Best Bowflex Max Trainers of 2019
Top 5 Best Rated Max Trainers
|Automatic 20 Levels||29 Workout Programs||Enhanced dual-mode LCD/LED||3 Years||$2,299||See Best Price|
|Automatic 20 Levels||11 Workout Programs||Backlit Dual Mode LCD/LED||3 Years||1999||See Best Price|
|Automatic 16 Levels||29||5" console||2 Years||$1,699||See Best Price|
|Automatic 20 Levels||n/a||3 Years||$2,799||See Best Price|
|Manual||2 Workout Programs||Standard LCD/LED||1 Year||$1,199||See Best Price|
Highest Rated: Bowflex Max Trainer M8
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Best Price: $1,999
Meet The Family: A Max For Every Budget
Bowflex Max Trainers are built by Nautilus—a company based in Vancouver, Washington. The Max Trainer family has been growing, and now includes three models—the M3, M6 and M8. Each can supply a full body workout with a good range of resistance levels, but their sale prices range from low-budget to premium/commercial grade. The goal of this guide is to lay out the pros and cons of each model, and finally explain why the mid-priced M6 is the best/smartest buy for the majority of Max Trainer shoppers.
Sale Prices and Summaries
At first glance, the three Max Trainers appear to be almost identical. In reality they are actually quite different when one another, especially when you start looking at workout programming, available resistance levels, warranties, and other features. Here are quick summaries of each machine, including the best factory-direct sale prices so far. Click on any machine name for a detailed review.
The M8 is a great buy at $2,299. It earns a just shy of five-star average rating from customers, while other Max Trainers earn about 4.5 on average (no too shabby!). The M8 is larger than the M3 and M6, but still qualifies as a compact fitness machine overall. Compared to the M6, it provides more training guidance, supports twice as many user profiles, feature better pedals and handgrips, and allows more precisely tuned resistance (20 settings instead of 16). You can spot a few more differences by comparing the specs at Bowflex.com. The machine has a 3-year warranty on parts, though a 5-year warranty can be had at an additional cost.
The M6 is mid-priced at $1699. It’s the best-selling Max Trainer, as it offers the best value for the majority of shoppers/fitness fans. This model is superior to the M3 in several important ways, and is relatively close in specification to the M8, all while undercutting its sticker price by a decent margin. A few advantages of the M6 over the M3 include cushioned pedals, more personalized resistance (16 choices instead of eight), two user profiles instead of one, six additional workout programs (plus a fitness test), and Bluetooth connectivity for sending exercise data to mobile apps. It can monitor heart rate wirelessly and with contact sensors. The whole-machine warranty is for two years.
The Bowflex M3 is the entry-level model of the group, offered at a $999 sale price. It has the same maximum force as other Max Trainers, but only eight settings for customized resistance (the others have 16 and 20). The M3 also has less variety in terms of built-in workout programming (its lone guided routine is the classic Bowflex 14-Minute Max Interval Workout). Still, with a Daily Burn membership (trial included) you can access 24 videos designed especially for Max Training. This unit supports wireless heart rate monitoring. The standard warranty is valid for one year.
The price for each Max Trainer increases in increments of $600 ($999, $1699 and $2299). We see a big jump in benefits from the M3 to the M6. The differences are less dramatic between the M6 and M8.
Calculating the likely daily cost, the M6 is the best value. For most shoppers, the M6 Max provides a sufficient mix of training programs, resistance settings, and buyer protection. However, heavier users might prefer the stability of the larger M8 Max Trainer.
Max Trainer Video
See a Max Trainer in action with this Bowflex commercial.
Why Are Max Trainers So Effective?
You might be wondering, “What’s so great about Max Trainers? Why should I buy one? What will it bring me?”
Well, let’s take a look at some of the benefits of a Max Trainer.
