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Bowflex MAX Trainer

Bowflex MAX Trainer

Overall Rating

3.4

44 Customer Reviews

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Summary

The Bowflex Max Trainer fitness equipment series will give you a full-body cardio workout quickly. However, it may be too intense for beginners, so pace yourself accordingly.

Pros

  • Workouts incorporate arms and legs for more efficient cardio exercise
  • You can decide whether to purchase a model with a built-in screen or use your own tablet
  • Numerous built-in workout programs
  • Integrated JRNY app gives more options for customized workouts

Cons

  • Machines may be considered expensive for performing one form of exercise
  • JRNY app is available only as a subscription
  • Some customer complaints that the machine broke quickly

Bowflex MAX Trainer Review: Details, Models, and Features

By Lydia Noyes

Updated on: May 26, 2020

The Bowflex Max Trainer is a series of high-intensity cardio machines from Nautilus, Inc that promise to get you in excellent shape with workouts that range from four to 30 minutes.

The machine is a combination of a stair-stepper and elliptical, and it’s designed to be compact enough for almost any living space.

Users can create their own workout programs, follow the pre-installed ones included with your chosen model, or subscribe to the exclusive BowFlex JRNY app to access hundreds of other workouts.

Bowflex sells three versions of its Max Trainer: the M6, M8, and Max Total. In this analysis, we’ll look at how these machines work, the key differences between the models, and whether better home cardio machines are available.

How Does the BowFlex Max Trainer Work?

All Bowflex Max Trainers operate as a combo stair-stepper/elliptical. Each device comes with a range of resistance levels so that you can change the intensity as your abilities increase.

The Max Trainer’s goal is to give you a high-intensity workout quickly so that you stay in a fat-burning state for hours after. The machine incorporates both your arms and legs with every movement so that you work your full body at once to maximize effectiveness.

To use the Max Trainer, you’ll stand on the footplates like you would a standard elliptical and hold onto the handles at your preferred position.

Next, you’ll choose whether to follow a preset workout program or to simply set the resistance level and get started. This level can be adjusted at any time using the switch on the handles.

As the machine is designed to deliver an intense cardio workout, you may struggle to get through the entire session when you first begin. Many users shared in their customer reviews that they could only make it through five minutes at a time when they got started, but that they slowly worked up their stamina after several weeks.

Looking Closer at High-Intensity Interval Training

Bowflex’s workouts are based around the concept of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). The idea is that you get a quality workout in quickly by changing the intensity of your actions every few minutes to keep your heart rate up and deliver maximum benefits within the shortest amount of time.

As one workout example on the product website, you can complete a 14-minute workout that includes a series of the following intervals:

  • 25 seconds high intensity
  • 80 seconds low intensity

In this case, you would complete the interval sequence a total of eight times.

Working out for just 14 minutes sounds appealing for the time-pressed, but are HIIT workouts actually an effective fitness strategy?

Research shows that alternating your workout’s intensity leads to a variety of benefits, including a higher rate of calorie burning per exercise minute and improved aerobic capacity. You’re also less likely to experience “workout fatigue” because interval training tends to switch up what you are doing every few minutes so it’s harder to get bored.

However, HIIT training isn’t for everyone—especially those who are new to exercise. Pushing your body to its upper limits can have negative consequences if you don’t already have an exercise habit, and it can put unwanted stress on your joints and muscles.

That’s one benefit of the Bowflex Max Trainer; these fitness machines make it possible to get in a low-impact workout at any intensity.

Models

BowFlex Max Trainer ModelsImage credit: bowflex.com

Max M6 Max M8 Max Total
Price $1,699 (or $95/month for 18 mon.) $2,299 (or $128/mon.) $2,799 (or $156/mon.)
Resistance Levels 16 20 20
Features Bowflex JRNY compatible, includes 5 workout programs, workout history tracking for two users, ergonomic handles with water bottle holder Bowflex JRNY compatible, includes 7 workout programs, workout history tracking for four users, dual-positioned handlebars with aero bar upgrade and water bottle holder Upper Body Power Measurement, includes 8 workout programs, workout history tracking for unlimited users, track heart rate with a built-in display, triple- positioned, sculpted handlebars with dual rail system and water bottle holder
Screen Bring your own device Bring your own device Built-in touchscreen
Warranty Frame and parts: 2 years Frame and parts: 3 years Frame and parts: 3 years

One of the most significant differences between Max Total and the other models is that it comes with a built-in touchscreen. That’s convenient for those who don’t want to use their own technology with their fitness equipment.

