One fitness brand to embrace the Black Friday spirit is Bowflex (opens in new tab), slashing the price of a wide range of equipment by up to $500. However, as the annual sales event continues to grow in popularity, I’m increasingly seeing deceptive fitness gear deals that aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.
As a fitness writer, I’ve been lucky enough to test some of the best adjustable dumbbells (opens in new tab), rowing machines, treadmills, exercise bikes and more. And, while I do think there are plenty of Bowflex deals deserving of your attention, there are a few instances where you could find more affordable alternatives that will still be a quality addition to your home workout arsenal.
Below, I’ve listed five of the biggest Bowflex Black Friday treadmill, exercise bike, dumbbell, kettlebell and barbell discounts. I’ve also suggested some tried and tested budget substitutes to help you lead a healthy, active lifestyle at home without breaking the bank.
Best kettlebell deals
With an MSRP of $149, the adjustable Bowflex 840 is inarguably expensive for a kettlebell. Although, with its six weight settings from 8lb to 40lb, I do think you get a fair amount of bang for your buck – hence why we awarded it the title of best kettlebell. This is especially true now Bowflex has knocked $30 off as part of a Black Friday discount. However, not everyone has $100+ to throw at a free weight.
If that’s you, I think the Yes4All Vinyl Coated Kettlebell is a top option for savvy shoppers. It’s available in ten different weight options from 5lb to 50lb, so there’s something to suit all fitness levels, and the cast iron body is sure to stand the test of time. The wide handle makes it ideal for exercises like kettlebell swings, while the rounded shape is better than its Bowflex rival for movements like cleans and front squats, where the weight needs to nestle in the front rack position.
Best barbell deals
As with the kettlebell above, Bowflex’s SelectTech 2080 Barbell is adjustable. This means you can quickly switch between seven weight options (from 20lb to 80lb) in seconds using two dials at either end of the handle, making it a time-efficient and space-efficient home training option. It’s also been given the Black Friday treatment, with the price reduced from $599 to $449 (opens in new tab), though there’s no world where that isn’t still a hefty investment.
If you want something a little more wallet-friendly, try the 100-pound CAP Barbell Weight Set (opens in new tab). This comes with a sturdy central cast iron bar, a wide range of 10lb and 5lb plates, and four collars to attach these plates securely. This means you can lift anything from the empty 10lb bar up to 100lb (higher than the Bowflex’s total load) while spending less than half the amount – the set will set you back $177.92 on Amazon (opens in new tab). Changing the weight will take a lot longer as you have to twist the two spinlock collars into place to secure the plates, but you can still use these weights for everything from strength training to high-intensity resistance training (opens in new tab) (HIRT) workouts.
Best dumbbell deals
The Bowflex SelectTech 552s are some of the best adjustable dumbbells (opens in new tab) on the market, with a sturdy, reliable design and 15 weight options from 5lb to 52.5lb. Bowflex has dropped the price for a pair from $429 down to $349 (opens in new tab) over Black Friday, while their heavier cousins (the 10lb-90lb SelectTech 1090 Dumbbells) have also had their cost cut by $100 (opens in new tab). However, these aren’t the adjustable dumbbells I would choose to buy this Black Friday; that honor falls to the JAXJOX DumbbellConnects, which are now down a staggering $300 in a Best Buy Black Friday offer (opens in new tab).
These futuristic free weights come with digital docking stations which can be used to change their weight from 8lb to 50lb (or several options in between) in a matter of moments using easy-to-understand up and down buttons. Their sleek matte gray finish and slimmer plates didn’t catch on my torso when performing bicep curls and the plates have grooves that slide into one another, allowing them to sit securely in place without any unwanted movement (unlike the SelectTechs).
Best exercise bike deals
In my opinion, the best exercise bike deal on the Bowflex site this Black Friday is the C7 Bike, with a $500 saving taking the price from $1,299 to $799 (opens in new tab). I’m a big fan of this machine, to the point that, since putting it to the test, the bike has taken up permanent residence in my living room. It boasts 100 magnetic resistance levels, the flywheel moves smoothly and silently at all speeds, and it has a 7in HD touchscreen through which you can stream the expansive JRNY app for a seemingly infinite resource of follow-along workout classes. Or, if you prefer, you can use the bike with the Peloton and Zwift apps – the world’s your oyster.
But, if you don’t need smart tech in your fitness gear, there are cheaper alternatives that can offer a fantastic bike-based exercise session. My pick of the bunch would be the sub-$300 Yosuda Indoor Cycling Bike (opens in new tab), which I tested earlier this month.
It doesn’t have the touchscreen of the Bowflex C7, but it does the basics brilliantly, providing a plush, adjustable seat and a wide range of resistance settings. The metrics are basic, not going far beyond showing your speed, estimated calorie burn and distance covered on a simple LCD monitor. But this does mean you can get straight into your workout without faffing about with settings, making it a great choice for circuit training where cycling might be just one component of a wider EMOM workout (opens in new tab).
Best treadmill deals
The Bowflex Treadmill 22 barely feels like a treadmill at all. Instead, it seems more like a virtual reality running machine, with its follow-along video workouts, cushioned running platform, incline settings from -5% to 20% and enormous cinematic touchscreen providing a truly immersive experience.
This doesn’t come cheap though, and even with a $200 discount it’s still $2,499 in the Bowflex Black Friday sale (opens in new tab). It’s huge too, meaning you would need a dedicated home workout space to store it.
One treadmill that performs far better when it comes to its size and price is the Echelon Stride Auto-Fold Connected Treadmill. I loved its compact, foldable design, which can slip seamlessly into most living rooms before folding flat to store under a bed or sofa when not in use. The belt was also impressively sturdy, given its diminutive dimensions, and as a taller (6ft 2in) runner I didn’t feel cramped when racking up the miles.
There are 12 incline levels, a top speed of 12mph, and while there’s no touchscreen you can enjoy engaging video workouts by linking the treadmill to the Echelon Fit app on your phone or tablet.
What’s more, you can now save more than $300 on one of these running machines in the Black Friday sale, with Echelon dropping the price from $1,299 to under $1,000 (opens in new tab).