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ProForm Review

Monday, April 15th

2024 Stair Climber Reviews

ProForm Review 4.5 Star Rating


4.5 Star Rating
  • Pro HIIT H14: $1,699, includes a 1-month iFIT family membership
  • Carbon HIIT H10: FREE with 3-year iFIT family membership @ $1,403
  • Carbon E10: FREE with 3-year iFIT family membership @ $1,403
  • 2 models are FREE with iFIT subscription
  • 3-year iFIT membership required for some models
  • Quiet
  • Comes with a 10" or 14" smart touchscreen

ProForm has a long history of making exercise equipment. For about 40 years they have been making fitness equipment under famous names such as Weider, and now under iFIT. ProForm has three stair climbers to choose from, and to promote and encourage their more than 16,000 iFIT workout classes, they're giving away free stair climbers. And just because the machine is free doesn't mean it's low quality at all.

3 models to choose from

There are three different HIIT stair climbers offered by ProForm:

  • Pro HIIT 14. This $1,699 stair climber is iFIT enabled, and a 30-day iFIT trial is included. There's a 14" smart HD touch screen, 26 resistance levels, multi-function handlebars, a fan, front-mounted transport wheels, a water bottle holder, and carries up to 325 pounds of body weight.
  • Carbon HIIT 10. A 3-year iFIT family membership ($1403) is required for this free machine. You'll have a 10" smart HD touchscreen, 24 resistance levels, a cooling fan, 2" Bluetooth speakers, front-mounted transport wheels, a water bottle holder, and it can handle up to 325 pounds.
  • Carbon E10. A 3-year iFIT membership ($1403) is required, but the stair stepper is free. You'll have a 10" smart HD touchscreen, 24 resistance levels, 2" Bluetooth speakers, a water bottle holder, front-mount transport wheels, and a weight capacity of 275 pounds.

How to easily know the difference between the models

"HIIT" means that the machines have durable design for the high-intensity interval training workout. "10" means it has a 10" screen, and "14" means it has a 14" screen. This should help you as you decide which model is best for you.

iFIT brings the full training of a gym membership right to your home

If you want the feeling and benefits of a gym membership without leaving your home, the membership to iFIT can take you there. There are more than 16,000 engaging and interactive studio classes to choose from, and they're led by professional trainers. In fact, the trainers will actually adjust the resistance on your machine during your workout. When you order your ProForm HIIT stair stepper, you'll be charged for three years of iFIT. After three years, your subscription will automatically renew, and the price at the time of this review was $396 per year.

You don't need iFIT but we recommend it

The iFIT membership is only about $35 per month, which isn't bad for all you get, including the thousands of classes and the program adjusting your resistance for you. However, if you want to cancel the subscription, you can, and you may still be able to get a few iFIT classes included with your console. You can also go totally alone and not use iFIT at all.

The features are impressive

There are 24 resistance levels, which is among the highest we've seen. You'll get a smooth, quiet, steady pedal stroke, and a faster gear ratio with effective weight placement which brings you a natural striding experience. The workout arms give you a whole-body workout rather than just a lower-body workout that you might find with other stair climbing machines. Two 2" Bluetooth speakers bring quality sounds to your music or classes.

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HIIT training

High-intensity interval training, or HIIT, helps keep your heart rate up, burn more calories, and build strength by setting a higher intensity workout level for a short period of time, then going into a short recovery time, and repeat for a longer period of time.

Stay cool

There's a built-in fan with two speed settings to keep you cool during your workout, and hopefully keep you working out longer because you're not overheating. Although the fan is a great idea, it has weak air output, and it's noisy. The bottle holder allows you to have your water at hand for frequent hydration and cooling off.

It's an average size for a larger machine

Most of the stair climbers are in this footprint realm. For example, the ProForm Carbon HIIT 10 is about 30" wide, 52" long, and 67" tall. Be sure that your ceilings are tall enough for this stair climber.

A stepper with a hint of elliptical

The ProForm stair climbers have the intensity of a stair climber with the smoothness of an elliptical, making the workout easy on the joints and transitioning well between steps.

