Bowflex Max Total 16 Review
The Bowflex Max Total 16 comes into the 2022 lineup at the top of a well-established brand, promising users as hard a workout as they can handle. An advance upon the now discontinued Max Total, the new machine continues the tradition of blending a stair stepper and elliptical into one smooth flowing High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) machine. The most noticeable difference between the Max Total 16, Max Trainer M9, and Max Trainer M6 is the screen size, with the top unit featuring a 16-inch HD touchscreen. Fans of the old Max Total will like the improved screen, as that model happened to be first to include one. The downside is this Max Total 16 doesn’t come with pre-built workout programs and relies largely on interactive training.
Bowflex upgrades its lineup just about every year and new models bring new features. The Max Trainers have a well-earned reputation for providing high-intensity cardio workouts with the Bowflex JRNY Fitness App as a partner. Unlike the NordicTrack’s iFit program, or the Peloton app, JRNY lends itself a little more to the AI and offers more entertainment options via the screen, including Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video. Purchase comes with a free year of the JRNY Fitness App, valued at $149, as well as a free mat and other upgrade options.
Priced at $2,499, the machine is presently offered online at $2,399 and serves as an upscale treadmill replacement for home fitness fans seeking a little more burn in their legs. Whether the Bowflex Max Total 16 warrants a spot in your gym or not hinges on the details though, and you should definitely read below as we offer a spec analysis on why it does.
|Model||Max Total 16|
|Resistance||Automatic 20 Levels|
|Users||Unlimited (allows unlimited amount of users via the JRNY App)|
|Heart Rate||Bluetooth, Contact Grips. And wireless armband|
|Max Weight||300 lbs|
|Dimensions||49.3" L x 30.8" W x 65.7" H|
|Syncs with App|
|Premium Grips||Upgraded Ergonomic Grips|
|Warranty||Frame: 3 Years|
Parts: 3 Years
Electronics: 1 Year Labor: 90 Days
|Best Deal||Visit Site|
At the top-tier model in the 2022 Bowflex lineup of Max Trainers, the Max Total 16 brings a solid machine for those serious about cardio. Measuring 49.3″ x 30.8″ x 65.7″ at a weight of 155.4 pounds, the unit fits nicely into small home studios. And while it doesn’t fold up like a treadmill, it’s easy enough for one person to move it about the room, all the while supporting up to 300 pounds in user weight. Whether training clients myself, or cutting weight for a bodybuilding contest, I find this size of unit to be great for home training. Let’s face it, we don’t all have enough room to lay down a treadmill measuring seven feet in length.Equipped with a 16-inch console and HD touchscreen, the mechanism features six-grip handlebars and a dual rail design. The Max Total 16 is Bluetooth-enabled and purchase includes an armband heart rate monitor, as well as heart rate monitors embedded in the hand grips. In addition to the 16-inch console, the machine has a built-in media shelf and oversized textured pedals.
In terms of raw exercise power, the Max Total 16 brings 20 levels of resistance, which is more than enough to keep any level of athlete engaged. The Bowflex series of Max Trainers are designed to merge the stepper with an elliptical, bringing a smooth, low-impact movement to the cardio game. Whereas treadmills and even steppers can be tough on the joints, this machine is great for those wanting a softer motion. But if the elliptical was too light a workout for you, there’s no question this will be of a higher intensity. Designed specifically for HIIT workouts, users can ramp up and down the intensity levels even if hips and knees are a concern.
NordicTrack and ProForm have iFit, and of course Peloton has it’s own app. The Bowflex family brings the JRNY Fitness App to the field of interactive training and it ranks as well as any, perhaps better. Yes, the machine can operate without the JRNY app, but you will lose a lot of the interconnected features that make it worthwhile. The purchase comes with a full year of the program included, valued at $149, or $19 per month. NordicTrack’s iFit package meanwhile runs $39 per month just to compare. But if you’re steadfastly against paid app services, then frankly I’d advise shopping for a less expensive machine as the apps unlock the real value by way of heart rate monitoring and interactive training.
One of the big downsides to the newer models across all brands is fewer built-in programs. Whereas the now-discontinued Max Total had eight, the new Max Total 16 has zero. I can’t hold that against Bowflex in particular though as it’s pretty common practice these days. It’s also one of the reasons the company is offering a free year of the JRNY Fitness App.
The big value to JRNY is that it can travel on any device and taken to the gym. It also works with any other Bowflex equipment, traditional strength equipment, or bodyweight for that matter. Using an AI-guided training system, the app has thousands of workout variations, virtual destinations, and personalized metrics tracking. This includes heart rate training and routines with professional trainers, as well as curated workout playlists. Another unique feature is that via JRNY, users can access Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and JRNY Radio with the machine’s HD screen and Bluetooth speakers. That’s a rarity among most exercise machines these days, which typically limit the screen activity to just exercise programming.
