Bowflex Max Trainer M7 Reviewed and Rated

8.3 score
[Editors rating (8.3)] = (Garage Gym Ideas - Ultimate Home Gym Design) score (8.3)/10

Editor rating: 8.3 / 10
User's rating: based on 0 user ratings
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Bowflex Max Trainer M7 Reviewed and Rated Review Facts

You’ve probably heard of Bowflex before. They are a fitness company that creates a range of specialized fitness machines, like adjustable dumbbells and hybrid cardio machines. They’ve been around for a long time, so they had the time and the resources to create excellent machines. The Bowflex Max Trainer M7 is a stepper and elliptical hybrid that will make you sweat like no other machine! If you want to figure out whether the M5 deserves to be in your home or gym, read on to discover what makes it great, and what might change your mind.

Editor's Pros & Cons

Sturdy steel frame

Supports users up to 300 pounds

Small transportation wheels

Steel, wide pedals

Articulating motion for a low impact workout

Three sets of handlebars with a comfortable grip

Very quiet

20 resistance levels

11 pre-set programs


No speakers

No cooling fan

Very heavy


Size & Weight

Since the M7 is a vertical elliptical trainer, as opposed to a regular, horizontal elliptical, it takes up less space. We're not saying that the machine is small because it's not, but you won't have as much trouble fitting it in your home. Once assembled, the footprint is 49″L x 30.5″W. Although this alone shows you that you won't need to struggle finding room for it, Bowflex recommends that you leave two feet around the machine if you want to use it safely. You can easily move the furniture around it when you begin to use it though. The small size is not correspondent with the weight - this is a very heavy machine, weighing almost 150 pounds. The weight is very important, as it makes the M7 stable and secure. The base of this elliptical has rubber stabilizers that protect the floors and the machine itself. The rubber stabilizers are adjustable, and even if your floor is wonky, you'll be able to level it. The front of this exercise machine has transportation wheels that should make moving the machine around easy enough.


The frame is made out of heavy, durable tube steel. Every inch of the frame is coated with a powder finish that protects the frame from corrosion and cuts and abrasions. The paint colors decorating the frame are either black or gray, never chipping or rubbing off. The covers of the pulley system, the belts, and the resistance mechanism are made out of durable plastic. The plastic can survive a lot of wear and tear damage, and it lowers the overall weight. The large flywheel fan is protected with a metal casing. The pedals are very wide and clunky, as you can see from the images. They are 8.5" wide, and they can easily accommodate shoes and feet of all sizes. The frame around the pedals is steel, While the bottom of the pedals is guarded by steel plates. The top of the pedals is rubber, with special patterns that make them non-slip and safe. The pedals can support users weighing up to 300 pounds with ease. The pedals slightly change their angle when you step on them, making the movements more natural and fluid. The arms attached to the pedals have big rubberized wheels, gliding smoothly on the rails. Every joint has sealed ball bearings that make this quiet and the motions smooth and friction-free.

This elliptical machine has more than one pair of handlebars. The mobile handlebars, arguable the most important ones, offer multi-grip positions that can accommodate hands of all shapes and sizes. You can comfortably grab them sideways, horizontally, way up or down below. The fixed handlebars lay lower below the mobile handlebars, and they are equipped with biometric sensors that tell you how your heart is doing and much more. The final set of handlebars is the aero handlebars. They sit on top of the console, and if you decide to use them, the bars below them will function as elbow rests. The top portion of the handlebars can hold tablets, while the lower portion has resistance and burn controls. Every handlebar set is covered with high-density foam that is comfy to grip and easy to clean.


