Bowflex Max 5 Review (Updated in 2021)

Max 5 Overview

The Bowflex Max M5 elliptical trainer is the second entry in the Max Series but it has been discontinued and replaced by the Max M6. However, you can still find Max M5 on Amazon and other sites. This is definitely a good option for you to consider because it’s a premium model and it can be found at an affordable price. Not as affordable as the Max M3, but it does have a lot more accessories and features to offer. In today’s Bowflex Max M5 review, we will discuss all the features this machine provides so you can decide if it’s the right choice for you.

The Bowflex Max M5 cross trainer is a super compact machine but it’s still very powerful. It’s packed with features that will help beginner, intermediate, and advanced users to reach their fitness goals. The Max M5 elliptical is super efficient and it’s the perfect combination between an elliptical and a stepper. It supports full-body workouts that are intense and have a low impact on your joints. If you want to burn calories 2.5 times faster than with a treadmill, this is the right machine for you.

The Bowflex Max M5 elliptical trainer features 16 resistance levels, 9 preset workout programs, moving handlebars, comfortable pedals, and it’s Bluetooth enabled, it can connect to the free Max Trainer app, which is available for Android and iOS. It also comes with a water bottle holder, a tablet holder, and speakers. Wireless heart rate monitoring is also available, the warranty is decent, and it’s a comfortable machine. Overall, the Bowflex Max M5 is a compact and powerful option that can accommodate many different users and challenge trainees of all levels of expertise.

Bowflex Max 5 Review and Details
Heart Rate:
Pulse and Chest Strap Power Source:AC Adapter
USB Charging Port:
VerticalFlywheel Weight:N/A
3-Year Parts | 90-Day LaborCompact:Yes
Machine Weight:140 LbsFolding:No
Dimensions:49"L X 30"W X 65"HSpeaker:No
Max user weight:300 LbsCooling Fan:No
Resistance: 16-Level ElectromagneticMedia Shelf:Yes
Incline Ramp:FixedBottle Holder:Yes
Stride Length:FixedHandlebars:No Built-in Controls
Programs: 8Verdict:Good Value Under $1500

Bowflex Max M5 Review and Specs:

The Bowflex Max M5 weight capacity stands at 300 pounds, which is great because the higher the maximum user weight, the more stable will the machine be during super intense workouts. The Bowflex M5 machine dimensions are 46″ L x 25″ W x 63″ H, which means this is a super compact machine. If you don’t have much space in your home gym, the Max Trainer M5 can be the perfect option for you. It has a small footprint and a sleek design, so you’ll be able to find the right place for it in your home gym and it will look great.

The Bowflex Max M5 weighs only 143 pounds, so it’s not difficult to move around. It’s not foldable, so you won’t be able to tuck it away, but since it’s such a compact and light machine, you won’t have an issue moving it when you need to. When it comes to Bowflex Max M5 ceiling height requirement, you will need the ceiling to be at least 15” taller than you are. The Bowflex Max m5 requires an external power source and it includes 120V 60Hz Input, 9VDC, 1500mA Output power adapter.

The Bowflex Max M5 will accommodate users from 5’4” to 6’8” tall, so multiple users under one roof will be able to take advantage of this machine. It’s clear the Bowflex Max M5 is designed to be used by users of multiple levels of expertise but it’s also very accommodating when it comes to height and weight. It will be comfortable for different people, which means everyone at home will be able to take advantage of this elliptical. In the rest of our Bowflex Max M5 review, we’ll focus on all the features and accessories it has to offer, so let’s continue!

Bowflex Max M5 Monitor

This is where the M5 brings a lot more to the table than the previously reviewed Max M3. The Bowflex Max M5 backlit display will show the intensity, the total calories burned, and all the feedback you need. The Max M5 is also Bluetooth enabled with Bluetooth 4.0 and it can sync to the Max Trainer app. This will allow you to set, monitor, and track your fitness goals. Not to mention you’ll also be able to enjoy video workouts from professional trainers. The app is available for Android and iOS devices and it’s free to download. Additionally, the Bowflex Max M5 allows you to set 2 user profiles.

The Bowflex Max M5 features 8 workout programs as well as 16 resistance levels. Among the workout programs, you’ll have Max Interval, Smart Max Interval, Calorie Burn, Fat Burn, Calorie Goal, Stairs, Steady State, Fitness Test, and a manual mode you can set up yourself. As you can see, the Max M5 provides all the classic workout programs and will allow you to exercise your body in different ways. The Max Interval and Smart Max Internal programs are particularly challenging and they can help users burn around 225% more calories than a standard elliptical.

