Bowflex Max Trainer M5 Review – Is it worth it?

Bowflex Max Trainer M5 Review – Is it worth it?


Growing up, you probably saw a Bowflex resistance trainer at your house or in a friend’s garage, but have you heard about their newest machine?

The Bowflex Max Trainer M5 is the most effective cardio machine on the planet. It’s like a combination of an elliptical and a stair climber and it’s received strong reviews.

In this review we take a closer look at the Bowflex Max Trainer M5 and evaluate it based on User Reviews, Setup, Strength, Convenience, User Tests, Return Policy and Financing.

Do You Need Bowflex Max Trainer M5?

Are you lagging on signing up for a gym membership? Do you keep putting off exercise due to lack of time? Are you using your children as an excuse not to leave the house? The Bowflex Max Trainer M5 is a good solution for the 6 most common reasons people skip working out []


Exercising is a priority for healthy living. When we’re exercising we feel better. We produce more serotonin. We’re likely to make better decisions. We’re actually our smartest selves when we properly work out.


Looking good is another perk of a good workout routine. When we look better, we know we’re more optimistic. We know this to positively affect our relationships. Careful: bad workouts can cause bone and muscle problems. Lucky for you, the Bowflex Max Trainer has a well-written manual. It’s painless to assemble and easy to use right.


User Reviews of Bowflex Max Trainer M5 (9/10)

We found more than half of the online customers to be a full 5/5. Most people who uses the machine properly and leave a review write how surprised they were. “The machine really kicks your butt” a lot of them say . No doubt: the machine has some peripheral issues that you should be aware of. But first and foremost, this product delivers an exceptional workout (and in only 14 minutes, which is a whole other reason to buy this machine instead of a gym membership.)

Setup (7/10)

We want to be upfront with the weakest attribute of this product—setup. When you receive your package (usually in about a week), you’ll need two things—a hex screwdriver set (hopefully you’re familiar with them) and about an hour of your time. Wired Magazine hires some of the smartest people to write for them; their contributor who tested the product says that the training manual is well written and that the assembly is painless. Set aside some time, be patient, and you should end up with a perfect machine for a perfect workout.


Shipping from the factory costs an additional $150, so factor that into your purchase. Also, assemble the machine yourself and assemble it carefully. Most of the negative reviews we found came from people who “hired someone to assemble” their Max Trainer M5. Nautilus, the Bowflex parent company, DOES NOT OFFER ASSEMBLY so these people were not authorized and are likely causes of unsatisfactory workouts.


Strength (10/10)

The M5’s claim to fame is its 14-minute workout, which Bowflex claims will burn 2.5 times the calories of an elliptical and roughly 1.5 times what you’re burning on a treadmill. Downside: The tablet display is listed as a product benefit, but do you need to watch a show if you’re on the thing for just 14 minutes? Take it as a compliment to this product’s effectiveness. It really works and it really works fast. Max Trainer feels like it’s overselling itself!


Convenience (10/10)

This product only takes up 46” of space. That’s incredible. It weighs about 143 lbs. and has wheels meaning you can roll it in a closet when you’re not using it. There’s no exercise bike or treadmill than can offer that. Smart move: if you want freedom to use the product anywhere in your house, secure an extension cord. The power cord offered with the Max Trainer leaves it only functional near a wall power outlet, which could cause frustration.


User Tests (10/10)

Great news! Wired Magazine took time to use the product and write honestly about it. They said the 14-minute workout feels great. It’s similar to your average Insanity-style interval training, where you pump hard for about 30 seconds, then slow up for around 90 seconds. Race quick, cruise on easy, and repeat until it’s over. Plus the writer said it was really fun to chase the analog speedometer, which uses LEDs to indicate your speed relative to the needle.


Return Policy (8/10)

Nautilus guarantees yours satisfaction. If you’re not 100% satisfied with your purchase, just contact our Customer Service department at (800) 605-3369 within six weeks of delivery for a Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA) number. Refund does not include all shipping and handling, though, so you will be out about $300 if you order the machine and do not like it.

Also, make sure to be prompt when returning the machine. The company only offers a two-week window after providing you an RMA number.


Financing (10/10)

If you have good credit, tou can pay for MAX over 18 months on purchases with your Nautilus™ credit card! Interest will only be charged to your account from the purchase date if the promotional balance is not paid in full within 18 Months. Consider that if you set your your monthly payment to $110, that will be about twice the average monthly gym membership. If you and a partner use the machine, you’ll both come out even and get to keep a great piece of equipment beyond the year and a half. For smart, dedicated consumers, this can prove a great opportunity for added value.


Bowflex Max Trainer M5 Overall, (9.2/10)

Overall, Bowflex Max Trainer M5 scores high in usability and convenience. We feel comfortable recommending it especially to anyone who’s been skipping workouts. Having the machine in your house is the best way to get a good workout in minimal time. We believe that’s the easiest way to talk yourself out of something that will make you look good, feel good and can literally make you a smarter self. No joke, we think this product is the smartest product for the smart consumer looking for better health in an efficient way.



  • 16 resistance levels
  • 8 workout programs (Max Interval, Smart Max Interval, Calorie Burn, Fat Burn, Calorie Goal, Stairs, Steady State, Fitness Test) + manual mode
  • Backlit display
  • Syncs with free Max Trainer®App, available for Apple iOS and Android devices1.
  • Target-zone and burn-rate indicators
  • Contact heart-rate monitor
  • 2-year warranty