Home gyms have become increasingly popular among fitness enthusiasts and serious athletes alike, and as a home fitness practitioner, you have many cardio machine options to choose from.

However, when it comes to top-of-the-line equipment, it’s hard to beat the Bowflex Max Trainer Series.

This article provides a comprehensive review of the Bowflex Max Trainer models to help you choose the best equipment for your needs.

Founded in 1986, Bowflex is a company that specializes in innovative home workout solutions.

From the company’s original home cable-weight training equipment to its newer lines of aerobic equipment, Bowflex covers the complete spectrum of home fitness needs.

The Bowflex Max Trainer series machines are similar to ellipticals but offer a more upward step movement. Bowflex describes them as a cross between a stair stepper and an elliptical trainer.

The Max Trainers are designed to be used for high intensity sprint interval training, but they can be used for general aerobics as well.

One of the defining features of the Bowflex Max Trainers is the integration of technology to guide your workouts.

For example, all of the Max Trainers offer programmed interval workouts that can take your fitness level from beginner to advanced.

Plus, newer models also include LCD touchscreens with streaming capabilities for instructor-led classes.

The JRNY app

Many of the Max Trainers offer compatibility with Bowflex’s JRNY app.

JRNY is an exercise app that offers a fitness assessment, workout tracking, trainer-led workout videos, and destination workouts with footage from over 50 locations across the globe for a virtual travel workout experience.

The app requires a monthly or annual subscription that costs either $12 or $19.99 per month depending on your plan.

To use the app, you’ll also need an iPhone or iPad with iOS 12.0 or greater, or an Android with version 6.0 or greater.

Summary

Bowflex Max Trainers are pieces of aerobic equipment that combine stair stepping and elliptical training with full technological integration

The following section breaks down the key specifications for each of the Bowflex Max Trainer models. Note that all of the Bowflex products on this list require an AC wall plugin.

Bowflex Max Trainer M3

The Bowflex Max Trainer M3 is Bowflex’s original model.

Its dimensions are 49 inches × 26 inches × 67.7 inches (124.5 cm × 66 cm × 164.3 cm), allowing this model to fit neatly in many home workout areas.

The M3 also supports a maximum user weight of 300 pounds (136 kg) and weighs 143 pounds (65 kg) when fully assembled.

The model features 8 resistance levels and 2 workout options, including max interval and manual. It also comes with a chest strap heart monitor for real-time monitoring of your workout intensity.

Additional features include a water bottle holder, tablet holder, and Target-Zone and Burn-Rate indicators.

Note that the M3 is not compatible with the Bowflex JRNY application.

The M3 originally came with a 1-year factory warranty and was listed for $1,400 MSRP.

However, the M3 is no longer available through Bowflex directly and must be purchased from third-party sellers, as it has been discontinued in favor of the newer Bowflex Max Trainer models.

Bowflex Max Trainer M6

The Bowflex Max Trainer M6 offers a design similar to that of the M3, but it has a slightly smaller footprint.

The dimensions of the Bowflex Max Trainer M6 are 46 inches × 26 inches × 64.2 inches (117 cm × 66 cm × 163 cm).

It weighs 148 pounds (67 kg) when fully assembled and supports a maximum user weight of 300 pounds (136 kg).

The biggest difference from the M3 model lies in the integration of newer technology, including the JRNY app, which provides access to trainer-led classes.

Additional features include a large console, magnetic media rack for smartphones or tablets, and Bluetooth-compatible heart rate monitor system with integrated contact grips for real-time monitoring.

The M6 also comes with 5 programmed workouts and 16 levels of resistance, making it a good option for beginner and advanced exercisers alike.

Bowflex Max Trainer M9

The Bowflex Max Trainer M9 is a recent upgrade from the M6 model.

The dimensions of the M9 are 49.2 inches × 30.5 inches × 65.1 inches (125 cm × 77.5 cm × 165.4 cm).

When fully assembled, it weighs 148.8 pounds (65.5 kg) and has a maximum user weight of 300 pounds (136 kg).

Unlike the M3, the M6’s handlebars offer 4 grip positions for added comfort during intense training sessions.

The M9 also includes 20 resistance levels, which is 4 more than the M6. As a result, the M9 model is a better choice for experienced athletes.

Other notable features of the M9 include a Bluetooth heart rate monitoring armband and Bluetooth speakers.

It also comes equipped with a 10-inch (25.4-cm) HD touchscreen, which allows for full integration with the JRNY app and popular streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu.

Bowflex Max Total

The Bowflex Max Total is the most advanced and most expensive Bowflex Max product.

While it’s similar to the M9, the Bowflex Max Total offers 6 grip options on the handlebars and 8 programmed workouts, compared with the M9’s 4 grips and 4 preloaded workouts.

As with the M9, the Max Total also allows for full integration with the JRNY app and other streaming platforms.

However, as the Max Total features newer technology, the machine’s 10-inch (25.4-cm) HD touchscreen has an upgraded feel compared with the M9.

The Bowflex Max Total is approximately the same size as the M9, with a profile of 49 inches × 30.5 inches × 65.5 inches (124.5 cm × 77.5 cm × 166.4 cm). It also has a weight capacity of 300 pounds (136 kg).

Summary

Bowflex products come at a range of prices and technological features, ranging from basic functionality to full integration with smartphone technology and applications.

The prices for the current Bowflex Max Trainers are as follows:

  • M6: $1,699
  • M9: $1,999
  • Max Total: $2,799

Bowflex also offers financing options to help make the machines more affordable.

While the M3 is no longer available from Bowflex, it was originally listed for $1,400 MSRP and may still be available at select retailers.

All of the Max Trainers come with a 90-day warranty on labor. However, the M9 and Max Total offer a 3-year warranty on the frame and parts, compared with 2 years for the M6.

Also keep in mind that the JRNY app costs an additional $12 or $19.99 per month, depending on your plan.

Summary

Bowflex Max Trainers have premium technological features and ergonomic design, but they’re fairly expensive and require a separate subscription for the full features.

The Max Trainer products offer unique and comprehensive fitness programming for aerobic exercise.

The following is a brief comparison chart on the prices, specs, and special features of Bowflex’s current models:

Bowflex M6Bowflex M9Bowflex Total
Price$1,699$1,999$2,799
Size
46 in × 26 in × 64.2 in (117 cm × 66 cm × 163 cm)
49.2 in × 30.5 in × 65.1 in (125 cm × 77.5 cm × 165.4 cm)49 in × 30.5 in × 65.5 in (124.5 cm × 77.5 cm × 166.4 cm)
Weight capacity300 pounds (136 kg) 300 pounds (136 kg)300 pounds (136 kg)
Resistance levels16 levels20 levels 20 levels
Special featuresFull integration with JRNY app
Media rack
Heart rate monitor
5 programmed workouts
Full integration with JRNY app
HD touchscreen
Streaming compatibility
Bluetooth speakers
Heart rate monitor
4 programmed workouts
Full integration with JRNY app
HD touchscreen
Streaming compatibility
Bluetooth speakers
Heart rate monitor
8 programmed workouts
Warranty2-year frame and parts
90-day labor
3-year frame and parts
90-day labor
3-year frame and parts
90-day labor

If you’re looking for an aerobic training machine that comes with a full range of technological features, Bowflex Max Trainers are worth considering.

The intense interval training programs maximize your calorie burn and aerobic fitness without the need for hours of tedious cardio every day.

Plus, despite the high price, Bowflex offers financing options that allow you to pay over time as opposed to shelling out $2,000 or more at once for your equipment.

With a variety of training options, high tech features, and price points, the Bowflex Max Trainer series is a great addition to any home gym.