NordicTrack Freestride Trainer vs Bowflex Max Trainer

Elliptical Trainers in a gym

NordicTrack Freestride Trainer vs Bowflex Max Trainer: this question has been around for quite some time. We decided to sit down and answer it once for all. Elliptical machines are the favorite cardio equipment for people who don’t like peddling or running.

The Freestride Trainer series & Max Trainer series are the premium elliptical machines of these brands. The NordicTrack Freestride series include FS5i, FS7i, FS9i, and FS10I, while the Bowflex Max Trainer series has three models, including M3, M5, M7, and M8.

The critical question is which one of these machines is the best? The answer is not as simple as both of them have their pros and cons.

This article will discuss all the features, pros, cons, and price of both NordicTrack Freestride Trainer and Bowflex Max Trainer.

Let us go through the essential features that both the ellipticals offer.

NordicTrack Freestride Trainer vs Bowflex Max Trainer

Young lady using Elliptical Trainer

NordicTrack Freestride Trainer

The NordicTrack Freestride Trainer is a 3 in 1 machine. It does not limit you only to stair climbing motion. It also offers you running or jogging options.

The multiple exercises help you get better results quickly. It is well known that similar exercises can cause plateaus that will hinder your fitness journey.

Let’s go through the main features that each model of the NordicTrack Freestride Trainer series offer.


  • Resistances: There are 22 resistances in this elliptical machine. It helps you to make small transitions by changing the resistances and not shock your body too much.
  • Display: The FS5i feature a 7-inch backlit display that has OneTouch controls.
  • Speakers: The FS5i also features a pair of 2-inch digitally amplified speakers to let you play music directly from your smartphone.
  • Adjustable: You can adjust your strides up to 32 inches.
  • Accessories: It has an AUX port and a water bottle holder as well, where you can keep water or energy drinks.
  • Weight Capacity: The FS5i can have a user weight capacity of 350 pounds.


  • Resistance: The upgraded FS7i has 24 resistance levels. The uses magnetic resistances are made for quiet operations.
  • Power Incline: The power incline of FS7i is adjustable up to ten percent.
  • Workout Options: The FS7i comes with 35 onboard workout options, which is an improvement from the FS5i.
  • Display: The display is a smart touchscreen that measures 7 inches.
  • Speaker: It has the same pair of 2-inch amplified speakers along with the water bottle holder, just like the FS5i.

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  • Resistance: The FS9i features 26 magnetic resistance levels, which is the most in the NordicTrack Freestride Trainer series.
  • Multiple Workout: The FS9i features 38 onboard workouts, which is again the most in this series.
  • Upgraded Touchscreen: The upgraded smart touchscreen of the FS9i measures 10 inches.
  • Cushioned Pedal: The pedals of the FS9i are nicely cushioned.
  • Accessories: The FS9i also has a pair of speakers, a power-adjustable incline, and a water bottle holder.


  • Resistance: The FS710i has 24 resistance levels. The uses magnetic resistances are made for quiet operations.
  • Touchscreen: The upgraded smart touchscreen of the FS10i measures 10 inches.
  • Speakers: It features two 2-inch Digitally Amplified Speakers.
  • Membership: It comes with a 1-Year NordicTrack iFit membership for live interaction with a trainer.
  • Cushioned Pedal: The pedals of the FS10i are nicely cushioned.
  • Weight Capacity: The user weight capacity of FS10i is 375 pounds.
  • Transport Wheels: It features transport wheels for better portability.

Bowflex Max Trainer

The Bowflex Trainer series is a more budget-friendly option for an elliptical trainer. It is known to burn 2.5 more calories than a standard treadmill or climber. The Bowflex max trainer also claims to burn up to 600 calories in just half an hour.

The Bowflex Max Trainer offers a custom 14-minute workout involving high-intensity interval training (HIIT). It makes you exercise at different speeds to maximize the results of the workout.

Let’s have a look at what the various models of the Bowflex Max Trainer series have to offers.


