Bowflex Max Trainer Reviews for 2024: The Best Max Trainers Reviewed & Compared

Fit&Me is supported by its readers. If you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain our own.

If you have never used a Bowflex Max Trainer before, you are going to want to get on it as soon as you are done reading what we have to say. Bowflex Max Trainers are truly fantastic pieces of cardiovascular workout equipment that come with muscle building benefits too. We are going to go through some very in-depth Bowflex Max Trainer reviews in order to give you a good idea of what they are all about. We are going to talk about anything and everything to do with Bowflex Max Trainers so you can purchase the one that is ideal for you.

The Best Bowflex Max Trainers

We have got 3 individual Bowflex Max Trainer reviews, each of which will tell you everything you need to know about these awesome pieces of workout equipment. In case you would like a quick little overview of all 3 options, just keep reading.

The Bowflex Max Trainer M5 is the most popular and highest selling Bowflex Max Trainer at this point in time. This is probably because, in terms of quality and price, it is more or less the mid range option. In terms of the 3 Bowflex Max Trainers we are going to cover, this one is in the middle for the price range as well as quality and the features it comes with.

It is not the most expensive model at the moment, so it does not have as many features as some of the pricier ones, but it is definitely more than ideal for any beginner, intermediate, or expert exercise enthusiast. Coming with 16 levels of resistance, 9 workout programs, 2 user profiles, motion handlebars for a full body workout, static handlebars with heartbeat sensors, upgraded ergonomically friendly pedals, and an overall great experience, the Bowflex Max Trainer M5 is a great option to consider.

You are going to like the fact that this particular Bowflex Max Trainer has a great LCD display and is even Bluetooth compatible too. You can connect your phone, download free workout apps, and upload your data for great fitness tracking capabilities too. These apps will even allow you to engage in competitions with other users of the apps. This is the best selling option because it brings you the most bang for your buck. It has more than enough features to make the price worthwhile.

The Bowflex Max Trainer M7 is the highest rated Max Trainer option out there right now. Do keep in mind that this high rating and the ton of features it comes with also comes with a substantial price tag. In other words, out of the options we cover, this is the most expensive one, but it is also the best one with the highest quality and most features of all. This is the perfect option to go with if you are extremely serious and dedicated to working out nearly every day of the week.

If you are going to put this particular Bowflex Max Trainer to use almost every day of the week, it is definitely worth the investment. It has the most preset programs of all options. The 11 preset workout programs include various intervals, stair climbing, calorie burning workouts and many more. Moreover, this is the only Bowflex Max Trainer with 20 levels of resistance, which by the way can be controlled with the computer, as opposed to the M3 which requires manual resistance adjustment.

Perhaps the most impressive part about the Bowflex Max Trainer M7 is that it is intuitive and learns from your performance, and therefore automatically sets goals, targets, and even recommends the workouts and intensity level which you should be doing. The Bowflex Max Trainer M7 also has high performance racing pedals, is Bluetooth compatible with fitness apps, has motion handlebars, static handlebars with a pulse sensor, and has a high quality backlit LCD display too. This is the best Bowflex Max Trainer out there with a large number of features and a whole lot of quality, but that quality and those features will cost you a pretty penny.

The Bowflex Max Trainer M3 is currently the most affordable option on the market. Keep in mind that the lower price tag does mean that it does not have as many features as the M5 and M7. That being said, the Bowflex Max Trainer M3 is more than ideal for beginners and intermediate fitness levels. It may not have all that many features, but it will do just fine if you want a good workout on a regular basis. The Bowflex Max Trainer M3 has 8 different levels of resistance that can be manipulated with an easy to control dial.

Moreover, the Bowflex Max Trainer M3 comes with 2 user profiles, 2 preset workout programs, which does give you some variety, but not as much as with some of the other Bowflex Max Trainer models. The Bowflex Max Trainer M3 does have great pedals with good grip, but they are not quite as advanced as with the M5 and the M7.

Also, the Bowflex Max Trainer M3 does have a great LCD display that keeps track of multiple fitness metrics. Due to the lower price tag, the Bowflex Max Trainer M3 does not come with Bluetooth capabilities, plus it does not have heartbeat sensors either. As you can see, the Bowflex Max Trainer M3 is more than good enough if you want a simple cardio workout, especially considering the affordable price that it comes in at.

