The models we reviewed below are no longer being sold. Click below to review the newer models while we update this page. Thank you!
When life gets busy with work and family, it can be hard to find the time and motivation to head out to the gym each day. If you want to keep in shape but are having trouble keeping up, you may want to consider a home gym.
Exercising at home, does not mean that you have to buy lots of expensive equipment to get the same results of the gym. We understand that for many people, space is an issue. If you are only going to have one piece of home gym equipment, the Bowflex Max Trainer is the perfect choice for your home. It is a light, compact, and one-of-a-kind machine that combines the benefits of both a stair stepper and elliptical machine into one simple workout.
Table of Contents
- The Origins of Bowflex
- The Uniqueness of the Bowflex Max Trainer
- Benefits of the Bowflex Max Trainer
- How Does the Bowflex Max Trainer Work
- Workout Programs
- Bowflex Max Trainer App
- Which Should I buy? M3, M5, M7
- Watch Bowflex Max Trainer Workout Routine Videos
- How to Assemble your Bowflex Max Trainer
- What About Bowflex Max Trainer Parts?
- Should You Buy the Bowflex Max Trainer?
- Is the Bowflex Max Trainer Worth it?
- Customer Testimonials
- Workout Routines
- Workout routines that you can implement with your Bowflex Max Trainer
- Comparing the Bowflex Max Trainer Against Other Home Fitness Equipment
- Bowflex Max Trainer M7 Real Customer Review
- Bowflex Max Trainer M5 Real Customer Review
- Another Bowflex Max Trainer M5 Video Review
The Origins of Bowflex
The Bowflex Max Trainer comes from simple and humble beginnings. Dosho Tessema Shifferaw, an Ethiopian engineering student, came to the United States at the age of 19 with only a few hundred dollars in his pocket. He supported himself as a taxi driver while attending San Francisco College. During a school project, Dosho came up with the concept of an exercise machine that was known as the Bowflex Rod Gym. Since its birth in 1986, the original Bowflex machine has transformed into one of the most-well known pieces of exercise equipment in the world. With over 3 billion dollars in sales, Bowflex bought Nautilus Corporation, Schwinn Fitness, and Stairmaster and is now Nautilus, Inc.
At one time or another, you have probably seen the TV infomercials for Bowflex Max Trainer. If you notice, most infomercials come and go, but the Max Trainer has been a mainstay. For over 30 years, Bowflex has been marketing and selling its units. How? Because Bowflex Max Trainer actually works. The Max Trainer gives people the freedom and ability to exercise without leaving the comfort of their own home. The product’s success speaks for itself, and Bowflex Max Trainer continues to be a recognizable name in the fitness industry to this day.
The Uniqueness of the Bowflex Max Trainer
Exercise bikes, treadmills and ellipticals are all good fitness machines that can produce positive results, but they don’t have anything on the Max Trainer. At first glance, the Bowflex may look like an ordinary elliptical. However, if you study the movements of an elliptical, you will notice that it mimics the natural strides of human running motion. The Bowflex has more of a smooth, vertical climbing stride. In this sense, the Bowflex Max Trainer is unique, because it works both the lower and upper body muscles simultaneously, which is something that an elliptical, treadmill, exercise bike, or any other exercise equipment can’t quite match.
Bowflex Max trainer is also unique because it stands out from the competition with its functional design. Most fitness equipment is extremely heavy. The Bowflex on the other hand is very lightweight in comparison to other exercise machines, allowing you to easily move and transport the equipment. If you’ve ever been to a gym, you probably know how loud some of the exercise equipment is. The Bowflex was designed to be extremely quiet, allowing you to exercise without bothering everyone else around you. Another area where the Bowflex really stands out is aesthetics. The Bowflex doesn’t look like your run of the mill exercise machine. It’s sleek, modern design allows you to place it almost any room in your house.
Benefits of the Bowflex Max Trainer
If you want a fitness machine that will challenge you and push you to your limits then the Bowflex Max Trainer is definitely a machine you should consider.
Here are the top 5 benefits of the Bowflex Max Trainer:
- Low Impact – Bowflex Max Trainer is the perfect exercise machine for anyone who has bad knees, joints, or is just plain out of shape. Over the years, running can put major stress on your joints causing severe damage, but this unit is designed to have zero impact on your joints, for a stress-free workout.
