About Bowflex MAX Trainer

By Derek Lakin
HighYa Staff Updated on: May 18, 2017

Advertiser Disclosure

Manufactured by Nautilus, Inc., the Bowflex MAX Trainer claims to be an easy and intuitive fitness machine that can help you burn more calories in less time, build a stronger heart and lungs, improve your endurance and stamina, and continue burning calories long after you’ve stopped working out.

The Bowflex MAX Trainer is a unique device unseen elsewhere in the industry, which some consumers have described as being a combination of a “reverse elliptical” machine (e.g. your feet move in a reverse motion, almost as if you were walking backward), a stair stepper, and a stationary bicycle. Other users have described the MAX Trainer’s motion similar to running up a very steep hill.

Regardless of how it’s described though, the MAX Trainer’s unique motion is claimed to result in virtually zero impact, to give you the most effective full-body workout in 14 minutes, guaranteed, and to provide “elite-level training for everyone.”

If we’re being honest, the Bowflex MAX Trainer is one sleek-looking machine that’s hard not to notice. On top of this, by helping you to tone up and lose weight, it might not just be good looking, but could also bring inspiration to whoever uses it.

But you already know this, because you’re here to find out more about the Bowflex MAX Trainer, especially after seeing those incredible before and after case studies. And at HighYa, we aim to serve.

What Benefits Does the Bowflex MAX Trainer Claim to Provide?

In the world of fitness, most manufacturers have figured out that Americans lead incredibly busy lives, and have created a variety of products that are claimed to give us quality workouts in as little time as possible. After all, they know that if they can provide more “bang for our buck,” then their products will fly off the shelves.

With this in mind, the Bowflex MAX Trainer is the newest exercise device in the Nautilus lineup, which claims to provide you with all the benefits of a much longer workout, but in just 14 minutes per day. In fact, the MAX Trainer’s promo video claims that creating an ultra-efficient workout was the primary goal right from the start, and the machine was specifically built with this in mind, in addition to being fun and motivating.

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The MAX Trainer utilizes small bursts of activity followed by longer periods of rest (known as intervals) to help you burn more calories and keep burning them for up to 48 hours after you’ve finished.

Specifically, Nautilus tells us that the MAX Trainer burns up to 2.5X more calories per minute than ellipticals, stepclimbers, and treadmills; provides 80% more upper body activation than ellipticals, and results in 200% less impact than running at a moderate speed.

How the Bowflex Max Trainer Works

At its most basic, the MAX Trainer is similar to an elliptical machine, in that your feet will move in circular (or more accurately, oval) motions when it’s being used. This is how it delivers a good workout with minimal impact on your joints.

However, unlike some elliptical machines, the Bowflex MAX Trainer will simultaneously work your upper and lower body for “max” results. This is accomplished utilizing wide foot planks for a stable standing surface, which move opposite one another in up-and-down (and slightly forward-and-back) motions.

And from an upper body perspective, the MAX Trainer’s “arms” move back and forth opposite one another as well, with v-shaped handles that allow you to intensify your upper body workout based on your preferences, simply by changing hand positions.

While you’re working out, the MAX Trainer’s gauge (known as a “Burn Rate” display, which is similar to a car’s speedometer), will show you how many calories you’ve burned, as well as your target exertion range based on the program you’ve selected. These programs will automatically adjust resistance levels based on their presets (see more about this in the final section), or you can manually adjust resistance to your comfort level using the manual handlebar “knob.”

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Once you have your Bowflex MAX Trainer set up in your home, the company claims it has a very small footprint (2.5’ x 3.5’), and simply uses a small AC adapter as its power source. Nautilus also makes a MAX Trainer app for iOS/Android smartphones, which provides additional workouts and tracking features.

The New Bowflex Max Trainer M7

While we’ll directly compare other models in a moment, Bowflex’s new top-of-the-line M7 model promises to deliver upgraded features like two additional workout programs, four more resistance levels, and updated commercial grade handlebars.

You’ll also find the same performance “burn” as other Max Trainer models, but with something Bowflex calls “performance targeted programming.” Here, we’re told that M7 tracks and stores your performance and responds by “coaching and adjusting to your needs.” This way, the company claims Max Trainer M7 can deliver smart, fast, and effective workouts that “push you to your MAX”!

How much does the new M7 model cost? How does it compare to other Max Trainer models?

