These are two very popular elliptical-type machines that have significant advantages over a standard elliptical trainer.
But what about when you pit them against each other?
How do they compare?
And which is best for you?
Well, this really depends on what you’re looking for.
This post will give you a rundown of the main differences between them so hopefully you can find the best fit for your needs.
Freestrider vs Max Trainer: Price
We all know that budget is important to most people. And in this category the Max Trainer has the advantage.
The Max trainer has three models, with the most affordable – the M3 – starting around $1099 with Free Shipping here. The premium model – the M7 – ranges up to $2200 and it has a lot more options than the M3.
The Freestrider comes in a bit higher. The most economical model (and the most popular) is the FS7i which starts around $1999 with Free Shipping here.
Again however you have to compare apples to apples, the M3 Max Trainer is very simple and bare bones – and it doesn’t even come close to giving you the kind of console features you find on the FS7i.
Freestrider vs Max Trainer: Motion
The Nordictrack Freestrider offers you more of an elliptical “running” pathway. The main difference is that, because it’s not a crank-connected pedal, you aren’t limited to a set elliptical stride.
So you can do short, stair-climbing strides, longer running strides or even longer hurdling strides. This gives you a lot of flexibility in your workout routine.
The Max Trainer may look like an elliptical, but at least when it comes to the lower body, it’s more of a stair-climbing motion.
You don’t have the flexibility to set your stride or even do a running-type motion on this machine. However you do still get the upper body moving arm bars like an elliptical trainer.
They both are more compact than a standard elliptical trainer. And you tend to stand more upright on either machine, which for many people, feels a lot more comfortable and natural.
How Many Calories Burned?
The Max Trainer has a slight advantage here – simply because Bowflex has actually done the tests to prove that you can burn 2.5 times more calories on the Max than on a stair climber, elliptical or treadmill.
Max trial users actually burned up to 600 calories in 30 minutes, which is incredible.
And Bowflex has the smarts to advertise this:
This doesn’t mean you can’t burn more calories on a Freestrider than on an elliptical. In fact you probably can (because you’re not getting used to one set stride – and you’re always challenging your body).
But so far Nordictrack is not really publishing or pushing the “More Calories Burned” advantage yet. They might in the future. But currently Bowflex is way ahead of them – with several lab tests done already to be able to make the claim of more calories burned.
Basically I think this is more a case of better marketing on the part of Bowflex than any actual machine difference.
Another thing to keep in mind is that one of the main advantages to the Max is that it comes with the high intensity 14 minute workout that is designed especially for high calorie burn, even post workout.
The Freestrider doesn’t have this (although it does have lots of built-in workouts).
So if you want the assurance that you’ll burn more calories, faster, then the Max has the clear advantage here.
Entertainment Options and Console
I think the Freestrider definitely has the advantage here. While the Max does come with several built-in workouts – including the 14 minute high intensity workout, you get a lot more console-wise with the Freestrider.
For example the Freestrider FS7i and FS9i models come with full color consoles with touch screen web browsers. So you can surf the net, read emails or watch YouTube videos as you workout – very cool. And you get to watch your stats in full color – which does make a big difference in the enjoyment of your workout.
All Freestrider models also include iPod docks with speakers – so you can listen to your favorite tunes – as well as console fans to keep you cool.
Plus the Freestrider comes with the option to get iFit LIVE. iFit lets you connect your machine to the Internet and track your workouts online. You can also map out or run pre-mapped famous trails all over the world and watch real landmarks pass you by in the console screen, adding a virtual reality feel to your workout.
So what’s the bottom line in the Freestrider vs Max Trainer debate? Well the Freestrider and the Max Trainer are both ultra-low impact, very compact elliptical-type machines that can help you burn more calories than a standard elliptical. That much is clear.
The Freestrider gives you more of an elliptical “running-type” motion whereas the Max trainer offers more of a stair climbing experience.
The Freestrider has a lot more in terms of entertainment and tracking tools. It also gives you more motion options: forward and back, short, medium or long strides and even incline/decline on the FS7 and FS9 models.
However the Max trainer does come in at a lesser price and has a proven track record when it comes to burning lots of calories. So if you want to see definitely results faster, this may be a great option.
At the end of the day, it really comes down to what you’re looking for.
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