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The Bowflex Max Trainer is a unique hybrid elliptical / step machine. It is aimed at users who want a home cardio machine that lets them benefit from the best of both walking and climbing cardio workouts, without the high impact on the joints & exposure to the weather from doing these exercises outdoors.

We take an in-depth look at this cardio machine – is it the best model for your needs?

 

Bowflex Max Trainer – Features

Bowflex Max Trainer
TypeCross Trainer
MethodMagnetic Resistance
Flywheel WeightNot stated
Resistance Levels16
DisplayBacklit LCD Console
USB Charging PortNo
BluetoothYes
Heart RateYes
Workout Programs9
Max User Weight300lbs
Machine Weight143lbs
Dimensions46.1"L x 25"W x 62.9"H
Tablet / Book HolderYes
Stride LengthNot stated
Built-in FanNo
Built-in SpeakersNo
Water Bottle HolderYes
Adjustable PedalsNo
User Profiles2
Warranty (Frame)2 Years
Warranty (Mechanical)2 Years
Warranty (Electronics)2 Years
Warranty (Labor)2 Years
Cost (amazon.com)Check Price

Bowflex Max Trainer Review

What We Like

What We Don’t Like

Build Quality

The Bowflex Max Trainer employs sturdy material and is built to last. You have pedals that are wide and long for individuals of all sizes. The machine is lightweight at 143 lbs. However, Bowflex uses a frame made of steel and rubberized handles grips to provide additional stability during workouts. The machine will be your workout companion for years. 

 

Weight Capacity

The Bowflex Max Trainer has a maximum weight capacity of 300 lbs. There are other elliptical options for those that weigh more. 

 

Adjustment Range

The Max Trainer has 16 levels of resistance. While the number of settings isn’t a lot, it is suitable for all, from beginners to elite athletes. You can go from warming up to an intense workout in just seconds. All you have to do is press a few buttons. 

 

Height

The Bowflex Max Trainer is a mix between an elliptical and a stairclimber. Usually, with such machines, you have to be careful when it comes to height, but this machine is pretty compact with dimensions of 46 x 25 x 63 inches. While using the machine, you will be around 15-16 inches off the ground, so you need to consider that when selecting a room for it.

 

Design/Features

Bowflex has designed the Max Trainer so users can get a full-body workout. Incorporating a stairclimber design allows you to get more out of the lower body than the average elliptical. At the same time, the handles ensure you keep your upper body engaged with every step; this way, your arms, chest, back, and shoulders also get toned in the process, giving your body a complete workout. 

 

The handles come equipped with a heart rate monitor to give you accurate readings. This helps you determine just how intense your workout is. The machine provides various data, including everyone’s favorite, an estimate of calories burned. You can transfer data from it to your mobile devices using the Max Trainer App. Unfortunately for those that enjoy listening to music while working out, you will need external speakers or headphones. 

 

Assembly

The compact machine is easy to assemble. Bowflex provides a detailed guide on how to assemble the machine, as well as all the tools needed for assembly. It should take around an hour to assemble it. 

 

Value

Bowflex continues to design well-crafted, useful machines for fitness lovers with the Max Trainer. The machine comes equipped with eight program modes tailored to specific fitness goals, such as burning fat or hitting a specific calorie goal. However, like most Bowflex products, the Max Trainer does have a hefty price tag.

 

How Does It Compare?

Schwinn 470

The Schwinn 470 weighs 160lbs, while the Bowflex Max Trainer is lighter at 143lbs. However, both have the same maximum user weight capacity at 300lbs.

Regarding resistance levels, the Schwinn 470 has 25, while the Bowflex Max only has 16. The same goes for built-in workout programs. The Schwinn 470 offers more with 29 programs, while the Bowflex Max has 9.

Both ellipticals have backlit LCD consoles.

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Schwinn 470 Elliptical Machine
Bowflex Max Trainer

Proform HIIT

The Proform HIIT weighs 132lbs, while the Bowflex Max Trainer weighs 143lbs.

Though both lightweight machines, they differ when it comes to the maximum weight capacity. The Proform HIIT is more versatile with 325lbs maximum weight, while the Bowflex Max has a standard weight of 300lbs.

The Proform offers more with 24 resistance levels and 32 workout programs, while the Bowflex has 16 resistance levels and 9 workout programs.

Both ellipticals are on the pricier end of the scale, but the Proform HIIT is usually more expensive than the Bowflex Max.

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Sole E35

The Sole E35 is significantly heavier at 231lbs, compared to the Bowflex Max with only a weight of 143lbs. However, the Sole E35 can cater to users of up to 375lbs, while the Bowflex Max has a typical maximum weight capacity of 300lbs.

Both the Sole E35 and Bowflex Max have quite a limited number of resistance levels and built-in workout programs—the Sole E35 offers 8 resistance levels and 10 workout programs, while the Bowflex Max has 16 resistance levels and 9 workout programs.

With their screens, both feature a backlit LCD, but the Sole E35 has a bigger screen at 7.5”.

Overall, the Sole E35 is a little pricier than the Bowflex Max.

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Sole E35 Elliptical Machine
NordicTrack c7.5 Elliptical Machine

NordicTrack C7.5

The NordicTrack C7.5 weighs 190lbs – a little heavier than the Bowflex Max that weighs only 143lbs.

The NordicTrack can cater to heavier users with a maximum weight of 325lbs, while the Bowflex Max has a standard maximum weight capacity of 300lbs.

When it comes to resistance levels and built-in workout programs, both offer a decent range. The NordicTrack has 22 resistance levels and 26 built-in workout programs, while the Bowflex Max has 16 resistance levels and 9 workout programs.

In terms of screens, both feature a backlit LCD.

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Proform 520E

The Proform 520E is significantly heavier at 200lbs, compared to the Bowflex Max that weighs only 143lbs.

Both ellipticals have the same maximum weight capacity of 300lbs—typical for home use elliptical machines.

When it comes to challenging workouts, both offer a pretty good range. The Proform has 18 resistance levels and 18 workout programs, while the Bowflex has 16 resistance levels and 9 workout programs.

Both feature backlit LCDs too.

Lastly, the Proform 520E is more affordable than the Bowflex Max.

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ProForm 520E

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