Life Fitness E5 Elliptical Review

For those who are looking for a quality elliptical for their own home, Life Fitness is certainly a good place to start looking. They offer some quality, commercial-level ellipticals for sale, with the Life Fitness E5 perhaps being the pick of the lot. It is the improved version of the Life Fitness E3 and Life Fitness E1 trainers.

While the E5 cross-trainer might be expensive, it also offers some of the better features that you’ll find on one of these machines. That’s what we’re going to examine today. We’re going to look at the individual elements that make up the Life Fitness E5 and measure it up against the pricing and warranties that come with it. Then at the end, we’re going to give our final verdict on whether or not you should seriously look at this elliptical for your own home. So, with all of that out of the way, let’s hop right into our review of the Life Fitness E5 elliptical.

Life Fitness E5 Cross-Trainer Review:

Life Fitness E5 Specifications:

It makes sense to start with the specifics of what makes up the E5 elliptical. How much space does it take up? How much does it weigh? How much weight can it hold? Are there any different colour options? Fortunately, we’ve got answers to all of those.

As for the measurements, this is a fairly sizable machine. After all, this elliptical wouldn’t look out of place in a professional gym. Therefore, it’s going to have a large footprint. It measures out to be 84 inches (214 cm) long, 34 inches (87 cm) wide and 66 inches (168 cm) tall. The E5 doesn’t actually weigh as much as one might expect for the size, “only” coming in at 251 lbs (114 kg). Despite this, it can hold a maximum weight of 400 lbs (181.4 kg), which is pretty respectable.

For those who were hoping for a different colour scheme on the Life Fitness E5, prepare for some disappointment. This elliptical is all black and it will stay that way (unless you pull out some spray paint of your own). While this isn’t the biggest deal in the world, it should be mentioned, as some other Life Fitness ellipticals have different colour schemes.

You won’t find too much to complain about with the technical aspects of the Life Fitness E5. It is large and fairly heavy, but made to a professional standard. Which, at the end of the day, is all you could really want.

Life Fitness E5 Trainer Monitor:

Life Fitness has garnered somewhat of a reputation for offering different console options with their ellipticals, with the same being true here. The E5 gets either the Track + Console or the Go Console. Both are valid options, although the Track + Console will raise the price by about $600.

The Go Console is actually a fairly basic one. It has an LCD screen with 12 workout programs. There are also 2 additional customizable programs, which is nice for those who prefer to have their own workouts. You’ve also got 2 user profiles, which makes it nice if there are multiple users of the elliptical in the home.

The Track + Console has slightly more features, although not too many. This time there are 14 pre programmed workouts, 12 customizable programs and 4 user profiles. This console also has the ability to display interactive workouts through Bluetooth connections. Finally, there’s a media holder to keep your phone or other device in place.

Both tablets track the statistics that you would want. They display the level of resistance (more on that in a moment), the time, the speed (in imperial or metric), the distance (imperial/metric), the heart rate and the calories burned.

It’s nice that there are options here. The Track + Console is most certainly better, but the Go Console will still do the job very well. Both are solid recommendations from us.

Life Fitness E5 Drivetrain and Resistance:

Now we’re going to look at the Life Fitness E5 elliptical’s resistance settings and drivetrain. After all, this is what makes the elliptical able to provide whoever gets onboard with a certain level of challenge.

There are 20 different levels of resistance that you can choose from, with the adjustment being located in the handlebars. The high end of the resistance setting should be enough to give even the most experienced elliptical users a challenge. This variety should give you a good amount of customization in order to find the correct settings for whatever workout you happen to be in the middle of. While some other Life Fitness ellipticals have around 5 more levels of resistance, the 20 that are available here should do the job. Yes, you might not be able to precisely get the “perfect” setting, but you should be able to get within an acceptable range.

The drivetrain used here is the WhisperStride technology, as so named by Life Fitness. This basically means that there is a belt drive, while the noise from the actual movement and use from the elliptical is almost completely eliminated. It does a pretty good job of this, and also requires extremely little maintenance. It’s hard to even point out little flaws in the resistance and drivetrain of the Life Fitness E5. Both do their job extremely well, for all levels of experience.

Handlebars, Stride Length and Pedals:

Up next are the elements that you’ll be physically interacting with the most if you decide to purchase the Life Fitness E5 elliptical. The handlebars, stride length and pedals all play large parts in how comfortable the workout experience is, and are thus very crucial.

There are two sets of handlebars on the E5: an outer pair that move and an inner pair that do not. As we’ve already mentioned, the outer pair have the mechanism on them in order to control the resistance of the machine. The inner stationary pair have the heart rate sensors on them, although you’ll want to get a chest strap if you want truly accurate readings in that regard.

The pedals aren’t anything particularly special. They are oversized and non-slip, so they’ll fit the majority of people. Otherwise there isn’t too much to say about them. The specific step up height is 10 inches (26), which is decent enough and shouldn’t cause issues with the vast majority of people.