Bowflex MAX Trainer Pricing & Refund Policy

The Bowflex MAX Trainer is available in three different models, all of which feature the 14-minute interval program, a true, full-body workout, and low-impact motion (we’ll discuss some of the differences in the final section). These are priced as follows:

To help with the purchase, Nautilus also offers credit card-based, no money down financing offered through Synchrony Bank. As of the time of this writing, the finance company was also offering no interest charges if paid in full within 18 months, which rolls over retroactively at an APR of 29.99% thereafter. In addition, the company can send a third-party technician to your home to assemble your MAX Trainer at a price of $159.

The Bowflex MAX Trainer comes with a 100% satisfaction guaranteed, 6-week refund policy, less S&H and assembly charges. Keep in mind that your trainer must be in original condition, including original packaging, accessories, and materials in order to be eligible.

The MAX Trainer M3 comes with a 1-year warranty for parts, while the M5 and M7 come with 2- and 3-year warranties, respectively. All models come with a 90-day labor warranty.

In order to file a warranty claim or request a refund, you’ll need to contact customer service at (800) 605-3369 for an RMA.

Is the Bowflex MAX Trainer Right for You?

Whether you’re talking about P90X, Focus T25, or something else altogether, the clear trend in fitness these days is to squeeze as much high-intensity exercise into as little time as possible. But when it comes to the Bowflex MAX Trainer, can you expect it to help you achieve your fitness goals, and is it worth the price? Perhaps, but consider the following:

What are Intervals?

Although it may sound technical, intervals are just repeatedly changing from one exercise to another, often at different speeds and difficulties, but can be as simple as intermittent jogging while you’re out on your morning walk.

However, according to the Mayo Clinic, you don’t need any special equipment to do interval training. And while the Max Trainer is claimed to provide a variety of benefits over other types of exercise equipment (e.g. burn 2.5X more calories, etc.), they only reference an “Independent University Study” from 2013 to back these up, but do not provide a copy of the study on their website.

Bowflex.com

The 48-Hour Connection

Another benefit of intervals is that they can help your body continue burning calories long after you’ve stopped (the MAX Trainer website claims 48 hours, while most references we found cited about 24 hours), mostly because you take in more oxygen with intervals than you do exercising for a longer period at a moderate pace. In addition to increasing your metabolism, intervals can also improve your aerobic and anaerobic capacity, boost muscle cell function, and more.

As we mentioned in the previous section though, intervals can be performed without using the MAX Trainer, which means that you can achieve these benefits without one as well.

MAX Trainer’s Reputation

Despite not providing any proof to back up their claims, Nautilus (Bowflex MAX Trainer’s manufacturer) has been producing high-quality fitness products for more than three decades, and holds an A+ rating with the BBB based on 84 closed complaints (as of 11/09/14). While most of these appear to be related to the TreadClimber, many customers complained of long wait times for refunds and replacement parts.

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For the most part, the MAX Trainer appears to have a very positive online reputation, with an average rating of 4.5 stars (as of 11/9/14) on the company’s website. Elsewhere online, customers complimented the MAX Trainer’s solid construction, sturdiness (doesn’t move when in use), will work you out to the point of exhaustion, has a small footprint, and that it’s quiet/doesn’t result in foot noises like with treadmills (good if you live in an apartment). This makes sense, as Nautilus puts a lot of emphasis in their product design, not only to make them function well, but also to help them look good while doing it.

On the other hand, by far the most common complaint we encountered during our research is that the rollers tend to squeak, sometimes after only a couple hours of using it. Some customers appear to have had success by using a silicon lubricant, while others have not. In fact, several customers claimed to have had the rollers replaced under warranty, only to have them squeak again a short time after installation.

Bowflex.com

Other common complaints cite that the MAX Trainer is difficult for a beginner to use, that it takes time to get used to the movement (something similar to an elliptical machine, but adding a stationary bicycle), that it causes joint pain (specifically knee), and high price.

Note: In our original MAX Trainer review, we noted that there was a 45-60-day delivery time. However, this alert is no longer listed on the Nautilus website, and some HighYa readers have indicated that they’ve received theirs in a little over a week.

Keep Your Expectations Realistic

Regardless of how well most customers scored the MAX Trainer, keep in mind that if you choose the 14-minute session, you will be pushed fairly hard, especially if you’re just getting back into working out. And in reality, even though it may be hard, working out for 14 minutes per day probably isn’t going to give you the weight loss results you’re looking for.

