Thank you for taking some time to read this Bowflex Max Trainer M5 review. Bowflex has been around for a very long time, designing high-quality workout equipment and the M5 meets that standard. If you are looking for a great way to get in shape and build endurance in as little as 14-minutes per day, the Max Trainer M5 from Bowflex might just be the machine for you. The M5 is a great elliptical machine that will help you save both time and space!
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Where to purchase: Bowflex.com
Bowflex has been innovating for over 30 years. They have a myriad of products that include home gym systems, cardio equipment as well as other strength building products. You are sure to find exactly what you need to get in great shape with products from Bowflex.
You may also want to check out my guide on how to buy an elliptical for some tips on things to look for before you take the plunge.
If you have been searching for Bowflex Max Trainer M5 reviews, let’s not waste any more time and get right to it.
Design of the M5
With the M5, Bowflex has taken a stair climber and an elliptical and merged them into one awesome calorie burning machine. The upright orientation means it takes up less space in your home or office than a traditional elliptical, yet gives you a killer workout. This is the most popular Max Trainer that Bowflex sells and for good reason.
As far as aesthetics go, the machine itself has a very sleek, modern look. I love the color combination of gray, black and red, I just think it looks really cool. It definitely makes a statement and honestly would look great in your living room even if you have guests over. You would certainly have a conversation piece to talk about.
Functionally, the M5 trainer has been designed with a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) type workout in mind. If you are not familiar with interval training, I can explain that further.
Interval training is based on short periods of high intensity followed by longer rest periods. So you work your butt off for a short period of time at a high resistance level, and then you rest, at a lower resistance level, yet still moving your body. Then you do it all over again, and again, and again.
What this does, is it elevates your heart rate and then brings it back down. Doing this over a specified period of time can burn a lot of calories, and you keep burning calories long after you are done working out. I love this type of workout because it keeps your body guessing, and my how time flies.
The 14-minute workout
So, here is the scoop on the 14-minute workout. The Max Trainers have been designed with a high-intensity workout option. This workout option is a 14-minute pre-programmed workout with different interval levels. You workout like crazy for 25 seconds, then you rest for 80 seconds. As I explained above, you are still pedaling during this “downtime,” but just enough to catch your breath. You do this sequence (high intensity/low intensity) for 14-minutes.
You can adjust the intensity level of the 14-minute workout and the resting period. The folks I spoke with at Bowflex did recommend that if you are just starting out, you probably want to start off on a manual mode until you work up to the 14-minute calorie incinerator. This, of course, depends on your current fitness level.
If you are new to working out or have been away for a while, you will want to start off slow. If you are a workout fiend, you can probably handle the higher intensity. That is one really nice thing about the machine though, you have a lot of options, especially given all the programs available. You can choose a longer or shorter workout, whatever fits your needs. You can change the workout on the fly very easily with the touch of a button. The console makes it super easy to increase your time, or level of resistance, with the controls at your fingertips.
One more thing I should mention is that if you should always check with your doctor before you begin an exercise program.
You can also set 2 user profiles, meaning you can already have set up the Age, Gender, Weight, Height, etc. so you don’t have to do that every time you use the Bowflex Max Trainer M5. User profiles are a nice little time saver that you will really enjoy. I am all about saving time, so I think user profiles are a great addition to any workout equipment.
The LCD display is intuitive and easy to use on this extremely popular model. As you can see in the image above, the buttons are centrally located and the diplay has nice big numbers that are easy to read. The older I get, the more I like displays that are big and easy to read LOL.
Some key features include:
- Backlit display
- Eight workout programs
- 16 resistance levels
- Water bottle holder
- Media/tablet holder
- Heart-rate monitor
- Max user weight – 300 pounds
- Max pedal height – 19.1 inches
- Unit weight – 143 pounds
- Height – 62.9 inches
- Width – 25 inches
- Depth – 46.1 inches
- Warranty: 2 years
- The 14-minute workout is a great training tool
- Easy to read and use display
- It’s portable!
- Smart, intuitive design
- Upright orientation takes up less space
- Bowflex offers special financing
- 2-year warranty
- There is no fan to cool you down, bummer 🙁
- It’s a little bit pricey but worth it
Bluetooth connectivity allows you to track your workouts and progress via the Max App. All you have to do is down the IOS or Android version, and you are set to go. So, you can use the app to see how you are progressing toward your goals. Connectivity is a must have in today’s world of fitness equipment, it is always nice to track your progress.
