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Bowflex Max Trainer M3 Review

Quick Summary

The Bowflex M3 is the most affordable in the new Max Trainer product line. It uses the same technology as the premium model (the M6), just with some of the bells and whistles trimmed to lower the price to $999. While the machine has a lower rating than the M5, a shorter warranty, less extra features and less workout programs, the Bowflex M3 still packs a punch and will burn many calories in no time. Workouts are still very efficient and effective. Sometimes you don’t need all of the extras as long as the core is strong.

Is it right for you? Read on for more info…


ModelBowflex M3

Our custom rating considers the Max Trainer's features, specs, warranties, and 100's of user & expert reviews, to save you time!

List Price

Suggested retail price, including shipping. Typically higher than the price you'll pay with promotions.

Best Price

This link goes to the best price we've found online, including shipping (with coupons & sales).


Resistance is what determines calories burned per stride. The more levels, the more precisely you can control the difficulty.


Resistance levels determine the difficulty of the workout.

8 Resistance Levels

Max Trainer Programs help guide you automatically during your routine so you don't have to change any settings manually.

2 Workout Programs

For each program the Max Trainer allows, you can create a custom user account with saved programs and goal settings.

2 User Profiles
Heart Rate

Heart Rate programs allow you to track how many times your heart is beating per minute (bpm), and some control the workout for you.

Chest Strap
Max Weight

Max User Weight is the amount of weight, in pounds (lbs), that a Max Trainer can safely support, which can represent durability.

300 lbs

Dimensions are included to help you figure out if this Max Trainer will fit properly (Length x Width x Height and Height x Depth).

49" L x 26" W x 64.7" H
Ceiling: User Height + 15"

The Display refers to the screen you'll look at to monitor workouts. If it is backlit, then will be easier to read in low light.

Standard LCD/LED
Cup Holder

Integrated water bottle holder included in console for easy access.

Media Shelf

Designed to hold iPads/tablets, Kindles, books, magazines, etc. (Note: certain tablets might cover up some of the display.)

Syncs with App

Bowflex created an iPhone app for monitoring your progress on the Max Trainer.

Premium Grips

Softer integrated contact grips to monitor heart rate.


Is the Max Trainer easy to move? Does it have wheels? These can be crucial factors when buying a Max Trainer.


The warranty is an important part of your investment. The longer the warranty, the longer you can get free/discounted repairs.

1 Year
Best Deal

We do not sell Max Trainers; we are a free Max Trainer reviews service. This link goes to our top-rated retailer for the Bowflex Max Trainer M3

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Rating: 88%

Our Rating


The M3 is the most affordable option in the Max Trainer line. It doesn’t have all the features and programs of the M6, but it still offers zero joint impact and burns a lot of calories in a short workout.


  • The unique design burns a ton of calories
  • An extremely compact machine with a small footprint
  • The gauge on the display is helpful and easy to read
  • A convenient media shelf/tablet holder
  • Heartrate monitoring chest strap included
  • Tailored workout programming that automatically adapts to progress with JRNY integration
  • Zero impact on your knees, back, and joints
  • A better upper body workout better than ellipticals


  • Full coverage warranty only lasts 1 year
  • Free, 8-week Daily Burn subscription no longer offered
  • No iPod connection or speakers built-in
  • Doesn’t have heart rate contact grips
  • 8 resistance levels (the M5 has 16 levels)
  • 2 workout programs (Manual + Interval)
  • Not Bluetooth compatible
  • Not programmable
  • No “add time” option during workouts
  • No built-in fan

Max Trainer M3 Introduction

What makes the Max Trainer unique? More importantly, what makes it better than a treadmill or elliptical?

The M3 is designed to be extremely compact (with zero impact on your joints) and burn as many calories as possible. If you anticipate moving your Max Trainer M3 often, the integrated transport rollers make it easy.

The closest existing piece of equipment is an elliptical. The M3 was designed as a superior alternative to an elliptical and in many respects it achieves that goal. An independent study found that people working out at the same intensity for the same amount of time burned 2.5x the calories on the Max Trainer than on the elliptical.

If your goal is to train for races (5k, half-marathon, etc.) a treadmill is your best bet since you’ll be sticking to the traditional running form. But if you just want an awesome low-impact workout in your home, the Max Trainer is definitely worth considering.

That said, I’d recommend checking out our side-by-side comparison of Max Trainers to see which one is right for you.

Max Trainer M3 Features

The Bowflex M3 comes with 2 workout programs, Manual and Max Interval (for automatic interval training). It’s a small number of programs compared to the more advanced models in this series, but at least they are the most popular programs.

The machine also allows you to choose from 8 resistance levels to adjust the difficulty of the workout. As you build up your stamina and get in better shape over time, you can gradually crank up the resistance to keep reaching higher levels.

The display is well-designed, and includes easy to read indicators for calories burned and your burn rate (a good measure for intensity).

You can monitor your heart rate with the included chest strap. This is less convenient than having the machine automatically measuring it for you through the contact grips on the Bowflex M6, but chest straps are also more accurate.

It’s also important to mention the upper body workout. It won’t get you the same results as strength training, but being able to exercise your arms during a cardio workout is a time-saver. Nothing wrong with saving time, now is there?

Warranty & Guarantee

The Bowflex Max Trainer M3 comes with a one year warranty that covers the entire machine.

Walmart & Amazon’s return policies are both 30 days after item is delivered.


The M3 burns many calories in a short time with zero impact on your joints. It’s a compact machine that fits just about anywhere and the industrial design is flat out gorgeous, which is a welcome bonus. Overall, the M3 is a good option in this price range, though it’s worth considering an upgrade to the M5 to get even more value from the extra features, additional workout programs, resistance levels, and longer warranty. The Boflex Max Trainer series is fantastic top-to-bottom, but it’s important to make sure you get the right machine to suit your personal workout goals. To see which Boflex Max Trainer is right for you, consult our side-by-side comparison.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the weight capacity of the Bowflex Max Trainer M3?

300 lbs.

How heavy is the Bowflex Max Trainer M3?

143 lbs.

Is the Bowflex Max Trainer M3 noisy?

There have been complaints of a knocking noise on the Bowflex Max Trainer M3. If this happens to you, you may think the problem lies in the pulleys. Before you use a crank puller to remove the pullies to tighten the screws, however, there’s an easier fix that’s more likely causing the noise. Remove the handlebars, and loosen the internal Allen screw.

What is the footprint of the Bowflex Max Trainer M3?

49″ L x 26″ W x 64.7″ H

Is the Bowflex Max Trainer M3 hard on your knees?

The beauty of the Max Trainer M3 is that, through the combination of elliptical and stair-step movements, you don’t experience the impact you would on a treadmill.

How difficult is it to assemble the Bowflex Max Trainer M3?

Assembly is easy. The unit only weighs 143 pounds, so it’s feasible to assemble on your own. However, it can be helpful to have someone else around to help lift the frame from the shipping plate. Aside from that, it’s just a matter of attaching the rail assembly, stabilizer assembly, rear shroud, leg assembly, pedals, and handlebars. The manual is simple to follow complete with pictures and all tools needed.


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