my mom has had a bowflex for a few years, but it has been in pieces for a few months since she moved early last year. i just moved back to town ans thought i should put it back together for her and start using it myself. as far the the number listed on the rods im not sure its a direct weight number, and it seams to be a progressive weight increase rather than a static one. still for what i want out of it and that its free for me to use its all good. My main goal right now is to use the machine to increase my arm strength untill i can do some body weight exercises easier. i can do about 25 pushups but then im rather wobley for a while. and if im lucky i can do about 5 pull ups. so i plan on using this till i can more easily handle my body weight. im doing 5 exercises. i use the pull down bar, palms facing away on the padded portion the lower handles and do a rowing? motion. but i keep my back straight and just use my arms and shoulder muscles back to the pull down bar, but change my grip to palms facing me and centered in the middle of the bar. change the carabiners holding the bar to handles and do a push up motion standing up. thn i use the lower handles again and do bicep curls. i started out at 80 lbs total and 20 reps (was a decent exercise then ) for everything a few weeks ago. take a 30 min break and do it again. for a total of three sets. take a day off then do it again. i was told that was to much weight and i should lower the weight and increase the reps so i changed it to 60 lbs and 40 reps for all but the bicep curls i kept at 20 reps. after a week or so of that i increased the reps to 60. Last wed i decided it was getting easier so i changed it to 70 lbs took an extra day off and picked it up again last sat. today i just brought it back up to the original 80 lbs for 60 reps on the main 4 and still 20 on the bicep curl. was told yet again i was doing it wrong and if i could do that many reps than i was using to little weight and i should use more and go down to 20 reps or so. as i said my goal is to more easily lift my body weight, and eventually be able to do more than a small handfull of reps on a solid surface without needing the machine as a handi cap. i like climbing and want to be able to do it longer. so im trying to be able to increase my muscle endurance to be able to do that untill im done having my fun not when my muscles give out in a few min. i apologize for the long post but rather than keep adding details later i thought it best to try and get in all in one shot.