  • Resistance: This M3 features eight resistance levels for a proper workout.
  • Two Programs: The M3 offers two workout programs that include the Max Interval and the Manual.
  • Monitor: The M3 also features a heart rate monitor, so you don’t have to worry about your heart rate shooting up.
  • Calorie Burn Indicator: You get calorie burn rate indicators for best results.

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  • Resistance: The resistance levels are upgraded to 16 this time, so the transition to a more challenging resistance level is much easier and less of a shock.
  • Workout Programs: You get eight workout programs to work with, so there’s enough variety.
  • Large Display: Just like the M3, M5 also has the heart rate monitor and the calorie burn rate indicators, along with a large backlit display.
  • Bluetooth Compatible: The M5 is Bluetooth 4.0-compatible, and it works with a free Max Trainer app.
  • Enhanced Grip: The upgraded grips are nice and comfy.

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  • Resistances: The most advanced Bowflex Max Trainer, M7, comes with 20 resistance levels. You won’t shock your system with abrupt changes in the resistance level.
  • 11 Workout Programs: The M7 also gives you 11 workout programs to help you achieve your fitness goals and add some variety to your workouts. It also provides you with targeted programming for more customized workout sessions.
  • Accessories: The M7 comes with a dual LED-backlit display, and it is also Bluetooth-compatible.
  • Multiple User Profile: The M7 offers up to four user profiles so more people can track their progress.
  • Handlebars: The M7 has upgraded ergonomic handlebars.

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Pros & Cons:

NordicTrack Freestride Trainer


  • Even with the most basic model, you get at least 22 resistance levels.
  • In the two advanced models, you get 35 to 38 preset workout programs that never let you feel bored as you can train in many different ways, making your workouts more effective.
  • You get plenty of accessories such as speakers and a water bottle holder. There is a dock for your smartphone too.
  • iFit membership for a customized workout effective results.

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  • The NordicTrack Freestride Trainer prices are higher compared to what you will pay for the Bowflex machines. The most basic model for the NordicTrack Freestrider costs nearly the same as the second-most advanced model of Bowflex.
  • It can be a little space taking too, so make sure to have sufficient room in the house.
  • You’ll need to pay for the iFit Coach if you want to optimize your use of the Freestrider, as it comes free only with the highest model.

Bowflex Max Trainer


  • The Bowflex Max Trainer elliptical machines are much cheaper than the NordicTrack Freestride Trainer machines. If you have a low budget, then the M3 model is the ideal choice for you.
  • The Bowflex Max Trainer is known worldwide to burn calories effectively. It claims to burn 600 calories in half an hour at max settings.
  • It also comes with a 14-minute HIIT workout effective to increase flexibility and endurance.
  • The grips are very comfortable and convenient to use as they are shaped ergonomically.
  • The display is very informative and easy to read. It has heart rate and calorie burn rate data.

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  • It works only as a stair climber, whereas the NordicTrack Freestride Trainer provides climbing and running motion.
  • It doesn’t offer as many resistance levels and workout programs.NordicTrack Freestride Trainer vs. Bowflex Max Trainer

Buyer’s Guide: NordicTrack Freestride Trainer vs Bowflex Max Trainer


NordicTrack Freestride Trainer: All four models are on the expensive side. The base model itself is quite expensive.

Bowflex Max Trainer: The Bowflex Max Trainer slightly has the edge over NordicTrack Freestride Trainer if you have budget constraints. The base model M3 is very economical.


NordicTrack Freestride Trainer: It features an adaptable and adjustable stride that gives you various lower body motions. It includes stair-climbing, jogging, and running.

It also has a going backward option if you want. It gives many more options for cross-training. Nordictrack advertises the Freestrider as 3-machines-in-1.

Bowflex Max Trainer: The Bowflex lags in this category as it has only one lower body movement that is a stair-climbing motion. It is excellent for burning calories but is not made for cross-training.

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Calorie Burning

NordicTrack Freestride Trainer: You can burn more calories with this trainer than a standard elliptical. It gives you the ability to make longer strides (up to 32 inches) and use lower body muscles as using more muscles burns more calories. Nordictrack does not advertise itself as a guaranteed calorie-burning machine-like Bowflex.