Zero Harsh Impact
First and foremost, you won’t get the harsh impact on your joints that comes with so many other machines. Since your foot stays in contact with the pedals at all times, your weight never comes down on your joints like it does when running on flat ground or a treadmill. Your joints will thank you for using a Max Trainer. This provides the obvious benefit of exercising pain free and reducing the risk of injuries. Less stress being placed on joints essentially means less risk for overuse injuries, osteoporosis, and even stress fractures over time. That’s is a huge plus for anyone who is serious about their workout sessions. Beyond that, let’s not forget about the other benefits.
First, you can exercise harder. When you aren’t in pain or discomfort, you can give 110% in each and every workout session. This means more calories burned and more fat loss. On top of that, you won’t get as fatigued because your body won’t have to deal with this stress during exercise. So you might be able to exercise longer on a Bowflex Max Trainer. It’s no surprise that we often hear of people using a Max Trainer once, and immediately shopping for one to add to their home.
What’s harder: walking on flat ground or walking uphill? Obviously walking uphill is significantly harder, and will almost always give provide a better workout—that’s what the Max Trainer delivers. It mimics the action of going uphill or stair climbing. This ensures that you not only experience a fantastic calorie burn, but also strengthen your glutes, hamstrings, quads, and calves as well. The machine this all without the knee strain you’d get from climbing stairs.
If you want an intense workout, the max trainer will deliver.
When you hop on the treadmill, you have one place and one place only to put your hands. Putting them there actually detracts from the workout.
Not with a Max Trainer! The handlebars move as you do. Since these handlebars also offer added resistance, this increases your calorie burn and ensures that you are working upper body.
The handle bars on the Bowflex Max Trainer support multiple grip positions, allowing you to hold onto them in a way that provides maximum comfort while also ensuring the best ergonomic position.
One of the hottest methods of working out right now is interval training. This involves alternating between very high intensity bouts of exercise and active rest periods done at a lower intensity.
This type of training is ideal for those who are looking to boost their metabolic rate, leading to better fat loss results. It’s also good for those who are looking to save time in the gym. Since an interval training session only lasts 15-20 minutes, it’s far more time efficient than doing a moderate intensity cardio workout that’s 30-60 minutes long.
The problem that many machines run into with interval training is that they don’t get to the pace of the high intensity interval fast enough. So by the time you are exercising at that level, the interval time is almost over. Treadmills especially suffer from this issue.
Thankfully, this sin’t an issue with a Max Trainer. This machine adds intensity in mere seconds simply by increasing the resistance or increasing the speed. You won’t have to wait 10 seconds to get up to full incline like on a treadmill, leading to a more efficient session.
Furthermore, this machine can also challenge you in speed and resistance, providing more options during interval training sessions.
All the Bowflex Max Trainer machines come with an interval training option built in, so you can just select this option and get on with your workout worry free.
The calorie burn achieved from interval training is unlike anything else. With most machines it’s quite challenging to burn 600 calories per hour. With the Max Trainer, you may burn that in just 30 minutes through interval training sessions.
Miscellaneous Max Trainer Perks
If you opt for a Bowflex Max trainer, there are some additional perks that you’ll want to know about.
Free DailyBurn Membership
Every Max Trainer is sold with an eight-week free trial of DailyBurn. This fitness app offers hundreds of video workouts organized by skill level and need. This company has partnered with Nautlius to produce 24 workout videos especially for the M3, M6, and M8. Simply place your tablet or smart phone on the ledge of the machine and then begin your training.
You don’t just get these videos either. You’ll also get access to over 600 different videos on DailyBurn’s database. After your eight week trial is up, the DailyBurn subscription costs $14.99/month.
Some fitness machines out there are far too large for most home gyms. With a Bowflex Max Trainer, this won’t be an issue.
These machines were specifically designed for use in smaller spaces, requiring less floor space than both treadmills and elliptical trainers. The M8 is slightly larger than the other two models, but still works for most spaces.
These trainers are also quite quiet to use. They are virtually silent, so you can use them at any time of day without worrying about waking up family members.
Like most things in life, there are always a few drawbacks.
Here are the few to note.
