The Bowflex HVT Combines Strength and Cardio. What a Fun, Challenging Machine!

I sound like a broken record at this point, but I love trying new things. And I recently had the chance to try one of Bowflex’s newest products, the HVT. I ended up having a killer workout, and it was so much fun!

The Bowflex HVT is unlike anything I’ve ever used before. HVT stands for Hybrid Velocity Training, which is fancy-talk for a system of exercise that combines both strength and cardio. The commercial explains it better than I ever could:

It’s an imposing machine – taller than me, and I’m 6’4″!

There are three sets of handles, which I circled in this photo:

  • Handles at the top, which you pull down in various ways
  • Handles at about chest level, which you pull out in various ways
  • Handles at the base, which you pull up in various ways

Between these three sets of handles, you can do 50 different exercises that cover all your muscles groups: squats and lunges, chest presses, biceps and triceps, shoulders and back.

I have to admit that I was a little overwhelmed at first, but my new friend Gabe showed me the ropes. (He also took all the pictures of me using the HVT.)

The HVT is programmed with a couple different workouts. I did the Sprint, which is a complete body workout in 18 minutes. You do 8 different exercises, 4 sets of each. Each set is 20 seconds, with 10 seconds rest in between. At three points in the workout you get a full minute to catch your breath. If you download the free HVT app, it’ll sync with the machine, and your phone or tablet will show videos of each exercises as you’re supposed to do them. That’s pretty cool!

You can also skip the programmed workouts and do your own thing, and there’s a book, that lives in its own cabinet, that shows you how to do each one, with pictures and tips on proper form.


Between the manual and the videos on the app, I learned the exercises pretty quickly. After I finished the 18-minute Sprint workout, I switched it to the Manual setting for about 20 minutes and flipped through the book, trying 15-18 additional exercises. Many of them target specific muscles while also engaging your core and your balance, like bicep curls while lunging, and it’s tough!

The machine is super smooth, and you can adjust the resistance between 16 different levels, making it perfect for people of all fitness levels. The resistance is adjusted with a really simple knob – no pulling pins in and out of weight racks, trying to line them up with holes. I did the first set of each exercise pretty low, to get a feel for it, and then bumped it up.

Chest Flies. Or is that spelled Flys?

Unlike all the strength machines at the gym, the HVT doesn’t have a weight rack or show you how many pounds you’re lifting, and I liked that. It’s based on resistance levels, so you can still track your progress. The display shows time, calories burned, resistance levels, and something called your Total Power Score, which I don’t really understand.

All in all, it’s a fantastic full-body workout, in one machine, without having to move pins all over the weight rack, or swap different handles and pullies in and out.

I hope someday I can use it again!

Keep it up, David!

Learn more about the Bowflex HVT here. Guess what? They’re on sale!


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