View Full Version : Elliptical users, recommendations please..
08-02-2003, 10:51 AM
DH & I are home exercisers. have a treadmill, weight machine, stationary bike, and a nordic track in its death throes. we're thinking about an elliptical. we looked at them ( Precor) briefly & were sorta stunned at the prices. $4000?
Tell me your experiences. Do you like them? do you get a good workout? what brands have you used at the gym or home? things to look for or to steer clear of? does yours involve arm movement or is it strictly lower body?
I checked consumer reports but they only evaluated units for under $1000. I'm not trying to spend more than I need, but we need something that will hold up to 2 heavy users and these did not sound like they would. Thanks!
08-02-2003, 11:27 AM
I only use an elliptical for my cardio-due to back problems, it's the only thing I can do without hurting myself. DH is also a big Precor fan, but we just couldn't go the price. We bought a Health Rider from Costco, which has adjustable ramp and resistance, and has arm movement, as well. I like it--it's not quite as nice as the fancy-schmancy one at the gym, but it's adequate for me. It would take a long time for me to "outgrow" this one. DH won't even get on it--he's a Precor snob! Ours cost about $500.00 as I recall.
08-02-2003, 01:12 PM
DH and I wore out 2 nordic tracks, a stair stepper, plus other small stuff. we used to run outside but are happier on our treadmill. we have three to 4 thousand miles on it. it's a precor and cost around $3000. If we like using something, we USE it. we spend what we need to for a good piece of equipment we will both use. DH liked the nordic track and it was good for the price but they seem to be dying out. I hate the nordic track & don't want to buy a piece of equipment I won't use.
But I'm about choking on the price for an elliptical! I've only used one for a few minutes in a salesroom situation.
I know we will "use up" anything that is not built to take it, & then we've spent $500 & have a piece of worn out equipment. I'm just hoping there is some middle ground.
08-02-2003, 03:19 PM
I also love the Precor, but was put off by the price. So I tried lots of other brands and came to the conclusion that for me, the Precor is the best and I am saving up my money to buy one. I tried all the ones at Sears (which were all < $1000) and didn't like the way they felt. Some made me feel like I was tipping forward, others had too short of a stride (I'm 6' tall) and some just felt rough. At the store that sells the Precor, they had another brand (can't remember the name) that was around $2000, which was OK, but I still prefer the feel/stride of the Precor. I do know that right now, our local fitness store is having a sale to get rid of the "old" models and floor models. I haven't checked the prices, because I still don't have the money right now, but I'm planning to keep that in mind when I do. You might check if your local fitness store is selling off last year's models to make way for the new ones.
08-04-2003, 09:11 AM
I have used the Precor at the gym. I love it. I use the one without the moving arm handles b/c I don't like that (but I move my arms on my own, don't hold on to handles). Anyways, elliptical machines are very good on the knees. I read an article about elliptical machines v. treadmills and the calorie burn, etc. It stated that research showed that the calorie burn is equal. it also stated that many people are working harder than they think they are when on the elliptical machine because it is so much easier on the joints and body in general. Which leads me to believe that one would probably work out even longer than usual because you're not as tired, even if you did put in as much effort.
I think the money is worth it since you say if you like it you'd use it. They are the most popular piece of cardio equipment at the gym...that has to mean something!
08-04-2003, 09:17 AM
I own the Precor, yes it is expensive, but I believe it is worth the price. For my second home I bought a cheaper elliptical that I hated, I was so glad the sell the house and give away the thing. I suggest if you can't afford a Precor, buy a good treadmill. It is easier to get a good treadmill for less money than an elliptical. But of course, the treadmill is harsher on you feet, knees, etc. I know my Precor cost less then $3k, but that was a couple of years ago. I love mine.
08-04-2003, 09:50 AM
Used to belong to a gym but decided to spend money on home equipment rather than a membership. we do "something" 6 days a week unless hiking or skiing. we like to change it up so we don't bored with the same thing every day. the nordic track is dying & I hated it. we tried out ellipticals about 4 years ago & weren't convinced, so we got some parts & rebuilt the nordic track. so again the N-T is circling the drain.
I had knee surgery last year & have recovered well but don't think it's a good plan to overdo the treadmill at age (55). so I'm looking for good cardio with less impact. (I hate step aerobic type stuff) DH likes the combined arm/leg motion on the N-T but the ellipticals we looked at did not have arm movement. One store had only precor, the other stores had some other brands but they were fairly expensive. so I know I need to go "shop" but 15 min on a machine is hard to judge how well you'll like it long term. If they are as popular as you say, then that's a good thing to know.
