Each of these machines give you unique benefits over a standard elliptical trainer including higher calorie burning and a more effective workout.
What about when you compare them against each other?
Which one is really best for you?
There are a number of key difference between them that you may want to know.
This post will break down the main differences between the two to help you make a more informed decision.
Let’s take a closer look:
Bowflex Max vs Nordictrack Freestrider – Price
Price is a big consideration for many people these days – especially if you’re on a budget.
The Bowflex Max starts around $999 and up. Plus you can get a Free Promo Code to save on any Bowflex Max model here.
The Freestrider starts a bit higher – around $1599 and up with Free Shipping here.
So in terms of affordability, the Bowflex Max has a slight edge right now.
Bowflex Max vs Freestrider – Motion
One of the biggest differences between the Bowflex Max and the Freestrider is in the type of motion you can do with each one.
With the Bowflex Max Trainer you’re only doing 1 lower body motion – a stair-climbing motion. This is great for burning calories – but not necessarily for crosstraining.
The Freestrider – with the adaptable, adjustable stride – gives you multiple lower body motions. This includes stair-climbing, jogging and running.
You can also go backwards if you want – giving you a lot more options when it comes to crosstraining. In fact Nordictrack advertises the Freestrider as 3-machines-in-1.
You can use it as a stair-climber with the up and down motions. You can use it as an elliptical with jogging-style motions. Or even use it as a treadmill with longer hurdling-running type motions.
If you’re looking for more workout variety and crosstraining options, the Nordictrack Freestrider edges out the Max Trainer in this area.
Calorie Burning Results
Bowflex is the king of results. They build their machines specifically to get you faster results than other fitness equipment.
The Max Trainer – according to Bowflex studies – can help you burn 2.5 times more calories than a normal elliptical trainer.
In fact, some trial users burned up to 600 calories in a single half-hour session – which is incredible.
Bowflex also puts a special 14-minute HIIT Training workout on each of their Max Trainer models. This high intensity interval training workout is designed to help you burn maximum calories both during – and after your workout.
What about the Freestrider?
Well in theory, you can burn more calories on this trainer than a regular elliptical – just because it gives you the ability to get longer strides (up to 32 inches) and use more lower body muscles (using more muscles burns more calories).
However Nordictrack hasn’t done the studies to prove any of this yet – while Bowflex has.
And Bowflex is savvy enough to advertise this:
That’s not saying the Freestrider is less able to burn calories. I think it’s more of a marketing difference between the two companies than anything else.
Max Trainer vs Freestride Trainer – Console
The console is important since it’s what you’ll be looking at most of the time during your workout.
Nordictrack Freestriders have a slight edge here as the F7i and F9i come with full-color, HD, touch-screen consoles. So you can see your workout stats with a swipe of your finger.
It also makes it a lot more enjoyable to watch iFit world scenery (see below for more on iFit):
All Freestrider consoles also come with auxiliary music ports for your phone, iFit Coach compatibility and even dual-speed fans to keep you cool.
The Bowflex Max trainer consoles are still quite good. They come with media racks for your tablet, easy-to-read console displays and even a calorie-burn-rate meter which shows you the number of calories you’re burning at any one moment:
The one exception is the premium Bowflex Max Total model – which gives you a full-color, touch screen you can use to stream your Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Video shows while working out.
So while both the Freestrider and Max Trainer consoles give you everything you need in terms of workout feedback, in general the Freestrider console is a bit more attractive with the full-color, touch-screen consoles, music ports and fans.
Entertainment / Tracking Options
Fitness equipment has changed over the years with more entertainment and tracking options for a more personalized workout experience. So what are your options on the Bowflex Max or the Freestrider?
Nordictrack Freestride trainers come compatible with iFit Coach.
iFit Coach lets you track your workouts online over time to see how far you’ve come. You can also watch HD workout videos in full color right from your console or tablet.
You can follow personal trainers as they lead you through workouts all over the world – from Hawaii to the Swiss Alps.
You can also use iFit to track everything from your daily activity (both on and off the elliptical trainer), your food intake and even your sleep patterns. So there’s a lot you can do with iFit to reach your health goals if you want to use it.
The Bowflex Max doesn’t have the kind of tracking or world workouts that you get with iFit Coach. However they have introduced a new innovation this year for their Max trainer: Max Intelligence (note: this is also called Bowflex JRNY or Bowflex Digital).
With Max Intelligence, you connect online through your tablet and from there you can do a fitness assessments and even get customized, workouts sent to your machine.
You can also choose from a library of personal-trainer-led workout videos for extra challenge. And you’ll also soon be able to watch real world scenery on your tablet or TV as you run with Bowflex Max Intelligence.
So Max Intelligence is similar to iFit Coach in terms of tracking and workouts – however it’s not as developed yet and there are not as many workouts to choose from. Plus, you need to connect through your tablet – you can’t do it through your console like you can with the Freestrider.
Note however that Max Intelligence is only compatible with the Bowflex M6, M8 or Max Total models – not the M3 model.
The main difference between the Bowflex Max vs Nordictrack Freestrider is found in the type of motion you can do on each one.
On the Max you’ll be doing a stair climbing motion – while on the Freestrider you’ll be doing more of a traditional elliptical running motion.
However with the adjustable stride on the Freestrider, you’ll also be able to change up the motion, go backwards, up-down etc. So you get better crosstraining on the Freestrider.
However the Bowflex Max is no slouch either. It was designed to help you burn calories faster than other machines (with the studies to back it up). It’s also more compact than the Freestrider and it starts at a lower price.
So it really comes down to what you’re looking for in a fitness machine
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Related: Bowflex Max Total Review