Life Fitness E5 Elliptical Cross-Trainer Review

Home > Life Fitness > E5 Elliptical Cross Trainer
by BEMH • Updated: January 30, 2019

Life Fitness E5 elliptical machine review
Life Fitness E5 elliptical machine review

If you have been wanting to buy one of the best elliptical machines you will never regret investing in, look no further. The Life Fitness E5 elliptical is a top-of-the-line cross trainer that offers both comfort and a pleasant cardio workout.

However, it must be said that the E5 elliptical machine may not be for everyone and that’s why reading our full review is important before spending thousands of dollars.

This great machine features 20 powerful magnetic resistance levels that can be adjusted from multiple places and provides enough force to challenge any level of athletes. The handlebars offer at least 5 hand-grip positions which add up to the variety and allows to target different muscles. This high-end elliptical has 18-24 inches of electronically adjustable stride to accommodate all user heights.

Because it’s a rear-drive and has a flat motion, the 24 inches stride equals to 26″ of the front drive elliptical trainer. So, on the E5, you have more room to stretch your lower and upper body.

There are 3 console options with Life Fitness E5 and depending on which one you choose the price varies.The most basic console is Go, the mid-grade console is Track and the high-end one is Track+ console.

In addition to the large console in front of the machine, there is also a small display on the static handlebar that shows your exercise. In the display section below, you can read more about all three consoles and find out which ones have the Bluetooth enabled and compatible with LF-connect. 

I think you would agree with me that when it comes to finding the best elliptical machines, you need to research more because they are expensive, unlike many other indoor exercise types of equipment.

In fact, most of the times we decide to postpone the purchase due to the number of options and not being able to make the right decision.  That’s one of the main reasons we created a section to help you understand better if the Life Fitness E5 elliptical is for you or not.

To make everything handy and easier for the users, E5 engineers built the pulse sensors and extra controls on both handlebars. Personally, I love this feature as I really don’t like to reach out to the console to change the resistance every time during the exercise.

Life Fitness E5 Cross Trainer Overview


You should go for Life Fitness E5 elliptical if:

  • You are a light or heavy weight exerciser who wants to spend long periods on the machine to lose weight or tone up without getting bored nor having to deal with broken parts and technicians. Life Fitness E5 is a truly high-quality elliptical with an excellent warranty term.
  • You are short, average or tall because regardless of what is your height, the adjustable stride will provide the natural elliptical motion for you to stretch your arms and legs fully for a better workout.
  • You don’t want to regret your choice due to dealing with technicians on a regular basis. Life Fitness E5 is the best elliptical for home use among all the Life Fitness elliptical machines. It’s built with high standards and unique features and that’s why it’s more expensive than, for example, a Sole elliptical. One of the reasons many cardio training equipment owners get tired of working out is because they make a bad choice when buying their training equipment. Usually, they think they are being saved by spending less, while in reality they actually lose the money because after a while when the parts start breaking and they are tired of fixing, they will either sell it for peanuts or abandon it in the garage. So, if you want to save, consider a durable cross trainer, instead of going for a cheap elliptical.
  • You are an elite athlete who likes to push to their limits. Life Fitness E5 offers 20 powerful and quiet magnetic resistance levels that transmit seamlessly. Regardless of how intense you train on Life Fitness e5 elliptical, it doesn’t rock or wobble and always remains firm.
  • There are many people who want to use the elliptical. Two of the great features of Life Fitness E5 is the commercial quality and the long range of adjustable stride to accommodate all heights and up-to 400 weight.

You should NOT go for Life Fitness E5 elliptical if:

  • You lack in space. Life Fitness E5 elliptical is rear drive and that makes the unit longer compared to center drive and front drive elliptical trainers. Therefore, it wouldn’t be really handy for people living in small apartments or condos. 84″ in length makes Life Fitness E5 one of the longest home use elliptical trainers.
  • You want to mimic stair climbing exercise. Life Fitness E5 doesn’t have adjustable incline ramp like Precor EFX 835. So you can’t adjust the machine to mimic hill or stair climbing. However, there is a program on the console of E5 called “EZ Incline” and what it does is making the stride as short as possible to create a bit of an incline and pedaling motion.

What is special about Life Fitness E5 elliptical

  • Large cushioned pedals for a more comfortable exercise.
  • 400-lb user weight support and long warranty which confirms the quality of the machine, the decent weight of the flywheel and the strength of the drive mechanism.
  • Whisper quiet operation, natural and smooth motion.
  • Activity Zone. Life Fitness E5 is one of the few cross trainers with this great feature. The Activity Zone helps you target specific muscle groups and it shows which muscles you are currently working on. Every time you change the stride length, it displays which one of these muscles (quad, calf, hamstring, and glutes) are targeted. You can also decide to do total body workout or work only on your legs by clicking on the Leg Sculptor Mode button. It’s a good feature for those who want to focus and improve specific muscles of their buddies for a while.
  • Stride, Life Fitness E5 has 7 different stride lengths that you can choose with the push of a button.
  • Controls, Life Fitness E5 elliptical has resistance and stride buttons in three positions. You can control the resistance level and stride length from the moving and static handlebars and also the console. Therefore, you can stay focused and keep your hands on the hand-grips while adjusting the tension.

Life Fitness E5 Elliptical Review


E5 features 20 magnetic resistance levels, compared to fan wheel resistance it’s super smooth and quiet. It’s silent enough to ride this elliptical machine while others are sleeping in the other room. Don’t worry if you are living in an apartment because you will not bother anyone.

Twenty resistance levels provide variety for all levels of athletes. As a matter of fact, most people can’t last 5 minutes on this machine working on a max resistance level. Elliptical machines with high resistance levels help burn more calories and achieve better results.

E5 keeps you within the target heart rate

The resistance automatically adjusts based on your heart rate. By wearing a wireless chest strap heart rate monitor or placing your hands on the heart sensor grips, the machine decides which resistance is best for you. It’s a great feature for those who want to stay within their target heart rate range to improve the cardiovascular health.

Let’s say your maximum heart rate is 200 beats per minute and you want to target 70% (140 beats per minute), all you need to do is to put in your preferred heart rate range on the machine and let the Life Fitness E5 elliptical adjust everything for you so you can stay in the target range. It’s also an important feature for trainees with the heart problem who shouldn’t go above their HR limits.

Stride and incline ramp

Stride is electronically adjustable and can go from 18 to 24 inches to fit the workout needs of any exerciser with different sizes. Adjustable stride is an important feature for both professional and beginner athletes. There are two types of adjustable strides, manual and electronic.

The manually adjustable strides are not convenient and it takes time to adjust them as the rider has to get off the machine. However, the electrically adjustable strides work with a push of a button while pedaling.

Life Fitness E5 elliptical machine has stride resistance programs that act as a personal coach to adjust the stride and tension for you. You will get a variety of stride sizes during the workout to engage different muscles. So, you can either adjust it yourself or let the machine do it for you.

It’s not mentioned anywhere that E5 elliptical machine has incline ramp, so we can’t want to assume that it has an adjustable incline. However, on the LCD display, you can see the incline program which creates a bit of incline by shortening the length of the stride.

So, as far as we know the Life Fitness E5 elliptical machine doesn’t have an adjustable incline ramp. It’s an important feature for an elliptical machine because it helps bring more pressure and target different muscles. If your elliptical machine doesn’t have incline ramp, you can’t exercise hill/stair climbing.


Life fitness e5 elliptical machine review
E5 elliptical machine with Track+ Console

The console of the elliptical machine helps you stay motivated for longer periods of exercising. There are many aspects to keep in mind when looking into an elliptical’s computer features.

Three are the different consoles that you can purchase with your Life Fitness E5 machine.

#1 Go Console
It’s not so great and I wouldn’t recommend it because it doesn’t have Bluetooth, has only 2 user profiles, 2 custom workouts, 12 workouts and it doesn’t have media rack. It also doesn’t have USB connectivity. Therefore you can’t track or save your data on the apps. However, it has a nice blue back-lit.

#2 Track Console
You can connect to your devices through Bluetooth and also save your data on the web in many of the compatible apps. It has USB connectivity for transferring data. The keys are touch and easy to use. The custom workouts are 12, the number of preset-workouts is 16 and it has 4 user profiles. There is also a media rack for your mobile or tablet. Although, this console doesn’t have the blue back-lit.

#3 Track+ Cardio Console
It’s the best Life Fitness Console for E5 and if the price is not your concern, we recommend this one. It has more options and is compatible with more apps. You can dock your iPod into the console and control the music with the buttons while the machine is charging your device. The back-lit is blue for easy reading. This console offers 14 built-in workout programs, 12 custom programs, and 4 user profiles.

