Equipment selection for a home gym can be tricky, especially when you are trying to set it up in a cramped space. For most of the fitness levels and fitness goals it is enough to have a piece of single full-body workout equipment like an elliptical.
But, even a single elliptical occupies significant floor space, and if that is the reason stopping you from working out at home, then a Bowflex Max Trainer is what you need.
Taking up half the floor space than any traditional elliptical, the Bowflex Max Total 16 can offer you low-impact full-body workouts at varying intensities. With practically no upper limit on workout speed, you can safely perform low-intensity cardio or high-intensity intervals on this machine.
If you are in the process of deciding whether to buy this feature-rich full-body workout machine for your home gym, let us help you make this decision easier. This article has all the necessary information about Bowflex MT16 that can help you understand if it suits your requirement.
Bowflex Max Total 16 Review
The Bowflex Max Trainer is one of the most compact full-body high intensity cardio machines. Its compact design enables it to fit in 4 by two and a half feet of floor space.
This aesthetically pleasing piece of exercise equipment can be set up in any part of your home. You can easily move it around using the transport wheels, giving you the freedom to set it up for workout even in the middle of your living room and store it at any corner of the home.
This feature-rich compact machine has the largest screen among all Bowflex trainers. The 16-inch console is not only for displaying the workout metrics, but it can also do many things like being your entertainment device to stream Netflix and Prime Video or it can be used to get a personalized virtual training session.
The machine also has a media shelf to accommodate your phone or tablet so along with the video apps like Netflix you can also play the videos or music on your phone through the Bluetooth speakers on Bowflex MT 16.
Designed for fast-paced workouts challenging you to move faster and farther, this sleek full-body trainer can be safely used at very high speed. The Max Total 16 has better stability than other trainers in the market even the Bowflex ones due to its unique dual rail design for pedal sliders.
For added stability, the base of the machine has leveling feet with a wide and grippy leveling pad. This also enables you to safely install the MT 16 on a slightly uneven surface.
For optimum user safety, along with the stable base and dual-rail design, Bowflex MT 16 has oversized textured pedals. These keep your feet safely in place at high-speed pedaling.
With 20 resistance levels, the MT 16 has got four more than the previous M6 version of the Bowflex trainer. The resistance needs to be adjusted as per the workout program, you can easily adjust it using the steel knob in manual mode.
As the large textured pedals ensure your feet are secured safely and comfortably on them, the multi-grip handles allow you to keep your arms in a comfortable position. You can simultaneously work on your upper body while pedaling on the Bowflex MT 16 trainer for a long duration without inducting unnecessary fatigue in your arms due to uncomfortable gripping positions.
Bowflex Max Total 16 has six grip handles that allow you to keep your arms in three different positions. You have two options to grip the handlebar in front and one in the bottom. All the previous trainers from Blwflex had a maximum of four grips on the handlebars.
The Bowflex MT 16 is designed for intense use. It can take up high-intensity output bursts allowing you to work harder and get the workout done in a shorter period of time. It motivates you to go fast, the workouts evolve with you, as you grow stronger the workouts will get harder.
You get a one-year subscription of JRNY adaptive fitness membership free with the machine. This membership enables you to access on-demand classes, real-time trainer-led classes, and curated workouts. You can also make your workouts more interesting by virtually exploring scenic destinations around the world.
Features & Specs
It may seem like any other stepper or a compact elliptical from the first look, but Bowflex Max Total 16 is much more than that. It is a high-performance cardio machine designed to offer highly efficient workouts.
You can experience personalized curated workouts and entertainment videos streamed through its 16-inch big display unit. This and many other features of this machine add value to your workouts and make MT 16 better than other options.
The following table lists the features and specifications of the Bowflex Max Trainer.
Bowflex MT 16 Features & Specs
16-inch interactive console for program selection and workout tracking
Built and Base
Solidly built on a high-strength frame supported by a heavy-duty elliptical steel tube base having four leveling feet for balancing
HD touch touchscreen with wi-fi connectivity
20 resistance levels that can be adjusted precisely using steel resistance dial
Premium dual-rail design for maximum stability and extra smooth glide
6-grip handlebars moving in unison with the pedals to provide perfect hand position to engage your upper body
Heart rate hand grips in the front and also a Bluetooth HR armband is included in the package for advanced heart rate training and tracking
Bluetooth and Wi-fi connectivity, iOS and Android compatible, USB charging port
Oversized textured pedals to keep your feet secured even while sprinting
Built-in JNRY experience. 1-year membership included with the purchase of MT 16 machine
Built-in media shelf, Bluetooth speakers, water bottle holder
High-grade carbon steel
49.3 x 30.8 x 65.7 inches (LxWxH)
The 16-inch HD touchscreen console is the highlight of Bowflex MT 16. It is your window to connect with a variety of world-class trainers and virtually travel to many scenic destinations around the world and get the feel of the terrain by adjusting the resistance accordingly.
