Bowflex Max Trainer Elliptical Reviews 2018

updated June 6, 2018

BowFlex is the brand name of a range of home fitness products produced by Nautilus Inc. Starting with the iconic BowFlex 2000 home gym in 1986, their range has expanded to include smart activity trackers, cardio trainers, adjustable dumbbells and home gyms.The BowFlex elliptical range Max Trainer series of cross trainers are innovative and functional. In this article, we review the best of the BowFlex elliptical range, along with 3 BowFlex alternatives.

The Best of BowFlex

The key goal of the BowFlex MaxTrainer series of elliptical trainers is to burn more calories in less time. 25 years of innovation have led to the Max Trainer. These cross training cardio machines look super cool and have superior functionality. The Max Trainer M3 has a very cool design, provides 8 levels of resistance and 3 handle positions. The M5 gives you a great calorie burn with 16 resistance levels and is Bluetooth capable.

The latest Max Trainer is the M7, with its 20 levels of resistance, zero joint impact and wireless heart rate monitoring.

BowFlex MaxTrainer M3

The Bowflex Max Trainer M3 has a look that was inspired by modern sports cars, motorcycles and aerospace technology. The M3 is a great way to benefit from the 14 minute max interval workout at an affordable price. The M3 comes with an LCD display featuring a full readout of your workout progress, including time, speed, calories, and distance. You get 8 levels of adjustable resistance to keep you going strong.

Ergonomically designed handlebars allow for three different hand positions to maximize upper body activation. The compact size of the M3 means that it can fit in almost any space in your home. Two workout programs provide you with professional structure to your training. The console includes target zone and burn rate indicators so you can closely monitor your workout progress. A media shelf / tablet holder allows you to securely position your entertainment device while training.


  • Sleek, cool design
  • 3 hand positions
  • 8 resistance levels


  • Noisy
BowFlex Max Trainer M5

The BowFlex Max Trainer M5 is the most fully featured max trainer available. It features computer controlled resistance, Bluetooth smart technology, premium grips, a striking design and multiple workout programs. The 14 minute max interval workout delivers the best possible workout in the shortest amount of time. For a longer workout, you can make use of any of the 8 workout apps that are provided, including such favorites as calorie burn, fat burn and calorie goal.

The Max Trainer M5 from BowFlex seamlessly sync to your Max trainer app by way of Bluetooth technology. You get 16 resistance levels to keep you challenged as you get fitter and stronger. The large, comfortable foot pads and natural elliptical motion provide a virtually zero impact workout, taking the pressure off your joints. This machine is also very compact, taking up half the floorspace of most elliptical machines.

The unique elliptical motion of the MaxTrainer M5 allows you to burn more calories in less time than you would experience on the majority of competing models. The MaxTrainer M5 is built to last and comes with a complete satisfaction guarantee.


  • Bluetooth enabled
  • 16 resistance levels
  • Greater calorie burn


  • Only 2 user programs
BowFlex Max Trainer M7

The BowFlex Max Trainer M7 is the latest addition to the Max Trainer stable of ellipticals. It provides you with a near zero impact workout, while providing features that are designed to maximize your fat burn while increasing your training comfort and functionality. The M7 is designed for multiple users. It has the ability to store four user profiles and can provide each trainer with their own, unique customized workouts.

The famous 14 minute max burn workout is programmed into the console, as is the super fast 7 minute version. The M7 has a greater selection of resistance levels than the M5 (16) or the M3 (8). It also equips with more workout apps, giving you 11 different training options. The durable, stainless steel workout pedals boost your performance while enhancing ergonomic body alignment.

The M7 is the only model in the Max Trainer range that can monitor your pulse rate wirelessly. You can sync the monitor with the BowFlex fitness app to allow for much greater functionality. A media shelf also allows you to use your technology for entertainment. This unit comes with an impressive 3 year warranty.


  • 20 resistance levels
  • Zero joint impact
  • Wireless heart rate monitoring


  • Expensive

Bowflex Alternatives

Octane ZR7

The Octane ZR7 brings the first true zero impact elliptical to the market. It achieves this by way of a unique patented knee and hip joint that mimics natural human action. The dynamic stride length of this machine is an impressive 58 inches, allowing you to fully activates the hips, glutes and hamstrings. The ZR7 also features a built in intelligence feature to track your stride, giving immediate feedback on your training performance.

The Octane ZR7 offers you a very natural, smooth stride action. Independent action pedals give you the free motion you need to get ideal ergonomic motion. Along with your strider, you get a free set of resistance bands, allowing you to perform the Cross training workouts that are programmed into the console.


  • Knee and hip joint
  • Smartlink connectivity
  • 58 inch stride length


  • Takes a little time to get used to the unique motion
Precor EFX 576i

The Precor EFX 576i makes use of variable stride technology to maximize your cross-training experience. You get a ramp angle between 13 and 40 degrees to boost the intensity level. There are 14 workout apps that allow you to be challenged across a range of training protocols. The arms of the EFX 576i are fully moveable through a full range of motion. This allows you to completely work both the upper and lower body.

The Precor EFX 576i comes with a very solid frame which is capable of handling a 350-pound maximum user weight. 20 levels of variable resistance allow you to increase the resistance as your fitness and strength increase. It comes with a complete manufacturer’s warranty.


  • Variable stride geometry
  • 350 pound max user weight
  • 24.7 inch stride length


  • Calories burned inaccurate
Schwinn 430 Elliptical Trainer

The Schwinn 430 Elliptical Trainer gives you 22 training programs so that you can train across a full range of intensity levels. You also get 20 levels of eddy current resistance. This ensures that you get a very natural, jerk free elliptical motion. The 20 inch precision pass drive provides you with 6 ramp positions. The oversized, padded foot plates allow for customized body positioning.

The dual track monitoring system on the Schwinn 430 allows you to see 13 different data points at one time on the large LCD monitor. A 3 speed fan provides cooling comfort while you’re working out and sealed acoustic chamber speakers provide excellent sound quality. With built-in Schwinn Connect technology you can sync your training data to your device.


  • Dual track monitoring
  • 22 workout apps
  • 20 resistance levels


  • Big and bulky

Know more about the Bowflex Max Trainers Elliptical


The BowFlex range of Max Trainers provide great fast, mega-calorie burning workouts on machines that are stylish and compact. The M3 provides a sleek, cool design, 8 position levels and 3 hand positions. The M5 offers 16 resistance levels, and is Bluetooth enabled. The newest addition to the line-up, the M7, delivers 20 resistance levels, provides zero joint impact and gives you wireless heart rate monitoring.

As alternatives to BowFlex, the Octane ZR7 provides knee and hip joint simulation, a huge 58 inch stride and Smartlink connectivity. The Precor EFX 576i offers variable stride geometry, 24.7 inch stride length and 350 pound max user weight.

Bowflex Max Trainer Elliptical Reviews 2018
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