Bowflex Max Trainer M5Bowflex Max Trainer M5

Web Price: $1,799 | Sale Price: $1,599

The middle of three models, this half elliptical and half stepper offers a low impact way to lose weight and target different muscle groups. Great for smaller spaces and those who have limited time to work out.

Overall Rating From Elliptical Review Guru: 4 / 5.0

300 lbs
Stride Length:
46″ L x 25″ W x 65″ H

Overview: The Bowflex Max Trainer M5 is the mid-level model in the elliptical/stepper series, popular for its compact size and 14 minute interval workout that is purported to burn more calories than on a traditional treadmill or elliptical. An upgrade from the base M3 model, you can now sync your workouts for tracking and sharing.

Here are some of the highlights of our review…

Increased Resistance Levels/Workout Variety

The M5 gives you a lot more variety than the base M3 Max Trainer, including twice as many resistance levels (16 vs 8) and 9 different built-in workouts as opposed to just 2. So there is a lot to choose from besides the Max 14 Minute Interval program, which is the only choice on the M3 besides Manual Mode.

Heart Rate Monitoring

The M5 gives you two choices for monitoring your heart rate, including the standard contact grips and wirelessly via the included chest strap. The latter provides more accuracy, and is ideal for those looking to stay in the target zone throughout their workout.

Bluetooth Workout Tracking

Both the M5 and the top of the line M7 model offer Bluetooth technology that allows the machine to sync with MaxApp 2. This is a special program that tracks all of your workouts, giving you the ability to share your results, set personal goals for yourself and win awards for achievement. It’s a nice motivational tool that’s not available on the base M3 model.

Additional Features

As we mentioned, all of the Bowflex Max Trainers have a compact footprint. At only 46″ long it is ideal for smaller spaces. The M5 gives you upgraded grips and foot pedals, a media shelf, water bottle holder and 2 user profiles.

Bowflex Max Trainer M5 Test Drive

When we first reviewed the Bowflex Max Trainers, the M5 was the model that we tested out. This was before the introduction of the M7 in 2016, so the M5 was the top of the line model at the time. You can read that review to find out more.

To summarize, the elliptical/stepper motion takes a little time to get used to, but once you do it feels natural and smooth. We did the popular 14 minute interval workout which certainly does make you sweat. The fact that you can grip the handles in different places and choose from 16 different resistance levels definitely helps you target different muscle groups throughout the workout. And although it is strenuous there is relatively no impact so you don’t feel any of that typical pain that you sometimes do when you get off of the treadmill, or even those clunky step machines at the gym.

Of the three models the M5 is probably the best choice, as it gives you much more variety than the M3 and at $1,599 or so on sale is $600 cheaper than the top M7 model. That machine does give you more workouts and resistance levels, as well as enhanced grips and pedals, but the M5 is perfectly fine if you want to save a little money.


For those looking for a low impact workout that will help you burn calories and hit different muscle groups, this capable elliptical hybrid machine is not a bad choice at all.

Max Trainers are very compact, at about half the length of your typical elliptical, and light weight so they are easy to move around. The M5 gives you a nice amount of workouts to choose from, as well as 16 resistance levels. Best of all with the MaxApp you can sync all of your workouts automatically to keep you motivated to reach your fitness goals.