Along with that, the features like 20 resistance levels, Bluetooth and Wi-fi connectivity, dual HR monitors make MT 16 a better trainer than the others. The heavy-duty construction, dual-rail design, and oversized pedals of the Bowflex Max trainer enable you to work out as hard as you can without being concerned about the stability and strength of the equipment.
One can safely say that the build quality of the Bowflex Max trainer is similar to that of any commercial-grade cardio machine you would find in a commercial gym.
Built using heavy-duty carbon steel, this compact machine weighs about 155 pounds and can support user weight up to 300 pounds. The machine weight and its capacity indicates that the machine is built to last.
The dual-rail design, quiet bearings, and power transmission elements provide you with a smooth and quiet operation experience. Wide and strong pedals and robust multi-grip handlebars seem unshakable even under intense use.
All metal parts are black powder-coated for added durability. The machine comes with a 3-year warranty on frame and parts.
The display console is one of the prominent features of Bowflex MT 16. It is an HD touchscreen measuring 16 inches diagonally.
The video clarity on the display is excellent, you can watch the entertainment videos and workout videos at video quality similar to most TV sets. The touchscreen is responsive, you won’t have to tap twice for a single command ever.
Navigating through the workout programs, workout metrics, and tracking your workout progress is made very easy by the easy-to-operate display unit.
For additional control and ease of use, there are a few buttons at the back of the display unit that can be used to adjust volume, return to the home screen, or power off the device. When you are not using the machine the display automatically goes into sleep mode and it can be woken up by a gentle tap on the screen or by pedaling.
It needs to be connected to your home wi-fi if you wish to stream Netflix, Prime videos, or similar entertainment on the device.
This display unit along with JNRY membership lets you explore the world virtually, experience curated workouts and entertainment, and get real-time coaching from coaches around the world.
The Bowflex Max Trainer is controlled through the 16-inch console cum display unit. To be able to benefit from all the features of this cutting-edge machine, you would need JNRY membership and a wi-fi connection.
The machine has Bluetooth as well as wi-fi connectivity and is compatible with iOS and Android devices. There are two HR monitors, one is a contact-type hand grip monitor and the other is a contactless HR armband that is connected to the console through Bluetooth.
Bowflex MT 16 has 20 levels of magnetic resistance. The workout program selected from the JNRY app displays the suitable resistance for the routine, to match it with machine resistance, you can manually adjust it by rotating the steel resistance dial provided at the center of the machine.
You can access your existing Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Hulu, and HBO Max accounts through the console. It also has a USB charging port and Bluetooth speakers if you wish to play music through your mobile or tablet.
Workout Programs & Resistance Levels
There are four standard workout programs on the machine namely, manual, fat burn, calorie burn, and stairs. But with JNRY membership you can access practically innumerable programs.
The 20-levels of magnetic resistance of the machine can be manually adjusted by rotating the steel knob. When you alter the resistance, you can feel it in your pedaling, and also the HD touchscreen in front of you will display the current resistance.
When you set up the machine and log in to the JNRY app, you would need to create your profile mentioning your weight, age, height, and fitness goals. Then the first thing it does is run a fitness assessment program.
When you follow this workout the JNRY app utilizes the data you fed and the metrics of your fitness assessment to create the initial workout plan and recommends the workouts accordingly. The duration and intensity of the workouts increases as you grow stronger.
The Bowflex Max Trainer’s adaptive workout technology works in your favor by planning the natural progression for you. This utilizes the resistance levels and data from your previous workouts effectively to help you reach your fitness goals in minimum time.
Assembly and Maintenance
The Bowflex trainer comes in two big boxes and it needs to be assembled. The boxes are too heavy to carry by yourself and even for assembly, it is recommended to be carried out with a partner as it involves lifting and fixing together some heavy parts.
All the tools and instructions are inside the package so you don’t need to search anywhere else for them. Bowflex even has instructional videos for assembly, links for these videos can be found on the assembly manual.
If you are not too good with tools and following instructions you can just go for an expert assembly service. Bowflex has partnered with some third-party service providers, they will get your machine assembled for you at some cost. (about $169 currently).
