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Last updated: Nov. 14, 2017

123 Bowflex Consumer Reviews and Complaints

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Nov. 14, 2017

So disappointed on how the cables for this Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE are all different. The directions are horrible. The diagram must have been put together by someone who really didn't give a rip. Take for instance when you’re doing tricep work and then maybe shoulder or whatever other body part you wanna work. Well now the cables aren't labeled so you have no idea what size you will… So frustrating.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: July 26, 2017

I love the way it just works really well for me. Its appearance is also very cute and I love it. It serves its purpose and more. It has not disappointed me at all not even once so I really enjoy it and will never get rid of it. I had someone come set it up for me, my neighbor. I was watching though a little bit and it seemed kind of difficult but maybe he did not know what he was doing. Very easy to navigate and very trustworthy. Customer service can be a little better though but that is OK. Overall it is such a great experience.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: July 25, 2017

The Bowflex Max Trainer records and stores your progress, makes exercise fun, and it’s a great quality for the price. It’s the best piece of equipment I’ve ever owned! It’s nearly perfect, but one minor complaint would be the initial setup is a bit time consuming, but nothing too major. It’s not difficult to set up though. But once everything was programmed in it was easy to use! The product is still 1000% worth it! Perfection, highly recommend!

Verified Reviewer
Original review: July 23, 2017

I love how smoothly Bowflex runs in comparison to my previous elliptical machine, which made it hard on the legs to move. I haven’t had sore legs from merely five minutes of workout time with the Bowflex due to the adjustable fitness levels. It is very easy to use, setting up the machine took just myself and twenty spare minutes and I am not very tech savvy so getting it to run on my own says a lot about the level of ease. But I dislike the appearance of it as it is too large and misshapen to fit in my basement. My previous machine, although lower quality, was smaller and fit perfect in my basement corner with enough room for my other equipment.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: July 22, 2017

Bowflex is the brand of elliptical that I got. I tried lots of brands in the store and I talked to many people before purchasing an elliptical for myself. I know a lot of people that have Bowflex elliptical and they are very happy using them and recommended them to me. This brand is reliable and has a lot of features that I am fond of which made me choose it, such as a place to put an iPad while I am on the elliptical. It is a great brand and I would definitely recommend it to any people who are considering buying an elliptical or any sort of exercise machine for themselves or their family members.

But I struggled a lot setting up the elliptical and this is the aspect of purchasing a Bowflex elliptical that I was the most apprehensive about because I have never put an exercise machine together before. I had help from YouTube videos and that was how I figured it out. I also wish there were more features such as challenges uphill or springs and also the range of movement was longer for the stride on the elliptical. Generally I am happy with the brand and great elliptical overall.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: July 21, 2017

The Bowflex Max Trainer is extremely easy to set up and use. Plug it in, select user and user settings, then push the Max Trainer button to begin the 14 minute workout. The machine guides you through the workout and comes with 14 days of free DailyBurn streaming videos to assist with the workout session and after the trial you can continue to subscribe for daily exercises and streaming. I like the variable resistance training and the ability to fit a harder better exercise in half the time. The exercise lasts 14 minutes but feels like I was working for an hour. But the equipment was expensive but the company gives us the ability to finance the purchase with 18 months of 0 percent interest. All in all, that was the only thing I disliked. Assembly was straightforward however if you are not mechanically inclined I would pay extra for in home assembly.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: July 20, 2017

The Bowflex machine came in two piece that you put together and screw together with just 4 bolts. It required two people for set up just to hold it together while the bolts are being put in. The machine is a good one and using it is easy and fun. I find it to be a good way to increase the heart rate and start a light sweat to loosen your limbs preparing you for a good, full workout. It also folds for easy storage and is light weight, and it has been a use cardio machine that I will try continue to use for a long, long, long time.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: July 19, 2017

