The Soloflex home gym went out of production several years ago, so, if you're reading this, chances are you got a good deal on a used machine but the instructions were missing. Fear not: The Soloflex is one of the easier, if not the easiest, home gyms to assemble. It requires a single bolt, and there's only one general rule to remember when adjusting the main bar for different exercises.
The hardest part about putting the Soloflex together is carrying the heavy main frame piece, an iron L-shaped frame to which all the other pieces connect; it weighs more than 50 pounds. Bolt the shorter metal plank into the shorter end of the main frame. After that, the metal leg pieces that support the bench are simply placed in the two holes on that metal plank, with the legs leaning outward, not inward.
The rear end of the bench rests on those legs. At the bottom of the front end of the bench, there are two metal "ears," each of which contains a hole for attaching the black bench pin into the front of the main frame. This design allows you to raise the bench for various exercises like incline bench press, leg raises or sit-ups.
There are now three main remaining pieces: a barbell arm (used for most exercises); a stainless steel barbell arm pin for attaching the arm to the main frame; and a two-piece load pin that screws together after each end is inserted into any one of the holes on the main frame. The load pin will always be two holes away (below or above, depending on the exercise) from the stainless steel barbell arm pin. Like the bench, the barbell piece also contains two ears with holes and is placed around the mainframe, with a pin securing it in place. The barbell also has built-in pins that hold the rubber resistance bands.
One end of a resistance band is connected to the load pin, while the other is connected to the barbell's built-in pin. Remember, there should always be two empty holes between where the barbell and load pins are attached to the main frame.
Here is the other universal rule for using a Soloflex: For pushing exercises, like the bench press, military press and leg press, the load pin is placed two holes below the barbell. For pulling exercises where you reach up to the bar and bring the weight down to you, like back or bicep pull-downs and triceps extensions, the load pins are placed two holes above the barbell. In every barbell exercise, the barbell's curve is facing downward, not upward.
Attachments and Exercises Without the Bench
An instructional guide at the Soloflex website, www.soloflex.com, provides some instructions for assembling the leg and butterfly attachments. The problem with that guide, though, is that it is for newer models that have a different design on the butterfly extension, and the angles of the instructional photos make it difficult to understand how the pieces fit together.
The butterfly attachments on the older machines don't have detachable arms. So, if your machine is unlike the one in the online guide, place the full butterfly unit around the main frame, with the built-in pins facing up and the hooks on the bottom of the attachment facing down. Those hooks will attach to a straight steel pin (shaped differently than the bench and barbell pins, and thinner than the load pins). That straight pin will hold the attachment in place. The attachment is then secured by placing the barbell arm pin through the holes on the metal ears below the hooks.
Once you understand how the bench, barbell and butterfly attachment are assembled, it's easy to move the equipment around. View the Soloflex website for images of the different exercises; on several standing exercises, note that the bench is placed on the ground perpendicular to the main frame and is used as a balancing device for the machine. Also note that the bench legs can be placed near the bottom of the main frame's front end when performing dips or other exercises that shift weight toward the machine's front end.
Regardless of the machine's age and design, Soloflex representatives remain available by phone to answer questions about assembly and adjustments. Contact them at (800) 547-8802.