Bowflex Max Trainer M3 Review

Bowflex Max Trainer M3 Rating

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Detailed Overview

Online reviews of Bowflex often focus on the brand’s strength training equipment, but that’s not all the team has to offer. The Bowflex Max Trainer M3 is an entry-level, full-body trainer that blurs the lines between an elliptical and stairmaster. Reasonably priced, it’s a budget-friendly machine that provides an intense, satisfying workout.

There are many reasons why this trainer is so well reviewed by owners and professionals alike. A beast when it comes to burning calories due to upper body engagement, the trainer can beat cycling, walking, or even a traditional elliptical trainer when it comes to fat loss. That said, it’s also great for building and toning lean muscle along the way.

The Bowflex Max Trainer M3 comes loaded with a number of fantastic features that will please both beginners and intermediate level fitness enthusiasts equally. The M3 and its higher spec siblings are known for intense workout sessions that are also surprisingly low impact, paritculary on the knees and shins

With eight different resistance levels, the Max Trainer M3 can be changed easily using a twist-grip on the handlebars. Because the unit only has an interval training and manual mode, you’ll use this resistance control to get the most out of your workouts. The machine itself has a maximum user weight capacity of 300 pounds, and as a rule, the higher the capacity of any piece of fitness equipment, the more intensity it can withstand. This is a sturdy machine and you’ll notice its overall stability during workouts. Lower quality units often wobble with increased resistance..

Unlike some rivals, the Max Trainer M3 doesn’t have a HD touchscreen display or any other flashy entertainment features. Instead, it has a combination of a dial-style calorie burn rate indicator, a backlit LCD display, and a series of simple controls for burn rate and interval selection. This no-fuss setup is just what you need for the workout at hand rather than being distracted by video.

Another great perk of the Bowflex M3 is that it comes with a wireless chest strap for monitoring heart rate. Some data suggests that contact grip monitors aren’t as accurate, whereas the wireless chest straps yield much better information, and are perfect for fitness enthusiasts who like to keep on top of their stats and progress.

For in-depth analysis, check out our Max Trainer M6 review.

Our Favorite Features

  • Combines the functionality of an elliptical and stair stepper into one great machine
  • Dramatically reduces impact on trouble spots like the knees, back, etc.
  • Easy-to-read display
  • Simple and intuitive control panel
  • Increased calorie burn per 30 minutes
  • Compact design
  • Upper body workout more impactful than most ellipticals
  • Tablet holder
  • Wireless heart rate monitoring via chest strap (included)
  • Affordable price 

Bowflex Max Trainer M3 - Notable Specs:

Overall Rating:4-stars
Compact / Folding:Yes
Stride Length:N/A
Programs:2 workout programs
Weight Capacity:300 LB
Dimensions:49" L x 26" W x 64.7" H

Our Least Favorite Features

  • Short warranty – full coverage for only one year
  • No built-in sound system or speakers
  • Eight resistance levels (as opposed to 16 on the M6)
  • Only two workout programs to choose from

The Bottom Line

The Bowflex Max Trainer M3 is a compact machine, able to fit into most home gyms settings. Although it’s known to encourage maximum calorie burn, making your workouts more effective and providing a strong sense of accomplishment, it’s still kind to your joints.  This is great for staying motivated to keep exercising, unlike traditional machines that leave the user feeling exhausted and discouraged. 

Although the M3 only comes with two workout programs which some may argue is pretty sparse, these workouts are strong enough to show results. The M3’s eight different resistance levels are enough to keep you challenged as you progress, helping you to avoid the common plateau that tends to come after a few months of rapid weight loss. 

There is really nothing on the market to compare to the Bowflex Max Trainer Series. When it comes to optimal personal fitness, the Bowflex Max Trainer M3 is tough to beat. The only better option may be the Max Trainer M6, which comes at a higher price point. So for those seeking a simple machine without a high learning curve or budget, the Max Trainer M3 is just the ticket. Beginners will love its portability, convenient features, and most of all how good it makes you look and feel.

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  • Rudolph Awotwi February 19, 2019 at 9:48 pm from Kanata
    I will not purchase any Bowflex products again. The crank shaft on the Max Trainer M3 breaks after ~8months. I get that replaced and new one breaks in ~5months. I don't think you want to throw away $1299.00 before taxes.
    • Elliptical Reviews Pros April 30, 2019 at 7:48 pm
      Hi Rudolph, we are sorry to hear that you had issues with your M3. Were you able to get a working machine from Bowflex? These machines are normally quite fantastic. Were you able to speak to a representative from Bowflex to inquire about a warranty?
  • Stephanie February 11, 2019 at 1:24 am
    I've lost 6 lbs in 7 days!! I do the morning...and night before bed..along w my calorie counter phone app...:) It's fun to use also while I listen to music. Wander how much I will loose in 30 days!
    • Elliptical Reviews Team February 12, 2019 at 2:14 pm
      Hi Stephanie, That's great to hear!! You should try the 30 minute intervals, where you can give it your all! Try to change your workout up after a certain period of time since your body can acclimatize to a specific workout set. Also, you're very tough if you can actually workout before bed, I've tried it before and I end up staying up all night!

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