Beyond giving you direct access to the JRNY app and other workout statistics, you can use this screen to log into your accounts on streaming platforms like Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime to entertain yourself as you exercise.

It’s up to you to decide whether this screen, along with a few other features like extra built-in programs and a different handle setup, is worth the additional $500 compared to the M8.

About Bowflex JRNY

To get the maximum benefit from your Bowflex Max Trainer, the company recommends that you sign up for a subscription to the JRNY app (all purchases will include a two-month free trial).

The app tracks your capabilities over time and creates customized workouts designed to challenge you and keep you improving. The time and intensity per session will increase with your fitness capabilities. You’ll be guided by “Max,” a virtual coach that will encourage you to keep pushing your abilities to reach new fitness milestones.

It’s also possible to follow trainer-led videos for workouts for extra motivation and guidance on form. While you work out, you can stream a variety of playlists from Bowflex Radio that themed around pop, rock, hip-hop, best of the decade, and other genres.

If you need a change of scenery, you can follow one of 19 scenic locations like Death Valley, the Swiss Alps, and more.

The JRNY app costs $149.99 for an annual membership or $19.99 per month. This subscription will automatically renew unless you cancel it at least 48 hours before the end of your current subscription period. You will retain access to your account throughout the rest of the subscription time.

Below are user comments from the JRNY App reviews on Google Play, where it averages 3.9 stars after 650 reviews:

  • Calorie counts might be inaccurate
  • Not always fully integrated with machines
  • Great extension of included workouts
  • Solid options for customizing workouts
  • Doesn’t support option to stream own music
  • A desire for more workouts over 21 minutes
  • Limited options to sync app data with other fitness services like MyFitnessPal or Google Fit

Purchasing Process and Satisfaction Guarantee

The best way to purchase Bowflex Max Trainers is through the company website. They are also sold through a few online distributors like Amazon, but most models aren’t available in physical stores.

When scheduling delivery, you have the choice of whether to pay to have your Bowflex Max Trainer professionally assembled or to go the DIY route.

The machine will come with complete installation instructions, and there are supplemental assembly videos on the company website. Bowflex recommends that two people assemble it to ensure safety.

Processional in-home assembly can be purchased at the time of checkout, and the price will vary based on your location. Expect to pay around $170 for this service, on top of $150 for standard shipping.

Purchases from the company website come with a six-week satisfaction guarantee. You can request a return at any point within this timeframe for a full refund, minus any return shipping costs, or in-home assembly costs. The machines needs to be in original condition and preferably in original packaging.

Also, it’s possible to receive a refund for an annual JRNY app subscription, but only if you purchase it directly through Nautilus, Inc (not through the Apple or Google App store, or other third parties.

You may qualify for this refund if you submit your request within six weeks of purchase by emailing the company with your login email and cancelation request. Your access to the app will be restricted as soon as your request is processed.

Analysis of Customer Reviews

Here at HighYa, we have 44 reviews posted for the Bowflex Max Trainer Family. These average 3.4 stars. Below is a summary of some of the main comments.

Common Compliments:

  • Fun, habit-forming piece of fitness equipment
  • Led to significant weight loss for many users
  • Efficient, quality cardio workout
  • Space effective for exercise equipment

Common Complaints:

  • Some had poor customer service experiences when they needed replacement parts
  • For some, machine lasted fewer than 18 months before breaking
  • A few users experienced significant joint pain when the device was in use

