I've used a bowflex for about four years. I've run into an interesting (read: frustrating) phenomenon the last two winters. I don't heat my home during the day, so when I return home after work to exercise the house is cold. I've noticed during these times that my weight lifting ability declines dramatically.
I can understand that one who is chilled (which I am during these sessions) might not possess the same muscular strength that one has when warm and comfortable, but the difference is so great that I have to think that something else is going on.
I'm wondering if the bowflex power rods demonstrate varying stiffness depending on ambient temperature. That is, they stiffen when cold and offer more resistance to bending. Thus a 50 lb power rod might provide 50 lbs of resistance at 80 degrees and, say, 60 lbs at 60 degrees.
Has anyone experienced the same situation and, if so, can you offer an explanation?
When you say an unheated garage, where do you live? I'm trying to figure out if my garage would be too cold for the Bowflex. I live in Ohio and the weather gets down to single digits in the winter routinely. When I use it it could be in the 20s (F). Any input?
I'm in California and gets about high 30's.. I have mine in the tandum portion of my garage. I recently but a curtain up and a space heater and it has helped alot. My garage is unfinished except for the tandum part. In all honestly it will effect the rods but if you keep track of weather and resistance you'll see a pattern and can still track your progress.
I live in NYC and it gets cold here, obviously. My Flex is on the "Sun" porch so it is exposed to the elements all the time because I have no room for it anywhere else. I just want to be sure that they won't break. I actually like the idea that the rods get heavier in cold weather. I can use that to my advantage.
Anybody answer that question? Will they snap?
I really need to know because I have not been using it and I really need to.
We live in eastern Oregon and where we would have a Bowflex is out in our garage, too, so we were curious about the same things. I called Bowflex just now and they said the machine should be room temp (60-80*) or you could snap the power rods. Now, I'm sure there is some flexibility in temp and that they have to tell you this, but just wanted to share. Unfortunately, we are no longer in pursuit of a bowflex. =(
The rods are made out of poly (hexamethylene adipamide) or referred to as “Nylon 66”. In general, strength and stiffness decrease with increasing temperature , and increase with the reduction of temperature, hence the recommendation of only placing the gym in a climate controlled area. This is also on your owners manual.
I've just experienced the same thing. My Ultimate II that I have modified to have 690lbs of rods is located in a climate controlled space. But, it's in the den with the fireplace. So when I noticed this last week I checked the weight pull on one of the rods with a luggage weight scale and compared it with the weight that rod pulled the last time I moved the rods around (from side to side to freshen them up), and the rod pulled 10% less when the fireplace was on. 77 degrees in the room and had been up to 95 degrees prior to me shutting the fireplace fan off. It made a BIG difference in the work out. Two days later, the same rod pulled 2 pounds higher with the fireplace off and 74 degrees. And 72 hours later of no fireplace heating, the temp was still at 74 degrees, but the rod pulled at 46 pounds - BIG difference from 40 pounds, I'm telling you. (I surmise that the rods took a while to recover from the heat) SO from now on at the beginning of the workout I'll test that rod with the scale to help me keep track of my progress, even in the non-heated seasons when the temp is consistent. In the past I've noticed BIG swings in my strength and I'm betting this is the explanation. I still love the BowFlex though; there is no way you can find another exercise machine with this kind of resistance capacity, with the weight of the machine (meaning safe for the house's floors), and this small of a foot print.