The One Machine You Need for Your Home Gym

Can all your cardio and strength workouts really be found in one machine? The Shape Shop editors put one Bowflex machine to the test and attempted to do just that.


The 411

Experience a full-body workout like never before by adding the Bowflex Hybrid Velocity Training (HVT) machine to your home gym. This hardcore fitness machine makes it so easy to achieve a short but ridiculously effective workout in your home. In just 18 minutes you'll be able to work up a serious sweat with one of the three programmed workouts—so you can honestly toss that gym membership. Download the free HVT app on your phone or tablet and make tough workouts a breeze. Receive personal coaching by following along with videos of kick-ass trainers giving step-by-step instructions and demonstrating proper form—plus the additional motivation isn't bad either.

After our editors put this machine through a series of tests, it was a unanimous conclusion that this one machine really does put your body through a tough, full-body workout. Looking to increase your power, speed, and recovery time? Try the sprint workout: eight exercises over four rounds in just under 20 minutes. After trying the sprint workout for herself, here's what Shape Shop Editor Jalen Williams had to say, "If you want a machine that works your whole body with a variety of exercises, then this is the machine. After finishing only the sprint workout, I was exhausted and definitely felt like this Bowflex machine would be the perfect machine to add to a home gym."

The circuit workout was created to increase strength, form, and range of motion. Similar to the sprint workout, this program also consists of eight exercises over four rounds. But don't be discouraged if you don't have a lot of time on your hands, you can complete this heart-pounding series in just 21 minutes. Check out what Shape Shop Editor Ashley Van Dyke had to say about her circuit workout on the HVT machine, "The moves definitely felt like they worked my whole body. It was the perfect mix of cardio and strength training, which I normally don't do a good job of mixing on my own. I loved that I could watch each move on my phone and it was so easy to follow along with."

The builder workout pushes you to increase your strength and endurance. This one consists of eight exercises that go over eight rounds. Round one is made up of one exercise, adding a new move each round. Alexis Puebla, another Shape Shop Editor on our team, took on the challenge of tackling this intense workout and here is what she had to say, "When it comes to working out, I'm the girl who quickly becomes far too consumed with 'planning the routine' and before I know it I have a Pinterest board full of strength workouts and a wasted hour on the treadmill. Needless to say, the Bowflex machine solves that problem in an instant with the easy-to-use system and accompanying workout app."

If you're looking to mix it up with your workout and focus on different muscles throughout the body, then design your own routine with the manual workout setting. This setting allows you to choose different exercises through the training guide or HVT app to help create a unique workout plan that fits your needs best. Shape Shop Editor Melissa Harden enjoyed trying out various exercises to focus on what she wanted to improve, "I go to the gym and use systems like this, but this one felt smoother and easier to use than even some of those. It can be very intimidating when you're at the gym and you need to change the weight out on your machine and this one changes the resistance with a turn of a dial."


Features We Can't Shut Up About

We can't get over how many amazing features the Bowflex HVT machine has. It's designed with numerous qualities that enhances every workout setting, making it easier and more enjoyable for all fitness levels. When you choose this machine, you'll get to experience three pre-recorded, full-body workouts that consist of 50 different exercises. This Bowflex machine is equipped to track and save the progress of each user separately through the free HVT app—so you'll always have the ability to see just how far you've come in your fitness journey. This app allows you to watch trainers perform each individual exercise, while the Bluetooth connectivity tracks every move and your total calories burned. The Bowflex HVT screen displays calories burned, countdown clock, what round of your workout you're in, and the level of resistance in the bands. Instead of switching our heavy weights out for each exercise, keep it simple by adjusting the resistance dial for a workout that you're most comfortable with. The resistance bands glide smoothly and silently with every pull, so you won't be struggling to complete your workouts each day. One feature that our editors just couldn't get enough of was the cup holder to easily stow their favorite water bottles while they worked out—sometimes those low-tech features really do matter. Even though it doesn't come with wheels, the HVT machine is the perfect addition to a home gym as it's easy to move and offers everything you need to get a rocking body.


Is It Worth It?

So, what's the verdict? After putting this machine to the test, the editors here on the Shape Shop team thought it is definitely worth every penny. This user-friendly machine offers many features and benefits that most exercise machines are lacking. The high-quality HVT app, pre-programmed exercises, and workout history logs are only a few of the many reasons why this machine is such a score. As most machines don't come with a personal trainer, this badass machine is a coach all on its own, by giving you the instruction and motivation you need to get the workout you want. The HVT machine is the perfect addition to a home gym if you're searching for a reliable system that produces killer workouts. If you're up for the challenge you can put together this machine on your own (with a little help from this 24-step assembly video) or, if time is a factor, we recommend utilizing Bowflex's In-Home Assembly service for a small additional fee. Give your body the workout it deserves by adding the Bowflex HVT machine to your home gym—trust us, your body will thank you later.