Pros: Easy on the joints, nice features, comfortable foot pedals, for all levels.
Cons: Placement of the bottle holder. Please get used to the motion before starting the machine.
The gym I go to, World Gym, got the Cybex Arc Trainer months ago at the same time they got Cybex Pro+ Treadmill.
What is this? Features and How to Use It:
The Arc Trainer is considered a cross trainer because of the levels of resistance it gives you. However just as a treadmill does the same and isnt called a cross trainer I consider this an elliptical machine. It acts like a glider so its a bit different than a traditional elliptical. I will get into that later.
The first thing I noticed when I knew I would be reviewing this was the inconvenient place of the bottle holder. This may be an additional accessory so I wont spend too much time on it or rate the product down for it. Essentially it is on the left side of the machine and to the back so you have to reach awkwardly to take a drink, There is also a key/cell phone holder on the other side of the machine.
There are 3 places to hold onto this machine which is really nice. In spite of some not holding on just as people ride bikes without holding on- my recommendation is to please use the handles. There is a place at the base of the handle just above your sides, one at the top of the handle so you will be reaching up a bit and a higher one next to the console.
There is a heart rate zone display on the machine, which isnt as comprehensive as the one on the Pro . Though it does tell me that I am in the cardio zone for example at 121-170 beats per minute, I might not know that my maximum heart rate is 220-my age. This information is given on the Pro . There is an additional handle that runs across this machine with built in monitors. When I want to know my heart rate I just place my hands on the metal on the handle and it will show up on the display.
The Cybex Arc Trainer has 6 programs. They are manual, weight loss, cardio, interval, hill and strength. I can start the machine with the quick start option and after hitting that it counts down 3, 2, 1 or I can choose the program option. I would then choose which program I want, hit enter, put in the amount of time I want, hit enter, my weight and level and hit enter. It will again count down before it starts.
The large, easy to see display has nice features. Youll see scan so you can scan all the features during your entire workout or you can hit any one of them to just keep it on that one. So for example if you want to just see how far you are walking youll hit distance and it will just show me that. I can also see minutes per mile, calories, mets and heart rate.
The digital display shows green dots that will rise vertically as you challenge yourself. The faster you go and the more you increase you incline level the higher the dots will rise.
The foot pedals are excellent. They are large and wide. I find them very comfortable. The pedals have a slot in which I put my feet. My toes dont hit the foot pedal and I find that my foot pain is not aggravated using the Arc Trainer. It is exceptionally easy on my joints! Exceptionally easy I want to emphasize that.
It is different than the traditional elliptical which has foot pedals attached to the base. This has no base. The pedals are free floating and are each attached to 3 poles. Youll feel a nice easy glide rather than and up and down motion. The first thing I would recommend before you start this machine is to get on it and get used to the feel of the motion of the pedals. I think youll find it a nice smooth stride.
The console also displays the time, the incline and the resistance levels, which go to 101 with a resistance range of 0-900 watts. This will sound like a ridiculous number. Actually when I am not at an incline using 100 isnt difficult. It becomes difficult with various incline levels.
The machine is large because of the front of it. The front is a huge black piece that takes up quite a bit of space. The dimensions are 30 wide by 70 long and 40 high. It weighs 325 pounds. The maximum user weight is 400 pounds.
You enter and exit the Arc Trainer through the back so you dont have to worry about tripping over the pedals. It is quite user friendly once you get used to the feel of the motion. You can choose a gliding motion with very little hip and knee movement or go to a high stepping level. With 10 incline levels you have a variety from which to choose. As a personal trainer I recommend various your intensity and incline levels.
The warranty is 3 years for parts and labor and 10 years for the frame.
Jos final thoughts:
This is the one piece of equipment in the gym that is taken the most. I usually never have to wait for a machine but by far, this one has been the biggest hit. For good reason! It gives me a great cardio workout without any stress on my joints. I can easily interval train on it because of the user friendliness of the display console.
I never have backaches from this machine as I have had from various elliptical machines. It is really built well for all ages (except children) and sizes. The gentle gliding motion and low workload are great for a first time user. The higher resistance levels and higher inclines give me challenging workout!
The Arc Trainer is fantastic but talk with your doctor before starting an exercise program.
The Arc Trainer at $5500 is $1,000 less that the Treadmill. If I were putting together a home gym and just wanted one it would be the Arc Trainer. If you are a runner you will want a treadmill because you wont get the feel of running on the Arc Trainer. It simulates running but it really isnt the same.
Please feel free to ask me a question or leave a comment.
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