Whatever Happened To The Bowflex?

If you were around in the '90s, then you likely remember the Bowflex, the ultimate piece of exercise equipment that dominated infomercials for over a decade. Nowadays, you likely only see the fallen Bowflex machine gathering dust in your neighbor's garage. Or perhaps at a garage sale with a laughably low pricetag taped onto one of its numerous flexible rods. This common sight makes us wonder. For a machine that promised so much, why didn't the orginal Bowflex stand the test of time?

According to WebMD, the Bowflex's popularity in the decade of grunge and heavy lip-liner was not a sudden overtaking. In fact, this machine's rise to the top in the world of workout equipment was more of a slow burn to success. First patented by an engineering student in 1979, the Bowflex only started making its way into home gyms in 1986. The Bowflex claimed to be both compact and versatile, promising a complete workout with just one machine. And at the peak of its popularity, Savvy Agency reports that Bowflex's sales reached up to an impressive $585 million in 2002.

The brand may have expanded, but the original machine made a lasting impression

These days, you don't hear many people talking about their amazing Bowflex workout they had earlier that morning. This may be because the brand's marketing strategy failed in more recent years. Savvy Agency reports that Bowflex's well-known commercials suddenly became out-of-date and struggled to connect with consumers. The original Bowflex infomercials were of chiseled models slowly flexing their perfect limbs through a Bowflex workout. These days, consumers are more enticed by "everyday" and relatable people over flawless bodybuilders.

However, the brand itself is far from dead. Today, Bowflex has expanded and sells a number of home workout gadgets, including treadmills and adjustable weights through their website. The company also seems to have become more in tune with modern-day marketing tactics, with the website now claiming, "We're here to empower your fitness journey" and to "Build a stronger you." Gone are the chiseled models and bodybuilders of yore. But for many of us, the name Bowflex will always be associated with the original spidery-looking machine advertised in those famous infomercials.