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Bowflex Max Trainer M3 Review

Bowflex is generally considered by fitness enthusiasts as a maker of strength training equipment. However, they might be happy to know that the brand is not limited to this niche.

In the form of the Bowflex Max Trainer M3, the brand has created a full-body trainer. This entry-level trainer is reasonably priced and offers just what exercise fans love – a high-intensity workout! With its look inspired by modern sports cars, motorcycles, and aerospace technology, this machine can help them reach their fitness goals whether it’s calorie burn, fat loss or muscle building, and toning.

Published: May 2, 2022.

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Bowflex Max Trainer M3 Specifications

- Dimensions: 49 x 26 x 64.7 inches (124.5 x 66 x 164.3 cm) (L x W x H)

- Weight: 143 lbs. (64.86 kg)

- Minimum ceiling height: User’s height + 15”

- Maximum user weight capacity: 300 lbs. (136 kg)

- Maximum pedal height: 19.1” (48.5 cm)

- Workout programs: 2

- Operational voltage requirement: 9VDC

- Operating current required: 1500 mA

- Warranty: 1 year on frame, mechanical parts, electronics and all other components, 90 days on labor

Features of Bowflex Max Trainer M3


Assembly of the Bowflex Max Trainer M3 is quite straightforward, though it’s elaborate and needs 2 persons.

While taking the parts of the machine out from the box, users have to attach rail assembly to the frame and then release the frame from the shipping plate.

Then they should attach the frame assembly to the stabilizer assembly. Then they should attach the rear shroud and caps, and legs and pedals to the frame assembly, and then connect the footpads and then footpad inserts.

Then they should attach first the upper handlebars and then the static handlebars to the frame assembly. Then they should connect the resistance shifter assembly to the static handlebar and then attach the grip. Then they should connect the AC adapter to the frame assembly.

The user manual contains very detailed and illustrated assembly instructions which make the job easy.

Also, all the required tools and hardware are included in the package, whereas users are recommended to use their own scissors and knife if required.

Machine Mat

The use of a rubber machine mat is optional but is recommended by the company because it helps keep the workout area clear and provides protection to the user’s floor.

It’s not included in the package of the Bowflex Max Trainer M3, but users can order it from the Bowflex website or on phone.

Compact Design

The Bowflex Max Trainer M3 comes with a slim body that measures 49” (124.5 cm) long and 26” (66 cm) wide and can fit in almost any corner of a small house.

It’s recommended to keep a clearance of at least 2 feet on all its sides for safe access, operation, and emergency dismounts.


Unlike low-quality workout machines that wobble during workouts, the Bowflex Max Trainer M3 has excellent stability. Plus, there are levelers on the base frame which users can adjust and level the machine.


The Bowflex Max Trainer M3 features transport rollers on the rear side of the stabilizer frame.

Users can hold the inner, unmoving part of the Pivot Assembly carefully and tilt the machine toward themselves and then move the machine wherever they wish to.

Maximum User Weight Capacity

The maximum user weight capacity of the Bowflex Max Trainer M3 is 300 lbs. which can help withstand the high intensity of workouts.


The console of the Bowflex Max Trainer M3 is very simple and easy to use. It comes in two parts, one is the Console Display which is placed on the frame of the machine, in the rear position, whereas the other part is the Console Buttons which is placed on the static handlebar assembly, in the front position.


Console Display consists of the following features:

Burn Rate Display

The Burn Rate Display shows the number of calories being burned per minute. This rate depends on the current RPM (pedal speed) and resistance level (1 to 8). If any of these values increase, the Burn Rate will also increase.

Target Burn Rate LED Range

This is a workout coach based on the settings of the chosen User Profile. A series of 5 LEDs are activated when a user starts a workout. The first among them is a suggested beginner level, while the higher LEDs recommend more advanced fitness levels.

Maximum Burn Rate LED Marker

This is an orange LED that indicates the highest rate of calorie burn achieved during the current exercise.


The display field of Calories shows the estimated calories that have been burned during the exercise. The maximum value is 9999.

LCD Display Data

The Console Display shows the workout metrics and current options.


The TIME display field indicates the time count for the active workout. There are 3 types of Time displays based on the style of workout: Interval, Manual, and Steady State.

ACTIVE: During an Interval workout, the TIME display will keep changing between the ACTIVE and REST intervals with an audible notification, counting the time down for the current segment. ACTIVE is the high-intensity or sprint segment of the Interval workout.

TOTAL: During a Manual workout, the TIME display will count up till the workout ends. The maximum value is 99:99. If the time count is higher, the workout will end.

REST: During an Interval workout, REST is the decreased workout level that counts down till the next ACTIVE segment.

Total Time

The TOTAL TIME display field indicates the time count for an Interval workout. Thus, it will be blank during a Manual workout.

User Profile

The USER PROFILE display field indicates the selected user profile. (The machine offers up to 2 user profiles).

Workout Profile Display

The Workout Profile Display field shows the Burn Rate profile of the program chosen.

Each column in the profile indicates one interval (workout segment). The taller the column, the higher the Targeted Burn Rate of the workout. The flashing column indicates the current interval.


The RPM display area shows the machine’s revolutions per minute, i.e. pedal speed. The maximum value is 200.

Heart Rate

The Heart Rate display area shows the heart rate in the form of beats per minute (BPM) from the heart rate sensors. However, if a heart rate signal is not caught by the machine, this value will not be shown.

Console Buttons

The other dial or Console Buttons or Keypad has the following buttons:

ENTER: Should be pressed to accept the indicated value for the option.

MAX INTERVAL: Should be pressed to start the MAX INTERVAL workout. To edit the interval times (ACTIVE and REST) for the MAX workout program, users should push it and hold it for 3 seconds.

USER: Should be pressed to select the desired User Profile. By pushing and holding for 3 seconds, the selected User Profile can be edited.

BURN RATE Increase (upward arrow): This is for increasing the Target Burn Rate during a workout or increasing a value (age, height, weight, or time).

START: From the WELCOME screen, a Manual workout or a selected Program workout can be started or a paused workout can be resumed.

BURN RATE (downward arrow): This is for reducing the Target Burn Rate during a workout or for reducing a value (age, height, weight, or time).

PAUSE/END: This is for pausing an active workout, ending a paused workout or going back to the previous screen.

Console Modes:

Power-Up/Idle Mode (WELCOME screen): The Console will enter this mode when it is plugged into an electric outlet, any button is pressed, or when it receives any signal from the RPM sensor as a result of pedaling the machine.

Auto Shut-Off (Sleep Mode): The Console will go into Sleep Mode if it remains inactive for around 5 minutes. In the Sleep Mode, the LCD display will be off. (The Console doesn’t feature an On/Off switch).

Paused/Results Mode: When users press the PAUSE/STOP button, the Console will display “WORKOUT PAUSED” and then flash the workout values.

Console Setup Mode: This mode lets users control the sound settings or see maintenance statistics (Total Run Hours and Software Version).

Heart Rate Monitoring

One of the greatest features of the Bowflex Max Trainer M3 is a wireless chest strap to monitor heart rate. The Console can read Telemetry Heart Rate signals from the Chest Strap. The Strap operates in the 4.5kHz – 5.5kHz range. The chest strap must be an uncoded one from Polar Electro or an uncoded POLAR compatible model.

Bowflex Max Trainer M3 Workout Programs

The Bowflex Max Trainer M3 offers 2 workout programs:

Manual (Quick Start) Program: This is an open-ended workout that tracks the user’s total time and thus permits total control. For this program, the Workout Profile Display shows the Target Burn Rate. Users can just press the START button to start the Manual Workout program.

MAX Interval Workout Program: This is a workout that alternates from intense bursts of output (“ACTIVE”) to a slower-paced, ‘catch your breath’ time period (“REST”). Both these are repeated over 8 cycles.

For this program, the Workout Profile Display shows the Target Burn Rate. This workout can be started by pushing the MAX interval button. Users can customize the interval times and burn rate levels on the MAX Interval Program.

Resistance Levels and Shifter

The Bowflex Max Trainer M3 is equipped with eight resistance levels, which can be changed easily with a Resistance Level Shifter provided on the Right Static Handlebar.

By changing the resistance, users can change the intensity of their workout or adjust the pace of the Pedals. By keeping RPM stable and increasing the Pedal Resistance, users can increase their Calorie Burn Rate for a more intense workout.

resistance level


The Bowflex Max Trainer M3 features 2 sets of ergonomically designed handlebars that allow 3 different hand positions to maximize users’ workout intensity to activate the muscles in their upper and lower body.

The handlebars in one set that flank the Console Buttons (Keypad) are Static Handlebars, the right one of which features Resistance Level Shifter. Handlebars in the other set are the Upper Handlebars. These are movable. Holding them users can perform workouts.


Paddles of the Bowflex Max Trainer M3 are extra-large and therefore comfortable. They combine the low-impact motion of an elliptical and the calorie-burning power of a stair stepper.



Given the simple design of the Bowflex Max Trainer M3, there are not many bells and whistles added. However, the machine comes with a tablet holder where users can place their tablets and keep themselves entertained all through the workout.

The machine provides another add-on too which is a water bottle holder so that users can keep themselves hydrated.

Bowflex Max Trainer M3 Maintenance

Maintenance of the Bowflex Max Trainer M3 is easy and includes only a few tasks like regular examination of the machine for damage and requirement of repairs.

Users should examine the machine for broken, loose, or worn-out parts before every use. If such a part is found, they should not use the machine unless the part is repaired or replaced.

Also, after each use, users should wipe the machine and Console with a damp cloth. The console should be kept free of sweat or any moisture. Every week, the users should check for smooth roller operation.

They should wipe the machine to remove grime, dust, or dirt. They should also clean the rails and rollers’ surface with a damp cloth.

Every month, they should check if the bolts and screws are tight and tighten them if required. Petroleum-based solvent or automotive cleaners should not be used to clean the machine.

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Pros of Bowflex Max Trainer M3

- Sturdy and durable

- Excellent stability

- Offers full-body workout by combining an elliptical and a stair stepper into one machine

- More efficient upper body workout

- Efficient calorie burn

- Excellent reduction in impact on knees, ankle, back, etc.

- Easy-to-read, easy-to-use display and control panel

- Tablet holder included

- Water bottle holder included

- Wireless chest strap for heart rate monitoring included

- AC adapter included

- Exercise and diet recommendations and guidance are provided in the User Manual

- Affordably priced

Cons of Bowflex Max Trainer M3

- Tablet placed on the tablet holder covers the display

- Not Bluetooth compatible

- No heart rate contact grip sensors included

- Only 8 resistance levels (M6 has 16)

- Only 2 workout programs

- No add-ons like sound system and fan included

- Paddles have no straps

- Short warranty

Bowflex Max Trainers Comparison

Bowflex manufactures several Max Trainers, with each model sharing the same design psychology, but also differing in several important details.

The following comparison chart lists some of the most popular Bowflex Max Trainers with their most important features and specifications:

Model Bowflex Max Trainer M8 Bowflex Max Trainer M7 Bowflex Max Trainer M5 Bowflex Max Trainer M3
Photo table m8  table m7  table m5  table m3 
Workout History Tracking Up to 4 Users Up to 4 Users Up to 2 Users Up to 2 Users 
Resistance Levels 20 20 16 8
Workout Programs 7 11 9 2
Bluetooth Connectivity Yes Yes Yes No
Apps JRNY App, Explore the World App Max Trainer App Max Trainer App -
Heart Rate Bluetooth Heart Rate Armband Integrated Contact Grips, Included Chest Strap  Integrated Contact Grips, Included Chest Strap  Included Chest Strap
Interactive Backlit Display Yes Yes Yes Yes
Transport Wheels Yes Yes Yes Yes
Maximum User Weight 300 lbs, 136 kg  300 lbs, 136 kg 300 lbs, 136 kg  300 lbs, 136 kg 
Unit Weight 148 lbs, 67.1 kg  148 lbs, 67.1 kg 143 lbs, 64.8 kg 143 lbs, 64.8 kg 
Minimum Ceiling Height User Height + 15" User Height + 15" User Height + 15" User Height + 15"
Amazon Link Bowflex Max Trainer M8 Bowflex Max Trainer M7 Bowflex Max Trainer M5 Bowflex Max Trainer M3

Note: Amazon links open in the new windows, feel free to check them for the most up-to-date offers and prices.

The more features the unit has, the higher the price - so, be sure to choose according to your own needs and preferences.

Bottom Line

bowflex m3 mThe Bowflex Max Trainer M3 is a great exercise machine for those who are looking for a budget-friendly and easy-to-use yet efficient unit.

Created as a combination of an elliptical and a stair stepper, this machine offers much more efficient calorie burn, weight loss, muscle building, muscle toning, and stamina building, without exerting much impact on joints like knees, back, ankle, etc.

Although it’s equipped with only 2 workout programs, these programs are quite strong to provide optimum results. Its 8 resistance levels provide a really high challenge for users as they proceed.

Thus, those who wish to keep their workout routine simple yet effective should consider buying the Bowflex Max Trainer M3.

For more reviews and recommendations, feel free to check the Bowflex Max Trainer M3 Amazon link (link opens in the new window).

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