Bowflex Max vs Nordictrack Freestrider Comparison – Which is Best For You? (Updated)
Trying to decide between the Bowflex Max vs Nordictrack Freestrider?
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 currently offers 3 models – the M6, M9 and Max Total 16. These trainers start around $1499 with Free Shipping from the Manufacturer here.
Nordictrack currently offers 2 models – the FS10i and FS14i trainer. These machines start a bit higher – around $1899 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 includes HIIT training workouts on several of their machines. 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. This is 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. And this really comes down to the models you’re comparing.
The Nordictrack FS10 and FS14 models comes with full-color, HD, touch-screen consoles. So you can see your workout stats with a swipe of your finger.
You can also connect with iFit (Nordictrack’s online streaming service) and run trails all over the world. You can also take live fitness classes from your home (more on iFit below):
All of the Nordictrack Freestrider consoles have dual-speed workout fans to keep you cool along with docks with speakers to listen to your favorite workout mix.
The Bowflex Max M6 model console (seen below) is not as impressive, coming in with a dual color window only and a simple feedback design.
However the M9 model and the Max total M16 models do have color consoles where you can connect with Bowflex JRNY (Bowflex’s online streaming service) and run world trails or stream workout classes.
So the higher end Bowflex Max models do have nicer, touch-screen consoles, similar to the Nordictrack consoles.
One slight difference is that the Freestriders offers dual-speed fans whereas the Max Trainer consoles don’t have them.
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 do a number of very cool things. You can run famous trails all over the world and watch the scenery pass you by in the console screen for some virtual reality fun.
You can follow personal trainers as they lead you through workouts all over the world – from Hawaii to the Swiss Alps.
You can also take fitness classes from your home – everything from elliptical fitness classes to HIIT Training, stretching and yoga.
There are thousands of classes you can stream. Plus you can now even take LIVE classes from your home.
So you can follow your favorite trainers in real time, take the class at the same time with people all over the world and even text your trainer a question after class.
iFit can also keep track of your workouts for you, help you set new goals, deliver personalized workouts and more. So there’s a lot of things you can do with iFit
What about Bowflex JRNY on the Max Trainer?
Well, you can do a lot of similar things. For example, you can run world trails and watch the scenery pass you by on the screen.
You can also stream classes to your machine (however Bowflex JRNY is not offering Live classes yet).
One thing that people really like with JRNY on the M9 and Max 16 models is that you can also connect with your Hulu, Netflix, Amazon or Disney plus channels and watch programs through your console as you workout.
Note however that in order to do this, you need a paid JRNY subscription. You can’t do it with the free version.
So is one streaming program better than another?
Well, it really depends on what you prefer. The iFit program has been around longer and is more developed – so you have more classes and world trails to choose from.
You can also map out new trails with Googlemaps or take live classes in real time. You can’t do these things with Bowflex JRNY.
However with the JRNY option you can connect with your Netflix, Hulu and Amazon account and stream programs – in addition to running world trails and streaming workout classes.
It should be noted that you don’t need a paid subscription to iFit or JRNY to use any of these machines. There are free versions of both iFit and JRNY that you can use (if you really don’t care about having streaming classes or personalized workouts).
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. You also get incline. So you get better crosstraining and a more varied workout 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 a bit 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
Want to Learn More?
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Related: Bowflex Max M6 vs M9 Comparison
Nordictrack Freestrider vs Elliptical