A>>B: Bowflex Max Trainer M5 Review & Product Brief

Here is our third piece in our series of product reviews and briefs, that we, at A>>B, started back almost 3 years ago, our goal is to help you reach your goals as fast as possible (when i comes to fitness and human mobility), this product brief and review focuses on the classic, but regularly updated Bowflex Max Trainer M5 (big brother to the Bowflex Max Trainer M3). Let’s start out with listing 8 reasons why you seriously should consider a Bowflex Max Trainer M5, let the review begin.

Watch out! The Max Trainer M5 has been outmoded and superseded by the new Bowflex Max Trainer M6 model – released in November 2018. This review is not up-to-date with the current model. When Black Friday 2018 (Friday, 23 November) comes along we plan to have an updated version of this product review online. Until then make sure you do your own research before your invest your hard earned stash. Our current recommendation, before we know more, is to check out the entry-level Bowflex Max Trainer M3, more information here and here.

Bowflex Max Trainer M5

There is a wide range of home workout equipment on the market. In fact, there are so many models out there, it can get downright confusing. You might have a vague idea of what you’re looking for and end up with a machine that sets you back a few hundred backs without delivering the experience or results you’re looking for. The fact is every product out there has at least few reasons why you should buy it. You have to be clear if these reasons line up with your needs.

Case in point, the Bowflex Max Trainer M5 is quite popular among home workout enthusiasts. But is it the right piece of equipment for you?

Please note the 8 reasons below. Please also note that we currently recommend the Bowflex Max Trainer M3.

Reason #1 The Bowflex Max Trainer M5 offers a holistic workout

If you’re looking for a machine that is a hybrid of a classic stair stepper and an elliptical machine, this Bowflex Max Trainer M5 model has you covered. You get to work out your arms, legs, and thighs together. You also get to huff and puff quite a bit during the process. If you’re looking for a compact cardio machine, such as the Bowflex Max Trainer M5, demonstrated by new consumer testing reviews, this is definitely right up your alley. Consumer Testing Laboratories, specialist in the evaluation of consumer products since 1952.

Reason #2 Compact small footprint design

Apartment and dorm dwellers will love this machine. If you are short on floor area in your home, the Bowflex Max Trainer M5 has you covered because it is vertically instead of horizontally oriented. It doesn’t take up much precious living room real estate. Its relatively small 46 inch footprint also makes it easy to move around. Pushing it out of your living room into a closet is very easy and quick. It doesn’t hog up your closet space since it has a small base and you can easily pack stuff around its tall frame.

Reason #3 Smartphone friendly design

If you use a mobile phone app to track or guide your exercise programs, this machine synchs with your smart phone while you’re doing your daily workout. It supports a wide range of fitness apps in addition to the app HealthKit released by Apple. Getting data to your app to maximize your workouts’ results have never been easier.

Reason #4 Modern sleek design

Looking like the love child of a jet engine and a stair stepper, the Bowflex Max Trainer M5 has a very sleek look that is undeniable. It definitely catches eyeballs in a very good way. Its unitary or monolithic design is very efficient. You won’t trip over yourself over a mass of independent moving pedals and protruding parts. It’s compact and stocky form makes it easy to work with.

Reason #5 The Max M5 is very easy to assemble (just as easy as the entry-level Bowflex Max Trainer M3)

This one really blew our minds. Seriously. This Bowflex machine’s manual is actually written in plain, easy to follow and understand English. Who knew? Since the pictures and instructions are intuitive and very logical and orderly, putting this bad boy together from different sub-assemblies and parts was a relative breeze. Although it took slightly over an hour, this assembly time, believe it or not, is actually quite a relief compared to other home workout machines with farm more parts and less complete sub-assembly units. You don’t have to waste precious minutes second guessing yourself as you turn and fold the instructions over trying to figure out how parts fit together.

Reason #6 It challenges you the right way

Some machines are just a hassle to work with. Their pedals are too heavy, too high up, too broad, or simply are not optimally designed. Well, you won’t complain about this Bowflex model (M5) based on the grounds above. Its pedals, at their highest point, are 15 inches from the ground. Not too bad. Most people can comfortably step at this clearance level.

Another thing that gets attention for this machine is that it doesn’t have a motorized step assist system.

Quite a number of home workout equipment models in the market assist your steps so you don’t have to put all your weight on a pedal to move it. This is quire refreshing because the key to maximizing workouts on an elliptical or stepper is to get worked up as you push the pedals down. You rely on your own strength and this can get you sweating and panting in a good way in no time. If you find the pedals too stiff, you can always adjust this machine’s resistance through its easy to figure out control system.

Reason #7 You can use your tablet while working out

Right in the middle of this unit rests its control panel display system. Protruding from the screen’s lip is a panel you can lay your tablet on. This is quite handy if you’re playing games as you work out or you’re watching some sort of streaming video. The main drawback with this design is that your tablet will be blocking your workout data from the display system. You can watch a movie or you can check your workout readouts but not both. It doesn’t help that the control panel is separate from the display. The Bowflex Max Trainer M5 could have been designed more efficiently with an integrated or built-in display into the control system panel.

Reason #8 The Bowflex Max Trainer M5 truly delivers on its 14-minute workout promise

If you have come across this Bowflex model’s promotional materials online, you are probably aware that this unit is supposed to help you enable you to burn more calories in less time than an elliptical and a stair stepper machine combines. Quite a big boast, don’t you think? Well, it turns out that in as little as 14 minutes, users can burn off 2.5 times more calories than an elliptical machine. Similarly, within the same time frame, you stand to vaporize 1.5 times more calories than a stair stepper. Not bad. Not bad at all. Talk about convenience. Seriously. After all, most of us have lives to live and don’t have several hours a day to devote to working out.

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While the Bowflex Max Trainer M5 is far from perfect, it does have its fair share of selling points. Keep the benefits above in mind as you size up different comprehensive workout machines. See if the Bowflex Max Trainer M5 benefits line up with your own needs, check out bowflex.com. Update 11/11/18: this model is no longer produced, we recommend checking out the Bowflex Max Trainer M3 instead.