The Bowflex Max M5 also offers heart-rate monitoring which is integrated in the grips of the handlebars. So, the machine will track your heart rate the entire time you’re using it. It also includes a chest strap you can easy, but if you find this annoying, you can trust the contact heart-rate monitoring on the handlebars. Overall, the Bowflex Max M5 provides all the features you need to lose weight effectively and challenge your entire body without putting strain on your joints.

Bowflex Max M5 Stride and Incline

The Bowflex Max M5 doesn’t have stride and it doesn’t have incline either. This is because the Bowflex Max trainers are a combination of an elliptical and a stepper, so it’s different than a standard elliptical. The elliptical path on the Max M5 is 10” vertical and 4” horizontal. This means the pedaling motion is a lot more similar to that of a stairmaster than an elliptical machine. The impact on your joints will be minimal and you’ll have a greater range of motions.

The Bowflex Max M5 Q factor, which the space between the pedals, is around 1.5”. This means the machine allows your feet to have a natural position so no stress is placed on knees and ankles. One of the best features of the Bowflex Max M5 is the resistance which is magnetic and motorized. It also provides 16 different levels for users to play with. This resistance variety makes it possible for beginner, intermediate and advanced trainees to challenge themselves during their workouts.

Even though the Bowflex Max M5 is not a standard elliptical, it still provides many of the benefits. Overall, this is a machine that accommodates many different users and will provide a healthy challenge for everyone, no matter their fitness level. It will also help you lose weight effectively and it engages your upper body as well as you upper body without causing any issues.

Bowflex Max M5 Handlebars and Pedals

The Bowflex Max M5 features two sets of handlebars because it has mobile and fixed handlebars. The mobile handlebars feature two long strips so you can enjoy multiple workout postures. These handlebars are attached to the pulley and pedal system of the Max M5 so they won’t remain stationary as long as you’re using the machine because they will move when you pedal.

The fixed handlebars have short grips and they have the pulse monitors so you can keep an eye on your heart rate as you go through your workout. Both handlebar sets have an ergonomic design. The Bowflex Max M5 pedals are also quite comfortable because they’re oversized and they also have lateral and front guards so you can have more stability. The pedals also feature rubberized inserts for a better grip, which also helps reduce impact on your joints. The outer layers of the pedals are also rubberized, which means they won’t make much noise and they will contribute to a smoother experience.

The pedals are super sturdy as well and they have a better design than the M3. Overall, The Bowflex Max M5 provides all the features to make sure users are comfortable and safe during their workouts. The handlebars and pedals are not an exception. They contribute a great deal to the user experience, which is why they’ve made sure to design them well.

Bowflex Max M5 Accessories and Assembly

The Bowflex Max M5 is not only packed with all the features you need from a trainer to achieve your fitness goals. It’s also full of features that add to your user experience and allow you to take a lot more advantage of the machine. For example, the Bowflex Max M5 is Bluetooth enabled. This means you will be able to sync the machine to the free Bowflex app. The Bowflex Max M5 also has a water bottle holder and a tablet holder so you can enjoy your entertainment. The Max M5 tablet holder is compatible with all tablet and smartphone models out there.

Another great thing about the Bowflex Max M5 is that it comes with speakers you can use via Bluetooth. The speakers work just fine and you will have no problem listening to your music during your workouts as long you turn the volume up! The Bowflex Max M5 assembly process is straightforward, but some users find it cumbersome. It will take around an hour to put together the machine because it’s so compact.

If you’re assembling the Bowflex Max M5 on your own, you may need an extra pair of hands. There are also video guides you can use if you don’t think the instructions offer enough guidance. But if you don’t want to do this yourself, you can benefit from hiring professional services. This will save you time and effort, but it will cost you extra. Overall, the Max M5 is not more difficult to assemble than other exercise machines.

Bowflex Max M5 Warranty, Price, and Shipping

The Bowflex Max M5 comes with a decent warranty. They provide a 2-year warranty for the entire machine, so if anything happens to your machine, they will take care of it. There’s also a 6-week return policy, so if you decide you’re not happy with the machine, you can get a refund. Of course, the warranty coverage will seem a bit short if you compare it to other machines. However, it seems to be enough.

If you happen to have issues with the machine, the Bowflex customer service has your back. To contact them, all you need to do is call 1 (800) 605 – 3369. If you have any doubts or are experiencing issues with the elliptical, you can contact them and they will clear things up for you.

