Over the years, it seems like every time I switch the television on at 3 a.m., some spokesperson is demonstrating how to get the best body on a Bowflex machine. Honestly, it looks exhausting. But, can you trust the word of a Bowflex HVT review?

Is it worth the money? Well, that depends on what you would like to gain from using a fitness machine.

Exercise And The Brain

You probably already know that exercising helps you maintain a healthy weight, build strong muscles, and wards off disease. However, research also suggests that working out is good for your cognitive health.

Not only does it boost your thinking skills, but it improves your mental health and concentration as well. Exercise affects the brain by increasing your heart rate, which in turn pumps up its oxygen supply.

Ultimately, this occurrence leads to a release of hormones that provide a suitable environment for brain cell growth.

Mental exercise is vital for brain health; however, it doesn't mean that you should avoid keeping fit. Physical exercise helps the brain stay sharp and avoids disorders that lead to memory loss, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Exercising can also help to reduce your stress levels by enhancing the effects of your brain chemicals.

Ultimately, exercise plays a vital role in your neuroplasticity as it boosts growth factors and stimulates new neuronal connections. If you are in the habit of taking afternoon slumps or experience mental fatigue quite often, exercising will do you good.

Just a few short minutes a day is enough to give you a reboot and provide both the mental and physical vitality you need to go on with your day.

What Is The Bowflex HVT Trainer?

According to Nautilus, the Bowflex HVT is an all-in-one strength and cardio trainer. The complete home gym saves you time while helping you reach your fitness goals with workout sessions as little as 18 minutes.

So, in under 20 minutes, you can strengthen and sculpt your entire body while building cardiovascular endurance at the same time.

The Bowflex is made up of a three-tiered system of pulleys, a digital console, a combination of magnetic resistance, and a customizable fan as well as app connectivity.

Our Bowflex HVT review showed that the machine is similar to traditional cable trainers, and Bowflex makes use of upright pulleys that are used in various body positions. The tools are also adjusted to different resistance levels to focus on major muscle groups.

While the machine is tall, it's also narrow to save space. So you'll train while standing on a sturdy platform that allows you to access the various pulleys and handlebars.

However, unlike a traditional home gym, with the Bowflex, you have access to workout feedback throughout your exercise regimen. By using the built-in app, you may set a profile for accurate feedback concerning calories burned and heart rate.

Another benefit of setting up a user profile is that it helps the Bowflex train you in auto resistance mode. So, while preset programs do control the machine, you may also design and save a customized workout.

Bowflex HVT training videos are sent to the console via Bluetooth, and the mobile app provides 50 video workouts all led by personal trainers.

Product Specifications

Before making your purchase, you should note that the Bowflex HVT arrives in two separate boxes and you will need to assemble it. All the required hardware, including a multitool, is provided for the assembly.

So if you consider yourself a handyman, you'll still need to find another one, since it takes two people to assemble the machine.

The Main Features Of The Bowflex HVT Are:

The Platform is an elevated stage that determines your workout area.

Pulleys are the strong elastic bands attached to handgrips, which ultimately adjust to upper, middle, and lower positions so that you can target specific muscle groups.

couple working out together

Image via: Pixabay

The Console or Media Shelf provides information regarding your workouts such as total time, calories, average resistance, total power, heart rate, and exercise segment on the display screen. The media shelf is where you place your training guide.

The console also includes a keypad for you to select between four different user profiles, adjust volume and time as well as select different workout programs. You may also use it to start, pause, or stop your workouts.

The machine is designed to increase resistance as you pick up speed and go farther distances. However, the resistance dial lever enables you to adjust the resistance applied to the fan at any time throughout the 16 levels.

Another handy specification on the console is the saved resistance feature which remembers your resistance level at the end of each exercise. It then displays your total power score at the end of each workout. Your total score is a combination of how fast you were pulling the cable, your range of motion, and resistance.

The Bowflex HVT has four built-in programs which are the Sprint program, Circuit program, Builder program, and Manual program.

Sprint Program

The Sprint program is designed to increase your speed, power, and recovery. Exercises include:

  • Bent over row squat with overhead press
  • Speed squats
  • Tricep push-up
  • Chest press
  • Split leg alternating bicep curl
  • Squat jump
  • Reverse lunge straight arm pulldown
  • Bent over row

Circuit Program

The Circuit program focuses on the range of motion, form, and strength. Exercises include:

  • Arm shoulder press split stance
  • Tricep pushdown
  • Deadlift
  • Forward lunge chest fly
  • Lateral lunge high to low chop
  • Crossover reverse fly
  • Lunge bicep curl
  • Split jump

Builder Program

The Builder program is intended to increase endurance and strength. Exercises include:

  • Forward lunge chest press
  • Speed squat
  • Combo tricep extension bicep curl
  • Reverse lunge low row
  • Crossover reverse fly
  • Abdominal chop high to low

Manual Program

This specific feature allows you to define your workout any way you like. As you work out, your total time, total workout time, and overall power are all counted by the Bowflex HVT.