I own a Bowflex Max Trainer M3 and am very happy with it. I got this used and have not had any real issues, I bought it off Amazon for 800 dollars and have had it for a few years now. It was difficult to get out of the box and had a lot of small screws that needed to be installed. But easy, once it is first set up. Now I have it set up in my basement and just use it twice a week and then leave. My Bowflex Max Trainer M3 has a lot of perks! It has a multitude of different settings that I use while I am working out. It is great and also has very good and exceptional programming. I like the different modes it has and I have lost some weight while using it and like the different resistance options. But a Heart rate monitor missing. I did not think that I would need one but as I continue my weight loss journey I would like to have this on my machine because it would help me gain accurate info about my weight loss and calorie burn.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: July 18, 2017

I use the Bowflex Max Trainer elliptical. It comes with everything you could possibly need or want to get a great workout with diversity and stay in shape. This machine has a lot of features that make things more reliable and easy to workout. There are handle bars for you to hold on to for better balancing. This brand can become a little more pricey than others though. Otherwise it is a very durable machine that helps get you in shape fast. This machine is very easy to use and takes basic knowledge and skill. Setting it up is also very easy to understand because the setup manual is very straight to the point.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: July 17, 2017

I use lots of elliptical machines and Bowflex Max Trainer is the only one that fits my need perfectly with computer controlled resistance, Bluetooth smart technology, premium grips, backlit display, target zone monitoring and a compact design that fits almost any space. I got ripped with the Max Trainer. It is the fastest, most challenging workout I ever done. It's a full body resistance machine. It's just gives you the motivation to push. This is the best elliptical machine I ever had and I have a great experience.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: July 16, 2017

The Bowflex Max Trainer is easy to assemble, it took less than two hours following the directions on the manual. But it does lack DVD training unlike other Bowflex machines in the past. The Bowflex fold pretty easy for convenient storage though, plus the workout placard makes sure you never get lost in what workout you are pursuing and you are in control of your workout a lot. I also like the 8 resistance levels, which makes it easier to burn calories in a short amount of time. You get the choice to choose between two workout programs, manual and max internal. You get an heart rate monitor strap, which you can track how much calories you burned. It also allows up to 100 exercises including strength training, and cardio vascular training, multi personal hand grip, and cuffs added for flexibility and performance.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: July 14, 2017

All the Bowflex features are really easy and understandable to use than I thought and if you need to you can refer back to the manual. I love having my own home gym and have my friends over to use the machine as well and we end up all saving money not going to the gym and not having to worry about wiping down the machine since we know who uses it. But setting up was a challenge since I did not have metric tools but once I got them it was easy following the directions and I am able to store the machine in the closet out of the way.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: July 11, 2017

The Bowflex Max Trainer came with a free 8 week program, heart rate monitor, Bluetooth, does a full body workout, water bottle holder, has AC adapter, different user programs, great backlight display. But I dislike that it's kinda heavy and hard to move on my part but I can't be too picky considering it's an elliptical machine. Also, would be awesome if there was a fold up option of some sort. But completely easy to set up. Came with directions, followed them and got it set up in no time. Has a step for step user's manual but it's easy to use without the manual.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: June 28, 2017

We have had our Bowflex Max7 for about a year and at first really loved the workouts. About 6 months after it arrived one of the belts started slipping. After finally receiving a replacement belt and two hours getting to where we could replace it, we found the reason the belt broke was the mechanism containing the primary components was the real problem. ALL the bolts and holes were stripped so we essentially have a $2K+ paper weight that is useless. Our elliptical trainer we bought from of all places, Walmart, lasted much longer and was $1,500 cheaper...