As mentioned before, the Bowflex Max M5 has been discontinued so you won’t find it in Bowflex’s website. But you can find it on Amazon for around $2,600. This is a lot more expensive than the Max M3. However, it provides a ton more features, meaning you’ll get a lot more value for your money. It’s just a matter of determining if this is the right long-term machine for the fitness goals you want to achieve in the long run. After all, it is an investment and you need to make the right choice for you.

Bowflex Max M5 Pros and Cons

  • It helps users obliterate calories.
  • 16 resistance levels and 8 workout programs.
  • Small footprint, compact size.
  • Water bottle holder and Tablet holder.
  • Speakers included and Bluetooth enabled.
  • It engages the upper and lower body effectively.
  • Features stationary and mobile handlebars.
  • Wireless heart rate monitoring.
  • Chest strap included and 2 user profiles.
  • It accommodates users of all sizes.
  • Perfect for beginner, intermediate, and advanced trainees.
  • Oversized and comfortable pedals.
  • Sleek design, lightweight yet sturdy.
  • The warranty is a bit short.
  • It is a bit loud because of air-magnetic resistance.
  • Assembly can be stressful.
  • No cooling fans.
  • No built-in controls on the moving handlebars.

Bowflex Max M5 Final Verdict

The Bowflex Max M5 can be a great choice for your home gym. It’s effective, packed with features, sturdy, and it provides everything you need to achieve your fitness goals. It’s best suited to people who want to burn calories quickly and it accommodates to users of different levels of expertise. It can be a great addition to your home gym if this is the kind of machine you’re looking for!

Bowflex BXE326 EllipticalBowflex BXE326 Elliptical reviewGood Value Under $1500Check on Amazon400 LBs77" L x 31" W x 70" H25 Electromagnetic Levels11 Workouts22" FixedYes
Bowflex BXE226 EllipticalBowflex BXE226 Elliptical reviewGood Value Under $1500Check on Amazon375 LBs77" L x 31" W x 70" H25 Electromagnetic Levels9 Workouts22" FixedYes
Bowflex LateralX LX5Bowflex LateralX LX5 reviewGood Value Under $2000Check on Amazon300 LBs63" L x 53" W x 46" H10 Electromagnetic Levels10 WorkoutsLateral AdjustableYes
Bowflex LateralX LX3Bowflex LateralX LX3 reviewGood Value Under $1500Check on Amazon300 LBs63" L x 53" W x 46" H8 Electromagnetic Levels7 WorkoutsLateral AdjustableYes
Bowflex Max Trainer M3Bowflex Max Trainer 3 reviewGood Value Under $1000Check on Amazon300 LBs46" L x 25" W x 63" H8 Electromagnetic Levels and Fan Resistance2 Workouts4" Fore/Aft | 8" VerticalNo
Bowflex Max Trainer M5Bowflex Max Trainer 5 reviewGood Value Under $1500Check on Amazon300 LBs46" L x 25" W x 63" H16 Electromagnetic Levels and Fan Resistance9 Workouts4" Fore/Aft | 8" VerticalYes
Bowflex Max Trainer M7Bowflex Max Trainer 7 reviewGood Value Under $2000Check on Amazon300 LBs46" L x 30" W x 65" H20 Electromagnetic Levels and Fan Resistance11 Workouts4" Fore/Aft | 8" VerticalYes
Bowflex Max Trainer M8Bowflex Max Trainer 8 reviewGood Value Under $2500Check on Amazon300 LBs49" L x 30" W x 65" H20 Electromagnetic Levels and Fan Resistance7 Workouts4" Fore/Aft | 8" VerticalYes
Bowflex Max Trainer TotalBowflex Max Trainer Total reviewGood Value Under $3000Check on Amazon300 LBs57" L x 34" W x 65" H16 Electromagnetic and Fan Resistance8 Workouts4" Fore/Aft | 8" VerticalYes

Sayed Hamed Hosseiny
Sayed Hamed Hosseiny

Hi, my name is Sayed Hamed Hosseiny. I am a professional health and fitness trainer with nearly 20 years of experience using ellipticals, rowing machines, and spin bikes. I also have my own EU-based Rock Fitness Pro fitness brand where I design, import and sell exercise equipment such as rowing machines and spin bikes. I and writers on my team also often receive fitness equipment to review and evaluate their functionalities and performance from tens of different exercise machines manufacturers. Fitness equipment tips, guides, reviews, and comparisons on this website are my opinion (and opinions of my fitness expert colleagues) based on tens of criteria. I never accept payment to write reviews of products or say positive things about fitness equipment products. If brands are interested to have me review their rowers, ellipticals, or spin bikes, they can get in touch with me via email provided on the contact page and send a sample of their product.