Bowflex Max Trainer MT16 review – everything you need to know

The Bowflex Max Trainer MT 16 (Max Total 16) is Bowflex’s newest and most upgraded Max Trainer yet. Today we dig into all the details you need to know to decide if this elliptical/stair stepper hybrid will be the perfect fit for you!

Bowflex Max Trainer – video review

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What is the Bowflex Max Trainer?

The first thing you should know about the Bowflex Max Trainer is that, while it may be categorized as an elliptical, it really is not. Instead, it is more of a hybrid between an elliptical and a stair stepper.

Ellipticals are typically better for lower-intensity aerobic sessions and take up more space. Stair steppers tend to be better designed for high-intensity interval training and take up less space. 

The Bowflex Max Trainer finds a nice balance between the two. It is very compact, taking up about the same amount of space as a Peloton bike. I found both longer aerobic work and shorter intense workouts to both be effective with the Max Trainer, which makes this one piece of equipment well built for whatever style of training you prefer.

New with the Bowflex Max Total 16

Bowflex Max Trainers has been popular for quite a while now, but the newest models have all been upgraded to include a connected fitness membership called JRNY.

The most noticeable difference on the Max Total (MT16) is there is now a 16” high definition touchscreen that allows you to use JRNY.

Other big differences on the Bowflex MT16:

  • Six-grip handle bar system vs. four-grip system
  • 20 resistance levels vs. 16
  • New dual rail design

I found the new six-grip handle bar system to be the most useful of the upgrades, as it allows for an additional body position, giving more options to focus on different areas during workouts.

Similar to other Bowflex Max Trainer models like the M9 and M6, the MT16 has a nice new steel resistance dial that lights up, a decent set of bluetooth speakers underneath the screen, and a heart rate strap that will connect via Bluetooth.

The MT16 also features a built-in USB charging port, phone holder, large bottle holder, oversized textured pedals, and transport wheels that make the Max Trainer fairly easy to move around.

JRNY fitness app

Bowflex’s connected fitness service, JRNY, goes in a much different direction than other connected fitness services like Peloton or iFIT. For some, this direction may be a disappointing while I feel others (like myself) will absolutely love how the workouts are integrated.

JRNY workouts are broken into pretty much three categories:

  • Adaptive workouts, which are designed to adjust to your personal fitness level 
  • Scenic routes with over 50 locations that are controlled by your speed (the faster you go the faster you visually move through the ride)
  • On-demand classes taught to you by a coach similar to popular programs like Peloton

But the best and most unique feature about JRNY is that you can take all of the adaptive workouts while watching any scenic ride or while watching any show on Netflix, HBO Max, Hulu, Amazon, or Disney+ (membership to these streaming platforms not included).

Once you select an adaptive workout, you then are able to select whichever streaming service or scenic ride you would like to watch. When doing this, a moveable horizontal line shows up so you can continue to follow along with the workout and keep an eye on your metrics.

Where other connected fitness companies literally patch their tablets to prevent members from watching Netflix, JRNY smartly integrates it as part of the available experience. I, for one, really appreciate that, and I had a blast pushing myself through tough workouts while watching Squid Games. 

A JRNY membership comes free for one year with the Max Trainer. After that, the membership is $149 per year. While this is less than half the cost of most connected fitness services, it still seems like too much given how infrequently new adaptive workouts, on-demand classes, and scenic rides are currently added.

Final thoughts

Overall, I am very impressed and have really enjoyed my time so far with the newest model of the Bowflex Max Trainer. It is a bit pricey at $2,799, so I would suggest checking out the Bowflex M6 if you want a comparable piece of equipment at half the price (although there is no touchscreen).

Also, if you want the best connected fitness instructor-led classes, then Bowflex’s connected fitness service, JRNY, is probably not for you. However, if you like the idea of following personalized workouts while watching your favorite movies or shows, then the MT16 is going to be a great fit.

Buy Bowflex Max Trainer MT16 here


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