Trying to decide between the Bowflex Max Trainer vs. a treadmill? The Bowflex Max is a new type of elliptical staircase that is extremely popular right now.
But the treadmill is still the most popular type of fitness equipment overall, and it also gives you some definite benefits.
So which one 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 burn calories
The Bowflex Max has the advantage here. In studies conducted at the Bowflex laboratory, Trainer Max was burned to 2.5 times more calories than a treadmill (or a regular elliptical or a ladder).
In fact, test users were burned up 600 calories in 30 minutes. Compare that to about 100 to 200 calories in 30 minutes that you burn on a treadmill (depending on incline, speed, etc.), and it’s a huge difference.
# 2 Impact
Once again, Coach Max’s wins here are fine. Treadmills (especially when used for running) are very high impact. Joint force coming down on the belt can strain the hips, knees, back, and ankles.
However, the Max Trainer 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 exercising on the Max.
So if you’re more prone to injury or leg cramps, the Max is a great option.
# 3 Entertainment / Follow Options
This is a tie, perhaps with a treadmill (depending on the model) that has a slight edge.
While the Bowflex Max trainer comes 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, televisions, and even a web browser on the console.
However, on the other hand, the Max Trainer M5 model comes with Bluetooth and you can sync and track your results with your app to see how far you’ve come. So there is good traceability with the M5.
# 4 Ease of use
The treadmill has a slight advantage here. Walking on a treadmill is so simple that almost anyone can do it, regardless of age, weight, or level of coordination.
Even if you’ve never exercised before and are just starting out, you can still use a treadmill. Start slow and work your way up gradually as your fitness level increases.
The Max trainer can also be used slowly, however it is a bit more intense than a simple walking exercise. Also, newbies may need a little time to get used to the movement.
# 5 upper body
Coach Max wins here, hands down. With a treadmill, there really is no way to work your upper body unless you buy hand weights and use them while walking.
The Max trainer has movable arm bars (similar to elliptical arm bars) that help you work your arms. Testing in the Bowflex lab showed that the Max arms hooked up to 80% more upper body muscles than even a traditional elliptical.
So what is the bottom line of the Bowflex Max Trainer versus a treadmill?
Well, it basically depends on you and what you are 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 and are just starting out.
However, the Max Trainer packs a lot less impact than a treadmill and can burn a lot more calories in less time. Therefore, you will see faster weight loss results on the Max than on a treadmill.
Plus, you’ll also be able to work out and tone your upper body much easier than on a treadmill.
So again, it depends on your goals and preferences. Regardless of what you decide to do, be sure to take your time, go at your own pace, and consult your doctor before starting any exercise program. Good luck!