Bowflex Max Trainer M5 vs. M3 – What’s the Difference?

Bowflex’s Max Trainers are designed to offer top calorie burn in the least amount of time. Bowflex even guarantees that these machines will provide the “most effective full-body workout in 14 minutes.” With their tag line “max results. max reasons,” these machines offer a highly unique design with the ability to burn up to 2.5x more calories overall while engaging the upper body 80% more than other fitness equipment.

These models do not have the traditional set up of many elliptical machines or treadmills as they lack a real “console area” that would provide entertainment options and audio offerings, but they do provide a display screen to monitor your “burn rate”, as well as some basics like a water bottle holder and tablet reading rack. The M3 model is the entry-level trainer, selling for an affordable $999, while the M5 is the more elite model, selling for $1599. The design of the Max trainers is also vastly different from any other piece of fitness equipment, with an incredibly compact design that is only 143 pounds when assembled.

Compare-Bowflex-Max-Trainer-M3-M5-Features-PricesThere are pretty significant differences in the M3 and M5, so that additional cost is worth it if you can spare the extra money. The M3 isn’t bad, but the M5 offers features that blow the M3 out of the water. Take for example the burn rate display that shows how many calories you’re currently burning every minute. This display allows you to set the activity level throughout the workout to meet your target needs, acting as a motivational tool. And with the free Max Trainer App (compatible with Apple and Android devices), you can easily sync workout results for advanced fitness goal tracking. The M3 lacks this feature, but it’s what makes this machine so useful and intuitive. The M3 also lacks the program variety of the M5, the premium hand grips (with heart rate contact grips built in), and the back lit display with Bluetooth 4.0 functioning.

Both models provide wireless heart rate monitoring, and both machines offer nice options when it comes to levels of resistance. The M3 offers 8 levels of resistance while the M5 offers 16, but of course the M5 takes it one step further and provides users with computer-controlled resistance versus the manual dial feature on the M3. These models are relatively sturdy and durable, with heavy weight capacities, but the flywheel weights are not disclosed, nor is any information on the overall drive system. Additionally, both models lack in the warranty department with the M5 offering a 2 year, and the M3 with a 1 year warranty. However; Bowflex does offer their “comprehensive warranty” which allows users to return the machine free of all costs and questions within 6 weeks of the delivery date.

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