Pros: Price, size
Cons: Very difficult to assemble, does not come with motivational trainer
Elliptical Challenge, Take 2
Years ago, I spent a whole lot of money and bought a top o the line Elliptical Machine from Life Fitness. I loved it, but always felt a bit stupid for having spent such a ridiculous amount of money. Earlier this year, I wanted to get another Elliptical Machine for my new house, new life. I did a decent amount of research and finally settled on the NordicTrack CX 938.
The final deciding factors for me:
~ Price. This machine cost $600, as opposed to the $3200 I spent before.
~ Built-in Heart Rate Monitor, as opposed to the sweaty heart band I had to strap around my chest before.
The Nightmare Before Exercising
You know that nightmare of which I speak. Its more common name is: Assembly. After wrestling the box into the back of our borrowed SUV, and carrying it downstairs, it then took two (I like to consider us both very intelligent) people about three hours to put the gorram machine together. Make sure the kiddies arent around during this phase. Much swearing will occur.
After struggling through the poorly-written instruction manual, finding small pieces that fell in our carpet and stripping the screw that held the cupholder on, we finally had our Elliptical Machine put together oh, honey, did you realize how tall that was? Are we going to be banging our head on the ceiling? Zs taller than me, so he hopped on and did a couple rotations. On our normal basement, 8-foot ceilings, his 5 foot, 9 inch frame leaves him about three quarters of an inch clearance at the zenith of the rotation. Phew. Now we dont have to worry about tall people coming in to use our exercise equipment.
Using our Elliptical Machine
There is no stride adjustment on the NordicTrack CX 938, but the giant, oversized pedals give you plenty of room to put your foot in, allowing you to adjust your own stride. For your hands, on either side of the decently sized monitor, is a straight handle that rotates with your feet. Jutting out a bit at waist level are two bars, roughly palm-sized. These bars are always, always cold, and are supposed to give you a quick, accurate heart rate reading. Unless my heart rate jumps between 50 and 170 and back again in 30 seconds, this isnt the most accurate reading Ive ever had. But then again, maybe Im wrong. Maybe I just really work that hard in 17 second intervals.
The CX 938 comes equipped with 10 workout programs, the same kinds of programs weve all come to know and despise in the gyms. (Climb the mountains, progressively harder inclines, varied inclines, etc.). Also, theres a 1-Step Control panel, with the numbers 1-10 that allow you to simply touch a number and increase or decrease your resistance during your workout. This is what I opt for 99% of the time.
Once you jump on and start pedaling, if you dont choose one of the 10 preset programs, the clock on the monitor will start counting up (cant get it to count down, as much as Id love to), and it will rotate between the clock, the amount of calories youve burned, the amount of carbs youve burned and the distance youve gone. The monitor is a generously sized 7x10, with a backlit display that makes it easy to see whatever it is youre trying to see as your watching television, trying to ignore the burning sensation in your thighs.
NordickTrack boasts a frictionless SMR (Silent Magnetic Resistance), and I have to say, it isnt much noisier than a whisper. The change in intensity is seamless.
Theres also a fan built above the monitor. I tried to use it once, but it annoyed me because it was too loud at all speeds, and it interfered with my television show, which is the only thing that allows me to stay on this thing for 45 minutes straight. So, the fan works fine, but not by me.
WhoFit? YouFit? No, iFit:
NordicTrack also boasts that the CX 938 is compatible with their Interactive Personal Training system, iFit (ifit.com). You can plug the monitor into your computer via a USB cord (included) and download new programs. Since I rebel against most extras that I have to pay for, I cannot comment on these programs.
Items you might be interested in (that I found at the website):
~ There is a 250-lb. User Capacity
~ The included one-year NordicTrack elliptical / exercise bike warranty covers the frame, motor, parts and all labor charges.
~ Theres an AutoBreeze setting on the aforementioned annoying fan that will apparently change its own setting based on the speed youre going.
Final Thoughts and Recommendations:
Strange but now that I have more money, I spend less. Or maybe its now that I spend less, I have more money. Yeah, thats probably more accurate. Either way, though there are a lot more bells and whistles on the $3200 Life Fitness x5i Cross-Trainer, my little NordicTrack CX 938 does the exact same thing I used the money hog for, and since its a little bit smaller (at 181 pounds, 23" Wide x 76" Long x 63" High), it doesnt stare at me quite so glaringly if I go more than three days without using it.
It was a pain in the edited for content to put this thing together, but in the end, I have a reasonably priced, easy on the joints, decently sized Elliptical Machine. And I spent a mere $600 for it. After a little over seven months using it, Im still quite convinced it was the right decision.