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The Bowflex Max Trainer is a home fitness machine that provides a high intensity workout. This product offers exercise programs, fitness tracking, and Bluetooth technology to help people reach their fitness goals.

A person can choose from three different Bowflex models, which vary in their features and price.

This article provides more information on the Bowflex Max Trainer, including how it works, and its potential health benefits and risks. We also suggest some alternative home gym equipment that people may wish to consider.

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Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

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Bowflex sells a range of exercise equipment, including:

Bowflex sells its products online and via in-store retailers, both in the United States (US) and internationally.

Nautilus, Bowflex’s parent company, does not hold accreditation with the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

Amazon reviews currently give the Bowflex Max Trainer an average rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars. Amazon customers rate the specific product features as follows:

  • Ease of use: 4.7
  • Value for money: 4.4
  • Range of motion: 4.4
  • Sturdiness: 4.3
  • Ease of assembly: 4.3
  • Noise level: 4.2

The Max Trainer combines the motion of a stair-stepper with the features of an elliptical machine. It provides a low impact workout that does not place excess strain on the joints.

The Bowflex Max Trainer is a full body exercise machine. The company states that it provides high intensity cardio workouts that become progressively more challenging as a person gains strength.

All models come with a minimum of 60 days free access to the Bowflex JRNY app, which adapts exercises to suit an individual’s current fitness level. Other features include:

  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • streaming capabilities
  • a virtual coach
  • milestone tracking
  • a user weight capacity of up to 300 pounds

The Bowflex Max Trainer also tracks multiple metrics, including:

  • heart rate
  • calories burned
  • target burn rate
  • resistance levels
  • total workout time

Bowflex offers a wide range of Max Trainer models. Three models are outlined in more detail below.

Learn more about how the models differ here.

Bowflex Max Total 16

A Bowflex Max Trainer Total against a blue background.

The Bowflex Max Total 16 comes with eight different workout programs. People who do not want to follow a set program can use the manual workout option.

Product features include:

  • Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and USB connectivity
  • a 16-in interactive console
  • 20 resistance levels
  • contact grips and an armband that monitors heart rate
  • oversized textured pedals
  • a dual-rail design

Other features include:

  • an assembled weight of 155.4 lb
  • a maximum user weight of 300 lb
  • dimensions of 49.3 x 30.8 x 65.7 in
  • a 3-year warranty on the frame and parts
  • a 1-year warranty on the electronics
  • a 90-day warranty on labor

The Bowflex Max Total 16 is available for $2,499. This includes a 1-year membership of JRNY, which has a value of $149. In-home assembly is also available at an additional charge of $169.

Bowflex Max Trainer M9

A Bowflex Max Trainer M8 against a blue background.

The Bowflex Max Trainer M9 offers high intensity interval training (HIIT). It has fewer features than the Bowflex Max Total 16 model but is available at a lower cost.

Product features include:

  • a 10 in interactive console with HD touchscreen
  • Bluetooth and USB connectivity
  • Android and iOS compatibility, allowing users to access their workouts through a smartphone
  • 20 resistance levels
  • 4 grip handlebars
  • integrated contact grips with heart-rate monitoring capability

Other features include:

  • a product weight of 149 lb
  • a maximum user weight of 300 lb
  • dimensions of 49 x 30.5 x 65 in
  • a 3-year frame warranty
  • a 3-year parts warranty
  • a 90-day labor warranty

The Bowflex Max Trainer M9 is available for $1,999. This includes a 1-year membership of JRNY, which has a value of $112. In-home assembly is also available at an additional charge.

Bowflex Max Trainer M6

A Bowflex Max Trainer M6 against a blue background.

The Bowflex Max Trainer M6 features four different workout programs alongside a manual mode. It has fewer features than the M9, but is lower cost.

Product features include:

  • Bluetooth and USB connectivity
  • Android and iOS compatibility
  • 16 resistance levels
  • integrated contact grips to monitor heart rate

Other features include:

  • a product weight of 148 lb
  • a maximum user weight of 300 lb
  • dimensions of 46 x 26 x 64.2 in
  • a 2-year warranty on the frame and parts
  • a 90-day labor warranty

The Bowflex Max Trainer M6 costs $1,499, which includes a 1-year JRNY membership. A person may also opt for in-home assembly at an extra charge.

The Bowflex Max Trainer offers individualized workouts with real-time virtual coaching that adapts to a person’s fitness needs and goals.

Each model comes with a 1-year free membership to JRNY. People can then purchase the membership for $19.99 per month or $149 per year.

