ProForm HIIT Trainer vs. Bowflex Max – Comparing Elliptical Trainers

by Kevin Lee

February 10, 2020

ProForm HIIT Trainer vs Bowflex Max comparison

If you’ve been shopping for a top of the line elliptical trainer for very long, then you’ve no doubt encountered the offerings from Bowflex and ProForm. These are two of the most reputed and popular ranges of ellipticals on the market. So, how do you decide between them?

That’s the question we are looking at today. In fact, we’ll put two models from each manufacturer head to head to see which ones come out on top. We will compare the following .

  • ProForm Cardio HIIT Elliptical Trainer VS Bowflex Max M7
  • ProForm HIIT Pro Trainer VS Bowflex Max M8

It should be noted that the machines in the Bowflex and ProForm HIIT range are not designed for beginner exercises. They are for more advanced fitness enthusiast and athletes who use the intense HIIT training regularly.

Quick Answer: The ProForm HIIT Elliptical and Elliptical Pro come out on top as the better option.

ProForm Cardio HIIT Elliptical Trainer vs Bowflex Max M7

At a Glance

Bowflex has four Max Trainers on the current market, compared to two for ProForm. When it comes to the ProForm Cardio HIIT Elliptical Trainer and the Bowflex Max M7. There are quite a few similarities They both are made with a space-saving design, a HIIT training platform, have front drives for easier mounting and provide you with multi grip handles to allow you to work the upper body as well as the lower body. Ultimately, the ProForm HIIT Trainer comes out on top.

So, what about the differences? The elliptical motion on the Bowflex Max M7 is more natural, resembling the pedaling motion of a cycle, whereas the ProForm Cardio HIIT Trainer delivers more of an up and down motion. It gives you a 10-inch vertical but only a 5-inch horizontal motion. The ProForm gives you more resistance levels, more programs, a longer warranty, and more stability. For these reasons, we consider the ProForm Cardio HIIT Trainer to be the better buy.

Comparing the Features and Specs

ProForm Cardio HIIT Elliptical Trainer

Bowflex Max M7

ProForm Cardio HIIT Elliptical Trainer
Bowflex Max M7

Built in workout programs:

32

Built in workout programs:

11

Resistance Levels:

24

Resistance Levels:

20

Connectivity:

built in Bluetooth

Connectivity:

built in Bluetooth

Apps:

iFIT

Apps:

Bowflex JRNY

Heart monitor:

EKG hand pulse sensor

Heart monitor:

wireless heart rate strap, EKG hand pulse sensor

Dimensions:

52" L x 29.25" W x 66.7" H

Dimensions:

49" L x 30.5" W x 65.5" H

Weight Limits:

350 lbs

Weight Limits:

300 lbs

Build Quality:

Excellent

Build Quality:

Very Good

Price:

$$$

Price:

$$$$$

Built in workout programs

The Bowflex Max M7 Trainer provides you with 11 built-in workout programs. This compares to 32 programs for the ProForm HIIT Trainer. That gives the ProForm a huge win in this category.

Resistance Levels

You get 20 levels of eddy current resistance on the Bowflex Max M7 Trainer. This compares to 24 levels of resistance on the ProForm HIIT Trainer. Both of these levels are quite impressive, so the extra four levels won’t be a game-breaker. Both machines provide a smooth transition between resistance levels.

ProForm Cardio HIIT Elliptical Trainer

Connectivity

Both machines allow you to connect to the outside world via Bluetooth.

Apps

The ProForm Elliptical HIIT Trainer is iFit enabled. Your purchase comes with a free 12-month subscription to iFit. This gives you the ability to work out on tracks all over the world, thanks to synchronization with Google Maps. Once your yearly subscription to iFit expires, it will cost you $144 to renew.

You also have the ability to save your personal to save your personal training data for later analysis. In fact, the ProForm provides you with the ability to store up to four user profiles.

The Bowflex Max M7 does not hook you up with iFit. Instead, it provides its own workout app, called Bowflex JRNY. This provides you with all of the tracking capability that you get on the iFit, but does not provide all of the training options. Despite the fact that you will have to pay for it after a year, we believe that the ProForm provides the better app offering.

