Bowflex Max Trainer M5 Review
The Bowflex M5 is the premium model in the new Max Trainer line, yet its price is low compared to highly-rated ellipticals, the space it aims to disrupt.
With the highest rating between the two Max Trainers to choose from, the M5 is our Editor’s Choice in this small but powerful new product category.
It has more features than the M3, a better overall rating, a longer warranty, and more resistance levels, all in the same compact size, at a reasonable price.
Is it right for you? Read our in-depth Bowflex Max Trainer M5 review below…
Video overview of the Bowflex M5:
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|Levels||16 Resistance Levels|
|Programs||8 Workout Programs|
|Users||2 User Profiles|
|Heart Rate||Contact Grips
& Chest Strap
|Max Weight||300 lbs|
|Dimensions||46" L x 25" W x 63" H
Ceiling: User Height + 15"
|Syncs with App|
Rating: 95.4/100. Editor’s Choice based on rating and value for price. The M5 has the best feature set, the longest warranty, the highest rating, and an affordable price compared to ellipticals that don’t burn as many calories.
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- Burns a ton of calories in about 15 minutes
- 16 resistance levels to keep it challenging
- Gauge readout is motivating and easy to read
- Solid set of 8 workout programs built-in
- Very small footprint, doesn’t take up much room
- Zero impact on your joints (knees, back, etc)
- Media shelf and cup holder are convenient
- Great design, made to work for beginners and pros
- Full coverage warranty lasts 2 years
- No iPod connection or speakers included
- More expensive than the lower-rated M3
Max Trainer Overview
So what makes the Max Trainer different? Is it like an elliptical? Is it better?
The idea behind this new type of fitness equipment is simple: Combine the motion of a stair stepper with an elliptical for a low-impact exercise that burns more calories in less time.
According to an independent university study, the Max Trainer burned up to 2.5x the calories of an elliptical per minute, and 1.56x the calories of a treadmill.
Some users logged about 600 calories burned from a 30-minute workout, compared to only 240 calories on an elliptical, which is why users are able to do an intense 14-minute workout and burn more calories.
Example: You could burn about 280 calories with an elliptical in 30 minutes, but it would only take 14 minutes with the Max Trainer. Sounds great in theory, but why does it burn more calories?
It’s all in the combination of the resistance, the upward step-style motion, and the upper body workout from the handles.
Together with the Max Interval workout, which uses the same interval training strategy that athletes and trainers have loved for decades, you’ll burn a lot more calories per minute.
Max Trainer Features
Resistance: One of the best ways to increase the workout intensity and avoid the dreaded plateau after getting results for the first few months on a new routine is to increase the resistance level. Because the Max Trainer is made to work well for beginners and pros alike, the first few levels might be too easy for you. If so, having 16 levels means you’ll keep getting better results by gradually increasing the resistance.
Upper Body: Very few highly-rated pieces of cardio fitness equipment will truly give you a good upper body workout too. The Max Trainer is in that small group of machines that actually build your arm strength while you focus on cardio.
Heart Rate: The M5′s grips include contact heart rate monitors so you can see your heart rate without a chest strap or another gadget to buy.
Display: I’ve reviewed 100′s of fitness equipment products, and to be honest not one has impressed with me its display…until now. The M5 has a unique gauge readout showing your intensity and calories burned, which is great for staying motivated. Plus, it has Bluetooth 4.0 so it syncs your exercise data to a free mobile app.
It also has some excellent workout programs…
Every piece of equipment includes a Manual mode to choose how you want to work out, so of course that’s included.
But beyond that and the Fitness Test mode, the M5 also includes modes like Steady State, Stairs, Calorie Goal, Fat Burn and Calories Burn for mixing things up without having to control the workout manually.
The best modes for maximizing calories burned are those based on Interval Training: Max Interval and Smart Max Interval.
These are the modes that get those 2.5x the calories burned by an elliptical results.
All in all, some models have more programs to choose from, but what matters is results. Personally, I stick with the 2-3 modes that get the best results for me, and the Max Trainer wasn’t programmed to include programs you won’t need just to increase the number.
Warranty & Guarantee
The Bowflex Max Trainer M5 comes with a two year warranty package that covers the entire machine.
Return Policy: 6 weeks, 100% money-back. If you want your money back for any reason, ship back for a refund of the purchase price.
Bowflex M5 Review Conclusion
Every year, there’s some new machine or gadget coming out that promises better results than the last. Most the time, it’s a bunch of hype, because the time-tested motions we make on treadmills, ellipticals and steppers get results.
Some of Bowflex’s products have been in this category, but the Max Trainer is definitely not. The M5 is a fantastic piece of equipment that gets the job done, quicker than anything else we’ve seen.
It’s not an easy workout, but luckily beginners can start with an easier resistance level and the Manual workout program to stay motivated as they build up their stamina and boost their metabolism.
Beyond that, there’s lots of room for improvement by mixing up the workouts, taking advantage of the interval training workout modes, and gradually increasing the resistance level to keep getting better and better results.
To top it all off, there’s zero joint impact, so it’s much better on your knees and back than any treadmill out there.
The M5 is our Editor’s Choice Max Trainer, and is highly recommended.
Where to Buy
To get the best deal on a Max Trainer M5, click here for Free Shipping ($150 OFF, ends soon).