There seems to be a lot of people (especially men) who don't use the cross trainer for whatever reason, and let me tell you they are missing out. For weight loss is is one of the best machines because it feels like you aren't using as much energy in comparison to running. This means you can exercise harder or longer. The most I can manage on the treadmill is 20-30 minutes before I get exhausted and my legs (mainly my dodgy knee) starts to hurt. On these beauts I can get off after an hour with 1000 calories burnt and no leg pain, of course by then I am knackered haa!
This is a top of the range cross trainer, or at least once was, until TV screens etc were introduced. I wish I could afford this at home but instead this cross trainer is at my local gym has and I am a regular user of.
I put in around 4 hours a week on this thing and I have to say it is amazing!!
There are loads of things I like about this cross trainer. The main ones are that the ride is smooth and comfortable. And there are the tonnes of resistances and programs meaning I can do so many different types of work out.
I have used a lot of trainers in my gym experiences and this is my favourite one because its the only one which hasn't flared up my old knee injury.
There are only two downsides to this cross trainer. On is the cost and two that its pretty huge so not great for having it at home. In a gym though its perfect!
They have several of these cross trainers at the local gym that I use, and they are by far my favourite peice of gym equipment.
The cross trainer feels very strange to get used to if you have not used one before. Your feet glide forwards and backwards, in a motion that makes you feel like you are walking on air. It is a smooth, low impact excersize, that makes it good for people with bad joints such as me, as it works all of your muscles, without having the pounding impact of something like running.
This particular cross trainer, and many like it, have two poles that you hold on to, that move back and too in sync with your legs. This exercises the arms and upper body.
The display enables you to see how far you have gone, how many strides you have done, the time you have been exercising for and a calorie count. You can manually set the resistance level if you wish, or use one of the machines pre set programs, where the machine will automatically change levels of resistance in a sort of interval training way.
If your thing is calorie burning, this is about the best peice of equipment to do it! At the gym I average between 120-150 calories every ten minutes, and that is with the machine set at level 7 resistance, and you can put up to level 20 resistance!
This machine feels sturdy and well made, and I have never had a problem with them and use them several times a week.
Sometimes, the treadmill can become a bit boring after using it for so long, and I like to mix up my cardio workout, so that I do not get bored and stop working out. I am not the biggest fan of the bikes, even though I do use them every now and then, but I also use the cross trainers in the gym once in a while to keep my workout fresh.
The gym I go to has the Life Fitness Club Cross Trainer, and these are also known as Elliptical Trainers, Body Trainers and Gliders. I have always known them as Cross Trainers, so this is what I will be calling it for this review.
The Cross trainer itself is mostly dark gray and black, and has a small console on the front panel for the ease of use. There are two foot trays attached to the handles via a long, welded bar and there is also a seperate set of handles attached to the front console of the machine, so you can just work your legs if you should so wish.
A cross trainer, if you use the handles attached to the foot trays, is great for an upper and lower body workout in one go. You work your legs with the foot trays and your arms with the handles. This machine will also workout your bum, hips, back, stomach, shoulders and chest, if you use both parts. If you just work the legs, you will only be working out the hips, legs and bum.
A cross trainer has been known for being less damaging on the joints compared to using a treadmill, as there is no impact and these are especially great for the people who have a knee or ankle or hip problem. You can get to the same speeds as running on a treadmill, but it will not jar your joints or your body and it feels more like you are skiing or gliding rather than running. This does not make it any easier though! It is still an intense, hard workout that gets your heart pumping and your sweat pouring, and that is what I love about it.
When I first started using the Cross Trainer, I will admit, I didn't like them and I tried to avoid them as much as possible. I soon started to come round to the idea of them when I realised the benefits of working out on them. Not only can you work so many areas of your body on one machine, you also get a great cardiovascular workout so you can work on your body and your fitness! I do like to run but as I do have knee problems, this is not always a possibility and sometimes I have to use the Cross Trainer instead.
I find that my heart rate goes up quite well on this machine, and that shows me I am working hard. The machine itself is simple enough to use, but do not think that means it is easy to workout on the Cross Trainer.
The Life Fitness Cross Trainer is designed to be very user friendly. To use, just hop onto the machine, carefully as the foot trays can move before you intend them to if you are too hasty. To start the machine, you have to move your legs and get the trays and bars moving, and you can then select which workout option you would like to use. I always quick start, which literally just starts you on level 1 of resistance and away you go. It will then ask you for your weight in Kilograms so it can calculate your amount of calories burnt during the workout. You can then change the resistance level to any number you want up to the level of 20. I have found that I can not push much harder than on levels 6 - 10, but my partner has stronger legs and can work on level 14 (he's a madman I think!!) You just select the level by using the up and down arrows on the front panel next to the word level.
There are other workout options you can select, including Hill, which changes the level of resistance throughout the workout, to keep you working at different levels. There is also personal trainer, cardio and fat burning modes. I have not used personal trainer, so I can not comment on that one, but the fat burning and cardio modes set you a target heart rate depending on your age and weight and then changes the resistance accordingly through out the workout, to keep you at that heart rate.
If you do not have a heart rate monitor, no worries as you do not need a seperate one with this cross trainer. In the handles that are attached to the bars, you will find heart rate sensor pads. These are essentially two metal plates, one in each handle that read your heart rate through the pulse in your hands. As long as you are using the correct handles, and you have your hands places around the sensors, you will be able to see you heart rate on the LED screen in front of you. I really like this, as it saves me from having to buy my own, seperate heart rate monitor and it shows me how well I am doing with my workout.
On the LED screen you can also see what speed you are going in Kilometres, what distance you have covered, also in kilometres, and how many calories you have burned. There is a seperate, smaller screen lower down on the front panel to show you how long you have been on the Cross Trainer for. The screens are simple to read and are nice and clear to see. There is also a drinks holder on the Cross Trainer so you can have a bottle of water for your workout, and there is a slot next to it, which I am not 100% sure what it was intended for, but my phone fits perfectly in the slot, so I can easily listen to my music whilst I workout, just be careful where your ear phone cord is when you do that, as I have managed to tangle myself in the handles a couple of times and nearly rip my own ears off!
These are great machines, and they are great for a workout! They really will work you hard, and they are suitable for all levels of fitness and health. If you are lucky enough to have one of these in your local gym, I totally recommend using one. If you do not go to a gym and are looking to get one of these at home, then I definatley suggest getting the Life Fitness Club Cross Trainer, as they are a great piece of equipment and very sturdy. The ones in my local gym are pretty much always in use, and they have withstood the amount of use very well.
You will need a fair bit of space for this Cross Trainer, as it will need to stay set up. It is not one of those that can easily be folded away or taken apart whilst not in use. It does need a power supply for the use of different workout options and the LED screen, but the actual machine movement does not need electrical power to use it. As well as a fair bit of spare space, you will also need a fair bit of cash to be able to buy one of these. The cheapest I have seen them for sale is £4,396. This does include home delivery and installation, but if you look around on the internet at different fitness sale stores, you may be able to get a second hand or ex-demo model for a better price.
Personally, I think this is a great bit of fitness equipment and if I had the space in my own home, I would have one of these for myself. Luckily I have the ability to use one of these in the local gym, and I hope that a lot of you will get the chance to use the Life Fitness Cross Trainer too. I give the Cross Trainer a 5 out of 5 stars, and I totally recommend it to everyone.
*This review is also on Ciao under the user name of Hailee*