I’m thinking about getting a home gym system (Soloflex, Bowflex, etc.) and wondering which ones actually work and which ones are more or less scams. Does anyone have any input on this?
you can get a complete workout with a $40 set of dumbbells and a $10 stability ball. if you’re really strong, you might move up to a 300lb weight set and a bench. hell, you can get a decent workout with nothing but a yoga mat and some knowledge.
what’s the point? you can get a great workout with any system. the one that works best is the one that you will use REGULARLY.
the major drawbacks of packaged systems like the solo/bowflex are that they’re ridiculously expensive, you can’t add weight if you max out on an exercise, and machines in general limit your range of motion- which means that your form is always correct, but you never have a chance to engage stabilizing muscles.
if you have the money and space for one of these systems, consider buying a weight set, power rack, and bench- and spending the balance hiring a personal trainer to walk you through proper form & set up a program.
another comprimise would be plate-loaded machines aimed at weightlifters, like those from powertec, yukon, and many others.
your best option would really be to find somewhere local to try them out for yourself & figure out your own preference.
summary: no bad option, but the tv-ad systems are more expensive and feature-limited than pretty much any other choice. if you dig ‘em, though, go right ahead- the best fitness solution is the one you hit several times every week.