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Bowflex or NordicTrack Elliptical | Complete Comparison of Fitness Machines

Are you deciding between NordicTrack and Bowflex?

Two of the most well-liked ellipticals are NordicTrack and Bowflex. Both of the brands have distinctive features, but which of the two makes for better strength training equipment?

Both brands are worth investing in at comparable prices because all their products are of the highest caliber.

Additionally, each brand has a few elliptical-style machines that go beyond what a standard elliptical trainer can offer.

This article will outline the critical distinctions between the two to assist you in selecting the best choice for you!

Bowflex Elliptical Overview

Everything began in 1986. Bowflex was creating a cutting-edge method to bring gym-quality outcomes into the home when others were creating pricey commercial gym equipment.

The Max Trainer series machines give a stronger upward step movement than ellipticals but are otherwise identical — a hybrid of an elliptical trainer and a stair stepper.

The company devoted more than 30 years to developing better, quicker, and more efficient ways to achieve outcomes in the convenience of your own home.

Because of this, Bowflex continues to be the industry’s gold standard and most trustworthy brand.

Bowflex Max Trainers have both advantages and disadvantages:

Bowflex Max Trainer M9


  • Safe performance at high intensities is made possible by ergonomic design
  • Preloaded workout regimens eliminate the requirement for specific program planning
  • Accurate intensity tracking is made possible by integration with heart rate monitoring


  • Pricey in comparison to cheaper aerobic apparatus
  • For the Bowflex JRNY app, you must pay a monthly fee
  • Using all the technological capabilities and navigating the app and HD screen will take some time
  • Although the M9 and Max Total 16 are more expensive, they provide M6-like physical functionality

NOTE: While Bowflex isn’t as old as NordicTrack, it isn’t that much younger, either. The Bowflex home gym was an innovative fitness machine that Bowflex created in 1986.

NordicTrack Elliptical Overview

NordicTrack was founded in 1975 as a fitness business specializing in skier machines.

Due to the popularity of the ski machines, they grew and began producing other low-impact equipment, such as the elliptical trainer.

They have manufactured and produced ellipticals and treadmills that greatly benefit the customer by utilizing technology to their advantage.

There isn’t a machine that offers more features and functionality for the money than NordicTrack does.

Freestride Elliptical Trainers made by NordicTrack offer benefits and drawbacks. The next part has more information.

Nordictrack Freestrider


  • Motion that can vary up to 38 inches
  • Three devices in one
  • Very low-impact workout
  • It is smaller than a regular elliptical trainer
  • There are numerous models available
  • Utilize iFit workouts to monitor your workout objectives and progress


  • Not all users may find the motion to be ideal
  • You need to ensure there is room in front of this device

Bowflex Elliptical vs. Nordictrack Freestrider

Bowflex vs Nordictrack

First off, both of these brands are worthwhile investments.

They offer ellipticals that range in price from entry-level models to those of commercial quality.

Each manufacturer offers a variety of distinctive styles for its elliptical trainers. Overall, both of these companies are titans in the exercise equipment industry.

Nordictrack and Bowflex frequently release new products with cutting-edge technology and effective workout deals.

They contrast with many companies, which tend to become stale and only release new models every 3 to 5 years.

Therefore, these are essentially two of the strongest brands now available!

So let’s determine their individual qualities to evaluate which is the best elliptical machine:

NordicTrack vs. Bowflex: Designs

You can choose from a variety of elliptical trainer designs from both brands. Nordictrack will be our first stop.

Nordictrack Freestride Trainer

Elliptical trainers from Nordictrack are available with front-, rear-, and even center-drive options.

Some people prefer a front-drive trainer because it can seem a bit more steady and gives you a slight ascending motion thanks to the large flywheel up front.

Others prefer a rear-drive elliptical trainer because it might provide a more level running surface.

They may also be a little bit simpler to relocate.

And because the center drive design is more compact than the other two designs and frequently has a lower step-on height, some people adore it (for safety concerns).

Instead of being forced to take a predetermined step, you can take up to 32 inches long adaptable stride! (Normal elliptical strides measure between 18 and 22 inches.)

