Bowflex of America, viagra Inc. first marketed its unique approach to fitness in 1986. Its first product, a resistance system, was a hit with weightlifters. Bowflex eventually bought out Nautilus Corporation, Schwinn Fitness, and Stairmaster Fitness.
The company introduced the first Bowflex TreadClimber in 2003. This hybrid treadmill-stairclimber became popular for providing twice the workout of a standard treadmill. The secret is in incline training: Like the newer TreadClimber models, the original machine tilted up to 40%.
How Bowflex Works: Bowflex machines are different from other incline trainers. Exercisers use “treadles,” or long pedals, instead of a single treadmill track. The treadles can be used flat, in a stair-step motion, or in an elliptical motion. You get three types of exercise from one machine.
The Choices: Bowflex currently offers four TreadClimber models: TC5000, TC5, TC10 and TC20. These models have different workout programming, top speeds, and unit weights. The TC5000 and TC20 are the most advanced options.
What’s to Like About Bowflex
Efficient Training: Incline training has become especially popular since it was touted on The Biggest Loser weight loss TV show. According to personal trainers, training on a 40% incline doubles the rate of fat burn. Incline training lets walkers get fast fitness results like runners, but without putting as much stress on their joints.
Climbing Console: All TreadClimbers have programmable climbing workouts with twelve intensity levels. Additionally, the TC20 has Goal Oriented Coach technology. This feature sets personalized training goals and tracks progress for two users. On the TC20, you’ll also get five built-in workouts and three landmark workouts. Landmark workouts let you virtually climb the stairs inside the Statue of Liberty and other famous structures.
Powerful Motors: You can reach a top speed of 4.5 mph on the TC5. The other units reach 4.0 mph.
Comfort: You’ll feel the burn, but all Bowflex TreadClimbers provide a low-impact workout; they’re easier on the knees and other joints than typical treadmills. The TC 5000 and TC20 are especially comfortable thanks to extra-long foot treadles.
Warranty: The TC 5000 comes with the best warranty. You’ll get a five year motor warranty, a three-year warranty for other parts and electronics, and a two-year warranty for hydraulics. Bowflex also offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee: You can return a TreadClimber within six weeks for a refund.
What’s Not to Like About Bowflex
Walk, Don’t Run: TreadClimbers are not designed for running. If running is important to you, then consider buying another brand of incline trainer or a traditional treadmill with a motorized incline.
No Extras: You won’t find an iPod port, Internet connection or other perks on a BowFlex.
Bowflex is a well-established, reliable company that offers an effective alternative to traditional treadmills. Our four star rating applies to the TC20 and TC 5000 only; other models seem overpriced because of ho-hum programming or short warranties.
The TC20 includes especially motivating programs, and this low-impact exercise system is a savior to those with sore joints. However, avid runners might prefer a traditional treadmill or an incline system that permits running too.