Bowflex M9 Review – The Ultimate HIIT Home Workout for 2023

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In this Bowflex Max Trainer M9 review, I will dive deep into this compact cardio machine that is not quite an elliptical and not quite a stepper.

I’ll tell you right now what it is. It’s an intense workout!

The Bowflex Max Trainer M9 is designed for HIIT style training, the M9 offers a full body workout that will burn off a tonne of calories far more quickly than other more traditional cardio machines.

In this Bowflex M9 review, we’ll delve into everything the Bowflex M9 has to offer so that by the end,  you’ll have a better understanding of whether the Bowflex Max Trainer M9 is the right cardio machine for your home gym.

Bowflex M9 Max Trainer Review

Bowflex M9 Review – Quick Verdict


  • Compact size: The M9 Max Trainer is a compact and space-saving machine, making it a great fit for small apartments or home gyms with limited space.
  • Low-impact workout: The machine’s motion is designed to provide a low-impact workout, reducing the stress on your joints and muscles.
  • Wide range of resistance levels: The machine has 20 levels of resistance, providing a challenging workout for all fitness levels.
  • Touchscreen display: The M9 Max Trainer comes with a large, bright, and easy-to-use touchscreen display that offers various workout programs and fitness tracking options.
  • Dual-mode handlebars: The machine’s handlebars provide both upper and lower body workout options.
  • Bluetooth connectivity: The M9 Max Trainer is Bluetooth-enabled, allowing you to connect your devices and stream music or use fitness apps.


  • Price: The Bowflex M9 Max Trainer is relatively expensive compared to other compact workout machines.
  • Limited stride length: The machine’s stride length is fixed, which may not be suitable for taller users.
  • Limited warranty: The machine only comes with a two-year warranty, which may not be sufficient for some users.
  • Assembly: Some users report that the machine can be challenging to assemble, which may require professional assistance.

With its unique, low-impact design, the M9 is an amazing way to get fit without putting too much strain on your joints.

A huge benefit is that it won’t take up a load of space in your house and the touchscreen means that you have direct access to a huge range of exercise programs, or you can get your fix of Netflix while getting in shape at the same time.

These options will help motivate you to use this machine and if you do use it you are sure to feel the benefits in no time.

What is the Bowflex M9 Max Trainer?

The Bowflex Max Trainer M9 is not your average elliptical, in fact, it’s not really an elliptical in the strictest sense. It’s more of an elliptical crossed with a high stepper, which is completely unique.

The Max Trainer is designed to tone your entire body and not just provide a cardio workout, It will challenge you and allow you to push your limits.

The Bowflex Max Trainer M9 is a unique machine that combines the features of an elliptical and stair climber.  This unique vertical movement pattern engages more muscles, including your glutes, hips, thighs, and calves. 

What Bowflex has come up with is a machine that is far more natural to use than an elliptical, so if you have tried one in the past and found the movement to be a bit awkward then I suggest giving this a try.

You’ll hopefully agree that it feels better to use plus you still get the low-impact exercise that has made ellipticals so popular.

The Max Trainer M9 will give you an upper and lower body workout so that overall you will burn nearly three times as many calories as you would over the same amount of time on other exercise equipment.

This is pretty awesome for anyone with a busy schedule as you can wave goodbye to separate cardio, arm, and leg workouts Which saves you both time and effort.

From looking at the pictures, you might be wondering why the Max Trainer burns more calories. Well, it’s because traditional elliptical machines have handles that are mainly there just for support whereas these handles will make you work.

This has been done so that the M9 will tone your entire body as well as provide a more intense cardio workout.

More intense full-body workouts will help you to hit your fitness goals much more quickly than you would with traditional machines (plus you won’t have to swap between machines).

Don’t forget that while these workouts are high-intensity, they are low impact on your muscles and joints. When you use the Max Trainer M9 your feet and hands actually stay on the machine the whole time so there is far less impact than with an exercise like running.

You can also use the Bowflex JRNY digital fitness platform to access various classes and workouts.

This can be done from the integrated touchscreen which is also compatible with popular entertainment apps like Netflix which is ideal for people that prefer a bit of escapism while they exercise.

