Bowflex Max Trainer M8Bowflex Max Trainer M8

Web Price: $2,499 | Sale Price: $2,299

Joining the popular Max Trainer series, the M8 is the new top of the line model, along with the popular mid-level M6 and the base M3 trainers. These are hybrid machines, half elliptical and half stepper, offering quick, high intensity workouts for maximum calorie burn.

Overall Rating From Elliptical Review Guru: 4.0 / 5.0

Capacity:
Resistance:
300 lbs
20
Stride Length:
FootPrint:
NA
49″L x 30.5″W x 65.5″H

Overview: The Bowflex Max Trainer M8 is the newest model in the lineup (replacing the previous M7), with more features and capabilities than the base M3 and mid-level M6.

This is a hybrid trainer, in essence an elliptical machine and a stepper in one, focused on delivering high intensity workouts that allow you to burn more calories in a shorter amount of time.

Let’s take a look at the top features of the M8…

Workout Variety

With each new model Bowflex is increasing the variety of workouts you can choose from, which is a step in the right direction. The M8 gives you 20 resistance levels, up from 16 on the M5 and 8 on the base M3 model.

You also get 11 built in workout programs, including three unique interval programs added to the mix: the Max 14 Minute program, a hallmark of the Max Trainer series, as well as a 21 minute program and a new 7 minute program for even quicker workouts.

New Learning Capability

Unlike any of the other Bowflex Max Trainers, the new M8 has the ability to learn how you work out and make adjustments as well as set new target goals for you.

This is a great feature that really keeps things interesting and motivates you to push yourself even hard than before. You won’t find this kind of “learning” feature on other elliptical machines.

Bluetooth Syncing

Both the M8 and the mid-level M6 sync with the free Max Trainer App and new Max Intelligence Platform, so you can monitor and track all of your workouts, set goals for yourself, hit personal records, win awards and other great motivational tools.

It works with Android or iOS, and you can use it with any of your favorite fitness apps.

Additional Features

The Max Trainer M8 also allows for accurate heart rate monitoring with a wireless chest strap included in addition to the contact grips. You get sport performance foot pedals, an enhanced display, a water bottle holder and an upgraded media shelf for your tablet.

So those are the top features, now let’s get into our in-depth Max Trainer M8 review…

Bowflex Max Trainer M8 Test Drive

A short while back we gave the M6 a test drive, which was at the time the top-of-the-line model. Now that there is a new sheriff in town, we thought we’d give it a go to see how it stacks up.

For starters, the M8 looks a lot sturdier than the M6 and the M3. All three hybrid ellipticals are very cool and modern looking, but the M8 seems to be more durable and solid. And it should be for what you are paying…around $2,299 on sale as opposed to $1,699 for the M6 and $999 on the M3.

Stepping on the machine, the first thing you notice is the new and improved console. They’ve totally revamped the setup, with an enhanced dual mode LCD/LED display which shows your workout stats in a more appealing way.

Like on the M3 and M6, you still have the burn meter which shows how many calories you are burning while you work out. We’re glad they kept this feature as it is one of our favorite things about the Bowflex Max Trainers.

Two new features that I appreciated were the upgraded grips and extended Aero Bar which gives you many more positions to put your hands. I always find that my hands get tired after a while in the same position, so I always look to change it up a little.

The M7 allows you to place your hands in a variety of additional positions. The M6 and M3 have much shorter handles.

They also added an upgraded media shelf to the Max Trainer M8 which is positioned above the display…a very smart move as on the Max Trainer M6 and M3 models, the display is blocked when you use your tablet so you can’t see your stats. This gives you a clear view of both your tablet and the machine.

We tried the 14 Minute Max Interval program last time, which is supposed to burn 2.5x as many calories per minute as you would on a traditional elliptical trainer. This time we opted for the new 7 Minute Interval Program and the 21 Minute Program.

All three are a series of high intensity motions followed by low intensity for the selected time. The workouts were very good, although we preferred the longer versions just because we do a lot of interval training. 7 minutes might be perfect for you if you’re just starting out or if you are strapped for time.

As we mentioned in our M6 review, the stepper/elliptical motion does take some getting used to. The strides are shorter than a regular elliptical machine.

You can choose other workouts as well if intervals are not your thing…there are calorie programs, fat burn, stairs, fitness and manual. You can choose from 20 different resistance levels as well. The M8 gives you a lot more workouts than the other two machines.

All in all, it’s a very good workout. We were more impressed with the M8 than the M6 simply because there is more workout variety, the machine is more intuitive and it is better designed with more premium touches. However, you’ll need to decide if it’s worth the additional $600+ for the upgrade.

Bowflex M8 Review – Conclusion

The new Max Trainer M8 from Bowflex is definitely an improvement on the M6, and certainly worth considering when it’s on sale. It deserves its place as the top model in the popular series.

It has enough workout variety to make it very effective, and the interval programs are a nice way to burn a lot of calories in a set amount of time…7 minutes, 14 minutes or 21 minutes.

It is on the expensive side however, so it might be out of reach for many potential customers. You can get a very good regular elliptical trainer for that price, with many more features included. Also, the warranties on the Max Trainers aren’t great…even the high end M8 only has a 3 year warranty.

But all in all, users seem to be happy with these hybrid machines and Max Trainer reviews are generally positive. They don’t take up a lot of room so they are ideal for home use, and you can get a very good workout in without spending too much time, which is always a good thing.

Take a look at the M8 to see if it’s right for you. If it’s not within your budget the Max Trainer M6 is a good alternative and probably their most popular machine. Lastly, consider the base M3 only if you need to stay under $1000.