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Bowflex Max Trainer M6 Review

Quick Summary

The Bowflex Max Trainer M6 is a fabulous stair stepper meets elliptical machine to hit the market of indoor exercise equipment. It’s a modern machine that is guaranteed to leave users sweating. The M6 machine, combined with the JRNY Digital Fitness Platform, gives users the ability to get a great workout in 14 minutes. One of Bowflex’s main marketing plans is the intense workout in a short period of time and we’re going to highlight its best features while telling you how this is possible. There’s no doubt, the Max Trainer M6 could be the change you need in your workout regime.

This is one of two of the first trainers (Bowflex Max Trainer M8) to be enabled with the Bowflex JRNY App™ – an app with an artificial intelligence platform called Max, a virtual trainer who will assess and guide you throughout your workouts and goals, along with instructor-led on-demand videos. The company routines offers specials such as a free six-month JRNY subscription with purchase.

Specifications

ModelBowflex M6
Rating

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

94.5%
List Price

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

$1,699
Best Price

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

$1,499
Resistance

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

Automatic
16 Levels
Levels

Resistance levels determine the difficulty of the workout.

16
Programs

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

5 (4 pre-programmed workouts + manual mode), can use JRNY App to unlock trainer-led content
Users

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
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

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 26" W x 64.2" H
Display

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.

5" Dual LCD/LED color screens
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.)

Magnetic media rack
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
Portable

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

Warranty

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

Frame 2 years, Parts 2 years, Labor 90 days
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 M6

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Rating: 94.5%

Our Rating

Rating: 94.5/100. Editor’s Choice based on rating and value for price. This is a great machine, and an excellent value purchase. Workouts are efficient and effective; with intensity, because of the design (blend of stair stepper and elliptical) and various resistance levels,  it gets the job done, and done well. With the addition of the JRNY Digital Fitness Platform, it takes your training to another level.

The M6 is designed for a range of fitness users. Whether you’re looking to get back into a workout routine from a hiatus or improve your current physical state, the M6 will cater to your goals and capabilities. The JRNY Digital Fitness Platform will also enhance your workout experience with artificial intelligence technology that remembers each workout and will push you to work harder as if you had your own personal trainer in your home daily. This is a low impact machine that will help you tone your body, burn calories and shed pounds without any harsh impact on your joints.

The machine itself comes equipped with comfortable foot pedals that provide a solid grip and can accommodate a wide range of foot sizes for various users. The long handlebars are designed to allow for different hand placement running parallel to the body of the machine. There are touch sensors located on small handlebars at the bottom of the console to monitor your heart rate for a more accurate reading of your fitness level. This model comes with plenty more workout options than prior incarnations, with free pre-programmed workouts including the: Max 7 Minute Interval, Max 14 Interval, Max 21 Minute Interval, Manual Workouts, and the initial Fitness Assessment. Dozens of instructor-led videos can then be unlocked with a monthly subscription. There are 16 levels of resistance and it can accommodate 2 users. There is a media deck to hold a tablet or phone to display the app during your workout. Lastly, there is a space to hold a large water bottle, phone or keys during the workout.

Pros:

  • Convenient fit: Fits just about any home workout gym.
  • 16 resistance levels: Makes for intense, low impact workouts. Burn more calories in a shorter space of time.
  • Bowflex JRNY App™ platform enabled: It’s like having your own personal trainer.
  • Enhanced dual-mode LCD/LED screens: Easy to read.
  • Data Feedback: Burn rate monitor display.
  • Integrated heart rate monitor/touch grip: Convenient to use and read without affecting your workout.
  • Family-friendly: 2 user profiles.
  • Variability: Low impact/high intensity.
  • Entertainment Options: Media rack for tablet or phone, as well as a USB port.
  • Cardio Feedback: Heart rate monitor in touch sensors.
  • Compact size: 46 inches long, 26 inches wide, and 64.2 inches high.
  • Attractive Look: Sleek grey and black design in an enhanced color scheme.
  • High-tech: Bluetooth compatible for tablet, heart rate monitor and fitness apps.

Cons:

  • Warranty: The length for labor coverage is short could be extended to beyond 90 days.
  • Ongoing cost: JRNY App ($19.99/month).
  • Less ergonomic: Handle bars not as grip friendly as Max 8, regular foot pedals.
  • Fewer amenities: No cooling fan in console.

Max Trainer Overview

The Bowflex Max Trainer M6 is a good value buy. Bowflex’s trainers are a blend of a stair stepper and an elliptical – offering low impact and high intensity workouts.  It offers 16 levels of resistance which is enough for most exercisers, even the more advanced fitness levels. 

