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#1 Bowflex Max Trainer M3 Review

Chris L.
March 3, 2021

The Bowflex Max Trainer M3 is an entry-level workout machine that takes the place of both a stair stepper and an elliptical. You can start off easy and work your way up the 8 different resistance levels. There's also an interval training mode, so with those combined, you can get in great shape.

Is the Bowflex Max Trainer M3 best for you?

The Bowflex Max Trainer M3 is the most affordable in its model line. But that doesn't mean you have to sacrifice a ton to still get an exceptional workout. The oversized pedals and moving handlebars work in tandem with one another, so you get a full-body regimen. Plus, it's much easier on your joints.

Another advantage this machine has over the competition is its compact size. You can likely find a spot for it in your living room, eliminating the need to set aside a whole room for your personal gym. The easy-to-read gauge shows all your workout data, so you can monitor your improvement over time.

Consider Bowflex Max Trainer M3 if...

  • You need low-impact exercises. Running of any kind places undue stress on your joints. This machine incorporates elements of both an elliptical and stair stepper that results in reduced recovery time after your workout is complete.
  • You want an upper-body workout, too. Other cardio machines may solely focus on your leg muscles. The handlebars allow you to push your arm muscles so that your entire body gets something out of it.
  • You like something affordable. Some Bowflex Max Trainer models cost over $2,000. This model may not have as many features, but you can often get it for under $1,000.

Avoid Bowflex Max Trainer M3 if...

  • You need more resistance levels. There are 8 resistance settings on the M3. It may be enough for some people, but it pales in comparison to other models, like the Bowflex M6, which provides 16 levels.
  • You want contact grips. You can keep track of your heart rate wirelessly. However, you're unable to grip onto the handlebars to see what your rate is like to ensure you stay in a healthy range.
  • You like built-in speakers. Anyone who wants to listen to music as they exercise may not like how there are no speakers or iPod ports in this model.

Bowflex Max Trainer M3 pros & cons


  • Interactive backlit display
  • Burn rate and target zone indicators
  • Chest strap comes included
  • 2 user profiles


  • Short warranty
  • Limited settings and programs

Construction and design

  • Pedals: The Bowflex M3 come with standard, oversized pedals to accommodate people of all heights.
  • Handlebars: The handlebars move with the motion of your feet, allowing you to work out your upper muscles, too.
  • Console: The console is fairly basic but still comes with everything you need to work out efficiently. The screen allows you to track your vitals, and you also get a media rack to keep your tablet and/or smartphone handy.
  • Resistance: There are 8 resistance levels to choose from to continually push yourself.
  • Built-in Programs/Features: There are only 2 preset programs: manual mode and "MAX Interval."

Key Bowflex Max Trainer M3 Specs

Pedals Standard Handlebars Standard Heart/Pulse Sensor? Wireless Resistance 8 levels Built-in Programs? 2 Max Weight Capacity 300 pounds Size (Dimensions) 46" x 25" x 63" Warranty 1 year

Reasons to buy Bowflex Max Trainer M3?

  1. You live in tight quarters. This model is much smaller compared to standard treadmills. You should be able to find a spot for it in your home, even if you're in an apartment.
  2. You plan on sharing the machine. 2 user profiles can be stored on this model. That means you and someone you live with can enter all of your information and pick up where you left off.
  3. You want entertainment handy. With a media rack, you can read a book or watch TV from your iPad. It also holds a smartphone so that you don't have to stare at the walls as you exercise.

Reasons to avoid Bowflex Max Trainer M3?

  1. You want app compatibility. The M3 doesn't work with Bowflex's app. You're going to need to upgrade to the Bowflex M6 if you want access to a greater assortment of workout programs.

What real Bowflex Max Trainer M3 reviews say

We spent 18 hours scouring the web (reading over 253 customer reviews). Our conclusion? Bowflex Max Trainer M3 receives high praise! Our average consolidated user rating sits around a 4.6 - 4.8 (across several hundred reviews). Bowflex Max Trainer M3 scored higher, on average, compared to their closest competitors.

What reviewers like

  1. "Even if money wasn't an object I still would go with the M3 as opposed to the other, more expensive models
  2. "The overall quality of the unit is very good - it feels solid."
  3. "For the interval program the unit makes nice bell noises signaling the start/end of each interval - really sounds good and is a nice touch."
  4. "The Bowflex M3 was easy to assemble (instructions are very step-by-step), and one person can do it."
  5. "I will also say that I feel zero impact on my joints and back."

What reviewers dislike

  1. "It was a hassle to get the beast to the basement - but we ultimately did."
  2. "The M3 comes with a strap on one but I found that uncomfortable."
  3. "Only 2 programs included - 14 min interval or free mode."
  4. "There is a tray to hold your phone or something but once you start sweating the sweat drops right into that spot - don't recommend having anything in that spot.
  5. "It's fairly sturdy, but squeaks."

Our verdict

The Bowflex Max Trainer M3 is slim, affordable, and simple to use. With one of the programs, you just push a button and go on a 14-minute workout. It pushes you enough to burn some serious calories.

It doesn't come with all the bells and whistles you get with other Bowflex machines, but some people may not require all that. If your health is your focus, then this model more than gets the job done.

Where to buy Bowflex Max Trainer M3

Amazon has the Bowflex Max Trainer M3, and other models within that line, for great prices. It makes it easy to compare and contrast the various machines, and you can save even more with Amazon's fast, free shipping.