Popular Alternatives to the Bowflex Max Trainer

Bowflex Max Trainer Tonal Peloton Cycle Mirror
Workout Target A high-intensity cardio workout that combines movements of an elliptical and a stair stepper All-in-one machine that mounts into your all for building strength through weight lifting Follow live and on-demand spin classes streamed from NYC and UK studios, members also get access to the Peloton app that offers yoga, running, meditation, strength-training, stretching strength-training, boot camp, walking, and dance cardio workouts Lets you follow virtual cardio, yoga, boxing, and other fitness classes offered through an interactive mirror that blends in as décor when not on
Equipment Cost $1,699–$2,799 $2,995, plus $495 for Smart Accessories (handles, bar, rope, bench, mat, and roller) $2,245, plus about $150 for accessories like shoes, weights, and headphones $1,495
Shipping Cost $150, plus about $170 for professional assembly (optional) $250 Included with purchase $250
Monthly Subscription Cost $19.99/mon. or $149.99/yr. $49.99/mon. $39.99/mon. $39.99/mon.
Is Free Membership Available with Purchase? Two months available free No, all purchases require a 12-month subscription commitment No No, all purchases require a 12-month subscription commitment
Is a Subscription Necessary for Workout? No, the machine comes with built-in workouts and can be used in free mode. No, digital weight functionality is available without a subscription No, the machine comes with several built-in classes, and the screen will display cadence, resistance, and output information when freecycling. Yes

You will pay a lot for the initial purchase—a minimum of $1,500 before accounting for any accessories or subscription fees.

All four of these machines are designed to be paired with their coordinating subscription service. However, only Mirror is rendered useless without it. The three other systems let you exercise in free mode without any extra guidance, though Bowflex Max Totals come with the most built-in workout programs.

From a time perspective, Bowflex workouts focus on giving you maximum benefits fast. The company claims you can fit in a quality workout in just 14 minutes, while the average length for most Peloton spin classes is 30-45 minutes. Both Tonal and Mirror fall in the longer range as well, though you have lots of flexibility to create your ideal workout session.

Cost-wise, the Bowflex’s JRNY monthly subscription costs half or less what you’ll pay for the other services, and it’s also the only company that offered an annual discount. This brings down the total price of the equipment compared to Tonal, where you’ll pay four times as much annually in subscription fees.

Choosing which system is best for you depends on your fitness preferences. Bowflex promises a quick workout and is slightly more cost-effective, but the machine essentially allows for only one type of exercise. You could argue the same for Peloton Cycle, but the subscription includes access to the Peloton app with wider-ranging workout options. Both Tonal and Mirror, in contrast, are designed to accommodate a broader range of workouts.

If space is your biggest concern, Mirror is the easiest machine to match with your décor while the Peloton spin bike will stand out. Bowflex Max Trainers have a relatively smaller footprint, as they take up about four feet by 3.5 feet of floor space.

The Bottom Line: Is It Worth It?

The Bowflex Max Trainer series promises to give you an intense cardio workout, and it will deliver, so long as you are willing to put in the work.

Customer reviews indicate that many users found this machine challenging, even when they thought they were in decent shape. For that reason, we suggest you expect to get winded on your first few attempts and plan to work your way up to full-length workouts over several weeks.

The Bowflex is priced similarly to other tech-enabled fitness equipment, but you’ll pay less for the related subscription service. This machine is also the most functional of any we looked at if you decide not to go with the subscription.

Bowflex offers models both with and without a built-in screen, so you don’t have to pay for that feature if you prefer to use a tablet. However, there are numerous reviews from disgruntled users who had their Max Trainer break down sooner than expected, but often right after the warranty had run out.

Overall, this machine makes sense for anyone who likes getting in quick, intense workouts, but it may be too much for those who are new to exercising. Either way, keep in mind that if you decide to try it, you will be out the $150 shipping fee if you request a return within the six-week window.

Customer Reviews

3.4 Stars out of 44 Reviews
5 Star:50% 4 Star:6% 3 Star:4% 2 Star:9% 1 Star:29%
59% Recommend This Product
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Posted on Mar 10, 2016

Great Machine. Well worth it.

