Bowflex Max Trainer Series Comparison
It’s that time of year again! Where we make our resolutions to get back in shape and burn off that holiday weight we put on during the winter months. But this year has been a little different hasn’t it? The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has made getting out and exercising a little more difficult than it has been in the past. That’s why there has been no better time to look at some home fitness equipment so that you can work out and get fit, all in the comfort and safety of your own home. Who knows when we will be able to get back out to gyms or fitness centers? Being able to improve your fitness at home is the best way to ensure that you stay on top of your health in these uncertain times.
Bowflex has been a trusted name in home fitness equipment since 1986 when it entered the market with its patented resistance strength training line of machines. Since then, Bowflex has expanded its product lines to include exercise bikes, treadmills, free weights, and of course, its popular line of Max Trainer home elliptical machines. Elliptical machines continue to be one of the most popular pieces of fitness equipment because they provide a nice low impact exercise while allowing for a full body workout for your arms, legs, and cardiovascular system.
In this article, we will review the five models of the Bowflex Max Trainers which include: the Bowflex Max Trainer M3, M5, M7, M8, and the top-of-the-line Max Trainer Total. We will review the technical specifications, the monitor and console, the stride and incline, the handlebars and pedals, the accessories and assembly, and of course, the warranty, price, and shipping. After reading our product reviews, you will be able to determine which Bowflex Max Trainer elliptical machine is the right fit for you!
- Bowflex Max 3 Review
- Bowflex Max 5 Review
- Bowflex Max 6 Review
- Bowflex Max 7 Review
- Bowflex Max 8 Review
- Bowflex Max Total Review
Compare The BowFlex Max Trainers:
|Bowflex Max Trainer Total||49.2”L x 30.5”W x 65.1”H||148 lbs||300 lbs||20 Electronic Magnetic & Air||Wide|
|Bowflex Max Trainer M8||47.9”L x 30.8”W x 65.2”H||148 lbs||300 lbs||20 Electronic Magnetic & Air||Wide|
|Bowflex Max Trainer M7||49”L x 30.5”W x 65.6”H||148 lbs||300 lbs||20 Electronic Magnetic & Air||Wide|
|Bowflex Max Trainer M6||46”L x 26”W x 64.2”H||148 lbs||300 lbs||16 Electronic Magnetic & Air||Narrow|
|Bowflex Max Trainer M5||46.1”L x 25”W x 62.9”H||143 lbs||300 lbs||16 Electronic Magnetic & Air||Narrow|
|Bowflex Max Trainer M3||49”L x 26”W x 64.7”H||143 lbs||300 lbs||8 Manual Magnetic & Air||Narrow|
Although the Bowflex Max Trainer line of home elliptical machines may look imposing, the innovative, space-saving design actually allows for a smaller footprint then you may think. All five models have approximately the same dimensions and weights, which is a sure sign that Bowflex has built these machines on essentially the same platform and used the same parts. At 143 lbs for the entry level M3 and M5 units, and only five pounds more for the M7, M8, and Total, the Bowflex Max Trainer line is quite light for industry standards, especially with how sturdy the machines feel.
Each Bowflex Max Trainer has a manufacturer’s suggested weight capacity of 300 lbs, which is right on par for the home fitness machine market. This means that the Bowflex Max Trainer machines can accommodate users of all shapes and sizes. Users of any height can also use any Bowflex Max Trainer with great comfort, something that is not always true for home elliptical machines. The suggested clearance height for the machine is the user’s height plus 15”.
As is usually the case, the resistance levels increase as you move up the Bowflex Max Trainer line of machines, starting with 8 for the M3 and jumping to 20 for the higher end models. The entry level M3 model is the only one that comes with manual resistance settings, as the other models come with a digital resistance system that is automated. Even though it is manual, the M3 still allows you to switch the resistance levels at the flick of a dial and remain in total control of the difficulty of your workout.
Bowflex Max Trainers Monitors:
|Bowflex Max Trainer Total||Yes||JRNY/Explore the World||8||Included Chest Strap||No||No cooling fan|
|Bowflex Max Trainer M8||Yes||JRNY/Explore the World||29||Included Chest Strap||Yes||No cooling fan|
|Bowflex Max Trainer M7||Yes||Max Trainer App||11||Included Chest Strap||Yes||No cooling fan|
|Bowflex Max Trainer M6||Yes||Max Trainer App||29||Included Chest Strap||Yes||No cooling fan|
|Bowflex Max Trainer M5||Yes||Max Trainer App||8||Included Chest Strap||Yes||No cooling fan|
|Bowflex Max Trainer M3||No||None||2||Included Chest Strap||Yes||No cooling fan|
These days, the monitor and console of a home fitness machine is just as important to users as the machine performance itself and Bowflex definitely has you covered. Every model in the Bowflex Max Trainer line comes with a standard backlit console that provides users with the standard vitals like time, distance, heart rate, and of course, the large meter on the top of the console that is Bowflex’s patented calorie burn rate.