The Bowflex Max Trainer series provides a low impact workout. Low impact exercise places less stress on the joints, posing a lower risk of joint injuries. As such, the Max Trainers may suit people with joint-related conditions, such as arthritis.

The equipment may also be a good choice for people with a smaller living or exercise area since it takes up less than half the space of an average treadmill.

Below are some pros and cons of the Bowflex Max Trainer:

Pros

  • Warranty period: Products come with a warranty period, allowing a person to opt for repairs or replacements if necessary.
  • Financing options: A person has the option to pay via monthly installments.
  • Product tracking: Tracking information is available on all orders.
  • In-home assembly: The company offers in-home assembly at an extra charge.

Cons

  • Customer service: Some customers state that the customer service team was not very helpful.
  • Shipping delays: Some customers report shipping delays.
  • Cost: Financing may be expensive.

At the time of writing, people cannot read Nautilus’ reviews on BBB, as the business profile is undergoing updates.

Bowflex has a star rating of 1.9 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot. Most negative critiques concern product quality, with some customers writing that their Bowflex product stopped working within a few months. Others report difficulties contacting the customer service team.

Positive customer reviews state that the Bowflex home gym equipment is a good option for people with less workout space at home.

Below are some alternative exercise equipment that people can use at home:

Treadmills

Bowflex sells a range of treadmills.

Walking has various health benefits, but walking outdoors may not always be practical due to the location or weather.

Walking on a treadmill allows regular exercise at home all year round. The Arthritis Foundation notes that a treadmill may lead to the following health benefits:

  • improving blood flow
  • reducing pain
  • increasing endurance
  • assisting weight management

Learn about the best home treadmills here.

Elliptical machines

A 2016 study states that elliptical machines are a good option for improving physical fitness.

An older 2014 study suggests that elliptical machines offer a low impact form of exercise that may benefit people with joint conditions and those recovering from bone or soft tissue injuries.

Learn about the best home ellipticals here.

Stationary bikes

Bowflex sells a range of home exercise bikes.

A 2019 review found that 3 months of indoor cycling may improve fitness. The authors also note that combining indoor cycling with a healthy diet may help with the following:

Learn about the best home exercise bikes here.

Exercise can improve a person’s overall health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) note that physical activity helps with the following:

Currently, there is no research on the health benefits of this specific type of exercise equipment. However, a 2019 study found that using workout machines in combination with a healthy diet positively affected cardiovascular fitness.

People may wish to speak with their doctor before starting a new exercise routine or using a new piece of exercise equipment. A doctor can advise on whether certain forms of exercise may risk a person’s health.

Injuries may occur during all types of exercise. A 2015 study states that trips and falls commonly occur with exercise equipment, particularly cardiovascular machines.

An older 2014 study reports that injuries from mechanical exercise machines are common across all age groups. It also noted that adults ages 65 years and over are at increased risk of needing medical care following such injuries.

Most minor sports injuries resolve without the need for medical attention. However, it is important to stop any exercise immediately after sustaining an injury and to seek medical advice if the injury negatively affects daily activities.

Frequently asked questions about Bowflex Max Trainer models include:

Does the Bowflex Max Trainer really work?

According to Trustpilot reviews, Bowflex products may benefit people who like exercising at home or cannot visit the gym.

Regular exercise and a healthy diet may help prevent and manage cardiovascular diseases. The American Heart Association recommends engaging in 150 minutes of moderate physical exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week.

Is the Bowflex Max Trainer for people with bad knees?

Bowflex Max Trainer models feature an elliptical machine for low intensity workouts. This is ideal for people who prefer low impact exercises due to knee injuries.

How much does the Bowflex Max Trainer cost?

The cost of the Bowflex Max Trainer varies depending on the model, and ranges between $1,699–$2,499. The cheapest trainer is the Bowflex Max Trainer M6 at $1,499, while the highest cost is the Bowflex Max Total 16 at $2,499.

Monthly payment options are also available.

How hard is it to set up the Bowflex Max Trainer?

People can find the Bowflex Max Trainer assembly manual on the Bowflex website. The manual provides all the instructions a person needs to set up the equipment at home.

Alternatively, people can also opt for in-home assembly at an extra cost.

The Bowflex Max Trainer is a piece of home gym equipment that offers a high intensity, low impact, full body workout.

Bowflex offers several models of Max Trainer. The type a person chooses will depend on several factors, including the number of workout programs required, the number of resistance levels, and the price of the equipment.

An at-home exercise machine can help a person to reach their weekly recommended levels of physical activity. However, a person should talk with their doctor before starting a new exercise program or using a new piece of exercise equipment. Some types of exercise may not be suitable for people with certain types of illness or injury.