Bowflex Elliptical Reviews 4 Bowflex is a longtime leader in the home fitness industry. As some readers can remember, Bowflex got its start in the 1980s advertising innovative hom

Bowflex Reviews

Bowflex is a longtime leader in the home fitness industry. As some readers can remember, Bowflex got its start in the 1980s advertising innovative home gyms through infomercials. Since then the Vancouver-based brand has expanded its lineup to include dynamic cardio trainers for people at all skill levels. Called TreadClimbers and Max Trainers, these are popular alternatives to elliptical machines because they’re 1) gentler on the body and 2) more efficient at melting pounds and defining muscles.

These versatile fitness machines can also be used as stair steppers and are great alternatives to treadmills. Bowflex TreadClimbers allow rapid calorie burn through low-impact walking: With help from a power incline, a trainee can drop pounds up to 2.5x more quickly than with walking at zero degrees. Bowflex Max Trainers, which work the whole body, allow higher intensity workouts and can deliver remarkable results with just 14 minutes of exercise per day. In all modes each Bowflex machine has great appeal for minimizing the chance of exercise-related injury.

Since so many people are busier than ever, these high quality time-saving trainers have had impressive sales and earned overwhelmingly positive customer reviews. It hasn’t been difficult for Bowflex to include actual customers in its motivating ads. Check out the options for sale in 2016…

Bowflex Max Trainers 2016

Bowflex Max Trainer M3: The most affordable Max Trainer, the M3, costs just $999 with a one-year warranty. This durable whole-body trainer can serve a whole family. Trainees can burn just as many calories on the Max Trainer M3 as on pricier units — up to 600 calories per half hour according to Bowflex trials! Trainees use a dial to choose from 8 resistance levels for use with two built-in programs: manual mode and a 14-minute preset workout. Users with wireless access can use four free Motion Traxx workouts too. A chest strap is provided for wireless heart rate monitoring and two people can save profiles.<
While the Bowflex M3 has its rewards, some shoppers prefer a higher model for more programs, extra features and an even more robust product.

Bowflex Max Trainer M5: The Max Trainer M5 is an advanced version of the M3. It divides resistance into 16 levels instead of 8 for better customization and the resistance is computerized instead of manually controlled. As with the M3, two profiles are supported. For training guidance users can access four Motion Traxx workouts through a mobile app. The Bowflex Max Trainer M5 has much greater built-in program variety though: Including manual mode and a fitness test it has nine built-in programs. Other upgrades are backlighting for the data screen, contact grips in addition to wireless heart rate technology, upgraded pedals and more comfortable hand grips. The Bowflex M5 has an online sale price of $1,599 and carries a two-year warranty.

Bowflex Max Trainer M7: The Bowflex M7 debuted as a new top-of-the-line model in early 2016. Compared with the M5 it features additional workouts, adding 7-minute and 21-minute versions of the classic 14-minute Bowflex session. Additionally the Max Trainer M7 has additional resistance levels, commercial grade grips, two additional user profiles (for a total of four), an enhanced media shelf and other upgrades.

Selling for $2,199 with a three-year warranty, the M7 is the most expensive Bowflex Max Trainer but also offers the best long-term value.

Compare the 3 Max Trainers:


Bowflex TreadClimbers 2016

Bowflex TreadClimber TC100: The TC100 is the lowest-priced of two Bowflex TreadClimber models for 2016. Compared with an elliptical trainer it enables faster calorie burn and more targeted muscle definition. Its high speed is 4 mph and its steepest incline is 40 percent. Bluetooth 4.0 is included for wirelessly tracking and sharing workout stats such as heart rate (measured with contact sensors) and calories burned. This year’s TreadClimbers make it convenient to use mobile apps during exercise too; they have tablet computer docks with USB chargers, and the user’s tablet doesn’t obscure the TreadClimber’s own screen.

While we prefer the Bowflex TC200 for its wireless telemetry and preset workouts, the TC100 is the best seller because it costs significantly less. The online sale price is $2199 with a two-year warranty on the whole machine.

Bowflex TreadClimber TC200: The TC200 is the leading model of Bowflex TreadClimber for 2016. Compared with the TC100 described above it has the same incline range (zero to 40 percent) but a higher maximum speed (4.5 mph) for even more dramatic calorie burn. Other upgrades are wireless telemetry and four customizable workout programs named Interval, Calorie, Time and Distance. The Bowflex TC200 sale price online is $3,299 with a three-year warranty on the whole machine.

What We Like About Bowflex Cardio Trainers

  • Compact and Sturdy: Built with home use in mind, Bowflex cardio trainers are relatively compact yet can hold up to 300 pounds. Each is smaller than a typical elliptical trainer or treadmill despite serving multiple functions. TreadClimbers measure about 6 feet long and 3 feet wide. Max Trainers measure about 4 feet long and 2½ feet wide. Each unit has wheels attached for easy transport.
  • Versatility: These unique fitness machines are multipurpose cross-trainers. They’re useful for cardio exercise and strength training with their emulations of ellipticals, stair steppers and treadmills. Each can meet a wide range of skill levels too, accommodating people in need of gentle physical rehab as well as top athletes in peak condition.
  • Low-Impact: Bowflex cardio trainers are especially ergonomically sound. Max Trainers, for instance, are designed to reduce shock to joints by 200% compared with running on a hard surface. The low impact exercise on TreadClimbers and Max Trainers lets people have less perceived exertion even when they’re burning calories at higher-than-usual rates.
  • Modern Consoles: Bowflex trainers have easy-to-read screens and can connect with mobile apps for automated activity tracking and online workouts. Higher model numbers have the best variety of built-in workouts. Each Bowflex console can save at least two user profiles. The top-of-the-line M7 Max Trainer and TC200 TreadClimber can support four profiles each.

What We Don’t Like About The Bowflex Cardio Trainers

  • Manual Resistance on M3: Resistance on M3 Max Trainers is manual; you need to turn a dial to make changes. This isn’t optimal for interval training. On the M5 and M7 the resistance is computerized.
  • Warranties: Bowflex warranties are for their entire machines, which we like, but overall the warranties aren’t as competitive as they are for standard elliptical trainers.
  • Affordability: As noted above the M3 costs just $999. However, top-of-the-line Bowflex trainers are priced out of reach for many shoppers.

Bottom Line

Bowflex first impressed the fitness world back in the 1980s and has continued to innovate. This year’s Bowflex Max Trainers and TreadClimbers are strong alternatives to elliptical machines, steppers and treadmills. While the highest model numbers have the most appeal, any Bowflex trainer can deliver impressive results in a short amount of time.


All Bowflex Ellipticals

ImageModelRatingEstimated Price
Bowflex Max Trainer M55-StarsSee Best Price
Bowflex Max Trainer M75-StarsSee Best Price
Bowflex Max Trainer M34-StarsSee Best Price
Bowflex Treadclimber TC1004-StarsSee Best Price
Bowflex TreadClimber TC2004-StarsSee Best Price

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