Bowflex Max Trainer vs TreadClimber vs Elliptical Machine

Each of these pieces of exercise equipment, the Max Trainer, the TreadClimber, and the elliptical machine are all fantastic ways to get a great cardio workout in. However, they do each have their pros and cons when compared to each other. Let’s talk about how exactly all three of these differ from one another.

Bowflex Max Trainer vs TreadClimber

As with any piece of exercise equipment, there are both similarities and differences between the Bowflex Max Trainer and a TreadClimber.


When it comes to similarities, one thing that is the same is that both brand name pieces come from the Bowflex brand, so you know that they are of a very high quality. Moreover, both of these items are priced fairly similarly, with entry level Max Trainers and entry level TreadClimbers being fairly close in their prices, plus the same can be said for the higher end models as well.

Another thing that is fairly similar about both of these pieces of equipment is that they are intended to be high paced pieces of equipment, ones that are very energy intensive and burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time. Both of these machines are built for higher intensity training to give you fast results. What is also true is that both machines tend to come with some extras like water bottle holders, room for phones, and things like that.


When it comes down to it, both machines are fairly similar, but they do have a few key differences as well. One of these differences is that a TreadClimber does not do as good of a job at working out your upper body as a Bowflex Max Trainer. TreadClimbers really only engage your legs for the most part, while Max Trainers come with moving handlebars, plus their natural motion forces you to engage your core, upper body, and arms much more than a TreadClimber does. Remember, TreadClimbers do have a specific motion which creates less impact on your joints, but that being said, a TreadClimber still creates more impact than a Max Trainer.

Another big difference is that TreadClimbers don’t do as much in terms of leg development as a Max Trainer. The motion which your legs go through with a Max Trainer activates more muscles than the motion of a TreadClimber. Finally, when compared side by side in terms of calorie burn, a TreadClimber will burn roughly 200 calories in an intense 15-minute workout, whereas the Max Trainer will burn closer to 300 in that same time period.

Which One Should I Buy?

To put it simply, a TreadClimber allows you to be a little more leisurely and does not require as much focus, where a Max Trainer is all about focus, muscle development, and high intensity workouts. The bottom line is that a TreadClimber is better for people who want a good cardio workout, a lower impact exercise, and don’t necessarily want to work out the upper body. On the other hand, the Max Trainer is ideal for muscle development from the top to the bottom of your body, plus they are awesome for some really intense cardio workouts.

Bowflex Max Trainer vs Elliptical Machine

An elliptical machine is of course a great piece of workout equipment as the elliptical motion it provides is great for burning calories and developing muscle.


Sole E95 Elliptical Trainer Review

One similarity between the Max Trainer and an elliptical machine is that both are designed to give you a full body workout. Both of these machines engage your core and upper body, plus your arms, for a full body workout (the Max Trainer does engage your core and upper body quite a bit more though). It is important to note that both of these machines are great for high intensity calorie burning workouts, which is after all the flagship feature of the Bowflex Max Trainer.

When it comes to the motion, the elliptical machine and the Max Trainer are fairly similar. They both use a circular or elliptical motion. However, the Max Trainer uses more of a vertical motion, which means that it has a higher difference between the low and high points than the elliptical machine. While they are both great for burning calories and getting a cardio workout, the Max Trainer is a little better for building leg muscles thanks to this upward motion. Also, both the Max Trainer and elliptical machine are great low impact workouts that will not adversely affect your joints.


One big difference between the Max Trainer and elliptical machines has to do with pricing. Max Trainers are built to be high end machines, so you can find elliptical machines within the same price range, generally the high end ones. However, typically Max Trainers are going to be more expensive than average low end or mid grade elliptical machines.

Another difference is that Max Trainers, which come from the Bowflex line of exercise equipment, are highly reputed for their quality, standards, and great warranties. Unless you get an elliptical from a reputable brand, this may not necessarily be true for other ellipticals. There are other companies out there which are not as well known for great quality or good warranties. On that same note, since Max Trainers are high end pieces of equipment, they come with a few extras such as water bottle holders, media trays, easy assembly, are highly adjustable and more. While high end elliptical machines will also come with these features, the less expensive models usually will not.

