The Bowflex Xtreme 2SE – from their power rod technology series, is their latest and best selling model.  Priced at around $1500, the 2SE comes with 210 lbs. of power rod resistance (upgradable to 410 lbs.) and features a lat tower with angled lat bar.

If you’re not familiar with their power rod technology, it’s a composite material that comes in different resistance levels.  The beauty in the use of power rod design is the ability for controlled resistance and the absence of inertia.  The initial pull starts off easy but the resistance increases through the range of motion.

When you first start off, it’ll feel a little uncomfortable.  Due to the non-linear movement, it does take some getting used to … especially if you’re already used to machine or free weights.  After a couple uses, however, you’ll get comfortable with the movements.

Thanks to its vertical, compact design, the 2SE is packed with features that allow you to perform over 70 exercises.  You wouldn’t expect that considering it covers such a small footprint.

Over 70+ exercises can be performed without the need for a spotter and it provides smooth, controlled movements which is better for your joints.

Some of the features include:

Bowflex-Xtreme-2SELat Tower with Angled Lat Bar – This station allows the user to do traditional lat pulldowns that will target your back and shoulder muscles.  You can also perform tricep pushdowns very effectively.

4-Position Lower Pulley/Squat Station – There are a quite few exercises you can do at this station.

Squats – Target all parts of your legs (glutes, hamstrings, quads, and calves).  This can be performed by using the squat bar or handles.  Simply remove the seat, attach the handles or squat bar to the bottom pulley with straps that can be adjusted to your height and begin your exercise.  One advantage to doing squats on a Bowflex machine is that the resistance increases when you stand up and decreases when you squat.

Curls – Attach the squat bar or the handles to the bottom pulleys to perform bicep curls.  You can also perform preacher curls with the optional attachments.

Leg Extension – Isolate and target your quadriceps with leg extensions.   Connect the same pulleys you use for biceps and squats, sit back against the padded back support and work on getting those toned legs.

Abdominal Crunch Shoulder Harness – Use their new abdominal crunch shoulder harness for comfortable ab crunches.

210 lbs. of Power Rod Resistance – You get plenty of resistance right out of the box but if you find yourself needing more, you have the option to upgrade up to 410 lbs!


  • Compact: The Bowflex Xtreme 2SE is very compact with the following dimensions – 83″H x 58″L x 49″W.  It fits virtually anywhere and you’ll have plenty of room for other equipment.
  • Good Workouts: The machine is very well suited for beginner and mid-level users and those who require easier joint movements.
  • Quiet: The use of the power rods makes the Bowflex very quiet to use.  No more loud clanking from metal weights which makes it perfect for those who need a quiet but effective workout.  Work out early in the mornings without waking anyone up or workout in your apartment without disturbing your neighbors.
  • Durable: Despite the small footprint, the Xtreme 2SE is surprisingly well built and very durable.
  • Warranty: You get a lifetime power rod warranty but the warranty only covers breakage and not appearance, meaning you won’t get a replacement if the rod is bent or by some chance loses its elasticity.  You also get a 6 weeks fitness results guarantee: If you’re not satisfied with your results, you have six weeks to return it for a full refund.  The machine itself comes with a 7 year limited warranty which only applies to the original owner/purchaser.  It covers all defects in material or workmanship.
  • Lots of Exercises: You get plenty of exercises in such a compact machine.


  • Elasticity Changes: Changes in temperature appear to affect the elasticity of the rods.  When it’s cold, the rods seem to stiffen making it a bit more difficult.
  • Not for Heavy Lifters: If you’re looking for mass, this is not the machine.  This is primarily used to increase strength and tone.
  • Uneven Resistance: Resistance increases through your range of motion.  The more the rod bends the more difficult it becomes.


The Bowflex Xtreme 2SE is an all around excellent home gym that will provide great results if you’re looking to tone.  Use it consistently in conjunction with some cardio and you should notice relatively quick results.   It comes highly recommended for people of all fitness levels but for the heavy lifters it may be a bit too easy.  One piece of advice … when you’re finished with your routine, make sure to unhook the rods to keep them in the upright position.  Keeping them pinned tends to make the rods bend after a long period of time.