Life Fitness Club Series Elliptical Review
If someone is looking for the most recent commercial level ellipticals that they would be able to find in gyms across the United States, they would need to look no further than the Club Series Elliptical from Life Fitness. It is the home version of Life Fitness’ most popular health elliptical trainer. Anyone who decides to drop the money on this elliptical will get a great many benefits out of it, but there are a couple of downsides to the machine.
What we’re going to do in our Life Fitness Club Series review today is examine this elliptical more closely and try to figure out what makes it so highly valued. We’ll examine both the strengths and weaknesses of the individual elements in order to see how it stacks up against other home machines. Then we’ll look at the pricing and warranties before finishing with our final verdict. So with all of that out of the way, let’s hop right into our review of the Life Fitness Club Series Cross Trainer review!
Life Fitness Club Elliptical Machine Review:
Life Fitness Club Series Trainer Specifications:
First up, we’re going to cover the specifications of the Life Fitness Club Series elliptical. Make no mistake about this machine: it is of commercial-grade quality and size, so you’ll want to keep that in mind while you look at this elliptical. Even despite the transport wheels on the back of the elliptical, you likely will not be moving this piece around often once you’ve assembled it and set it in place. As Scar from The Lion King said; “Be Prepared”.
The Club Series elliptical specifically measures out to be 86 inches (218 cm) long, 29 inches (73 cm) wide and 64 inches (163 cm) tall. The weight might make your muscles hurt already, as it weighs 301 lbs (137 kg). However, it can hold a maximum weight capacity of 400 lbs (181.4 kg), which should accommodate the vast majority of users (if not all of them). Whereas some of the other Life Fitness elliptical series have different colour schemes available to highlight their overall black design (like “Arctic Silver” or “Titanium Storm”), the Club Series has no such options. You get the basic black and gray design and that’s the end of it.
You won’t find too much to complain about with the specifications of the Life Fitness Club Series elliptical. Yes, it’s large and immobile, but you’ll find that it is generally well-made and will do the job for most people.
Life Fitness Club Series Cross-Trainer Monitor:
Another difference between the Life Fitness Club Series and some of the other series that Life Fitness offer are the choice of monitors. For some of the other ellipticals you’d get a choice of different monitors, which could range from some of the highest quality monitors available (the SE3 HD) to some more basic options. The only monitor that comes with the Club Series measures out to be a fairly compact 7 inch touchscreen display. This monitor does have the ability to connect to Bluetooth compatible apps and track your statistics over time, which is always appreciated.
Compared to many other monitors that are offered by Life Fitness, this is a fairly simple and straightforward one. You don’t have too many options in terms of on-board programs, but they are still there. Specifically there are 6 different programs including Rolling Hills, Fat Burn, Speed Interval and Incline Interval. You’ve also got Goal programs based on time, distance, calories and heart rate.
One of the interesting aspects to consider with this monitor is: who exactly is it for? The elliptical itself is generally too expensive for absolute beginners, while more advanced elliptical users will generally expect more from the monitor and its programs. But for anyone in between, this monitor should work fine enough.
Life Fitness Club Series Drive and Resistance:
Now we’re going to move onto the resistance and drivetrain aspects of the Life Fitness Club Series+. These are the aspects that really serve to challenge whoever steps onto this elliptical. Fortunately, they do a pretty good job of offering a challenge if you want it or will be a nice easy stroll if you’d prefer that. This is thanks to the 25 different levels of magnetic resistance that are already installed on the Club Series elliptical. This should give a wide enough range for anyone who decides to invest in the machine, as it can allow you to fine-tune everything to your preferred level.
Rather annoyingly, we couldn’t find the specific drivetrain listed, but due to the combination of rear drive magnetic resistance and the low level of noise that is put out from the elliptical, it is most likely a belt drivetrain. This should serve the majority of people well. It’s quiet and requires nearly no maintenance, so there’s no real issues here.
Club Series Handlebars, Stride Length and Pedals:
Up next, we’re going to examine the elements that you’ll be physically interacting with the most. The handlebars and pedals are two of the most important factors in one of these machines, while the stride length will make sure that you don’t feel awkward during the exercise sessions.
The handlebars are fairly straightforward and not too different to other models that Life Fitness offer. You’ve got one pair of handlebars on the outside that move with the motion of the pedals. These have resistance controls on them, allowing you to change the resistance settings without having to actually use the touchscreen. Such an ability is pretty handy and we’re definitely going to praise them for adding that. There are also a pair of stationary handlebars that sit right beneath the console. Whereas some ellipticals allow these to have heart rate sensors on them, there is no such function on the Club Series+ ones.
