bowflex max trainer m3

Bowflex Max Trainer M3 Review- Pro’s & Con’s (updated July 2019)

What is the Bowflex Max Trainer M3?

Bowflex is a popular brand in the fitness industry. It features some of the best home gym equipment that has helped hundreds of individuals in losing weight, growing muscles, recovering from injuries and even training for competitions. If you are well versed with this brand then you definitely know the Max trainer line of products. These machines offer vast workout options that are simply unmatched when compared to most other competing brands.

The Bowflex Max Trainer M3 is the most affordable in the Max Trainers series. The equipment is available for less than $1000 yet it comes with some of the best features that support full body workout which we were only used to seeing inexpensive home gyms. In our review of the various max trainer equipment, we believe that the Bowflex max trainer M3 is one of the most recommendable particularly in individuals operating on a tight budget. It’s uniquely designed to ensure that working out feels as natural and effortless as possible which is almost everything any fitness enthusiast should look for in a home gym. In fact, the machine has won multiple awards in the fitness industry which speaks volumes about how brilliant it is.

The following is just but a few of what stood out for us in the Bowflex Max Trainer M3.

Total Body Work out

We all know that in fitness, to get your best physique you have to go for full body workout. You have to ensure that every part of your body is getting sufficient exercises. You need to get as many muscles as possible sufficient exercises for an even result. Failure to this is what results in those awkward appearances of people with big massive upper body parts and tiny legs or vice versa. Working out the entire body sounds simple but it is actually very challenging. Most equipment on the market is designed to offer only one type of workout which can either exercise your Upper or lower body part.

This Bowflex equipment is half a stair climber and half an elliptical machine. These two have been innovatively brought together to deliver the best workout experience. All the possible exercises on this machine are designed to ensure that both the muscles in the upper and lower body parts are worked out.

The machines contain glide rails guiding the spacious oval strides that work as an elliptical machine. While working out, your legs will stay on the oval strides throughout and this has totally eliminated impact. No longer do your ligaments and joints have to withstand workout impacts which we all know have been the cause of some acute and chronic joint problems. These strides provide smooth workouts that are much safer than running and other similar exercises. To ensure that you burn even more calories and achieve results much faster, the machine also provides an incline stair climber challenge. This offers more resistance to your lower body parts.

Moving on the upper bits you’ll come across some ergonomically designed adjustable grips for interval training. The grips are designed in a V-shape and their length can also be extended enabling the user to access multiple grip positions for various workouts. The adjustability of these grips also makes this equipment as an ideal household machine because people of various sizes and with different workout goals will be able to comfortably use it. Heart rate can be monitored through chest straps and hence you can workout flexibly while keeping track of your performance.

As you increase the intensity of the exercises into the “ACTIVE” option of the machine, the grips will move to the top of the handles increasing your motion options and the speed of burning calories. When you switch into the “REST” the handles near you will reduce the range of motions enabling you to recover more swiftly before starting another round.

The choice of handles directly determines the parts of the body that are worked out. The machine is however designed to ensure that even though you could be focusing more on the upper body the lower parts too will be getting some work. The handles closest to you, for instance, are ideal for the lower body parts but by using them you will also slightly exercise your back and bicep. The top handles, on the other hand, focuses on the core, shoulders, and back but will also benefit the forearms and biceps.

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Heart Rate Monitoring

Unlike M5 Max Trainers, the Bowflex max trainer M3 does not come with touch sensors in the handles. The only way to monitor your heart rate is through the included chest strap. This will keep track of your heart rate and display the results on the console.

The lack of touch sensors in the handles shouldn’t be a big deal. We know touch sensors are sometimes unable to transmit signals when you are working out while navigating through the display. Additionally, having to constantly keep your hands on the grips to monitor your heart rate can become problematic especially when you get tired and want to stretch out without leaving the machine. This is a problem you won’t have to experience when you are using the chest strap.

bowflex max trainer m3
bowflex max trainer m3

The Console

The Bowflex max trainer M3 console resembles most of the displays found in elliptical machines. It displays all information regarding RPM, user workout profile, workout duration, resistance levels and heart rate. Its designing is however quite unique but one downside we noticed is the lack of a backlight as is common in M5 and other trainers. This makes it a bit difficult to see the readings in low lit places.

One of the features we loved about this console is the burn rate display. The display has a dial that calculates the resistance levels and RPM to show how many calories are burned per minute.

There is also a set of LEDs that are supposed to light up when you are working out to display the intensity level. There are 5 LEDs and the higher up your intensity and fitness progress is the more the LEDs will light up.

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Workout Programs

The main workout program in the Bowflex max trainer M3 is the Max Interval workout. This is a highly intensive program that alternates exercises between “Active” and “Rest” sessions. In the “Active” period, the resistance levels and RPM are highly demanding for more energy output. You will hence burn more calories here than in the “Rest” period which basically helps you to recover in preparation for the next “Active” session. There is a countdown that comes in three seconds before the Rest phase switches to Active and this is designed to help you prepare yourself for the change.

The only other workout option is the manual program. This allows you to just jump on the machine and start working out while controlling the resistance levels.

Technical Information on the Bowflex Max Trainer M3


  • Height: 63 inches
  • Width: 25 inches
  • Length: 46 inches
  • Unit weight: 143lb


  • Eight resistance levels
  • A maximum supported the weight of 300lb
  • Integrated fan to keep you cool
  • Max interval and manual workout programs
  • Burn rate display
  • Telemetry chest strap for monitoring heart rate


  • Offers full body workout
  • Zero impact exercises
  • Compact designing
  • The burn rate data displayed on the console will motivate you to increase the intensity
  • Sturdy frame for improved stability
  • Wireless heart rate tracking
  • Two user profiles allow two different people to set up and track their fitness progress
  • Fitted with a water bottle holder and a rack for mounting a tablet


  • The machine has very limited entertainment options
  • There are only two workout programs to choose from
  • The console doesn’t have a backlight

The verdict on the Bowflex max trainer M3

The max trainer is the best-selling series in Bowflex. The Bowflex max trainer M3 is the most affordable in the series and it allows you to achieve your fitness goals in the smoothest way possible at a very affordable price. The machine may not have many entertainment options or an engaging display but if all you want is to burn calories at a fast rate then this is a decent option. It’s an excellent choice particularly for individuals looking to lose weight and the burn rate display will definitely keep you fired up on the trainer.


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