This is because, according to Lifehacker, “Shorter workouts can do a lot for your muscles, but if you seek weight loss you really need a good diet you can follow and exercise that will provide sufficient calorie burn. Eating fewer calories is the simplest way to reduce weight/fat, and compact exercise routines can help build muscle, but you shouldn't expect them to make you slimmer.” This means that, regardless of how much you use the MAX Trainer, if you’re not eating a sensible diet, you probably won’t achieve your goals.

More Than Just the Purchase Price

Next, while the Bowflex MAX Trainer’s cost could be considered steep, remember that it doesn’t just stop at the purchase price. This is because you’ll pay $100 or $150 in S&H costs (depending on the model you choose), in addition to a $250 assembly fee if you’d rather not do it yourself (more about this in the following section). Note: The assembly service appears to be handled by a third-party company. Although the company’s name isn’t listed on the MAX Trainer website, or if different companies are used depending on a customer’s location, one HighYa reviewer claimed that Go Configure was their provider. Unfortunately, they claim to have had a poor experience, with long hold times and difficulty scheduling an appointment.

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On top of this, while it’s positive that a warranty is provided on the MAX Trainer, keep in mind that you’ll be assessed a “small” trip charge each time a technician is sent to your home, although no exact prices are provided on the website, or if these prices fluctuate depending on the issue you’re experiencing. Also, the labor portion of the warranty only lasts 90 days, so after this time, you’ll need to figure out how to install any defective parts yourself.

Finally, if you’re dissatisfied with your MAX Trainer and decide to return it, at 143 pounds, it will cost you quite a bit of money to send it back to the manufacturer. In fact, we read more than one customer review claiming that their return shipping charges were in excess of $200.

Should You Assemble the MAX Trainer Yourself?

During our research, we read a whole lot of customer reviews complaining about the steep assembly charges associated with the Bowflex MAX Trainer. So should you save yourself a good chunk of change and attempt to assemble it yourself? The answer is that it depends on your mechanical abilities.

After taking a look at the M5 owner’s manual, the assembly instructions seem fairly clear and straightforward, and other than a razor knife to unbox everything, all the tools, parts, and nuts and bolts you’ll need are included. Basically, if you’re capable of putting together furniture from IKEA, you should do perfectly well assembling the MAX Trainer yourself. And if you run into any issues, there are numerous assembly videos online, including through the Bowflex site.

What’s Are the Differences Between Each MAX Trainer Model?

According to the MAX Trainer website, here are the primary differences between the M3 and M5 models:

Bowflex M3:

  • 8 resistance levels
  • 2 workout programs (Manual, MAX Interval)
  • Chest strap heart rate monitor
  • Water Bottle Holder
  • Media shelf/tablet holder

Bowflex M5:

  • 16 resistance levels
  • 9 workout programs (Manual, MAX Interval, Smart MAX Interval, Calorie Burn, Fat Burn, Calorie Goal, Stairs, Steady State, Fitness Test)
  • Chest strap heart rate monitor w/integrated contact grips
  • Water Bottle Holder
  • Media shelf/tablet holder
  • Bluetooth sync w/app
  • Backlit display
  • Premium Grips

Bowflex M7:

  • 20 computer-controlled resistance levels
  • 11 workout programs, which Bowflex claims will learn and adapt to “each user’s fitness level over time to set new targets”
  • Oversized LCD/LED display that’s dual backlit
  • The ability to extend your workout with the press of button using the Add-Time Feature
  • 4 user profiles
  • Bluetooth 4.0 compatible with free Max Trainer app
  • Gym-quality, sculpted and dipped aero handlebars
  • Stainless steel “racing” pedals

Regardless of which model you choose though, the max weight is 300lbs. Also, the device sits at a height of 15”, so you’ll need to add your height plus 15” in order to gauge your minimum ceiling clearance.

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Which Bowflex MAX Trainer Model is Right for You?

As you can see above, there’s not much of a difference between the three MAX Trainer models, other than the number of resistance levels and workout programs they feature.

What’s a workout program? Essentially, this is like a autopilot feature that will automatically adjust resistance based on the program you’ve chosen. For example, if you choose the Calorie Burn program, your MAX Trainer will make resistance adjustments while you’re working out, in order to ensure that you burn the maximum number of calories.

Related: How Walking a Little Bit Every Day Can Boost Your Health in a Big Way

Admittedly, this can be handy if you’re looking for a fast and effective hands-free workout. However, resistance on all three models can be adjusted manually by turning a small “knob” on one of the handles, so you’ll need to discern whether this added convenience is worth the additional $600 or $1,200.

Looking to Get More From Your MAX Trainer? Nautilus & DailyBurn Partner for New Workout Videos

Nautilus recently announced that they’ve partnered with popular workout video website DailyBurn to help MAX Trainer customers better achieve their fitness goals and maximize their results. How?

Designed by both companies’ fitness experts and hosted by Bowflex Fitness Advisors Tom Holland and Amy Dixon, this exclusive 8-week series was developed just for the Bowflex Max Trainer. It involves four phases, two parts, and 24 workouts that can help you boost your cardio and increase your endurance.

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Part one focuses on building your strength and cardiovascular capacity in preparation for your MAX Trainer’s arrival. Then, part two will introduce a new routine every week in order to help you work up to MAX Trainer’s specialized 14-minute workouts.

During your trial, you’ll also gain access to DailyBurn’s entire library of workouts, along with training plans and workout schedules that can help you maintain motivation. After your trial ends, you’ll automatically be charged $14.99 per month until you contact DailyBurn to cancel your membership.

Bottom Line – Will You Be Happy with the Max Trainer?

While the Bowflex MAX Trainer appears to have a solid online customer reputation, it’s certainly not for everyone, mostly due to the price. And while the device has been blurbed about in USA Today, Men’s Fitness, and the LA Times, TechCrunch recently wrote a more in-depth article recently and surmised that, “It’s a workout that won’t necessarily replace a whole home gym, but will provide you with some much-needed cardio in the cold winter months, or if you prefer preserving your knees, hips and ankles from frequent runs.”

However, it’s not made clear exactly clear what’s so unique about the Bowflex MAX Trainer that it can provide you with up to 2.5X the calorie-burning power as some other workout devices. So, while it’s certainly made by a reputable company, we’re still not sure if the MAX Trainer’s steep price is in line with the competition—especially traditional elliptical machines that also provide upper body motion.

With this in mind, it’s also important to note that in some instances, gym memberships can be purchased for as little as $120 per year, which is far less than the cost of a MAX Trainer. We also read numerous customer reviews claiming that you can achieve many of the same results by purchasing a bench, barbell, weights, and a few videos—again, at a much lower price.

If you do decide to purchase a MAX Trainer though, make sure you’re 100% certain before pressing the “order” button, as it may not be able to be cancelled after it’s been placed. Instead, with so much money on the line, you might want to order the information kit, which could give you time to cool off (no pun intended) and to think about your purchase.

HighYa's Editorial Disclosure: This URL Contains links to Bowflex's website. Should the reader click the links and make a purchase of the Bowflex Max Trainer (any of the 3 models), HighYa will earn a 7% commission per sale through CJ Affiliate by Conversant (www.cj.com), Formally known as Commission Junction. For more info, click here.

Bowflex.com

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34 Consumer Reviews for Bowflex MAX Trainer

Average Consumer Rating: 3.7
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 20 4 star: 3 3 star: 1 2 star: 2 1 star:  8
Bottom Line: 71% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 34
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  • 13 out 17 people found this review helpful

    Wow.

    • Gorham nh,
    • Jul 31, 2015
    • Verified Reviewer

    Just got my M3 in, put together in less than an hour. I figured I would jump on and do a quick 14 minute work out. Wrong. What a work out this is going to be, it will be a challenge but fun. Thanks Bow Flex

    Will do a follow up review in a month.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 20 out 20 people found this review helpful

    Very happy!

    To start with, I found an online coupon that took $100 off of my order so my shipping was essentially free. They said it would be 30-45 days for delivery, I received it in 5 days. I put my M3 together in less than an hour so I am really glad I didn't pay for their assembly. It was really very easy. I am definitely having to work up to doing a full workout. I have had knee and ankle surgery and have no problems at all using the Max Trainer (other than me being badly out of shape). The small footprint is perfect for our living room. I would highly recommend this equipment. We figured it up and will have it paid off by just paying what we were paying for a membership to a gym that we never had time to get to. Having the Bowflex Max Trainer at home has already made a huge difference even in our 12 year old daughter who loves working out on the machine!

