Bowflex Max Trainer M5 Review 5

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Under $2000

Bowflex Max Trainer M5 Rating

Display Console
Customer Service
Overall Rating


Pros The Bowflex M5 is the most advanced trainer sold by this well-known brand, but its price is still reasonable considering how many features it includes. With many features improved over the M3, this elliptical-inspired product added resistance levels and a compact size that makes it a welcome addition to any home gym.
Cons The Bowflex M5 only has a two-year full-coverage warranty. It also does not come with an aux connector for mp3 players, or even speakers.
Summary The Max Trainer is inspired by the standard elliptical machine and stair stepper, producing a high-impact workout that yields quick results. On the M5, you will burn more than twice the number of calories as you would on an elliptical machine, and roughly one-and-a-half more than you would on a standard treadmill.

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Bowflex Max Trainer M5 Detailed Overview

The M5 is the top model in the Max Trainer series of fitness equipment by Bowflex. This model retails for $1,599, has a weight capacity of 300 pounds, 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 M5 can also help you to burn 280 calories in only 14 minutes. You can, of course, push it to a whole 30 minutes and more than double that amount. When you’re ready for some serious results but don’t have a huge window of time to exercise each day, the Max Trainer M5 is the perfect choice. And like the M3, the Max Trainer has virtually zero impact, so using the M5 guarantees your joints will experience 200% less impact than running.

The M5 provides 16 levels of resistance to choose from, which can be manually adjusted using the turn dial, and the target zone and burn rate indicator display shows you how many calories you’re 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 to keep you on track so you can make workout adjustments as needed. This model also comes with a backlit display screen and 8 built-in workout programs like include options like Max Interval, Smart Max Interval, Calorie Burn, Fat Burn, Fitness Test, and more. To keep track of your workout goals and progress, Bowflex also provides a free app, the MaxTrainer(R) app, that is available for both Apple iOS and Android devices. With the Bluetooth 4.0 enabled console, users can easily store and sync workout results using this free app.

To monitor your heart rate, you can use either the chest strap that is included or the contact grip sensors on the premium handlebars. Other basic features of the console that are also provided include 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.

The M5 combines the physical challenge of resistance, stepping motion and an upper body workout that directs the movement from the handlebars. Athletes and personal trainers have long understood the importance of this winning combination, and now with the M5’s decent price and in-home comfort, you can benefit from it, too.

To top it off, we’ve confirmed that all of those too-good-to-be-true results that you see in the Bowflex commercials are actually REAL people and real testimonials. Even we were skeptical of those at first, but we’ve confirmed they are legitimate.

Bowflex offers a 2 year warranty for the M5.

Our Favorite Features

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

  • 16 levels of resistance keeps things challenging for all users.
  • Opportunity to truly build upper arm strength while also focusing on cardio.
  • Heart rate grips monitor your bpms without requiring a cumbersome chest strap.
  • Bluetooth 4.0 compatible display to sync your personal data to a free mobile app.
  • Impressive display console that tracks your workout intensity, amount of calories burned and more.

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

A few downsides to the Bowflex MaxTrainer M5:

  • This is a mid to high-end machine, so the price is reasonable for all you get, but certainly not cheap.
  • The warranty isn’t too great – but this is true of most fitness units, especially 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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