Yet another difference is that Max Trainers can burn up to 2.5 times more calories than an elliptical machine (in extreme cases). This may be a little unusual for everyday users, but generally speaking, a Max Trainer will burn more calories and use more energy. The Max Trainer does have a more challenging motion, plus more upper body activation, so you can rest assured that it will burn some more calories than an elliptical machine. Another difference is that, generally speaking, Max Trainers will take up a little less space and weigh less than an elliptical machine. Some smaller entry level or mid grade ellipticals may have about the same footprint. However, a high end elliptical machine is definitely going to be bigger than a Max Trainer.

Which One Should I Buy?

If you have a little less money to invest and don’t require a very high intensity workout, which is what the Max Trainer is all about, you might want to go for an elliptical machine. On the other hand, if you want more muscle activation, more calorie burn, a more intense workout, and more features, we would definitely recommend a Max Trainer.

What To Look For When Choosing The Right Bowflex Max Trainer For You

There are a few different things that you should look out for when buying a Bowflex Max Trainer in order to make sure that you are getting the right one for you, so let’s talk about those quickly.

Resistance Levels

One of the most important things to watch for is how many resistance levels the Bowflex Max Trainer in questions has. Generally speaking, those with fewer resistance levels are ideal for people who are beginners or of an intermediate fitness level. Those with more levels of resistance are going to be better for people who need a really intense exercise routine.

Programs & Profiles

Something else to watch out for before making a purchase is how many workout programs come included with the Bowflex Max Trainer in question. The more workout programs are available to choose from, the more variety you have in terms of accomplishing your fitness goals. It is good to have variety but keep in mind, those with more programs (as well as user profiles) are also going to cost you a little bit more. Being able to choose from a large variety of preset workout programs will make achieving specific goals much easier.


Yet another thing to look out for when buying any Bowflex Max Trainer is what kind of handlebars it comes with. The more expensive options will have better handlebars with better padding and a more ergonomic design. All Bowflex Max Trainers come with motion handlebars to give you a good upper body workout. Where these items differ is with their stationary handlebars, with the cheaper ones still featuring them, but they are not going to come with heartbeat sensors.


Something else to pay attention to when purchasing a Bowflex Max Trainer is what kind of pedals it has. Generally speaking, the more expensive Bowflex Max Trainers are going to have larger pedals with a more ergonomic design and better grip too. It is important to have a stable standing platform when using a Bowflex Max Trainer, so this is a fairly important thing to watch out for.

LCD Display

The final very important thing to look out for before buying a Bowflex Max Trainer is what kind of display it has. Now, they all have fairly good LCD displays, but the more expensive options have higher quality displays, with backlighting too. The higher quality displays found on more expensive models will track a greater number of fitness metrics than the smaller ones. Some models also have Bluetooth capabilities with the ability to connect to fitness apps. The most expensive models even have an intuitive LCD display that can learn from your workout routine and automatically set goals that suit your needs and your fitness level.

Bowflex Max Trainer M3 vs M5

Just so you have a point of reference, when taking the above factors into account, while the M3 is much cheaper than the M5, it is also slightly worse in terms of all of those factors. The Bowflex Max Trainer M3 has half as many resistance levels and far fewer workout programs than the M5. The Bowflex Max Trainer M5 also has upgraded pedals, heartbeat sensors in the static handlebars, a backlit display, and Bluetooth capability, all of which the Bowflex Max Trainer M3 does not have.

Bowflex Max Trainer M5 vs M7

Taking the above factors into account, while the Bowflex Max Trainer M7 is quite a bit more expensive than the M5, it does also have more features. The Bowflex Max Trainer M7 has 20 resistance levels, as opposed to the 16 levels of the M5. The M5 only has 9 workout programs, whereas the M7 has 11, plus the M7 also has 4 user profiles, where the M5 only has 2. Moreover, the Bowflex Max Trainer M7 also has a better LCD display which keeps track of more fitness metrics, plus it is intuitive and learns from your daily workouts to set precise workout goals directed towards your specific goals and fitness level. The M7 also has better racing pedals than the Bowflex Max Trainer M5.