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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    • Aug 13, 2015

      Manon Sheiman

      Do you think you could do web surfing, reading online newspapers, etc, post to Facebook, while using the machine? On the TV ad, it looked like one's head doesn't move at all, which if true, would make it ideal for my sit/stand desk. Also, can you adjust the workout to very mild for someone who is out of shape? Thank you.

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  • 24 out 24 people found this review helpful

    I absolutely love this machine!

    • Monroe, LA,
    • Aug 6, 2015
    • Verified Reviewer

    I own a TreadClimber and it's good. But wanted something more engaging and challenging and this is it. My husband is in great shape, motor lifting mechanic. I am not in great shape. Sad/Bad for a RN. It takes me a few breaks to get finished with 14-minute interval. And even his first couple of times he needed to take a break.

    Bottom line: there aren't any shipping delays. I ordered the Max Trainer on 7/19 and was delivered on Friday, July 24th. We put it together and it was not hard for us. And I believe if a person uses the machine in consistently and with some dietary changes, even if it's just for 14 minutes for three days each week, you will tone up and lose weight. I feel my abs, buttocks, thighs, arms. Wow. This thing is awesome. I have never been so excited to workout. Mot much strain on my knees either like with the TreadClimber. This thing is well worth the money.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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    • Sep 27, 2015

      Teresa,

      TreadClimber or Max Trainer?

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  • 36 out 36 people found this review helpful

    This is a Great Machine

    • South Windsor, CT,
    • Aug 24, 2015
    • Verified Reviewer

    I am 63 years old, and am no more than a 'weekend warrior'. I work out maybe 1 to 2 times a week, but that's it.

    I looked into the Bowflex Max Trainer as an alternative to the gym, where I would have another avenue for exercise right at home, and as another avenue to keep the body weight down, as age slows my metabolism.

    I took a chance on this in terms of low impact, because I have a bad knee that actually hates the movement of the ARC trainers, and I don't have the room horizontally for a conventional Elliptical Trainer.

    I assembled it myself, with the internet research that indicated the application of "as tight as possible" is the best way to reduce/eliminate noise, and after 4 months of steady use, I can say that the machine is just as quiet today, as the day that I assembled it. I was worried about the possible noise factor, but it seems to operate exactly as advertised. I know that some people complain about squeaking, but my unit exhibits none of that.

    As far as the difficulty in completing the exercises, I agree that the machine isn't easy, but I am able to finish all of the exercises. You don't have to go at an all out sprint and burn yourself out, and by pacing yourself, if I can complete the 300 calorie target burn program at my age, you should be able to, too.

    I highly recommend this machine. Follow the assembly instructions as given, use, and enjoy!

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 11 out 12 people found this review helpful

    Satisfied customer

    • Pennsylvina,
    • Oct 6, 2015
    • Verified Reviewer

    My wife and I received our Max 5 trainer over a week now. So far the only down side is where the bottle holder is located, it's hard to reach.

    Now for the good news, first if you can afford the M5 it's worth the extra money. Second this is by far the best workout on a cardio machine I've ever experienced.

    The 14 minute workout is definitely a challenge I was able to complete 2 and burned over 500 calories.

    I was skeptical at first but after considering for 2 months, my wife and I decided to go for it and I am so glad we did.

    Lastly my wife has challenges from arthritis and the impact is minimal.

    I am now a Bowflex family member.

    I purchased the 552 weights stand and looking to feel my home gym with more. Thanks Bowflex Max5.

    It's only been only a few days. I'll check in with you after 30 days to share our results.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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    Comments (1)
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    • Jan 30, 2016

      Rhyan,

      Are you still happy with the M5?

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  • 29 out 31 people found this review helpful

    Best concept ever.

    I received my Max Trainer M5 about one week after I ordered it (12/3/2015 to be exact). But watch out for FedEx, they are delivering the machine with no signature required and if my neighbor hadn't called me at work, my machine would have sat in the rain and snow all day. FedEx dumped it in the worst spot possible.

    1. Assembly was pretty easy. My wife and I had it together in about an hour.

    2. Quality. This thing is pretty solid. I feared it was going to be fragile and flimsy (I was wrong). The steal is heavy duty (commercial strength). I weight almost 270 and it handled me fine.