There are no complicated mechanisms involved in Bowflex MT 16, which makes it very easy to maintain. The owner’s manual has detailed instructions on how to operate the machine and if there is any preventive maintenance is needed.
For any additional issue, mechanical or technological you can contact Bowflex customer care, they will guide you for the further steps to take in order to resolve the problem.
Design & Aesthetics
Bowflex Max Trainer is very compact and elegant workout equipment. The design is an improvement over traditional stepper and elliptical machines.
The Bowflex MT16 is designed to fit into less than half the space an elliptical would need. Unlike the stepper, the MT 16 allows you to exercise your upper body too.
The vertical design with a solid base of the machine saves on floor space and yet allows you to work out as fast as you can.
The black powder coat finish on metal parts with a mix of matt and glossy finish and matching plastic coverings and the console provides an elegant look to the overall machine. It is a sleek machine with a beautiful HD screen at the top, it is aesthetically suitable to be kept in any part of the home.
The total black finish with a hint of red and white name and logo prints enhance the aesthetics of the machine and eliminate any possibility of the machine not suiting the background color scheme.
The pedals, handlebars, and controls of the Bowflex Max trainer are designed to keep you as comfortable as possible during the workout.
The oversized textured pedals keep your feet secured all the time. There is no chance of foot slipping even during intense pedaling. The complete flat and large surface of the pedals to plant your feet distributes the force all over the feet and doesn’t create any pressure point allowing you to pedal for a long duration.
The handlebars have six grips giving you three options for gripping positions. As per the workout, you are following you can keep your arms in three different positions for targeting different upper body muscles and avoiding fatigue on certain muscles on long-duration sessions.
There are HR monitoring hand grips too if you wish to rest your arms and perform lower body exercise only.
The quick buttons on the back of the console and easy-to-adjust steel dial for resistance also contribute to user comfort. The vertical design and transport wheels on the front allow you to comfortably move the machine around if you wish to store it at a different place than your workout space.
You can see on the Bowflex website that the retail price for Bowflex Max Total 16 is $2499, but almost always they offer a discount of $100. Making the price of the machine $2399.
The price is inclusive of an exercise mat, shipping charges. You also get a Bluetooth HR armband included in the package along with the machine.
The JNRY membership of a 1-year duration is free with the machine. The cost of this membership would otherwise be about 149 bucks. So the effective price of the machine is even lesser than $2399.
If you opt for the in-home expert assembly option you have to pay $169 extra.
The MT 16 trainer is covered under Bowflex warranty. There is a 3-year warranty on the frame and parts of the machines against failures due to defects in material or workmanship. And there is a 90-day service warranty on labor work.
Pros & Cons
- Adjustable 16-inch large HD touchscreen display
- Bluetooth HR armband for advanced heart rate tracking
- 20 resistance levels with precision control dial
- 6-grip handlebars to get perfect hand position to engage different upper body muscles
- Oversized textured pedals
- Built-in media shelf and water bottle holder
- Premium dual-rail design for maximum stability and smooth glide
- Compact and aesthetic design
- Curated workouts adapting with your progress
- Most digital console functions don’t work without JNRY membership
- Difficult to assemble on your own
- The resistance knob is too smooth to feel the resistance changes
- Comparatively more expensive
Is Bowflex Max Total 16 Worth The Buy?
Bowflex Max Total 16 is a great choice for those who have limited space and need a piece of exercise equipment that can help them work on their full body. It takes up very little floor space and also can be easily moved to a store somewhere else than the workout area.
The price may seem a little high for a compact home gym machine like Bowflex MT16 but for the value it offers, it is worth it.
The machine can be used by the whole family irrespective of their body type and fitness level. With JNRY membership and the ability to track workout data for unlimited users, this single piece of equipment can be utilized for improving the fitness levels of all family members.
The features like adaptive training, progress tracking, various entertainment streaming options, access to on-demand classes, virtual coaching, etc. make it even more lucrative.
There are more factors in favor of buying Bowflex MT 16 than against it. Even if it is a single piece of equipment in your home gym it has the potential to fulfill your fitness goals or at least be the major contributor.
The responsive HD touchscreen display along with the JNRY app on the machine providing you with tailor-made workouts and virtual coaching practically eliminates the need to go to a gym class for many.
The only drawback seems to be the need for JNRY membership to access most of the features. Even after purchasing a piece of equipment for your home gym to avoid paying for a gym membership, you still end up paying about $149 per annum for the JNRY membership.