Proform Cardio HIIT Trainer reviewed and Rated
ProForm provides affordable, reliable home cardio equipment. We have reviewed many of their offerings.
The HIIT trainer is a combination of a stair stepper and elliptical. You have textured pedals, with a protective rim, but the motion is more up and down than circular. This helps keep the footprint small and the unit compact. Rather than looking like a bike and treadmill hybrid, the ProForm HIIT trainer is a tower with a console and plenty of other advanced features to help you get efficient cardio and muscle toning workouts.
Like so many home machines, the ProForm HIIT trainer comes with a trial of iFit. You have to provide a credit or debit card to make the program work. After a year, the free trial expires and you will be charged a subscription fee unless you cancel before then.
With iFit, you get access to trainer-led classes in real-time, as well as an on-demand library and the ability to pedal, virtually, anywhere in the world. It is easy to find reviewers complaining about ProForm “tricking” people into buying iFit, but the fact is, you can get cardio and strength benefits without even using the service. iFit is not the only thing the HIIT trainer has to offer.
The unit gives you a full-body workout, and it is low impact
The sturdy 24-pound flywheel helps give you 24 adjustable resistance levels
32 compatible apps help with goal tracking
The sound system is compatible with your smartphone or tablet
Two cooling fans help keep you from overheating
Designed for HIIT training with a reduced impact and prescribed range of motion
Burn more calories with boxing-like upper body workout and fast, intense climbing
HIIT is not the best workout for everyone, so use is somewhat limited
The footprint is smaller than most treadmills, but the HIIT trainer is not portable and will not fold
This elliptical also has many features that will not only help you reach your fitness goals but will also help you stay comfortable doing it. Equipped with multi0functioning handlebars, pedals that are cushioned and larger than your average pedals, a cooling fan, and other tech-savvy amenities, you are sure to have a great work out all while feeling as comfortable as possible!
Like a lot of the exercise equipment you see on the market these days, this Cardio HIIT Elliptical Trainer does come along with the latest technology. This means that you are able to track your progress, such as calories burned and distance, without having to wear a separate tracking device. We will dig a little deeper into the extra features this elliptical offers further into this review.
Why HIIT Workouts?
HIIT stands for High-Intensity Interval Training. Traditional interval training consists of performing an activity in short, intense bursts, like sprinting for 4 minutes. You would then follow this intense interval with a rest break, made up of lighter activity like walking. There is no set formula, but typically the lighter interval will last half as long as the intense one. You can repeat this hard/easy cycle as many times as you want, making up a complete interval session.
You can also increase the intensity in other ways. For example, you could take a treadmill to an incline that challenges you, keep that up for 4 minutes, then lower the deck and move at more of a recovery pace for 2 minutes. The hill climbs count as high intensity because you will burn more calories as your heart reaches a higher rate.
HIIT workouts simply ratchet up the intensity. Because they consist of so much all-out effort, HIIT workouts typically do not last more than a half-hour. Imagine sprinting up several flights of stairs, then descending the same stairs at a walk or just marching in place on a landing. The ProForm HIIT Trainer lets you do that without the stairs. The level of exertion is there, and the impact on your joints is far less than if you ran as hard as you could up steel or concrete steps. Your knees and lower back, especially, will experience less soreness the day after.
What we just described is the biggest draw of the ProForm HIIT Trainer. It lets you take regular HIIT workouts from the comfort of your home while decreasing the chance of injury. It also gives you a 7-inch screen to time your intervals, track your progress, sync data with apps, and program in your workouts so that the intense and restful intervals start and end automatically.
The iFit trial period, which lets you work out with trainers in real-time, is one year. After that, you can either let the subscription expire or pay to renew it for another year. According to ProForm, you can only sync iFit data with a tablet app (iPad or Android tablets). You can look up your subscription information, including billing information, on any web-connected device. The tablet holder makes it easy to follow along with your tablet, so you are not limited to looking at the trainer on the 7-inch built-in screen--it is an LCD screen, no color, HD, or web access, so you need your own tablet to use iFit in the first place. There are cardio trainers comparable in price that have iFit built into a color touchscreen. Those makers tend to play up the iFit benefits more than ProForm does, so iFit is something they offer and not the main focus.
The display is backlit, making it easy to read for most users. It gives you calories, distance, time, and speed. This is quite bare-bones for a unit as expensive as the HIIT Trainer, and we expected more from ProForm. But if you have a tablet, you can use iFit service to do strength and bodyweight workouts without using the HIIT Trainer at all.
Heart rate is from sensors in the handlebars, which you grip while running. The HIIT Trainer is not compatible with a chest strap heart monitor. As we are forever saying, the heart rate data from any exercise machine is a guideline only and should never take the place of medical help. Even if the readings are not entirely accurate, they are a good benchmark to help keep you working hard and make the intense portions more effective.
Pedals are oversized and textured to keep your feet in place. This is important for safety. Even though the HIIT trainer keeps both your arms and legs in a prescribed range of motion, your feet can still slip off during high-intensity parts of your workout. The pedals do not have a max size rating, so if you wear above a size 12 men’s/14 women’s shoe, you will want to contact ProForm before you make a purchase. The pedals may not accommodate everyone.
The oversized flywheel adds to the weight of the unit, without taking up extra space due to the tower design of the unit. The flywheel ensures that the ProForm HIIT Trainer will give consistent lifelike strides every time. Resistance is controlled digitally, from buttons near the handle, and will be quite accurate. You need fast resistance transitions for an effective HIIT workout, and the ProForm Trainer delivers.
The foundation consists of two steel tubes, with leveling feet on one end. The Trainer is stable and will not shake or vibrate, even when you go at top speed. There are transport wheels on one end of the base, and you also get a tablet holder, water bottle cup, and a utility tray. The Trainer is 5 feet 7 inches long, and 2 feet 5 inches wide. The footprint is significantly smaller than what you would get from a treadmill or an elliptical. The Trainer weighs 180 pounds, so it is possible to transport although you may need help. ProForm stands by its products with a multiyear warranty, and there are several optional maintenance plans you can purchase. They range from 1 to 5 years and are all outlined in the user’s manual.
The Final Word
One of the drawbacks is that the HIIT Trainer has limited application outside of HIIT workouts. These types of workouts are strenuous and not suitable for everyone, although the Trainer aims to reduce the impact on the knees and back. So if you do not think you will do consistent HIIT workouts, and you are after more general cardio or a runner-specific treadmill, you may want to look elsewhere. However, if you are looking for a great way to reach your fitness goals and are looking to improve your HIIT workouts, then this Proform Cardio HIIT Elliptical Trainer is a great place to start!