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Bowflex Max Trainer Review - 21 Things You Need to Know

Can you lose weight by exercising for just 14 minutes? If so, where do we sign up? That’s what Bowflex Max Trainer claims, but what’s the real deal with this one? Let’s take a closer look at the quality of the product, price tag, and what customers think of Bowflex Max Trainer. Finally, we’ll bring it home to give you just the facts.

Bowflex Max Trainer can be purchased through their Official Site.

Bowflex Max Trainer Readers: Noom is offering our readers a risk-free trial, for a limited time. Click here for more information!

What is Bowflex Max Trainer?

The Bowflex Max Trainer is the famous premium model that is part of the Max Trainer line. It is one of the most highly rated trainer machines that Bowflex has brought on board. The product combines the attributes of a stair-stepper and an elliptical machine by 70% and 25%, respectively. It is also allegedly harsh if we base it on how the company designed it. But, this has not taken away its attractiveness to users worldwide as per claim by the makers of the product. Some trainers are part of Max Trainer.

One of the most popular choices in this line is the M8, which claims it can deliver on the company’s promises. Several others, such as the M6 and the Bowflex Max Trainer M3, preceded the M8 but came up against the fierce competition.

The introduction of the Bowflex Max Trainer M6 and M8 was to deal with the fierce competition that characterized the market. In line with the information present on the maker’s official website, the product has more features than all of its predecessors. The makers claim it also has more resistance and a commanding overall rating.

Nautilus, Max Trainer’s company, says that its products burn up to 2.5 times more calories per minute than ellipticals, step-climbers, and treadmills; they activate the upper body 80% more than ellipticals and cause 200% less impact than a moderate run, but does research back any of this up?

  • JAMA: Stair stepping can burn more energy than cycling, but it is not a more effective workout than one on a treadmill.
  • Medicine and Science in Sports and ExerciseStair-climbing can be a good alternative for running.
  • Gait & PostureElliptical workouts, including elliptical stepping, is a good workout when compared to stationary cycling, treadmill walking, and overground walking.

Bowflex Max Trainer Competitors

Instant Knockout
FitOn App
Figure 8 Fitness
Camp Gladiator
Company Bio

Bowflex Max Trainer Company

Name: Nautilus, Inc.

CEO: Mr. Jim Barr

Founded: 1986

Headquarters: Vancouver, Washington

Mailing address: 17750 S.E. 6th Way, Vancouver, WA 98683, United States

Telephone number: (800) 510-5651

BBB Rating: Nautilus has been making fitness products for more than three decades, and the Better Business Bureau has awarded them an A- rating. When we attempted to find the latest information on BBB rating, customer rating and complaints, the page claimed the profile was currently being updated. There was no mention of when the profile would be ready to view.

Most seem to be about the TreadClimber, as many of their company’s customers complained of waiting a long time for refunds and replacement parts.


Bowflex Max Trainer Claims

According to its makers, the Bowflex Max Trainer can deliver fantastic workout results.

They also claim that the machines have remarkable fat-burning abilities that extend beyond what most trainers can achieve. According to various sources, including the company’s official website, it is possible to burn a ton of calories within a quarter of an hour. As the official website says, this is a remarkable achievement that most trainers fail to achieve.

A benefit of interval training is that it can assist your body to keep burning calories after you’ve stopped working out. The official website for these products says that they can go on for 48 hours,  but most studies say 24.

During interval training, people take in more oxygen than with longer, moderate-pace workouts. On top of this metabolism boost, it can also boost people’s aerobic and anaerobic capabilities and promote muscle growth.


Bowflex Max Trainer Features

Bowflex Max Trainer’s line has many features that enable it to compete favorably with most of the companies on the market today. Here is a look at some of its significant features:

  • 16 resistance levels
  • Burn rate indicators
  • Synchs perfectly with most Bluetooth devices, including smartphones
  • Eight workout programs
  • Water bottle holder
  • LED-backlit display
  • Heart rate monitor
  • Premium grips

Easy to assemble

The Bowflex Max Trainer M6 and other products often come in pieces. Therefore, customers have to join them before use. According to the makers of the machine, the process usually takes longer with other devices. But, it is streamlined with the Max Trainer line of trainer machines.