You’ll still get your exercise stats in the corner of the screen though to help you to stay focused and motivated. And with its compact design, the M9 is perfect for those with limited space. 

While it’s not the cheapest elliptical on the market, its impressive features and focus on intensity make it well worth the investment.

What are the key benefits of the Bowflex M9 Max Trainer?

The Bowflex Max Trainer M9 is an impressively versatile machine that can cater to a range of fitness needs and almost everyone will benefit from regular exercise on a Max Trainer.

One of the key features of a Max Trainer is that it offers a low impact workout. This is ideal for anyone who wants to get their cardio exercise in without putting too much strain on their joints.

This is something that we should all be aware of when exercising, but it makes these machines particularly well suited to anyone that is recovering from an injury or who is new to exercise.

Don’t confuse low impact with low intensity though! The M9 is built for high-intensity workouts. Its vertical movement pattern, similar to a stair stepper, targets multiple muscle groups, making it a great choice for those who want to get the most out of their cardio session. 

There are 20 different resistance levels so you get a good degree of control over the level of intensity.

As you get fitter you can work your way up through the levels and I have yet to come across anyone that finds the hardest level easy!

One area where the M9 stands out is with the stunning 10-inch High Definition touchscreen that serves as a control center.

With this screen, you can access personalized training to take your workout to the next level.

With a JRNY membership, (which is free for the first year when you purchase the M9 Max). You’ll receive personalized coaching, custom workouts, virtual outdoor runs with Explore The World™, and live sessions with a trainer.

This crystal-clear screen also doubles as a window to your favorite streaming services like Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+. Now you can stay entertained while you work up a sweat during your self-led workouts.

The M9 Max’s interactive console also comes equipped with a convenient media shelf/notch, allowing you to stow your tablet, phone, or even prop up a magazine while you train. Plus, with the onboard Bluetooth speakers, you can easily hear your instructors, music, or the latest episode of your favorite show.

One of the other key benefits of the Bowflex M9 is that it is very compact which means that it will fit more easily into homes and garages than most pieces of exercise equipment. 

Overall, the Bowflex Max Trainer M9 is a great choice if you are looking for a machine to use at home which is versatile, innovative, and most importantly very effective.

Is the Bowflex M9 good for everyone?

While the Bowflex Max Trainer M9 is a great machine that offers a range of features and benefits, some people might not think it’s the right machine for them. 

The M9 is the middle-of-the-range Max Trainer model and it’s a significant investment. Anyone looking for a budget elliptical is probably better off looking elsewhere (look at the cheaper Bowflex M6 or maybe a Schwinn 430 or 470).

While it does offer a range of features and benefits, including a high-intensity workout, touchscreen and compatibility with the Bowflex JRNY app, it might not be the best choice for those looking to save money on their home gym equipment.

An exercise machine like this should last you for many years so I don’t think this should really affect your purchasing decision but it’s worth noting that there is some assembly required to build an M9.

Bowflex provides detailed assembly instructions and most of the main unit comes pre-assembled, but there are still several components that need to be attached. Some users have reported that it takes longer than expected to get the machine up and running.

If you are not confident with a screwdriver you might want to pay for a professional to set it up for you.

If you are looking for more Bowflex Max Trainer M9 Reviews, you can read them here.

Is the Bowflex M9 Max Trainer easy to use?

Using the Bowflex Max Trainer M9 is a simple and intuitive process. All you have to do is step onto the machine and move your feet forward in an oval stride. It’s a lot like using a standard elliptical but I find the stride pattern to be less awkward.

The machine is fixed on a track which will help you to keep proper form during your workout.

One area where you might find the M9 less user-friendly is when it comes to setting up the JRNY app which can be a bit challenging for some users.

It’s worth being a bit organized and setting it up in advance so that you aren’t fiddling about with it when really all you want to be doing is exercising on your new machine!

Overall, using the M9 is a straightforward process and once you are set up you should have no problems using it.

Is the Bowflex M9 a good way to burn Calories?

The Bowflex Max Trainer M9 offers a unique vertical movement pattern that sets it apart from other ellipticals. The way that you exercise on a Max trainer will actually use more muscles than other ellipticals which will in turn help you to burn more calories. 

