Wondering how they’re different – and which is best for you?
While we did a comparison of the Max Trainer vs Proform HIIT a few years ago, several things have changed.
Proform has come out with 2 new, upgraded HIIT models. And Covid demand has taken out almost all of the Bowlfex Max Trainer models, leaving only the M6 Max Trainer available, as of this writing.
So we thought we’d do an updated comparison of these two types of machines – how they’re different and what you might want to consider before you buy.
To start – they both offer you an advantage over a standard elliptical in the form of higher calorie-burning potential. With the lower-body motion on each one, you can end up using more lower body muscles than a regular elliptical – which in turn uses more energy and burns more calories.
They also both take up less space than a regular elliptical, which is great for apartments or condos.
Plus you can add some form of streaming workout videos with either machine – so you can enhance your home workout training experience.
So how are they different? And which is best for you?
This post will give you a rundown of the main differences between the Proform HIIT vs Bowflex Max Trainer to help you decide.
(Note: we’ll be comparing the Proform HIIT trainers to the Max M6 model – since that’s the only Max Trainer that is currently available for purchase).
Proform HIIT vs Bowflex Max: Price
As of this writing, there are 2 Proform HIIT models available – the HIIT H7 and the HIIT H14. They start off a bit more affordable than the Max Trainer at around $1403 and up with Free Shipping here.
Right now, there’s only one Max Trainer model – the M6 (although the Max Total may be coming back in stock in the next few months). You can get it for around $1699 with Free Shipping here.
So there’s a slight price advantage with the Proform HIIT. However prices do jump around and manufacturers are always experimenting with new deals. So you should check out the manufacturer’s websites above for the most up-to-date prices.
Proform HIIT vs Bowflex Max: Lower Body Motion
This is where you’ll find one of the biggest differences between these two machines. And surprisingly, many buyers can miss this – because it’s subtle.
They give you similar – but not exactly the same – lower body motion.
The Bowflex Max is more of a stair-stepper, up-and-down motion. You can’t pedal forward and back (as there’s no horizontal path to the motion). You just go up and down like a stair-climber.
The Proform HIIT trainer is more of a vertical elliptical path.
It’s not straight up-and-down like a stair-climber – it’s a 10-inch vertical stride with a 5-inch horizontal stride.
So it’s like a climbing elliptical motion. Here’s a quick video to show you what it’s like:
Plus with this motion you can go forward and backwards – which many people do like.
So it really comes down to what motion you prefer on your machine.
Is one better than another?
I haven’t come across any scientific studies that have really looked at this – so it’s hard to say. It really comes down to whether you prefer a stair-stepping up-and-down motion or a climbing motion, vertical-elliptical style motion. One is straight up-and-down and another is more of a vertical oval motion.
Both the Proform HIIT H7 and the H14 trainers give you this same vertical, climbing motion.
Proform HIIT vs Bowflex Max: Console
This really comes down to the models that you’re comparing. The Bowflex M6 Max console is dual-color and backlit as seen below:
The Proform HIIT trainers go one better with full-color, HD, touch-screen consoles. The HIIT H7 has a 7-inch console:
And the HIIT H14 has a 14-inch console:
The color consoles make it a lot more fun to read your workout stats and watch the streaming iFit studio or around-the-globe workouts.
However on the other hand, the Max M6 trainer does come with a tablet holder.
You can use your tablet to connect with the Bowflex streaming program or just surf the net or watch movies as you go.
So while the console window on the M6 is a bit unimpressive, if you have a tablet, you can add your own entertainment options and get around this to some extent.
Proform HIIT vs Bowflex Max: Streaming
With everyone staying home these days and not being able to go to the gym, fitness equipment is all about streaming. Streaming fitness classes, streaming world trail runs, tracking your workout progress and even getting customized workouts delivered to your machine.
Both the Proform HIIT trainer and the Bowflex Max have their own version of streaming programs.
With Proform it’s called iFit Coach and with the Bowflex Max it’s called Bowflex JRNY.
There are a lot of fun things you can do with these programs. With iFit Coach you can run trails all over the world – or even get guided tours where trainers take you through the workout, pointing out interesting landmarks along the way.
You can also stream hundreds of in-studio workout classes to your machine.
Plus, Proform is even looking at adding new LIVE studio workouts in the new year, which is pretty cool. You can also use iFit to track your progress over time, set new goals and even get nutrition and diet recommendations sent to your phone.
Bowflex JRNY also offers you streaming Max Trainer workout videos. You can also run different world trails and even get customized workouts sent to your machine.
There are a few differences however. First of all, iFit Coach has been around longer than JRNY – so there are more workout videos and options to choose from with iFit.
Second, if you want to use Bowflex JRNY, you’ll need to connect online through your tablet (you can’t connect through the console as you do with the Proform HIIT trainers).
Also, Proform is currently offering a 1-year iFit Coach membership with the Proform H14 HIIT trainer. This is a great deal – you can try it out for the full year at no cost to see if it’s right for you.
Bowflex is also offering a free trial of JRNY with the Max M6 here – but it’s only 2 months, not 1 year.
Built-in HIIT Workouts
Since these are both machines built for HIIT training, it would make sense to get some HIIT related workouts. The Bowflex M6 comes with several pre-designed HIIT workouts included with the console.
Surprisingly, the Proform HIIT trainers don’t come with built-in HIIT workouts (Although you can get HIIT workouts through the iFit Coach workout library). So that’s an advantage that the Bowflex Max gives you if you really want pre-made HIIT workouts.
So what’s the bottom line when comparing the Proform HIIT vs Max Trainer?
Each one has it’s benefits.
The Max Trainer M6 gives you built-in HIIT workouts to get you faster results in less time. It also has a tablet holder that you can use to surf the net or watch movies as you workout.
The Proform HIIT trainers give you a more advanced, full-color, HD console along with more training options with iFit Coach.
You also get more of an elliptical-style motion where you can pedal backwards and forwards for more variety. And they start off a bit more affordable, making them easier on the budget.
So it really comes down to what you’re looking for at the end of the day.
Want to learn more? Check out the links below: