Nordictrack Elliptical vs Bowflex Max Trainer – Which is Best For You?

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Trying to decide between a Nordictrack Elliptical vs Bowflex Max Trainer?

Wondering which is best for you?


nordictrack elliptical vs bowflex max trainer
Nordictrack Elliptical


Well, this really depends on which Nordictrack elliptical you’re actually comparing  to the Max Trainer.

But in general, Nordictrack makes some of the most popular ellipticals on the market right now. You’ll find options you can’t even find on commercial machines like full-color HD consoles, virtual reality training, adjustable strides and more.


nordictrack freestrider vs bowflex max trainer
Bowflex Max Trainer

On the other hand, the Bowflex Max Trainer is one of the most interesting new elliptical-trainer-hybrid machines to come along in years.

By combining the high calorie-burning motion of a stair-climber with the total body training of an elliptical trainer, it helps you burn a lot more calories than your standard elliptical trainer.

So which is best for you? What benefits do you get with each?

Let’s take a look at how they compare.



Nordictrack Elliptical Vs Bowflex Max Trainer – Price


Budget is often the first thing to consider when choosing your home fitness equipment.  The Bowflex Max currently offers 3 different Max Trainers starting at $1499 and up with Free Shipping here.

Nordictrack gives you a larger range of starter to high end elliptical models. You can find everything from front-drive to rear-drive and even center drive machines. The prices start a bit lower than the Max Trainer.

You can buy them starting from around $899 direct from the Manufacturer with Free Shipping here.

So in terms of price, Nordictrack has an edge since you can find some more affordable options. And you have a few more options as well to suit your needs.


nordictrack fs14i freestride trainer review
Nordictrack Elliptical – Center Drive


Max Trainer vs Elliptical: Motion


This is one of the biggest differences between the Nordictrack elliptical vs Bowflex Max trainer. With the Max you get one type of motion only – the up-and-down stair climbing action.

nordictrack fs9 vs bowflex max m7 trainerThis is great for calorie burning – but not great for variety.

With a Nordictrack elliptical trainer (or any elliptical machine), you can go forwards or backwards in a running-style motion. You also usually get incline for more crosstraining options. So you have a bit more flexibility.


freestrider best machine
Freestrider Elliptical Motion


And if you consider the Nordictrack Freestride Trainer (see pic above), you get even MORE motion options.

This has an adaptable stride which means you can use it for up-and-down stair-climbing motions, longer jogging style motions or even longer hurdling type motions.

But even if you don’t want to consider something like the Freestride trainer, the bottom line here is to ask yourself whether you enjoy a stair-stepping motion (on the Bowflex Max) vs a running-style motion (on the elliptical trainer).

The type of motion you prefer is probably the type of machine you should choose as you’re more likely to use it over the long run.


Nordictrack Elliptical



Which Machine Burns More Calories?


This is a tricky one. Bowflex gets the points here – mainly because Bowflex has done the testing and has the results to prove it.


freestrider vs bowflex max


According to Bowflex testing, you can burn up to 2.5 times more calories on a Max Trainer than on a traditional elliptical, treadmill or stair climber.

Some trial users even burned up to 600 calories in a half hour – which is amazing!


bowflex max success story
Bowflex Max Before and After


This is due to the high-calorie burning stair climbing exercise (which uses a lot of large lower body muscles) as well as the special HIIT training workout that Bowflex has designed and included in all of their Max Trainers.

HIIT workouts (high intensity interval training) have been shown to help you burn calories for up to 48 hours after your workout. They’re very effective at calorie burning.

That doesn’t mean you can’t burn just as many calories on a Nordictrack elliptical with your own HIIT training workout. It just means Bowflex has the jump here and has been smart enough to advertise this:


nordictrack elliptical vs max trainer comparison



Nordictrack Elliptical vs Bowflex Max – Streaming/Entertainment

Smart Entertainment and streaming is all the rage these days.

And it’s not going away as people demand more health-club-like experiences.

Almost all Nordictrack elliptical trainers now come with full-color, HD touch-screens. You can use these to go online and connect with iFit – Nordictrack’s streaming service.


iFit Coach Workout


From there you can do all sorts of fun things. You can run famous trails all over the world and watch the scenery pass you by in the screen.

You can also stream a fitness class to your home. You can even now take live fitness classes and follow your instructor in real time – which is pretty cool.


Nordictrack with iFit


Bowflex also has it’s own streaming service called Bowflex JRNY. JRNY also offer world trails and custom-designed workouts.

They also give you streaming workouts – but not live workouts like with iFit.

However, on the higher end models, you can also watch your Netflix, Disney or Hulu shows through the console (note that you must have the full, paid version of JRNY to do this).



So that’s a very cool option.

Is one service better than another?

iFit has been around longer and it’s a bit more advanced with more options to choose from. However a lot of people do like the option to watch their shows with the JRNY app as well. So it depends on what you want.

One note: There are free and paid versions of both iFit and JRNY. You don’t need to have a paid subscription to either one in order to use these machines. You can use them easily with the free versions of these programs (they also include several built-in workouts to try).


Bowflex JRNY
Other Differences – Incline and Space

Another option you get with most Nordictrack elliptical trainers is the ability to add incline to your training.

Incline changes the slope of your elliptical pathway – helping you to work different muscle groups. This is a great way to get a better crosstraining workout overall.


nordictrack skier vs elliptical
Nordictrack Elliptical with Incine


This is something you don’t get with the Max Trainer.

On the other hand the Bowflex Max trainer does give you a space advantage – it’s much smaller than a traditional elliptical. So if you’re in an apartment or a condo, it might be a better option.



max trainer vs freestrider


Bottom Line?

So which is best when comparing the Nordictrack elliptical vs Bowflex Max Trainer?

Well, they each have their benefits. The Max Trainer is more compact and has been shown to help you burn more calories than a standard elliptical trainer.

On the other hand Nordictrack ellipticals can give you enhanced consoles, more crosstraining options and even virtual reality training with iFit.

So at the end of the day it comes down to what you’re looking for.

Want to learn more? Check out the links below.


Click Here to Compare All Max Trainers


max trainer vs freestride trainer


Click Here to Compare All Nordictrack Ellipticals


nordictrack commercial 14.9 elliptical review
Nordictrack Elliptical



Nordictrack Freestrider vs Elliptical – Which is Best for You?

Freestrider vs Max Trainer – How Do They Compare?



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