Efficient backlight display

Time and again, the makers have stated that the M6 and their other products come with a backlight display. It is on this basis that these machines are quite convenient to use. Whether this is true or not depends on the discretion of the users in various parts of the world.

Up to eight workout programs

The Bowflex Max Trainer M8 and other Bowflex trainers are held in high esteem for their remarkable combination of workout programs. According to the makers, they offer eight workout programs. These workout programs include max interval, smart max, calorie burn, and fat burn. Other programs worth mentioning include the steady-state, calorie goal, stairs, and manual mode. Users are free to choose from one of these workout programs depending on the workout results they are interested in.

Efficient heart rate monitor

The heart rate monitor of the machine supposedly delivers surprising results. According to the company, it is one of the most sensitive heart rate monitors of all the machines on the market today. The makers also claim that the chest strap is readily available for users to keep the heart rate monitor in place at all times.

State of the art grips

All machines of this nature come down to grip quality. But, the makers of the Bowflex Trainers claim that their products are equipped with grips that no trainer possesses. This is what makes the machines worth using and safer than most of the trainers that are available on the market today. The grips are also understood to make the device much easier to handle compared to most of the trainers that are available on the market.

Smartphone synchronization

Bowflex has always claimed that it comes with a feature that syncs it with smartphones in ways that other machines fail to do. Its Bluetooth compatibility features allow it to connect to a wide range of devices, including Android and Apple devices.

Compact design

The makers of the product also claim that the machines have a minimal layout, which makes them capable of fitting in most rooms. Based on the information that is readily available on the website of the company, the machines have a size that is only a fraction of most of the elliptical machines that are present on the market today.


Features per Bowflex Max Trainer Model

Bowflex M3

  • Eight resistance levels
  • Two workout programs (Manual, MAX Interval)
  • Chest strap heart rate monitor
  • Water bottle holder
  • Media shelf/tablet holder

Bowflex M6

  • Full color backlit LCD display
  • Bluetooth, iOS, Android, and USP connectivity
  • Custom workouts
  • Bowflex JRNY subscription
  • Workout tracking for two users
  • Economic grips
  • Water bottle holder
  • 16 resistance levels
  • Integrated heart monitor
  • Five workout programs

Bowflex M8

  • Full color backlit LCD display
  • Bluetooth, iOS, Android, and USB connectivity
  • Custom workouts
  • Bowflex JRNY subscription
  • Workout tracking for four users
  • Sculpted handlebars
  • Water bottle holder
  • 20 resistance levels
  • Integrated heart monitor
  • Seven workout programs

Bowflex Max Total

  • Built-in touch screen (Wi-Fi connection required)
  • Track your fitness improvement over time
  • Access your Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu accounts
  • Upper body power training
  • Real-time feedback and rewards
  • Friendly virtual coaching and individualized workouts
  • Bluetooth connected
  • Sculpted handlebars
  • Water bottle holder
  • Bowflex JRNY subscription

Assembling the Trainer

If you take a look at the owner’s manual, you’ll see that the assembly instructions it provides are clear and straightforward. Besides something sharp to unbox the components, the package already includes the tools, parts, nuts, and bolts you require.

Online reports suggest that assembly difficulty is on par with putting together IKEA furniture.

If you’re still having difficulty, there are many videos of people assembling the machine online, including on the product’s official website.

Does It Work?

Does The Bowflex Max Trainer Work?

Over the years, Bowflex Max Trainer has made some claims about how its line of trainers operates. According to the company behind the trainers, the Bowflex Max Trainer works perfectly and can deliver surprising results in various ways. Such claims are all on the company’s official website.

But, such information is there to win the hearts of the members of the public. Whether it is true or not remains to be seen. To deduce whether the Bowflex Max Trainer cost is worth it, it would be a good idea to refer to some third-party sources ranging from reviews to product descriptions.

Some reports on third-party sites show that it burns a lot of calories in only 15 minutes. There is also information that suggests that individuals who have used the machines find the 16 resistance levels quite challenging. Information on the ground indicates that the gauge of the machines is relatively easy to read and follow.

Some users of the machine have also reported that their muscles and joints continued to be in perfect shape following a long session of workouts.