As fans of the Bowflex family of equipment have long realized, the JRNY Fitness Platform brings a lot of bang subscription price for the $19.99 per month or $149 per year. Compatible with not just the Max Trainers, but select treadmills, bikes, and other equipment, users with multiple pieces for the family can bounce from machine to machine with the same app. Individualized, adaptive workouts automatically adjust as users progress. With the adaptation comes at least four fresh, recommended workouts generated per day based on preferences. Real-time coaching brings automation to the role of trainer as the machine motivates users through plateaus with metrics including: Time, interval, calories, burn rate, heart rate, RPM, and resistance level. And in addition to more than 50 virtual locations through which to stroll, the JRNY app also works with Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video, and Disney+ and incorporates curated playlists into the entertainment options. On-demand classes led by professional trainers are also a big feature.

The M6 offers a low impact, high intensity workout so it is an appropriate machine for a wide range of users. Whether you have previous joint issues or injuries, low cardio range or are looking to improve your overall health, the M8 can help you achieve your goals without impact. While the stigma with elliptical trainers is that they may not be intense enough for stronger athletes, the Max 8’s intelligence platform breaks that notion but pushing users to reach their max capacity in shorter bursts while also finding their endurance range to keep them working in a higher heart rate zone. The biggest thing people will remember about the Bowflex Max trainers is the promise to achieve a great workout in 14 minutes. This machine is designed to utilize the short period of time to have users reach max potential rather than coasting as we can all be guilty of when working out on our own.

M6 Features

Compact Size: The M6 is a compact magnetic media holder that will fit in most spaces; and easy to store out of the way. Assembled it weighs 148 lbs, but has rollers to help move it.

16 resistance levels: This is a broad range of difficulty that allows for even the most advanced fitness level to be challenged. This means it will satisfy the needs of various users in one home and it will be effective and used for a long time.

Maximum User Weight: The maximum user weight of 300 lbs.  means that it will securely manage most exercisers.

User programs: It is capable of programming up to two users, history and progress.

Media Rack: A media rack in front holds a tablet or smartphone; it’s easy access.

Display: It has a unique burn display that shows calories burned while increasing your activity levels.

Workout Programs

The Bowflex JRNY App™ is created on an artificial intelligence platform. It’s actually quite cool. “Max” analyzes your fitness level and history and suggests when you need to increase your level of difficulty while motivating you – similar to a personal trainer – each time you get on the machine. It will also give you access to 29 instructor-led on-demand videos. The free version has 17 videos and the paid subscription has an additional 12 videos along with the option for personalized videos.

Q&A

  • Is the Bowflex Max Trainer M6 loud? The term ‘loud’ is relative of course, but the trainer does make noise based on the motion of the wheels. Our experience is that it might be an issue for others in the same room, or perhaps in an apartment beneath the one in which it is being used. That said, the noise won’t travel through walls.
  • How hard is it to assemble the Bowflex Max Trainer M6? With a Max Trainer, it really depends on one’s skill due to the vertical nature of the machine. A good ratchet set is definitely a must, and having a few friends to help is a good idea. Figure between one and three hours depending on how many people are helping with the larger parts.
  • Does the Bowflex Max Trainer M6 have built-in speakers? Yes, the machine is equipped with a sound system.
  • Is the Bowflex Max Trainer M6 Bluetooth-compatible? Yes, this model is, as are the M8 and M9.
  • How is this model delivered? The Bowflex Max Trainer M6 is delivered in two boxes, with one measuring 46.5″ x 16.5″ x 23″, and the second 40.5″ x 26.8″ x 11″.
  • What is the stride length on the Bowflex Max Trainer M6 and is it adjustable? The stride is 15″ but it is not adjustable.

Warranty & Guarantee

The warranty is three years for the frame and parts and 90 days for labor.

This is an improvement on the warranty offered with the M6, but still a little on the meager side. Four or five years on the frame and parts and an extended labor would have made a better deal.

Bowflex M6 Conclusion

Overall, the Max 6 is most impressive for its smooth motions, compact frame and above all, the Max Intelligence Platform App. The program combined with the machine itself has taken working out at home to new heights. The M6 is designed for a wider range of users and is adaptable no matter your fitness level. An important note when deciding which Max machine to purchase is that this model is a lower price point than the M8 with only a few minor physical differences. These comparisons may come down to personal preference or the amount of users who will be using the machine. The machines themselves are quite similar but differ in handlebars, foot pedals and media deck. The Max 6 is also grey versus the all black M8. Both machines are compatible with the Max Intelligence Platform App, which is what really makes both machines stand out from competing indoor fitness equipment. The M6 is undoubtedly a great purchase to help you begin your fitness journey, maintain or improve your physical abilities.

