Bowflex vs Pro-Form Fitness vs Smooth Fitness: Fitness Equipment Websites Compared
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Bowflex vs Pro-Form Fitness vs Smooth Fitness: Fitness Equipment Websites Compared

Searching online for fitness equipment can be a little intimidating, especially if one hasn’t purchased gym products before. Most consumers want hassle-free transactions, quality merchandise and low cost pricing. Pro-Form delivers a solid, recognizable name in treadmills and may be the proper match if a consumer is searching for a treadmill company that has a solid reputation. Bowflex stands behind their promise of getting you fit quickly with dramatic results. Smooth Fitness stands out with low pricing and their strong warranties. While each brand brings their own unique style to the fitness table, they all commit to quality, value and customer service.
Covered in this report
Bowflex — Best Features
The Bowflex Promise achieving dramatic results in 6 weeks attached with challenge chart and work-out guide ready to download on site.
Award winning and ground breaking technology with years of continuous engineering refinement.
Best for: Those wanting fast results with an exercise regime using equipment that has a unique, compact yet offers efficient design.
Best deal: Bowflex UpperCut - try it for only $14.95 - [activate coupon]
Pro-Form Fitness — Best Features
Rated highly among fitness enthusiasts, they have a diverse range of exercise equipment from exercise bikes, treadmills to ellipticals and weight benches.
Known for their treadmills that any beginner would love, but also put out state-of-the-art, quiet as a mouse, outstanding quality level equipment with the elite athlete in mind.
Best for: Those looking for a website that offers a diverse collection of treadmills matching unique exercise equipment to the fitness enthusiasts’ needs. They also offer an abundant selection of work-out programs and entertainment features on their website.
Smooth Fitness — Best Features
Cost effective exercise equipment with factory direct savings over 50 percent.
Offer a 60 day Money Back Guarantee while competitors usually provide only 30 day Satisfaction Guarantee.
Best for: Budget minded fitness aficionados searching for cost effective and discounted rates on best-in-class fitness equipment.
Best deal: Free Shipping - [activate coupon]


Powered by Bowflex’s mission statement, “Setting trends for healthy activity across the globe”, the company leads the path for quality home gyms and home solution work-out programs. The brand, sold online and via infomercials, is known for cardio and strength training equipment. The company established itself in 1986 when an Ethiopian engineering student,Tessema Dosho Shifferaw, attempted to build an ergonomic chair and instead designed the Bowflex 2000x. Along with a few name changes, the company grew and bought Nautilus, Schwinn Exercise and StairMaster amongst others. Bowflex has had its share of growing pains, including recalls and lawsuits but also has been a forerunner of fitness equipment awards and ground breaking technology. Bowflex is unique due their efficient design to sculpt dramatic results within weeks with their 6 Week Promise. As long as one is willing to work out 3 times per week for 20 minute sessions, with the help from downloaded Challenge Charts and Guides, chances are there will be successful outcome. Their state-of-the-art equipment is designed so one can’t cheat, focuses on the core and reduces stress and strain in the limb areas. The supplies to get one in shape are:

Return Policy

Satisfaction is always guaranteed with Bowflex. If not content with your purchase, notify Customer Service at 1-800-605-3369 within 30 days of purchase to obtain a RDA authorization. There are certain conditions to return an order including:

  • One must receive a RMA number from Customer Service then return within 30 days.
  • Product must be returned with all accessories and appear undamaged.
  • Refunds do not include shipping and handling costs.

Shipping Policy

  • Bowflex will send products in the most cost effective shipping method. 
  • Orders usually take 15-30 days to be delivered. 
  • No delivery to PO boxes and APO addresses.
  • No shipping internationally.
  • Free shipping is an option and can be found sometimes on the Bowflex website, FaceBook and other social media sites.
  • Once order has been processed, it cannot be canceled. A return would be the only option after processing.

If without shipping coupon, it's best to research shipping companies besides Bowflex. Shipping can be very expensive with fitness equipment. Curbside delivery is usually the only option with fitness equipment companies. 

Business Credibility

Bowflex is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau, but Nautilus Inc, owned by Bowflex, has a B- rating. Factors that evaluate a rating stem from number of complaints and length of time the company has been in business. Most complaints with Nautilus were problems with products. Delivery and warranty issues were minimal.

Comments Bowflex Xtreme SE Home Gym

Product stands up to its hype-Sherilyn Merritt

“I debated over a year to purchase the Bowflex. I decided to give it a try. Easy to manipulate and I get a great work-out. Love it”

It will change your life-Stephan

“Great piece of equipment. Easy to assemble.”

Bowflex purchase-Chrystal H. Powell

“Extremely quick delivery.”

Pro-Form Fitness

Pro-Form Fitness is the number one choice with fitness enthusiasts when it comes to treadmills. The company with a trusted history of 40 years offers an extensive line of diverse exercise products from easy to handle treadmills to ellipticals for the elite athlete. Pro-Form came into existence 50 years ago selling sport nutrition products and lifestyle magazines. It was acquired by ICON in 1988 and achieved magical success with a number of quality and performance certificates and awards.  Their treadmills, commended for being “quiet as a mouse”, are probably the most recognized product and are equipped for the beginner new to exercise or the athlete seriously committed to accomplish elite goals. 