Verified Reviewer
Original review: June 7, 2017

My partner set Bowflex up and it is very easy to use. The settings are easy to change and the different levels are easy for beginners or experienced people. There are multiple feature but my favorite is I can walk like I'm climbing. It works my butt and upper thigh area better than an actual hill. The machine itself is amazing and gives a great workout. Only price needs improvement. Very expensive which is sad because not everyone can afford this machine.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: June 7, 2017

The elliptical is very easy to set up, but it is a little bulky in that it does take up room even though they say it is rather compact. I leave it set up in my guest house, which is primarily my exercise room, so there is no wear in putting it up and down. Mostly, I like how smoothly it works in motion and that it is very durable as I have used other brands that are nowhere near as good and for me.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: June 6, 2017

It is good quality and has Bluetooth. The machine is very steady and not wobbly. It is easy to use and all of the settings and operating parts of the machine are self-explanatory. There are enough settings for my use and has everything I need and want. However stride isn't long enough. I am over six one and have a long stride. It isn't a great problem but I would appreciate a longer stride. And although I have not had problems, it would also be a little better if there was a longer warranty period.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: June 5, 2017

The Bowflex elliptical has many features that I like. It has sixteen resistance levels which is good for beginners as well as experts. It is a great cardio workout. I burn calories quickly by only 14 minutes a day for three days a week. It comes with a two year warranty but should be longer. Also, I dislike the assembly, which can be cumbersome. And although the Bowflex machine comes with directions, I would definitely recommend having two to three people to help. Many of the pieces are quite heavy but once you get it together, it is awesome.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: June 4, 2017

It was set up very easily. They did everything from first bolt to last bolt. I like the connection of a USB player or smartphone. It's really simple to set up and really nice quality of audio and video. I hope it can last long and it can be a reliable machine. I also like the small TV they include in them. I like how versatile the machine is to use, but I would like to be able to change the speed and to be able to use it a bit easier. It would be nice to check my intake, calories and cardio. Also a smaller Bowflex elliptical should be available for a smaller apartment. But when I'm working out, I love the excitement I have playing with the new settings and reaching my maximum temperature.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: June 3, 2017

Difficult to set up, could have used a better guide, large parts that was hard to put together and had to get a second person even though it said it would only require one person. I also dislike the way it is designed. When using it, it make a lot of noise... Also each step makes you go unusually high then low which is somewhat uncomfortable while using it at night. However, there is an option to play music through the machine... Also their screen can show you a place in the real world to run through like you are sightseeing while working out.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: June 2, 2017

Bowflex is easy to use. Stand on it and push start. But if you want a harder workout, you have to get off of the machine and turn the tension knobs. It's difficult to adjust tension settings. With other machine, you can adjust the settings on the screen provided. Other than that it’s low impact and easy on the knees. I have always enjoyed ellipticals because they force you to use all the muscles in the body. I also enjoy being able to set your own pace. I have enjoyed the Bowflex and the results.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: June 1, 2017

I liked that it was easy to operate and got results that I wanted. It did different levels and I felt like I was working outside or climbing or hiking. Also, several of my family could adjust the strength to fit the workout needs they needed, but I wish it was smaller or could fold down and hide it easier. I did not like how much space it took up and how ugly it was in my living room. Also, I wish it had accessories that were more affordable.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: May 31, 2017

Bowflex helps to work all areas of the body and gives them a good workout. It helps to tone and define the areas of the body I am working on. It gives my body a full workout and more. It has many setting on the machine that allows you to workout out at the pace you are comfortable with. The easy-to-follow instructions made it easy to set up and operate. Was set up within an hour and I started my workout regimen afterwards as well. I would recommend to anyone looking to workout their body to buy one as well.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: May 31, 2017

Setting it up sometimes is a big pain in the butt but we got it done so it worked out well and it was pretty easy to use. I like that you could change the settings and the weights all around. We like the flexibility of the machine because we could do different exercises. However, it was big, bulky, and it kind of got in the way of where we lived in the apartment. The apartment we had was small so it took up a lot of room.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: May 29, 2017

The Bowflex elliptical is mainly a good product. Putting it together took about 75 minutes but using it is fairly easy and you don't have to deal with different bands or weights or with moving anything physically based on what your goal is for that day. I like the heart and calorie monitors of Bowflex too and that it takes up normal amount of space. It also holds feet so no slipping when really moving and allows me to get a good workout at home when I have the time. Allows me to challenge myself with different speeds and inclines every day based on what I feel up to doing that day. However, it tends to be loud after using it for more than 1 hour. Also, not as smooth walking as I would like it to be. It also tends to have issues with monitoring heart rate and calories burned if you are using an almost run pace on it.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: May 28, 2017