Okay, I have to break some news to you…you do have to assemble the Max Trainer M5. Bowflex recommends two people to put it together and I agree since it will take about 1-2 hours to assemble. There is also the option to pay for on-site assembly if you want to, but where is the fun in that?
I think building it is part of the fun, but not everyone shares my enthusiasm for construction. So again, you can opt for the complete in-home assembly service if you wish.
On the bright side, tools are included with the Max Trainer M5, but you will need a box cutter. The set comes with an Allen wrench and a regular wrench to help you through the process.
Bowflex also recommends a workout area of 97 inches by 74.5 inches and be sure you include the height of the users. The minimum ceiling height should be the user height + 15 inches.
One tip I have you will need to make sure you have a power source to plug the unit into the wall. So, when you are building the unit and getting it all set up, make sure you have a plug in accessible.
I love the fact that you can tilt the M5 onto rollers and move it wherever you want it. Portability is great if you have company coming over and need the space, or just want to get it out of the way.
Bowflex does recommend that you use 2 people if you are going to move the machine. It does weigh over 140 pounds, so this is probably not something you will want to do often, but the option is available if you need it, which is nice.
Once you do move it where you want it, there are levelers which will stabilize the machine, and these are located on the bottom of the frame. You can adjust these levelers to make sure the machine is sitting flat and solid on the floor.
You may also want to invest in a Machine Mat, which is a non-slip mat that your machine can sit on, helping to protect your floors. Adding a mat would be a great idea if you have hardwood floors and you want peace of mind to protect them.
The foot pedals are large, stable, and aerodynamic. A lot of different sized feet will comfortably fit in the pedals.
The static handlebars include heart rate handgrips so you will be able to monitor and keep track of your heart rate. The M5 is also compatible non-coded chest straps which means the signal will be transmitted via radio wave, not Bluetooth.
The dynamic handlebars are meant to help you get that full upper body workout. These handlebars move up and down as you pedal. These handles are hockey stick shaped, so you can hold onto them on top or bottom, whichever works best for you. Try mixing it up and alternating between the upper and lower grips.
You will also notice there is a giant fan at the base of the unit. This fan is what controls the resistance of the Max Trainer M5. One thing to note is that you will not feel the breeze you are producing unless you are pedaling backward. So as long as you are going forward, you won’t have a bunch of wind blowing in your face.
Very popular model
The M5 is the most popular Max Trainer from Bowflex, and you will certainly notice that there are over six thousand positive reviews on the Bowflex website. I have chatted with the customer service representatives online, and they have been knowledgeable and very helpful. So I have had a very good experience with the chat feature on the website.
Comparing the Bowflex Max Trainer models
Bowflex offers three different models in the Max Trainer line. Below is a basic chart of the major differences in the three models.
I have also posted reviews on the other Max Trainer series ellipticals and you can check those out as well.
Bowflex offers a 2-year warranty on the frame, mechanical parts, electronics, and 90 days on labor.
The owners manual includes meal planning tips and suggestions, as proper nutrition is extremely important to any exercise program.
Conclusion: Bowflex Max Trainer M5 Review
Elliptical machines are extremely close to my heart. I have been dealing with back problems most of my adult life and had a pretty severe injury in 2015. I was dealing with a blown disc and a sprained SI joint. I was not able to work out for close to 6 months while I was recovering.
When I was finally able to hit the gym again, my chiropractor advised me to start on an elliptical. This would be a low impact, full-motion workout to help me get started on building a strong core and recover some of the functional movements I had lost or was needing to build.
So with each one of my workouts, I start out with about twenty minutes on an elliptical, or stairclimber. I work on getting a good sweat going before I hit the weights.
If you are looking for other ellipticals, you can check out my review best ellipticals.
Anyway, I hope you have gained some valuable information from this review, and if you would like to take a closer look, you can see the Bowflex Max Trainer M5 here. You will be redirected to the Bowflex website where you can browse and make a purchase if you are ready to do so.
I really want to thank you for taking the time to stop by and read my review. Please let me know if you need any more questions; I am happy to help.