Bowflex Max Trainer

Bowflex offers a variety of elliptical models, but the Bowflex line-up is a little bit unique.

The BXE116 and BXE216 are the two primary front-drive Bowflex elliptical trainers.

They include massive flywheels and double-roller track designs for increased stability. Bowflex elliptical does not offer any rear-drive or center-drive models. There are no models that fold.

The Lateral X ellipticals allow you to move side to side in addition to the usual forward and back motion.

The LX3 and LX5, the two varieties of Lateral X ellipticals, are like the standard Bowflex elliptical trainers.

Another advantage is that the Max Trainer fits well in condos and flats because it only requires roughly half the floor space of a typical elliptical trainer.

Who Wins in This Category Between NordicTrack vs. Bowflex?

Which Bowflex or Nordictrack elliptical is more aesthetically pleasing?

Nordictrack offers a much more comprehensive selection of regular elliptical trainers than the Bowflex elliptical.

But the latter offers a few more elliptical-hybrid models with distinctive features, such as improved cross-training and calorie-burning.


NordicTrack vs. Bowflex: Features

Now, let’s discuss the distinctive features of each brand.

Nordictrack Freestride Trainer

Depending on your interests, you can consider sophisticated features a need or a nice one.

Think about features like incline; some cardio machines don’t have it, while others can handle both incline and decline.

Also, consider the number of resistance levels and the ability for stride length to auto-adjust. Consider the console as well.

Large HD touchscreens on some NordicTrack machines make them perfect for streaming workouts and videos, and you can check your workout stats.

Others have 10-inch screens that are less generous and cost less money but lack the “wow effect” of the more extensive panels.

This elliptical workout machine takes up a lot of space in a home gym because it was officially created for use as commercial gym gear.

Bowflex Max Trainer

To prevent your phone from slipping and falling while you exercise, the Max Trainer has a magnetic media rack that will keep your smartphone or tablet.

You can also plug your phone directly into the USB-A charging socket if your battery is low.

For a more accurate calorie-burning display, you can utilize an external heart rate monitor like a chest strap that is Bluetooth-connected to your Bowflex M6.

Heart rate sensors are incorporated into the hand grips of the Max Trainer; however, the accuracy isn’t always ideal.

With its 16 levels of resistance, this elliptical allows novice and seasoned users to enjoy a challenging full-body workout.

Your strength training statistics are shown in real time on an LCD screen.

Who Wins in This Category Between Nordictrack vs. Bowflex?

It is a difficult question to answer due to Nordictrack’s somewhat higher number of levels of resistance and preset routines.

However, Bowflex Max Trainers barely wins out on this one thanks to all the incorporated extra functions, especially on the most recent models.

WINNER: Bowflex

Bowflex vs. NordicTrack: Specifications

Up next, let’s compare NordicTrack and Bowflex elliptical side by side, focusing on the key specs that each company is recognized for.

Nordictrack Freestride Trainer

  • Low Impact: For someone who wants a challenging workout but doesn’t put too much strain on their knees or other joints, the FreeStrider FS7i is a decent treadmill substitute.
  • 3-in-1: A Freestrider is a three-in-one workout machine that combines the functions of a stair stepper, elliptical, and treadmill.
  • Long Adaptable Stride: The FreeStrider FS7i allows for a maximum 32-inch stride, almost twice as long as a conventional elliptical trainer.
  • Power Incline: The FS7i offers a power incline that can be used to build muscle and mimic outside activity.
  • Cushioned Pedals: Pedals that are cushioned enhance the comfort of an exercise machine’s design. The user’s endurance is increased with cushioned pedals compared to regular pedals.
  • Moving Handlebars: This treadmill substitute makes it simple to work out the entire body in a single session.
  • Built-in Workout Programs: 35 preset programs with 24 resistance levels and incline levels ranging from 0% to 10% offer excellent workout variation.
  • iFit Coach Enabled: The iFit Coach app and a web-enabled console offer subscribers an infinite number of iFit workouts.
  • Bluetooth Audio: In place of the plug-in port seen on earlier versions, Freestriders now provide Bluetooth connections for MP3 players.
  • Water Bottle Holder: Staying hydrated with an integrated water bottle holder is simple.
  • High Weight Capacity: The NordicTrack FS7i has a 375-pound maximum weight capacity. The various models have different weight capacities.
  • Compact Size: This trainer is smaller than a rear-drive elliptical or a regular treadmill—only 58.5′′ L x 29.5′′ W x 74′′ H in size.
  • Transport Wheels: This home fitness equipment is portable and straightforward to move around your room.
  • Silent Magnetic Resistance (SMR) for near-silent home workouts.
  • Streaming: You can stream video content from their professional trainers.

