Bowflex Max Trainer M5 Review 5

Bowflex Max Trainer M5 Rating

Display Console
Customer Service
Overall Rating


Pros The Max Trainer has a rare skill set: It supports vigorous total-body training, melts calories very quickly, and allows virtually zero harsh impact. In clinical studies it’s been proven more efficient than treadmills and ellipticals for calorie burn -- about twice as fast! Training on the M5 for just 14 minutes a few times per week can quickly bring impressive results: a body with less fat, more lean muscle and more energy. Bowflex sells the M5 with a six-week money-back guarantee.
Cons The Bowflex M5 has a two-year warranty. The warranty covers the entire machine, but two years is short for cardio trainers in this price range. Another potential drawback is the console’s rather basic display and lack of audio hookup. However, the console does have a tablet computer or magazine ledge for trainees seeking distraction.
Summary The Max Trainer M5 lets serious exercisers burn calories quickly and tone their whole bodies without joint pain. We’d like to see a longer warranty, but high quality in terms of physical performance and electronics make this machine easy to recommend.

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Bowflex Max Trainer M5 Detailed Overview

Note: Bowflex is running a Sale on the M5 this weekend. You can save over $200 and get free shipping.  Just activate the sale through this link and enter ‘EXCLUSIVE17’ in as the coupon code.

The Bowflex M5 Max Trainer is an enticing alternative to ellipticals and treadmills, and it’s more effective than both of these popular standbys. Inspired by elliptical machines, the M5 allows total-body exercise with virtually no harsh impact… and inspired by treadmills, it lets trainees move at full speed. Partly because it deflects harsh impact so effectively, the M5 compared with a typical cardio machine lets people burn calories about twice as quickly. With a few 14-minute sessions per week, trainees tend to see results very quickly.

While the M5 certainly does not promise an easy workout, it does provide resistance levels and preset programs for beginners as well as advanced trainees. Sixteen resistance levels are available through convenient digital controls. The M5 can be used in manual mode, plus eight training programs help trainees make the most of this machine. Examples are Max Interval, Smart Max Interval, Calorie Burn, Fat Burn and Fitness Test. Data are shown on a backlit screen, and the Max Trainer M5 can store two user profiles. With the new Bluetooth-enabled console, users can easily store and sync their workout results using a free Max Trainer app as well.

Heart rate can be monitored wirelessly with a chest strap (included) or with contact grip sensors on the handlebars. Other basic features to note are a water bottle holder and a media shelf.

Does the M5 sound too good to be true? Hybrid trainers are sometimes awkward, but the Max Trainer lineup is a well-established success. We’ve even confirmed that the enthusiastic Bowflex users seen in commercials are actual Bowflex customers! And to help shoppers feel confident Bowflex provides a six-week money-back guarantee. When you’re ready for serious results but don’t have a huge window of time for fitness, the Max Trainer M5 can be an ideal choice.

Our Favorite Features

Some of our favorite parts of the Bowflex Max Trainer M5:

  • Total body trainer
  • Builds upper arm strength more effectively than standard ellipticals
  • 16 resistance levels for a precise challenge
  • Eight workout programs
  • 8 Week Subscription to Daily Burn included with purchase, offering 600+ workout videos
  • Includes wireless and contact pulse sensors
  • Supports two user profiles
  • Bluetooth 4.0 compatibility for tracking data long-term online
  • Water bottle holder
  • Media ledge for computer, Kindle or magazine
  • Compact size

Bowflex Max Trainer M5 - Notable Specs:

Overall Rating:5-stars
Compact / Folding:Yes
Stride Length:N/A
Programs:8 workout programs
Weight Capacity:300 LB
Dimensions:46" L x 25" W x 63" H

Our Least Favorite Features

Here are a few downsides of choosing the Bowflex MaxTrainer M5:

  • Assembly is cumbersome. Paying extra for professional set-up could save you a hassle.
  • Max Trainers cost more than many treadmills and ellipticals of similar quality.
  • The warranty isn’t a great match for the machine’s retail price, providing just two years of coverage, however not uncommon at this price point.

The Bottom Line

Bowflex is a pioneer into the fitness world with this piece of equipment designed to accomplish multiple physical goals simultaneously. Choose between many different fitness modes, including steady state, stairs, calorie goal, fat burn and more. For the maximum amount of calories, try the Interval Training modes: max interval and smart max. Instead of constantly switching modes, its recommended to find 2-3 that work for you, and be consistent with those as you enjoy great results.

While the M5 certainly does not promise an easy workout, there are still plenty of resistance levels and preset programs for beginners. While Bowflex machines have often caused purchasers to merely fall prey to hype that comes with an expensive price tag, the M5 really is worth its weight in gold. Durable, challenging and dynamic, you will be pleased with the M5 and how it will easily customize to every member of the family. It also has a small footprint, meaning anyone can add it to their home gym without inconvenience. There is a less expensive model, the Max Trainer M3 for under $1,000 as well as a high-end model, the Max Trainer M7 that sells for $2,199.

The two-year warranty is a bit stingy, but when you really notice how many great perks come with a machine as jam-packed with features and proven results as the M5, it’s tough to argue that it’s not worth the investment. Further, the warranty is competitive with other fitness machines in this price range. When you’re ready for the ultimate workout experience with the quickest potential results available, give the Max Trainer M5 a try – your physical appearance will show its gratitude.

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