The Search For Awesome
Bowflex M7 Max Trainer Review
So I reviewed the Bowflex Max Trainer M5 months ago and ever since then I have been dying to get my hands on one of these things. Even though I said, “I’ll probably get an M3”, I went with the M7. If you don’t know, the M7 is the most expensive version of the Max Trainer available. I only got the M7 because it came with this free mat. Oh, the other ones came with the free mat too? But the M7’s like twice as much as those.
As you probably don’t remember, the M5 that I reviewed was my brother’s so the real reason I got the M7 was so I could look him in the eye and say, “You, me. You, me.”
The real reason why I got the M7 instead of the M3 or the M5, even though it’s super expensive and I’m a really cheap person, is because I had this unique opportunity where money didn’t matter. And, no, we didn’t steal it. And, no, Bowflex didn’t send us one for free. There was nothing nefarious going on here. It was just a unique opportunity and if price didn’t matter, I’m going to go with the expensive one.
I am seriously really excited to finally get one of these things. I’ve wanted one for so long. So let me show it to you.
So this is the Boxflex … I just realized, my head’s chopped off. Smooth.
So this is the Bowflex M7 Max Trainer. I just haven’t put it together yet.
Normally when I’m recording videos in my studio area, what you see through the camera looks nice and clean, but everywhere else is a disaster. So to get this area clean, I had to do some interesting stuff. Check this out. Look at this. It’s like I was playing Tetris.
My brother says that the Max Trainer is easy to set up, but after looking at these boxes, I’m starting to wonder if that was a prank. The box says to open box 2 first. That’s the one. This is the freaking nice instruction booklet. It’s got nice pictures and everything. I like pictures.
Okay, fifteen minutes have passed and I have basically accomplished nothing. The website actually recommends that you have two people do this and I now recommend that as well. Come on. Come on buddy. Come on. Let’s hug it out.
They actually put it on a wood plank for you to start out with, so you just have a solid base to work with. The only plastic pieces I am seeing on this as I’m building it is like this and this and this, but all the guts and stuff seem to be actually real metal.
One hour and 23 minutes in and I just got the pedals here and then these things figured out.
I just got the arms on and it is finally done, two hours, 30 minutes, 32 seconds is the final time. A couple things I would like you to know about the assembly is it’s definitely a beast. It’s a lot of work. I mean, you have a lot of these little Allen wrenches that you’re just doing, you’re doing a lot of this, a ton of it.
Was it like super hard? Not really. Very time-consuming. I definitely think you should have a second person with you. I managed to do it by myself but, you know, I was just being stubborn, so now my back hurts.
So there are some differences between the M7 and the M5 and the M3. For instance, the cup holder on the M7 is right here and on the M5 and M3 it’s back here. Also, the M7’s cup holder is a bit more wide than theirs so it doesn’t really fix the cups snugly. M7 also has a lot of places where you can put your tablet or phone. You can put it right where the cup holder is, you can put it right in front of the screen here or you can put it up here and it’s just kind of up front and center. I really like having my phone or tablet up and front and center, that way I’m looking up and forward versus down or it’s towards the screen. Also, down here it kind of covers up the screen anyway.
Actually, this whole top section up here is sort of exclusive to the M7. In fact, with the other machines it’s actually all embedded into this space. Because I have this whole extra top section here, you have two extra handles and you have these extra button controls up here to control the resistance and the burn rate, which I don’t really use any of that that much, but it’s nice that it’s there.
Another thing they changed about the M7 is it actually has metal feet. I guess the theory is there is it will last a little longer. Honestly, I don’t like the idea of running on metal, but it has these little rubber dots here to kind of soften the blow and make it feel more like a soft surface.
Now the Bowflex Max Trainer M7 has a lot of modes, but the main one that you’re going to want to pay attention to is their Max14 interval mode, which is a 14 minute work out, which is designed to help you burn a lot of calories in that short time period. It’s kind of neat how it works.
So it goes back and forth, back and forth, so right now I need to get it up to this red area, this speedometer up to this red area and I’ve got to hold that for 24 seconds. But then, after that, I get an 80 second recovery period.
