As far as mid-range gym systems go, the Bowflex Xceed is one of many in the Bowflex lineup. So, if you’re not on the lookout for it specifically, there’s a good chance you could overlook it. After all, Bowflex does seem to have similar features across the board, and mid-range gym systems are priced similarly in general.

That said, this review by Fitness About shows how some generic Bowflex features are outstanding enough to warrant bringing the Xceed home with you. Should you decide to do that, here are some things to know about the Bowflex Xceed, including how to use it.

Should You or Shouldn’t You Bowflex?

Those who have never used Bowflex models before might be a bit wary of the power rod system. We understand how this would lead to some reservations about buying the Xceed. After all, the system is a unique one that many aren’t familiar with.

Why It’s Worth It

While similar in appearance to other Bowflex models, the Xceed does look different compared to other home gyms. For one, it doesn’t come with plates or weight stacks, which some might find strange. Then again, this may not matter when you realize the system has the following pros:

Smooth Resistance

If you’ve ever used a high-quality resistance band or cable, you will find that the Xceed’s resistance isn’t much different from that. Like these top-notch resistance bands, this model’s power rods offer more resistance the farther you bend them. Thus, the user gets the easy start, difficult middle, and intense end of a proper exercise movement.


The lack of plates and weight stacks is actually a good thing, as it eliminates the chances of weights slamming down while adjusting the resistance. You also won’t have to worry about being crushed by a barbell.

Stationary rods are attached to cables on one end and are fixed on the other. This design makes for a high safety ratio fitting for seniors and fitness beginners.


By integrating multiple cable systems and pulleys, Xceed allows you to perform a wide range of exercises. Depending on your fitness knowledge and experience, you may be able to perform up to 70 exercises using the same power rod system.

Heavy Resistance

Aside from the resistance being smooth, it is also quite heavy. Heavy lifters shouldn’t feel left out with 210-pound power rod resistance, which can be upgraded to either 310 or 410 pounds. That said, note that using the pulleys can be similar to using a cable system with weight stacks; both reduce the amount of resistance you lift against.

Some Drawbacks

Of course, Xceed is not a perfect home gym, and they might not fit your exercise needs because of the following:

Too Many Cable Adjustments

The system’s broad range of exercise offerings has its cons, too. For instance, you’d have to make a lot of pulley adjustments and cable connections when switching from one exercise to another. That could mean referencing the manual more often than not between exercises, which could mean too much rest time. And unlike other systems that integrate the brand’s quick-change feature, Xceed doesn’t.

Not the Best for Adding Muscle Mass

Building serious muscle isn’t a goal you can achieve with power rods alone. This calls for some old-fashioned powerlifting, which means hitting an actual fitness gym on a regular basis. Besides, gains of “Arnold” proportions happen by pumping iron and not using power rods.

How To Begin Using the Bowflex Xceed

If you’ve decided to incorporate the Bowflex Xceed into your everyday fitness routine, it’s important to know how to get started. As mentioned, this is not your average home gym. Xceed is unique in many ways, including in its assembly.

Yes, the Xceed system does need to be assembled. Don’t be overwhelmed by the many individual pieces the box contains, as the Bowflex manual comes with very clear instructions. Also, these pieces are well-packaged and organized, and you won’t likely have a hard time identifying which is which.

Referencing the manual, you should find it easy to put the entire thing together yourself. However, it should assemble faster with the help of a pair of extra hands. It shouldn’t take you more than a couple of hours to assemble the Xceed on your own. As far as home gym systems go, that’s a pretty decent time.

Even if you aren’t too familiar with exercise equipment, the Xceed manual makes a ton of sense. It’s easy to match the illustrations with the instructions, so performing the steps should be a piece of cake. The instructions also come in bullet points, and the manual has additional notes in case you need clarification.

Is the Bowflex Xceed a Good Home Gym?

There is plenty of evidence to suggest it is, including ease of assembly. One great thing about the Xceed is that everything you need to know about using it is in the manual. Plus, the manual actually makes a lot of sense.

That said, it does align with leaning and toning goals more than muscle-building objectives. Therefore, you may want to reconsider if you’re aiming for the latter.