Bowflex Max Trainer M6 Review

Editor's Rating: 4.9 /5
Best Buy Award(s):Best Treadmill Alternatives

The Bowflex Trainer M6 is all about a high intensity, low impact workout. This machine boasts design and motion emulates a stair stepper combined with an elliptical machine. It allows for a full body workout – toning quads, calves, shins and butts while building cardio endurance, all done efficiently and effectively.

The Bowflex M6, along with the M8, were the first to be made specifically for the Bowflex JRNY Fitness App. Purchase of the M6 comes with a full year of the app included in the price worth $149. Although over the last year, most new machines are being built with apps to sync to your smartphone and tablets, this app has one significant difference from its competitors: it functions with an artificial intelligence platform. This means while in sync with the M6, the app will assess your fitness level and suggest workouts that will get you to your goals, each and every time you use the machine. It’s similar to what a personal trainer would do for you, keeping track and keeping you on pace. The app subscription is an additional fee to the cost of the M6. It has 29 instructor led videos, 17 are offered free and another 12 for paid subscribers along with personalized workouts. 

The videos will be sure to give a challenging workout to everyone when synced with the 16 levels of resistance. That means you’ll be hard pressed to plateau on the machine even if you are advanced.  High intensity workouts are a guarantee, if you so choose. It’s good for conditioning and training for other athletic activities.

Whether for cutting weight or building strength, I find steppers and ellipticals like this to be of high value. They’re easy on the joints and hard on the HIIT. That’s High Intensity Interval Training for newbies. Check out my review of Best Treadmill Alternatives here and you’ll see the M6 scores for Best on a Budget. At about $1,099 plus a year of the JRNY Fitness App you can see why. When working out myself for weight loss during a bodybuilding season, I want to save every scrap of muscle I can while torching fat. The stepping motion of these trainers is great for that. The M6 is a terrific alternative to a treadmill if you’re afraid of boredom during a workout, and you can always pedal backwards to work the glutes, hamstrings, and calves.

You can manage and maintain your vitals with the unique burn rate display that counts your calories burned while increasing your activity level. The heart rate monitor is an easy integrated model you can grip as you step/glide along. And whether you are focused on a full body or lower body workout, the multi-grip handles make for comfortable movements.

It’s programmed to follow and track the progress of two users. Smartphones and tablets are stored on the easily accessible media rack and the unit is built with a USB charging port. Really, the only downside is the lack of a big screen, but frankly, some folks want that. You can use your own tablet in the device holder or just watch television. If you’re concerned that you won’t want to keep up the JRNY Fitness App after the year is up, this machine might be for you. 

  • Great workout potential with this machine
  • Terrific price
  • Negligible screen
  • Short warranty

What We Like:

The Max Trainer M6 has lots of great points:

  • Compact: It is small enough to fit in any home gym while in use or in a corner stored away.  
  • Low impact/full body workout: The design reflects the movements of an elliptical and a stairmaster, the combination makes for a great upper body and low impact workout.
  • 16 levels of resistance: The wide range of levels makes it useable for beginners and advanced fitness levels. Advanced exercisers will not outperform the challenges of the upper levels too soon.
  • Bowflex JRNY Fitness App-enabled: The App’s use of artificial intelligence to assess and suggest workouts to attain fitness goals. Purchase comes with a full year subscription. 
  • Maximum user weight: 300 lbs., with the general population weighing less than 300 lbs., it will securely accommodate most users.
  • Track up to two users workouts: Your progress and workouts will be recorded and easily monitored under your personal identification.
  • Burn rate monitor: Easy view of calories burned throughout workout.
  • Bluetooth Heart rate monitor: Integrated touch reading.

Bowflex Max Trainer M6 Treadmill - Key Specs:

Star Rating:4.9-stars
Running Area:n/a
Top Speed:n/a
Weight Capacity:300 LBS
Dimensions:46" L x 26" W x 64.2" H
Built-In Programs:
What We Don’t Like:

  • Warranty: The frame and parts are for two years and labor for 90 days. 90 days is short, especially with the fact that the app is a paid subscription and users will actively be using their Max M6 regularly
  • Lack of a Big Screen: If you’re looking for that, keep looking.

Our Verdict:

The Bowflex M6 is a great value purchase at about $1,099 with a full year of the JRNY Fitness App thrown in. The resistance levels, being so vast, make it a piece of gym equipment that will challenge all fitness levels for years. It’s nice and compact – sexy, if a piece of machine can be called that – it will fit in most home gyms. The whole family can use it being that it will stably manage anyone up to 300 lbs. What we really like about this version is the introduction of the Bowflex JRNY Fitness App and the fact that it assesses and makes recommendations on your fitness program. It’s really like having a personal trainer guiding you on your fitness journey. The only thing we can really see as a negative with the M6 is the warranty. Considering the subscription is going to be a continuing expense, and likely continued use of the machine, the labor warranty could also have been extended. That said, because it lacks a big screen, you might be able to quit the JRNY Fitness App after the first year and just use a tablet. Overall the Bowflex Trainer M6 is an amazing machine for a low price and will work for anyone looking for high intensity low impact workouts.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the step height or the range of step heights on the Bowflex Max Trainer M6?

The legs have a range of 13 inches.

How quiet is the Bowflex Max Trainer M6?

This machine is nearly silent.

How smooth and sturdy is the Bowflex Max Trainer M6?

There's a reason this model is so popular. Smooth and sturdy is their reputation.

Is the stride length adjustable on the Bowflex Max Trainer M6?

Yes, this machine offers an adjustable stride length.

Does the Bowflex Max Trainer M6 have a tablet holder?

Yes, a media rack is built into the machine for either tablets, phones, or other devices.

What type of floor does the Bowflex Max Trainer M6 work best on?

The Bowflex Max Trainer M6 works best on a flat, solid surface. We'd suggest placing some kind of mat beneath it if placed upon wood floors.

Can the Bowflex Max Trainer M6 be used on carpeting or a rug?

Yes, but keep in mind that stability is key. With particularly thick or fluffy carpet the machine might wobble. A flat workout mat might be a worthwhile investment.

Is it difficult to assemble the Bowflex Max Trainer M6? How long does it take?

The machine is actually quite easy to assemble and Bowflex provides a great instruction video. Some customers report taking three hours to assemble, but with a few friends, this could be made much quicker.

Does the Bowflex Max Trainer M6 have speakers?

Yes, the machine has a built-in speaker system.