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Life Fitness Review

Sunday, April 18th

2021 Elliptical Machine Reviews

Life Fitness Review 3 Star Rating

Life Fitness

3 Star Rating
  • Cost: $2,349 to $11,749

LifeFitness makes a wide range of fitness equipment that can often be found in fitness centers and home gyms. Their ellipticals are on the higher end of the spectrum, both in terms of features and pricing.

Equipment Overview:

  • Stride Motion: WhisperStride, uses maintenance-free ball bearings
  • Price Range: $2,349 to $11,749
  • Different Models: 7
  • Financing Available: No
  • Resistance Levels: up to 25 (varies by model)
  • Return Policy: 15 days; returns only accepted if the elliptical was defective, damaged in transit, or the wrong model was shipped
  • Warranty: Lifetime on frame, 5 years on parts, 3 years on console, 1 year on labor
  • Shipping: $99, plus installation fees up to $200

Not All Changes Are Positive

Since our last review, LifeFitness has experienced some changes - most of which are not positive. Shipping used to be free on all elliptical machines, but now you can expect delivery fees of $99 and installation fees as high as $200. They've cut their return policy from 30 to 15 days, and will now only accept returns on defective or damaged-in-transit equipment: if you've got buyer's remorse, you'll have no way to make a return and get a refund. Finally, the number of elliptical trainers to choose from decreased from 11 to 7, and of those models only 4 were in stock for immediate purchase.

Plenty Of Features

Looking at the in-stock ellipticals at the time of this evaluation, the least-expensive option was the Club Series + Elliptical Cross-Trainer, priced at $5,249 with the most basic console and up to $7,549 for the most advanced, SE3HD console. When buying a LifeFitness elliptical machine with the SE3HD, you'll have the option to connect to your Apple or Samsung Galaxy Watch, take instructor-led classes offered through LifeFitness On Demand, and even browse the internet while exercising. This elliptical model has a 20" stride length, 25 resistance levels, Polar heart rate monitoring (strap included), and a maximum user weight of 400 lbs.

Best Elliptical Machines

Not Enough Information

The most expensive elliptical machine offered by LifeFitness is the Total Body Arc Trainer. Priced at $8,699 to $11,749 (depending on the monitor you select), this equipment gives you a workout that can use gliding, striding and even climbing motions for a more varied routine every time you exercise. There were no detailed specs on this machine, making it impossible to determine user weight capacity or stride length. It did reference 21 possible incline adjustments and being able to change the incline and the resistance on the fly. If it's similar to its less-expensive "sibling", the Cybex 525AT Arc Trainer, you can expect a stride length of 24" and a maximum user weight of 400 lbs. - but there's nothing on the LifeFitness site to indicate if that's the case. For such expensive equipment, we expected a greater wealth of information (no pun intended).

High In Customer Satisfaction

On the positive side, LifeFitness has an "A+" rating from the Better Business Bureau and most of the elliptical trainers they sell have a customer rating of at least 4 out of 5 stars. Plus, if you want to "try before you buy", you probably have the opportunity to use LifeFitness equipment at a local gym and see if it's what you need for your home workouts.

A Decent Option For Big Budgets

While LifeFitness has left us a little disappointed with the changes we've discovered since our previous evaluation, their longevity in the industry and reputation for top-quality fitness equipment can't easily be ignored. If you already know and love their ellipticals and have the money to spend, you can be pretty sure you'll get an excellent machine for your home use. However, for many customers, LifeFitness will be out of reach - especially when most of their lower-priced elliptical machines are frequently out of stock.

Where Can You Buy the Best Elliptical Machines?

On the market for more than two decades, these versatile pieces of workout equipment are some of the most popular in fitness centers and home gyms alike. Why? First of all, many people prefer the motion of an elliptical trainer over treadmills because of the decreased impact on joints. Not everyone can hop on a treadmill and run a 5K with painful knees and ankles; using an elliptical machine gives you a high level of cardiovascular exercise without as much strain.

Another advantage of using an elliptical trainer is the ability to get a full-body workout. Although using the handles is optional, most exercisers like to use the push-pull motion to strengthen muscles in the arms, abs and back at the same time as the lower body. Who wouldn't benefit from the efficiency of working out multiple muscle groups at once?