In each of these four programs, there is a demo provided in the app before beginning the exercise regimen.

Perhaps one of the features that stood out during this Bowflex HVT review against other complete home gyms is the fact that it can integrate with your device via Bluetooth. The software app allows you to:

group of people working out inside the gym

Image via: Pixabay

  • Receive rewards for meeting your goals
  • Choose your workout programs and sequences
  • Track total time, calories burned, resistance, heart rate, and power score
  • View video demonstrations as well as hints and descriptions
  • Post workouts to Bowflex Connect and MyFitnessPal automatically

Customer Reviews

According to our Bowflex HVT review, Bowflex claims that the HVT provides you with five times more muscle activation. That's also a footnote on their site and according to them is based on a university study conducted in 2016.

Ultimately, the company's reasoning behind this is that the Bowflex was intentionally designed with consolidated movements to save time, provide strength training, and decrease your heart rate simultaneously.

man in the gym flexing his body

Image via: Pixabay

If you already work out at a gym, you know that doing an exercise such as a chest press on a bench isolates a single muscle group only.

Now when you compare that to the HVT training programs, you can do a lunging chest press instead of just a chest press. It then makes sense that you can activate more muscles through the core, legs, arms, and the rest of the body.

However, while conducting our Bowflex HVT review, we found that there are customers on Amazon who believe that similar results could be achieved with resistance bands and free weights.

That ultimately begs the question, why would you want to invest in a high-end machine if you could duplicate the same results by using cheaper fitness and exercise tools?

The resistance cables or pulleys are the HVT's main feature, as it gives you the versatility to perform dozens of exercises.

However, customers also complained that they become jammed quite easily and in some cases, that renders the machine unusable.

How The Bowflex Compares To Other Major Brands

In this Bowflex HVT review section, we will cover how the Bowflex HVT compares to other similar fitness machines in terms of the number of different workouts, available programs, app connectivity and strength, and cardio training.

How we Reviewed

While conducting our Bowflex HVT review, we examined a number of customer reviews from reputable resources such as consumer reports and fitness authority sites.

We've taken the time and effort in this Bowflex HVT review to compare information across several fitness platforms and ultimately cross-referenced this information on Amazon with actual reviews from real customers who have bought and personally used the Bowflex HVT.

Body-Solid EXM1500S Home Gym
  • Assembled dimensions: 49L x 36W x 83H inches
  • Achieve a complete full-body workout in minutes a day
  • Centered on a 160-pound weight stack
  • Pin-adjustable in 10-pound increments
  • Comfortable, smooth operation

Firming up and trimming down in the comfort of your own home is possible with the Body Solid Compact Classic Home Gym. Much like the Bowflex HVT, this machine is ideal for toning, weight loss, and strength training. It's simple to use, comfortable, and includes curls, rows, and pulldowns.

There's also a handy ab crunching harness that assists your workouts and an adjustable handle to fit your requirements. If you're not into lifting tons of weight, this may be the ideal home gym for you.


  • It takes up a small amount of space
  • There's a wide range of exercises
  • The cable pulleys and pressing arms have a smooth motion
  • Excellent build quality
  • Lifetime warranty


  • The weight stack is limited to 160 pounds

Customers on Amazon gave this home gym a rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars.

GoFitness Push Down Bar Machine - Chest Expander at Home Workout Equipment, Arm Exerciser Portable Spring Resistance Exercise Gym Kit for Home, Travel or Outdoors
  • FULL UPPER BODY WORKOUT EQUIPMENT: GoFitness Super Push Down Bar acts as your personal workout trainer - helping you build a bigger and stronger chest rapidly. More than just a chest muscle builder, the GoFitness upper body exerciser can also be used to target precise muscle groups to accelerate growth, enhance definition and increase strength - including chest, arms, abs, shoulders and back.
  • EASILY TRAIN DIFFERENT MUSCLE GROUPS: Unlike resistance bands, you don't need doors, rafters, beams, or trees to attach to. Just pick up your GoFitness Push Down Bar, and get a targeted workout with a variety of different movements. Resistance ranges from 30 lbs to 110 lbs, and is suitable for both men and women, beginners or veterans alike.
  • BUILD A BETTER CHEST: Use for just 10 minutes a day for chest exercise, three to four days a week, to build a chiseled chest. For men – it will help you pump up your pecs and build a bigger, stronger chest; For women – it will help you train your pectorals and naturally lift your breasts.
  • THE PERFECT SPRING WORKOUT DEVICE: Built with 4 super-tough, steel springs. These high grade springs can withstand even the most intense workout sessions. The springs are compressed, which is different from the power twister that required users to twist the springs. Our improved design provides a better range of motion, and eliminates any risk of rebound and breakage. Four springs work together to make the resistance output more uniform, and therefore stimulate muscles more efficiently.
  • PORTABLE: Our workout equipment can be easily stored in your home or office and is conveniently compact for travel. With a lightweight design that makes transporting your portable home gym a breeze, GoFitness upper body exercise equipment means you never have to skip a workout.

