Pros: Simple to use; good for the beginner; inexpensive.
Cons: Too simple; no resistance; very light.
Back in March I reviewed Tony Littles Gazelle Freestyle Elite. During our travels this summer when I saw Tony Littles Gazelle Edge Glider made by Fitness Quest I was anxious to compare the two. This was especially true when I realized that the Edge Glider can be bought for under $100. The Elite at this point is over $300. It has come down in price in the last few months but it still is the most expensive of Tonys models.
What is this Gazelle Edge Glider and how does it work?
The Glider (not Glide) we are told gives me a total body workout; strengthens my muscles, builds my cardiovascular system (heart and lungs), and burns calories. I am told that I will be able to do 10 exercises (versus 17 that the Elite gives me) and that Ill find it fun and low impact. Low impact is especially helpful for me because although I do high impact aerobics I advise many people not to. As we age low impact workouts are easier on our joints, will help prevent injuries (Injuries can cause arthritis.) and can be safer.
I note in my reviews that I am a personal trainer. I do realize that I may look at machines from a different perspective than others but I do try to look at equipment as a regular layperson. However my knowledge allows me to really examine companys claims.
When I reviewed the Elite I commented that I did not own the video which the machine comes with and I wondered where the number 17 comes from in terms of how many exercises I could do with the Elite. I called Tony and found out. If I had the video I would have known.
The Edge Glide does not come with a video. I was curious how the average person would know what the 10 exercises were so I decided to call Tony again. A very nice customer service representative told me that she could send me a DVD or a Video. I made sure that there was no charge for this and she said there wasnt but that she didnt think that was available online (It is not.) but that if I decided to buy it to buy it over the phone and a video would be sent out. It seems as of this writing the prices on the Internet are the same as via phone but that may change. Do note though that I think having a video or guide for any machine is crucial so please make use of this offer the rep. assured me I could get. In all fairness though the machine does come with documentation. I checked on this so please read it carefully and get comfortable with the machine slowly.
I knew when I used the Edge that it was less expensive than the Elite though I didnt know how much less. I was very apprehensive knowing that it was less money because as it is the Elite is inexpensive for a machine that claims to work your whole body. Like the Elite, though, the Edge surprised me. The two look so similarly that short of having them side by side I dont think I would know which one I was looking at.
There are differences though that will determine which model is right for you. The Edge is a lighter machine. I remember thinking the Elite would just tip over and it didnt. The Edge is not as stable. At only 44 pounds it weighs 17 pounds less than the Elite.
The size is 28" wide by 42 1/2" high which is more than 10" shorter and 8" narrower than the Elite. So it is a smaller machine. They both fold and since they are both light the measurements may not matter. In my opinion though if you are a taller person then you would want the larger machine in general. A significant difference is that the Elite holds 350 pounds and the maximum user weight on the Edge is 250 pounds. They are both made with a steel frame so they are strong enough. The Edge will not bend on you if you use it I can assure you of that.
In order to use the Edge my feet sit on footpads which are wide enough at a bit over 5" and long enough at a bit over 15". I have been on some machines; especially steppers where my feet barely fit on the foot pad or in some cases dont at all. It was nice to use the Edges footpads because my feet felt secure on them. The pads have treads on them which prevent my feet from slipping off the machine.
When I reviewed the Elite I said that it was an odd machine to be in a condo where the average age I would guess is over 70. In fact I thought it dangerous. The machine has handles that are made of foam and are comfortable to hold but as I stepped on to the Edge and Elite the foot pads move on their own. This is true when getting off as well so please be very, very careful on this machine. On the other hand a 79 year young man told me he was getting in shape to go hiking with his son. He looked like he was already in great shape. I watched him easily get on and off the Elite but remember the Edge is smaller and lighter making it in my opinion even more dangerous for some.
A big difference between the two is the lack of heart rate monitor on the Edge. I am a huge proponent of having built in monitors and if not then you would buy your own. Remember your maximum heart rate is 220 minus your age. The average person would work between 40% to 70% of that number.
The machine obviously is a glider. What that means is that one leg moves in front while the other one goes in back and then vice versa. I can hold onto the handles which move also or choose to hold onto the bar on which the computer sits. This is a small console that shows speed, time, distance and calories burned. (Remember these are not accurate numbers. We think that there is about a 20% error on these numbers. However if you always use the same machine and the machine is in good working condition then the numbers are relative.) The console/computer uses 2 AAA batteries.
I have mixed feelings about machines that have moving arms. For one thing I feel you should be doing resistance training to work your upper body rather than relying on a cardio machine to do that for you. I also feel that it is easy to cheat when a machine has handles. I can pull with the handles making my arms work harder than my legs. When I use a cardio machine I primarily am using it to get my heart rate up and work my legs and butt area. The Edge will do this but not if you are relying too heavily on your arms to do the work. I can control if I want to glide with my legs wide or with my legs in a narrower stance. I play around with that and get a different workout depending on how much I glide and how much I use my hands.
Rather than thinking exercises with this machine think body parts worked. The Edge works the biceps (front of the arm) when I move the handles; it works my triceps (back of my upper arm) in the same way; it works my back in the same way; ditto for my shoulders and chest; it works my quadriceps and hamstrings (front and back of thighs) when moving the footpads in the gliding motion; ditto for my calves, hips and shins.
The resistance: There is none. Unlike the Elite which has what are called Power Pistons to adjust resistance I was gliding on the Edge just using my body to move the footpads and arms. I had no option to make it more or less difficult.
There is a 90 day warranty on this machine. It is now being sold at local drug and department stores so returns will be very easy (but then you might not get the video!). Unlike the Elite not only dont you get videos but you dont get a nutrition guide.
Please talk with you doctor before starting an exercise program especially if you have any medical conditions, are a man over 40 or a woman over 50.
It requires very little assembly.
Tony Little says that the Edge is for all fitness levels and ages. I have already commented on age though if you are careful and have someone working with you the first few times then this machine is actually one I would recommend for a senior because it is so simple to use. I know my mom would have no need for anything that has to be programmed. I didnt recommend the Elite for the advanced exerciser so I am certainly not recommending the Edge if you fall into this category. This machine is for the novice. It is good if you weigh less than 250 pounds, have never exercised and want to get your heart pumping and move your legs and arms. You might break a sweat if you pump (If you are heavy dont pump too hard, it may wobble seriously.) hard enough and turn up the heat wherever you are using the Edge. For under $100 (I saw it as low as $89 online.) this makes a great gift for the overweight teen or college person who doesnt have a lot of room because it can be folded and is uncomfortable going to a gym.
If you are more than a beginner but still consider yourself a novice, spend the extra $250 (about) and go for the Elite. The Edge definitely has a place in many peoples lives. I am rating it 3.5. I know I cant. For the right person this is a good machine so Ill go to 4 stars.
Please feel free to leave me a question or comment.
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