Life Fitness Elliptical Machine Reviews
A global leader in the fitness industry, Life Fitness has been innovating new and unique fitness equipment for over 40 years, starting with their very first model, the LifeCycle, the very first electronic stationary bike. Founders of Life Fitness Augie Nieto and Ray Wilson first purchased the design for the world's first electric stationary bike in 1970, marketing it as the LifeCycle. By 1991, Bally Total Fitness sold Life Fitness to investors for $62.5 million, and in June of 1998, Life Fitness was finally acquired by Brunswick Corporation, sellers of a number of other products whose headquarters is currently located in Lake Forest, Illinois.
Today, Life Fitness manufactures, designs, and sells both commercial and residential fitness equipment. The Life Fitness cardio product line features treadmills, elliptical cross-trainers, stair climbers and exercise bikes, while the strength line of equipment features the Hammer Strength brand line of plate-loaded and circuit series equipment.
Life Fitness is known for its innovation in both the design and look of their equipment. Their elliptical cross-trainers are popular for their incredibly quiet and almost noiseless Eddy Current system, ergonomically sound design, and attractive consoles. Currently, Life Fitness offers the X series of elliptical cross-trainers as well as the Club Series and Platinum Club Series for online at-home purchase.
E Series of Elliptical Cross-Trainers:
The E Series of elliptical cross-trainers by Life Fitness are built for convenience and comfort, for on the go fitness that is designed for the home. There are three models as part of this series: the entry-level E1, the mid-range model E3, and the top model E5. Depending on the console that you choose, the Go Console or the Track + Console, these models range in price from $2199 all the way up to $4948.
Each model offers a choice of the two consoles. The Go Console is the more inexpensive choice that offers basic programming, with customizable options and 2 user profiles, as well as a sleek, modern design. The Track + Console is the more expensive option, with interactive workouts, Bluetooth connectivity, multiple workout programs, customizable options, as well as 4 user profiles. Both consoles are equipped with a blue back lit LCD display screen, audio jack, and cup holder. In addition, each of the consoles also come with the unique CoachZone Program that allows users to specifically target certain muscle groups at once for personalized, tailored training.
All of these models are equipped with an average stride length of 20″, however; the E5 provides an electronic adjustable stride that ranges from 18″ to 24″. This is the only model with an adjustable feature. The flywheel weights are undisclosed for these models, but the high weight capacity of 350-400 pounds is a good indicator that the drive system is strong. Overall, the frames are well-built and sturdy, and each model comes with a lifetime warranty on the frame and at least 3 years coverage on parts, 1 year coverage on labor.
X Series of Elliptical Cross-Trainers:
The X Series is a series of rear drive elliptical cross-trainers that include the X1, X3 and X5. Each model comes with the Track + Console or the Go Elliptical Console. The Track + Console is the more expensive option that includes LF Connect, Apple and Andriod compatibility. This console also feature a number of custom and pre-designed workout programs, allowing for multiple user profiles per trainer. The Go Elliptical Console is the more basic of the two but still includes customizable and pre-designed work out programs as well as race mode. This console also allows for multiple user profiles per trainer.
This series of elliptical cross-trainers all include WhisperStride™ Technology, a self-aligning ball bearings system, creating a smooth and incredibly quiet machine. While the X1 and X3 do not offer adjustable, customizable options, the X5 does. Each trainer offers a stride length of anywhere from 18 to 24 inches, and varies in weight user maximums of about 300 to 400 pounds, making these trainers really ideal for users of all shapes and sizes. The oversized pedals are also no-slip, with more top of the line models offering FlexPedal™ absorption system for extra support on the joints. Overall, the X Series offers it all, from customizable options to advanced consoles; there is truly something for everyone depending on your price range.
The Club Series is similar to the more advanced Platinum Club Series, but lacks the advanced entertainment options and high-tech consoles, but does offer Apple compatibility. Based on the popular club model, Life Fitness designed the Club Series for residential use but with the same build and durability.
Overall, this trainer offers basic features, 20 levels of resistance, and an advanced heart rate monitoring system for easy goal tracking and challenging workouts. As with other Life Fitness trainers, this series is built with an ergonomically sound console area with cup holders, an accessory tray and reading rack, in addition to the ErgoGrip™ stationary handlebars providing extra stability and a total body workout. A drawback to this series is the lack of customizable and adjustable options that other series at similar price points do offer.
Platinum Club Series:
The Platinum Club Series Elliptical comes equipped with either the Discover SE Tablet Console or the Discover SI Tablet Console, with a price difference of about $1,500. The more expensive option, the Discover SE model, boasts a 16 inch LCD touchscreen with integrated TV and Lifescape™ Interactive Course workouts. This console is also LF Connect, Apple and Andriod compatible. The Discover SI Model is also LF Connect, Apple and Andriod compatible but lacks the more advanced entertainment features like TV and internet connectivity. But, with a 10 inch LCD touch screen, this model is also a high-tech, attractive option.
Beyond the console, the Platinum Club Series is built with Quiet Drive™ Technology for a comfortable and natural workout experience, and as with all of Life Fitness trainers, an ergonomically sound design of the console area so that cup holders and handlebars are right in an arm's reach. This series also comes equipped with Polar ® Telemetry wireless heart rate monitoring system and Lifepulse™ digital contact heart rate monitoring right in the handles. Finally, this series also comes with a feature new to Life Fitness, the hybrid feature, which allows you to save energy and power while the machine is in use.
- Frame: Durable commercial grade steel frame construction
- Incline Controls: Controls built right into the ErgoGrip™ Stationary handlebars
- Console: Varies in design but most offer Apple or Andriod compatibility and a number of customizable workouts
- Customizable: Many top to mid-range models offer customizable features such as adjustable foot pedals and adjustable stride
- Warranty: All trainers come with a lifetime warranty on the frame
- Console: Lacks basic features like a built-in fan; some lack oversized accessory trays or two cup holders
- Customizable Options: Some of the most top of the line trainers lack adjustable pedals or adjustable stride, some with shorter strides of only 18 inches
- Price: Some of the priciest trainers lack features that are included on the less expensive entry to mid-level trainers
Life Fitness knows how to put on the bells and whistles, and while they build incredibly durable and well-designed trainers, they are also some of the most expensive elliptical cross-trainers on the market. Each trainer and each series is different so it is easy to choose the machine that is right for you, but if multiple people use these machines, look for adjustable and customizable options that not all trainers have. Another consideration is that these trainers do not fold up for easy storage and very few have wheels. With most of the trainers weighing in well over 200 pounds, this is also a consideration if you are working with smaller spaces. The verdict on the Life Fitness line of elliptical cross-trainers is that they can be a bit overpriced, but you in fact do get what you pay for when it comes to a reliable and durable trainer with top of the line features.
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