BowFlex M5 vs. M7 Comparison Review
Elliptical machines are revered for delivering great cardio and total-body workouts.
Stair steppers can also provide similar results, but by the time you’re done working out, you’ll be bored to death.
Combine the two, and you’ll get some of Bowflex’s popular Max Trainer machines – the M5 and the M7.
Both are excellent gym equipment for home workouts, and if you’re wondering which one to buy or how they stack up against one another, then you’re in luck.
I put together a detailed comparison of the Bowflex Max Trainer M5 vs. the Bowflex Max Trainer M7 as well as a personal recommendation on which of the two is better.
Elliptical Machine: Buying Guide
The market is flooded with tons of elliptical machines from numerous brands.
Some brands claim to offer standard aerobic workouts while can’t push for more high-intensity exercises.
Nonetheless, there are a couple of factors you need to internalize before making your choice.
Some of the most straightforward choices are limited to your budget and workout space. Here are some more you should check out:
Since you’re in it to break some sweat, the elliptical machine you buy should give you the option of adjusting the levels of resistance.
This is particularly good for newbies who want to build upon strength and endurance.
You could begin from the lowest setting and work your way up by maxing out on the resistance levels available.
Stride and Incline
Suppose you live alone and want to purchase a machine that’s only suited for your needs, then the stride length shouldn’t be an issue.
Most come with adjustable stride lengths of up to 21 inches while others are limited to 14 inches.
The latter becomes a problem, especially if you’re going to share your workouts with multiple people with above-average strides.
On the other hand, an excellent Max Trainer should also allow you to adjust the incline.
This is a great feature when you’re looking to kick things up a notch and add intensity to your training.
Some adjust it automatically, whereas cheaper models let you adjust the incline manually.
Get the most value for your money by picking out a machine that won’t crack under pressure.
Remember, its mechanism depends on supporting your entire body weight and should definitely cater to users with a few extra pounds.
Other must-have features you should probably research on include the following:
They are generally categorized into three; the front-drive, center-drive, and rear-drive.
Front-drive elliptical machines are the cheapest and consist of a large wheel in front of the pedals.
The center-drive is more compact and offers gentle workouts similar to a treadmill. Lastly, the rear-drive design has its wheel at the back of the pedals.
These are the types that come with a suspended arm system for easier workouts.
Therefore, it’s important to know your needs as each drive comes with its own advantages and disadvantages.
Noise and Smooth Motion
Other than the resistance offered, no other part of the machine should impede your motion.
Moreover, imagine being woken up by the sound of a cranky max trainer in the morning.
It should be stable enough and padded to handle vigorous exercises without creating a fuss.
Some bonus features may not be necessary but would definitely set them aside from other models.
The inclusion of water bottle holders, heart rate and burn rate monitors, pre-set workout programs, and synchronization of your user profiles with your fitness tracker app are all joyous features.
However, you should also know that they will increase the price tag on your machine.
In-Depth Dumbbell Comparison: Bowflex M5 vs. M7
The Bowflex Max Trainer M5 and M7 are the industry’s leading zero-impact home workout machines.
The manufacturer designed them to offer a full-body workout in under 14 minutes while having a 2.5 times more calorie burn.
So what sets the two models apart, you ask?
Right off the bat, the Bowflex Max Trainer M5 is perhaps the company’s best selling model that offers the best value for your money.
Starting off at only $1,599, the Max Trainer M5 is considered the mid-range max trainer that offers significant improvements to the budget Bowflex Max Trainer M3 model.
On the other hand, the Bowflex Max Trainer M7 model is a bit too costly by most people’s standards.
At $2,199, the Max Trainer M7 is considered as the company’s top tier offerings with more levels of comfort than the m5 model.
Therefore, the M5 and M7 from a price tag point of view reveal the M5 as the more economical choice.
Design and Style
Both the machines have a somewhat similar design, with the Bowflex Max Trainer M7 being slightly bigger than the Max Trainer M5.
