Wednesday, 24 July 2024

Cardio, Elliptical Trainers, Stepper

Bowflex Max Total 16 Review | The Newest HIIT Trainer

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Bowflex Max Total 16 Featured image

The Bowflex Max Total 16 comes fresh on the heels of Bowflex’s M9 Trainer, which was released in 2021. This latest iteration of the Max Trainers is also a combination of elliptical and stair stepper.

Thanks to Bowflex’s innovative design, the Max Total provides you with a full-body, low-impact workout, helping you reach your fitness goals without putting too much stress on your joints.

Bowflex Max Total 16s provide high-intensity interval training, and your ability to enjoy highly efficient workout programs won’t be compromised by these low-impact cardio machines.

This is what makes Bowflex one of the most popular fitness equipment brands in the market today.

With that being said, let’s take a look at Bowflex’s latest offering to determine if it’s a worthy upgrade from the Max Trainer M9.

Rating: 4.5
Bowflex Max Total 16
  • Steel resistance dial
  • Premium design
  • Quite easy to assemble
  • Fusion of elliptical and stair stepper
  • High-intensity interval training

Design Features

The Bowflex Max Total 16’s design features will determine whether it will be a good addition to your home gym. We’ll discuss its key features below.


Like its predecessor, the Bowflex Max Total 16 sports a premium build with a sturdy frame. We tested the sturdiness of the machine and found its strong steel and aluminum frame to be ideal for high-intensity interval training. We certainly felt secure using it and had no fears of losing our balance.

Continuing with its impressive build quality is the Max Trainer’s steel resistance dial. You can turn it either way to adjust your resistance levels: Turn left to reduce your level and right to increase it for precise control. However, we had to look at the touch screen to gauge which level we were on as the dial doesn’t offer tactile feedback.

Despite this, we enjoyed the Bowflex Max Total 16’s fusion of elliptical and stepping machines. We found that it provided a unique workout and were able to benefit from the increased fat burn. Anyone looking to burn serious calories should consider the Bowflex Max Total 16.

Bowflex Max Total 16 dial

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While the Bowflex Max Total 16 sports a compact design compared to both an elliptical and stair stepper, it does take up quite a bit of space.

The high-performance cardio machine, known for delivering high-intensity workouts, commands a footprint of 49.3″ (L) x 30.8″ (W) and a height of 65.7″. We compared it to the M9 Trainer and found it to be slightly larger.

Oversized textured pedals

An aspect of the new Bowflex Max Total 16 design features is its oversized pedals.

These textured pedals help hold you in position and prevent you from slipping off the machine during a high-intensity interval training workout.

We found that the design is suitable for persons of different sizes since it allows you to find your perfect sprinting position.

Bowflex Max Total 16 pedals large

6-grip handlebars

The Bowflex Max Total 16 now has 6-grip handlebars. This is two more than that of the M9 Trainer.

We compared this to the M9’s 4-grip handlebars and found that having two additional grips caters to more people. We find it effective for those who share homes with people of differing heights.

This, plus the custom profiles you can create with your JRNY membership, make the Max Total 16 an even more personalized fitness equipment.

Bowflex Max Total 16 weight capacity

The new Bowflex Max Total 16 can carry up to 300 pounds of weight, which we found to be suitable for most users. This weight capacity is industry standard and can reliably and comfortably support any person whose weight falls below the specified limit.

LCD console and JRNY membership

JRNY is an innovative digital fitness platform that makes use of the new Bowflex Max Total 16’s 16-inch touch screen display. A JRNY membership is required to use the platform and access on-demand workouts. World-class trainers lead the classes which will help kick your butt into shape.

Don’t want to up the ante too much? Don’t worry. You’ll be able to compete at your own speed while achieving your personal fitness goals, thanks to the initial fitness assessment you take when you first use the Bowflex Max Total 16.

The membership also allows users to listen to JRNY radio, which broadcasts live DJ sets and interviews with DJs, producers, promoters, and industry insiders.

Plus, the JRNY membership enables you to have personalized workouts and explore virtual destinations while doing so.

If you’d prefer to catch up on the latest series while getting your calorie burn on, you can stream entertainment on HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, or Netflix. While we had fun doing so, we didn’t like that a JRNY membership was required, which came at an additional fee.

However, we must say that we appreciated that we could experience curated workout plans from the comfort of our home gym.

Console display

Adjustable HD touchscreen

The M16 comes with a touchscreen display you can adjust to the perfect angle. We liked that we could move it around to get the perfect angle for us while exercising.

Workout style

The Bowflex Max Total 16 is similar to the Max Trainer M9 in that it’s also a combination of a stair stepper and elliptical. This blend offers users the ability to get high-intensity training they can do for longer periods, thanks to the low impact it has on the joints. Like the Max Trainer M9, we valued that the Bowflex Max Total offered versatility.


Similar to the M9 Trainer, the Bowflex Max Total sports a built-in media shelf. You’ll find it just below the interactive console HD touchscreen. We liked that we could store our smartphones and other devices out of view while we pedaled away with its oversized textured pedals.

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Bowflex Max Total 16 – Features Summary

  • Steel resistance dial
  • Premium design
  • Quite easy to assemble
  • Fusion of elliptical and stair stepper
  • High-intensity interval training
  • Large textured pedals
  • Dual-rail design
  • Built-in media shelf
  • 6-grip handlebars
  • Bluetooth heart rate band
  • Bluetooth speakers
  • 300 lb weight capacity
  • Low-intensity recovery
  • 16-inch interactive console HD touchscreen (adjustable)
  • Stream Netflix, HBO Max, and Amazon Prime (WiFi needed)
  • JRNY radio (WiFi required)
  • Free mat

Bowflex Max Total 16 – Available Attachments

The new Bowflex Max has the following attachments available for purchase: a media rack and a Bluetooth heart rate armband should you misplace your heart rate armband.