By Ben, Knoxville, TN, 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

Helpful Review? 69 People Have Voted

Posted on Jan 19, 2016

Makes a Horrible Grinding Noise

By Diane Morrison, Houston, TX, Verified Reviewer

We received our Max Trainer at the beginning of December. After we put it together, it made a horrible grinding noise, and the speedometer was not working. After 3 hours on the phone with technical support, they shipped out new parts and scheduled a service call in 2 weeks. On December 28th the repair guy came and said the frame was bent, and he would immediately order what was needed, and get our machine fixed ASAP. I've been calling to get an update, and nothing. I paid $1,700 for a machine, and have yet to be able to workout on it. Their after sale customer service is horrible.

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

Helpful Review? 48 People Have Voted

Posted on Aug 7, 2016

It works!

By Missy, New Mexico, 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

Helpful Review? 40 People Have Voted

Posted on Nov 24, 2016

Started out great and took a nosedive!

By Tony, Greenwood, SC, Verified Reviewer

I purchased the Bowflex Max Trainer M3 model just over a year ago and was happy with the cardio and the overall workout that I got from this machine.

I hurt my knee in an unrelated experience and couldn't use it for a while. Got back to the machine a few months ago and have had nothing but issues with it since. Loud screeching from the right side (when standing on the machine), a thud on the left side when the left foot pedal hits the bottom of the cycle.

A call into Customer Service and two hours later, we'd taken the unit apart only to find that I needed a gear puller. They ordered (at BowFlex's expense) for me.

This arrived a week or so later. We'd determined that there were bolts that were loose and needed to be tightened. So I tear down the machine to get to the gear. I get the bolts tightened and reassemble. Problem solved, or so I thought.

After a few hours of use, the problem returned so I tear it down again and tighten further but make sure that all is tight this time. I reassembled and used the machine for a few more hours until the machine sounds like it's going to fly apart.

This time it was my bad, bolt on the arm was not tightened enough last time. So far I have used it for two hours since this occurrence and it still shakes and squeaks when in use.

I think the premise for this machine is good but I've found too many similar issues from users all over North America. Sounds like a poor part design and/or poor assembly. It's disappointing as I've had my BowFlex PowerPro for over a decade with limited issues.

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

Helpful Review? 39 People Have Voted

Posted on Aug 24, 2015

This is a Great Machine

By Dennis Carlson, South Windsor, CT, 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

Helpful Review? 37 People Have Voted

Posted on Jan 9, 2016

Junk

By Gary Toothman, Fairmont, WV, Verified Reviewer

I originally purchased the Bowflex Max Trainer M5 5 in October 2014 had the Machine for a month and started having problems. The belt slipped off the internal drive and cut into the plastic cover. I called customer service and they sent a new belt. However, that was not the problem so they finally sent a tech out and he had no idea how to fix machine. After fighting with them for two months, they eventually sent out a new machine. The replacement took two months to arrive. I used the machine for another month and the control Panel stopped working. They sent a new one and it went bad a month later again. I figured out that my sweat was dripping in and out of the control panel.

Well needless to say, after getting three replacements I now put a towel over it so that I don't sweat on it. Last week the internal nut fell completely off the machine and I began tightening it every workout. I called customer service to get a new part and they sent it two weeks later. Apparently I need some special tool to replace that part. Every bolt and screw on this machine starts to rust and strip out if you attempt to tighten it.

If you are looking for a serious machine and not a place where you can just hang your cloths, I don't recommend the Bowflex Max Trainer. By the way, I have had a Nordictrack elliptical Audio Strider 900 machine for seven years and is a serious machine. They took very good care of any problems which were minimal and cost half of what the M5 does. You might want to look at that machine. I know I will be using mine because the M5 is always broken.

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

Helpful Review? 37 People Have Voted

Posted on Aug 25, 2017

Injurious Machine and Abusively Disrespectful Customer Service

By Jonathan, Torrance, CA, Verified Reviewer

Max Trainer M7: I Initially loved the M7 and was fit enough to immediately enjoy its 14 minute interval workout, along with increasing the resistance to level 6 within a month. However, I also developed problems with the balls of my feet as a result, due to the way the machine forces the user to put unnatural pressure onto this area of the foot. I do wear orthodics, but have never had an issue like this since I started wearing them over 10 years ago, unless I was, e.g., crouching down on the balls of my feet for an extended period to do something. I even purchased a new prescription pair of orthotics, with more cushioning for $375, just to make sure my older pair wasn't the issue. No help!