- Expense: While the Max Trainers may seem to be same price as some higher end treadmills and ellitpicals, don’t be fooled. The issue here is that they don’t come with as long of a warranty package. So if your Max Trainer breaks, you may spend quite a bit repairing it. Delivery also costs $100 and if you want it assembled, that will be another $250. So make sure to factor in those costs before making a decision. These are great machines, but you will pay for that quality.
- Cardio Challenge: Finally, these machines are challenging. Beginners or those who are not in very good shape may find them too difficult. Those with pre-existing heart issues will want to be careful as interval training can put quite a bit of stress on the heart. Be sure to speak with your doctor before embarking on interval training.
Common Questions About Bowflex Max Trainers
Q: Are there Max Trainer coupon codes or sales?
A: Yes, online discounts are common. To see the best Max Trainer deals (sales and exclusive coupon codes) click here.
Q: Do Max Trainers really burn alot of calories in just 14 minutes?
A: Yes. You should also allot time to stretch for warming up and cooling down, but Max Trainers are more than twice as efficient as treadmills, ellipticals, and steppers. This is partly because they work the whole body, take advantage of upward motion, and are zero impact. For the maximum workout, those 14 minutes should be spent specifically with interval training, not simply training at a constant pace. Max Interval workout programs can automate your machine’s intensity for a well-designed training session. You’ll burn more calories per minute of exercise, plus your metabolic rate will spike for many hours after your workout.
Q: Are these machines difficult to assemble?
A: For most owners, the Bowflex Max isn’t difficult to assemble. The printed manual and a two-minute YouTube video are straightforward. Some steps do require two people to keep the machine steady. You will also need a 13 mm wrench, an Allen wrench, and a Philips screwdriver. Including the time spent on unpacking and organizing the parts, assembly could take about an hour. Fortunately, most US residents can pay $249 for pro assembly instead of doing it themselves.
Q: How compact is a Max Trainer? How much clearance is needed?
A: Max Trainers are significantly smaller than treadmills, ellipticals, and most other gym machines. The M3 and M6 are especially compact, they have footprints just 46” long and 25” wide. The M8 is just a bit larger at 49” long and 30.5” wide. To ensure that you’ll have enough overhead clearance as you exercise, use your Bowflex in a room with ceiling at least 15” above you.
Q: What if I’m not ready for intense cross training?
A: Max Trainers are built for intense interval training. They let you run at high speed without repetitive impact. With the eight weeks of DailyBurn training included with purchase, most people can work up to an intense 14-minute interval workout. But if you’d rather train at lower speeds, consider a Bowflex TreadClimber instead. TreadClimbers have steep inclines to naturally boost your metabolic rate.
Q: What’s included with the Max Trainer warranty?
A: Each factory-direct Max Trainer is packaged with a standard parts warranty for the whole machine. The M3 has one year of coverage, while the M6 and M8 have three. Each model has a standard 90-day labor warranty as well. Paying for extended warranties on parts and labor could be wise. For example, you can extend the labor warranty on the M8 from 90 days to three years for $139.
Q: What is the return policy?
A: Bowflex gym equipment is sold with a six-week money-back guarantee. The machine doesn’t even need to be faulty. You can return it for any reason. It’s rare to hear of customers returning Max Trainers though. In our experience, the satisfaction rate is above 95%.
Q: How is the machine powered?
A: The Max Trainer plugs into a wall socket with an AC adaptor.
Q: How is Bluetooth used with Max Trainers?
A: Consoles for the M6 and M8 have Bluetooth connectivity. This lets you wirelessly send your workout data to the free Max Trainer 2 app for iOS or Android. The Max app can sync with Apple Health and other third-party fitness apps, making it almost effortless to track your workout activity and results. Apple Health and other fitness apps also have calorie counters, workout planning calendars and other features to help maximize your progress.
The Max Trainer lineup is a excellent choice for intense total-body training with minimal risk of injury. Benefits across the series include speedy calorie burn, cardiovascular endurance, and muscle sculpting/strengthening. The M6 and M8 are especially appealing because of their consoles (which have diverse programming and Bluetooth) and more levels of pedal resistance. To get the best price, check out our coupons and deals page.