So on the carpet, even when it’s on top of the mat, it still shakes a little bit left and right, which I didn’t really like much. So to solve this problem, I just got a piece of plywood exactly the same size as the mat cut for me at Home Depot, so the board goes on top of the mat, which the mat protects the carpet, and the machine goes on top of the board. This way the machine doesn’t shake anywhere close to as much with this solution.
Okay, I’ve spent several weeks with the Bowflex M7 Max Trainer, and I got to say that it is a truly awesome machine and it really kicks your butt in record time. I remember a couple weeks ago I ran like a half mile. I was a little bit tired but I wasn’t sweaty, nothing, like I recovered really easily. Then in just a few minutes on the Bowflex M7 Max Trainer, here comes Niagara, just phoow. It’s really intense. But that’s what I really like about it. You’re packing in an amazing work out into a short period of time.
Now I will say, even though this is a really tough work out, it’s not tough on your joints. I mean, the Max Trainer is really like an elliptical mixed with a stair master. It’s just a really great motion, very low-impact, and just very, very tiring, but it feels great when you’re done.
The machine does take into account the fact that if you are upping the resistance that that indeed is burning more calories. But I’ll say for me, the lower the resistance is, the more calories I can tend to get out. The higher the resistance, the more my thighs and my legs burn. Both are good, so for me, I definitely want to switch back and forth.
I guess the question really is, is the M7 worth all that extra cash? It’s more than twice as expensive as an M3 and it’s almost 50% more expensive than the M5. In terms of the features, unless that having that top display and having the tablet in front of you is just one of those things that you have to have, it and the M5 are pretty solid in the feature list. Yes, the M7 has some more resistance levels, but that’s about it. Everything else is pretty equal.
I’ll leave you with this. I talked with a Bowflex employee when I was purchasing the M7, and I asked him, which one I should buy. Basically what he told me was, they have a Bowflex gym at his work where it has all the Boxflex equipment and he uses the Max Trainer on a regular basis, and any time he sees the M7 available, he’s going for the M7. That is his preferred machine. But if it’s taken and there’s an M5 right next to it, he’ll get on the M5. The M5 is a solid substitute. Although I do think the M7 is a superior machine than the other two options, I think the M5 is a great machine too and the M3 seems to be a great machine, although I have never actually used that one, so I can’t really speak to it. It does look very similar in terms of construction to the M5, though.
Well all that is said, I’m definitely happy with getting the Bowflex M7. It is going to be an incredible machine for me and I definitely recommend it to anybody who is trying to get a really good cardio work out packed into a short period of time.
So I might be doing a follow-up video where I use the Bowflex M7 Max Trainer for an entire month. I’m going to take some measurements ahead of time and then some measurements after I’m all said and done. I’m going to keep my diet and my normal exercise exactly the same. I’m just going to be adding this one thing to my routine three times a week for a month just to see how much progress I can make in that period of time.
So if you don’t want to miss the video documenting that journey, please hit the subscribe button over here. Or if you want to check out my previous Bowflex M5 review, you can click up here. Or if you’re looking for something totally different, me and my wife went to Disney Springs in November last year. We did a vlog. Follow that video right here.
How To Assemble Your Bowflex Max Trainer
This video is intended to be a supplement to the assembly manual provided with your Max Trainer. Please be sure to read your assembly manual thoroughly as it contains important safety warnings and assembly tips.
- Before beginning assembly, please open all boxes to confirm that all parts necessary are present.
- Attach the rail assembly to the frame. This should be done using four socket head screws and washers. Hardware should only be hand tightened during this step. Because some components are heavy and awkward, we recommend using two people to complete the next couple of steps.
- Release the frame from the shipping plate using a 13 mm wrench.
- Attach levelers to the stabilizer assembly.
- Have the second person carefully lift the frame assembly and attach to the stabilizer assembly by hand tightening four socket head screws and washers. Beginning with the hardware from
Step 2, go back and tighten all the hardware.
- Attach stabilizer shrouds to the frame assembly.
- Using a Phillips head screw, attach the rear shroud to the frame assembly. Then insert the caps.
