Image by pressahotkey on Freepik
By Simon Gould
The Bowflex BXT216 is the flagship treadmill by Bowflex. It has a high specification particularly on the build and components. It’s a treadmill for runners with it’s powerful motor. The whole family can get a good workout in the home with a treadmill like this. It has some nice touches which I’ll go through in this review.
As you can see by the console everything is within easy reach while you workout. The 11 workout programs can be chosen individually as they have their own button on the console. This is the same with the incline and speed, you have a button to go directly to a number of your choosing. The screen is bigger than the model below and makes a real difference.
In this review I’ll tell you some features that come with the BXT216. Bowflex have included a wireless heart rate chest strap. Not all high end treadmills have this included. You need it here because the treadmill cleverly makes good use of the your heart rate with some good information given to you on the screen. The handrails have their own speed and incline settings so you don’t have to reach up to the console to change them. It’s a nice little feature.
The BXT216 is a big treadmill with it’s long and wide deck. I always like a 22″ wide surface to run on, it makes me feel more confident knowing there’s a lot of room beneath me. Of course you can still walk on it or maybe another member of the family prefers walking. The machine is very sturdy and at 304 lbs is massive.
+ Big 400 lbs user capacity – I usually see 300 lbs everywhere else, even on expensive Nordictrack treadmills. If you’re close to this, or anyone who will use the machine is, then it’s one of the few home treadmills you’ll be able to use. At that weight I can’t imagine much running will be done but walking and using the incline will be perfect.
If weight loss is a serious consideration then get a treadmill that can easily take your weight. The BXT216 is seriously built with weight loss in mind. Whether you want to lose a few pounds or many more, you’ll get a good workout on this machine. If you walk to lose weight, take advantage of the 15% incline to burn more calories.
+ 5 Cell Comfort Tech Cushioning – The model below this has only 3 cells. You can see the 5 cells in the picture, they are silver and are on the side of the deck. If you seem to get injuries exercising outside or maybe you’re a bit older. You can use this treadmill knowing your knees and other joints are looked after.
That’s the beauty of a treadmill, the cushioned deck we run on. I’m 44 and wouldn’t be without it. My left knee sometimes doesn’t like me running, even on a treadmill, so I need one with good cushioning. When you think that the BXT216 has such a large user weight capacity, the deck has to be able to take that weight.
+ 11 Workout Programs – There are varied workout options you can choose. I’ll explain them all in this review. The programs are divided into incline or speed. When you choose a speed program, you’re asked at the beginning to input a maximum speed. This means the treadmill won’t suddenly shock you with a high speed you can’t maintain.
The first 3 programs use the incline. Fat burn and calorie burn are 2 of them. These are 30 minutes in length and a chart is shown on the screen showing your progress. As you exercise each minute the incline gets lower or higher. Calorie goal is a good incline program. You choose the amount of calories you want to burn in 50 calorie increments.
The speed programs consist of a target heart rate and several intervals. The target heart rate uses the chest strap. It slowly builds you up to exercising in the endurance zone and then there’s a cool down. The whole program is 30 minutes. The interval programs should only be attempted by experienced runners. They involve a sprint and then a walk recovery routine.
+ Leading 4.0 CHP motor – This is very good and part of the reason the BXT216 can handle such a heavy user, it has a powerful motor. I keep comparing the specs to high end Nordictrack treadmills and Bowflex keep beating them. The size of 4.0 CHP is an industry leader and you don’t see that on many in home treadmills.
CHP means Continuous Horse Power and these are the best motors for treadmills. The continuous part means they can maintain high speeds. If you’re a runner this is something you want to look out for. You don’t really need it as high as 4.0, but it’s nice to have. The motor has a 15 year guarantee so it’s built to last.
+ Large LCD Screen – This is the largest screen I’ve seen on a treadmill without it being a touchscreen. It’s visibly bigger than the Bowflex treadmill model below. It’s a nice little luxury to have, a multi color LCD screen with your workout details shown in charts and graphs. As it’s back lit you can clearly see everything.
The screen sits neatly at the center of the console as the pictures show. The console is filled with buttons to make your workouts easier. Every button is a quicker way of selecting something. Like you have actual speed and incline numbers on buttons so you can go directly to them. It all looks and feels very advanced.
+ Celebrations – When you reach certain milestones in your workout the BXT216 will give you an audible reward together with a little light show. Bowflex call these celebrations and I think they’re a great way to encourage you to continue your workout and exercise more. This sort of thing is becoming popular in the internet age.
This happens when you meet certain conditions and they are: Every 100 calories burned, farthest workout, longest timed workout and when you’ve achieved a maximum calories burned per minute for you. You’re told which one of these you’ve achieved as well as the noise and light show. What a fantastic feature that just takes a bit of programming by Bowflex.
+ Fitness Score – These are one of the metrics I love to see on treadmills. As the BXT216 has your profile which contains your age, it’s able to provide a far more accurate assessment of how fit you are. Bowflex have really thought about accuracy when applying these values to it’s treadmill users. I’ll go through that further in my review.
The treadmill uses your past workouts of 10 minutes or longer to give the score. It also uses your heart rate to make it even more accurate which makes the included heart rate chest strap even more valuable. The fitness score is like your VO2 max which is the gold standard in measuring someone’s fitness level.
The score is displayed as a number between 0 and 100. The higher the better and your age is taken into account as well as your gender. The manual tells you what each score means. It can be excellent, high average, poor and more. It’s something I would use very frequently, there’s nothing better than being told how fit you are.
– Heavy Treadmill – At 304 lbs this is the weight of 2 people. It’s going to take at least 2 people to move it and assemble it. I always recommend people pay for assembly and I think when a treadmill is this heavy it’s even more worth it. Make sure you have it assembled where you want it so you won’t have to move it in future.
– Subscription For App – This is the special Bowflex JRNY app. You get 2 months free to see if you like it. If you do there’s a monthly subscription. You don’t have to have it if you don’t want to. The treadmill is fully functional without it. All apps like these usually have a monthly subscription but they are a lot of fun.
|$1,899 (May 2020)
|22″ x 60″
|Durable 3-ply 2.5 mm
|9″ full color back-lit LCD display
|L 84.5″ x W 38.5″ x H 54.7″
|Max User Weight
|11 “Push and Go”
|0 to 12 mph
|0% to 15%
|15 Years: Frame & Drive Motor
5 Years: Mechanical Parts & Electronics
2 Years: Labor
I was struggling to find drawbacks for this review. I personally like heavy treadmills, it means they’re sturdy and can take a lot of weight. Bowflex have been making treadmills for many years and always update their products when new technology comes out, and that’s what they’ve done here. The BXT216 is their high end treadmill.
I have given this treadmill a maximum score. I think, given the features you get and the reasonable price for what it is, the score is deserved. If you’re looking for a machine for the whole family that will last, the BXT216 will serve you well. Experts and owners review this treadmill highly and I can only agree with them.