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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