- Attach the leg assembly with the socket head screw, washer and cap. Repeat on the other side. Please note, once leg assemblies are connected, if one moves, the other does as well.
- Attach the pedal to the leg assembly using two socket head screws, washer and nut. Repeat on the other side.
- Cut the shipping zip ties from the foot pads. Attach the foot pad to the pedal assembly using four socket head screws. Repeat on the other side.
- Cut the shipping zip tie from cables and attach cables to console assembly. Attach the console assembly to the main mast. Tighten all the hardware.
- Attach the upper handle bars to the frame assembly.
- Connect the A/C adapter to the frame assembly.
- Inspect your machine carefully making sure that all hardware is tight and components are installed properly before using your product.
Bowflex Max Trainer Review
Manufactured by Nautilus Inc., the Bowflex Max trainer claims to be an easy and intuitive fitness machine that can help you burn more calories in less time, build a stronger heart and lungs, improve your endurance and stamina, and continue burning calories long after you’ve stopped working out.
The Bowflex Max Trainer is a unique device unseen elsewhere in the industry, which some consumers have described as being a combination of a reverse elliptical machine, e.g., your feet move in a reverse motion, almost as if you were walking backward, a stair stepper, and a stationary bicycle. Other users have described the Max Trainer’s motion similar to running up a very steep hill. Regardless of how it’s described, though, the Max Trainer’s unique motion result in virtually zero impact to give you the most effective full body workout in 14 minutes guaranteed and to provide elite level training for everyone.
If we’re being honest, the Bowflex Max Trainer is one sleek looking machine that’s hard not to notice. On top of this, by helping you to tone up and lose weight, it might not just be good looking, but could also bring inspiration to whoever uses it. How the Bowflex Max Trainer works. At its most basic, the Max Trainer is similar to an elliptical machine in that your feet will move in circular, or more accurately, oval motions when it’s being used. This is how it delivers a good workout with minimal impact on your joints.
However, unlike some elliptical machines, the Bowflex Max Trainer will simultaneously work your upper and lower body for max results. This is accomplished utilizing wide foot planks for a stable standing surface, which move opposite one another in up and down and slightly forward and back motions. And from an upper body perspective, the Max Trainer’s arms move back and forth opposite one another as well with V-shaped handles that allow you to intensify your upper body workout based on your preferences simply by changing hand positions.
While you’re working out, the Max Trainer’s gauge, known as a burn rate display, which is simply to a car’s speedometer, will show you how many calories you’ve burned as well as your target exertion range based on the program you’ve selected. These programs will automatically adjust resistance levels based on their presets. See more about this in the final section, or you can manually adjust resistance to your comfort level using the manual handlebar knob. Once you have your Bowflex max Trainer set up in your home, it has a very small footprint, two and a half feet by three and half feet and simply uses a small AC adapter as its power source. Nautilus also makes a Max Trainer app for iOS android smart phones, which provides additional workouts and tracking features.
The Max Trainer M5 has lots of great points. Zero impact. Unlike treadmill running, exercising with a Max Trainer is zero impact. Your body stays in constant contact with the machine instead of repeatedly hitting its surface. This can help you avoid the back pain and joint pain often associated with exercise. Higher intensity. This perk relates to the zero impact point above. With many other forms of exercise, the impact shock of training detracts from your efficiency and endurance. With the M5 you aren’t wasting energy as your body deals with impact. This lets you exercise at a higher intensity without raising your perceived exertion level.
You can get a superb full body workout, including warmup and cool down in under 20 minutes. Upper body workout. Upper body motion helps explain why Max Trainer support rapid calorie burn when compared with treadmills. The moving arms on Bowflex Max Trainers are significantly more effective than those on most elliptical trainers. Resistance. The Bowflex M5 has 16 resistance levels. These levels are most appropriate for people who are already in pretty good shape. The wide range can help you avoid a fitness plateau. Preset programs. The M5 has a back-lit display giving access to manual exercise mode and eight preset workouts.
