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Bowflex Max Trainer M5 Review


The Max Trainer M5 is back and part of the Bowflex Secret Clearance Sale! Use code SECRETSALE for $600 off plus free shipping ($250 value) while quantities last. Follow this link to the sale.

Quick Summary

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…


Model Bowflex M5

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.

16 Resistance Levels

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

8 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.

Contact Grips
& 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).

46" L x 25" W x 63" 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.

Backlit 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.

Upgraded Ergonomic Grips

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.

2 Years
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 M5

Visit Site Max Trainer Editor's Choice: The M5 is the premium model in the Max Trainer line. Its unique compact design provides a workout that burns 2.5x the calories of a traditional elliptical. With lots of programs and resistance levels, the M5 will continue to get results for a long time.

Rating: 94.5%

Our Rating

Rating: 94.5/100. 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.

Coupon Code: Save $325

Get $175 off + Free Shipping by entering the coupon code FALL18 at checkout on this discount page.


  • 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
  • Includes 8 week subscription to Daily Burn, which means you’ll have access to 600+ workouts
  • 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 (but less expensive than the M7)

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

As you go about searching for your perfect trainer, there are select features to keep in mind. Here are the main ones that the Bowflex M5 has to offer.

Resistance: If you want to increase the overall intensity of your training workouts, one of the best ways to do this is by adding more resistance. The Bowflex M5 Max Trainer delivers. It offers 16 different resistance levels, so no matte where you happen to be in your fitness journey, you can find the level that will challenge you.

This makes this machine great for beginners and more advanced exercisers alike. It also makes it very possible to do high intensity interval training easily, which is one of the best ways to build your fitness and burn fat.

Upper Body: One unique element that separates the elliptical and max trainers from all other cardio machines is that you get both a lower body and an upper body workout. The Bowflex M5 is one of the best machines to get an upper body workout because of how it’s built.

You can expect to work your biceps, triceps, shoulders, back, as well as your chest. This means you really don’t need to do any additional training beyond this exercise in your workout program.

The more you increase the resistance on the machine, the greater the challenge will be and the more superior your muscle strength results will become.

Heart Rate: Keep tabs on your heart rate is one of the best ways to ensure that you’re on track to reaching your cardiovascular fitness goals. It’s also a great strategy to ensure you are burning the calories you want to be burning. With M5, you’ll have contact heart rate monitors right on the grips of the handle bars, so as long as you’re using the machine, you can easily keep tabs on this. You don’t have to worry about any annoying chest straps or other tools required to get this data immediately.

Display: If there’s one thing you’ll fall in love with when you choose to purchase the Bowflex M5, it’s the display. It has a readout that shows you your intensity along with your total calories burned, so you’ll stay up to date every step of the way. It also is able to sync with a mobile app and Bluetooth 4.0, so no matter what type of technology you prefer to keep track if your workout stats, you’ll be covered.

You’ll also find a number of different challenging programs that can help you level up your fitness game and see better results. For those who are easily bored, you’ll fall in love with the various workout program options.

Workout Programs

Speaking of workout programs, that brings us to the next point. The Bowflex M5 offers a manual mode that will help you determine how you want to workout. You set the pace and intensity here, so it’s great for those who like to be in control.

Beyond that, you’ll also get the classic programs such as steady state training, which has you going at one pace for the entire workout, stair training, which mimics climbing a flight of stairs and is a sure-fire glute burner, fat burn mode to help you maximize fat oxidation, and a calorie burn mode for those who simply want to burn as many calories as possible during their workout session.

On top of that, if you really want to put yourself to the test, give their interval training programs a try. They have a Max Interval program along with a Smart Max Interval, both of which can help you burn 250% more than you would on a conventional elliptical machine. If you want to see a dramatic transformation, these are the programs for you.

Warranty & Guarantee

Finally, when looking at the warranty and guarantee, the Bowflex Max Trainer M5 doesn’t disappoint. It offers two years coverage on the entire machine so no matter what happens to go wrong in the first two years you’re covered. If you are going to have an issue, usually it happens after the first year, but before the second so you can put your mind at ease with this machine.

There is also a 6 week return policy and if you decide it’s just not for you within that time frame, you get a full refund. This is perfect for those first-time buyers who may not be so familiar with max trainers yet.

Bowflex M5 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. This 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, click here for $175 off + Free Shipping ($325 savings).