Nordictrack FS10i vs Bowflex Max Trainer – Which is Best for You?

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Trying to decide between the Nordictrack FS10i vs Bowflex Max Trainer?

These two ellipticals are built to give you something more than a traditional elliptical trainer – but in slightly different ways.

Nordictrack FS10i Review
Nordictrack FS10i Freestride Trainer

The Nordictrack FS10i is what’s known as a Freestride Trainer – which is an elliptical with an adaptable, adjustable stride. So you can do a variety of different movements – or just choose you.the stride that feels best for you.

The Bowflex Max is built to help you burn calories faster than a traditional elliptical with more of a lower body climbing design.

There are several Max Trainer models (just as there are several Freestride Trainer models).

For this post, we’re going to compare the Nordictrack FS10i vs Bowflex Max M9 model. These models are the closest in price point and construction quality. (So you’ll be comparing apples to apples instead of apples to oranges).

Bowflex M9 Max Trainer


So let’s dive into the key differences between the Nordictrack FS10i vs Bowflex Max Trainer M9.

We’ll see how they stack up so you can make a more informed decision for your own personal situation.



Nordictrack FS10i vs Bowflex Max Trainer: Design

This is where you see a big difference between these two machines.

The key benefit of the Freestride Trainer is the adaptable, adjustable stride.

What is stride on an elliptical? Stride is the furthest distance between the elliptical pedals. And in most crosstrainers, stride length is fixed.

That means that you’re locked into one set running path and one set stride length.


Nordictrack FS10i vs Bowflex Max Trainer
Standard Elliptical Trainer Stride

There are two problems with this.

Over time, your body tends to adapt to that motion which means you get a less effective workout with less calories burned. Another problem is that different people prefer different stride lengths (depending on their heights).

So if you get stuck with an elliptical with a stride that’s too short for you, you’ll end up feeling uncomfortable for the entire motion.

The solution?

While most ellipticals give you a fixed stride between 16 and 20 inches, the FS10i Freestrider gives you an adaptable stride of up to 32 inches. You can basically choose your stride (and elliptical running motion) by how hard and in which direction you push down on the pedals.


Freestrider Motion

So you can pedal up and down like a stair climber, jog like a regular elliptical or even run with longer hurdling strides like a treadmill.

This gives you a variety of different movements to choose from and ensures your body never adapts to one set motion.

The other benefit is that everyone in your home can find the best stride length that feels most comfortable for them.

Given this, it’s not hard to see why the Freestride trainer is very popular.


What about the Bowflex Max Trainer?

Well, Bowflex is very good at designing machines to get results. And they built the Max Trainer to help you burn calories faster than a traditional elliptical.

The Max trainer is not really what you think of as an elliptical trainer. It’s more like a stair climber motion in the lower body – combined with moving elliptical-style arms for your upper body.

So instead of the traditional elliptical running motion, you have more of a climbing motion on this machine. Since climbing engages more lower body muscles, it’s not hard to see why you end up burning more calories than a standard elliptical trainer.



Bowflex has also built several HIIT training workouts into their machines to improve the calorie burning effects even more.

So is one machine better than another in terms of design?

This depends on what kind of lower body motion you prefer.

If you prefer a climbing motion only, then the Bowflex Max is probably the best choice.

If you want the option to have a running motion, forwards or backwards, a climbing motion or even a longer hurdling motion – or you just want more variety, then the Nordictrack is the better option.


Nordictrack Freestrider


Nordictrack FS10i vs Bowflex Max M9: Price

While prices do jump around a bit, these two models are very close in price.

As of this writing you can get the Nordictrack FS10i for a bit less at around $1899 with Free Shipping from the Manufacturer here.

You can get the Bowflex Max Trainer M9 for around $1999 with Free Shipping from the Manufacturer here.

So as of right now anyways, the Nordictrack FS10i is slightly more affordable.



Bowflex Max vs Nordictrack FS10i: Console

The console is important since it’s your main hub of operations. It’s what you’ll be looking at through most of your workout.

The Bowflex Max M9 has a 10-inch, full-color, HD,  interactive console as you can see below:


Bowflex M9 Console


The Nordictrack FS10i also has a 10-inch full-color, touch-screen console. It’s a bit of a different design:



Both consoles offer some incredible streaming and virtual training options (more on this below). However for now let’s just look at the design.

The Bowflex M9 Max has both moving and stationary arm bars. There are also EKG grip pulse sensors on the stationary arm bars. So you can grasp them and get a heart rate reading as you’re working out.

The Nordictrack has moving arm bars only and no EKG grip pulse sensors (although the trainer will work with a wireless heart rate monitor).

There are speakers on both consoles but the Nordictrack also has a dual-speed fan where the Bowflex does not have this.



Streaming Options:

Every company is adding virtual training programs to their machines these days. These programs are designed to give you a more customized training experience – and give you some fun while you workout.

Both Nordictrack and Bowflex offer streaming and training options through their consoles.

The Nordictrack streaming service is called iFit. The Bowflex service is called JRNY.


iFit on Nordictrack

Both services offer you a free version and a paid version (which gets you access to all the goodies they offer).

So the good news is that you don’t need to pay a monthly subscription fee with either of these machines (you’ll just be limited when it comes to streaming workouts or fitness classes).

Both iFit and JRNY give you world trail workouts (where you can run famous world trails and watch the scenery pass you by in the screen for a more virtual-reality feel).


Bowflex M9 with JRNY

They both also give you access to fitness classes.

As of this writing, Bowflex JRNY is only offering streaming classes whereas Nordictrack iFit offers you both streaming classes and live classes.

You also get customized workouts and tracking for multiple users in your home with either service.

iFit has been around longer and overall it’s a bit more advanced, offering you more options in terms of world trail workouts. It also has a very cool Googlemaps feature where you can map out your own trail and then run that trail while you watch the scenery pass you by in the screen.

However Bowflex is quickly adding new options and is pretty impressive as well.

JRNY does allow you to watch your own Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus or Amazon subscription services through the console – which is a nice option. However be aware that you can only do this with the paid version of JRNY. You can’t do it with the free version of JRNY.

Is one service better than another? It really depends on which feature you think you’ll use more at the end of the day.


iFit Class


Bowflex M9 Max vs Nordictrack FS10i: Space

If you’re in an apartment, condo or have a smaller workout area, you’ll obviously want to consider the space or footprint of the machine.

The Bowflex M9 takes up less space than the Nordictrack FS10i Freestrider.

The Bowflex M9 footprint measures 30.5″ W x 49.2″ L.

The Nordictrack FS10i measures 29.5″ W x 58.5″ L.

So if you’re short on space, then you might want to consider the Bowflex – or find a larger space for the Nordictrack.



Bottom Line?

So what’s the bottom line when comparing the Nordictrack FS10i vs Bowflex Max Trainer M9?

Each one has benefits.

The Bowflex Max Trainer is limited in what you can do exercise-wise. But it takes up less space and has a design to help you burn calories very fast. It also has the stationary arm bars and the hand grip pulse sensor.

The Nordictrack FS10i Freestride Trainer gives you more of a traditional elliptical motion and a lot more variety in terms of lower body motion – forward, back, stepping, jogging, running etc.

It’s also slightly more affordable.

So it really depends on what you want.

Want to learn more about either elliptical? Check out the links below to get Free Shipping and more information on either elliptical.


Click for A Special Offer on the Nordictrack FS10i


Nordictrack FS10i Review
Nordictrack FS10i Freestride Trainer
Click Here to Save on the Bowflex M9


Bowflex M9 Max Trainer



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