The up-and-down motion provides a great workout for your legs, and will also offer a new challenge compared to the horizontal movement path of other ellipticals.

The M9 comes equipped with a burn rate display, which estimates how many calories you’re burning in real-time. 

To be honest, it’s not the most accurate thing in the world but it is a helpful guide and it provides visual motivation to keep you going throughout your workout. 

Is the Bowflex M9 Max Trainer good for HIIT workouts?

The M9 Max Trainer is designed specifically for high intensity interval training (HIIT). This is a workout style that is known for its burning a lot of calories nd helping you to lose weight. 

To get the full benefits from your workout, you should ensure that your HIIT workouts are intense enough to get your heart rate pumping, ideally to at least 80% of the maximum heart rate.

Luckily, the M9 is well-equipped to help you achieve that. Its full-body movement pattern involves a stepping motion with the legs and alternating push/pull motions with the arms. 

This motion pattern will use lots of muscles and increase the heart rate faster, giving you a more effective workout.

The Bowflex Max M9 has 20 resistance levels that allow for easy adjustment of the intensity, making it suitable for beginners through to advanced athletes. 

The M9 is not just limited to HIIT workouts; it’s also perfect for lower-intensity steady-state cardio workouts. Thanks to its unique combination of stepping pattern and magnetic resistance, the Bowflex M9 can challenge users of all fitness levels according to their preference.

One of the biggest benefits of the M9 is its whisper-quiet operation, thanks to the advanced magnetic resistance system.

With 20 different resistance levels, users can easily customize their workout intensity, making it an excellent option for both beginners and seasoned athletes.

So, whether you’re looking to improve your cardio endurance or push your limits, the M9 is the ultimate cardio machine for all your needs.

How big is the Bowflex M9 Max Trainer?

If you are wondering hoe big the M9 Max is, here are the Bowflex M9 Dimensions: 49.2″ x 30.5″ x 65.1″

The M9’s compact size is a really big plus, especially for people with smaller exercise spaces. With a footprint of just 49.2″ x 30.5″ x 65.1″, it occupies only half the space of an average full-sized treadmill or elliptical. 

For this reason, a max trainer is ideal for anyone who lives in a smaller apartment or has limited room in their home for bulky equipment.

Despite its small size, the Bowflex M9 max user weight limit is 300 pounds thanks to its well-built and sturdy frame. 

The assembled weight of the M9 is 148 pounds, which is heavy enough to provide a stable base during workouts and minimize any unnecessary movement or wobbling.

Why does using a Bowflex M9 Max trainer provide a low impact workout?

The Bowflex Max Trainer M9 offers a low-impact workout option thanks to its elliptical design. 

By keeping your hands and feet in constant contact with the machine, you’ll experience less stress on your joints and a lower risk of developing pain. 

This means that using a Max trainer is much better for your joints than high-impact exercises like running on concrete or asphalt which can cause ankle, knee, and hip pain.

So if you’re looking for a workout that’s kinder on your body, the M9 is a great choice.

What is Bowflex JRNY?

The Bowflex Max Trainer M9 is a highly interactive machine that is designed to integrate with the Bowflex JRNY app, which is a subscription-based app that offers on-demand workout classes specifically designed for your machine. 

By creating a user account, you can track your progress and receive personalized recommendations over time for a monthly fee of $19.99. When you buy the machine from Bowflex you get 1 year of subscription included.

Don’t worry, if you prefer not to pay the monthly subscription fee after the free year, you can still use the machine without a subscription. Although obviously, you will lose access to the fitness classes and other features of the app.

The Bowflex Max Trainer M9 console with touchscreen.

Despite this, the JRNY app offers a wide range of features to keep you motivated, including instructor-led videos that allow you to explore the world’s real-world destinations.

The JRNY app also allows you to log in to popular streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, or HBO, so you can watch your favorite shows while you work out. 

The app even offers JRNY radio stations, so you can enjoy your favorite tunes while you exercise. All of your workout metrics are displayed discreetly at the bottom of your screen, so you can stay focused on your workout while still enjoying your entertainment.

What are the main features of the Bowflex M9?