- Total Body Workout – Bowflex Max Trainer not only works your lower body muscles, but it also works the muscles in your upper body as well.
- Time Efficient – Bowflex has designed the infamous 14-minute workout to get you maximum calorie-burning results, without having to do separate cardio.
- Burns Lots of Calories – Bowflex claims that its workouts can help you burn up to 2.5 times the calories than a standard elliptical, treadmill or stair master. And they have the studies to back it up. As you can imagine, burning twice the calories means you can burn up to twice the fat in less time!
- Burns Calories Even After Use – Because the Bowflex Max Trainer incorporates high intensity interval training (HIIT) into the workout regimen, your muscles continue to burn calories anywhere from 24-48 hours after you have worked out.
How Does the Bowflex Max Trainer Work
A variety of factors determine how many calories a person burns at different intensities of exercise. Bowflex Max Trainer helps you burn the maximum amount of calories possible by incorporating high intensity interval training (HIIT) into the workout regimen. According to the concept of HIIT, your work out should alternate between high and moderate intensity cardio. Your body then adapts to the changes by increasing the maximum aerobic capacity. This ensures that you burn more calories when you are exercising, and continue to burn calories after training. Instead of having to work out for hours, you only need to work out for merely 14 minutes each day, which would give you the same results as working out for hours, but in much less time.
The 14-minute workout can be broken down into the following intervals:
- 25 seconds of high intensity work out
- 80 seconds of low intensity recovery work out
- Intervals are repeated 7 more times
The Max Trainer also allows you to select the level of resistance. The level of resistance helps determine the difficulty of your workout. When you are first starting to work out with the Bowflex Max Trainer, you may have to use a lower level of resistance and then work your way up to a more challenging resistance level. That’s what’s so great about the Max Trainer is that it is both for beginners and advanced trainers alike.
When working out with the Max trainer, your lower body trains with a stair-stepping motion, while your upper body tones itself by moving with the arm bars. Although the arm bars look similar to those on elliptical trainers, they can be nearly twice as effective at toning your body.
You’ve heard us mention earlier that the Max Trainer targets specific muscles in the lower and upper body for a total body workout. The repetitive stepping motion with your legs combined with the pushing and pulling with your arms gives you a complete workout. The Max Trainer works the following muscles:
The truth is there isn’t a muscle in your body that can get a good workout with the Bowflex Max trainer. If you want to get your entire body into shape, then the Bowflex is a perfect match.
Although the 14-minute interval workout is very effective, it is only one of the workout programs that the Bowflex Max Trainer offers. Here are some other general workout program modes that you can also benefit from:
- Interval Training – this kind of workout involves you manually adjusting your workout intensity for specific lengths of time to raise and lower your breathing rate, heart rate and calorie burn. This allows you to burn more calories than a standard workout in a shorter period of time.
- Fitness Test – this workout measures the improvements of your physical fitness level by comparing your energy output to your heart rate. As your fitness level begins to improve, you will notice that your power output will increase at the same heart rate
- Fat Burn – this kind of workout gives you the necessary intensity to burn fat.
- Calorie Goal – this kind of workout tracks the amount of calories burned. It assigns a caloric value to each of the 16 segments. This value is based on the burn rate. At the end of the 16 segments, you will have reached the caloric goal.
- Steady State – this kind of workout starts out slower and builds up to a more challenging steady rate that you can keep for the entirety of the workout. For a good steady state workout, you will want to get your heart rate into the Fat-Burning, Heart Zone and keep it there. The Steady state workout helps you gain stamina and endurance and is essential to a well-rounded cardiovascular training program.
Bowflex Max Trainer App
Bowflex Max trainer has developed a brilliant app that is compatible for both Android phones on Google Play and iOS phones on the App Store. It is important to note that the app is only compatible with the M5 and M7 models that have smartphone connectivity. The app tracks your work outs and provides a detailed summary of accomplishments and a breakdown of individual workouts. You can expect to see data reflecting your average heart rate and calories burned. It’s a great way to help you stay motivated and track your progress in your fitness journey.
Which Should I buy? M3, M5, M7
Trying to decide between the three different Bowflex Max Trainer models? Each model has its own features that make it a little bit different from the others. Let’s take a comprehensive look at each, to find out which one is right for you.