The Bowflex Max M5 falls short by a half a foot on its width and a quarter on its length.
However, the M7 Max comes with upgraded handlebars that are longer and curved to make it easier on your upper body.
Similarly, it also offers more pleasing stainless steel racing pedals that give them a premium look. However, this doesn’t enhance performance whatsoever.
Quality and Durability
Since both models are from the same company, best believe that Bowflex max trainers don’t compromise on quality.
They are both durable to last even the most strenuous workout. Should the machine break down, there are numerous replacement parts easily available on most online stores.
The Bowflex M5 model offers a significant improvement in resistance levels over the M3 model, which only came with 8 (see this article comparing the Bowflex M3 vs M5).
The M5 Max Trainer comes with 16 levels.
On the other hand, the Bowflex Max Trainer M7 improves on this with a whopping 20 levels of resistance changeable through its keypad.
Pitting the M5 and M7 from a targeted programming standing point reveals vast technological advancements in the newer model.
The Bowflex M7 comes with 11 programs, while the M5 only comes with 8.
Moreover, with the M7, the machine will figure out your body patterns and automatically set new fitness targets through different workout programs.
Basically, the doing on the M7 is miles apart from the M5.
The Bowflex Max trainers come generously with Warranty cards of up to 3 years with the M7 vs. the M5 with a 24-month warranty period.
This goes to show how confident the manufacturer is with the quality and durability of their machines.
Even with vigorous exercises, there are almost zero cases of the machines succumbing to the pressure.
Added Time Feature
This is a privilege only users with the Bowflex Max Trainer M7 will get to experience.
It allows adding more time to the programmable option even within the workout. However, with the M5, you’d have to restart the machine and start from scratch.
The M5 model comes with only two user profile allocations, which is not that much of an improvement over the M3.
However, if you have a big family, you can go for the M7 that allows you to create up to 4 different user profiles.
This is an excellent feature if you don’t want to key in your vitals every time you want to work out.
Since the M7 is fairly larger, there is more room allocated to the display console.
However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t get by with the standard console found on the M5. When it comes down to it, it’s a matter of preference.
Both are backlit with clearly visible and easy to read fonts.
Bowflex M5 vs. M7: What Do People Say?
Most of the reviews regarding the models are positive. Most praise goes to the manufacturer for including the Free Bowflex fitness app on both models.
Most users agree that there is not that much difference between the M5 vs. M7 models.
One user spoke out on the M5 terming it as “high-quality body blaster worth the price – so far very satisfied.”
Others weren’t as generous saying, ”It’s a great machine, but quality could be improved.”
Overall, the M5 received scores 4/5, while the M7 scooped it all with 5/5 score reviews.
The narrative remains the same over on the popular video streaming platform.
One user named BC83 with no affiliation to the company appreciated the compact design on the M5 as well as the controls.
Moreover, another fitness enthusiast called Simon King PPT loved the M5 stepper’s pedals and its overall design.
Bowflex M5 vs. M7 - Which is Better?
Distinguishing the winner between the M5 vs. M7 comes down to how extra you want to go.
Both deliver on similar features, with the M7 being more generous in its offerings.
However, from its price standpoint, the M7 comes off as too gimmicky with features that don’t necessarily enhance the performance. I personally recommend the M5 over the M7.
Buy the Bowflex M5 if…
- You have a small family that works out
- Aesthetics aren’t your first go-to choice
Buy the Bowflex M7 if…
- You need to use it with multiple users
- Price is not a limiting factor.
- Extra features such as targeted programming workouts are your goal
If you enjoyed this article comparing the Bowflex Max Trainer M5 vs M7, be sure to check out more ways of staying fit in our other home gym equipment and dumbbell reviews here.
I’m a personal trainer based in Denver (Matrix Gym) and a true fitness nerd. If I’m not training clients or working out at my home gym, I’m probably skiing, cycling or hiking with my dog Rufus.
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