The presets are max interval, smart max interval, calorie burn, fat burn, calorie goal, stairs, steady state, and fitness test. Heart rate monitoring. A wireless chest strap is included with the sell price. You can also monitor your pulse with a contact grip system. Two user profiles. Two trainees can save their physical stats and workout data. Extras. The Max Trainer M5 has a water bottle holder and a reading rack. The rack is large enough to hold a magazine or a tablet computer. Compact. Bowflex Max Trainers take up little space compared with treadmills. The M5’s footprint is 46 inches long by 25 inches. The machine weighs 143 pounds.
Here are a few potential drawbacks. Assembly. Assembly takes an hour or more. We recommend paying extra to avoid setting up this product yourself. This will save you a headache in the beginning and could also help you avoid problems down the line. Best for already fit people. The lowest resistance level on the M5 is too powerful for some customers. Unlike other zero impact fitness machines, it isn’t intended for gentle rehab. Uncomfortable for some. This trainer could be uncomfortable for small trainees. They might want the moving arm bars to be placed closer together.
Price. This series of Bowflex fitness machines do not have the best combination of price and warranty. With a comparably priced treadmill you could get more generous consumer protections. The bottom line. Bowflex is a pioneer into the fitness world with this piece of equipment designed to accomplish multiple physical goals simultaneously. Choose between many different fitness modes, including steady state stairs, calorie goal, gat burn, and more. For the maximum amount of calories, try the interval training modes, max interval and smart max. Instead of constantly switching modes, it’s recommended to find two to three that work for you and be consistent with those as you enjoy great results.
While the M5 certainly does not promise an easy workout, there are still plenty of resistance levels and preset programs for beginners. While Bowflex machines have often caused purchasers to merely fall prey to hype that comes with an expensive price tag, the M5 really is worth its weight in gold. Durable, challenging, and dynamic, you will be pleased with the M5 and how it will easily customize to every member of the family. It also has a small footprint, meaning anyone can add it to their home gym without inconvenience. There is a less expensive model, the Max Trainer M3 as well as a high end model, the Max Trainer M7, the two-year warrantee is a bit stingy.
But when you really notice how many great perks come with a machine as jam packed with features and proven results as the M5, it’s tough to argue that it’s not worth the investment. Further, the warranty is competitive with other fitness machines in this price range. When you’re ready for the ultimate workout experience with the quickest potential results available, give the Max Trainer M5 a try. Your physical appearance will show its gratitude.
Bowflex Max Trainer M5
Real Customer Review
This is a review of the Bowflex Max Trainer M5. I’m not affiliated with Bowflex in any way. I’ve just done a bunch of research to figure out if it was a good machine or not. This review is to cover things a little bit more comprehensively just so you have a realistic picture of what you’ll be getting when you purchase this. Starting with what you get out of the box, it comes in two boxes, together I think they weigh about 150 pounds. They’re not too bad to move around. You obviously need to assemble this when you get it. You get the instructions in English and Spanish, I believe. They’re quite easy to follow. It took me about an hour to put it together. Overall, I would say it seems very sturdy. That was one of my concerns is that it would feel somewhat flimsy, but as I move around on it, it doesn’t move at all. All of the construction seems fairly solid.
A couple small things to point out about this machine, it does come with the chest strap heart rate monitor, it works okay. I tried it out a couple times, it seems to get the readings on and off. Again, it’s not exactly what you’re paying for with this machine. The heart rate monitor right here on the machine works just as well as any equipment in the gym. It’s got a small plug, the wheels are quite helpful for moving this thing around, it’s fairly easy to tip forward and move around, a lot easier than other equipment that I’ve owned. The fan here outputs air as you get going on it. I believe it has something to do with the resistance of the machine, I don’t know that for sure.
One thing I did note is that in many of the reviews people mentioned a squeak after maybe a week or two of use. I have noticed that these do end up squeaking after a little bit. You can certainly put some type of lubricant on there. I haven’t had to yet, because typically when you run on the machine for about a minute or two it seems to stop once it gets warmed up. The foot pads, nice and strong. Other features to point out, the handlebars up here also again very solid construction. I really like the arch here so you can be pushing down working your triceps or you can be working your shoulders and lats up here. Definitely much different, I’ve owned ellipticals and treadmills, this feels like a mix between a stair stepper and an elliptical and actually you’ll almost feel like you’re biking in a way with the circular motion. It feels really good. Someone actually mentioned in a review it feels like you’re charging up a hill. I think that’s probably the most accurate description of it.