  • Power Series
  • Pro Series
  • Boston Marathon Series
  • Performance series


  • Front Drive Series
  • Rear Drive Series
  • Hybrid Series

Exercise Bikes

  • Tour de France Series
  • Recumbent Series
  • Hybrid Series
  • GT Series


  • Clean Energy Drinks
  • Skinny Meal Replacement
  • Accessory Kits
  • Floor mats

Shipping Policy

Smaller items are shipped by UPS Ground and a list of the freight companies are listed on their website under Shipping Policies for larger items. Delivery is only done curbside.

A signature is always required for delivery. If 3 calls are attempted to deliver the product and no response, the company will have it sent back to their warehouse with a 10 percent restocking fee. Orders cannot be sent to PO boxes.  Video tutorials are available on their website for assembly of product and maintenance. Once item is shipped, payment by credit card will be billed. The company takes Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express. The BillMeLater by PayPal is also an option.

Warranty Policy

Pro-Form offers a prestigious warranty and all that’s needed is to register the product online. If the equipment needs replacement parts or repaired, authorized service centers are provided by the company. Also offered is an Extended Service Plan with benefits:

Comments on the Pro-Form 505 CST Treadmill


Jaclyn Womack

“The IFit cost about $130, but the website offers it free for a year. It tracks calories, work-outs and measurements-pretty nifty! We are not runners, so take this for what it’s worth. The 10 percent incline and the maximum speed serves the need for 2 fairly sedentary people just getting back to being active. Good entry level machine.”

Syed Hashmi

“Great product for the price, terrible assembly experience!”


“Great treadmill, happy with purchase. Much quieter than last treadmill.”

Smooth Fitness

Surviving as a store-front retail establishment back in 1984 in Philadelphia, Smooth Fitness has always known how to stay one step ahead of their competition. Their unique business model helped them realize in 1996 that businesses were heading for online stores, so they set sail to open the first internet fitness company selling best-in-class equipment from factory to home. Customers have benefited cost savings up to 50 percent due to factory direct buying power. The company also prides themselves with customer satisfaction offering full refunds and impressive warranties.


Equipment all comes with a Buying Guide including:

  • Comparing brands
  • Care
  • Reviews
  • Details



Exercise Bikes

Home Gyms

Cross Training

Accessories that include heart monitors, Videos, Supplements


Smooth Fitness paves a strong lead with warranties offering lifetime coverage on their treadmill motors and frames. There is a 3 year to lifetime coverage for parts and electronics as well as a 2 year coverage for any in-home service. Elliptical machines have a similar warranty and both are for equipment used in home only. Smooth Fitness stands behind their products and are dedicated to keep their customers happy.

Spokesperson Dorothy Hamill

Backing their products is Dorothy Hamill, Olympic gold medalist ice skater and breast cancer survivor.  Dorothy is thrilled to be a part of Smooth Fitness. Dorothy claims she enjoys the variety in the extensive line of products. Dorothy’s commitment to health compliments Smooth fitness’s mission to help people lead healthier lifestyles.

Return Policy

Clear and to the point, Smooth Fitness’s website provides step by step details on returns. Here are a few conditions of their liberal return policy:

  • Offer a 60-day return policy before April 10, 2013 and after September 4, 2013.
  • Company advises holding onto all paperwork for 60 days.
  • Refunds do not include shipping. The company is dedicated to customer satisfaction.


Delivery promotions are common with Smooth Fitness so it’s wise to keep a look out for discounts, offers and coupons for shipping. Curbside delivery is standard with no cost. Other options are available for additional fees. Their website explains the options and are offered at time of order.


Smooth Fitness Treadmill and Elliptical Reviews

Elizabeth, August 2013

“The Elliptical is smooth indeed.”

Kathleen, April 2013

“The delivery people were very nice. They cleaned up all the packing material.”

John B. April 2013

“Thanks for the quick response.”


What we have here are three outstanding companies, each offering unique, state-of-the-art fitness equipment, but solely standing apart from each other. Bowflex, with a long history of research in engineering refinement, offers a unique home gym that can help anyone achieve quick results. Their 6-Week Promise is a step ahead of other establishments and they continue their success with innovative products. Smooth Fitness carries the prize for cost effective equipment. Being the first online fitness store, they have kept their business strong with excellent customer service, value and quality. Their 60-Day Satisfaction Guarantee (current promotion) along with strong warranties gives them a lead in customer service. ProForm stays recognized with their treadmills and doesn't leave any buyer out in the cold, offering equipment diversity for all. All three companies are here to stay.

Additional Information
Bowflex Coupon Code: DFMAP1 - Free Shipping and Mat with SelectTech DumbBells - Activate
Bowflex Coupon Code: GFUFMAP2 - Free Mat and Resistance Upgrade with Any Purchase of Bowflex Home Gym - Activate
Bowflex Coupon Code: SAVE12A - $25 Off On Orders $350 or More / $100 Off On Orders $500 or More - Activate
Smooth Fitness
Smooth Fitness Coupon: Free Shipping - Activate
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