The Bowflex Max Trainer M9 is packed with features that take your workouts to the next level:

10″ HD Touchscreen: The oversized display offers crystal-clear visibility, making it easy to navigate and view all your workout metrics. It’s fully compatible with JRNY, so you can access all of its features with ease.

On-Demand Classes: With a JRNY subscription, you’ll get access to a wide range of unlimited, custom instructor-led workouts tailored to your fitness level. Plus, you can receive coaching while streaming your favorite entertainment apps. And if you prefer standard workout programs, there are four available without the need for the JRNY app.

Scenic Routes: With access to over 50 breathtaking routes worldwide, JRNY allows you to experience the beauty of exotic locations, all from the comfort of your own home.

Entertainment Apps: The M9 offers built-in entertainment apps such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and Disney+ (subscriptions required) to keep you motivated during your workouts. While some users find the console interface less user-friendly, Bowflex is committed to enhancing the software with future updates.

Metric Tracking: JRNY app enables you to track your workout metrics, set goals and monitor personal bests.

Heart Rate Monitoring: The stationary handles let you monitor your heart rate or use the included Bluetooth arm band for even more accurate readings.

Bluetooth Speakers: Enjoy your music wirelessly during your workouts using the M9’s built-in Bluetooth speakers.

USB Charging Port: Keep your device fully charged while working out with the USB charging port located behind the console.

Water Bottle Holder: Stay hydrated during your workouts with the convenient water bottle holder. Because proper hydration is essential for optimal performance.

Is the Bowflex M9 easy to assemble?

The assembly manuals for Bowflex are truly impressive. What stands out to me is the use of detailed and clear images for each step, including zoomed-in pictures of the hardware. This feature helps you identify precisely where each part goes.

Thankfully, the assembly process for the M9 is straightforward. The primary unit comes pre-assembled, and you only need to attach the stabilizer feet, handles, pedals, and console. There are a few covers to put on, but it’s not a complicated task.

The package includes all the necessary tools, so you won’t need to worry about purchasing extra tools separately.

Overall, assembling the M9 is pretty straightforward for most people. Plan to spend about an hour unboxing and putting it together.

Does the Bowflex M9 have a warranty?

Bowflex provides the Max Trainer M9 with the following warranty coverage:

  • 3-year frame warranty
  • 3-year parts warranty
  • 90-day labor warranty

The 3 year warranty is ok but not amazing for a cardio machine in this price range. It is a year longer than you get with the cheaper Bowflex M6 though (check out my Bowflex M6 vs M9 review).

While the 2-year parts warranty is reasonable, the 90-day labor warranty is substantially shorter than the industry standard of 1 year.

In summary, the warranty offered for the M9 is disappointing, especially considering that Bowflex is a great brand and their machines are usually trouble-free.

Does the Bowflex Max Trainer work your abs?

Although the primary focus of the Bowflex Max Trainer is on the lower half of your body, including your glutes, hamstrings, quads, and calves, it also engages your core for stabilization. 

While it’s not specifically designed to target your abs, you’ll need to engage your core muscles to maintain your balance and stay upright during your workout. 

Therefore, while the Bowflex Max Trainer may not directly work your abs, it can help improve your core strength and stability.

Is the Bowflex Max Trainer good for seniors?

Seniors who experience joint pain may benefit from using the Bowflex Max Trainer due to its low-impact nature, similar to other elliptical machines. 

However, it’s important to note that the M9 model may not be suitable for those with heart issues or those who are new to elliptical machines due to its increased vertical rotation.

Bowflex Max Trainer M9 Review – Is the Bowflex M9 worth it?

The Max Trainer M9 is a great option for those looking for a new way to exercise, especially if they find traditional treadmills or bikes boring. The HD touch screen takes it to the next level and you have a world of entertainment at your fingertips which you can enjoy guilt-free knowing that you are exercising at the same time.

The compact design also makes it ideal for homes with limited workout space or just anyone that doesn’t want their home to get cluttered with large gym equipment.

The M9 is also perfect for those with limited workout time. The short duration but high intensity workout means that you can get a sweat on and feel the benefits even if you have only 14 minutes to spare.

So why not transform your fitness journey and reach your goals with the Bowflex Max Trainer M9 – a low-impact, versatile, and technologically advanced machine that can help you achieve the best version of yourself!

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