Bowflex Max Trainer Features: Overview & Comparison

Bowflex Max Trainer M3

Bowflex Max Trainer M5

Bowflex Max Trainer M7

Resistance Levels




Workout Programs




User profiles

Up to 2

Up to 2

Up to 4

Heart Rate Monitor

Chest Strap

Contact Grips + Chest Strap

Contact Grips + Chest Strap




Upgraded Ergonomic Grips

Commercial Grade + Aero Bar




Sport Performance


46.1" L x 25" W x 62.9" H

46.1" L x 25" W x 62.9" H

49" L x 30.5" W x 65.5" H

Minimum Ceiling Height

User height + 15"

User height + 15"

User height + 15"

Maximum User Weight

300 lbs.

300 lbs.

300 lbs.

Assembled Product Weight

143 lbs.

143 lbs.

148 lbs.


1 Year

2 Years

3 Years

Bowflex Max Trainer Results: What You Can Expect

One of the things that we really need to emphasize about any Bowflex Max Trainer is that you can’t just buy them and expect results. It is not some kind of miracle revolution in the world of fitness that lets you lose weight simply by looking at the Max Trainer. You need to put in the work, you need to work out at a fairly high intensity level, and you need to follow a good diet too. If you do these things, you should have no problem obtaining the fitness results that you are looking for.

Keeping our above points in mind, you can definitely expect some really big results when you use a Bowflex Max Trainer on a regular basis. Just to keep things short and simple, there have been many people who have reported losing up to 40 pounds in 10 weeks of using the Bowflex Max Trainer for at least 5 days per week.

People have also reported that they feel much stronger in their legs, their core, and in their arms. This is one of the really great parts of the Bowflex Max Trainer because it is truly a total body workout. People have also reported that they get winded less often, that their lungs are stronger, and that they have much better endurance too.

The point is that if you put in the necessary work, you will have no problem getting to any and all of these achievements that other people have reported. In case you would like some awesome videos of different people and their Bowflex Max Trainer results, you can check out the below videos to see just what people have been able to accomplish with these fantastic pieces of workout equipment.

Weight Loss Success - Ryan Lost 21 Pounds in 10 Weeks with Bowflex Max Trainer
Max Trainer - Liz's 10-Week Body Transformation
Weight Loss Success Story - Tony Lost 30 Pounds in 10 Weeks
Bobbi lost 27 pounds with the Bowflex Max Trainer

The Main Benefits Of Max Trainers

The fact of the matter is that Bowflex Max Trainers are truly some of the best pieces of workout equipment out there, especially when it comes to your cardiovascular fitness and even your muscle strength too. Anyway, let’s talk about some of the biggest benefits that you can get from using a Bowflex Max Trainer on a regular basis.

Benefit #1: A Total Body Workout

One of the main benefits that you get from the Bowflex Max Trainer is that it gives you a total body workout from top to bottom. As we stated before, a Bowflex Max Trainer can activate the muscles in your upper body up to 80% more than something like an elliptical machine. This means that you are literally getting more bang for your buck. The Bowflex Max Trainer is a compound exercise machine that works out your legs, your core, your shoulders, and your arms too. In essence, what this means is that you have to work out less to get the same muscle strengthening results when compared to other pieces of cardiovascular exercise equipment. At the end of the day, you are going to save lots of time, but will still build muscle like no tomorrow.

Benefit #2: Low Impact

Another big benefit that you get from using a Bowflex Max Trainer when compared to other pieces of equipment such as a treadmill, is that it is joint friendly. High impact exercises such as sprinting can really take a toll on your joints, especially if you already have pre-existing joint conditions such as arthritis. These high impact exercises can become very painful very quickly, so if possible, you are going to want to avoid them. The beauty of the Bowflex Max Trainer is that your feet never leave the pedals, and therefore there is none of this impact created. So, this means that you can still get a great cardiovascular workout without putting your joints at risk.

