Home Gym – Bowflex Max Trainer 2021 Review: Features, Comparisons, Cost
Looking to make your home gym the bee’s (healthy and non-painful) knees? You’re gonna want a Bowflex for that.
The Bowflex Max Trainer is a cross between a stair climber and an elliptical, offering a low impact but high intensity workout that’s perfect for high intensity interval training (HIIT) without slaughtering your knees — which makes it the bee’s knees (all six of them), in our book.
Best of all, there are models at a variety of price points and with tons of different features, and we’ve got all the deets for ya.
So let’s make like Tina Turner and get rollin’ rollin’ rollin’ on the
Bowflex Max Trainer Pros
- Offers a low-impact workout
- Cross between a stair stepper and an elliptical
- Three different models with different features and price points
- All models come standard with bottle holder, USB charging port, and heart rate tracking grips
Bowflex Max Trainer Cons
- Even the least expensive model (the M6) is kinda on the pricey side
- Limited preset workout programs without the JRNY subscription
- Some reviewers have issues with the touchscreens and connectivity on the M9 and Total models
Bowflex is an uber popular fitness brand. They make all things workout related, like adjustable dumbbells that literally have a waiting list, tricked out treadmills, killer kettlebells, and spin bikes that can hold their own against competitors like the Peloton.
And then there’s the Max Trainer.
The Max Trainer is best described as a bit of a cross between an elliptical and a stair stepper. It’s got the arm action and the rolling action, but provides a more up-and-down, climbing motion than a traditional elliptical.
There are three different models of the Bowflex Max Trainer: the M6, the M9, and the Total. Here’s whatcha need to know about each.
The Bowflex Max Trainer M6 is the most budget friendly in the lineup, with a price tag of $1,699. The M9 is a bit more expensive at $1,999 with some additional features. For all the bells and whistles, you’re gonna want the Bowflex Max Total — which will set you back a cool $2,799.
As of this writing, the Max Total is sold out. If you’re interested in it, make sure to sign up for an email alert.
Note: there are some older models available on Amazon, but as far as we can tell, all of these machines have been discontinued by Bowflex.
All of these machines are designed to be used with the JRNY app, and you can get 2 months free when you buy a Max Trainer. It regularly costs $19.99 a month, or you can save a little cash by paying $149 for a full year upfront.
Based on reviews, professional installation can take as little as 30 minutes to an hour, and two non-professionals can knock out installation (and save some cash) in about 1-2 hours.
Features and model comparisons
And here’s the fun stuff:
All three of the Max Trainers come equipped with charging ports (they really understand us!), bottle holders, and heart rate contact grips built into the handlebars.
And although the preset workouts on each machine are pretty limited, you can get tons more options with the JRNY app.
The M9 and the Total are equipped for streaming with built-in touchscreens and Bluetooth-enabled speakers. Additionally, they have more resistance levels than the M6 and come with Bluetooth arm bands to track your heart rate.
If you’re not ready to drop the full cost for one of these machines all at once, Bowflex offers interest-free financing on the Bowflex credit card IF you pay off the full purchase amount of the machine within 18 months.
Shipping is free, and you can add in-home assembly for an extra $169 if you don’t want to deal with putting it together. Can’t blame you there.
Here’s the warranty that’s included with each Max Trainer model:
- M6: 2 year frame, 2 year parts, 90 day labor
- M9: 3 year frame, 3 year parts, 90 day labor
- Total: 3 year frame, 3 year parts, 90 day labor
Depending on the model you purchase, you can add an extra 3 years to the parts and labor warranty for $149-$199 and an extra 5 years for $179-$259.
And if the Max Trainer isn’t everything you thought it would be, Bowflex accepts returns up to 6 weeks after purchase. You’ll be responsible for shipping and handling costs, and you’ll need to return everything in its original packaging (so be sure to hang on to it JIC).
What reviewers think
Features and warranties are nice, but what are reviewers saying about these machines? Mostly good things!
The reviews overall are generally positive, and Max Trainers are liked by people of all ages and fitness levels. Many are pleased with the Max Trainer’s low impact workout offering, making it great for people with knee and joint problems. Others also enjoy the climbing action that allows for a really vigorous workout — making it ideal for fitness enthusiasts or athletes who like variety on different days.
The Bowflex website even boasts that these babies are perf for HIIT workouts because you can really get your blood pumping with fast climbing and several resistance options.
There are, of course, those who aren’t as fond of the Max Trainer. Some people report using the machine makes their knees hurt, and many complaints center around shipping or in-home assembly.
There also seem to be occasional issues with Wifi or Bluetooth connectivity or streaming on the M9 and Total models, but these reports are fairly few and far between compared to the positive reviews.
Home Gym – Bowflex Max Trainer 2021 Review: Features, Comparisons, Cost]
Tags: Home Gym