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I decided to buy one of these Pro Fitness Cross Trainers as I need to increase my fitness levels and also loose weight. I had a good look around first at various bits of exercise equipment but settled on this, mainly due to the reasonably cheap cost and had loved using something similar at the gym.
Once I got it home I was quite worried about how I would manage to assemble it on my own but needn't of as it was reasonably easy. I would say to put the handlebars the wrong way around (with the letters L/R pointing outwards) as it is easier to grip and they don't whack you in the chest this way round. I am not the tallest person in the world ( 5ft 3) but with 4 different height settings i found one which suited. The one problem I have notice is the screw handle which keep the bars in place do seem to work there way out a little so need to be tightened (by hand) every so often.
Once set up the cross trainer is easy to use, a simple twist of a knob to change the resistance from easy none at all to a good hard push.
It Does make a little bit of noise but to honest that's to be expected from a belt driven piece of kit, nothing turning the TV up a few notches won't solve.
To sum up It is a lovely cheap bit of kit, easy to use and the results can be seen in no time at all if you put the time in and don't use it as a clothes horse.
The cross trainer has to be a girls best friend and part of your home min gym! I love mine. It's great to watch TV at the same time, you are not bobbing all over the place like you would on say, a treadmill, so you can happily train way while your mind is otherwise occupied.
Construction - the instructions make it look really hard, just remember that most pieces that they tell you to assemble have already been done so don't waste your tie looking for small pieces that you worry have been left out. Only the larger parts need to be fitted together. My advise would be to avoid assembling this directly on the carpet as it has oiled/lubricated moving parts and bolt holes, its really difficult to get out of fabric. Id recommend popping it on a surface that you can throw away e.g. a bin liner.
What does it do - in my opinion a little of everything! First and foremost it's the legs and the bum. This low impact gentle way to run works wonders for the front and back of your legs, as well as the old bottom! You simply pop your feet on the non-slip foot surface and away you go. Running outside really hurts my knees and makes my ankles click but this never makes anything hurt other than my worked-out muscles. The only aspect to be wary of is that when you are getting used to this you tend to get in your stride and forget what you are doing, then when you get off your legs feel like they are walking on a bouncy castle! Kinda fun. The next thing it does are your arms. It really is amazing for your arms, biceps and shoulders, mine are really toned and I can now open jars of jam for myself! Since your arms are moving back and forth and also meet resistance as you put the levels up higher they can't help but get toned. The great thing is, you don't even know you are doing it as you are concentrating on your legs.
Advantages - Strengthens muscles on legs, arms and core while burning calories. There is a small battery operated counter, you can select calories burned, time lapsed etc. Would recommend not clock watching, esp when you are new to it as time seems to stand still. Once you get in to it - personally I find I enjoy half an hour a day with weekends off works well - you wont even know you are doing it. After a week you are very content in the knowledge that you have burned 1000 unwanted calories, making it guilt free to have those few treats that make the days more fun. It is not heavy so can easily move it out of the way when ever you want.
Disadvantages - its rather loud. Mine is in the upstairs bedroom and you can hear the noise of the wheel very clearly downstairs, esp if I use the higher levels. It is quite bulky too, but you would expect this so it's no great shock.
My verdict - I am very pleased with my purchase, it works very well and is fun to use, I have been using it for 2 months now and I have lost 5 pounds and my legs feel strong and when I tense there is actually muscle there! This is a great model and fun for all the family. I would rate this 4 out of 5 stars.
As part of my proposed new year fitness regime I decided to buy this cross trainer instead of a gym membership as I reasoned I'd be more inclined to use it in the privacy of my own home rather than drag myself out to a gym. I bought this for the very reasonable price of £60 from Argos.
The cross trainer comes flat-packed in a box leaving you the hardy task of assembling it yourself. The box was really heavy but luckily I had a big strong boy with me to help carry it otherwise there was no way I'd hve got it in the car myself. I got it in the boot of a little Ford Ka with theback seat folded down so it would be easy to get into any car to get it home.
Inside the box is an A4 instruction sheet of how to put it together. The instructions are pretty useless for the main part and it took my boyfriend and I the best part of an hour to fathom it out and get the thing built. But once it was up and running it was quite a sturdy machine and relatively compact but still heavy to lift so I'd suggest you build it up in the area you will be keeping it.
The cross trainer is great value for money. OK, so it's not the same as the ones you will find in a gym which can cost hundreds of pounds but for a mere £60 I think it's worth it. It is sturdy enough that you feel secure on it and not as if your going to fall off it at any moment. The hand bars are quite long and you do need to lean forward a bit to keep hold of them but you don't have to use them if you would rather just work out your legs.
The machine is not extremely noisy but it's not quiet either. I need to turn the tv up several notches so I can still hear while on it but it's not excessively loud and much quieter than other equipment such as a treadmill would be.
The tension can be turned up or down by turning a knob inbetween the handlebars. There is a good variation in tension levels with the hardest level being extremely hard work to use which is good as it allows you to make the workout more difficult as you get fitter. The little computer is pretty rubbish. You need to put 2 batteries in it and it's very basic and uselessly inaccurate. I don't use the computer at all and just prefer to use time and common sense to monitor the workout.
This machine has been a great buy. It definately gets the heart pumping and you feel like you have had a good workout but without any stress to the knees that you can sometimes get through impact cardio like running. It's easy to use and can be altered to suit any fitness level from complete beginner at the lowest setting to advanced at the highest setting. It's great to have at home as you can use it whenever you like while watching tv or listening to music. I would recommend this to anyone looking to get in shape without having to go to a gym.
When I first started dating my now husband I was a size 8, 6 months ago my wedding dress was a size 12, too many boy sized pasta dishes and glasses of white wine had added 2 dress sizes in 3 years, something needed to be done! So an area was cleared in the corner of the lounge (in full view of the TV) and off to Argos we went. Not knowing realistically how often this would get used we didn't want to spend too much money, this model came in at just under £90 and didn't take up too much room. The box was about 24Kg and managed to fit in the back of my tiny Ka, once home I left the assembly to my hubby. The pictures in the instruction booklet looked a bit complicated (I didn't read any of it) but after getting some tools out the shed (strangely a lot of things in my house involve using fancy tools) it only took him 30 minutes to put it together and he didn't seem to have any trouble.
Its quite a streamlined piece of equipment (Size (H)150, (W)54, (D)90cm) and has nice simple lines so doesn't look too bulky or obtrusive sitting in the corner, using the machine is easy, feet in pedals, it takes a bit of effort to get started but once you get going there isn't too much resistance, the handlebars for me are a bit too far away to be held comfortably for a long time (but I'm only ever on there for 15 minutes at a time). The display (needs to AA batteries which aren't supplied, but the display isn't essential) is too far down on the machine for me to read, its down by my knees and the screen isn't that bright, so I time how long I've been working out for by advert breaks on the telly. It is meant to display calorie (theoretical burn), Distance (miles), speed (mph) and time (minutes/seconds).
Its made from grey steel tubes so its not that heavy but has always felt very secure, the pedals are huge so any size feet can fit in them and they have non-slip grips on them. The action is very smooth; the handle bars are linked to the feet's action so once you get in a rhythm its easy!
This is a good basic machine for anyone just wanting something simpler and inexpensive, its not fancy but is doing the job! Maximum user weight 110kg/17.3st.