The Bowflex concept of polymer rod resistance came from an Ethiopian engineering student, who designed the resistance method after being inspired by bamboo bows in his native land. Bowflex of America was incorporated in 1986, releasing its first product, the Bowflex 2000X shortly after that. The new technology became a hit, and the company changed its name to Bowflex, Inc. and became a publicly listed company.
New versions of the Bowflex were regularly rolled out. In 1999, the name of the company was again changed, this time to Direct Focus, Inc. The company then purchased several other fitness companies, including Nautilus, Schwinn and Stairmaster. They are now known as Nautilus, Inc. There have been several recalls of Bowflex products. In January 2004, 420,000 Bowflex home gym machines were recalled due to mechanical problems. Another 800,000 were recalled in December of that year. The Consumer Product Safety Commission stated that the seats of Power Pro Bowflex machines could break and that the incline of the bench was potentially unsafe. In December 2007, 68,000 home gyms were recalled, with another 78,000 in 2009. There have been no recalls of Bowflex home gym since then.
The Bowflex home gym has introduced and cemented into the marketplace a unique form of resistance that millions of users prefer over traditional barbells, dumbbells, and cables. This technology is built around flexible polymer power rods. These lightweight, compact rods provide you with the same resistance that you get from heavyweight plates.