There’s nothing worse than spending a few days on a brand new workout machine only to find it bores you half the death. To ensure you keep up with your new fitness routine, you need something exciting like the Bowflex Max Trainer M3 to keep you committed.
Is the Bowflex Max Trainer M3 any good? The M3 is the traditional trainer offered by Bowflex and it’s considered a combination of an elliptical and a Stairmaster. This classic workout machine is structurally solid, fun to use, and fairly basic in its high-tech features so it suits those looking for a no-frills workout.
If you’ve been eyeing off the Bowflex Max Trainer M3 or others in their range, this review will get down to the nitty gritty. We’ll cover the key specs and features, look at its pros and cons, and help you determine whether it’s a good fit for your workout goals, so check out our detailed review to find out more.
Table of Contents
What is the Bowflex Max Trainer M3?
Bowflex is a name that has become synonymous with workout gear, and the brand started developing machines in 1986 that would revolutionise the home fitness space. The Bowflex Max Trainer 3 was the original in this now lengthy line-up of machines, with the latest Trainer being called the Bowflex Max Total and offering all of the high-tech gadgets you could ask for.
To keep things simple for those who want it, the brand continues to make their original Max Trainer M3, with some minor improvements along the way. This elliptical style trainer provides a comfortable and effective way to work out at home and is more about perfecting the exercise and getting the heart rate pumping than the gadgets and technology that come with the machines of today.
Notable Specs of the Max Trainer
As a machine that’s part elliptical and part Stairmaster, getting a handle of the specs and comparing them to other single-use machines can be tough. However, here’s the basics of what you need to know about the Bowflex Max Trainer M3:
- Workout programs: 2
- Incline: N/A
- Weight capacity: 136kg
- Size: 124 x 66 x 164cm
- Machine weight: 64.9kg
- Ceiling height: User height + 38cm
The Most Important Features
The true tell of a workout machine’s suitability is whether it has the features you’re looking for. When it comes to the Max Trainer M3 from Bowflex, there’s a lot to be impressed by, so consider what these could add to your fitness routine.
- A uniquely designed trainer that utilises parts of a Stairmaster with parts of an elliptical so you have the best of both worlds;
- Eight resistance levels that you can navigate through with a push button to give yourself more of a challenge or take it easy during a workout;
- Two included programs built into the M3, including manual and max interval, for a fuss free workout;
- A display screen that shows your target zone and burn rate indicators to give you the lowdown on every workout;
- Included wireless heart rate monitor with a chest strap that you can attach during a workout for up-to-date personal data;
- Includes two standard ergonomic hand grips and large foot pedals that help you with stability and building strength in the major muscle groups during a workout;
- Water bottle holder, tablet holder, and AC adapter built into the Max Trainer M3 so you can keep your most important possessions close by;
- Compact design with measurements of 124 x 66 x 164cm means the trainer slides away and out of sight whenever it’s not in use;
What’s Good About the Bowflex?
The Bowflex Max Trainer M3 has remained a favourite among home workout aficionados for years, and it’s because of all the benefits it offers. To see if this is the right machine for your fitness goals, see what we love most about it.
- Quality construction
The biggest benefit that sets Bowflex apart from the competition is that it’s well made, and you can feel it the second you step your foot into the machine. Not only is this machine designed with quality construction but their entire range is, and you only have to hop online to see how highly they rate with previous customers.
- Combines two machines
There’s minimal chance you’ll get bored exercising on this trainer thanks to the ingenious design that sees the pairing of an elliptical and a Stairmaster. If you’re someone who loses interest after a while working out on the one machine, this one will keep you engaged and motivated to work out every day.
- Short and effective workouts
Bowflex has designed a 15 minute workout that can be done with this trainer, and it’s all you have to do each day to see results. If you would rather have an intense training session in half the time, investing in something like the Bowflex Max Trainer M3 is the way forward. It provides a cardio workout and strength training for most of the major muscle groups and you only have to use a single machine to do it.
- Ergonomically designed and low impact
Although an elliptical trainer like this provides a rigorous workout, it does so while keeping you comfortable and ergonomically positioned. The large foot pedals, handle grips, and automatic adjustment of your posture when you step on make it low impact and easy on the body.
- Easy to use and assemble
Simplicity is a major thing when you’re buying a new workout machine, especially if you’ve never had one in your home before. Bowflex ensures that everything they make is not just easy to operate but easy to assemble, and you can expect to spend less than an hour putting it all together. Once it’s up, it will only take a few minutes to get the hang of how it works and how to customize the settings to your needs.