A couple other things here, not sure if you can see this well, but the cup holder area is nice and big. I like that because I do have a larger water bottle, 40 ounce. It does fit in there quite nicely. You’ve got a holder for a tablet or a book or something. You’ve got a holder for other things like a phone, MP3 player or whatever it might be. Overall I would say the Max Trainer is well built. I’d liken it to a piece of equipment at the gym, it does have that stronger feel. I’ve owned other pieces of home equipment that have felt flimsy and lighter.
As you can see it does not have a large footprint, which I appreciate about that. I have a smaller office here. You may have noticed I built a custom desk that extends out right between the handlebars. Anyways, the purpose of that is so I can do a bit of work as I’m walking slower on this. You can actually work from this a tiny bit harder, but eventually you get the motion down. That’s obviously nothing that comes with the product, that’s just something I custom built around that.
I’m going to take a closer look at the controls here. Like I mentioned before, you have the contact heart rate sensors. They work pretty well. I’m not going to go over all of these in detail, but just a quick summary of them. You’ve got your programs, which includes I believe eight and you can customize some of those as well. User information is nice, you can enter two users in here, myself, my wife. That information is saved each time you get on and it can also sync via Bluetooth to the app that they provide on both iOS and Android devices. I have not used it, I haven’t read some reviews on it. Some people had some issues, but I assume in time they’ll work those out. A couple other things the resistance level, this is the part that will keep you from plateauing. This thing does have a pretty high level of resistance, I believe up to 16 levels and it gets pretty hard very quickly. All the reviews that you’re going to read online is that this thing will really work you out hard and that’s very true.
The most important thing is the one that they advertise over and over is the max interval with the whole 14 minute workout. Some people wonder if that’s true. I will tell you that you definitely can get a workout in 14 minutes on this, but it’s going to push you really hard if you want to burn that two and a half times the amount of calories, it will really do a number on you. It’s a good thing if you want the workout, but some people complain that the controls are hard to use or to get started. I didn’t think that was the case. All you need to do is just step on and display pops on immediately. All you need to get going is you can just go ahead and hit the start button and you can just get going on it immediately. You can increase and decrease your resistance level. It will tell you in general where you should be targeting.
This is the display of the M5. This is definitely what makes it more unique and enjoyable to use than other equipment that I’ve used in the past. There is something truly about the tachometer that truly makes you want to push harder. You have your target zone that changes depending on how you change your burn rate, resistance levels. It automatically all adjusts as you switch the controls. This is the highest point burn rate that you’ve reached during your current workout, so that always makes you want to push and raise the bar and go a little higher than you did before. Calories burned during this workout, definitely a fun thing to watch. Total time in the workout, this is where the total time remaining would be. This shows you which user you currently have selected.
Now I’ll show you what the motion looks like when you’re on the machine. Again, it is a really good workout. I read some reviews where people didn’t like it. I’m not sure what they were talking about or they said it felt unnatural. I haven’t experienced any of that. It feels more natural, more so than an elliptical and for sure a stair stepper. Let me go ahead and show you what it looks like when you’re on it. Overall I’m very happy with the machine. Really what I was looking for was something that would give me a good cardiovascular workout mixing with a bit of strength. My knees typically hurt while running. I can’t go over a mile before it starts to hurt. I can go on this thing until I’m absolutely tired and my knees have not hurt me once. I will say that all of those reviews about it not hurting the knees are definitely true.
I’ve owned this for two months now at the time of this review. I’ve been very happy with it, it did exactly what I was hoping it would do, which would increase my endurance and conditioning and of course help me lose some extra body fat. I would definitely recommend it, I think it is worth the price. Anyways that’s my summary, hopefully it was helpful to someone. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments. Thanks for watching.