In terms of warranty, I admit I’m less than impressed. The machine is backed by a three-year guarantee on the frame and parts, one-year for electronics, and 90 days for labor. Between five and 10 years would be closer to the norm. That said, Bowflex does offer free shipping and exercise mat with purchase, and customers can opt for in-home installation for $169. A SelectTech 552 dumbbells can also be added into the purchase for a discounted price. That’s one of the benefits to Bowflex I’ve noticed across its offerings, the company does a nice job of bundling offers and it’s smart to check back frequently to see what they’ve discounted.
Here are lists of top features on the Max Total 16 and potential drawbacks.
- 20 resistance levels
- 16-inch console and HD touchscreen display
- Combined benefits of a stepper and elliptical
- 1-year JRNY Fitness App (valued $149)
- Dual-rail design
- Six-grip handlebars
- Bowflex AI-based training capability
- Armband heart rate monitor included with purchase
- Bluetooth speakers
- Compact dimensions — 49.3″ L x 30.8″ W x 65.7″ H
- Allows users to get a great workout in a shorter amount of time
- Substandard warranty — compared to other pieces of equipment, the Max Total 16’s warranty is very short relative to the cost
- No built-in programs
Max Total 16 Overview
The first thing to notice about any of the Max Trainers is that it’s a hybrid stepper and elliptical. The good news is the motion is much more fluid than a traditional stepper but you still get the vertical motion as well as the horizontal. In terms of motion, there’s a slight rotation but it’s still largely stepping as opposed to the more horizontal ride of an elliptical. The Bowflex Max Trainer series is popular amongst people concerned with knee or hip pain due to this design. All in all, it’s a great combo. With six different handle positions, the upper body gets a workout too, shoulders, biceps, and triceps.
And that’s why these are popular models, upgraded regularly. The Max Total 16 replaces the Max Total and heads up the brand’s 2022 lineup which also includes the Max Trainer M9 and M6. With 20 levels of resistance, it’s nearly impossible to outgrow this machine, and given the compact design it takes up little room in the home gym.
The biggest difference in the present lineup’s models is the screen size, with the Max Total 16 bringing a 16-inch console and HD screen. How important the screen size is will largely determine whether or not this model is for you.
Max Total 16 Trainer Features
Bowflex JRNY Fitness App: The machine brings a full year of JRNY and all of its interactive programming. The company clearly hopes to get users impressed enough in that year that they’ll continue with the program. A little more AI-oriented than its peers, JRNY brings virtual training in real time as the user’s metrics are incorporated into future workouts. It’s also one of the few apps on the market that let you bring entertainment options like Netflix and Hulu to the same screen.
20 Resistance Levels: This is a great range and will not be outgrown. With HIIT, no matter how good of shape you’re in, you’ll be able to exceed your max here.
Six Grip Handles: This number of grips affords users of any size comfort and ease of use.
Free Armband Wireless Heart Rate Monitor: Unlike many other machines that offer a wireless monitor at an additional cost, Bowflex includes it with the Max Total 16.
Compact Size: The Bowflex Max Total 16 packs a lot of power for such a small size. All the better to fit in small or big spaces in your home gym.
- How heavy is the Bowflex Max Total 16? The machine weighs 155.4 lbs.
- Can I watch Netflix on my Bowflex Max Total 16? Through the JRNY Fitness Platform, users can watch Netflix, Hulu, Disney+ and a number of other entertainment programs.
- What is the minimum ceiling height required to use a Bowflex Max Total 16? With this model, figure at least 15″ plus the height of the user. This means a user 72″ tall should figure an 87″ ceiling.
Warranty & Guarantee
The warranty covers three years on frame and parts, one year for electronics, and 90 days on labor.
Priced at the upper end of the market, the Bowflex Max Total 16 brings a good screen and full year of JRNY to the table. If you’re into ellipticals this really is a great machine to inspect. Aside from a shorter warranty than we’d like, there’s no disputing the value of cross-training by way of HIIT. With 20 resistance levels and Bluetooth heart rate training, the Bowflex Max Total 16 deserves its spot as a top tier trainer. That said, if the sticker price is a bit too much, consider the M9 is nearly the same machine with a 10-inch screen and priced at $1,999. The M6 just has an interactive display and 16 levels of resistance, but at $$1,299 it’s a budget-friendly alternative.
New for 2022
August 11, 2022: The new Max Total 16 replaces the Max Total and brings with it a larger screen at 16 inches. Unlike the Max Total though, the Max Total 16 does not include pre-built programs. The new Max Total 16 also comes with a full year of the Bowflex JRNY Fitness App.