    3. Workout. Though I lift weights almost every day, I haven't done cardio in about a year. My first workout was the first level Max interval. It was challenging, but I did it. The movement reminds me as if I'm riding my bike standing up? It's comfortable and easy on the knees (I have one bad knee).

    4. Problems. After about three uses, a bolt fell out of the inside of the unit (nothing I assembled). I opened it up and found three loose bolts on the wheel that turns the belt). Of course one of them completely fell out. So basically, the factory forgot to tighten these bolts during production. I could only access two of the bolts so I had to call customer service. They immediately knew what the problem was and are sending me the parts and a repair man from somewhere in my area to fix it. Customer service told me the belt wheel where the bolts were loose was plastic. For crying out loud Bowflex, you build this amazing machine and use a plastic belt wheel? Why would you do that? No, no!

    Use metal, always. In the meantime, I'm out of service but I like the machine so much that I'm willing to exercise my patience.

    5. Recommendations to Bowflex. 1. Use all metal parts if possible and think commercial at all times. Just charge accordingly. 2. The electronics screen could be elevated about 5 inches (it's a little low), the drink holder as well. 3. Add an on/off switch.

    Do those things and you'll have the best overall cardio machine ever made. Well, you do anyway but...

    6. Overall. The Max Trainer is definitely the best cardio machine I have ever used. The treadmill I was going to buy had a price tag of $3,400 so paying $1,600 for the M5 was significantly less. This is truly a great concept and it has exceeded my expectations. But use METAL not plastic!

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 27 out 28 people found this review helpful

    Wow, love it!

    • Oregon,
    • Feb 25, 2016
    • Verified Reviewer

    I'm a 55 year old female not in peak form, and I have 20 lbs to lose. I've just had my Max5 for a week, and so far I love it.

    I received it five days after ordering (could not believe that), and I put it together BY MYSELF people, in under two hours! I'm a 5'4", 140lbs banker, and tools are in no way my forte, but it wasn't hard, or that heavy, and I just used a bit of female ingenuity to get the unit into the base. The thought of someone paying $250 to have it done is ludicrous.

    So far I love the flexibility of the programmed workouts, but have yet to figure out the best workout with the highest calorie burn. I don't seem to be burning 2.5X more than when I'm on my elliptical. I tend to track heart rate and calories burned via my Fitbit, and I'm hoping it's more accurate because it reads a higher calorie burn.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 28 out 29 people found this review helpful

    Great product!

    • Paulding, Ohio,
    • Mar 5, 2016
    • Verified Reviewer

    Couldn't be happier, fast shipping and really easy to assemble. I run but this thing really works you. I have finally made it up to 12 minutes but it's a struggle. Ill keep pressing, easy on the joints so you don't have to worry about pain. Make sure to check the bolts to make sure they don't come loose, maybe Bowflex should consider a small tube of Loctite. Other than that, I'm looking forward to getting in shape.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 68 out 74 people found this review helpful

    Great Machine. Well worth it.

    • Knoxville, TN,
    • Mar 10, 2016
    • Verified Reviewer

    We have had the Max Trainer M5 for 10 days now, so this is an early review. So far my wife and I have been using it regularly with great results. We both are feeling better, toned and starting to lose weight. I liken this machine to an elliptical mixed with a stair stepper but when you're are in Max mode it feels very similar to how I feel when I'm standing on my mountain bike climbing a hill. Lots of quadriceps and downward pedaling. I've spent a total of 79 minutes on it and my wife has almost doubled that.

    A simple note to those in poor shape. This exercise is very intense to start with. It would probably behoove you to start in a mode other than MAX to get your endurance up and build leg strength. I am in average shape and I started out on resistance level 1 MAX and it kicked my butt. I thought my heart was going to explode. Now after a week of using it I can make it on level 1 no problem. You will become accustomed to the workout and will build endurance very quickly.

    On to the stuff I've read from other folks: I'm not sure if people are getting lemons or are just not very mechanically inclined but it took me just over and hour to build the machine (alone). I see absolutely no reason to pay someone to build this for you unless you seriously don't know how to turn a screwdriver. If you follow the very easy to read instructions included with the neatly organized and labeled hardware and/or get a friend that has even the littlest amount of handiness, this machine is a breeze to build. Save yourself the money. The only sticking point might be the weight of the boxes. Each comes in at around 80 lbs (2 boxes). Unless you are a hobbit you could just enlist a friends help to carry these into the house and up the stairs, or ask some unsuspecting neighbor.