The pedals of the Club Series elliptical are oversized FlexForm pedals that should do the job for the majority of people. They measure to be about 15 inches (38 cm) and are comfortable enough to stay on for a long amount of time.
The only potential gripe that we have with the Club Series in this realm is the stride length. It measures at a fairly standard 20 inches (51 cm), but it is not adjustable in any sort of way. While the default stride length should fit a good amount of people, it would be much nicer to have even some adjustments to allow people to get into their natural stride while onboard the elliptical.
Life Fitness Club Series Elliptical Price and Warranty:
The part that many people might skip straight to is this one. The pricing and warranty of any elliptical can determine whether or not people should invest in it, as they need to consider whether or not the long-term health benefits are worth it. Not to mention, they want to see if the company is actually willing to back up the elliptical in any sort of meaningful way with warranties.
As for the initial pricing, the Life Fitness Club Series is an expensive elliptical. It is not the most expensive that Life Fitness offers, but it will still set you back about $5000 at a regular retail price. Since there aren’t any variations with the monitor, there aren’t the same sort of variations in price that you can find with some other Life Fitness ellipticals. This is not too awful of a price, considering the professional build and general makeup of the machine.
However, it’s the warranties where we are rather disappointed. The Life Fitness Club Series+ elliptical does not have good warranties at all. You get a 2 year warranty on the frame, 2 years on the parts and 1 year on the labour as a base package. While you can purchase extended warranties, this shouldn’t have to be the case. If you are spending this much money on a piece of commercial-quality equipment, you would expect the company to back up that equipment with long guarantees if something breaks or otherwise goes wrong. The fact that Life Fitness does not do this is a big strike against them and this machine.
Life Fitness Club Elliptical Assembly and Shipping:
The assembly process shouldn’t take that long, even if you don’t happen to be that good with a screw or wrench. The installation manual should be detailed enough to guide anyone through with relative ease. You will need to put the Club Series+ near an outlet in order to get any power into it, so keep that in mind when picturing where in the home you would want to assemble it.
As for the shipping process, that is somewhat less predictable. Life Fitness is based out of and ships from the United States, so it generally shouldn’t take more than 1-2 weeks to arrive at the desired destination. Of course, this can be affected by where it is going to, some human error or other factors like a global pandemic that slows all shipping down.
Life Fitness Club Series Elliptical Pros:
Good Workout Variety:
The workout variety that comes with this elliptical should serve most users extremely well. While the monitor might not have the dozens of different programs that some other Life Fitness monitors do, a large portion of users should be satisfied with what is on offer. The fact that you can ignore these preset programs and simply do your own thing while tracking the statistics anyway is also a bonus.
This is a home version of a machine that you’d expect to find in a gym. On account of this, everything runs smoothly and you feel that the machine is built to make you feel like you are in the aforementioned gym.
Bluetooth and Wireless Connections:
The fact that the Club Series+ elliptical comes with a chest strap that can be tracked by the monitor is most definitely a pro. This makes the workouts that are controlled by your heart rate worth a heck of a lot more. Many ellipticals have the ability, but don’t actually have the chest strap included. In addition, you’ve also got the ability of the elliptical to give the various statistics to some other app through Bluetooth. They just offer more that you can actually do with this machine, which is always appreciated.
Life Fitness Club Series Elliptical Cons:
This Machine Takes Up A Large Footprint:
If you have a small home, prepare for this elliptical to take up a large portion of it. It is big. It is heavy. This combination of big and heavy (even with the transport wheels) means that you’ll need to do some planning on where the elliptical would actually go before purchasing it.
Having no adjustable pedals or stride length is a bit of a downside. The stride length in particular would be nice to adjust for people to be more comfortable during exercise. It just means that there’s less customization available. While this isn’t a deal-breaking negative, it should still be noted.
With such a large price attached to the Life Fitness Club Series+ elliptical, you would expect the warranties to cover it for a decent while. Nope. These warranties last for a couple of years and then leave you on your own. This is not good from Life Fitness and something that you’ve got to look out for.
Our Final Verdict
The Life Fitness Club Series+ Cross-Trainer is a very good elliptical. It brings the quality of your local gym straight into your home. It’s got a good amount of workout variation and wireless connections to provide a lot of content for your purchase. While the monitor isn’t the most brilliant offered by Life Fitness, it’ll still do the job well. You’ve just got to look out for the large price and short warranties. This machine should be built well enough to last a long time, but you never know what might go wrong 4 days after the warranties expire. If high-quality is what you are looking for, this Life Fitness elliptical will fulfill that need.