I was at the mall today and decided to visit Sports authority to see if they had any decent quality ellipticals. One of the highest quality models they had was the Life Fitness X3 elliptical machine commercial quality machine – they also carried the X1 model, which I’ll write about another time.
I decided to ask the floor sales guy to plug’er in so I could give the X3 a whirl. After about 5 minutes of him running around looking for an extension cord (while I almost ran out of patience and left), he finally arrived and got the machine going.
My first impression was pretty good, the X3 had a very solid, smooth, commercial equipment feel to it. The sales attendant indicated to me that many gyms carry the Life Fitness X3 elliptical machine which confirmed my opinion. Take a look at my page on elliptical machine considerations for more qualities I look for.
He also indicated there are 2 versions of the X3, one with a basic console, including only 5 programs, which is priced at $2,699 and one with an advanced console priced at $2,999. The model I tested had the advanced console, which features more workout programs (10 total), 2 user profiles, a race mode, and HeartSync heart rate monitor, and a wireless HR chest strap. In my opinion that’s quite a bit more value for only $300 difference in price. I’m sure I’d pony up for the advanced console if I were in the market for the machine.
Life Fitness X3 Specifications
Since I didn’t pick up any brochures from the mall, I decided to check out Amazon’s Life Fitness X3 elliptical machine page to get the specifications here:
- 16 resistance levels
- ErgoGrip stationary handlebar for stability
- WhisperStride technology offering a smooth, fluent stride motion
- Oversized pedals to accommodate users of all shapes and sizes
- 300-pound capacity, 20-inch stride length, 7 inch step up (not adjustable unfortunately)
- Easy-to-read LCD display that tracks your distance, speed, calories burned, level, time, heart rate, target heart rate, METs, and watts.
- Welded steel frame measuring 65 by 62 by 27 inches (W x H x D), and weighing 205 pounds
- Warranty – Frame: Lifetime, Parts: 3 Years, Labor: 1 Year
Life Fitness Pitch
According to Life Fitness, the X3 accommodates users of all shapes and sizes as a result of it’s oversized pedals, which ensure no matter what your foot size, you can expect the same commercial quality experience. They also claim the pedals are optimally spaced, minimizing lateral hip movement or shifting that could occur, putting stress on the lower back (See our right hand sidebar for posture tips).
Life Fitness also claims one of the X3′s best qualities is that it disperses the users effort equally throughout the legs and arms, helping to burn more calories with a lower perceived exertion level.
The ErgoGrip stationary handlebar provides stability when working only the lower body. It also has an oversized accessory tray with built in reading rack and 2 cup holders.
My Opinion on the Life Fitness X3 elliptical machine
Overall, I thought the Life Fitness X3 elliptical machine was an excellent machine and the official company sales copy above pretty well matched my experience. Though as I stated above, I haven’t had much experience with it, much less put in my usual elliptical machine workout on the X3. But I did manage to put it through the paces for roughly 10 minutes to test the various programs and fiddle with the console options quite a bit. The Life Fitness X3 elliptical machine was very smooth, solid and felt very durable. It gave me the impression it would last quite a few years, and with the generous warranty buyers can rest assured they’ll get plenty of use from it.
One quibble i had was the stride height, which is only 7 inches or so. I personally prefer a deeper stride for a more rounded leg motion, as opposed to the flat motion the X3 had with it’s limited stride height. Also the stride length isn’t adjustable, so more people can adjust the machine to their preferences.