Bowflex Max Trainer M3 Review: Most Affordable
The Bowflex Max Trainer M3 is considered the entry-level model of the Bowflex Max Trainer series. Although it uses the same advanced technology as the M5 and M7, it doesn’t have as many bells and whistles as the upgraded models. It also comes in as the most affordable model, with a price tag just under $1,000.
As the base model, it contains the essential features that make the Bowflex Max Trainer a leader in fitness equipment. It stands by the ability to burn up to 2.5x more calories, while working the upper body 80% more than other fitness equipment.
The M3 is not like other traditional fitness equipment. The M3 includes 8 levels of resistance that you can manually change by using the dial on the handlebars. With the M3, you have the ability to work out at a level of intensity that is hard to find with other trainers.
The M3 is a very simple machine. The console area does not contain a display screen – only a few program controls and a dial to adjust resistance. Because of its simplicity, it makes the M3 very intuitive. Anyone can take advantage of the benefits of the Bowflex Max trainer.
Some notable features of the M3 model include:
- Eight resistance levels – Switch between resistance levels to intensify your workout
- Two built-in workout programs – Manual and MAX Interval
- Chest strap heart rate monitor – The chest strap may be used to monitor heart rate, but there are no contact heart rate grips with this model.
- Water bottle holder – Keep hydrated during your work out
- Media shelf/tablet holder – Store your favorite devices for entertainment or music. This model lacks audio capabilities, but you can use the media shelf for your own music device.
- Quiet – This machine has an extremely low noise level.
- Lightweight – This machine weighs only 143 pounds.
- Affordability – This model has all the important aspects needed for a good workout, but has been streamlined for a better price point.
Things that could be better:
- Warranty – this model has a 1-year warranty, which pales in comparison to its counterparts
- Resistance levels – only 8 resistance levels are offered with this model, whereas the M5 and M7 offer 16
- Workout programs – there are only 2 workout programs to choose from
- 2 User profiles – there are only 2 user profiles on this machine
Although simple in nature, the Max Trainer M3 can help you burn some serious calories and build muscle. Bowflex has long been known for its equipment, and the M3 doesn’t disappoint as it’s continually ranked as one of the best. It also helps that it is affordable and compact to fit in any sized home gym. The M3 comes with 8 different resistance levels and two workout programs, with features that both the beginner and advanced level trainee can take advantage of.
Bowflex Max Trainer M5 Review: Best Value
The Bowflex Max Trainer M5 is the company’s flagship model and it’s for a good reason. The M5 is a pretty big step up from the M3. Although the work out part doesn’t get any easier, the M5 provides more workout programs and resistance levels for anyone from novice and pro to utilize. It costs around five hundred dollars more than the M3, but it’s also significantly less than the M7 model. The M5 is the happy medium where most shoppers find that they are getting the best value for their money.
You’re probably asking yourself what makes this model “better” than the M3. Well, for starters, The M5 has 16 levels of resistance. That is double the amount when comparing it to the M3. You can toggle the levels by using the convenient digital controls. The M5 can be used in manual mode, along with the addition of eight different training programs that help trainees make the most of this machine, including:
- Max Interval
- Smart Max Interval
- Calorie Burn
- Fat Burn
- Calorie Goals
- Steady State
- Fitness Test
Some notable features of the M5 model include:
- Digital backlit screen
- 2 user profiles
- Builds upper arm strength more effectively than standard ellipticals
- 16 resistance levels for more of a challenge
- 8 workout programs
- 8 week subscription to Daily Burn
- Wireless and contact pulse sensors
- Bluetooth 4.0 compatibility for tracking data long-term online
- Water bottle holder
- Media ledge for electronics
- Bluetooth-enabled console, compatible with the Max Trainer App
- Compact size
Things that could be better:
- Warranty – this model has a 2-year warranty. While, still better than the M3, adding another year would be optimal.
- Quiet – The machine can be deemed relatively quiet but it all depends on which resistance level you are using. On the lower levels it is quiet however on the Max level it does make some noise that could be heard in other rooms close by.
The Max Trainer M5 almost sounds too good to be true, but we know that the Bowflex is the real deal. The Bowflex infomercials on TV feature real Bowflex customers with real success stories, helping you feel confident while shopping with Bowflex. They even provide a 6-week money back guarantee if you’re not satisfied with the product! When you’re ready for serious results but don’t have a huge window of time for fitness, the Max Trainer M5 can be an ideal choice.
Bowflex Max Trainer M7 Review: Top of the Line
The Bowflex Max Trainer M7 is the flagship of the Max Trainer series, offering all the luxuries that Bowflex Max Trainer can possibly give. This high-end model recently debuted in 2017.
The Max Trainer M7 is the only Bowflex model that’s considered commercial grade and is designed to withstand the heaviest use. Although the M5 has 16 levels of resistance, the M7 tops it by offering 20 levels of resistance to choose from, as well as more programs, including:
- 7 Min Interval
- 14 Min Interval
- 21 Min Interval
- Power Interval
- Calorie Goal
- Steady Pace
- Fat Burn
- Calorie Burn
- Fitness Test
Some notable features of the M7 model include:
- 20 Resistance Levels
- Upgraded durability
- Slightly larger
- Higher tech dual mode backlit LCD screen
- Variety in workout programs
- Syncs with Bowflex Fitness App
- Low impact on joints
- Wireless heart rate monitoring
- Premium expanded grips
- Premium expanded pedals
- Water bottle holder
- 8-week subscription to Daily Burn
- Media ledge for electronics
- 4 user profiles
- 3-year warranty
- Compact fitness machine
Things that could be better:
- High price
- Assembly time
The Bowflex Max Trainer M7 leads an impressive line of unique fitness machines. It stands out from the competition by offering extra training programs, upgrades, and of course, very effective cardio workouts with low impact on the body. If the Bowflex M7 fits your budget, then it’s a recommended purchase.
Watch Bowflex Max Trainer Workout Routine Videos
No matter how intuitive the Bowflex Max Trainer is, it still can be intimidating to know where to start or even know what to do if you have little to no experience with working out. The Internet is filled with instructional and workout routine videos that pertain to whatever model you decide to get. It’s almost like having your own personal instructor at the gym, except you will be learning how to get the best results from your machine while in the comfort of your own home!
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.
What About Bowflex Max Trainer Parts?
With consistent use, the Bowflex trainer may have a part that gets worn out and needs to eventually be replaced. Replacement parts are not difficult to get. That being said, don’t forget that Bowflex includes a warranty upon purchase. Depending on which model you get, you may have a 1, 2 or 3-year warranty that may cover the replacement part. Even without a warranty, most parts are fairly inexpensive.
Here are some parts that commonly need replacement:
- AC Inlet
- Drive Pulley
- Servo Motor
- Speed Sensor
- Fan Belt
- Transport Wheel
Should You Buy the Bowflex Max Trainer?
The Bowflex Max Trainer is an amazing piece of equipment that can produce real results in weight loss and toning. However, as exciting and revolutionary of a concept that it is, it may not be for everyone.
Reasons you shouldn’t buy the Bowflex Max Trainer
If losing weight and toning is not your goal, then the Bowflex is not right for you. For instance, the Max trainer would not be ideal for body builders. While it can set you up for success, the Max trainer focuses on strengthening all of the muscles at once, not targeting certain muscles to grow them in such a way that body builders do.
Reasons you should buy the Bowflex Max Trainer
You should buy the M3 Bowflex if you want to get a complete body workout, without having to hop on multiple fitness machines to achieve the same results.
If you like the idea of 2.5x the amount of fat and calories being burned, then claim your machine today! The unique hybrid design means that you get the best return on your effort. You will burn calories faster than you ever thought possible.
Is the Bowflex Max Trainer Worth it?
The Bowflex is an investment. It is important to take your individual needs into consideration before purchasing. There are 3 different models in the Bowflex Max Trainer series that each have their own strengths and drawbacks.
If you have a larger family, you may want to consider the M7 that offers the convenience of 4 user profiles. Or perhaps you only plan on sharing it with a roommate. In that case, you may want to go for the least expensive M3. Or if you want the best of both worlds, you could opt for the mid-level M5 model.
If you think about how much a monthly gym membership costs and add up the total cost over a few years’ time, you will find that you could have easily paid for the Max trainer. With the Bowflex Max trainer, you have a one-time investment that will allow you to work out in your own home without paying a monthly fee.
There are a few other indirect ways that you can benefit from having a max trainer, including:
- Saving money on gas driving to and from the gym.
- Staying safe at home in inclement weather.
- You are more likely to work out with a fitness machine in your home.
The bottom line is that the Max Trainer is a great investment and is totally worth it! There are thousands of satisfied customers who attest to everything that the Max Trainer stands for.