Heart monitor

The Bowflex M7 provides you with a wireless heart rate strap to allow for the most accurate pulse monitoring. In addition, it has built-in EKG hand pulse sensors to take your heart rate through your grip, but this method is not nearly as accurate. The ProForm Elliptical HIIT Trainer only provides you with an EKG hand pulse sensor. That makes Bowflex the big winner in this category.

Dimensions

Both of the machines have been created with a space-saving design. The dimensions of the ProForm HIIT Trainer are 52" L x 29.25" W x 66.7" H. This compares to 49" L x 30.5" W x 65.5" H.

From this comparison, we see that the Bowflex Max M7 Trainer is slightly more compact than the ProForm HIIT trainer.

Weight Limits

The maximum user weight of the ProForm HIIT Trainer is 350 pounds. This is 50 pounds more than the Bowflex Max M7. This strongly suggests that the ProForm is a sturdier, more rigidly framed machine.

Build Quality

Both of these machines impress in terms of their build quality. However, as mentioned in the previous section, the ProForm HIIT Trainer is slightly more sturdy and robust than the Bowflex Max M7. The ProForm is a heavier machine, weighing in at 180 pounds, compared with 143 pounds for the Bowflex. They are both stable, even when used at top intensity levels, but, again, the ProForm is slightly better in this regard.

Bowflex Max Trainer M7

The ProForm uses a 28-pound flywheel along with a patented Silent Magnetic Resistance system to deliver a very natural smooth elliptical motion. Unfortunately, Bowflex do not list their flywheel weight. They make use of the conventional eddy current braking system, which is not quite as smooth as what you experience on the ProForm.

Price

The price differential between the two machines is quite dramatic. The ProForm Elliptical HIIT Trainer can be purchased for around a thousand dollars. The Bowflex M7, however, is around double that price. That makes the ProForm hands down the best value!

What Others Are Saying

There are a lot of reviews for both of these products from verified users online. The majority of buyers of the ProForm HIIT Trainer liked the fact that the machine is very sturdy and does wobble when being used. Quite a few reinforced the fact that this is not a machine for beginners, as the workouts are quite challenging. Others were impressed with the large number of in-built programs and resistance levels. However, a couple of people mentioned their dissatisfaction with the customer service that they received.

Reviewers of the Bowflex were similarly impressed with build quality and workouts programs. However, several people commented on the high price, speculating that you are paying a premium for the Bowflex brand name.

ProForm HIIT Trainer Pro vs Bowflex Max M8

The ProForm HIIT Trainer Pro and the Bowflex Max M8 are both the top of the line offerings from these competing suppliers. In fact, the ProForm line was created as a more affordable direct competitor to the Bowflex Max line.

At a Glance

Just as with the next step down models, these machines have a large number of similarities. The key points of difference are that there are more resistance levels (26 vs. 20) on the ProForm HIIT Trainer, more workout programs (34 compared with 29), and a more impressive color display on the ProForm. You also get a better warranty on the ProForm, and it is available at a cheaper price. That makes the ProForm HIIT Trainer Pro a better deal than the Bowflex Max M8.

Comparing the Features and Specs

ProForm Cardio HIIT Trainer Pro

Bowflex Max M8

ProForm Cardio HIIT Elliptical Trainer
Bowflex Max M8

Built in workout programs:

34

Built in workout programs:

29

Resistance Levels:

26

Resistance Levels:

20

Connectivity:

built in Bluetooth

Connectivity:

built in Bluetooth

Apps:

iFIT

Apps:

Max Intelligence App

Heart monitor:

wireless heart rate strap, EKG hand pulse sensor

Heart monitor:

wireless heart rate strap, EKG hand pulse sensor

Dimensions:

39" L x 29.25" W x 66.7" H

Dimensions:

49" L x 30.5" W x 65.5" H

Monitor:

10 inches

Monitor:

dual mode LCD, LED screens

Build Quality:

Excellent

Build Quality:

Very Good

Price:

$$$$

Price:

$$$$$

Built in workout programs

The ProForm HIIT Trainer Pro delivers 34 workout programs (compared to 32 on the standard ProForm). The Bowflex Max M8 Trainer gives you a total of 29 programs, but there is a proviso to this. There are 29 programs on the associated training app but to access all of them you need to pay for a monthly subscription of $14.95 per month. The free version only gives you access to seventeen of these programs.