The stride length might be one of the best parts about the Life Fitness E5 elliptical. It has the ability to actually be adjusted, for those who feel uncomfortable with the default stride length. The max that this stride length can extend to is 24 inches (61 cm), while the minimum sits at 18 inches (45 cm). Considering that this is a feature that’s fairly rare on ellipticals (even Life Fitness ones), we’re glad to see it make an appearance here.

While the pedals might be underwhelming, the adjustable stride length and handlebars that control the resistance more than make up for it. These are excellent elements of the E5 elliptical and should be praised as such.

Life Fitness E5 Price and Warranty:

Now we get to the part which makes the difference for many people. The cost that comes with the Life Fitness E5 might not be the highest out there, but it will certainly set you back a few thousand dollars. As we mentioned earlier, there are 2 versions of the E5 elliptical that you can get. The version with the Track + Console costs around $4950, while the version with Go Console costs around $4300. Clearly these are expensive ellipticals, but you’ve got to remember that these are commercial-level machines and will be priced as such.

The warranties are significantly less appealing. While you do get a lifetime warranty on the frame of the E5 elliptical, the rest of the warranties aren’t as spectacular. You get 5 years on the parts of the machine, which is better than a fair few other Life Fitness ellipticals. However, we’d still like to see that number bumped up to at least 7 or 8. You do get a 3 year warranty on the console, which is nice. Then you only get 1 year on the labour warranty. While this isn’t surprising, we’d still like to see a longer guarantee there as well.

The warranties that come with the Life Fitness E5 aren’t as terrible as some of their other machines, which is good. However, they could still be better. And for a machine that could cost as much as $5000, you want them to be the best they can be.

Life Fitness E5 Assembly and Shipping:

Assuming you do not order the pre-assembly package of the Life Fitness E5 elliptical, you’ll have to do the assembling yourself. While many might groan at this prospect, it is not actually as bad as you might think. This is almost entirely down to the manual, which makes the process clear and straightforward (even for those who are not particularly skilled at building such machines).

The shipping we can’t be as sure about. Life Fitness is based out of the United States, so it shouldn’t take too long to get to you assuming you are located there. Perhaps 1-2 weeks. Of course, there are other factors that could help or hurt that timing, like human error or a global pandemic.

Life Fitness E5 Elliptical Pros:

Quality Monitor Choices:

Regardless of whether or not you choose to use the Track + Console or the Go Console, you are getting a good monitor with the Life Fitness E5 elliptical. They both have plenty of preset workouts available, with the correct statistics tracking alongside. If you do decide to invest in the Track + Console, these bonuses only keep coming, with additions in Bluetooth and even more workout options.

Electronic Stride Adjustments:

A feature that is so rare amongst ellipticals certainly deserves praise. Too few of modern ellipticals offer this sort of customization, so you should take advantage of it. If the default stride length doesn’t feel like your natural one, you can just change it in order to find your preferred distance. This is fantastic, and we’re going to shout praise about this feature from the rooftops.

Plenty of Workout Variety:

Whether you prefer to use the preset programs on the monitors for workouts or prefer to come up with your own, the Life Fitness E5 offers plenty of options. There are 20 different resistance levels and the ability to make your own workouts (and save them) on both of the available monitors. Fair to say, you won’t get bored with the E5’s options when it comes to the resistance settings.

Life Fitness E5 Elliptical Cons:

This Machine Is A Big One:

The Life Fitness E5 is a commercial machine, as we’ve said many times now. It will take up a lot of space. The fact that there are no large or convenient wheels on the frame also means that it won’t be easy to move around the home once initially assembled and set up. You’ll want to keep this in mind, especially if you have a smaller living space that you plan on putting it in.

No Bonus Features:

This might be the most minor complaint on the planet, but we figured that it could be mentioned. The fact that there aren’t any little bonuses on the E5 like a cooling fan or speakers just is somewhat saddening for the price. You’d think that for such a high price, they’d be able to toss in a couple more trinkets to help make it that much better. Again, a minor complaint that really shouldn’t serve as the deciding factor.

Our Final Verdict

The Life Fitness E5 cross-trainer is one of the better ellipticals that Life Fitness offers. It brings all the components of a gym elliptical right into your home. Yes, it might cost a lot, but it also offers quite a lot of features as well. The adjustable stride length and quality consoles might be the highlights, as they are what really make the E5 stand out from the rest. The addition of warranties that aren’t awful also helps justify such a cost.

Sayed Hamed Hosseiny
Sayed Hamed Hosseiny

Hi, my name is Sayed Hamed Hosseiny. I am a professional health and fitness trainer with nearly 20 years of experience using ellipticals, rowing machines, and spin bikes. I also have my own EU-based Rock Fitness Pro fitness brand where I design, import and sell exercise equipment such as rowing machines and spin bikes. I and writers on my team also often receive fitness equipment to review and evaluate their functionalities and performance from tens of different exercise machines manufacturers. Fitness equipment tips, guides, reviews, and comparisons on this website are my opinion (and opinions of my fitness expert colleagues) based on tens of criteria. I never accept payment to write reviews of products or say positive things about fitness equipment products. If brands are interested to have me review their rowers, ellipticals, or spin bikes, they can get in touch with me via email provided on the contact page and send a sample of their product.