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Bowflex Max Trainer M9 Review

Quick Summary

For those who know home fitness, the benefits of a Max Trainer are no secret. Long a favorite of gym-goers, the Max Trainer combines the stair stepper and elliptical machine into one zero-impact hybrid, capable of burning 2.5 times the calories. Into the Bowflex line-up of Max Trainers comes the 2021 addition of the M9, which builds upon the positive reviews garnered by earlier models. The Bowflex Max Trainer M9 brings with it an upgraded 10-inch HD Touchscreen display to replace the 9.6-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab E included with the M8. But the model does expand upon the brand’s commitment to online training by way of the JRNY digital fitness platform, with a free two-month trial included in the purchase. All that on top of 20 levels of resistance, and the Bowflex Max Trainer M9 is certainly worth checking out in the review below.

Specifications

ModelBowflex M9
Rating

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

98%
List Price

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

$1999
Best Price

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

$1999
Resistance

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

Magnetic
20 levels
Levels

Resistance levels determine the difficulty of the workout.

20
Programs

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

4
Users

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

Variable
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 and Bluetooth arm band
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).

49.2" L x 30.5" W x 65.1" 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.

10-inch HD Touchscreen
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.)

Premium
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.

3 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 M9

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Rating: 98%

 

Our Rating

Rating: 98/100. The M9 enters the market at $1,999, which seems a bargain compared to more expensive competitors such as the NordicTrack FreeStride Trainer FS14i Elliptical at $3,299. That said, the M9 does offer a wide range of benefits suitable for users of any level. Whether for just one user, or perhaps the entire family, this trainer is designed to serve as a multi-use fitness machine. And with the JRNY Digital Fitness Platform, multiple users within the same household can personalize their programs from routines to assessments.

The most obvious difference between the M9 and M8 is the move away from the included 9.6-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab E to the 10-inch HD Touchscreen display. Aside from that fans of all things Max Trainer will recognize the same basic idea of non-impactful, high-intensity, cardio performance.

The trainer itself is built with oversized, textured pedals, with allow users to find their own sprinting position irrespective of foot size. Four-grip handlebars allow users of varying heights and hand-size to personalize their placement throughout movements of varying speeds. These same dynamic handlebars also bring touch sensors for heart rate monitoring, with data automatically sent to the JRNY app for tracking and observation. Purchase also comes with a Bluetooth HR armband for advanced metrics when it comes to cardio performance. The same Bluetooth technology is also great for music or other audio functions. It’s worth mentioning that the M9 also affords connectivity with non-exercise programs such as Netflix, making for more possibilities yet when placed within a home. Meanwhile, this Max Trainer features a premium media deck for phones, tablets, or perhaps remote controls to a television set.

In terms of space required, the M9 measures 49.2 inches x 30.5 inches x 65.1 inches, which is nearly identical to the M8. Again, the biggest change seems to be the switch from an included tablet to a 10-inch screen, and the move from more built-in programs to just four, plus a growing development within the JRNY program. And the JRNY Digital Fitness Platform is worth a look for those desiring interactive training. At $149/year, or $19.99 per month, the program features workout routines that automatically adapt to the user’s past performance and individual metrics. Fitness assessments are also incorporated into the program, as well as trainer-led videos, and virtual coaching. Users can stride through more than 50 global destinations by way of the screen, and personalized playlists bring an individualized combination of tunes. The JRNY app also works in conjunct with Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney accounts, so trainers can watch longer programs while earning the burn. The program is designed to replicate the presence of a live, personal trainer in such a way that they can maximize the benefits of High Intensity Interval Training at nearly unlimited rates of speed.

Designed to provide a high-intensity, low-impact workout, the M9 answers the question of how to hit the HIIT without damaging joints or tendons. While even the most cushioned treadmill still provides some bounce to the feet, the Max Trainers provide a smooth motion by way of both magnetic and air resistance. The motion of a trainer such as this combines the two movements associated with a stair climber and elliptical, which makes for a better total body workout. Elevating one’s heart rate is key to cardiovascular success, but moving fast without injury is just as crucial. To that end, the Bowflex Max trainers promise a solid workout in less than 14 minutes by allowing for bursts of intensity, rather than allowing users to coast on the machine’s motion, or worse, injure themselves with poor form.

