Max Trainer

MAX Trainer is TOUGH ON CALORIES, EASY ON YOUR JOINTS Introducing the MAX Trainer M5, the most fully featured Bowflex Max Trainer. Save time with the breakthrough 14-minute Max Interval workout or choose from 9 other pre-programmed workouts for longer sessions. Either way, you'll get a great cardio workout with an ultra-smooth, low-impact motion, proven to burn up to 2.5X more calories. The M5 has it all: Computer-controlled resistance, Bluetooth smart technology, premium grips, backlit display, target-zone monitoring and a compact design that fits in almost any space!

I bought the M5 back in September 2014. It only took me about a week to get mine but due to demand I guess a lot of people are having to wait a lot longer. Is it worth the wait? Let's dive in. I'm going to be completely honest so bear with me. The machine arrived and I assembled this beast by myself. Some people are having a really difficult time putting it together, others are having no trouble. The machine is assembled with hex screws and hex wrenches (supplied). If you have a drill with a hex attachment it would make assembly MUCH easier. I didn't so I used the supplied hex wrenches and it wasn't difficult just very time consuming. About two hour time consuming if you're doing it by hand. But assembled it was and time to hop on.

I hopped on the max trainer and the movement is fluid and pleasant to perform. Then I did the assessment and that alone kicked my butt. Then I decided to do the max workout on level one. I made it three minutes and had to quit. This machine is NO JOKE. If you're as out of shape as me then this machine will destroy you in no time. After a few days I started playing around with the various programs and decided that honestly, I got the best and most pleasant workout just by getting on the machine and pressing start and doing a manual workout. The varied workouts are great but I like being in control. On the manual workout I can adjust the resistance during any time of my workout. I now usually do a whole fifteen minutes on the highest level (16). I vary the speed and usually burn about 250 calories in 15 minutes. I do this twice a day. Once in the morning and once at night for a total of 500 calories burned per day. I usually do three days a week, if I feel like it I do four or five days.

Max Trainer

After about three months I went back to the max routine and I blew through the whole 14 max workout on level one with no problem. I still burn more calories in manual mode so I've stuck with that. Other things to note, the machine is sturdy. Built like a tank. The electronics are first class all the way. It comes with a chest strap heart rate monitor but I've only used it once. It's just easier for me to place my hands on the built in heart monitor to see where I'm at. It also has an app you can download and sync to the machine but I have yet to do so. I don't need an app to tell me if I've done well or slacked off. I'm sure many people would find it useful. You can also put a water bottle in the back of the console but I've not used that either. I have never had time to read or sip water while on this machine. The machine is heavy but easy to move with the attached wheels. It's also very small and takes up minimal space. It's roughly two feet wide, four feet long, and five feet high.

MAX Trainer

It's also quiet in motion. Going full steam it's about as loud as a window air conditioner. I live in an apartment and none of my neighbors have complained about noise.

And now, there are a few negatives that fortunately I have not experienced. A lot of customers have complained of squeaky wheels. My advice is to contact Bowflex customer service and from what I've heard they have been able to resolve this issue. I guess I got lucky, I've had my machine for six months now and I've noticed no squeaking. Another negative is that people are scared it might be too hard and they're right. This thing is a monster. If you're like me and the max workout proved too difficult than just do the manual workout instead. Stamina and strength will come with time. It did with me...and very quickly.

And now for the honesty part...have I lost weight? When I got my M5 I was 203lbs and I'm only 5'7. Six months later I'm at 183 so I've dropped 20lbs. as I wrote...I'll be honest... I LOVE food!! I love cake, cookies, chips, chocolate, beer, vodka. At 40 years old it really is a battle. I've also accepted that I'm not going to give up all the things I love for a six pack. Not happening, sorry. I try and eat well Sun - Thursday with salads and no junk food but come Friday and Saturday...forget it! Bring on the brews, the pizza and anything else I can get my hands on. I try my best not to cheat during the week but it does happen. My goal is to get back down to 160. I'll get there. It took me thirty years to put on 50lbs. I was 210 at my heaviest. I'm about halfway there and it's only been six months so I'm pretty happy. I expected to be back to 160 in about three months. I think that goal was a tad unrealistic especially with the holidays being only a few months after I got the machine.

I'll update any pros or cons as time goes by or when I finally reach my goal body. My final thoughts are this. The Max Trainer is as beautiful as it is functional. It will kick your butt if you want it or you can take a leisurely little hike on it if that is what you're after. With a ton of programs and a manual one you won't get bored with it either. Half a year later I'm still thrilled with my purchase. Unfortunately there isn't any way to test the Max before you buy it but if you don't like it you can return it. (Check with Bowflex, I don't know the return policy off the top of my head.) I've also noticed that my bad feet and knees are not impacted negatively by the Max. So, there you go. This thing is a low impact calorie torch. Built well and is as nice to look at as it is to work out on it. Recommended.