Large pedals

ProForm boasts large foot pedals, at 15" long, with good treads. Even if you wear a men's size 15 shoe, your 12" sole should not only fit, but even have a couple inches of extra room.

It's quiet

Silent Magnetic Resistance, or SMR, brings you a smooth and quiet workout, so you - and others in your home - aren't disturbed by unnecessary noises from your workout equipment.

The pedals don't lock into place

Because the pedals don't lock, it's possible for them to move as you get on and off the machine, possibly throwing you off balance.

10" smart, HD touchscreen

It's not the largest screen out there; in fact, it's about average. Being high definition, the beautiful scenery you see can very much help you escape the real world, pretending you're somewhere else in the world. You can swipe to view your workout stats including your approximate distance, speed, time, calories burned, heart rate, and resistance state.

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Payment plan optional

If you would like to make payments rather than pay it all upfront, ProForm offers a 0% payment plan when you pay it off in 36 months of equal payments. There's also mention of a 29.99% APR standard purchase, so be sure to get all the details of your plan before you sign up.

One of the better warranties

The ProForm warranty covers the HIIT stair climbers with 1 year on labor, 1 or 2 years on parts depending on the model, and 10 years on the frame. Your claim must be pre-approved by iFIT. If you need parts, you're responsible for shipping and handling charges.

30 days to return

If you're just not happy with your ProForm HIIT stair climber, you can request the return within 30 days of the delivery date. You're responsible for a $250 shipping charge plus a 10% restocking fee. If you decide to cancel before you even receive your machine, if the equipment has been shipped you'll be responsible for those return shipping charges and restocking fees. Your iFIT monthly membership is not refundable except if it's within your first 30-day period. The return policy is different with the free machines.

Happy customers but would like something besides iFIT

Customers are happy with the machine: its sturdiness, the relative ease of assembly, and the smoothness of the workout. Some, however, wish they didn't have to have iFIT and could program something else into the console - such as other scenery or other workouts.

What's not to like?

The ProForm stair climbers are at an excellent price point, take up a normal size footprint for sturdy home models, have a large foot pedal with good tread, and have a good warranty. With high-intensity interval training maintaining popularity, ProForm has two stair climbers that are designed to take the severe use. For a full-size home stair climber, the price is more than right, especially when two models are free with the iFIT subscription. You really can't go wrong with any model, but our faves are the Pro HIIT 14 and the Carbon HIIT 10. ProForm is definitely a brand to consider when shopping for a home-use stair climber.

Where Can You Find the Best Stair Climbers?

Stair climbers, often known as "stair steppers," have been around fitness centers for about 40 years. They're a refreshing change to the treadmill and exercise bike, and offer an intense workout. Depending on factors such as your fitness level, age, weight, and chosen resistance level, you could burn an impressive 500 calories in about half an hour on a stair climber.

There are a variety of reasons why stair climbers are so popular. For example, stair climbers are renowned for their effectiveness in calorie burning and weight loss. The rhythmic movement engages major muscle groups such as the legs, glutes, and core, leading to an efficient way to burn calories. This makes stair climbing an attractive option for individuals aiming to shed excess weight or maintain a healthy weight.

