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Hiking training using Elliptical cross trainers

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Doug, Aug 3, 2008.

  1. Doug


    Jan 17, 2006
    East TN
    I'm looking into a new Elliptical machine, after first starting out looking at treadmills. For use as hiking conditioning, weight management and cardiovascular health.

    I actually have one bought, the last day of a Sears sale, a NordicTrack 800 which I got for 800 and tax coincidentally, (880). I've been doing some research and have pondered stepping my investment up some and cancelling the Sears order.

    First option I considered is the 990, which not only seems to have the auto level adjustment (adjustment of Elevation control up to 30%) which changes the muscle group exercise in theory at least. But I think it also adds some other features, maybe added exercise routines?

    I have tried the 800, and it is a very smooth elliptical motion and seems a solid workout. I Stepped it up to the max resistance setting, and on 30 level and it will clean your clock, lol.. The 1000 in comparison seemed a little jerky at first with a distinctive bottom on the stroke. I did adjust more after use, but one review says stay away from the 1000, even though it's half price at NordicTrack. They may be cancelling the model.

    Next up is the Nordic Track 1300, this one seems to have less features than the 990, but is well rated, as a professional quality grade machine. Looks very solid. I have not evaluated this one yet, but will try to if I go back to get my refund at Sears, as they do have this model.

    I also considered the Sole Fitness E35, this one I think can be had for about the price of the Nordic Track 1300. Sole backs their machines with a great warranty, and seem fairly confident you'll like them, with a mere 8% return policy counting return shipping within 30 days.

    The dream machine is a Life Fitness E7, but at 4-5K, it's in D3 territory!

    Whew! this is exausting, and I haven't even exercised yet!

    Any thoughts from the experienced Elliptical fans out there? Any tips or advice?

    Here's a comparison if it comes up of the one I purchased, and the one I considered exchanging for with the auto level deck adjustment. I notice it also has more programs 20 vs 8, and is actually rated to a higher weight capacity, though I hope I never need either at 300 on the 800 and 325 on the 990! I weigh 209 currently.

  2. I use this type of machine every day at the gym for 1 hr./7 miles/1000 calories! :biggrin: But I couldn't tell you what kind they are. All I know is that there are "older" and "newer" ones, and I prefer the newer ones b/c the "stride" is longer and fits my stride better, the older ones are shorter and rougher on my knees. If you can, hop on several and give them test "runs" to see which feels better for you.
  3. Doug, do you have convenient access to a gym? If so, this can be much more cost effective. My wife and I pay $100/year for our 24 Hour Fitness memberships. We have a gym less than 2 miles from our house. This gives us access to 50+ resistance machines, a dozen ellipticals, dozens more treadmills, stairsteppers, stationary bikes, etc. Not to mention the hot tub, sauna, steam room and swimming pool.

    For the price of one good piece of equipment, for instance a good elliptical trainer, I get almost a decade of access to a wide variety of equipment. And, I get this access at any 24 Hour Fitness location. I make good use of this when I travel on business.

    This works well for us. Just a thought.
  4. The only one I have ever used that I liked was Precor. Trouble with them is they cost about a D3 or so if you want one for home.

    The others I've tried hurt my knees.
  5. TheKO


    May 3, 2005
    Tampa, FL
    For hike conditioning why not buy a backpack, fill it and walk daily?
  6. Hey Doug,
    All I can say is to make sure you are comfortable on it. There should be no pain in the joints. I use to sell these things at a fitness store and we encouraged people to go through a complete workout on a machine before they purchased. There were many I could not work out on myself as they killed my joints, I found one (Life Fitness) that I loved to work out on.

    Remember if it hurts, you won't use it. But they do make nice clothes racks!:biggrin:
  7. eng45ine


    May 11, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    I have a Precor elliptical without the arms that move, the unit is very comfortable to use and has several cross-training programs. I bought this unit because we had the same one at the firehouse, it is very well made and extremely comfortable on the joints.
  8. Gym membership is the better way to go!! Also agree that a loaded pack is best way to get in hiking shape. The hard-bodies you see out on the trails got that way from the trails, not an elliptical machine.
  9. I've recently read that ellipticals, bikes, etc are not good for losing weight, but will help you get into better aerobic condition. I've been using an Octane Q35 for the last few years, and it definitely helps with that! I first bought a cheap one, and it lasted about two months, so go for the good stuff, and good luck, Doug!
  10. Well, we went the LifeFitness route 3+ years ago. I tried a lot out on biz trips. I like the heart rate function and its overall sturdiness. We've had stationary bikes, recumbent, stair climbers and this elliptical. I like it for low impact, aerobic type workouts. I cant' stand treadmills so its number 1 for me.

    It comes down to convenience/trade off on home use vs. gym. Can't beat the dues vs. $4k ind. machine but we got kids, work, etc so home gym suits us best. Try them all - when you are rested, tired and in between to get the best experience. If you buy you got to want to use it. YMMV.
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