Which Is the Best Choice For You?
Trying to decide between an elliptical vs Bowflex Max Trainer? You’re not alone.
Bowflex knocked the elliptical world on its head when they came out with the Max Trainer.
It looks like an elliptical (and many people actually do search for “Bowflex Elliptical”) – but it’s not.
According to Bowflex, it’s better than an elliptical.
It was designed to help you burn more calories and use more core and upper body muscles than a standard crosstrainer.
But is it really better?
And is it the best choice for you?
This post will compare them and give you a rundown of the key differences between them. So you can choose the best machines for your needs.
Elliptical vs Bowflex Max – Price
The Max Trainer starts around $1099 for the M3 model and ranges up to about $2199 for the premium M7 model (Click Here for a Free Promo Code to save even more).
So the prices aren’t bad – you get a starter model (the M3), a mid-range model (the M5) and a premium model (the M7).
However you do get a better range of prices with an elliptical trainer – which can start around $599 for a starter model and go up to $4000 for a commercial model.
(You can even go below that – however anything below $500 tends to be made with cheap, flimsy parts and end up costing you in pricey repairs before long. So I don’t usually recommend these kinds of trainers.)
Elliptical vs Bowflex Max – Lower Body Motion
This is where you see the main difference between the two machines. An elliptical stride is meant to mimic a natural running motion (with less impact on the joints). So it’s more of an elongated, horizontal, oval motion.
The Max Trainer however is more of a stair-climber motion or a vertical climbing motion. Think stair-climbing vs running.
Like an elliptical trainer, the Bowflex Max is also very low impact as well. So it really comes down to you and what kind of exercise you prefer (running vs climbing).
How Many Calories Burned?
This is where the Bowflex Max really outshines the elliptical. According to the Manufacturer you can burn up to 2.5 more calories on a Max Trainer than a traditional elliptical (or treadmill or stair climber). And they’ve done the lab tests to prove this.
In fact some Bowflex Max Trial users burned up to 600 calories in 30 minutes – which is incredible.
And Bowflex has the marketing savvy to advertise this:
Why would you burn more calories on a Max Trainer than an elliptical?
I think this comes down to 2 factors. First of all, climbing is more intense and uses more lower body muscles than running. So that’s going to burn more calories right out of the gate.
Also, the Max Trainer comes with several built-in high intensity interval training (or HIIT) workouts. This is where you work as hard as you can for a short time period followed by a longer, much lighter exercise (where you rest and catch your breath) – followed by the hard, intense interval again – followed by the lighter resting phase, etc, etc.
This kind of high intensity interval training has been shown to burn a lot more calories both during your workout – and even for 24 – 48 hours afterwards.
So a Max Trainer workout (even the famous Bowflex 14-minute workout that comes included with all the models) can have your body in high-calorie burning mode for up to 48 hours post workout.
Bottom line? The Max Trainer takes the prize for the highest calorie-burning machine. If you want to see faster weight loss results in the mirror, this is the better option.
Elliptical vs Bowflex Max – Upper Body Workout
The Bowflex Max has the same style of moving upper body arms bars as an elliptical trainer. However according to tests done by the manufacturer, the Max trainer actually engages more upper body muscles.
Testing in the lab showed that it engaged more core and lower body muscles than ellipticals and up to 80% more upper body muscles.
So again, the Max Trainer has the advantage when it comes to getting a more optimal, full-body workout.
Elliptical vs Bowflex Max – Console
The Bowflex Max trainer has a range of consoles (you can see them below).
They give you the basic feedback stats along with a special calorie-burn rate meter. The M5 and M7 are backlit (the M3 is not) and also include hand-grip pulse sensors.
The M5 and M7 also include online tracking and sync with other workout apps like MyFitnessPal and Google Fit. There’s also a free Bowflex App you can use to track your progress.
However when you compare this to what you get with a standard elliptical console these days, they do fall a bit short. For example, most elliptical trainer consoles include cooling fans, one touch resistance buttons and iPod docks with speakers.
Some also include fancy toys like web browsers, or sophisticated online workout tools that you don’t get with the Bowflex Max.
However in fairness, this is more of a subjective thing – you don’t buy a fitness machine because of the console – it’s just a nice touch.
Elliptical vs Bowflex Max – Other Differences
There are a couple of other differences to consider as well. First of all, with an elliptical trainer you can go both forward and backwards – which gives you some variety in the motion that you don’t get with the Max.
On the other hand, the Max Trainer has the benefit of being a huge time-saver. Bowflex has designed the famous 14 minute workout to get you maximum calorie-burning results in less time. You don’t have to do the 14 minute workout – you can go shorter or longer, whatever you want.
But since you burn more calories faster, technically you can get the same results with the Max Trainer in less time than you’d have to spend slogging it out on an elliptical. So it’s something to consider.
Also, if you order the Max Trainer through the Manufacturer here, you can get 8 weeks of Free streaming online workouts through the Daily Burn.
In addition to the streaming workouts, you’ll also have access to the full library of Daily Burn content – over 600 workout videos including HIIT cardio, yoga, strength training, dance and more – which is a very cool deal.
So what’s the bottom line in the elliptical vs Bowflex Max debate? Well, it really comes down to what you’re looking for.
An elliptical trainer gives you more of a running motion with forward and back options. And you have more in terms of price and console options.
The Max trainer however burns a lot more calories than a typical elliptical and will give you an overall better whole-body workout.
It’s also fair to note that the Bowflex Max takes up less space than a standard elliptical trainer, making it a great choice for smaller workout areas.
So they both have their advantages. It really comes down to you!
Want to learn more about the Max Trainer?