Bowflex Max Trainer: Bowflex machines are built specifically to give you faster results than other fitness equipment. According to Bowflex studies, the Max Trainer helps you burn 2.5 times more calories than a standard elliptical trainer.

In some trials, users burned up to 600 calories in a single half-hour session. Bowflex also puts a special 14-minute high-intensity interval training workout on each of their Max Trainer models designed to help you burn maximum calories during and after your workout.

Models of both brands effectively burn calories; it’s just that Bowflex advertises it more aggressively than NordicTrack.


NordicTrack Freestride Trainer: The Nordictrack Freestrider’s F7i and F9i come with full-color, HD, touchscreen consoles. You can see your workout stats with just a swipe of your finger. The iFit world scenery is also great to watch during working out.

All Freestrider model consoles come with auxiliary music ports for your phone. They have iFit Coach compatibility and even dual-speed fans that keep you cool.

Bowflex Max Trainer: The Bowflex Max trainer consoles come with media racks for your tablet. The easy-to-read console displays and the calorie-burn-rate meter shows you the number of calories you are burning at any one moment.

The main between the two brands is the premium Bowflex Max Total model that gives you a full-color, touch screen which you can use to stream Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Video shows while working out.

Even though both the Freestrider and Max Trainer consoles provide you everything in terms of workout feedback, but in general, the Freestrider console is comparatively more attractive with full-color, touchscreen consoles, music ports, and fans.


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Tracking & Entertainment Options

NordicTrack Freestride Trainer: The Nordictrack Freestride trainers come compatible with iFit Coach, which lets you track your workouts online to see how much progress you have made. You can also watch HD workout videos in full-color right from your console or tablet. You can also use the iFit for tracking everything from your daily activity, including your food intake and even your sleep patterns. You can do a lot with iFit to reach your health goals if you use it properly.

Bowflex Max Trainer: The Bowflex Max doesn’t have the kind of tracking or world workouts you get with iFit Coach. However, they have introduced an innovation for Max trainer called Max Intelligence. It helps you connect online through a tablet, and from there, you can do fitness assessments and even get customized workouts sent to your machine. You can choose videos from a library of personal-trainer-led workout videos for an extra challenge.

The Max Intelligence is still not as developed as the iFit trainer as there are not many workout options to choose from, and you also need to connect it with a tablet to use; you can’t do it directly from the console.

NordicTrack Freestride Trainer vs. Bowflex Max Trainer

Comparison Table

Lets have a look at all the things we have discussed in summary:

Features NordicTrack Freestride Trainer Bowflex Max Trainer
Pricing High Medium
Motion 3 in 1 Motion(Jogging, Running, Climbing) Only 1 Climbing Motion
Calorie Burning Burns more than a standard elliptical machine but without any claims Claims to burn 600 calories in 30 Minutes
Console HD, 10-Inch touchscreen with workout stats. You can also stream Shows You can’t stream shows
Maximum Resistances 26 20
Tracking Options iFit – Controllable directly from the console Max intelligence – Controllable from Tablet
Special Feature Multiple Preset Workout Programs Burns Calories Effectively
What Can Go Wrong More Expenssive It does not offer enough resistances


After going through all the features, pros, cons, and buyer’s guide, it is clear that there is no decisive winner in the battle of NordicTrack Freestride Trainer vs Bowflex Max Trainer.

Both brands have their buyers. The Bowflex Max Trainer is a more budget-friendly elliptical machine with a single type of motion that focuses primarily on burning calories.

The Nordic Freestride Trainer is more of a 3 in 1 machine providing you three motions, including climbing, running, and jogging. It is suitable for HIIT workout and comes with a much better console, and the iFit coach provides you with live trainers for effective results. The primary con of Nordic Freestride Trainer is that it can be a little expensive.





[1] Elliptical Benefits: 10 Reasons to Use This Cardio Machine (

About Gaurav Dhir

Gaurav Dhir, B. Tech, PGDCM is an engineer and MBA by training. A fitness aficionado, Gaurav follows a strict diet and exercise regimen to keep himself vigorously active. He loves playing sports and being outdoors. Gaurav is responsible for the health and wellness of 4 generations including his son, elderly parents and very elderly grandparents.