I have had this Bowflex for some time now. As I mentioned earlier I never really put together a consistent workout evolution. Well after several days (a week interlude where I was without it and used free weights) of consistent workouts, its time to buy the power rod upgrade. It is definitely a different workout compared to the free weights programs I was used to. It took some time and adaptation but it sure seems like an adequate tool for strength training. I put off upgrading the power rods because I only needed the additional resistance for a few exercises. Now that I have focussed on training and the use of the machine I am pushing the standard configuration to the limits forced to increase reps instead of weight.