08-04-2003, 07:00 PM
Aaah, 55, bad kness, go for the EFX. I know some of stores also have payment plans with no interest for 12 months. I still say go with Precor...:D :D Ohh a song, you get more with Precor:) :)
08-05-2003, 08:23 AM
had an ACL repair last year. I have been a runner for 30+ years & want as many more as I can get. I run 15-20 miles a week without discomfort. but the years are there & I don't want to keep running until I have problems. I'm planning to split my cardio between the treadmill & whatever we get. My husband is in great shape. He has to work very hard to get his heart rate up & some equipment ( like stair steppers) don't do a good job of it.
We can afford the Precor but I want to be sure I'm not just paying for the name.
08-05-2003, 12:11 PM
BTW, I'm also 55, and in good shape. I hate rumming, my DH has rum for years. Lately he has been running at the beach in the dry sand! I tried it this morning, TOO HARD. I don't know how he does it. I'll stick to my Precor. I don't really think it is just a name, Ive never had any probelm with mine, my model is 5.21. I don't know if they are made any more. The only difference from my club's model is it only shows one reading at a time. The club one shows all reading at once. My DH has never gotten on my Precor, he just loves to run and does spin classes at our club. I also hate the spin classes, I'm just married to my EFX. :D
08-05-2003, 03:52 PM
Oh, running in sand is AWFUL. That's the stuff bad nightmares are made of!. with a ax murderer right behind you!.
I don't want to another nordic track especially now that they're made by another company. I'm concerned the EFX ( they still make the 521i) won't get his heart rate up enough to keep him "happy". we don't have room for more & both the EFX and nordic track are big space hogs. I love the treadmill but variety & less impact would be a good thing.
We'll wear workout gear and go try the EFX out (with a pulse monitor) so we can see if they will do it for us. I don't care much about the display as long as there is something to quantitate 'how far" you've gone in a session and total overall. Thanks for your input, Christie.
08-07-2003, 10:09 AM
We went shopping yesterday. DH & I tried the EFX 533i & Life Fitness ellipticals, similar price/quality. But we both liked the EFX better. this is the model with the arm motion and a fixed ramp. I will call today to place my order! Thanks for your advice & for helping me spend my money! Valerie
08-10-2003, 07:59 PM
I was reading this thread and noticed you mentioned you recently had knee surgery. Have you checked with your doctor yet about what he/she thinks about you using an elliptical machine? The reason I ask is that I have a history of knee problems. I had heard that the elliptical machines were good for ppl who had a history of bad knees, so i started using one.. After a year of this I ended up injuring my knee!!! I went to the orthapedic doctor and she told me that my quad muscle (above my knee) was very weak and I needed to do exercises that would keep it strong. She said that this contributed to my injury. I guess the elliptical trainer just wasn't building up that muscle properly. The only cardio equipment she recommended for me to use was the bicycle. I'm still going through the rehab, but after this painful experience passes I don't think I'm ever going to use an elliptical machine again. By the way, I was a member of a gym and I used the Precor and EFX machines. They were both great! :)
08-11-2003, 07:16 AM
I had ACL reconstruction. had occasional problems when I moved my leg the "wrong" way. I always had thought you could barely walk & could not do sports if you were missing an ACL. My orthopedist said it varies, some are really incapacitated & others (like me) function pretty well without one. Depends on how you are hooked together. I decided on reconstruction & recovered quickly. I used a bike for rehab. I stayed off the treadmill for 3 months. he said " do whatever you want" after therapy finished & "let pain and swelling be your guide. "
We just bought a precor EFX for low impact cardio.I've used it once but so far so good.
After ACL surgery, I had some quad atrophy. Physical therapy had me do squats,lunges, leg presses, bicycle, walking/stand on one leg, ladder work. the quad came back quickly. I did a pretty aggressive home program in addition to 2 therapy sessions a week. at least an hour a day. I was REAL motivated.
08-12-2003, 09:40 AM
during my shopping for an eliptical I came across a web site that had good reviews of treadmills and ellipiticals. it is www.treadmillguys.com. otherwise I found very few useful reviews of exercise equipment. Hope this is a help to someone in their shopping.
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