Bowflex Max Trainer Benefits And Results

Some benefits of the Bowflex Max Trainer include:

  • Increased endurance
  • Improved muscular strength
  • Reduction in body calories within a short time frame
  • Promotes cardiovascular health
  • Multiple workouts on a single machine

Some research suggests stair stepping can provide other kinds of benefits as well. According to Frontiers in Psychology, stair climbing can improve cognitive performance in some healthy young adults. In older adults, exercise training from stair stepping can provide some specific benefits to the legs and knees, according to research published in Frontiers in Physiology

More research published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports found that stair climbing could improve both resting and active heart rates, and another study in Preventative Medicine found that this form of exercise could be beneficial to the cardiovascular health of young sedentary women.

Weight Loss

Bowflex Max Trainer And Weight Loss

The Bowflex Max Trainer is a workout machine. According to the makers of the product, they designed the device to enable users to successfully engage in multiple workouts with a particular emphasis on burning calories.

This explains why it is suitable for losing weight. A good number of sources, including the company’s official website and reviews, suggest that the machine can burn around 600 calories following the end of a 30-minute workout. Company sources also indicate that ellipticals are only able to burn about 240 calories within the same time frame.

Information on the company’s website suggests that its effectiveness depends on how users combine resistance levels. The upward motion and the handles facilitate the loss of weight in the upper body. The combination of body workouts and resistance levels account for the reliability of the machine in as far the burning of calories is concerned.

Around 16 resistance levels are usually enough to enable trainers to burn a significant fraction of calories.

In general, stair climbing can increase exercise levels and lead to better fitness levels in certain individuals, per research in Sports and the Journal of Physical Therapy Science.


How To Use Bowflex Max Trainer

The Bowflex Max Trainer is easy to use. Information on how to use the machines is available on the official website. In general, it involves standing on the footplates and grabbing the handles. You should follow this by selecting your workout program and resistance level of preference and starting to step. You can easily adjust the settings using a switch on the handles.

Users don’t need special equipment for interval training. And while Nautilus claims that its products give some benefits compared to other forms of workout equipment, they only bring up a 2013 “Independent University Study” as evidence and don’t even offer a link or copy of the study on their official website.


Any Bowflex Max Trainer Lawsuits?

In 2005, Nautilus, Inc., the company behind Bowflex, was charged with failure to report defects in fitness machines. The case was brought on by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission. Nautilus agreed to pay $950,000 in fines.

In 2020, Nautilus, Inc. is once again facing a lawsuit regarding their BXT116 treadmill. The plaintiff claims that the horsepower information on the site is overstated and was used as a way to compare to other products before making the purchase. This case is ongoing and we will update as more is revealed.


Bowflex Max Trainer Alternatives

Bowflex Max Trainer often competes with treadmills and ellipticals. Therefore, the effective alternatives of the Bowflex trainers are the ellipticals and treadmills. Names worth mentioning include:

  • Proform Cardio HIIT Trainers
  • Sole SC200 Stepper
  • Schwinn 470 Elliptical

Bowflex Max Trainer Cost

The cost of Bowflex Max Trainer depends on the version of the trainer. The price of the new releases is higher than the old versions. Further, second-hand Bowflex machines cost less than the new machines.

A brand-new M3 usually costs around $1000, while an M8 may cost well over $2200.


Bowflex Max Trainer Financing Options

  • Nautilus offers credit card-based, no money down financing through Synchrony Bank.
  • No interest charges if you pay in full within 18 months ( rolls over retroactively to an APR of 29.99%).
  • Third-party technicians to assemble Max Trainer for $159.
  • Shipping and handling: $100 or $150, depending on the model.
Where To Buy

Where To Buy The Bowflex Max Trainer

The trainer has continued to attract attention from a good number of customers around the world. As such, many people are in search of where to buy the Bowflex Max Trainer. Most reputable online stores have machines in stock:

  • Amazon.com
  • eBay
  • Dick’s Sporting Goods

Bowflex Max Trainer Warranty & Guarantee

  • M3 comes with a year warranty on its parts.
  • M6 & M8 come with a 2–3-year warranty.
  • All models come with a 90-day labor warranty.
  • Return Policy: 6 weeks, 100% money-back. (If you want your money back for any reason, ship back for a full refund of the purchase price).
  • To file warranty claims or refund request, you need to contact customer service at (800) 605 – 3369.

