Bowflex Max Trainer M3 vs. M5

max trainer comparison

The Bowflex Max Trainer is a powerful piece of exercise equipment that has come out in many different styles (notably the M3, M5, & M7), and is an incredibly popular elliptical that has been a heavy seller for the Bowflex brand.

Advertised as a way to burn a large number of calories at an accelerated rate, the Max Trainer has long been a powerful piece of equipment and has a huge number of positive reviews and fans – and this is for all styles of the machine.

The two we’re comparing right now are the two most popular models¬†and the ones that are more common among beginners or intermediate fitness buffs: the Max Trainer M3 and the Max Trainer M5.

These are both outstanding ellipticals that are modeled around the same base design and idea, but there are some clear differences between the two.

So which of these models is best for you? What do they have in common? What sets them apart from one another? How to they compare to one another? Keep on reading to find out!

1. Max Trainer M3

a side view of the m3 max trainer

There are a lot of things to like about the M3 right off the bat. This is considered the beginner option when it comes to getting introduced to the Max Trainer (learn more), but that doesn’t mean it’s not going to give you a great workout. This introduction to the Max Trainer will still be more than enough machine for the far majority of home workout warriors, especially those who are relatively new to Bowflex.

The design of this machine is outstanding as it helps reduce the stress on the joints while also engaging more muscle than conventional exercise, which is a win-win for any individual looking to work out. The machine combines the effects of an elliptical, a treadmill, and a stair climber while also reducing that joint-level blowback.

That means more calories burned with a reduced risk of injury from working out.

The extra movement means more muscles engaged and that’s what leads to burning more calories in a shorter time period. This can be a bit overwhelming at first for true newbies but it is definitely worth getting used to as there are many benefits that anyone can get from the M3.

M3 Cost

You can usually get the M3 for around $999 – CLICK HERE to Activate The Latest Bowflex Discounts

Key Features

  • Combines an elliptical & stair stepper in a convenient and effective way
  • Virtually no impact on the back, knees, or troublesome joints
  • Bright and easy to read display screen
  • Heavy calorie burn thanks to maximum movement
  • Great lower body workout
  • Great upper body workout
  • Chest strap heart rate monitoring
  • Affordable price

Size & Specifications

It’s really important to note that this piece of exercise equipment only works for individuals up to 300 lbs so for larger individuals this isn’t going to be a viable option. The dimensions of the Bowflex Max Trainer M3 once fully set up is: 46″ L x 25″ W x 63″ H. There is a one-year limited warranty.


  • Incredible calorie burn rate per minute
  • Very affordable piece of equipment that is easy to use
  • Low impact on back and joints
  • Great for fat burning and weight loss
  • Gives a big workout in a short time


  • Only holds up to 300 lbs
  • No speakers or smartphone connectivity
  • Only 8 levels of resistance and 2 pre-programmed workout programs

Who Should Buy a Bowflex M3?

The Bowflex Max Trainer M3 is going to be best for individuals right at 300 lbs or below who are looking for a low impact exercise that gets serious calorie burn, who are looking to lose weight, and who want a lot of result from a short time of working out. This is a fantastic starter model that will take most starters to the next level when it comes to exercising but not overwhelm them with every little bell and whistle available.

As a beginner piece of equipment for weight loss and getting the most out of small bursts of exercise, then the M3 is an outstanding option.

Right now is a great time to lock in huge savings at Bowflex! CLICK HERE to Activate their Latest Max Trainer Discounts

2. Bowflex Max Trainer M5

a woman rides the m5 max trainer

The M5 is a sleek design that takes the basic look of the M3 and seems to go a little sleeker and a bit more to the next level. This cross between a stair stepper and elliptical goes a bit more towards the elliptical side and creates a combination workout that is designed to create a stunning calorie burn even during the shortest of workouts.

This machine is designed to combine cardio with anaerobic workouts to give the best of both worlds and maximize both calorie burn and fat burn during intense bursts of exercise that remain relatively easy on the joints thanks to the outstanding design of the machine to take pressure off of common problem areas to head off those problems before they take place.

The M5 comes with far more options than the M3, which is going to be appreciated by a number of people especially those who get bored easily or who have at least some moderate experience with exercise and gym and need a little bit more variety to really get them going and to keep them challenged. Unlike the 2 pre-programmed workouts in the M3 the M5 comes with 9 pre-programmed workouts.

There is also a major difference in resistance as the M5 comes with 16 resistance levels to work at, adding that extra layer that helps individuals change up the workouts and gives more options when it comes to getting an outstanding workout in.

This machine also comes with solid foot pads for comfort, an improved ability to monitor your heart rate, a great smartphone or tablet holder that puts either in a convenient and easy to view place while putting it solidly in place so you don’t need to worry about it shaking or jostling. The speakers and sound is outstanding and that means crystal clear sound whether you’re listening to your favorite workout playlist, audiobook, or whatever else tickles your fancy.

This is an obvious next step in the evolution of these machines for Bowflex and there’s a lot to love about the new features that it brings to the table.

M5 Cost

The average retail cost of the Bowflex Max Trainer M5 is just under $1,600 (CLICK HERE to Activate The Latest Bowflex Discounts), about the price of a halfway decent elliptical machine or stair step machine, but the M5 is demonstrably better as a design than either.

Key Features

  • 16 different resistance levels
  • 9 programs already programmed in
  • Wireless sensors for the heart rate monitor
  • Bluetooth compatible system
  • Water bottle holder
  • Padded foot pads
  • Affordable price

Size & Specifications

The M5 weighs 143 pounds in weight and is far sturdier than that weight would indicate. This is a folding model which means it can be moved around and broken down and stored more easily with the dimensions of the machine itself measured out at: 46″ L x 25″ W x 63″ H.


  • Comes with a solid 9 pre-programmed workouts
  • 16 resistance levels
  • Smartphone and tablet compatible
  • Rock solid 2-year full warranty
  • Outstanding variety of workouts


  • Weight limit is only 300 lbs
  • Assembly can be hard and many people opt for professional setup services

Who Should Buy a Bowflex M5?

Individuals who are 300 lbs or less and looking to lose more weight and burn off fat will love the M5, especially if they started with other machines or at a higher weight and need a bit more challenge to keep them on track and ahead of their adapting bodies. This is especially useful if the person doesn’t have that much time to dedicate to exercise and weight loss since the M5 really supercharges those results by burning a lot of calories in a very short time.

The M5 is also a very natural step up from the M3 or from someone who has spent a lot of gym time on more conventional machines and needs a bit of an additional new workout challenge at home.

Final Thoughts

max trainer discount

Wrap up the review with a brief overview of the Max Trainer, and discuss the deciding factors someone may want to consider before deciding which model is best for them. Bowflex is a renowned brand for a reason and these two pieces of equipment show clearly why that is the case. Both of these are really outstanding options, but some people are going to find one to be a better fit for them than the other.

No question the M5 is the more advanced model and brings a bit more to the table, but for a true beginner it’s really hard to argue with the M3. That model is very affordable, gets a person used to what Bowflex has to offer, and will burn a lot of calories in a short time to bring home fast results. For someone dedicated longer term and who really needs their smartphone or tablet on them the M5 offers more bells and whistles, more versatility, and can offer more of an upper-level challenge due to more workouts and more difficulty settings.

Both are outstanding options for the individual looking to turbocharge their home workout.

Bowflex is currently offering some pretty awesome season discounts – CLICK HERE to Activate their Latest Max Trainer Deals!