Bowflex Max Total review – Is this the best Max Trainer yet?

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Welcome to this Bowflex Max Total Review.  Today I want to take a look at the newest model in the Max Trainer lineup and help you decide if it is the right choice for you.  If you are interested in a low impact workout machine with a ton of features built-in, I encourage you to keep reading.

A great alternative to a traditional treadmill, the Max Total offers you a low impact full body workout and does so very efficiently.  No need to spend hours at the gym and meticulously plan your workout, with the Max Total, you can get your sweat on and build muscle from the comfort of your home.

In about 14 minutes, you can burn calories at a rate of 2.5 times that of using a treadmill.  How is that possible?  By engaging your entire body in the exercise and not just your legs, you can burn calories a lot more efficiently. That is the beautiful thing with Max Trainers from Bowflex. You can build muscle and increase your heart rate to burn calories fast, which makes for a much more efficient workout.

The Max Total trains your lower body, just like a stair climber or elliptical machine. You can think of the unit as a cross between a stepper and an elliptical, which provides you with a no-impact workout. I have back problems and am always on the lookout for zero impact or low impact exercise machines.  Even though treadmills provide a pretty soft landing, there is still some impact.

A zero impact or low impact workout will reduce your chance of injury so that you can do more at a higher level of intensity.

What makes Max Total unique?

Built-in touch screen display

You can access your favorite shows on Hulu, Amazon Prime, and Netflix through the integrated touchscreen.  You will still need a subscription to these services and a WiFi connection, but you can access them through the touch screen.

You also have access to trainer lead workout videos in addition to the pre-programmed routines that are available.  You can access all of this is through the touchscreen.

Low impact

Combining the motion of a stair climber and an elliptical is an excellent way to get a low-impact (maybe even zero impact) workout that will kick your butt.  Using a treadmill or running outdoors involves impact on your joints and ligaments, which can lead to injury or pain.  The Max Total takes away the impact and leaves you with just the good stuff when it comes to your workout.


Efficient workout in your own home

If you have hours to spend at the gym or want to spend hours at the gym, by all means, go for it.  With Max Total, you can have a great full-body workout in the comfort of your own home.  You can get a lot more work done in less time than it takes to do a full workout with weights and cardio at the gym.

Plus, with Max Total, you don’t have to go to the gym.  Gyms are great for a lot of people, but when you have to make the trip, fight with other people for equipment, then make the trip back home, it can be a real hassle. Having the ability to perform a full-body workout from your home or office is such a great alternative.

A Max Trainer with a small footprint

At only 30.5 inches wide, and 49.2 inches deep, the Max Total does not take up much room, and it is very compact compared to a traditional treadmill.  The upright orientation helps to keep the footprint small. This machine is excellent for your home or home office.

Quiet and smooth operation

Max Total operates quiet and smooth, so you won’t wake up the house if you work out early in the morning. The combination of stepper and elliptical allows for fluid movements that are easy on your joints.

What’s in it for you?

What it really boils down to is your time. With the combined motion of stepper and elliptical, you can get more work done in less time with Max Total.  By engaging your whole body in this workout that makes getting a killer workout a lot more efficient.

What I like about Max Total


Max Total gives you a great workout in a lot less time than you would spend at the gym.  By combining the calorie-burning nature of a stepper and smooth motion of an elliptical, you get a fantastic workout in a lot less time.

For instance, if you are a runner, you work your legs and get some good cardio, but don’t get much of an upper-body workout. With Max Total, you are working your lower body, and upper body at the same time AND you are getting a great cardio workout.

Also, something to point out is that you will be working core muscles, which is excellent for pretty much everything you do in life.  For someone like me with back problems, a low impact workout that will help with core strength is priceless.

Low impact, easy on your joints

The combination of a stair climber and an elliptical gives you a great no-impact workout.  Even a treadmill with all of the cushion still has some impact which can be tough on your joints and ligaments.  The nature of Max Total is designed to get your heart rate up, and give you a full-body workout without the wear and tear on your joints.Bowflex Max Total Specs


If you want all the technology in one piece of workout equipment, Max Total is the one for you. The touchscreen has a lot of tech built-in. You have access to Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime programming, so you can catch up on your shows while you work out.

Individualized workouts and Virtual Coaching are available through the integrated touchscreen. You do need WiFi, and there are some additional subscription costs to access everything Max Total has to offer.

Max Total is WiFi, Bluetooth, iOS, and Android compatible.

Full body workout

We touched on this before, but I think it is an essential aspect of the Max Total, the fact that you can get a full-body workout with this machine.  Sure, it’s a high-performance stepper and elliptical combined into one unit.  But Max Total is also great for your upper body.

I don’t want core strength to be overlooked with this machine either.  By using your legs, and butt along with the back and forth motion of the handlebars your core muscles are engaged.  Core strength is excellent for everyday life and can help to prevent injuries.

Compact design

At 2.5’ wide x 4’ long, the Max Total doesn’t take up a lot of space.  You can set up shop in your home or home office.  I can’t tell you how capable this machine is as a clothes rack though LOL.

All kidding aside, it’s pretty awesome that you can get a full-body workout with this compact machine.  Many home gyms will take up a lot more space, and then you still have to figure out a way to get your cardio in.


With 20 resistance levels, seven built-in workout programs and a plethora of instructor lead programs, you will not get bored, and you can grow with Max Total.  There is a lot of variety and different resistance levels, so this machine will definitely keep you engaged.

There are a lot of workout options, and that is great for so many reasons.  You will not get bored doing the same thing over and over again. Also, different programs will help you get over plateaus by changing up your workout.

Is Max Total for you?

Who is the Max Total for

  • Anyone who wants to get toned and lose weight
  • People looking for a fast and effective workout
  • People who are looking for a low impact alternative to a treadmill
  • You want a full-body workout at home
  • You are tired of making the trip to the gym and having to fight over equipment
  • You really like the idea of an all in one workout machine
  • Runners who want an alternative to treadmills, or outdoors running in bad weather

Who is Max Total not for

  • Burning calories and losing weight are not part of your goalsMeaning, if you are into bodybuilding, and want to gain a lot of body mass, this may not be the machine for you. Sure, this can be a great place to start to increase overall strength and endurance, but if you want jacked up pecs, Max Total may not be for you.
  • You would prefer a model with fewer bells and whistles

Other things to note


Bowflex offers a 3-year warranty on the parts and frame, 90 days on labor


Yep, you guessed it, some assembly is required.  You do have the option to pay for assembly if that appeals to you.

12 months of Max Intelligence included

At the time of this review, Bowflex is offering 12 months of Max Intelligence free with the purchase of Max total.

Conclusion: Bowflex Max Total review

Well, that about sums it up.  Bowflex Max Total is the top of the line unit in the Max Trainer series. By combining the calorie-burning motion of a stepper with the smooth operation of an elliptical, Bowflex has created a beast in terms of workout efficiency.

Max Total will keep you engaged with all of the technology built-in with the touchscreen and apps available.  There is no shortage of content when it comes to working out.

I love the full-body nature of the machine and the fact that you can strengthen your core.  If you are in the market for an efficient workout you can do at home on your own time; I encourage you to take a closer look at Max Total.

If you are interested in more information or want to check out the complete line of Max Trainers be sure to click below and you will be directed to the Bowflex website.

Thank you for stopping by, and please let me know if you have any questions or comments.

Bowflex Max Total
  • Available Features - 95%
  • Functionality - 95%
  • Design - 95%

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