The Best Elliptical Machines Compare Elliptical Machines Compare Elliptical Machine Reviews What are the best Elliptical Machines Best Elliptical Machine Reviews

Elliptical Machine FAQ

An elliptical machine is a low-impact stationary cardio trainer that combines an upper and lower body workout. The user stands on the pedals, holding onto the handles with both arms outstretched, and moves his or her feet along the track in an oval-like (or "elliptical" ) path.
Some ellipticals are more expensive than others depending on their features - such as whether or not they include a touch screen, workout programs or tracking capabilities - and how long they are built to last. The most inexpensive ellipticals out there are priced around $350, but for a quality trainer that will last you for years, expect to pay at least $500-$1,000.
Ellipticals are predominantly cardio machines. Increasing the resistance and using the handlebars of your elliptical will engage, strengthen and tone nearly every muscle group, but if you're looking to build real bulk, you should probably look elsewhere.
Scientists have debunked spot-reduction weight loss. Only by creating a caloric deficit can you lose weight, and that weight loss will be distributed across your entire body. That being said, elliptical workouts are a fantastic way to create a caloric deficit and tone up at the same time.
In flywheel ellipticals, resistance is created by friction. The heavier the flywheel, the stronger the resistance and the smoother the movement. Magnetic resistance ellipticals are able to increase resistance levels with more accuracy and require less maintenance than their friction-dependent flywheel counterparts. Magnetic resistance ellipticals are quieter than flywheel ellipticals, but they are also typically more expensive.
Elliptical training cannot improve your running form or posture, but it can help you prepare to transition to running outdoors or on a treadmill. When done regularly and with enough intensity, elliptical training can increase your strength and stamina.
When compared to a high impact exercise like running, yes, elliptical training is much gentler on knees and joints. However, many elliptical users still report feeling pain or discomfort in their knees and feet as a result of pushing themselves too hard or having poor form.
As with any piece of fitness machinery, regular maintenance is necessary to prevent injury and to keep your machine functioning properly. Depending on how frequently your elliptical is used, you should have your elliptical serviced every 3-6 months. Check your user manual for more information.
Compare the Best Reviews

Continued from above...

Plus, many elliptical machines can be used in different ways: some combine a traditional elliptical system with a recumbent or upright bike, while others let you change the stride motion to more closely resemble a stair stepping machine or even a treadmill. This flexibility makes it likely that you'll use your elliptical trainer for a long time, because you can change the workout to match your mood, your physical capabilities at the moment, your fitness goals, or the other users in your household.

And, if you think that elliptical machines have been left out of the live streaming workout craze, think again! Some of the most advanced models offer large touch screens that can deliver real-time coached workout sessions - and may even allow a trainer access to change your resistance levels or incline during the workout! Even if your elliptical doesn't come with that built-in feature, almost all brands and models have a tablet holder, allowing you to choose your own workout platform and go for it (or just binge a few episodes of your favorite TV show: your choice!).

When choosing the right elliptical machine for your home gym, how can you tell which retailer should get your business? Here are several factors to keep in mind as you shop:

  • Selection. How many elliptical trainers does the store carry? The broader the selection, the more likely you'll be able to get exactly what you want without paying for features you don't need.
  • Price. Speaking of features, how much will you spend for an elliptical machine at the retailer you're browsing? Is shipping included? Will you have to pay extra to get a more up-to-date console or a different frame color?
  • Availability. Home fitness equipment is more popular than ever, and many businesses are feeling the strain of keeping up with demand. Are the ellipticals the retailer advertises actually in stock? Be sure to check delivery timeframes: some stores show that certain models are available for purchase, but when you add one to your cart you might spot some fine print that says that delivery may take up to three months!
  • Return Policy. What happens if your elliptical machine is delivered and it doesn't fit where you planned to put it? Or your significant other is too tall (or too short) for the stride length? Not every retailer will allow you to send it back for a refund.
  • Reputation. What do other people say about their experience, both with the elliptical machines themselves and with the company overall? Customer reviews and a rating from the Better Business Bureau are two reliable ways of determining how well a retailer is living up to shoppers' expectations.

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best retailers of elliptical machines available today. We hope this information helps you pick the right equipment for your home gym!

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