A home gym eliminates your excuses to not exercise. Versatile, durable and convenient, Bowflex home gyms have revolutionized the way people stay fit. Home gyms are an investment in your health and well-being.
Two models stick out for the consumer that wants to stay fit: Bowflex Blaze and Bowflex PR3000.
These machines can propel you into peak fitness. But these machines are slightly different.
Bowflex Blaze Home Gym (-)
Bowflex PR3000 Home Gym ($999.00)
|Weight Range||Yes||5 – 210 pounds|
|Power Rod Upgrade||Yes||Yes|
|User Weight Limit||300 pounds||300 pounds|
|Lat Bar||Yes||No (hand grips)|
|Bench or Seat||Bench||Seat|
Feature Breakdown: Bowflex Blaze vs. Bowflex PR3000
We’re going to dig deep into each of these home gyms to provide you with a robust view of each model.
The Bowflex Blaze is akin to having a real gym in your home. What hit me immediately with the Blaze was a few things:
- A fully functioning lat pulldown bar (not just cables like the PR3000)
- Leg presses can be done on the machine
- The included manual breaks down all exercises available on the machine
I want to touch on the manual just a bit. Blaze provides a manual that’s worth reading. When you crack open the book, you’ll find over 60+ exercises to give you a complete workout.
Note: We’ll be discussing what I didn’t like about the PR3000 manual, and one thing it does well.
Blaze provides more exercises overall, and these include squats, leg press, shrugs, reverse flys, bench press (decline, flat, incline), crossovers, reverse crunch, seated crunch, trunk rotation, tricep extensions (lying, cross), French press, bicep curls (laying, standing and seated), and so much more.
Blaze provides the option to perform more exercises. Period.
And Blaze also provides more options for performing exercises while on your back. The seat is more adjustable, and you have more options to target your chest muscles.
The Bowflex PR3000 is a great home gym, and it can help you reach new fitness heights. This model does have its benefits, too. And what this machine does really well is:
- Allows you to remove the seat and leg extension for true squat freedom
- Provides a robust workout plan in the manual
The manual for the PR3000 lacks the robust exercises listed that the Blaze offers. A lot of the exercises that are not listed can be performed, and this does a disservice to users.
Roughly 25 of the 50 exercises this machine allows users to perform are listed.
A person with little exercise and fitness experience is likely to overlook key exercises to add into their routine. But the manual does go over a rather robust workout routine that walks users through a complete program to boost their fitness.
So, the manual excels in some areas, but is flawed in others.
You’ll still be able to perform a variety of exercises, including: bench press (seated, decline and incline), seated shoulder press, lateral raises, shrugs, back extensions, pulldowns (hand grips, and not a true bar), triceps (extensions and pushdowns), bicep curls (seated), and more.
Squats on the 3000 are more comfortable, and the seat detaches to allow for proper form and full range of motion.
Which Home Gym I Prefer: Blaze, or PR3000?
If I had to pick one home gym, between the Blaze and PR3000, it would be the Blaze. Muscles need to be challenged, and a variety of exercises allows for proper diversity and challenge to keep muscles growing.
There’s also the benefit of many exercises being able to be performed on your back. The PR3000 doesn’t allow this.
I’ll give you an example:
If you want to perform a chest press, your only option on the PR3000 is to perform a seated chest press. This press can be standard, incline or decline, but it must be in the seated position. You can lay flat on the Blaze, and this amplifies your exercise options and provides more diversity.
For pure muscle growth, the Blaze is the clear winner.
But when you break it down by exercise, there are some benefits to each machine.
Situations Best Suited to Each Gym
Both home gyms offer their advantages and disadvantages. We’re going to do our best to provide you with situations where each excels by muscle group:
Legs are often ignored by bodybuilders, but your legs are vital for overall health. Strong quads, hamstrings and hips allow you to age without losing mobility along the way. This is a difficult comparison between both models.
- Blaze: The Blaze doesn’t allow you to perform squats as freely as the PR3000. But, it does allow you to perform leg presses.
- PR3000: The PR3000 allows for better squats since the seat can be removed, and this is ideal for proper form and full range of motion.
In the leg department, it’s a virtual tie between these machines. If you prefer squats, the 3000 may outperform the Blaze.
Chest exercises are paramount for gaining strength, and this is a body part that’s a no contest: Blaze wins. The reason is:
- Blaze: You can lay the bench flat, so you can perform exercises on your back as well as flys.
- PR3000: This model requires you to perform most exercises seated, and it’s not suited for flys.
In the shoulder department, both gyms provide ample options for strength gains. The shoulders benefit with both machines:
- Blaze: A lat pulldown bar is included as one piece, and this mimics what you expect at the gym.
- PR3000: The PR3000 has independent grips that allow for pulldowns, which is better for working a weaker side’s shoulders.
When it comes to shoulders, it’s a tie, but the Blaze has a slight advantage in some aspects.
Biceps and Triceps
The biceps and triceps are often exercised on the same day, so we’re going to mention them together. In terms of pure exercises, the Blaze wins again.
- Blaze: The flat bench allows for greater flexibility when working the biceps and triceps. You’ll be able to perform laying bicep curls and tricep extensions, which isn’t possible on the PR3000.
- PR3000: The PR3000’s seat does this gym a disadvantage, as it doesn’t allow you to perform exercises while lying flat. There’s also limited space to perform different bicep exercises.
Blaze wins in the bicep and triceps department, too.
Interested in a Bowflex home gym? Check out our other in depth Bowflex comparisons –