    The machine is smooth, not too loud (unless in MAX mode) and takes up a very small amount of space. We find the Bluetooth capability very nice because we can sync it with our MyFitnessPal apps on our phones to keep track of our daily goals. The arm movements actually make you feel like you've done some upper body. It won't replace weights but at least you are getting your full body involved in the workout. The only thing that seems to not be seamless is the heart rate monitor grips. Sometimes they read quickly, sometimes a lot of hand adjustment needs to be made to get a good read. I don't have overly large/or small (Trump) hands either so this should not be an issue. Of course if you use the included band or have a smart watch the point is moot.

    Lastly I will throw some kudos to Bow-flex (Nautilus) because they offer a great military discount. If you are in the service please don't forget to ask and it will make all the difference on whether you decide if spending the money is worth it. I struggled with the price but I do believe so far (barring some future catastrophic breakdown) that this machine is well worth the asking price.

    The one great design flaw in this is that it doesn't really have any good angles to hang clothing from, so instead of having a high dollar clothes hanger you will just have a piece of modern art adorning your home if this doesn't get use.

    Best of luck and if you decide to get this you will not be disappointed. I will update later down the road.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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    • Nov 22, 2017

      Curt P. Miller

      Loved your hand description "Trump" haha! Thanks for a thorough review.

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  • 39 out 40 people found this review helpful

    It works!

    • New Mexico,
    • Aug 7, 2016
    • Verified Reviewer

    I'll make this short. I'm overweight. I started at 231 pounds, I'm 5'3" and a 38 year old female. I'm an off and on workout junkie but I always give up because I have no time to spend in exercise that I need. However, a friend bought this Bowflex Max Trainer and enticed me to join her. So I did. The first two weeks were hell. I was barely finishing 14 minutes.

    I sweated like I've never had before. I couldn't even stand straight on it. I'm on week 4 now, I have built up so much strength in my legs, so now my stairs at home are a cake walk. I use manual mode ranging between 8-10 for 20 minutes now. The only thing I do extra is a speed walk jog on treadmill at home for 30 minutes. The max speed on treadmill is 3.5. It's Alternating 3.0 and 3.5 with a six minute warm up and then a cool down.

    Here's the best part: in 2 weeks, my legs which had bulge are no longer swollen.

    At week 4, my legs have not looked this nice since my early 20s! My inner thighs are amazing no workout ever did what this did for my inner and back thighs.

    I'm hooked and I can not believe the results. Also, I had a large Fanny top, I could hold a cup there but now it's gone! Now my butt is rounding and table top is gone. I'm experiencing just amazing results on hips thighs and butt. This machine will be in my life from here on out. Hopefully someday I can afford my own.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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    • Dec 21, 2016

      Nellie Cottle

      I loved your review (written in August). How have you done since then?

      I just got a Max Trainer M5 yesterday and I've been on it twice. I like it so far, and I feel motivated to do it twice a day. I'm 41 years old, 5'4" and 145 lbs. I'm not heavy, but I want to lose about 20 pounds by summertime. Since it's almost Christmas, I will wait until January 1st to start the diet part. We put the Max Trainer in our den where we spend most of our time and watch TV, so it will be easy to do it! I'm excited to get stronger and hopefully look better too.

    • Jan 9, 2017

      Angela

      Awesome review!

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  • 18 out 18 people found this review helpful

    Great product

    • Alberta,
    • Aug 17, 2016
    • Verified Reviewer

    My wife and I purchased the M7 model almost two weeks ago. We have been using it every day, however since we are so out of shape we are starting out slow and only doing a 7 minute session and add time as we feel fit. Just using the 7 minute session we have lost weight, but we have changed our diet as well. You cannot lose weight by exercise alone. I am hoping to move up to the 14 minute session within three weeks, if not four. I use the app and love the fact that it shows my progress daily. My Calories Burned increases daily and that pumps me up. Seeing my improvement makes me want to do more and more each time.

    The assembly of this unit is very easy. I currently came off a surgery for a broken collar bone (still had the staples in) and built it by myself in an hour and a half. The instructions are very well laid out. The nuts, bolts and washers are well labeled in the packaging.

    I would highly recommend this product to anyone. But remember if you do not change your diet it will be hard to lose the weight.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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