Bowflex Max Trainer M3 Review 4

Bowflex Max Trainer M3 Rating

Display Console
Customer Service
Overall Rating


Pros As the most affordable product within the Max Trainer line, the M3 comes with the durability and results often expected of a Bowflex machine, while providing a convenient in-home experience the whole family will love. Best of all, the M3 is often available for under $1000, which makes it quite a steal considering it’s a machine that will be in it for the long haul.
Cons Now that the Max Trainer M5 is out, there is a model that is more impressive and convenient – however, the M3 certainly does still hold its own. The downsides of the M3 do include a short warranty (only 1 year) and less features.
Summary Get ready to burn some serious calories and build real muscle with the Max Trainer M3. Bowflex has long been known for its impressive, high-quality units and the M3 is continually ranked as one of the best. Even better, it is affordable and sized ideally for even the smallest home gym. The M3 comes with 8 different resistance levels and two workout programs, streamlining its features well enough for both the novice and pro to utilize. It also comes with two user profiles, so it’s an ideal machine for roommates, spouses, etc.

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Bowflex Max Trainer M3 Detailed Overview

The M3 is the entry-level model in the Max Trainer series of fitness equipment by BowFlex. This model is fairly affordable at just under $1,000, and features a highly unique design that promises the ability to burn up to 2.5x more calories overall while engaging the upper body 80% more than other fitness equipment.

The M3 is jam-packed with the power and drive needed to truly challenge the user. Looking at the overall design of the M3, users will notice that unlike a treadmill, the Max Trainer has virtually zero impact. There is also reduced impact on injury-prone regions like back, knees, etc. with this machine, leaving you more time to worry about strong arms and a trimmer waistline than about debilitating physical stress as a result of “getting in shape.” Using the M3 guarantees your joints will experience 200% less impact than running.

The M3 is not like a traditional elliptical trainer, stair climber, or treadmill, so there are some features unique to this piece of equipment, but also some similarities. Like an elliptical trainer, you can adjust the resistance. The M3 offers 8 resistance levels that can be changed manually using the dial on the handlebars. Unlike other pieces of workout equipment, you have the ability to workout at an intensity that is hard to find with other trainers. The M3 can withstand weights of up to 300 pounds as well.

Coming to the console area, you will find a slightly more “non-traditional” set-up, with no display screen at all. There are just a few program controls and the turn dial for resistance, but that’s pretty much it. To monitor heart rate, a chest strap is included but there are no contact heart rate grips. Users do have access to 2 built-in workout programs and 2 user profiles, a well as a water bottle holder and media shelf to store your favorite devices. This model lacks any audio capabilities or entertainment offerings, but there is a media shelf to use your own device for entertainment or music.

Most of us have seen those Bowflex commercials with those “too-good-to-be-true” results. Well, we confirmed that Bowflex only uses real world people (not actors) with REAL testimonials. That gave us some serious peace of mind.

For the higher-model, check out the Max Trainer M5 Review.

Our Favorite Features 

Some of our favorite parts of the Max Trainer M3:

  • Combined functionality of an elliptical and stair stepper in one great product.
  • Zero impact on trouble spots like the knees, back, etc.
  • Easy-to-read display screen
  • Increased burn of calories per 30 minutes
  • Upper body workout more impactful than most ellipticals
  • Now comes with free 8 week subscription of Daily Burn, offering more than 600 workout videos
  • Tablet holder
  • Heart rate monitoring via chest strap
  • Affordable at under $1,000

Bowflex Max Trainer M3 - Notable Specs:

Overall Rating:4-stars
Compact / Folding:Yes
Stride Length:N/A
Programs:2 workout programs
Weight Capacity:300 LB
Dimensions:46" L x 25" W x 63" H

Our Least Favorite Features

A few downsides to the Max Trainer M3:

  • Short warranty – full coverage for only one year
  • No iPod connection or speakers
  • No heart rate grips
  • 8 resistance levels (as opposed to 16 on the M5)
  • Only two workout programs to choose from

The Bottom Line

As the M3 is specifically designed to be compact with slim to no impact on your joints, it is a desirable machine. Beyond this, it is known to encourage the burn of as many calories as possible, leaving your workouts more effective and emotionally providing you with a better feeling of accomplishment. This will spur you on to your next day of exercise, unlike traditional machines that can leave the user feeling exhausted and discouraged. There is really nothing on the market to compare to a Max Trainer, although it does fall somewhere between an elliptical and stair stepper. The M3 specifically comes with two different workout programs. Some may argue this is a pretty sparse offering, but fortunately the ones offered are the ones you would likely use the most anyhow.

Choose from eight different resistance levels that keep you challenged and in shape – avoiding the cliché plateau that tends to occur after a few months of losing weight rapidly. When it comes to optimal personal fitness, Bowflex’s Max Trainer M3 is where it’s at. The only better option may be the Max Trainer M5, although this one costs more money. For those looking for a simple, straight forward machine without a high learning curve, the Max Trainer M3 is just the ticket. You’ll love its portability, convenient features like a media shelf and cup holder – and most of all how good it makes you look and feel.

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