Pedals and handlebars of E5 elliptical

E5 has large, cushioned, anti-slip pedals to ensure secure footing and comfortable exercise. It’s also a low step in the height of 10-inches. The handlebars are exceptional and very well-thought. The E5 elliptical machine features multi-grip handlebars to keep you motivated and allow you to do different exercises. There are at least five positions you can grip. Unlike the E3, the E5 has heart rate sensors both on the moving handlebars and the stationary bars.

However, that’s not it. The handlebars of the E5 have multi-grip handles, with integrated stride and resistance controls. So, when you want to adjust the stride length or resistance, you don’t need to take your hands off the grips and try to reach out to the console which is not so convenient. You can simply adjust both the stride and the resistance by pushing a button located right on the handlebars.

More information on Life-Fitness E5 elliptical machine

Customer Service★★★★★Power Source:AC-Adapter
Average Rating★★★★★Compact:No
Machine Weight:251 LbsFolding:No
Dimensions:84L X 34W X 66HSpeaker:No
Max user weight:400 LbsCooling Fan:No
Resistance:20-Level MagneticBidirectional:Yes
Incline Ramp:NoBottle Holder:Yes
Stride Length:18-24 InchesMedia ShelfYes

Flywheel and drive

Weight is not disclosed but for sure it gives one of the smoothest and natural motions among the elliptical machines in the market. Extensive biomechanical research is used to create a fluid motion with an elliptical path that feels natural and comfortable. Life Fitness E5 is rear-drive, which means the flywheel is on the back and this feature makes the machine not to be in the compact categories.

Life Fitness E5 is dual direction so you can pedal forward and reverse. There is also the activity zone displayed on the stationary handlebars where you can change your workout to total body trainer or only Leg-Sculptor mode.

Just like the rest of E series machines, the E5 is also designed with Whisper-Stride Technology. The maintenance-free ball bearings reduce friction and ensure nearly silent operation, which is ideal for home, especially apartment use.

What’s included

  • Media shelf
  • Polar chest strap
  • Two water bottle holders
  • Accessory tray
  • 4 transport wheels
  • Adjustable foot levelers
  • Warranty:
  • Life-Time on Frame
  • 5-Year Parts
  • 1-Year Labor

Note: This is the standard warranty but you can also add 3-5 years premium extended protection.

Accessories to consider with E5 Elliptical Cross-Trainer

  • Mat to protect your floor from scratch and sweat
  • Lubricant in case needed
  • Pure Green 24 and Gym Wipes are the cleaning products approved and preferred by Life Fitness reliability experts to be used on the Life Fitness elliptical machines.

Final Word on Life Fitness E5 Elliptical Cross-Trainer

If you don’t have lack of space and price is not your main concern, I won’t hesitate to suggest you the Life Fitness E5 elliptical machine. It’s well-built, durable for multiple users and has good functionalities.

Despite being a bit pricey we think it’s a good value for the money. The price also changes based on which console you choose. With Life Fitness, especially the E5 your money is invested in quality and durability. This machine is not convenient to carry around in the house.

However, if you want to move the Life Fitness E5 elliptical there are four wheels in the front and rear of the frame.Note: Before moving the elliptical, loosen the nuts of the levelers and twist them up to allow the elliptical to stand on its wheels. After choosing the place for your Life Fitness E5, lower the levelers and tighten the nuts so the machine goes on the feet to become firm and stable.

Although, if you need to store your machine every day after use, go for a more compact elliptical such as Sole E35 or Body Solid E300.
Keep in mind that Life Fitness E5 doesn’t allow you to do deep stair/hill climbing exercise because it doesn’t have incline ramp.

So, if you want an elliptical that allows you to mimic stair climbing and target different lower body muscle groups, I suggest you check out the Precor EFX 835.


  • Multiple hand-grips options
  • Built-in controls and pulse sensors on all the handlebars
  • Adjustable stride length
  • Great warranty terms
  • Whisper quiet and smooth operation
  • Dual LCD
  • Two water bottle holders, one accessory tray, and a media rack
  • Bluetooth-enabled and LN-Connect app compatible
  • Heavy-duty steel frame and parts
  • Multiple preset-programs
  • iPad/MP3 and USB plug-in ports
  • Multiple console option with Android, iPhone, iPad and iPod compatibility


  • Lack of fully adjustable incline ramp
  • Doesn’t have the cooling fan and speaker
We will be happy to hear your thoughts

      Leave a reply

      Best Elliptical Machine Hut