NOTE: The Freestrider combines 3 workouts: elliptical, jogging, and stair climbing. This can assist in more thorough lower body training. Additionally, it can give the upper body a decent burn as well. In any event, there are additional workouts with the Freestrider.

Bowflex Max Trainer

  • JRNY Experience: The built-in touchscreen is how all JRNY functions are provided. Includes a one-year membership to JRNY.
  • Trainer-Led Workouts: Hit every workout target with the guidance of a friendly virtual personal trainer.
  • HIIT: Suitable for High-Intensity Interval Training
  • Display: HD Touchscreen console with 16″ and 10″ screens. A Wi-Fi connection is necessary. (Interactive Display for M8 and M6 with Backlit LCD and Fixed-Color)
  • Additional Tech Features: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, compatibility with iOS and Android, and a USB charging port (No Wi-Fi for M8 and M6)
  • Streaming Entertainment: Use the touchscreen to log into your Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+ accounts. (Not offered on the M6 and M8)
  • Layered Fitness Experiences: Enjoy tailored entertainment and workout options while you’re getting instruction. (Not offered on the M6 and M8)
  • Metric Tracking: Metrics include heart rate, calories burned, target burn rate, number of reps and time between reps, total time spent working out, resistance level, and RPM.
  • User Profiles: Track any number of users’ workout histories when you have a JRNY Membership (up to 4 users for M8, two users for M6)
  • Heart Rate Monitor: Bluetooth®-enabled HR armband with integrated contact grips. Utilize an HD touchscreen to monitor heart rate.
  • Handlebars Features: 6/4-grip handlebars with handlebar grips
  • Workout Programs and Modes: Manual, Fat Burn, Calorie Burn, and Stair Workout Programs Max 7 Minute Interval, Max 14 Minute Interval, Max 21 Minute Interval, Fat Burn, Unlimited with JRNY Membership.
  • Levels of Resistance: 20 levels (M6 has 16 levels)
  • Dual Rail Design: Only for Max Total 40
  • Steel Resistance Dial: Only for Max Trainer 9 and Max Total 40
  • Bluetooth Speakers: Only for Max Trainer 9 and Max Total 40
  • Other Notable Features: Integrated USB Charging Port, textured large pedals, movable wheels
  • User Weight Limit: 300 pounds (136 kg)
  • Dimensions and Power Source: Includes AC Adapter. The smallest dimensions are 46″ L x 26″ W x 64.2″ H. (116.8 x 66 x 163 cm)
  • Home Use: The warranty varies by country; contact your local store for more information.

NOTE: The Bowflex doesn’t have many console features to offer. However, they have Max Intelligence, which is comparable to iFit Coach. iFit Coach provides monitoring and global workouts, while Bowflex does not.

Who Wins in This Category Between Nordictrack vs. Bowflex?

If you want a machine of more robust home fitness equipment and don’t care for the streaming strength training trend, Bowflex elliptical is a better option.

Additionally, Bowflex provides more engaging forms of workouts than NordicTrack, and they outperform NordicTrack in critical specifications.

WINNER: Bowflex

Bowflex vs. NordicTrack: Pricing

NordicTrack vs. Bowflex: Both brands are worth investing in at comparable price points because all their products are of the highest caliber.

Nordictrack Freestride Trainer

The FS10i and FS14i trainer are the two models that Nordictrack currently offers. With free shipping, these computers start at a higher price, about $1899 and above.

Bowflex Max Trainer

There are presently 3 variants available for the Bowflex Max: the M6, M9, and Max Total 16.

These machines start at $1499 and come with free shipping directly from the manufacturer.

Who Wins in This Category Between Nordictrack vs. Bowflex?