The M6 is our Editor’s Choice Max Trainer, and is highly recommended.

Recent Updates

August 12, 2021: The “Bowflex Max Intelligence App” has been updated to the “Bowflex JRNY App”, and the AI platform is now named “Max”, a virtual trainer.

15 Comments

  • Wilfredo R September 1, 2020 at 10:53 am from NY
    I purchased a Bowflex Max Trainer M6 around the last week of April 2020. I have been using this equipment about 2 times a week. Unfortunately, the equipment already went bad, it started making an extreme low thumping noise around the last week of July 2020 which is about 3 months or less from the time I receive the machine. I called customer support, which is extremely disappointing and frustrating. I called them as soon as they open (6:00 AM, PST). I was on hold for about 2 hours before I spoke to someone. The technical representative identified the problem and indicated that a motor (8004601 SERVICE KIT, SERVO MOTOR) had to be replaced. Seems like a gear broke on the motor, and keeps going on a loop making the thumping noise. Based on the conversation with the technical representative, someone was going to contact me to schedule an appointment as soon as the part shipped. I received the part about a week ago, no one has contacted to make an appointment to replace the part. I called Bowflex support number, thus far I have been waiting for about an hour, and still on hold. It seems impossible to get an answer from bowflex customer support due to long waiting time. This is extremely frustrating to have an expensive piece of equipment and not being able to use it. I would like to find a way to return this useless Maxtrainer and get my money back.
    • FitRated September 16, 2020 at 3:50 pm
      Hi Wilfredo, sorry to hear about the frustrations you are having trying to reach Bowflex's customer support. In the past, we have had success with reaching them through the live chat option on their website. You can try that if your issue hasn't been resolved yet. Best of luck!
  • Interested July 20, 2020 at 8:01 am from WI
    Hi I am wondering about the stepping it looks elliptical but I use a Stair stepper at the gym. It doesn’t look like you’re stepping high enough I can’t tell. Does it feel like normal steps or close to it.
    • FitRated July 21, 2020 at 4:42 pm
      Hello, the M6 has an estimated 11" upward motion and 2-3" forward motion. Hope this helps!
  • Giovanni Formisano July 18, 2020 at 9:55 am from Massachusetts
    Hello, I would like to know the stride length of the m6 machine.
    • FitRated July 21, 2020 at 4:41 pm
      Hi Giovanni, the M6 has more of a stepper motion, so it's estimated to be about an 11" upward motion and a 2-3" forward motion. Hope this helps!
  • Mindy Tofias April 14, 2020 at 1:57 pm from NJ
    How hard is this to put together? With all that's going on I cannot have a professional put this together for me. Is this something a novice can do?
    • FitRated April 17, 2020 at 2:25 pm
      Hi Mindy, the assembly for this machine can definitely be done by a novice! BowFlex has an assembly video that you can check out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRX5xdoSapE
  • Kristi Saunders April 14, 2020 at 11:18 am from Richmond, VA
    I’m curious how this piece of equipment would work in a basement with a lower 7 foot ceiling. My husband is 5’10” and I’m worried he may have to duck to use it? Thank you.
  • Ashley January 24, 2020 at 7:00 pm from Atlanta
    Hi. I am in the process of looking for elliptical type of exercise machines. The M6 sounds impressive, but my hesitation is the 90 labor warranty. I would rather not pay a few hundred dollars for a $1,700 machine on its 91st day at my home. Any possibility of making it at least a year labor warranty? I would be willing to pay that little extra for it.
    • FitRated February 18, 2020 at 10:45 am
      Hi Ashley, Bowflex offers extended protection plans for up to 5 years at different price points. All the info is on their website. Just click on our "See Best Price" button to take you there! :)
  • BETTY WILSON March 18, 2019 at 4:43 pm from Middletown, Ct
    I DON'T WANT TO PAY $15.00 PER MONTH FOR A SUBSCRIPTION. CAN I USE IT ADEQUATLEY WITHOUT A SUBSCRIPTION? THANK YOU
    • Courtney Grafton March 18, 2019 at 4:47 pm
      Hi Betty. Yes there are some free programs included with the app and the machine itself can be used on its own without a tablet at all. There are varying programs like manual, fat burn, etc. that you can use without paying for a subscription. The app allows for a more customized workout plan that you could always add on later if you decide!
      • Betty Wilson March 18, 2019 at 4:49 pm
        Thank you!! I'll order it now.
      • IJ July 2, 2020 at 12:55 am from Alberta, Canada
        Hi Betty, I just bought the Bowflex M6. How do I access the free programs on the app?

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