If you Google “Bowflex Max Trainer Reviews” you will find a surplus of pages containing rave reviews from customers. You know when you search something that everyone has been raving about, and it turns out that it’s only a 2-star product? Well, this one is different. You will find nothing but 4 and 5-star ratings everywhere you look. The customers think it’s great; the fitness gurus think it’s great; and of course, the company thinks their product is pretty amazing too!
Cardio exercise is essential to maintaining your health and aids in fat burning and weight loss. A busy lifestyle can be one of the biggest hindrances to getting enough cardio exercise. When you lack in cardio that is typically when you start to see weight gain. The Max Trainer is one of the best investments you can make to help you burn fat quickly and get back on track. By taking 14-minutes, 3 times out of your week, you can begin to see results.
There are other outstanding benefits of regular aerobic exercise including higher bone density, an increase in good cholesterol, mood improvement, as well as feeling more energized throughout the day.
Workout routines that you can implement with your Bowflex Max Trainer
Endurance Workout Routine
Depending on your level of physical fitness, it is likely that you will have to build up your endurance before reaping the maximum benefits of the Max Trainer. Realize that your first session might only be a few minutes, before you have to stop. Keep your focus on using the Max Trainer consistently, instead of focusing on the length of workout. Progressively challenging workouts will help you build your endurance on the Max Trainer.
Strength Workout Routine
You can combine aeriobic exercises with your Max Trainer in order to create a balanced strength routine. Start by doing the 14-minute workout on your Max Trainer, then switch to exercises that will target a specific muscle group, such as:
- Wall sit
Abs Workout Routine
If you want to improve your endurance, exercising your core muscles is crucial. You may not realize it, but you can get a good work out with your abs using the Max trainer. The position of your hands is key to engaging your abs. Begin by placing your hands lower on the bars and use larger movements side to side with each stride. This will engage your core and begin to work out your ab area. Then, you will want to switch your hand position up high, and work your abs in the same manner. Finally, working in intervals will give your abs a complete workout.
Another important thing that you are going to need to do when it comes to losing weight with any kind of Bowflex machine is to focus on your diet. Your diet will go a long way towards ensuring that you are able to hit your weight loss goals. While a Bowflex machine can help you produce amazing results, weight loss or gain really comes down to what you’re putting into your body every day.
Comparing the Bowflex Max Trainer Against Other Home Fitness Equipment
Now let’s take a look at how the Bowflex matches up to other similar home workout machines.
Bowflex Max Trainer vs:
Treadclimber – Bowflex prides itself on letting customers workout more efficiently. The Max Trainer claims up to 3x as efficient exercise, and theTreadClimber up to 2x. (This means you burn 3x or 2x the amount of calories as on a normal machine with the same amount of effort.)
Rowing machine – Bowflex strengthens your entire body, while rowing machine’s focus on strengthening your core.
Treadmill – Bowflex is much more compact than a traditional treadmill that takes up lots of space. In actuality, they are not very similar. With the treadmill, you are getting the forward running motion only. The Bowflex boasts the forward running motion, combined with the upward climbing motion, all while being low impact.
Proform cardio hiit trainer – Bowflex and preform cardio hiit trainer are both hybrid machines that perform high intensity interval training, but once again, the Bowflex is the winner. It offers more hiit programs, and has a much longer running track record than the preform, which was introduced in 2008.
Nordictrack freestrider – Bowflex wins in this category, because the amount of calories burned far exceeds the freestrider. One of the benefits of the freestrider it that you have full range of motion, moving from backwards to forwards and vice versa.
Elliptical machine – Bowflex probably identifies the most with the elliptical machine, but it is very different. The Bowflex has more of a climbing motion, whereas the elliptical has more of a running motion. The Bowflex is also more effective, burning up to 2.5x more calories than an elliptical.
As one of the pioneers of the fitness revolution, Bowflex has paved the way for the concept of a total body workout in just 14-minutes time. There are many who have tried to duplicate its benefits, but only the Bowflex can successfully accomplish multiple physical goals simultaneously, while providing the most calories burned. If you’re trying to lose weight, nothing will compare to the results that you will see with the Max Trainer series.
Bowflex Max Trainer M7 Real Customer ReviewClick for Transcript
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.
Bowflex Max Trainer M5 Real Customer ReviewClick for Transcript
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.
Another Bowflex Max Trainer M5 Video ReviewClick for Transcript
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.