Trying to choose between the Nordictrack Freestride Trainer vs Bowflex Max? Wondering which is the best machine for your home?
These are two very popular elliptical-type machines that help you get better results than a standard elliptical trainer. And coming in around the same price range means a lot of people are trying to decide between the two.
This article will give you a rundown of the main differences between the two to help you find the right option for you.
#1 Type of Motion
These two machines give you two very different types of exercise motion. The Freestride Trainer is more like an elliptical trainer.
You can go forward and back. You even can change the slope of the elliptical pathway with incline and decline.
But unlike a typical elliptical trainer which has a set stride length, you can actually vary your stride with the Freestride trainer. So you can do short stair-stepping motions, longer running strides or even longer hurdling type strides.
So you get to constantly change up the motion, leading to less adaptation and more calories burned.
The Bowflex Max Trainer gives you more of a stair-climbing motion – with elliptical-style moving arm bars to tone your upper body.
You don't have as much flexibility to vary your movements as with the Freestride trainer but you do have a high-calorie burning workout that really works your lower body and core muscles.
#2 Workout Program Options
While this varies depending on the model of Max Trainer or Freestride Trainer that you choose, in general you get a few more built-in workouts with the Freestride trainer than with the Max Trainer.
However all Max Trainer models do come with the famous 14 minute high intensity workout built in.
This workout is part of what makes the Max Trainer so popular – and effective. It's a high intensity interval workout designed to get you maximum calorie burn in minimum time – and even keep you burning calories post workout for hours.
#3 Calories Burned
The Max Trainer has the slight edge here – but only because Bowflex has had the foresight to actually do the lab testing of their machine.
With the Max Trainer you can burn up to 2.5 times more calories than a stairclimber, treadmill or elliptical.
Max Trainer users in a fitness trial actually burned up to 600 calories in 30 minutes, which is amazing.
This doesn't mean you can't burn more calories on a Freestride trainer than on an elliptical. In fact you probably can (because you're not acclimating to one set stride – and you're always challenging your body).
But so far Nordictrack is not really publishing calories burned results yet. So there's no hard data to stand on and compare against the Max Trainer.
I always like to look at the console of a machine because, let's face it, you're going to be looking at it a lot during your workout. So you want to see just what you'll be looking at (i.e. is it backlit, easy to read, easy to use etc.)
The Bowflex Max Trainer models come with various consoles but for the most part you get easy-to-read feedback with an intuitive layout.
There's even an intensity meter that lets you engage and really challenge yourself to go further. However there aren't a lot of toys or extras on the console.
On the other hand the Freestride Trainer console is backlit and easy to read as well – but you get a lot of toys and extras.
For example the FS7 and FS9 models come with full-color, touch-screen consoles with web browsers. So you can surf the net, watch YouTube videos or read emails as you workout. Very cool.
You also get a built-in jack for your iPod or mp3 player with console speakers to listen to your favorite tunes.
While the price range is in the same ballpark, the Max Trainer does start out a bit cheaper, with a starter model coming in around $1200 and going up from there.
As of this writing the most affordable Freestride Trainer comes in around $1599. So if you're on a budget, then the Max Trainer might be right up your alley.
So those are some of the main differences between the Nordictrack Freestride Trainer vs Bowflex Max. They both have a lot of advantages over standard elliptical trainers.
It really comes down to what you want, your budget and your workout goals. Good luck and have fun!