Bowflex Max Trainer M3 Review

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If you are looking for a more affordable Bowflex Max Trainer, the M3 is the way to go. It is the most affordable of all Bowflex Max Trainers, yet it manages to still bring a whole lot of quality and a great number of features to the table. A high-quality build, comfortable use, and a functional design make this a really good piece of workout equipment.


Reading is always fun, but if you are a little pressed for time and would rather watch a convenient video overview of the Bowflex Max Trainer M3, we have that right below.

Bowflex Max Trainer® M3

Main Features

The Bowflex Max Trainer M3 has a great number of features included. You will be surprised at just how much it can do considering that it comes in at an affordable price.

  • 8 levels of adjustable resistance
  • Easy to adjust the resistance
  • 2 workout programs
  • Chest strap for heart monitoring
  • High-quality LCD display
  • Good fitness tracking capabilities
  • 2 user profiles
  • Standard grips for comfort
  • Pedals with good grip
  • Water bottle holder
  • Media tray for phones and tablets
  • Sturdy base
  • 300-pound user weight limit
  • Includes transport rollers
  • Moving handlebars

Dimensions & Weight

The Bowflex Max Trainer M3 is one of the smaller Bowflex Max Trainers that you can buy at this point in time. It is not like it is overly small, but it is smaller than some other options, not to mention that it is definitely smaller than most treadmills and elliptical machines. Some people have noted how the fairly compact size of the Bowflex Max Trainer M3 does make it fairly easy to store. This model does come with transport wheels, which helps to offset some of the weight when you want to move it around.

  • Length: 46.1 inches
  • Width: 25 inches
  • Height: 62.9 inches
  • Weight: 143 pounds


The warranty on the Bowflex Max Trainer M3 is pretty decent. This particular model comes with a full 1-year warranty that covers the frame and moving parts. In fact, if you are not happy with the Bowflex Max Trainer M3 before 6 weeks are up, you are also covered by a total money back guarantee.


Assembling the Bowflex Max Trainer M3 is not very difficult. If you are working alone it should not take you more than 1.5 hours to set the whole thing up as the instructions are very clear. It comes with all of the necessary tools and parts included in the packaging. Keep in mind that this item does weigh close to 150 pounds, so working with someone else while assembling it is recommended. If you do not want to assemble it yourself, you can always pay the extra $170 free from Bowflex for the in home expert assembly. Check out the video below for an overview of the assembly process for the Bowflex Max Trainer M3.

What We Like About The Bowflex Max Trainer M3

The Bowflex Max Trainer M3 has many different features which we definitely like, so let’s talk about those in some detail now.

One of the things that we do like about the Bowflex Max Trainer M3 is that it features very smooth resistance thanks to the belt and pulley drive system. There are 8 levels of resistance included with this machine, each of which can be selected with the quick turn of the resistance dial. This Bowflex Max Trainer provides you with really smooth resistance ideal for light and moderate workout routines.

Another thing that we like about the Bowflex Max Trainer M3 is that it comes with 2 workout modes. One mode is manual where you can select your own resistance and pace, which is good because it gives you a fair amount of variety to choose from. The other workout mode is the 14 minute Max mode, a challenge that will put your strength and stamina to the test no doubt.

Something else that we like about the Bowflex Max Trainer M3 is that it comes with an easy to navigate LCD display and console. The buttons on the console let you easily choose your workout program as well as a few other options too. Moreover, the LCD display lets you keep track of your speed, calories burned, time, distance, and more. If you want an intuitive and user friendly Max Trainer, this is a good option to consider. On a little side note, we do like the integrated chest strap included with this Bowflex Max Trainer model, as it does allow you to keep track of your cardiovascular output.

Another thing that we like about the Bowflex Max Trainer M3 is that it is fairly space friendly. Now, it is not the smallest piece of workout equipment around, but when compared to other Bowflex Max Trainers, it is definitely a little smaller. Storing it in your home, even if you don’t have all that much space, should not be a big problem. On a side note, while this item may be slightly heavy, the transport wheels do manage to offset some of the challenges you get with that weight.

Yet another thing that we like about the Bowflex Max Trainer M3 is that it comes with standard moving handlebars. These things have really good grip on them and are designed to be ergonomically friendly. The reason we like them so much is because their movement allows for a great upper body workout while your legs are climbing upwards and onwards.

What We Don’t Like About The Bowflex Max Trainer M3

There are always some things that we are not going to like about any piece of workout equipment, so let’s talk about what we don’t like about the Bowflex Max Trainer M3.

Some people have noted that the Bowflex Max Trainer M3 is a little wobbly. While it does have a fairly sturdy base and a solid build, if you are a little heavier and get going really fast, you may cause this item to wobble slightly.

Some people have noted that the Bowflex Max Trainer M3 is fairly noisy. While it won’t drown out all other sounds in the room, it does produce a certain amount of noise that you will have to deal with. Also, this piece of equipment may become a little squeaky with prolonged use, but that can be avoided by lubricating it on a regular basis.

Alternatives To The Bowflex Max Trainer M3

So you can put things into perspective a little bit, let’s just look at some alternatives to the Bowflex Max Trainer M3.

Bowflex Max Trainer M5

This is like the more expensive, more useful, and upgraded version of the M3. The Bowflex Max Trainer M5 is going to cost you several hundred dollars more, but it also comes with many features which the M3 does not. Some things which the M5 has, which the M3 does not have, include way more resistance levels and workout programs, better foot pedals, handlebars with heart rate sensors, and Bluetooth compatibility. The Bowflex Max Trainer M3 is a good entry level option to go with that most people should be able to afford.

Bowflex Max Trainer M7

The Bowflex Max Trainer M7 is simply the way more expensive and highly upgraded version of the Bowflex Max Trainer M3. It has almost 3 times as many levels of resistance, 11 workout programs (as opposed to 2), it has a way better LCD display, 4 user profiles (instead of 2), it has static handlebars with heartbeat sensors, and upgraded racing pedals too. The difference is of course around $1,200. For any beginner or intermediate exerciser, the Bowflex Max Trainer M3 will do just fine.

NordicTrack C 7.5 Elliptical

Yes, we included another elliptical machine here. We know they are not exactly the same things, but there are many similarities between Max Trainers and elliptical machines. First off, both the M3 and this NordicTrack Elliptical have pretty much the same price tag. That being said, besides the type of cardio exercise you get, that is where the similarities end. The NordicTrack C 7.5 Elliptical has 22 levels of digital resistance, a whopping 26 workout apps, a high-quality LCD display with one touch controls, and more. Just like with the Bowflex M3, you do get a great upper body workout thanks to the motion handlebars, plus they both have great foot pedals too. Do keep in mind that this elliptical machine is quite a bit heavier than the M3 and will take up a lot more room too.

Final Thoughts On The Bowflex Max Trainer M3

At the end of the day, the Bowflex Max Trainer M3 is a great option to go with for beginners or intermediate fitness levels. No, it does not have as many features or options as either the M5 or the M7, but it also costs a whole lot less. The Bowflex Max Trainer M3 still comes with more than enough juice to give you a run for your money.