- Reputable brand
It can be hard navigating the fitness machine market these days with new brands popping up all the time. Thankfully, the Bowflex Max Trainer M3 comes from one of the most reputable brands in workout equipment and you have 35+ years of experience to vouch for that. There’s no need to second guess whether you’re spending your money on something worthwhile.
- Increased weight capacity
This machine is capable of holding users weighing up to 150kgs which is impressive in itself. Usually, the more a piece of workout equipment can handle the more intense you can work out on it, and the Bowflex Max Trainer M3 is proof of that. You’ll never feel as though it’s unsteady or might break, which is further proof of the quality of their gear.
Although this classic trainer ticks a lot of boxes, there are some areas where it’s lacking as well. Here are a few of the negatives about the Bowflex Max Trainer M3 that are worth weighing up before you purchase one.
- Lack of technology
Don’t be fooled into thinking you’re buying a trainer that’s compatible with the latest workout streaming services or can send data to your health and fitness apps. The Bowflex Max Trainer M3 is simple and all about the exercise and not the tech you use while you do it.
- Boring display
Staring at a small LCD screen isn’t exactly the most motivating thing when you’re working out, and that’s all the M3 has to offer. If you want to watch workout videos or your favourite TV show, you’ll need to use the tablet holder and bring your own tech.
- Minimal built-in programs
There are only two programmed settings you can use with the Max Trainer M3 which is lackluster when you look at what else is out there. If you want a machine that has the workouts programmed in for minimal effort, there are other trainers around this price that can deliver.
- Some squeaking
As the machine gets older, some users noticed a slight squeaking sound starting to occur. This was found after a few years of regular daily use and it can be oiled to relieve it somewhat, but it’s worth noting before you purchase it if you plan on using it regularly.
- Basic warranty
For a machine this price, it would have been good to see a little more coverage on the warranty than just one year. For customers’ peace of mind and to prove that your machines are well made, we wish that Bowflex would have gone the extra mile.
Warranty and Manufacturer’s Guarantee
Bowflex has been around for close to 35 years, and in that time, they’ve earned themselves a solid reputation for customer service. You’ll have access to their ongoing support and be covered by their 100% satisfaction guarantee that means if you don’t love your new workout machine, they’ll be happy to refund your money.
The Bowflex Max Trainer M3 isn’t that impressive in terms of warranty though, especially when you look at other trainers in the under $1,000 price range. You’ll be covered with just a one year limited warranty on all parts, so there’s no lifetime coverage on the frame or other parts as you’ll find with the big brands of today.
Although this is a bit of a letdown, there’s not much to worry about given the solid reputation that the brand has built for themselves. Most customers attest to having their Bowflex around for years without fault, and they continue to make their machines
At first glance, people might assume that the Bowflex Max Trainer M3 is an ancient relic when you compare it to the high-tech machines of today, but they couldn’t be more wrong. Although it’s missing features like compatibility with the latest apps or a flashy display, at its core it’s a solidly built, engaging, and challenging way to workout with maximum results in minimal time.
The Bowflex Max Trainer M3 has proven itself as a machine that stands the test of time and if you’re someone who appreciates simplicity, you’ll love it. For those wanting the latest and greatest tech with their workout gear, there are probably better choices, but if you favour stability and quality in your home fitness machines, you’ll appreciate everything the Bowflex Max Trainer M3 has to offer.
- Combines the easy low-impact motion of an elliptical with the calorie burning power of a stepper
- Max can deliver the cardio benefits of interval training in as little as 14 minutes
- Max’s unique burn rate display shows how many calories burned per minute and sets activity level targets
- Target zone and burn rate indicators motivate you by setting targets to help you achieve your goals
- Interactive backlit display features 2 workout programs and 8 resistance levels
Last update on 2021-09-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Using a trainer like the Bowflex M3 can do wonders for your home workout regime, and it means you’re more likely to stick with a fitness plan if you’re not bored with what you’re doing. To find out more about popular workout machines for home, we’ve answered some commonly asked questions to give you a push in the right direction.
Does an Elliptical or Stairmaster Burn More Calories?
An average size person working out for half an hour on an elliptical trainer would burn around 345 calories compared to a 30 minute workout on a Stairmaster which burns just 200 calories. However, the number of calories burned will depend on the individual and the intensity of their workout as well.
Is A Treadmill Good for Losing Belly Fat?
A treadmill provides a good cardio workout that varies in intensity depending on the settings used. This type of cardio exercise is good for getting rid of visceral fat which is commonly found around the stomach, and when combined with a healthy diet it’s an effective way to lose weight.
What Do Cross Trainers Do For Your Body?
The purpose of a cross trainer is to mimic the motion and intensity of cross country skiing without ever having to leave your house. Using one of these will ensure every major muscle group of the body is targeted and it provides a good cardio workout that raises your heart rate as well.