Faint praise for the elliptical

ProForm CE 6: I look different in workout clothes

Today’s workout (elliptical): 25 minutes

It’s been another busy week, but at least tomorrow is Friday. Today was my first opportunity for a morning workout and my intention was to do a treadmill run. I got up this morning and decided that I couldn’t deal with the treadmill’s racket, so I fired up the elliptical instead. Although I’ve never warmed to this unit (it’s far less substantial than its predecessor) the Pro-Form does provide a good cross training alternative.

Compared to the treadmill, using the elliptical is a breeze. Besides the fact that it’s self propelled and quiet, the elliptical doesn’t make me constantly worry about a bad slip and fall. In fact, you can use the elliptical with your eyes closed. That’s something I’d never recommend doing on a treadmill. I ended up getting a decent workout and avoided a noise-related headache.

I always look forward to Friday’s because I can get outside in the morning for a few miles prior to starting my working day from home. Tomorrow will be extremely busy so I’ll need to get out early to fit in a workout. I’m getting mixed messages online about Friday morning’s weather. One prediction calls for morning rain and the other calls for cold but dry conditions. I’m hoping for the latter.

I’d like to avoid the treadmill if possible. And as much as I appreciated it today, I’m not in the mood for another elliptical session.

Frustration mounts with the ProForm CE 6.0

Hey elliptical, you’ve gotta screw loose!

Today’s workout (elliptical): 25 minutes

Today has been busy. This morning was filled with meetings and this afternoon I presented a technical paper at a W3C conference. I’d had a much different expectation about early retirement. Tomorrow will be even busier. 

This morning I decided to use the new elliptical while my wife ran on the treadmill. It was my second time using the machine and, once again, I was disappointed. I had hoped that this ProForm, that looks a lot like our old X1, would perform in similar way. Aside from the fact that they both provide elliptical motion, the user experience is far opposite.

The difference is in the quality. The X1 had its challenges, but it was a sturdy beast. The ProForm CE 6.0 is a wobbly contraption that squeaks and squeals. The display shows your distance only in revolutions (huh?) and there’s no way to pause the timer during a workout.

Why would need to pause the timer? One reason might be that the bolt that attaches the arm to the center post tends to work its way free. I had to jump off the machine this morning at one point and tighten it with an Allen wrench. Lucky for me, I’d removed the decorative plastic collar last week to get to this bolt. I needed to break the collar’s connecting tabs when I did that, so it’s not going back on.

The rest of my workout went without incident and the bolt stayed in after my mid-session triage. While I consider the CE 6.0 far inferior to the unit it replaced, I still ended up with good workout that got my heart rate to target. It will be back to the treadmill tomorrow. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m actually looking forward to using it.

The elliptical is here, but the power is still to come

Today’s run (treadmill): 25 minutes

Today has been an interesting day and I’ll leave it at that for now. Over the next few days I’ll have some extra time, and I’m planning to get in some long morning runs. I’m really looking forward to that. The treadmill has began to lose its appeal, so I’ve decided to get outside as much as I can over the next few weeks.

Our elliptical arrived yesterday. It bears an uncanny resemblance to the old X1 unit, but it’s cheaper and not of the same quality. The console requires an AC adapter that we’ll need to order separately. Otherwise we’ll have to keep feeding it D batteries. I’ll be glad to have the elliptical option on windy, cold or rainy mornings. In the meantime, I just want to get outside and run.

Going cheap on an elliptical (here’s why)

ProForm CE 6.0. User not included

Most people will agree with the expression, “You get what you pay for”, based on their own personal experience. Most of the time, I’d agree. Expensive items tend to last longer than cheaply made versions. This is theoretically due to their higher level of quality. Our experience purchasing and using a higher end elliptical machine made us rethink the direct correlation between cost and satisfaction.

Four years ago, we purchased a BH Fitness X1 elliptical machine at Fitness Showrooms in Huntington, NY. The machine was compact, had heart rate sensors on the arm poles and seemed to built to last. I’ve written plenty about our troubles with both the machine and the company that sold it to us, so I won’t repeat them here. After three years of moderate use and almost a year of non-use due to broken parts, we trashed the expensive “quality” unit and bought a cheaper replacement.

Sunday afternoon we went to Sports Authority and bought a ProForm CE 6.0 elliptical for about one third the price we paid for the X1 in 2009. The unit was on sale and we had a $50 coupon. Pro-Form is not a premium brand, but but we managed to get over ten years of daily use out of our LT treadmill. The elliptical unit we bought was the 2012 6.0. Even though the newer 7.0 unit was priced the same, we thought the older model seemed sturdier and more stable.

I’m looking forward to (once again) having a cross-training option for my daily workouts. If we only get three years out of the CE 6.0 I’ll be less annoyed than I was with the expensive BH Fitness X1. Ironically, the best reason for buying at Sports Authority over a specialty store like Fitness Showrooms is that I have more confidence that SA will stand behind what they’ve sold.