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