 

Pros:

  • 10″ HD touchscreen display
  • 20 levels of magnetic and air resistance
  • Interactive training by way of the JRNY Digital Fitness Platform
  • Good size at 49.2 inches x 30.5 inches x 65.1
  • Assembled weight is only 148 pounds
  • Contact sensors for heart rate
  • Bluetooth speakers
  • Bluetooth arm band heart rate monitor included
  • USB charging port
  • Multi-grip handles
  • Large, textured pedals
  • Compact frame
  • 300 lb weight capacity

Cons:

  • With a warranty of only three years for the frame and parts, and only 90 days for labor, it’s a bit short relative to the competition 
  • Fewer built-in workout programs in favor of the app
  • No cooling fan in console

 

Max Trainer M9 Overview

The Bowflex Max Trainer M9 is Bowflex’s newest trainer on the market. Designed to combine the motion of both a climber and elliptical, the machine is built for speed and HIIT. As a home fitness piece, the machine itself only weighs 148 pounds, meaning it’s stable enough to remain steady during exercise, but not so heavy as to require a permanent position.  

With 20 levels of resistance, both magnetic and air, users of any level will be able to test their limits. In terms of overall conditioning, these trainers are tough to beat. The ability to maximize speed with bursts of HIIT, or remain in more of a long, slow, stride is a plus. The novice can advance well into the upper echelons of fitness without having to change equipment.

Built with a 10-inch HD Touchscreen, the M9 is clearly designed to partner with the JRNY Digital Fitness Platform. Purchase comes with a free two-month membership, after which, the subscription runs $149 per year or $19.99 per month. The JRNY program also works on other select Bowflex machines and can be downloaded onto other devices, meaning users can take it with them on the go. The program is also compatible with other streaming entertainment programs, so users can ditch the trainer while watching a movie or perhaps music video.

Heart rate sensors are embedded in the handlebars, and purchase does come with a Bluetooth HR armband. Irrespective of one’s fitness level, the importance of tracking heart rate can’t be overstated when it comes to exercise. Most people seeking a trainer are well aware of this and will see the value of the added heart rate tracking.

Max Trainer M9 Features

Bowflex JRNY Digital Fitness Platform: The JRNY Digital Fitness Platform is a dynamic workout app which can be taken onto other devices for remote exercise. It comes complete with fitness assessments, workouts that adapt to goals and performance, virtual workouts around the world, trainer-led videos, virtual coaching, and connectivity with live streaming entertainment formats such as Amazon Prime Video. The program costs $149 per year, or $19.99 per month, and can also be used on other select Bowflex machines.

20 Resistance Levels: Given that one can reach nearly unlimited speeds with the combination of magnets and air, this range is good for users of any level. Some might feel more levels equals better workouts, but with a Max Trainer, the individual is really unleashed in terms of their output. 

New Screen: The Bowflex Max Trainer M9 brings a 10-inch HD Touchscreen.

Premium Media Rack: For phones, tablets, keys, or other devices.

Four-grip Handles: The multi-grip design allows users to adjust their hands during workouts. Given the total-body nature of this machine, this is something to consider.

Integrated Heart Rate Monitor: With sensors in the handlebars and a Bluetooth armband to boot, users can track their cardio without much worry.

Compact Size: The Bowflex Max Trainer M9 can fit well just about any home, and only weighs 148 pounds for easy transport.

 

Workout Programs

Workout options are available via the BowFlex JRNY Digital Fitness Platform. With both virtual coaching as well as customized workouts, the app can be utilized on other devices and taken to offsite locations. The app also works with select other members of the Bowflex family of machines. 

Warranty & Guarantee

The warranty covers three years on frame and parts, and 90 days on labor.

Conclusion

The Bowflex Max Trainer line has consistently earned high rankings with better screens coming each year. With the M9, the line-up is moving to a larger and more dynamic 10-inch HD Smart Touchscreen, and this seems like a good direction. Price-wise, this new model is actually less expensive than the M8, and the switch from an included tablet to a screen might be the reason. Meanwhile, it’s still quite competitive within the larger market for fitness machines. The only real drawback is the three-year warranty, which seems a bit short for a machine of this cost and complexity. Other than that, we give it high marks and have no doubt it’ll do the job.

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