The entry level Bowflex Max Trainer M3 is the only model that does not come with Bluetooth connectivity or app integration with a mobile device. Bowflex offers users the ability to transfer workout data over to your Max Trainer app or Bowflex JRNY app, depending on the model. The top of the line models like the Bowflex Max Trainer M8 and Max Total even come with integration with the Explore the World app which allows users to exercise while travelling through distant and exotic real-world locations.
Once you get to the Bowflex Max Trainer M7 model, the console begins to come equipped with LCD screens. The M8 comes with enhanced LED and LCD screens, and the Bowflex Max Trainer Total even comes with an exclusive Samsung touch screen console where users can use programs like Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime to stream their favorite shows while they workout. The Max Trainer Total even comes with the Bowflex Max app which can provide individualized and professional workouts from virtual coaches.
The Stride and Incline:
|Bowflex Max Trainer Total||10" Step on height||Travels up and down up to 12"||4" Horizontal|
|Bowflex Max Trainer M8||10" Step on height||Travels up and down up to 12"||4" Horizontal|
|Bowflex Max Trainer M7||10" Step on height||Travels up and down up to 12"||4" Horizontal|
|Bowflex Max Trainer M6||10" Step on height||Travels up and down up to 12"||4" Horizontal|
|Bowflex Max Trainer M5||10" Step on height||Travels up and down up to 12"||4" Horizontal|
|Bowflex Max Trainer M3||10" Step on height||Travels up and down up to 12"||4" Horizontal|
The Bowflex Max Trainer line of home elliptical machines are unique in that the motion users use with the machine is not the classic elliptical movement. Because of their unique design, the Bowflex Max Trainers utilize a step like motion which more resembles climbing stairs than what people may be used to on ellipticals. For this reason, Bowflex does not provide actual measurements for their stride or inclines.
Bowflex also does not provide electric incline adjustments like any other home elliptical machines do. In this way, we can consider the Bowflex Max Trainer line to be static and non-adjustable incline, which of course may turn some people off of it. While this may be an issue on a standard elliptical machine, the innovative design and unique movement, provide users with plenty of challenges, especially given the many resistance levels that can be deployed.
The Handlebars and Pedals:
|Bowflex Max Trainer Total||No convenient controls||Extra hand-grips||Ergonomic padding||Yes|
|Bowflex Max Trainer M8||2 Convenient controls||Extra hand-grips||Ergonomic padding||No|
|Bowflex Max Trainer M7||4 Convenient controls||Standard hand-grips||Ergonomic padding||No|
|Bowflex Max Trainer M6||No convenient controls||Standard hand-grips||Standard||No|
|Bowflex Max Trainer M5||No convenient controls||Standard hand-grips||Standard||No|
|Bowflex Max Trainer M3||No convenient controls||Standard hand-grips||Standard||No|
Each Bowflex Max Trainer model comes equipped with two sets of handlebars: one static pair that sits below the center console, and one mobile pair that can be used for the classic elliptical motion. For every model except for the entry level Bowflex Max Trainer M3, the status handlebars come with integrated contact grips that can measure your heart rate in real time. While the Max Trainer M8 and Total come with Bluetooth heart rate armbands, they still come with the contact grips as well.
The dynamic handlebars are unique for Bowflex as they are quite short compared to traditional elliptical machines, but still provide multiple grips and ergonomic positioning. They are constructed with high quality materials and move smoothly alongside the foot pedals which allows users to feel comfortable and safe while working out.
The foot pedals for the Bowflex Max Trainer elliptical machines are wide and sturdy, which allows stepping on and off the machine a breeze. They come with a nice grip so that your running shoes do not move, even during the most intense workouts. The pedals also come built with a raised ridge around where your feet are placed so there is no fear of your shoes slipping off the pedal when in use. The M7 and onwards actually come with sleek, stainless steel racing pedals that provide an added degree of style to your machine.
Accessories and Assembly:
|Bowflex Max Trainer Total||Tablet holder||With bottle holder||Included||Moderate|
|Bowflex Max Trainer M8||Tablet holder||With bottle holder||Included||Moderate|
|Bowflex Max Trainer M7||Tablet holder||With bottle holder||Included||Moderate|
|Bowflex Max Trainer M6||Tablet holder||With bottle holder||Included||Moderate|
|Bowflex Max Trainer M5||Tablet holder||Without bottle holder||Included||Moderate|
|Bowflex Max Trainer M3||Tablet holder||Without bottle holder||Included||Moderate|
As can be expected with a high end, premium brand name like Bowflex, you are going to get a lot of accessories for the machine. We already covered the different consoles and Bluetooth connectivity options for each model, but we will reiterate that the top of the line Max Total comes with the Samsung touch screen console with the ability to stream your favorite programs. Each machine comes with a media shelf to hold your mobile phone or tablet, and a water bottle holder to ensure you stay hydrated during your workout.