Benefit #3: Big Calorie Burn

Yet another benefit that you get from using the Bowflex Max Trainer on a daily basis is that it is extremely efficient in terms of burning calories. Bowflex Max Trainer specialize in high intensity interval training (HIIT), or in other words, they force you to really move and that means burning a whole lot of calories in a limited amount of time. As we stated before, using the high intensity interval training workout programs on the Bowflex Max Trainer can help you burn up to 3 times more calories in the same amount of time as compared to an elliptical machine. You can actually burn as many as 600 calories in as little as 30 minutes of using the Bowflex Max Trainer, which is obviously extremely impressive. The Bowflex Max Trainer also invokes the afterburn effect, which means that you will continue to burn calories long after you are done exercising. At the end of the day, the Bowflex Max Trainer will help you burn calories, burn away fat, and help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight level.

Benefit #4: Space Efficient

This may not matter all that much to you if you have a big home, but for anybody with a smaller home, this is definitely a benefit. On average, Bowflex Max Trainers tend to be much smaller and more space efficient than something like a treadmill, therefore allowing you to save space in your home while still getting an awesome workout in.

Benefit #5: Cardiovascular Efficiency & Stamina

The final main benefit that we need to mention is that of cardiovascular exercise, the efficiency of your lungs, and your overall stamina. The Bowflex Max Trainer is a great form of cardiovascular exercise, especially when compared to other pieces of cardio exercise equipment. The Bowflex Max Trainer will undoubtedly get your heart pounding and your lungs pumping. There are many different benefits of cardiovascular exercise such as a lower resting heart rate, lower blood pressure, a decreased risk of heart and arterial disease, the control of bad cholesterol, and much more. Working out your lungs is also beneficial because the more you use them at high intensity levels, the better and more efficient they will become at their job. This means not getting winded every time you go climbing some stairs. Combined with the weight loss benefits, the Bowflex Max Trainer will help to increase your overall stamina and endurance.

How To Use A Bowflex Max Trainer & A Few Max Trainer Tips

In case you have never used a Bowflex Max Trainer before, you can follow these tips and guidelines to get started the right way. If you follow these tips, you should have no problem achieving all of your healthy living results.

When it comes to the Bowflex Max Trainer, it is pretty simple to use, which is in large part thanks to the intuitive function they come with as well as their advanced displays. Simply put, just choose the workout program you want to engage in, or you can choose the manual mode and choose your own level of resistance, and get at it. These pieces of equipment are about as straightforward as it gets.

One of the biggest tips that we can give you when it comes to using a Bowflex Max Trainer is to not start out too strong. Now, if you already have a decent fitness level, this may not apply quite as much to you. However, one of the worst things that you can do is to overwork yourself in the beginning, especially if you have never used a Bowflex Max Trainer before. Working yourself to near death is a sure fire way of sapping your motivation and making sure that you won’t step on it for days to come.

The Bowflex Max Trainer is all about the high intensity interval training, so you should definitely take advantage of that. The higher end Bowflex Max Trainer models, such as the M5 and M7, come with various workout programs such as the Max 7-minute, 14-minute, and 21-minute interval programs. These are the programs that will help you burn as many calories as possible, so you should use them for sure. If you want to lose weight and gain muscle strength, these interval programs are the way to go.

Another tip you should follow is to always keep your back as straight as possible when using a Bowflex Max Trainer. You do not want to be hunched over the whole time when using a Max Trainer because that can be very bad for your back, cause lots of pain, and even result in long term damage that you will feel for the rest of your life. A general rule of thumb when using any piece of exercise equipment is to keep your back straight.

As you may know, one of the most popular programs on the Bowflex Max Trainer is the 14-minute interval program, which is shown to give you amazing results. Beware that you may not be able to get to 14 minutes on your first try, or even in your first week of using it. Just slowly build up to those 14 minutes and you will be very impressed with your overall results. When it comes to working your way up to the full 14 minutes and how to do it effectively, you can check out the video below.

How to Work Up to 14 Minutes on Your Bowflex Max Trainer

When using a Bowflex Max Trainer, you definitely want to take advantage of the motion handlebars. You can use the static handlebars if you like, but to get the whole total body workout, the motion handlebars are essential. The motion handlebars will help to engage your core, your back, shoulders, and arms too. So, if you want to reap the full muscle building benefits of the Bowflex Max Trainer, you should use the motion handlebars.

