Bowflex Max Trainer vs LateralX – In-Depth Review

Disclosure: We may receive compensation from the companies whose products we review if you click through our affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Deciding which Bowflex machine to buy can be a real challenge since there are so many great options to choose from. In this post, we will take a look at the Bowflex Max Trainer vs LateralX.  There are some similarities to talk about, and significant differences as well between these two products. Let’s take a closer look at these innovative exercise machines and help you decide which one is right for you.

Bowflex has been designing cutting edge exercise equipment for many years, and the Max Trainer and LateralX are no different. Before we get too far comparing these units, let’s talk about some basics.

Bowflex USA Pricing & Promotions

Bowflex LateralX Bowflex Max Trainer

Bowflex Canada Pricing & Promotions

Bowflex LateralX Bowflex Max Trainer

Bowflex Max Trainer vs LateralX

What is a Max Trainer?

Max Trainer is the result of combining an elliptical trainer and a stair climber in one cohesive unit.  Stair climbers are known to burn calories at a high rate, and an elliptical machine adds the smooth gliding motion that is easy on your joints.

Max Trainer looks like an elliptical, but is more upright and takes up slightly less space. You can expect a great full-body workout in as little as 14 minutes with a Max Trainer, so efficiency is the name of the game.

There are four models available in the Max Trainer line. See my complete reviews M3, M6 and M8.

What is LateralX?

LateralX is a fresh design that gives you a low impact, full-body workout, and it moves in three directions.  Similar to the Max Trainer, you have elements of an elliptical including a very smooth, low impact workout, but you also get lateral (side to side) movement.

Lateral movement adds an entirely different element to this workout machine.  If you have never worked out on an exercise machine with lateral movement, you are in for a real treat, or maybe not, depending on your point of view, LOL. The LateralX is excellent for working your hips, butt, lower body, and you will activate the muscle groups you use daily.

There are two models available in the LateralX line (three if you include the LX5 performance pack). See my complete reviews, LX3 and LX5.

Bowflex Max Trainer vs LateralX comparison


For reference, both machines take up less space than a treadmill or an elliptical, and the Max Trainer takes up less space than a LateralX machine. Part of the reason Max Trainers are so popular is the compact size.

Bowflex LateralXTo give you an idea of size, it does vary by model; the Max Trainers are approximately 4 feet x 2.5 feet, so that is a pretty reasonably sized machine.  LateralX, by comparison, is roughly 53 inches long by 46 inches wide.

The LateralX unit is somewhat longer, and the side to side motion is what makes it wider than a Max Trainer.  Overall, both machines are very reasonably sized and pack a powerful workout. These units are sized well, to fit in your home, home office, or other rooms you see fit.

Either unit would fit well in spaces that traditional machines like a treadmill or elliptical might not, or, might be a better fit in those places.  If space is your primary concern, then either one of these machines is worth a look.


The entry-level Max Trainer, the M3 is on the low-end price-wise at $999.  Aside from that, the mid-range models in both lines are similar in price.  The bare-bones M3 still gives you a great 14-minute workout, without all of the tech and other features you get with the more expensive models.

So from a pricing perspective, both series are very comparable.  Bowflex also offers financing, and you may consider that as an option as well.


Functionally, these machines share some similarities when it comes to being tech-savvy. At the mid to higher-end, you have access to coaching and other videos through Bowflex apps.

Bowflex Max Trainer

As I mentioned, the Max Trainer M3 is the entry-level model and does not offer much in the way of tech, but, but still provides you with a solid workout.

From a technology perspective, you can expect a lot from these machines.

As for workout functionality, the side to side motion of the LateralX is the most significant difference between the two.  The lateral exercise is excellent for hips and core training.  Max Trainer works these areas as well, but the side to side motion adds an entirely different element. With LateralX, you will push, pull, stand, and squat, which is excellent for lower body and core.

I can tell you from experience a lateral movement machine is a much different workout than I am accustomed to, in an excellent sort of way.  The LX5 model also has an adjustable lateral range so that you can set the side to side motion to your liking. With four sets of handgrips, you can work on different areas of your lower body.

Calorie burn

Both machines are great for burning calories at a higher rate than a standard elliptical machine, or treadmill.  The LateralX can burn a lot more calories than a regular self-paced elliptical workout. According to University Caloric Study, LateralX burns an average of 39% more calories in as little as 16-minutes.

If a fast-paced workout is what you want, the Max Trainer’s 14-minute workout is great for a high-intensity low impact total body workout.  I am not saying the LateralX is not a full-body workout, but the nature of the lateral movement puts the focus on hips, butt, core, and lower body.

Conclusion: Bowflex Max Trainer vs LateralX

Max Trainer is for you if you

  • have space concerns for your home gym
  • want an efficient full-body workout
  • are interested in burning calories and building muscle
  • are looking for a low impact cardio exercise machine

LateralX is for you if you

  • really want to focus on lower body, hips, butt and lower back
  • are interested in improving core strength
  • want a machine that is going to challenge you
  • exercise to help improve everyday movements

As you can see, both machines are low impact calorie burning units. The very popular Max Trainer is incredible for getting a great workout in a short amount of time.  The LateralX is a different kind of exercise that targets hips, butt, and lower body.

The Max Trainer will give you a fantastic full-body workout and is really designed to make you sweat and get your heart rate up.  LateralX will challenge you in many different ways than you may expect. If you have not used a lateral motion machine, it is pretty intense.

It all depends on your fitness goals as to which machine is best for you.  If you are interested in more information, check out Bowflex’s site for additional details.

Bowflex USA Pricing & Promotions

Bowflex LateralX Bowflex Max Trainer

Bowflex Canada Pricing & Promotions

Bowflex LateralX Bowflex Max Trainer

The top-rated Max Trainer series is hard to beat if improving your overall fitness level, and doing so efficiently, is your goal.  The LateralX adds a new element that will literally kick your butt.

Leave a Comment