From the Bowflex Max Trainer M6 model and onwards, you get a built in USB charging port to keep your connected mobile devices fully charged for after your workout. The M8 model comes equipped with a high-tech magnetic media rack for your smartphone or tablet. Bowflex also offers a wide selection of add-on accessories including the Max Total Media Rack which allows you to add on streaming and program viewing, as well as the added functionality of being able to do video calls or chats.
Assembly is a little complicated for the Bowflex Max Trainer home elliptical machines, so Bowflex provides full in-home assembly for an added fee. Otherwise you can undertake assembling the machine yourself using Bowflex’s free installation videos. While it can certainly be completed by one person, it is always safer to have a second person for support and moving the machine around when fully assembled.
Warranty, Price, and Shipping:
|Bowflex Max Trainer Total||$3799.99||3 years frame + parts, 90 days labor||48 L x 27 W x 22 H||Box weight 150 lbs|
|Bowflex Max Trainer M8||$3049.99||3 years frame + parts, 90 days labor||48 L x 27 W x 22 H||Box weight 150 lbs|
|Bowflex Max Trainer M7||$2,299.99||3 years frame + parts, 90 days labor||48 L x 27 W x 22 H||Box weight 160 lbs|
|Bowflex Max Trainer M6||$2,249.99||3 years frame + parts, 90 days labor||48 L x 27 W x 22 H||Box weight 160 lbs|
|Bowflex Max Trainer M5||$1999.99||2 years frame + parts||48 L x 27 W x 22 H||Box weight 160 lbs|
|Bowflex Max Trainer M3||$1299.99||1 years frame + parts||48 L x 27 W x 22 H||Box weight 160 lbs|
You can tell Bowflex believes in its products because it offers a strong warranty for all of its models. The entry level M3 comes with the shortest warrant of only one year, while higher end models come with up to three year warranties for the frame and parts. It is not uncommon for a company to offer a longer warranty for its higher end products, especially when they come equipped with more technology and features that could break down.
Shipping varies, depending on where you are ordering from and can take anywhere up to three months in the current COVID-19 environment. Due to the heavy demand for at home fitness equipment, the Bowflex Max Trainer models may be sold out on the Bowflex website and on other sites like Amazon. For shipping to Canada, there is a flat shipping rate of $150 that is added on to the cost of your machine.
Now, having read about the Bowflex Max Trainer machines, you can suspend that the price tags are not cheap. For the higher end models you are definitely right, but considering all of the features you get, as well as the trusted Bowflex brand name, even the top of the line models can be seen as reasonably priced compared to the home elliptical market. Bowflex also gives you the option to finance the machines on a monthly payment plan, if the full price tag is a bit too hefty to pay all at once.
Why the Bowflex Max Trainers?
Bowflex is the brand name that people have trusted now for 35 years as a leader in the home fitness industry. If you want an innovative, space-saving design that still provides an excellent workout and cutting edge technology, you are going to love the Bowflex Max Trainer home elliptical line. The user reviews are almost universally positive for these machines, and Bowflex knows how to win the trust of users by providing one of the strongest warranties in the industry.
Nearly every model in the Bowflex Max Trainer home elliptical line comes with standard features and accessories that most other brands only provide on their highest-end models. Bluetooth connectivity is standard on every model except for the entry level M3 model, as is integrated app compatibility with Bowflex’s various fitness apps. The top of the line Bowflex Max Total provides the piece de resistance, with the exclusive Samsung touch screen console that allows users to stream shows or movies through Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.
Finally, if all of that was not enough, the performance of the machine is exceptional and absolutely up to par with the high standard that Bowflex is known for. The smooth, unique motion of the Bowflex Max Trainer machines more closely resemble a stairmaster than a classic elliptical, but users agree the workout is just as challenging. While the price may be a bit rich for some users, you definitely know you are getting the highest quality machine for your money. It should come as no surprise to anyone, that Bowflex has a hard time keeping these machines on their shelves!
If you want high quality and high performance you are going to have to pay, and the cost is one of the things about Bowflex that may turn some penny pinchers off. For those who are willing to pay for a trusted brand name and a premium workout experience, the Bowflex Max Trainer home elliptical machines are the ones for you. After 35 years as a home fitness industry leader, Bowflex backs up its reputation with an awesome warranty and great customer service. There is simply no other way to say it: if you go with Bowflex, you can count on the highest degree of quality and a lifestyle change that will help keep you on top of your fitness. Visit www.Bowflex.com today to check out which model of the Max Trainer home elliptical line is the one for you!