You can position this media rack above the console (yes, the cool adjustable one) to hold an additional smart device. We thought this was unnecessary, given the presence of a media shelf beneath the HD touchscreen console.

It makes for a cluttered setup, and we think you’ll be content with the M16’s expansive display (unlike the smaller screens of other Max Trainers).

Seeing that the new Bowflex Max Total 16 is the latest in the Max Trainer series, we understand that it may take some time for Bowflex to release new attachments to the market.

Besides the above, you can accessorize your M16 with your free mat. You can also buy a cardio machine mat, as well as a Bowflex towel to cool down after giving your very best effort during a workout.

If you’d like to spruce things up a bit more, there are a few accessories and attachments you can purchase on Amazon.

Use a screen protector to preserve the interactive console’s screen. You can also purchase this stylus to use on the M16’s touchscreen. This way, you’ll avoid leaving sweat marks on the display after a hectic HIIT session.

Bowflex Max Total 16 Exercise Options

The M16 is similar to other Max Trainers in that it provides a total-body cardio workout.

Daily adaptive workouts are available on the JRNY digital fitness platform (JRNY membership required) to help you get even more out of high-intensity interval training and reach your fitness goals.

The M16 is powered by your arms and legs as you move the handlebars and pedal with your feet, respectively. The 6-grip handlebar caters to all heights and works your upper body like an elliptical would, while pedaling away works your lower body.

This fusion helps you develop a fit and toned body because of the total-body cardio provided by the M16.

We loved using the Max Total 16 as an elliptical because we felt the two extra handlebars gave us a wider range of motion. It worked our triceps and shoulders while the stepping component of the M16 targeted our glutes and calves.

The Max Total 16 provided a delightfully unique, low-impact, yet highly-efficient workout.

Similar to the M9 model, you can engage in these exercises:

  • Upper body
  • Lower body
  • Stair climbs
  • HIIT


  • Both the frame and parts of the M16 are covered by a 3-year warranty.
  • Bowflex provides a 90-day labor warranty.
  • The warranty is voided if you use non-approved parts.
  • Any changes to the machine’s functionality or design will void the warranty.

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Bowflex Max Total 16 Customer Reviews

We recognize that predicting how well a product will work or last based on its features and specifications can be challenging. That is why, in addition to our Bowflex Max Total review, we believe you should consider what others have to say too.

Given that the machine is still relatively new to the Max Trainer series, there will almost certainly be more Bowflex Max Total 16 reviews to come.

Take a look at the most common pros and cons shared by consumers.


Here are the top three positive opinions of the Bowflex Max Total 16.

Low impact exercise

While the Bowflex Max Total 16 is great for HIIT workouts, consumers enjoy how gentle it is on their joints. Other devices, such as treadmills, can put a lot of strain on your joints as you pound away at them, trying to burn as many calories as possible.

Effective workouts

Users were amazed at the HIIT machine’s full-body workout and capacity to burn calories in a short amount of time. We totally agree and believe that the pairing of the elliptical and stepping machine is an excellent combination.

Expansive touch screen display

Users love the 16-inch display and the ability to watch shows while exercising while still seeing the workout bar on the screen. Many praised that they could keep tabs on their workouts and know how “hard” they needed to work to stay in their primary heart rate zone.


Customers also mentioned a few drawbacks of the Bowflex Max Total 16.

Glitchy software

Users have complained that the JRNY app is buggy. The app on the console did not identify the M16 and instead recognized it as the Max Trainer M9, which threw us off a bit. We were quite confused by this, and other consumers have had similar issues.

JRNY membership is required for full access

In almost any Bowflex M16 review, consumers frequently complain that the machine requires a JRNY membership to reach its full potential. This bothers us as well, especially considering how pricey it is.

Pros & Cons Summary for Bowflex Max Total M16

If you’re short on time, read this quick rundown of the Bowflex Max Total 16’s pros and cons.


  • Effective workouts
  • Low impact exercise
  • World-class trainers
  • Premium design
  • Compact design
  • Premium build
  • Expansive touch screen display
  • Fusion of elliptical and stepping machine


  • Glitchy app and software
  • Requires two or more people for assembly
  • JRNY membership is required to enjoy full use of the M16.

Review Overview



The Bowflex Max Total 16 is an excellent machine for anyone seeking a total-body cardio and HIIT workout. It also boasts a 300-pound weight limit, making it suitable for most people.

If you’re searching for a versatile and sturdy elliptical machine, the M16 is an excellent choice. It also has several user-friendly features, such as allowing users to experience tailored workouts and advanced heart rate training.

You'll get virtual coaching with real-time metrics when using the Bowflex Max Total 16 with the JRNY app.

While the technological features of the M16 provide a fully immersive fitness experience, you'll need a JRNY membership. On the surface, this doesn’t appear to be a problem, but it can be frustrating when the app and software don’t work properly. That’s not something you’d expect from high-end home gym equipment.

The Bowflex Max Total 16 is great for anyone looking for a premium, high-intensity exercise machine with little joint stress while ensuring calorie burn. This versatile elliptical from Bowflex is a good investment, but not if you already own the M9 Trainer.

Either way, you’ll benefit from both an elliptical and step machine in one.

Product dimensions: 49.3" (L) x 30.8" (W) x 65.7" (H) Weight capacity: 300 lbs”

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