“ Manufacturer: Kettler / Type: Cross Trainer „
Unpacking and construction of the Kettler Verso 109 Cross Trainer
The day our cross trainer arrived I was pretty eager to get it set up and give it a try, but hey, even Icarus had ideas above his station, in more ways than one.
I could see immediately that the machine had been thrown around in the box. I made a note of this and informed the delivery driver that any damage to the cross trainer and he would be making a return trip to pick it up again.
Surprisingly the machine was in perfect condition apart from one small scratch which I knew would be mostly hidden once the machine was put together.
I searched through the box for the destructions and inevitably they were the usual mix of Aramaic, Arabic and nonsense.
Getting the parts from the box was a task in itself and I implore anyone who buys this cross trainer to not do it alone if you want to hold onto your sanity.
Feeling like I had gone a round with Hulk Hogan I finally managed to set out all the pieces in front of me in a somewhat orderly fashion.
A lot of the main joints or places where pieces meet are covered by protective plastic covers. They are the most irritating and fiddle-laden pieces of plastic known to man. It is obvious that they have been machine made for mass production and getting them to fit snuggly is as exhausting as doing a twenty minute stint on the machine itself.
Once everything was sorted out I came to put the pedals on. Now I know everyone won't suffer this same problem and I can only hope that it is not common to the machine, but the medals or I should say the holes into which they are screwed, were slightly cross-threaded.
I don't know whether this was down to being sent a second hand machine that someone couldn't piece together and sent it back to the manufacturers or whether it was done in the testing or making of the machine. Suffice to say I had a very harrowing and sweaty one and a half hours getting them on. By the time I had finished I was good for nothing, if a little elated at cracking the proverbial code that the pedals had challenged me with.
Once together, the cross trainer does look like a smart and formidable machine. It is white and black in colour with a stand-out orange spot in the middle of each side of the running wheel or covered chain mechanism. Space-wise it is about three feet in length, about a foot wide and around five feet, eight inches tall.
The Functions and Using the Cross Trainer
The basic function of the cross trainer is as you would think to cross-train. You've all seen those cross country skiers on Eurosport, trudging along in the snow with their arms and legs moving in unison. This is the same motion you get with the cross trainer, albeit a little more upright in stance. You can choose to hold onto the large moving handles, which are designed to move like the ski poles or you can just use your legs and take hold of the stationery handle bars, which are situated between the two moving poles.
The stationery handle bars are fitted with foam handles as are the larger. Moving handles. What makes them differ from the larger bars is the fact that they are fitted with sensors, which when gripped can pick up your heart beat or pulse.
In between the two stationery handle bars is the control panel. This takes the information from the sensors to give you a reading for your heart and how many times it is beating per second or minute. It also gains information sent from the pedals and large handle bars to see how many motions you are carrying out.
Through all this data it works out how many calories you are burning and indeed how many kilometres you are covering. You can obviously use this to decide whether to slow down or speed up as over time you will set yourself targets to beat and work out a routine that is comfortable for you. The control panel also tells you your speed and again you will find your comfort zone.
Just below the control panel and within easy reach if you are using the cross trainer, is a tension knob, which can be turned to increase or decrease the tension of the pedals. Increase it and it feels like you are running up a mountain, decrease it and it is supposedly easier but still pretty tough if you're honest or not so fit like me.
The pedals themselves are made up of huge paddles so it is virtually impossible to slip off them. I mentioned the plastic covers earlier in the review and although they were tedious to set up, they do make the machine look neat and do serve a purpose. The overall look of the machine is pretty pleasing and it doesn't look like an eyesore in whichever room you decide to have it in. We have a really large living room, which is over sixty feet long so the machine standing at one end isn't a big problem. I should imagine that in a smaller living room it may look out of place but then it would probably be stored in a spare room in such cases and again would not look out of place. I would however, say it is more suited to a big house or apartment rather than a small one.
For me personally this machine is a bit tough at the moment. I used to run for my school and my county, play for football teams and be quite feet. I also did a 'Body For Life' course which went well but lasted a year and not a life due to circumstances.
I am now forty-four years old and have accrued that dreaded paunch that comes with middle age. I don't drink and I don't smoke but feel unfit due to the fact that I am an artist and spend a lot of time sitting hunched over a drawing for hours on end or standing at an easel. I made a decision to get fit, along with my girlfriend and the cross trainer was one of the things that we purchased to help us with that.
I personally prefer an exercise bike, a rowing machine or a treadmill. My girlfriend uses the cross trainer more than me and she says it gives her a really good workout. I can vouch for that in that the first few times I used it I found it very difficult. It is definitely not a machine for a beginner but I think in time and with regular use it could be a viable aid in losing weight or keeping fit.
I would recommend ordering it from a shop and getting it delivered by them in a set up state if you can. We ordered ours off the internet and while it is OK now it wasn't really safe in transit and was hell to put together.
It can be quite expensive at three hundred and fifty pounds on a lot of sites but if you shop around you can get it for a lot cheaper. Ours cost us One hundred and Seventy-nine Euros; about One hundred and Eighty pounds, so not a bad deal.