These days, many individuals give the price a lot of thought, especially if they’re tight on cash. Bowflex currently has a minor advantage in terms of affordability.

WINNER: Bowflex

NordicTrack vs. Bowflex: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are the responses to frequently asked inquiries about NordicTrack and Bowflex:

Is the Bowflex Max Noisy?

The Max Trainer can be pretty noisy, so exercising in a bedroom while others are sleeping may not be the best idea. If you share a living area, be mindful of the noise.

NordicTrack, however, has SMR or Silent Magnetic Resistance for near-silent home exercise.

How Do I Get the Most Out of My Bowflex Max Trainer?

Find inspiration, advice, or methods for working out on your Max Trainer. Be sure to set up your user profile before you begin. Add a tiny bit of resistance and build up slowly.

How Do I Get the Most Out of My Nordictrack Elliptical Trainer?

Some tips to make the most of your NordicTrack Ellipticals:

  • Use the incline for challenging workouts and work your upper and lower body equally.
  • Enhance your elliptical workouts with HIIT training and make each activity an adventure.

Is the Elliptical or Exercise Bike Superior?

The elliptical and stationary bikes burn calories when ridden vigorously, but the fixed cycle may burn slightly more calories overall.

But using an elliptical machine might help you tone your upper and lower body.

How Long Should Cycling Workouts Be?

It promotes good heart health. Biking for 150 minutes a week at a moderate intensity helps keep your heart healthy.

If you pedal more vigorously, 75 minutes a week of riding will suffice to reap the same benefits.

What Is a Free Weight Workout?

It is possible to perform resistance workouts with “free” objects that aren’t linked to anything, and you can essentially pick up and move by using free weights.

Which Muscle Group Is Worked Out By the Elliptical?

The elliptical may effectively work your glutes, hamstrings, quads, chest, back, biceps, and core muscles.

Final Verdict: Bowflex vs. NordicTrack, Which Fitness Equipment Should You Get?

NordicTrack vs. Bowflex: These two companies are market leaders for exercise equipment.

They both make top-notch cardio equipment, which is why they are both well-known.

The motion you may perform on each machine separates the Bowflex Max and Nordictrack Freestrider from one another.

On the Max, you’ll be moving like a stair climbing motion, whereas on the Freestrider, you’ll move more like you’re running on an elliptical.

However, you may also alter your motion, travel backward, up-down, etc., with the Freestrider’s adjustable stride. An incline is also provided.

When Should You Use Bowflex?

  • If you prefer lighter cardio machines, choose Bowflex products because they are generally lighter than NordicTrack.
  • If you want full coverage of the warranty of your cardio equipment, choose Bowflex. They provide an extended warranty which makes it great.
  • Bowflex has the advantage if you’re looking for a more variety of budget-friendly home workout equipment.
  • Bowflex is fundamentally a fitness trainer. It does what it claims and helps burn calories 2.5% faster than on a typical elliptical or treadmill while not having many fancy features.

When Should You Use NordicTrack?

  • If you prefer a more extensive range of ellipticals in various designs, choose Nordictrack. They have strength training machines.
  • If you don’t want a boring elliptical, choose Nordictrack. Nordictrack ellipticals have the iFit Coach option. You own a personal fitness studio as you run trails worldwide.
  • NordicTrack ellipticals are the most acceptable option if you search for a fantastic interactive personal training experience.
  • If you’re looking for more workout variety and cross-training options, the Nordictrack Freestrider edges out the Max Trainer in this area.

Nevertheless, both companies have a solid reputation and a wide range of products to help you burn calories, gain muscle, and achieve your fitness objectives.


After reading, you should know which of these well-known home fitness brands is the best fit for your home gym.

You’ll find that the most excellent elliptical brand ultimately depends on you and what appeals to you.

These two companies are market leaders for fitness equipment. They both make top-notch fitness equipment, which is why they are both well-known!

Whatever brand you select, always take your time, research your alternatives, and pick an elliptical that will make you look forward to using it.

This will ensure you receive the most incredible trainer and the best deal possible.

Take good care of yourself by getting enough rest and recovery. Move more and achieve the fitness goals you desire!