

​You might have already heard of the Bowflex Blaze. There are some differences and also some similarities between both machines.

One of the main differences is the design. This model has a sliding seat rail, which can be used for cardio rowing. This is useful for users who would like to have a machine with a cardio feature.
Some users might also like the fact that this machine has a relatively long bench.

Furthermore, the machine has over 60 exercises. So, it will probably keep you busy for a while, just like the 2 SE.

Bowflex PR3000

​​​The PR3000 has a standard resistance of 210 lbs. The resistance is upgradeable to 310 lbs. Although, this model isn’t upgradeable to 410 lbs. Additionally, the PR3000 has over 50 exercises instead of over 70 exercises.

The more serious user might prefer the 2SE over the PR3000. However, if you’re a beginner, the PR3000 will probably offer enough of a challenge.


​​The 2SE is an interesting model for both beginners and more advanced users. It offers over 70 exercises, an upgradeable resistance to 410 pounds and the user-friendly no-change cable pulley system.

If you’re still in doubt if this home gym will suit your needs you might want to take a look at the Blaze or the PR3000. These models also make use of the power rod system.

I did my best to help you form a better decision whether or not the 2SE is the right home gym for your needs. If you’ve still got any questions, feel free to leave a comment!

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