3 Great Max Trainer Workouts

If you don’t really know what you want to do on the Bowflex Max Trainer, you can take a look at some of these great workouts you can do on it. Keep in mind that the more expensive Bowflex Max Trainer models come with a variety of preset workout programs such as stairs, calorie burn, multiple intervals, and various others which you can choose from. All of these preset programs will tell you exactly what to do.

Workout #1: The 14 Minute Bowflex Max Trainer Workout

This is more or less the classic 14-minute interval as comes programmed on the Bowflex Max Trainer, but if you like, you can set it to manual mode and control the proceedings yourself.

  • Work out at a high intensity for 25 seconds
  • Work out at a low intensity for 80 seconds
  • Repeat this 7 times
The 14 Minute Bowflex Max Trainer Workout: See the Max Trainer in Action!

Workout #2: The 30 Minute Full Body Circuit

Ok, so this one involves the Bowflex Max Trainer as well as a chair. Yeah, the chair may seem like a pain, but trust us when we say that it is an awesome workout in many respects.

  • Use the Bowflex Max Trainer on an intensity of your choosing for a total of 14 minutes. You can choose your own intensity, but we would recommend trying to go pretty hard in order to get the full cardio effects.
  • 30 seconds of bicycle crunches
  • 30 seconds of pushups
  • Plank for 60 seconds
  • 30 seconds of squats
  • Triceps dips for 30 seconds (with the chair)
  • 30 seconds of cross crunches
  • 60 seconds of burpees
  • Wall sit for 30 seconds
  • Right side plank for 30 seconds
  • Left side plank for 30 seconds
  • 30 seconds of decline pushups (with the chair)
  • 30 seconds of lunges
  • 30 seconds of double arm crunches
  • 30 seconds of arm circles
  • If you are feeling up to the task, repeat this whole 30-minute set a second time

Workout #3: Abs Workout With The Bowflex Max Trainer

How To Clean & Maintain Your Bowflex Max Trainer

Cleaning and maintaining your brand new Bowflex Max Trainer is not all that difficult or time consuming, but none the less, you should follow these tips. Neglecting to maintain and clean your Bowflex Max Trainer will cause it to degrade and break down much faster than you would like.

  • Always keep your Bowflex Max Trainer in a dry and fairly cool area. Moisture can end up causing rusting and the degradation of moving pieces over a prolonged period of time. Moreover, the LCD console is electronic, which means that it does not mix well with moisture.
  • On a regular basis, at least once per week if you use the Bowflex Max Trainer every day, you are going to want to apply lubricant to all moving parts (or at least where they connect). This will prevent squeaking and it will keep the Bowflex Max Trainer running as smooth as can be.
  • Make sure to regularly check all nuts, screws, bolts, and other connectors to make sure that they are tight and secure. Loose connecters like bolts and screws, when left untightened, can end up damaging your Bowflex Max Trainer when in use.
  • Wipe down any surfaces you come into contact with while using the Bowflex Max Trainer. This means wiping down the pedals, the console, and the grips every time. You don’t want sweat and grime building up on this thing because that is just nasty! Make sure to wipe down the whole machine from top to bottom once per week if you use it regularly, especially moving parts in order to remove grime and grit that could obstruct the smooth motion of the Bowflex Max Trainer.
  • If you have heartbeat sensors in the handlebars, you will want to gauge their accuracy every now and then, or else they become useless. Simply measure your heartbeat manually once in a while you have one hand on the pulse sensors and compare the results. If the heartbeat sensors are off, you might have to recalibrate them, or most likely call for professional help.


If you read our Bowflex Max Trainer reviews carefully, you probably already know which one you want to get. They are all fairly different in their own ways, all of which will give you a great workout. Whether it is the Bowflex Max Trainer M3, M5, or M7, you are going to get a great workout, build muscle, increase stamina, and lose weight too. Just remember to follow our workout tips, maintenance tips, and everything else we have mentioned in order to get the biggest bang for your buck!