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Our Running Guru
Amanda Brooks
Amanda Brooks
Running Guru

Bowflex Max Trainer M8 Review

Treadmills Editorial Team | Last Updated - Oct 5, 2020
Editor's Rating: 9.5 /10
Best Buy Award(s):Best Treadmill Alternatives

The Bowflex Max Trainer M8 is top of the line Bowflex. It’s great for beginners to advanced fitness levels. Max trainers are built to offer the user the combined movements of an elliptical and a stair stepper, which makes for a great low impact workout. Basically, what it comes down to, is that workouts on the M8 can be short time wise, but effective when it comes to calories burned and muscle toning.

It comes with 20 levels of resistance, which is an extensive range of difficulty, more than enough for a beginner but will surely outlast even the most advanced fitness enthusiast. This means it can be used for years to come as your fitness levels increase – no worry for machine or workout plateau.

In addition to the extreme levels of resistance is the new Max Intelligence App that adds another level of challenge – in a motivating and fun way. The App is built on an artificial intelligence platform, which means while you workout it will automatically assess your workouts, and suggest the next level of difficulty on your way to your personal goals. Think of it as Bowflex’s personal trainer at your disposal. In addition you will have access to 29 instructor-led on-demand videos via a subscription. The App is not included in the cost of the M8 – the subscription is $149 annually or $14.95 per month. Seventeen videos are available on the app for free, but for the paid subscription it has an additional 12 videos, as well as personalized videos.

Read your stats and  progress on the enhanced dual mode LCD/LED screens – a unique burn rate display shows calories burned while increasing your workout activity. The heart rate monitor tracks via the integrated contact grips. The multi grip handles are comfortable for getting your full body workout in. Four workout profiles can be programmed for individual workouts – enough for the whole family. A media rack is conveniently placed to hold smartphones and tablets.

Performance Pack Upgrade

You also have the option of spending a few hundred dollars extra for the premium performance pack. It includes the above Intelligence trainer along with a Samsung Galaxy Tab E 9.6-inch Tablet, an armband heart rate monitor and a Bowflex machine mat. The subscription fee is still applicable for the app.

What We Like:

  • 20 resistance levels: It features a wide range of varying degrees of difficulty, which will suit beginners to advanced exercisers.
  • Max Intelligence App enabled: It operates through an artificial intelligence platform that intuitively assesses and suggests your next workout to get you to your fitness goals.
  • Enhanced dual-mode LCD/LED screens: Easy to read stats and workout without distractions.
  • Compact size: The footprint takes up little space, so it should fit in most spaces.
  • Four profiles: Up to four profiles can be created to track your unique progress; this is great for an active family.
  • Performance Pack: This is a great upgrade with a Samsung Galaxy Tab E 9.6-inch Tablet dedicated to your machine.

Bowflex Max Trainer M8 Treadmill - Key Specs:

Star Rating:4.75-stars
Running Area:n/a
Top Speed:n/a
Weight Capacity:300 LBS
Dimensions:49" L x 30.5" W x 65.5" H
Built-In Programs:29
What We Don’t Like:

  • Short  warranty: The three year warranty for the frame and parts is good but the labor is only 90 days. Should be extended to longer considering the cost for subscribing to app which will encourage more usage of the trainer.

Our Verdict:

The Bowflex Trainer M8 is an amazing fitness machine. It is a little on the expensive side but it really does allow for an excellent workout. The 20 resistance levels mean business – with this range it is good for all fitness levels, even advanced levels won’t out-work this machine. The Max Intelligence App is an amazing tool, assessing your workouts and suggesting next levels while encouraging you to attain your goals. The 29 instructor-led on-demand videos offer a myriad of workouts and ways to keep you motivated.  The performance pack is a few hundred dollars more to have a dedicated tablet for your M8 – you can devote that tablet to your fitness and health “stuff”. It will manage up to 300lbs of user’s weight, which means it will be stable for most exercisers. The warranty on labor for 90 days is a little on the chintzy side, it could be extended up to a year or even six months. The Bowflex Trainer M8 will a great addition any home gym regardless of the various fitness levels of exercisers who live in the same home.