Bowflex Max Trainer Reviews

The M6 is by far one of the most popular Bowflex Max Trainer choices available on the market today. It is best to refer to the reviews of the Bowflex Max Trainer M6. The third-party reviews of the Bowflex Max Trainer M6 often have unbiased information on the performance of the M6.

Pros & Cons

Bowflex Max Trainer Pros & Cons



  • Combines elliptical and stair-stepper.
  • Doesn’t strain knees, back, and other trouble spots.
  • Easily legible display.
  • Increases calorie burn rate every half an hour.
  • Better upper body training than simple ellipticals.
  • Free 8-week subscription to Daily Burn that offers 600+ workout videos.
  • Comes with a tablet holder.
  • Chest-strap heart-rate monitor.
  • Costs less than $1000.


  • Warranty only covers one year.
  • No iPod connection.
  • No grips.
  • Only eight resistance levels
  • Only offers two workout programs.



  • Trains the entire body.
  • Works out upper arm strength better than other elliptical machines.
  • Has 16 levels of resistance.
  • Comes with five different programs of exercise.
  • Comes with wireless and contact pulse sensors.
  • Can have two different user profiles.
  • Compatible with Bluetooth 4.0 that enables you to track data online.
  • Comes with a water bottle holder.
  • Small size.


  • Tiresome assembly and getting a professional to do it for you could be costly.
  • Costs more than other, similar treadmills and ellipticals.
  • The two-year warranty doesn’t reflect the product’s retail price.



  • 20 different resistance levels.
  • Preset workout varieties.
  • Bowflex Fitness app syncs with it.
  • Joints don’t suffer from using it.
  • Wireless heart rate monitor.
  • Best-quality grips and pedals.
  • Comes with a water bottle holder and media ledge.
  • Capacity for up to four different user profiles.
  • Longest warranty out of all the Max Trainer products.
  • Compact size.


  • Very expensive.
  • Takes a long time to assemble.
  • Could be too intense for many people.
New Products

New Products Available

There are new treadmills by Bowflex available, the T7 and T10. They come with JRNY digital fitness program on a touchscreen HD screen. Both reach speeds of 12 mph with motorized incline and decline. It also includes wheels for easy transportation in and out of storage.

What Users Are Saying

What Users Are Saying

The Bowflex M7 works as advertised. I would highly recommend it after 1.5 years of use. The M7 provides structured 14minute HIT workouts that burn calories at a high rate for a small time investment. The build quality is superb and it looks great in my small home gym. Lately, I have been working out before work, performing 2x Max HIT sessions at 14minutes each for a total of 28minutes. It’s been wonderful for my energy levels and fitness.

“This machine is very unstable unless you are going slow. I wish I would have tried one before I bought it.”

“Got the M3 for my husband this past Christmas. Not even 6 months later it is wobbling and squeaking.”

Bottom Line

The Bottom Line on Bowflex Max Trainer

Should you drop $999-$2,199 on a Bowflex Max Trainer? Well, it aims to help you lose weight in less time than traditional fitness machines. A 14-minute workout is better than an hour-long cardio session. Some users don’t care about the price, although there are benefits to using this fitness machine.

Losing weight and getting fit can be tough, and sometimes you may need a bit of help. Possibly, a program that helps you adopt a new lifestyle to lose weight for good.

Among the best products we’ve seen this year is one called Noom. What’s in the program? Users can find their personal path to weight loss with a customized plan tailored to you. Don’t take our word for it; user reviews show people see promising results.

Additionally, the makers of Noom offer a free trial offer, which is an impressive sign of confidence.

Learn More About Noom »
Bowflex Max Trainer Review
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Bowflex Max Trainer

What is the Bowflex Max Trainer?

The Bowflex Max Trainer is a premium trainer machine from Bowflex’s Max Trainer line. It combines the attributes of a stair-stepper and elliptical machine, and claims to provide an effective 14-minute HIIT workout that can help users lose weight and burn calories. The current models in this line are the M3, M6, and M8.

How does the Bowflex Max Trainer work?