My Girlfriend started having knee & similar foot problems too, so it was definitely the machine. I never had problems on the Precor EFX 546 machine I owned previously, regardless of the incline, nor cycling or power walking. However, after using the M7 for a month, I even had pain in the arches of my feet while cycling. Very weird, so everyone should beware how it may affect you over time, especially with increased resistance.

Customer Service: As they say, you never really know someone until you break up with them. Clearly, Bowflex has no real respect for its customers, based on how they handle returns. Because of the issues described below, they literally tried to insist I had to leave the FedEx Office I was calling from, and transport the two (2) 100 lb. return boxes back home and up the stairs into my apt., then bring them back the next day. Why? Well, first, prior to purchase, they grossly underestimated return shipping at approx. $200, if I decided to return the item. (Note, this wouldn't even be an issue if they provided return shipping labels like many other large & small retailers alike.) From Los Angeles to Ohio, UPS wanted $463. Bowflex's carrier FedEx wanted $311. Since these prices were much greater than I was first told, I called Bowflex and asked if I could use their FedEx account to utilize their discounts, so as to match the $200 estimate they originally gave. They said that was impossible. After much insistence, they agreed to send me shipping labels for $199, but said it could take 24 hours to receive. They cared not that I was already at FedEx with the two 100 lb. boxes and stated repeatedly it was impossible to provide them any sooner. Undeterred from experience, I remained firm, telling them they'd better get an executive on the line with FedEx to facilitate it, if necessary, or they'd have a huge problem on their hands. I received the labels within 15 min. Amazing what "impossibilities" a merchant can really do when a customer insists on not being abused.

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

Helpful Review? 37 People Have Voted

Posted on Nov 13, 2015

Piece of junk

By Ronnie, Texas, Verified Reviewer

It started off great then after a couple of months it started squeaking. I tightened loose screws and it worked again for about a week then got loose. I called customer service and they suggested we use tight lock to secure it. Did that and it continues to get loose. Six months later we are paying for a piece of junk that sounds like it's fixing to fall apart. What a rip off!

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

Helpful Review? 31 People Have Voted

Posted on Sep 12, 2016

Wow! Not sure how else to put it.

By Frank DeFuso, Womelsdorf, PA, Verified Reviewer

Before purchasing, I was going to the Y with my wife. We didn't want to buy any expensive equipment unless we were ready.

After working out for about 6 months doing 30 minutes on their elliptical, summer was coming and that meant more work and less time for us so we purchased the M5 and quit the gym. They claimed this machine would do the same work out in 15 minutes that we could do in 30 minutes on other machines.

It only took about one week to receive it and I put it together myself. If you read the directions it's like putting together a piece of furniture. Not difficult but I am mechanically inclined so it may have been easier for me.

The first time on my wife could not push the peddles to go. She is little and is used to the machines that are very loose shall I say. I got on and figured out after pressing the program you want, you have to put your wait on one side to get it to go. After that it is easy. However, the program is not. Your feet move differently than other ellipticals, not harder or easier, just different than the ones at the Y. I did the 15 minute weight loss and when I am done, I have never been worked so hard. It beats the 30 minutes I was doing hands down. I really love it!

I will say also I think it provides just as much strength as weight loss. I have never felt this strong before. The price is up there and that is the bad part but if you think you will use it regularly than it is worth it. It is without a doubt the most durable machine I have ever had.

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

Helpful Review? 30 People Have Voted

Posted on Jun 12, 2015

Too hard to use

By Tony Camargo, Verified Reviewer

I'm 60 and in pretty good shape but I could not go for more than 3 minutes. My wife (53) couldn't do more than 2 minutes and it hurt her back enough so that I had to take her to the chiropractor. My athletic grandson did the best but even he had a hard time, so I sent it back. But get this, that cost me $360!. Free shipping refers to one way, there to you. Buyer beware.

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

Helpful Review? 29 People Have Voted

Posted on Dec 19, 2015

Best concept ever.

By Steve Waldeck , Portola, CA, Verified Reviewer

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

Helpful Review? 29 People Have Voted
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