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Stair Climber FAQ

A stair climber is a type of exercise equipment that uses either a rotating series of steps or pedals pushed up and down - imitating the motion you'd make when going up a staircase. The "stairmill" option is most commonly found in gyms and health clubs, while the pedal variety can be seen both in fitness centers and in home use.
Stair climbers are low-impact, delivering an intense workout that is gentler on the joints than running on a treadmill. It also doesn't have to be either-or: if you like to mix up your workouts and target different muscle groups, alternating between using a treadmill and a stair climber is a great option.
That will depend on the stair climber you choose. Most models have clearly-listed dimensions for both floor space and ceiling height requirements, so be sure to look at them carefully and map out the space in your home before making your purchase.
You can get a good-quality stair climber for just under $1,000. If you want a high-end model exactly like what you've seen at your local gym, expect a price tag upwards of $10,000.
The more resistance levels your stair climber has, the greater variety you'll be able to get in your workouts. If you have people of multiple heights who will use the machine - for example, maybe you're 4'11" and your roommate is 6'5" - you might want to choose a model with adjustable stride lengths. From there, you should consider how much tech you want it to have, like Bluetooth connectivity with fitness apps or heart rate monitoring through hand grips and/or a chest strap.
Most stair climber manufacturers aren't quite there yet. However, at least one company offers a separate membership to an online platform where you can get live workouts, exercise in real time with a friend, or stream videos to make your workout routine more interesting.
That depends on the manufacturer's policy. Some offer no returns at all, while others may give you 4-6 weeks to try it out. You may also have to pay restocking fees if you return your stair climber.
Yes. Most stair climbers have warranty coverage on the frame and welds, parts, and labor. The timeframes vary: you might get a lifetime warranty on the frame with one manufacturer, while another only covers the frame for three years. Read the warranty coverage and terms carefully before you buy a stair climber.
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Continued from above...

Another reason why stair climbers are popular is their efficiency in providing a cardiovascular workout. The repetitive motion of climbing stairs elevates the heart rate, enhancing blood circulation and promoting cardiovascular fitness. This aerobic exercise is essential for maintaining a healthy heart and lungs, reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases, and improving overall endurance. Stair climbers offer an alternative to high-impact cardiovascular activities like running, making them accessible to a broader demographic, including individuals with joint issues or those seeking a gentler form of exercise.

The low-impact nature of stair climbing is another key factor contributing to its popularity. Unlike high-impact exercises that can put stress on the joints and increase the risk of injury, stair climbing provides a challenging workout with minimal impact. This makes it an ideal choice for individuals with joint concerns, older adults, or those recovering from injuries who still want to engage in effective exercise without compromising their joint health.

Are you wondering which stair climber or stepper suits you best? There are a few styles available. There's a "stair mill" where you literally climb stairs that resemble a rotating staircase like an escalator at the mall. The intensity of the workout is determined by the speed you choose. These machines are the heaviest yet sturdiest of the stair climbers, and although they can take up more space in your room, they offer pretty intense workouts, just like the stair climbers in the gym.

Another form is the stair stepper. You'll push up and down against foot pedals, and the workout intensifies when you increase the resistance. Some of this type have handles so you can work your arms and upper body as well.

A third type to consider, especially if you have shorter ceilings in your home, is the recumbent, or seated stair stepper. You'll get your great full-body stepper workout, but your head won't approach the ceiling since you're seated.

Which stair climber is the right one for you? Since there are many options to consider, it can feel overwhelming. Here are some factors to keep in mind as you begin to shop. Before you know it, you'll find the stair climber that's best not only for you, but for the space in your home.

  • Price. How much are you willing to spend for the stair stepper and any accessories such as the console for tracking your fitness and viewing any classes, or the floor mat to go underneath the machine? Also consider any apps for online subscriptions for classes to participate in while you're working on your step climber. And are the apps free or will you pay a monthly subscription for stepper classes?
  • Available space. Where do you plan to place your stair climber? The traditional gym-like machinery will take up more floor space and require a higher ceiling. The stepper versions take up the least amount of floor space. The recumbent style isn't affected by the ceiling space, or lack thereof.
  • Fitness goals. Consider if you are new to stair climbing or if you're the gym rat who wants to bring that intensity home. Certain stair climbers are ready for the challenge, and others are built more for a light workout only.
  • Return policy. What if the machine doesn't fit in your space, if it's too noisy, or you just don't like it? Check to see if there's a satisfaction guarantee. If so, are you responsible for return shipping? And is there a restocking fee? If so, how much would you actually get back if you returned it?
  • Reputation. What do users say about the stair climber? Is it durable? Was it easy to assemble? Are they still motivated to use it, even months later? If they interacted with customer service, was the department helpful?

Top Consumer Reviews has evaluated and ranked the top stair climbers on the market today. We're confident that this information will help you to narrow down the options so you can find the perfect stair climber for your home gym and your stair climbing workout.

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