As we said, the M7 is a hybrid between an elliptical machine and a stepper. This means that the path the pedals make is oblique, with a stride close to a 90-degree angle. When using the machine, the movements will resemble the ones you perform while climbing a set of stairs, but the pedals will slightly change their angle with each movement, so your joints won't suffer from any stress. You cannot adjust the stride, so you're stuck with what the machine has to offer. The vertical length of the stride is about 10", while the horizontal length measures at 4". Although the stride cannot be changed, it can be comfortably used by people of all heights, reaching up to almost seven feet! Shorter users, with a height of 5' or less, may struggle slightly with the stride length, but they should still be able to use the machine without any issues. The maximum height the pedals can reach is about 19", so you're going to need to find a room with a ceiling height that exceeds your height by 20" or more. The space between the pedals is 1,5", which is enough to place your feet and legs into a natural position, with absolutely no stress on the ankles and knees.


This exercise machine has elements of both magnetic and air resistance. The main thing that powers the resistance is the large flywheel sitting at the bottom. The flywheel creates most of the resistance and the faster you pedal, the harder the motion will become! You can adjust the resistance levels with an eddy current system. The small eddy brake sits in the middle of the machine, powered by a small servo motor. Once you fiddle with the resistance levels from the console or handlebars, the motor will change the position of the brakes, creating more or less resistance. The servo motor does require a lot of power, so you'll need to place the machine close to an outlet. An adapter is included with the M7. The eddy motor creates 20 levels of resistance. The first few levels are ideal for beginners, while the final three create a very challenging session.

The pulley system has two large belts. The main pulley has a crank where the mobile handlebars and the pedals are attached. The second pulley sits in the middle, connecting the flywheel with the main pulley. The belts require no lubrication, and the noise they create is minimal, nevermind the flywheel at the bottom. The drive system moves in two directions, allowing you to pedal in reverse.


Let's first mention what the console does not have. It lacks a cooling system and speakers, but it's still quite good. The console has two displays. The top display is smaller, resembling a car console. The top display will show you how many calories you've burned, the rate of the calories burned, and a performance section where you can see your endurance and burned fat. The lower display shows the programs - the selected program's name, your goal, average calories burned, the heart rate, the RPM, and the level of resistance. The console allows you to connect a wireless heart rate monitor, which is included in the order. If you find this heart rate monitor uncomfortable, the handlebars can still read your heart rate, albeit not as accurately. The console has 11 programs that are pre-set. The machine also allows people to save four user profiles, which is handy if more than one person is using the machine. Each user can input their height, weight, and age, which helps with accurate tracking. The console has Bluetooth, allowing you to connect your Android or Apple device, where you can upload the data to the Bowflex fitness app. The app stores every piece of data automatically, and it syncs with MyFitnessPal.

Setup & Maintenance

The main part of the M7 comes pre-assembled. You will have to attach it to the rails, and the connect the handlebars, the pedals, and the console with the aero bars. The manual Bowflex provides is concise and easy to understand, but the setup can take as much as two hours, as the machine is pretty large. A toolkit for the assembly is also provided. When you're setting up this Max Trainer, remember to lubricate every moving part as that helps the machine function better. Maintenance is easy, and it's consisted out of checking the bolts and joints from time to time, tightening them if need be. The flywheel will attract dust, so you will need to clean it. Wipe down the handlebars and the pedals, and that's pretty much it.


And now, the most important aspect of every machine you will ever buy - the price. The price point is what will determine your ultimate choice, and if the price is too high, you might skip the machine altogether. Bowflex equipment tends to be pricey because it usually involves unique technology, and the M7 is one of these machines. It's a pricey elliptical, costing more than what you might be comfortable with. Nevertheless, we still believe that the M7 has a lot to offer for the price tag it has, and if you can save up to buy it, we recommend you do!

The Final Word

The Bowflex Max Trainer M7 is a beautiful harmony of a stepper and an elliptical, so if you're looking for ways to spice up your cardio, this is the answer. The resistance is powered by a flywheel and eddy brakes, allowing 20 different levels. The pedals are very durable and non-slip, there are three pairs of handlebars, and the frame that holds all of that together is durable and tough. The console has two displays that track a lot of data, with 11 pre-set programs and Bluetooth connectivity. The console does not have a fan or a speaker system. This elliptical is great, but it is very pricey, and if you want to save up for it, we're sure that you will enjoy using it!