For those who love stair steppers and ellipticals, the Max Trainer from Bowflex combines the two making it the perfect hybrid animal to satisfy your cardio cravings, and it's party piece is that it can do it in 14 minutes.
In todays high paced yet ironically short on time world, HIIT is the sensible solution. Bowflex claim their max machines burn more calories than treadmills and ellipticals, 1.5 and 2.5 times the amount respectively, and a hefty 400 calories can be burned if you launch the MAX button.
These claims are not far fetched as steppers are calorie crunchers, they require a lot of force to drive, but thankfully the elliptical mechanism smooths out the ride, so this type of torture actually feels enjoyable.
Ellipticals are low impact machines so you can have brutal workouts without destroying bone, sinew and cartilage. If you feel a like someone has just beaten you up after a long treadmill session, your body is trying to tell you something, switch to a kinder machine.
What sets the max trainer apart is instead of bouncing up and down like you do on a stepper, if you look at it you'll see the elliptical glide rails at the bottom, elliptical movements take the shape of an arc. The machine is close to 75% stepper and 25% elliptical. The elliptical twist adds a little more circumference into the stepping motion. It smooths it out a bit.
The stepping motion makes the machine a lot tougher to power, and hence you can really get up to a sweat very quickly and burn calories and increase fitness frighteningly fast.
As your joints don't absorb any of the impact on these machines you can push yourself harder without injury and pain. Workouts can be more intense, that's probably why Bowflex coined the term, Max Results for the series.
Max Trainers also provide a total body workout. Just like an elliptical you power the machine with upper handlebars. Great for toning your arms back, chest and shoulders. Not only can you shred fat and increase fitness, but you can also increase strength.
Bowflex have the latest range of max trainers in stock and you can check out their website here for their latest offers.
Max Trainer Appears On NYSE Floor
The M3 Max Trainer actually made it onto the trading floor in The New York Stock Exchange in 2014. In a scene reminiscent of Gordon Gecko from Oliver Stone's Wall Street, pounding away on the treadmill in his towering condominium, Ceo Bruce Cazenave launched the PR stunt to discuss Bowflex growth in proceeding year (13% increase on 2012 -$218m in revenue).
Only not one of those greedy stock brokers worked up a sweat on it.
The M3 can be picked up quite cheaply if you can still find a supplier. Bowflex are currently only directly selling the top of the range Max Total, the M8 and M6. Things have moved on since the futuristic red and black trim model was launched. Naturally as product lines progress everything gets upgraded from the base model. The first machine had manual resistance, and no one wants that these days.
Bowflex Max Trainer M3 Summary
It Won the IDA design award in 2013. The M3 is the entry level machine, and if you can find a supplier it usually retails for a dollar under $1k. It only came with 2 workout programs and you had to manually adjust the resistance (8 available levels) with a lever on the right side of the handlebar.
But don't be fooled, variety and technology isn't everything. You can adjust the calorie burn rate to a higher level to match your fitness levels. Dial it up a notch when it gets too easy, which may be a while.
Max trainers have a smaller footprint than treadmills. If you are living in small or shared accommodation this is ideal. This is a compact machine standing just 164.3 cm tall (64.7 inches). Measuring 145 cm in length x 89 wide, it can easily fit in cramped spaces.
The console interface is nice. You will have fun keeping up with the l.e.d. emblazoned burn meter which takes the format of a standard speedometer.
It has a wireless chest strap for accurate heart rate monitoring. Sensors on handlebars are never as accurate.
The warranty is just 12 months for parts and 90 days for labor. But you can get a 3 year Bowflex warranty for an extra $89 or pay $119 for 5 years peace of mind. Both these include parts, so it's well worth it.
It's usually available on Amazon Prime.
Bowflex Max Trainer M5 Summary
You can choose between 16 resistance levels (double that of M3) so if you're out of shape or having a bad day you can zone it real low until your catch your second wind.
The max user weight is the same as the M3 at 300 pounds. As far as exercise machines go it is a light machine weighing 143 pounds.
The warranty gets beefed up to 2 years parts and 90 days labor. You can upgrade to a 3 year parts and labor warranty for $149 or 5 years parts and labor for $179.
Workouts are potentially endless if you sync up the JRNY app.
Bowflex Max Trainer M6 Summary
The M6 beefs up the stock with 11 workout programs and 20 automatic resistance levels. Let the machine control the workout with the JRNY app. There's a 2 year warranty and a 5 inch console.
Bowflex Max Trainer M7 Summary
Bowflex Max Trainer M8 Summary
Bowflex Max Total Summary
The Max Total has the most advanced display screen, a good sized 9.6 in console that allows wireless online streaming to view customized workouts, or simply just to browse the internet or watch Netflix or Amazon Prime.
You also get the Bowflex JRNY app and a 2 month free subscription to run their dynamic coaching workouts. If you struggle with motivation, you can work along in harmony with the coach.
When the 2 months runs out there are plenty of free options that enhance the machine. The free features of the app track your progress and celebrates new workout milestones, ie an increase in your workout time, or more calories burned. You can view detailed workout analytics and see your personal bests.
The Total also is the first machine in the series to offer power training for the upper body and a touchscreen.
Meet your New A.I. Trainer
The paid subscription offers a customized workout experience. There are 8 workout programs already built into the machine, but the JRNY app learns from your workouts and adjusts itself accordingly in line with your fitness goals to push you harder, whether that be increasing strength, losing weight, or improving your speed or fitness.
It becomes your own artificial intelligence virtual personal trainer.
The machine will automatically change the workout time and intensity based on your previous workout performances and your end goals.
There is a huge video library led by certified master coaches and you can also road step n' glide across the planet with stunning visuals of 19 real world locations displayed right front and centre on your screen. Exactly like the Google Maps integrated iFit programs on treadmills.
Where Could Bowflex Improve?
Currently JRNY is $19.99 per month. Although it contains many dynamic coaching lessons and a video library when you want to roam the world it only offers 19 real world locations from the Swiss Alps to Death Valley. We would like to see a little more routes added for an extra bit of visual spice. Still, it gets almost 5* ratings on the app store.