I like that Bowflex has several breakout modes and a chest strap. It is also Bluetooth compatible which makes things very convenient. However, I would prefer the display to be more horizontal. I have concerns with the axle too because I see it getting loose and in some cases which I have read online it has snapped. Otherwise, the elliptical is quite easy to set up and use. It has a nice design and more functionality than most people can even use. Setting it up, I just needed to bolt the handlebars and run a cable through the spine and hook it to the monitor.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: May 27, 2017

The elliptical is easy to use and set up. My dad helped me and I used it the same day I bought it. I like that it is convenient and that I don't have to go to a gym to use it. I get exercise and stay fit. Also, I like that it is black. However, I don't like top work out. I don't like to sweat. I also don't like that it wobbles and makes a squeaky noise.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: May 26, 2017

Bowflex has easy adjustable tensions, comfortable seat, smooth pulleys and cables. Adjustments are easy and quick to change between users. The instructions for setting-up are straight-forward and it fits in the exercise room well. The equipment is very quiet so you can listen to music while working out. It also has some good examples of exercise. Plus, the whole family is able to use it. But sometimes, the cables running all over the machine get in the way and the coating on the cables wear off.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: May 26, 2017

The Bowflex brand has several models and several features that cater to the type of workout and experience of the user. It looks great and it lasts longer than other brands. We would always get comments on it. Dependable, easy to use, multiple settings, workout programs, less strain, and a built-in trainer to motivate you. The elliptical also requires less space than the other brands so you can place it anywhere and easily move it around. However, not a lot sporting goods carry them, so we have to buy ours online and it was expensive. The return policy was not favorable nor easy too when you really have to return it. Also, the elliptical doesn't come in different colors and intimidating at first. But it was easy to set up, I didnt have to ask anyone for help and my husband was pleasantly surprise when I didn't need his help. I was proud of myself!

Verified Reviewer
Original review: May 25, 2017

Bowflex runs smoothly and easy. It was a bit costly, though I really enjoy using it every night to workout. I put it up when I bought it and now it stays there. I love the computer system that it uses because it is very advanced and it tracks my calories burned and my distance traveled. It is a big machine, but I found a great place where it fits in my workout room in my basement.

Bowflex expert review by Mark Barroso

Bowflex has developed complex and effective machines in the strength training category for decades and recently launched the Bowflex Max Trainer series. The Bowflex Treadclimber targets a specific audience since it’s made for walking.

  • The 14-minute workout: All Bowflex Max Trainer models start a 14-minute interval workout with the push of a button. The Bowflex Max Trainer is shaped like an elliptical or strider, has moving handles and activates the upper body as well as the legs. The Smart Max Interval option automatically adjusts the resistance and speed of the machine based on your customized preferences.

  • Apple Health Kit/Google Fit: Workout data on the Bowflex Max Trainer and Treadclimber syncs via Bluetooth to Apple Health Kit, Google Fit, MyFitnessPal and Bowflex Connect.

  • Low impact workout is easier on the knees: Those with knee injuries will be able to exercise effectively using the Bowflex Treadclimber. The maximum speed is 4.5mph.

  • Compact designs: Both the Max Trainer and Treadclimber are highly compact, lightweight machines. Every assembled Max Trainer weighs less than 150 pounds.

  • Best for: People who want to lose weight, people recovering from injuries

Profile picture of Mark Barroso
Mark Barroso

Health and Fitness Contributing Editor

Mark Barroso is an editor, writer and researcher who has been featured in various print and online publications including Fitness Magazine, Muscle & Fitness, Men’s Fitness, Muscle & Fitness Hers, FLEX, Spartan Race and Tough Mudder. A fitness enthusiast who practices what he preaches, Barroso enjoys researching and testing the latest fitness trends including classes and products.

Bowflex Company Information

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United States
(800) 618-8853