I joined my local volunteer fire department a little over 2 years ago. I went through my initial training in the 1st 6 months. Once I completed the initial schooling, I had the option to take an additional state-level test to give me a higher level of certification. I knew that, especially being a woman, and not being very physically strong, I was going to have to work at it. I had heard from others firefighters (some that did not pass the test) that it was a physically demanding test. I had joined Curves for Women (a workout center for women only) just to get myself moving more, as I was too intimidated to go to a "real gym". I found out quickly that it wasn't for me. The environment wasn't my thing, and the machines did not challenge me enough. Frankly it bored me to tears and I dreaded going.
I started looking at my other options. I didn't want to join a gym as I live in an extremely rural area and there aren't any close by. I kept seeing the Bowlfex commercials on TV. You've seen them I'm sure. So I bet you know the basics, and how they work on power rod technology. So I decided to start checking out prices. I came across a good deal on the Sears website. They had a sale, and they threw in the leg attachment for free, which I really wanted. It normally only came on the more expensive models that I couldn't afford, but for free I was loving the idea. I purchased online to get the sale price and picked it up in the store. We definitely needed a truck and some help loading it. We got it home and my husband had it assembled in about 2 hours.
It is a tall machine, as it has the overhead lat tower. It is a space saving design, but it still takes up a good size area, but I have it in a spare room. I also have a TV in there, making it more inviting to work out. I prefer my workouts in the morning, because at night I have too much going on. Either way, you have to make a commitment and stick to it. You can't build muscle by using it to hang clothes on. I started out working out every day. Then I read that this isn't a good idea. So I went to every other day. I noticed an big difference in my strenth. Am I "ripped" yet? No. Do I feel better? Yes. Some weeks I slack off, and I can notice the difference in my energy level. I need to get back into my routine.
The machine itself is easy to use. It comes with a DVD and booklet to show you each exercise and how to do it. You can customize your workout to work specific muscle groups. Oh, and that certification test I told you about? Yeah, I passed it with flying colors, while some men didn't. Carrying a ladder up another ladder 3 stories while wearing an additional 50 pounds of gear when they're timing you is a real workout. And my Bowflex Extreme helped me get it done.