Bowflex Max Total vs Elliptical Trainer

Note: This post may contain affiliate links.  Click Here to read our full affiliate disclosure.

Which One is Right for You?


Trying to decide between the Bowflex Max Total vs an elliptical trainer?

Wondering which is best for you?



bowflex max total vs m6
Bowflex Max Total Trainer


The Bowflex Max Total is the new premium Max Trainer introduced this year with stronger construction than other Max Trainer models. There’s also some added entertainment options that you don’t usually find on the Max Trainer – or an elliptical.

So it’s a very cool – and popular – machine at the moment.


bowflex 116 elliptical review
Bowflex Elliptical

However, depending on your situation and goals, an elliptical trainer also has some advantages as well that might make it a better option for you.

So which should you choose?

This post will point out some key benefits of each so you can make a more informed decision when comparing between the Bowflex Max Total vs elliptical.

So let’s jump in:


bowflex max m8 review

Bowflex Max Total vs Elliptical: Price

Elliptical trainers generally start at a more affordable price than the Max Total. You can find a decent high-end elliptical starting around $1599 and up.

The Max Total starts around  $2799 with a Special Discount Promo code here.

However, to be fair, the Bowflex Max Total is the Commercial-grade Max Trainer. And it has some perks that you usually only find on health club ellipticals (which run around $2500+). So you have to compare apples to apples.


bowflex max total review
Bowflex Max Total


Lower Body Motion

This can apply to any Bowflex Max Trainer vs elliptical. The Max Trainer lower body motion is more of an up-and-down stair climbing motion.

This has the benefit of using more lower body muscles and burning more calories. This is one of the main reasons why Bowflex can claim that the Max Trainer can burn up to 2.5 times more calories than an elliptical trainer.



The lower body motion of an elliptical trainer, on the other hand, is more of a running motion.

While you don’t burn as many calories with this motion, you do have the option of pedalling forward and backwards.

You can also sometimes find an elliptical with incline. The incline changes the slope of your running path, helping you to crosstrain more lower body muscles.

So while the Max Trainer motion will burn more calories in a shorter time, an elliptical motion can give you more crosstraining options.


proform smart strider 895 elliptical trainer
Elliptical Incline



Console Differences:

The Bowflex Max Total console is pretty cool. It’s a 9.6-inch, full-color, Samsung, touch-screen with built-in speakers:


bowflex max total vs m8
Bowflex Max Total Console


It’s much larger and easier to read than many other home elliptical trainer consoles.

You can also connect directly with Max Intelligence and stream trainer-led workout videos to your console. So you can try new workouts or even get customized workouts sent to your machine based on your current fitness level (more on this below).

Another bonus?

You can also connect to your Netflix, Amazon Prime Video or Hulu accounts through the console and watch TV shows or movies as you workout.

This is a feature that a LOT of buyers want, but other home brands just haven’t been able to deliver.

You can find similar consoles on health-club style elliptical trainers like the Matrix XER consoles (which start around $3200+). But not really on a regular elliptical trainer.

This alone can make your workouts a lot more fun and productive.


Bowflex Max Total Console



Max Total vs Elliptical – Construction

The Max Total comes with a higher level of construction than other Max Trainers or standard elliptical trainers. For example, it upgrades to a double-wheel-track design.

This means that there are two tracks for each pedal. This gives you a more stable, smooth feel to the motion. It also adds more support – making the machine better able to stand up to heavier or more intense workouts.



You don’t get the double-track wheel design on other Bowflex Max Trainer models – or on many home elliptical trainers either. Most are single-wheel-track designs.

This single-wheel-track design isn’t bad – it’s actually fine for most people.

But the double-track design gives more strength and substance to the machine. You can work it a bit harder than other models.


Elliptical with Single Wheel-Track

Bowflex Max Total vs Elliptical – Arm Bars

You also get upgraded arm bars on the Max Total model. These give you more positions to train your arms than on the standard arm bars on most ellipticals.


bowflex max total vs m6
Bowflex Max Total Trainer


You may also notice that a couple of the arm bars are closer to the user on the Max Total. So if you’re short or hate reaching for arm bars, this is a big benefit.

With most home elliptical trainers, you only get standard arm bars with one arm position. And they are a set length away from the user.


nordictrack C12.9 elliptical
Nordictrack Elliptical



Bowflex Max Intelligence

Max Intelligence is a new feature Bowflex recently added. You can find it on the Max Total, M8 and M6 models.

Max Intelligence can track your workouts and fitness level. Then it can send individualized, customized workouts to your trainer and even coach you through the workout!


Bowflex Max Intelligence


You can also stream trainer-led fitness classes directly to your console or tablet for some extra workout challenge.

Finally, you can also travel famous world trails and watch as the scenery passes you by on the console or tablet screen. This adds a little virtual reality fun to your workout time!


bowflex max new models
Bowflex Max Intelligence


Several elliptical brands like Nordictrack or Proform do have something similar to Max Intelligence, called iFit Coach, where you can stream studio workouts or run trails around the world.

But a lot of other brands (Schwinn, Nautilus, Horizon and even Bowflex ellipticals) don’t have this kind of customized workout technology yet. So it’s a nice benefit on the Max Trainer Total.


Max Total Console


The best part? If you get the Max Total from the Manufacturer, you can currently get a Free 12-month Subscription to Max Intelligence included with the machine.

So you can try it out for the full year and get customized coaching workouts to your Max Trainer for free.


elliptical trends 2019
Max Intelligence Video Workouts



Space Considerations

With a footprint of 30.5″ W x 49.2″ L, the Max Total is fairly compact – and smaller than many ellipticals.

However you can find a few elliptical models that fold up with wheels on the bottom for easy movement. The Bowflex Max Total does not fold up. And it’s fairly heavy. So it takes a bit of work to move it around.

If you really want a machine you can move out of the way easily (and frequently), you might be better going with a folding elliptical like the Nordictrack SE9i.


best elliptical for small spaces
Folding Elliptical


Bottom Line?

So what’s the bottom line when comparing the Bowflex Max Total vs Elliptical?

While it really comes down to WHICH elliptical you’re comparing to the Max Total, there are a few general differences.

Elliptical trainers can be more affordable and easier on the budget. Plus, they give you more lower body motion options and crosstraining.

They can also foldup to save space if you have a smaller workout area.

The Bowflex Max Total can help you burn calories much faster than a regular elliptical – so you get more done in less time on this machine.

Plus you can have a lot more fun with the console by connecting to your Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Video accounts. Or getting personalized workouts with Max Intelligence.

And the arm bars give you a few more options for upper body training than a standard elliptical.

So at the end of the day, it comes down to what you prefer.

Want to Learn More?


Click Here for a Free Promo Code on the Max Total Trainer


bowflex max total vs m6
Bowflex Max Total Trainer


Click Here to Compare All Bowflex Elliptical Trainers


bowflex max trainer vs elliptical
Bowflex Elliptical



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

error: Content is protected !!