Trying to decide between the Bowflex Max Trainer vs. a treadmill? The Bowflex Max is a new type of elliptical-stair stepper that’s extremely popular right now.
But the treadmill is still the most popular type of fitness equipment overall – and also gives you some definite advantages.
So which is best for you? Here’s a review of 5 key differences between the Bowflex Max Trainer and a treadmill to help you decide:
#1 Calorie Burning
The Bowflex Max has the edge here. In studies done in the Bowflex lab, the Max trainer burned up to 2.5 times more calories than a treadmill (or regular elliptical or stair stepper).
In fact trial users burned up to 600 calories in 30 minutes. Contrast that to about 100 – 200 calories in 30 minutes that you burn on a treadmill (depending on incline, speed, etc.), and it’s quite a difference.
Again, the Max trainer wins here are well. Treadmills (especially when used for running) are very high impact. The force of your joints coming down on the belt can strain your hips, knees, back and ankles.
The Max trainer however has almost no impact as your feet do not leave the moving pedals. In fact, according to the manufacturer, running on a treadmill produces up to 200% more impact than workout out on the Max.
So if you’re more prone to injury or shin splints the Max is a great option.
#3 Entertainment/Tracking Options
This is a tie – maybe with a treadmill (depending on the model) having the slight edge.
While the Bowflex Max trainer does come with several built-in workouts (including the main 14 minute high intensity training interval), a treadmill in general tends to give you more workouts and entertainment options.
For example, you can find treadmills with built-in iPod docks, TVs and even web browser in the console.
However, on the other side, the Max Trainer M5 model does come with Bluetooth and you can sync and track your results with their app to see how far you’ve come. So there is some good tracking capability with the M5.
#4 Ease of Use
The treadmill has the slight advantage here. Walking on a treadmill is so simple that almost anyone can do it, regardless of age, weight or coordination level.
Even if you’ve never exercised before and you’re just starting out, you can use a treadmill. Start slow and move up gradually as you fitness level increases.
The Max trainer can be used slowly as well – however it’s a bit more intense than a simple walking workout. Plus, the motion may take a bit of getting used to for newbies.
#5 Upper Body
The Max trainer wins here – hands down. With a treadmill, there really isn’t a way to work your upper body – unless you buy handweights and use these while you walk.
The Max trainer has moving arm bars (similar to elliptical arm bars) what help you work you arms. Testing in the Bowflex lab showed that the Max arms engaged up to 80% more upper body muscles than even a traditional elliptical.
So what’s the bottom line on the Bowflex Max Trainer vs a Treadmill?
Well, it basically comes down to you and what you’re looking for. A treadmill can give you an easy workout with lots of fun entertainment and tracking options. It’s a great option for people who have never exercised before who are just getting started.
However, the Max trainer is much lower impact than a treadmill and can burn a lot more calories in less time. So you’ll see weight loss results faster on the Max than on a treadmill.
Plus, you’ll also get to work and tone your upper body much easier than you would on a treadmill.
So again, it depends on your goals and preferences. Regardless of what you decide to do, please make sure to take your time, go at your own pace and consult your doctor before starting any exercise program. Good luck!