The Bowflex Max Trainer provides high-intensity interval training through a combination of stepping and elliptical motions. Users repeatedly perform bursts of vigorous exercise followed by recovery periods. This interval approach is said to provide an efficient, 14-minute full-body workout that burns a significant amount of calories even after the workout is done. The resistance and incline can be adjusted for different difficulty levels.

What are the key features of the Bowflex Max Trainer?

Key features of the Bowflex Max Trainer include:

  • Combines stepping and elliptical motions for a full-body workout
  • 16 levels of resistance for adjustable difficulty
  • Large full-color backlit display
  • Integrated heart rate monitor
  • 7-8 built-in workout programs
  • Compatible with fitness apps like JRNY
  • Compact, space-saving design
  • Easy to assemble
  • Includes media shelf, water bottle holder, and other accessories
How much does the Bowflex Max Trainer cost?

The Bowflex Max Trainer ranges in price based on the model:

  • Bowflex Max Trainer M3: $999
  • Bowflex Max Trainer M6: $1,699
  • Bowflex Max Trainer M8: $2,199

The M8 is the premium model with the most features. Bowflex regularly offers sales and financing options to make the Max Trainer more affordable. The price includes the machine itself, all required parts, and a 2-year warranty.

What are some alternatives to the Bowflex Max Trainer?

Some similar alternatives to the Bowflex Max Trainer include:

  • NordicTrack Commercial Studio Cycle: Combines cycling and strength training with studio classes
  • ProForm Vue: Touchscreen elliptical with streaming workout programs
  • Horizon Fitness 7.8 AT Treadmill: High-performance treadmill with decline training
  • Sole E95 Elliptical: High-end elliptical machine with power incline and adjustable stride
  • NordicTrack Commercial 1750 Treadmill: Large, advanced treadmill with streaming workouts

These provide a range of cardio and interval training options at different price points and feature sets.

Where can I buy Bowflex Max Trainer?

Bowflex Max Trainer can be purchased using their Official Site.

What are the ingredients in Bowflex MAX Trainer?

The Bowflex MAX Trainer features components including: burn rate indicators, 16 resistance levels, water bottle holder, eight workout programs, premium grips, heart rate monitor and LED-backlit display.

What are the side effects of Bowflex MAX Trainer?

The potential side effects of Bowflex MAX Trainer include sore muscles and fatigue.

Does Bowflex MAX Trainer work?

Yes, Bowflex MAX Trainer works by helping you burn a lot of calories within a short duration, which, when combined with a balanced diet will assist with weight loss.

What is the price of Bowflex MAX Trainer?

Bowflex MAX Trainer sells for about $1,600.

Where can I buy Bowflex MAX Trainer?

You can purchase the Bowflex MAX Trainer on Amazon, or find it on auction sites like eBay.

How should I take Bowflex MAX Trainer?

To use Bowflex MAX Trainer correctly, stand on the footplates and hold the handles.

How do I contact Bowflex MAX Trainer customer service?

Bowflex MAX Trainer customer service can be reached via phone at 1-(800) 605-3369.

Can I return Bowflex MAX Trainer?

Yes, you can return Bowflex MAX Trainer within six weeks of purchase for a full refund.

What are the most common complaints about Bowflex MAX Trainer?

Commonly, customers have complained about the six weeks money-back guarantee offered by Bowflex MAX Trainer, terming it as unfavorable.

Is Bowflex Max Trainer hard on your knees?

In general, the Bowflex Max Trainer is considered to be a low-impact exercise machine. Its unique design minimizes stress on your joints, making it suitable for individuals with joint problems or those who wish to exercise gently. The adjustable stride length and extra cushioning also help lessen the impact on your knees while still providing an intense workout. As with anything, it’s always important to consult a medical professional if you have any concerns about how the Max Trainer may affect your health.

Who makes the Bowflex Max Trainer?

The Bowflex Max Trainer is made by Nautilus, Inc., a fitness equipment manufacturer based in Vancouver, Washington. The company was founded in 1986, and its CEO is Jim Barr.

How easy is it to assemble the Bowflex Max Trainer?

According to the makers of the machine, the assembly process is streamlined with the Max Trainer line of trainer machines and takes longer with other devices.

1 Bowflex Max Trainer Reviews

  • bawb (Verified Purchase)

    Great workout but apps and heart monitor are substandard compared to other comparable machines.

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