The Max Trainer M8 is the brand new top of the line model in the popular series, replacing the former M7 model.
With learning capability and Bluetooth syncing it is the most technologically advanced model yet. It joins the base M3 and mid-level M6, both very popular hybrid ellipticals that have been top sellers for years.
Let's jump into our review to see what this exciting new machine is all about...
The M8 loses the red accents of the other models in the series in favor of a silver/black design with more commercial grade touches and longer handrails.
Let's look a closer at the most important specs...
UPDATE: As of early 2021 it looks like the M8 may be discontinued in favor of the new Bowflex Max Trainer M9 model. We'll keep an eye on that and review it as soon as we get a chance!
With each new model Bowflex is really improving on the previous incarnations of the Max Trainers.
The M8 is no exception. It's an upgrade of an already advanced model called the M7, which came out just a few years ago.
But now this one sits near the top, with more features, more capabilities and advanced technology built in that previous models.
For those who are not familiar with the Max Trainers, they are called hybrid machines, in this case an elliptical and a stepper in one. They offer a way for you to get in shape with minimal impact and less time than you would need on a traditional machine to achieve the same results.
They are quite popular for this reason as well as the fact that they are so compact, taking up about half the room as a traditional elliptical or treadmill.
Getting back to the Max Trainer M8, it is a nice step up from the M6 and a huge step up from the base M3 model.
The biggest upgrades are its performance targeted programming that actually learns how you work out as you use it and sets goals for you, the extended handrails for more hand position possibilities and enhanced console with dual LCD display and a tablet holder that doesn't block the display when you use it.
The M8, as well as the mid-level M6, both feature the new Max Intelligence platform, which gives you access to personal trainer designed workouts, performance tracking, personalized goals and much more. (Note this does require a small monthly/yearly subscription)
Other nice upgrades?
You get 20 resistance levels, as opposed to 16 and 8 on the M6 and M3, respectively. You get a chest strap for more acccurate heart rate monitoring (not on M3), sport performance pedals, up to 4 user profiles (2 on others) and Bluetooth syncing.
So all in all the Max Trainer M8 improves upon nearly every aspect of the current models and is sure to be a very popular model. The only sticking point might be the price, which we're about to come to...
What are the negatives? Well, one of the only real negatives here is the price. At $2,299, it's right up there with some of the best elliptical trainers out there, and doesn't necessarily have as many features or capabilities. You can get a Life Fitness E1 for that price.
The other models are a little more reasonable. The M6 is $1699 and the M3 is only $999. So definitely take a look at all three.
We also would like to see a more advanced display for that money, perhaps a touchscreen with internet capability as you can get elsewhere. Lastly, the warranties on the Max Trainers are not great. You get 3 years on the M8, 2 years on the M6 and 1 year on the M3.
UPDATE: Note there is a new top of the line model called the Max Total, with a touch screen display not found on any other models plus WiFi capability for streaming.
People often ask about the Bowflex M8 vs the M6 or the base M3 model, wondering which would be the best choice for their home gym.
We discuss this topic on our main Max Trainer review page, but it's worth going over again.
The M8 and Max Total definitely have the most features and capabilities of all of the models.
You have the 20 resistance levels, more workout programs including the two additional Max 7 and 21 Minute Interval workouts, Bluetooth capability and lots of upgrades and additional comforts.
However, we believe that unless you have multiple users hitting the machine hard every day, the Max Trainer M6 is your best bet of the three. Why? Because it has pretty much everything you need, and is a nice happy medium between the base M3 and top of the line M8.
When you compare the M8 to the M3, the M8 wins hands down because the M3 lacks workouts, resistance levels, Bluetooth capability and app integration.
However, the M6 has all of that, and although it might not have as many resistance levels or workout programs, there are enough that you don't need to spend an additional $600.
So to summarize, when it comes to the Max Trainer M8 vs the M6 vs the M3, our expert's top choice is the M6, followed by the M8 and then the M3.
If money is tight, go with the Max Trainer M3. If the budget is open, go with the M8 or Max Total. For everyone else the Max Trainer M6 is your best bet.
Bowflex has really stepped it up with the M8 and it is a definite upgrade in design and technology. Early user reviews on the new Max Trainer are very positive.
You now get more resistance levels, more workouts, upgraded grips, pedals and console, extended handrails and Bluetooth syncing for workout tracking.
You also have access to the Max Intelligence Platform, so there's plenty of built in programming to keep your sessions interesting.
There's a lot to like about the new Max Trainer M8. If you're in the market for a compact machine that offers you both an elliptical and a stepper, it's a good choice.
Again, if the price is a bit too high for you, look at the other two step-down models, the M6 and the M3, which are both good machines in their own right.
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