ProForm Cardio HIIT Trainer Pro

Resistance Levels

The ProForm HIIT Trainer Pro provides you with 26 resistance levels. This compares to 20 levels for the Bowflex Max M8. It is worthy of note here that the ProForm HIIT Pro provides you with a 30-pound flywheel and makes use of a patented silent magnetic resistance system to deliver a very smooth resistance transition. Bowflex does not divulge the weight of their flywheel, but it makes use of the more standard eddy current resistance system, which also provides a smooth resistance transition.

Connectivity

Both the ProForm HIIT Trainer Pro and the Bowflex Max M8 Trainer provide you with Bluetooth connectivity so that you can access online fitness, training, and nutrition apps.

Apps

The difference between apps on these two machines is the same as you get with the standard model of the ProForm and the Bowflex Max M7. The ProForm ellipticals are designed to work in conjunction with the iFit. This makes sense because the iFit app is owned by ProForm. However, unlike the standard version, the ProForm HIIT Trainer Pro does not come with a complimentary subscription.

The Bowflex Max M8 comes with the Max Intelligence App. It is built on an artificial intelligence platform that automatically assesses your workout. It will make suggestions on how you can progressively increase the intensity of your workout as you progress toward your goals. However, just as with the iFit subscription on the ProForm HIIT Trainer Pro, you have to pay to get full access to the app. The cost is $149 per year. You do get access to seventeen training programs on the app free of charge.

When you compare the two apps, the iFit option provides you with more training options and overall functionality.

Heart Monitor

The heart rate capability on the ProForm HIIT Trainer Pro is a big step up from the standard version of the ProForm HIIT elliptical. That’s because, as well as the EKG hand held heart rate monitor, you also get a wireless heart rate strap. That puts it on par with the Bowflex Max M8, meaning that they both deliver top notch performance when it comes to heart rate monitoring.

Dimensions

As with the next step down models, both of these machines are designed to be compact and streamlined. The dimensions are as follows;

  • ProForm HIIT Trainer Pro - 39" L x 29.25" W x 66.7" H
  • Bowflex Max Trainer M8 - 49" L x 30.5" W x 65.5" H

We can see from this that the dimensions of these two machines are very similar. However, the Pro Form has a shorter length by 10 inches.

Bowflex Max Trainer M8

Monitor

The monitor of the ProForm HIIT Trainer Pro is very impressive. For a start, the screen measure 10 inches diagonally, which is very big in terms of a home-use cardio machine. On top of that, you get a full color HD display. This is one of the best visual experiences you will find on a cardio machine at this price point. It makes for a wonderful experience when you use it along with iFit workouts from around the globe. Of course, if you choose not to subscribe to iFit, you can still experience the 34 built-in workout programs through the high definition screen.

The Bowflex Max M8 Trainer provides you with dual mode LCD, LED screens. They provide plenty of detailed data from your workout, including a unique burn rate display that shows the calories burned while increasing your workout activity. The display on the Bowflex M8 is not as large or as impressive as that on the Pro Form HIIT Trainer Pro.

Build Quality

Both of these machines are very robust. The ProForm has a max weight capacity of 350 pounds. That speaks volumes about its solid and sturdy build. The Bowflex Max M8 has a max weight of 300 pounds, just like the M7. That belies the fact that its’ build is not quite as robust as the ProForm. This is most evidenced when you are training at full capacity, with the ProForm being more stable.

Price

The ProForm HIIT Trainer Pro is available in the mid $ 1500s. It is several hundred dollars cheaper than the Bowflex Max M8.

What Others are Saying

Online reviewers of the ProForm HIIT Trainer Pro are generally excited about the cost-effectiveness, performance, and features of the machine. Many people have commented on the great visuals that you get from the display monitor. When it comes to the Bowflex Max M8, reviewers were impressed with the short, intense workouts and the compact, sleek design.

Final Thoughts:

The ProForm HIIT Trainer series of elliptical machines were produced by ProForm as a direct competitor to the Bowflex Max Trainer series. As we have seen in this review both of their line-up, the ProGForm HIIT Trainer and the ProForm HIIT Trainer Pro provide superior performance in terms of programs, resistance, levels, display options, and price. For those reasons, we recommend ProForm over Bowflex when it comes to HIIT elliptical trainers.

About the author 

Kevin Lee  -  Health and fitness have always been a passion for me; whether its being in the weight room, going for a run before work or even participating in a half iron man triathlon. ShapeJunkie was created to share to knowledge and love of fitness with others.

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