Bowflex Max Trainer M5 Review

Interested in a challenging alternative to the treadmill? Consider the super-efficient Bowflex M5. This compact home fitness machine is designed to outperform treadmills in several ways. It supports full-body workouts, is zero impact and is designed for rapid calorie burn. Burn calories at up to 2.5 times the rate you achieve with a treadmill!

How it works: The Max Trainer M5 offers 16 resistance levels. Your lower body trains with an elliptical or stair-stepping motion, depending on the resistance setting. Your upper body gets toned with help from moving arm bars. The bars look similar to those on elliptical trainers, but they can be nearly twice as effective at toning your body.

Zero impact fitness machines like the Bowflex M5 are popular in part because they reduce the risk of injury. With an M5, but obviously not with a treadmill, your feet never leave the machine. The fluid motion is gentle on your joints. The zero impact factor also helps you exercise more vigorously than usual.

This treadmill alternative is the top model in its series. It has 16 resistance levels and nine built-in workouts. The M5 can also sync with a free with free Max Trainer® App for Apple iOS and Android devices.

The Bowflex M5 sells for $1,599 online with free delivery. The purchase price includes a chest strap for wireless heart rate monitoring.

Bowflex claims the Max Trainers burn 2.5 times more calories than using an elliptical machine

What We Like:

The Max Trainer M5 has lots of great points:

Zero Impact: Unlike treadmill running, exercising with a Max Trainer is zero impact. Your body stays in constant contact with the machine instead of repeatedly hitting its surface. This can help you avoid the back pain and joint pain often associated with exercise.

Higher Intensity: This perk relates to the “zero impact” point above. With many other forms of exercise, the impact shock of training detracts from your efficiency and endurance. With the M5, you aren’t “wasting” energy as your body deals with impact. This lets you exercise at a higher intensity without raising your perceived exertion level. You can get a superb full-body workout including warmup and cool-down in under 20 minutes.
Upper Body Workout: Upper body motion helps explain why Max Trainers support rapid calorie burn when compared with treadmills. The moving arms on Bowflex Max Trainers are significantly more effective than those on most elliptical trainers.

Resistance: The Bowflex M5 has 16 resistance levels. These levels are most appropriate for people who are already in pretty good shape. The wide range can help you avoid a fitness plateau.

Preset Programs: The M5 has a backlit display giving access to manual exercise mode and eight preset workouts. The presets are: Max Interval, Smart Max Interval, Calorie Burn, Fat Burn, Calorie Goal, Stairs, Steady State and Fitness Test.

Heart Rate Monitoring: A wireless chest strap is included with the sale price. You can also monitor your pulse with a contact grip system.
Two User Profiles: Two trainees can save their physical stats and workout data.
Extras: The Max Trainer M5 has a water bottle holder and a reading rack. The rack is large enough to hold a magazine or a tablet computer.

Compact: Bowflex Max Trainers take up little space compared with treadmills. The M5’s footprint is 46? L x 25?. The machine weighs 143 pounds.

Star Rating: 5-stars
Motor: n/a
Incline: n/a
Running Area: n/a
Folding: No
Top Speed: n/a
Weight Capacity: 300 LBS
Dimensions: 46" L x 25" W x 63" H
Built-In Programs: 8 workout programs and 16 Resistance Levels

What We Don’t Like:
In our review the Bowflex Max Trainer M5 earns five stars as a treadmill alternative. Here are a few potential drawbacks:

Assembly: Assembly takes an hour or more. We recommend paying extra to avoid setting up this product yourself. This will save you a headache in the beginning and could also help you avoid problems down the line.

Best for Already-Fit People: The lowest resistance level on the M5 is too powerful for some customers. Unlike other zero impact fitness machines, it isn’t intended for gentle rehab.

Uncomfortable for Some: This trainer could be uncomfortable for small trainees. They might want the moving arm bars to be placed closer together.

Price: This series of Bowflex fitness machines do not have the best combination of price and warranty. The Max Trainer M5 costs $1,599 and is under warranty for two years and the high end Max Trainer M7 costs $2,199 and has a three year warranty. With a comparably priced treadmill you could get more generous consumer protection.

Our Verdict:
The Bowflex Max Trainer M5 is a powerful zero-impact trainer for intermediate to advanced athletes that are looking for a treadmill alternative. The main disadvantage of buying the M5 is its price/warranty combo. At the same time, it can be a very powerful tool for training your entire body in less time than you thought possible, so for that aspect we give it 5 stars. This unit is a bit more appealing than the M3 thanks to extra programs, app integration and doubled options for resistance.