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.
Both Proform and Bowflex have come out with new HIIT and Max Trainer models – each with new options and features.
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 in your home 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: this will be a general comparison of the HIIT and Max Trainer models – not specific model comparisons).
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 more affordable than the Max Trainer at around $1403 and up to $1699 with Free Shipping here.
There are currently 3 different Bowflex Max models. They range from $1499 to $2499 with Free Shipping here.
So there’s a slight price advantage with the Proform HIIT – especially for the premium models.
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.
These machines 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:
With this motion you can go forward and backwards.
Many people prefer to have this feature as it gives you extra crosstraining options. So this feature gives the Proform HIIT a big advantage over the Max.
At the end of the day though, it really comes down to what motion you prefer on your machine.
Is one better than another?
I haven’t found 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, vertical-elliptical style motion. One is straight up-and-down and another is more of a vertical oval 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:
However, if you go with the premium Bowflex Max Total you get a larger full-color, touch-screen, seen below:
Both the Proform HIIT trainers give you the 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 – on any model – make it a lot more fun to read your workout stats and watch the streaming workouts (more on this below). And people tend to prefer them.
However it’s fair to note that the dual-color console on the Bowflex m6 is around the same price as the Proform HIIT Trainers – which give you the color consoles. So if you’re comparing price wise, you do get a bit more for the money with the Proform models.
Proform HIIT vs Bowflex Max: Streaming
Fitness Equipment these days is all about streaming and “smart” workouts. 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, now you can even take LIVE streaming classes – which is pretty cool. So you can follow your favorite instructor in real time and even take the class at the same time with your friends.
Bowflex JRNY is a bit different.
It also offers you streaming workout videos (as of this writing you cannot take live classes.)
You can also run different world trails and get customized coaching workouts sent to your machine.
One thing that people really like with JRNY (only on the Bowflex M9 and Max Total 16 models) is that you can connect with your Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu and Disney plus subscription and watch these through the console window.
This is very cool. However, note that you do need a paid JRNY subscription to do this. You can’t just buy the machine and watch Netflix without the JRNY subscription.
Both Proform iFit and Bowflex JRNY are optional subscription services. You don’t need them to use these machines.
And usually you can get a free subscription for a limited time to each – so you can try it out first.
It’s really hard to say if one is better than another however – they’re just different. iFit has been around longer and has more world trail videos. It also gives you the live classes option that you don’t get with Bowflex JRNY.
But with Bowflex JRNY you can connect with your online streaming services (premium models only). So it really depends on what you want.
Arm Bar Differences
You may have noticed the differences in upper body arm bars on these machines. The Bowflex Max trainers tend to have fairly straight arm bars:
The Proform HIIT Trainers have curved arm bars:
One isn’t necessarily better than another. But with the HIIT trainers, you do get a few more places to place your hands.
So what’s the bottom line when comparing the Proform HIIT vs Max Trainer?
Each one has it’s benefits.
The Max Trainer gives you the straight, up-and-down stair stepping motion for people that prefer that. Plus with the premium models, you can get a JRNY subscription and watch Netflix or Hulu through your console.
The Proform HIIT trainers are a bit more affordable overall. And they give you more of a vertical climbing motion.
You can also pedal backwards on these machines. And they give you the curved arm bars for multiple arm positions.
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: