Getting the right elliptical for your body and budget!


Review of the BowFlex MAX Trainer


A reader asked my opinion of the BowFlex MAX Trainer.  This is a stair stepper & elliptical trainer hybrid.  It also comes with an upper body workout.  Here is the conversation…

Fred

I just came across a youtube video with a review of Sole E25 which I thought was really good so I went to your site.  I thought there might be video reviews there but I could not find them. Any way- are you familiar with the new BowFlex MAX Trainer?  Like the Treadclimber it also has a lot of hype- they say you get great workout in just 14 minutes. I have a small house and like that aspect of MaxTrainer- but I don’t like that there is nowhere to try one out.  Have you tried one? The basic one sells for $999 and that is really high for me, especially to buy site unseen.

I am considering the Sole E25 instead, or maybe a new one I saw E20.  – if it is as good as the E25 without a few bells and whistles that would work for me- and price is better.  (See review of the Sole E25 elliptical trainer)

One challenge I have with any on these is I have low ceilings- 7 feet- so I think I might go through ceilings on any of these as I am 6’2″. Any way I welcome any input you have- especially if you think it’s worth taking a gamble on the MMAX Trainer or just sticking with an elliptical.

Thank you- Hayward

My Response

BowFlex MAX Trainer

BowFlex MAX Trainer

Hayward,

I have not been on the BowFlex MAX Trainer, because there is nowhere in my area to try it.  I would have to fly to the corporate headquarters in CA.

Regarding getting in shape in 14 minutes.  That is typical BowFlex hype.  With their BowFlex TreadClimbers they claim you will burn 3X more calories over a treadmill.  However, they are comparing apples to oranges. They compare exercising on the Treadclimber to walking on a treadmill at no incline.  If you jog or run, or if you increase the incline on a treadmill, you will burn comparable calories. With the MAX Trainer you are going to get a comparable workout as an elliptical trainer when you mix up the resistance and the incline.

Regarding the Sole E25.  I actually own one.  I have had it for a few years and have had no issues.  When you crank up the resistance or incline you get a serious calorie burning workout.  You will find that the Sole E25 is 46 lbs. heavier than the BowFlex MAX Trainer, giving it a more stable feel. Also, the price includes shipping.  With the BowFlex MAX Trainer you pay an additional $100. I have not done a side by side test of the Sole E20 and the Sole E25.  I suspect they are very similar.  The E20 weighs about 14 lbs. less, and part of that is probably a smaller flywheel. I cannot tell you whether it will work with your ceiling height.  You would probably need to call the company.

Regards, Fred

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