The BodyCraft XPress Strength Training System makes use of the pulley system and unrestricted natural movement. This home gym features the adjustable pulley system that works targeted muscle groups in your body, including your abdominal, upper, and lower body.

It also sculpts your arms and chest using the mid-pulley system. Like the Bowflex HVT, it contains over 100 exercises with multiple variations. The home gym is large and spacious to work out on and includes a lifetime guarantee.

The BodyCraft XPress received an impressive 4.8 out of 5 stars as per our Bowflex HVT Review


  • Lifetime warranty
  • Decent resistance stack
  • Over 100 exercises


  • Long build time
  • Expensive
Total Gym XLS Men/Women Universal Total Body Training Foldable Home Gym Workout Machine with Squat Stand, Leg Pull, 2 Ankle Cuffs, and Exercise Chart
  • CHOOSE FROM 80 ROUTINES: Equipped to handle more than 80 exercises with 6 levels of resistance in 1 machine for a total body workout; Maximum weight capacity of 400 pounds
  • FULL BODY WORKOUT: Concentrates on all the major muscle groups: cardio, strength training, and stretching
  • ACCESSORIES INCLUDE: Comes complete with ribbed squat stand, wing attachment, leg pull accessory with 2 ankle cuffs, exercise wall chart, training deck, and nutritional/meal planning guide
  • FREE VIDEO ACCESS: Includes access to stream workouts from Total Gym TV for free for extra guidance and training; perfect for all fitness levels
  • SAVE THE HARD WORK: No assembly required and folds for compact storage; Dimensions (L x W x H): 90 x 19 x 43 inches; Folded dimensions (L x W x H): 51 x 19 x 9 inches

The Total Home Gym XLS differs somewhat from the Bowflex home gym system since it utilizes your body to offer resistance. It offers a reduction in some of the customizable workouts that are available. However, it also cuts down on equipment needed, space, and maintenance as well as assembly time.

Total Gym claims that their machine performs over 80 unique exercises. To increase the resistance drawback, the machine is angled to adjust to how much bodyweight you are pulling.

The bench can also be lowered to lighten the load. To increase the resistance, if you are looking for a hard workout, you simply need to increase the angle.


  • Easy to fold, store and assemble
  • Contains over 80 exercises
  • Simple construction
  • Contains a higher weight capacity than most other home gyms


  • Little control over resistance levels
  • Removing and attaching accessories takes time out of your workout
  • It's expensive

While conducting our Bowflex HVT review, we found that customers on Amazon gave The Total Gym XLS a rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars.

Bowflex HVT Review: Pros And Cons

When looking to purchase a home gym, our Bowflex HVT review proved that there are advantages and disadvantages to each and every fitness machine.

Being aware of the pros and cons of each home gym will allow you to make a well-informed decision. So here are some of the pros and cons of the Bowflex HVT.


  • Combines strength and cardio training
  • Comprehensive list of workout videos
  • Minimizes joint impact
  • High-quality total body trainer
  • Home-friendly design


  • Pulleys are placed too high, and height is not adjustable
  • Repairs could be costly if you have to ship the machine
  • Resistance cables tend to become tangled and jam during use
  • It's heavy and takes about three hours and two people to assemble
  • It's expensive

Bowflex HVT Review: The Bottom Line

machines and weights in the gym

Image via Pixabay

If you're a self-motivated person, then you won't need the live coaching of an instructor or the social interaction of the gym to see results. And having the HVT inside your home gives you the ability to achieve a full body workout in just 20 minutes or less.

Plus, the longer you have it in your home, and the more people in the family that start making use of it, the lower your per-user cost will go. Ultimately, whether you choose to invest in the Bowflex HVT or not will depend on your needs and personal preferences.

In the end, it's great for someone who is looking to slim up and not necessarily build muscle mass. Also, if you enjoy using fitness tools that include apps and intuitive consoles, then you'll like this one.

In fact, these features make it ideal for even beginners to get up and running with little concern or safety issues.

The Bowflex HVT review makes it clear that this is an impressive machine and gets bonus points for its ability to combine cardio and strength exercises into one convenient fitness gym. And the inclusion of the app and intuitive console makes it one of the cutting edge fitness machines out there.

Have you ever used the Bowflex HVT machine? Let us know in the comment section below.

Last update on 2022-04-30 at 14:04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API