Trying to compare the Bowflex Max vs elliptical trainer?
Wondering how exactly they are different – or which is best for you?
The Bowflex Max has really turned the fitness equipment industry on its head over the last few years as it’s a brand new hybrid elliptical – half stair stepper and half elliptical.
It also gives you some incredible benefits that the elliptical trainer does not. However on the flip side, the elliptical trainer also gives you some benefits that you don’t get with the Max Trainer.
So which one is best for you? This post will show you the main differences between the Bowflex Max vs elliptical. So you can choose the best fit for your home gym.
(Note that I’m going to compare the Max Trainer to the Bowflex Elliptical BXE116 just for ease of illustration. However the comparison points are pretty similar for most quality-built elliptical trainers)
Bowflex Max Vs Elliptical – Lower Body Motion
This is where the real difference lies – in the lower body exercise.
The original elliptical trainer was created by Precor back in the mid-nineties to specifically mimic the motion of running.
It was created to help runners who couldn’t train outside – and to reduce the strain and impact running had on their joints.
So basically, you have more of a running-on-a-flat-path type of motion with an elliptical trainer.
In contrast, the Bowflex Max has more of a stair-stepping or climbing motion to it. But it’s not a stair-climbing machine since it also incorporates elliptical-type arm bars.
The way I like to explain it to people is that the Max trainer is more of a climbing elliptical trainer.
So which is better? Well, as you’ll see the Max Trainer motion does recruit more lower body muscles and that means you burn calories faster.
However a lot of people (runners especially) prefer the running-type motion of an elliptical trainer.
Bowflex Max vs Elliptical – Calories Burned
While elliptical trainers do burn calories, the Max Trainer will help you burn more calories. According to tests done by Bowflex, the Max Trainer can help you burn up to 2.5 times more calories than an elliptical – or a treadmill.
In fact, Bowflex trial users burned up to 600 calories in 30 minutes, which is insane. So if you’re looking for the best machine to help you burn calories and see results faster, the Max Trainer is the best choice.
Plus because it’s more of a HIIT training workout (high intensity interval training) some experts claim that it helps to target fat stores better and you’ll burn calories for up to 48 hours post workout.
Bowflex Max vs Elliptical – Console Features
This can come down to the type of elliptical that you buy (or the Max Trainer Model that you choose).
However for the most part, the Max trainer consoles are not as fancy with as many features as you find on many elliptical trainers. They’re not as large either.
As an example here’s the Bowflex Max M5 Console
And here’s the Bowflex BXE116 Console:
The elliptical console is a bit bigger with a few more options. For example most elliptical consoles these days have iPod docks with speakers where you can plug in your devices and play your favorite music through the speakers. The Max trainer consoles don’t offer this.
Most elliptical trainers also come with fans in the console to keep you cool. This is something else that Bowflex has not added to the Max trainer (yet).
On the other hand, Bowflex Max consoles do give you tablet holders so you can watch your tablet as you workout – which a lot of people really like to do.
And the M5 and M7 models now come with online tracking, similar to what you get with most elliptical trainers. So they do give you some decent options.
Bowflex Max vs Elliptical – Exercise Variety
The elliptical trainer wins out over the Max Trainer here. It gives you a few more options when it comes to exercise variety and comfort.
For example, you can go forward or backwards on an elliptical trainer. The BXE116 and BXE216 elliptical trainers both also have incline – which changes the slope of your running path, helping you to crosstrain more effectively.
Bowflex elliptical trainers also have adjustable pedals – so you can change the toe-heel angle of your gait and make the workout more comfortable. These are things you don’t get on the Max Trainer.
Bowflex Max vs Elliptical – Space Considerations
The Max trainer wins out when it comes to space. It’s much smaller than the size of a regular elliptical trainer.
Just to give you an idea the footprint of the Bowflex M5 is 46.1″ L x 25″ W. The footprint of the Bowflex BXE116 elliptical is 77″ L x 31″ W – much larger.
So if you have a smaller workout area or you’re in a condo or apartment for example, you may find the Max trainer is more convenient size-wise.
So which is best in the Bowflex Max vs elliptical debate? Well this really depends on you.
The Max trainer is definitely better if you’re trying to lose weight quickly and want to tone up faster. It’s also more compact and takes up less space in your home.
But an elliptical trainer like the Bowflex BXE116 gives you more options when it comes to crosstraining and the console features are also a bit more advanced.
So at the end of the day it comes down to what you’re looking for.
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