Bowflex Max Trainer M5 Review

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There is a reason why the Bowflex Max Trainer M5 is the best selling model around. It comes with a great mix of affordability and awesome features that you will love. This model is the more advanced version of the M3, one that will definitely put you to the test and have you sweating every single time you step on it.


If you would like a little video overview of the main features and benefits of the Bowflex Max Trainer M5, you can check out the little presentation below.

Bowflex Max Trainer® M5

Main Features

The Bowflex Max Trainer M5 has quite the list of features that you are going to want to know about. So, what are the main features of the Bowflex Max Trainer M5?

  • 16 levels of resistance
  • Features 9 different workout programs
  • Console adjustable resistance
  • Has a backlit LCD display
  • Advanced fitness tracking
  • Bluetooth capable with various apps
  • Media shelf included
  • Has a holder for phones and tablets
  • Can have 2 user profiles
  • Ergonomic grips with heart rate sensors
  • Chest strap for heart rate monitoring
  • High performance pedals
  • Moving handlebars
  • 300-pound weight limit
  • Comes with transportation wheels

Dimensions & Weight

When it comes to size and weight, the Bowflex Max Trainer M5 is actually about the same as the M3. It is not the smallest and lightest of all pieces of workout equipment out there, but when compared to some other things like big treadmills or elliptical machines, the M5 is not the worst out there. In fact, some people have noted that while it is fairly heavy, it does have a fairly sleek design that makes storage pretty simple and quick.

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


The Bowflex Max Trainer M5 does have a decent warranty, which is a 2-year full warranty on the frame and parts. This is a fairly decent warranty for a product with this price point, not the best, but decent.


Assembling the Bowflex Max Trainer M5 is not very difficult, especially because all of the parts and tools are included, plus the instructions are very easy to follow. It should not take you any more than 1.5 hours if you are working alone, but working with someone else will make things easier. The Bowflex Max Trainer M5 does weigh close to 150 pounds, so working alone is not the best choice. There is an expert at home assembly option that you can choose, but you will have to pay an extra $170 for that. For some additional help on assembling the Bowflex Max Trainer M5, check out the video below.

What We Like About The Bowflex Max Trainer M5

The Bowflex Max Trainer M5 is a fairly advanced option to go with, one that we really like thanks to the various features that it comes with.

One of the best parts about the Bowflex Max Trainer M5 is that it comes with 16 different levels of resistance. The belt and pulley resistance utilized by the Bowflex Max Trainer M5 is very reliable, it won’t break down anytime soon, and it is fairly smooth as well. You can easily control the resistance with the console for ultimate convenience. Moreover, the Bowflex Max Trainer M5, thanks to its 16 resistance levels, is more than ideal for light, intermediate, and some pretty heavy workouts too.

Another thing that we really like about the Bowflex Max Trainer M5 is that it comes with 9 different workout programs. These programs include ones such as max interval, smart max interval, calorie burn, fat burn, calorie goal, stairs, steady state, and more. This particular model also comes with a manual mode which lets you choose all of the settings yourself. This makes the Bowflex Max Trainer M5 ideal for anybody who wants to have a good variety when it comes to your daily workout routine.

Yet another thing that impresses us about the Bowflex Max Trainer M5 is that it comes with a dual set of handlebars. It has one set of static handlebars which will let you focus on your lower body, a set which has integrated heart pulse sensors to allow you to keep track of your cardiovascular output. It also has a set of ergonomically designed upgraded motion handlebars too. These are fantastic because they allow you to get a great upper body workout at the same time. On the opposite side of things, we also like the upgraded pedals, which have a special anti-slip grip pattern, are quite large, and designed to be ergonomically friendly as well.

Something else that impresses us about the Bowflex Max Trainer M5 is that it comes with Bluetooth compatibility. You can download various free apps such as the Max Trainer app, MyFitnessPal, Google Fit, and more. These apps all let you engage in competitions, set goals, and engage in data export so you can keep exact track of your progress.

Finally, we also really like the Bowflex Max Trainer M5 for its nice backlit LCD display that is very intuitive and user friendly. It is very easy to navigate and choose various settings, it is easy to read, and it really helps motivate you to work as hard as you can. There is also the fact that this LCD display tracks everything that needs tracking including speed, calories burned, distance, time, and much more. Having a media shelf and tablet holder on top of the display is quite convenient as well because it allows you to use your phone or listen to music as you exercise.

What We Don’t Like About The Bowflex Max Trainer M5

There are always a couple of bones to pick with any piece of exercise equipment, so let’s get it over with.

This may be a little subjective, but we are not a giant fan of the warranty that comes with the Bowflex Max Trainer M5. It seems like for the price that it comes in at, it could have a little bit of a better warranty than a 2-year warranty.

Some people have noted that the Bowflex Max Trainer M5 is somewhat prone to breaking down with prolonged use. It seems to experience some mechanical failure when it is used vigorously. It is not like simple use will break this Max Trainer, but if you use it every day, you use it heavily, and you don’t go easy on it, there is a chance of some moving parts breaking down.

Alternatives To The Bowflex Max Trainer M5

So you have a decent point of reference, let’s compare the Bowflex Max Trainer M5 to some of the other Bowflex Max Trainer options out there today.

Bowflex Max Trainer M3

While the M5 is currently the best selling Max Trainer, with good reason, it does also come with a certain price tag. On the other hand, the Bowflex Max Trainer M3 is much cheaper than the M5, but it is also missing many of the features which the M5 has. For example, the M5 has 16 levels of resistance and 9 workout programs, whereas the M3 only has 8 levels of resistance and 2 workout programs. The Bowflex Max Trainer M5 also features Bluetooth capabilities, the ability to sync with fitness apps, heartbeat handlebars, advanced ergonomically designed pedals, and a few other things. Keep in mind, the M5 is meant for more intense workouts and heavier usage, while the M3 is a more affordable option which is more suited towards beginners.

Bowflex Max Trainer M7

The Bowflex Max Trainer M7 is like the upgraded version of the M5. It has more resistance levels, more user profiles, more workout programs, better handlebars, better pedals, and a higher quality (and intuitive) LCD display. Other than that, the M7 and the M5 are virtually the same, with the exception of the M7 being a little larger and heavier, plus a little more expensive too.

Sole E35 Elliptical Trainer

Now, of course, this is an elliptical machine, not a Max Trainer, but it does still make for a decent alternative. This elliptical machine has 20 levels of resistance, compared to the 16 levels which the M5 has. Moreover, the Sole E35 Elliptical Trainer has a whole lot of workout programs, it has a 3-speed fan to keep you cool, speakers, a water bottle holder, motion handlebars, and data export capabilities too. Yes, the elliptical machine is a little different than a Max Trainer, but it still comes with quite a few benefits, especially when you reverse the stride path to work out even more muscles. The price of both of these machines is comparable, actually being very similar. What does need to be said is that the Sole E35 is very big, much bigger than the M5.

Final Thoughts On The Bowflex Max Trainer M5

There is a reason why the Bowflex Max Trainer M5 is such a popular option to go with. It is the middle ground between the cheapest and the best version. Even though it is not the most expensive Max Trainer available, it has more than enough features to keep you satisfied. A large number of workout programs and resistance levels, Bluetooth capabilities, and an overall strong and ergonomically friendly build make it a fantastic option to consider purchasing.