Bowflex Max Trainer M3
The Max Trainer M3 is the base model in the popular Bowflex series, a hybrid cardio machine that is like an elliptical combined with a step machine. Its main appeal is its compact design, low impact and the fact that you can burn a lot of calories in a short period of time with the company’s patented Max Interval programs.
Click Specifications to see detailed model info
Resistance Levels : up to 8
Workout Programs : 2 (Intervals, Manual)
Display : Blue Backlit With Burn Rate Meter
Heart Rate Reading : Wireless only
Dimensions : 46.1" L x 25" W x 62.9" H
Tracking Ability : Not Available
Maximum User Weight : 300 lbs.
Warranty : 1 year
The Max Trainer M3 is only 46″ long and 25″ wide, so it can easily fit into your home gym, regardless of how much space you have. It’s also only 143 lbs. and can be easily moved with the included transport wheels.
If you compare that to the size of a traditional treadmill or elliptical, it’s almost half the size and half the weight, so it’s definitely a great option for those with space constraints.
Burn Rate Display
All of the Max Trainers come with the Burn Rate Display, which shows you just how many calories you’re burning per minute.
It also provides target goals for you that are based on your fitness level and inputted info, which really helps to motivate you to work out harder.
Max Interval Program
The Bowflex Max Trainer M3 comes with the patented Max Interval program, a 14 minute interval workout which purportedly burns 2.5 x as many calories per minute as a traditional treadmill or elliptical.
Whether or not this is true is debatable, but it definitely does help you ramp up your cardio and get the heart pumping in a very short amount of time.
For those who like results fast, this is definitely a plus.
Heart Rate Monitoring
All of the Max Trainers, including the mid-level M5, come with a free wireless chest strap which provides a more precise reading of your heart rate while you work out.
This is great to help you keep in your ideal zone, which will maximize your results. Note that the M3 does not have the contact grip heart rate capability that the other models have.
Other Great Features
The Max Trainer M3 comes 8 resistance levels to choose from, the free Daily Burn trial with hundreds of additional workouts, water bottle holder, tablet holder and 2 user profiles.
No Tracking Ability
Unlike the M5 and top of the line Max Trainer M7, the Bowflex M3 does not come with Bluetooth tracking ability to keep tabs on your workouts.
It’s not a deal breaker, but if you’re someone who likes to monitor your progress you should look at the M5 or M7 instead.
Warranty Could Be Better
The warranty provided with the M3 is only 1 year parts and 90 days labor, which isn’t so great. The M5 and M7 aren’t much better, with 2 years and 3 years, respectively.
So if you are going to buy a Max Trainer, definitely opt for their 3 year or 5 year additional coverage for peace of mind.
Limited Built In Workouts
Although the Max Interval program is great, and you get a lot of workouts with the Daily Burn trial program, there are no additional workouts built into the machine as there are on the other two Max Trainers.
As a comparison, the M5 has 8 workout programs and the M7 has 10. So if you want a little more diversity, opt for the two higher level models.
If you’re in the market for a space-friendly cardio machine that is a bit different than the traditional elliptical or treadmill, the Max Trainer M3 is a decent choice.
It provides a good cardio workout in a short amount of time, shows you your calories on an interesting display, gives you a free wireless chest strap and a free trial of additional workouts.
It definitely doesn’t have the features of the M5 and M7, i.e. multiple built in workouts, Bluetooth tracking, interactive backlit display and upgraded pedals and grips, but it’s the most affordable of the three.
If budget is a concern, the M3 is definitely the way to go…if there is a little more room we would definitely recommend the M5 or the M7.