A Review of the Life Fitness X5 Elliptical Cross Trainer

Life Fitness is a brand that is synonymous with quality. It is the brand you’ll most likely see at any fitness club or gym. It’s not a run-of-the-mill piece of exercise equipment that is sold in chain sporting good stores (e.g. Sports Authority), but rather is sold to distributors who specialize in one thing: fitness equipment. Though their prices are not cheap, sometimes you get what you pay for and the Life Fitness quality speaks for itself. Paying more for a piece of quality home exercise equipment will be worth it in the long run.

When my husband and I made the decision to purchase a home elliptical cross-trainer we made sure we did our research. We started by reading reviews on-line then we went to all of the chain sporting good stores like Dick’s, Academy and Sports Authority where we spoke to the sales people and tested the equipment. We knew the cheap stuff wasn’t going to cut it so we went to a high end fitness store that sold pre-owned exercise equipment as well as floor models and new models. There we were able to learn not just about specific elliptical cross-trainers but about their history and the history of each brand. It pays to see a fitness equipment specialist.


We had a budget but that was quickly blown when we realized what you get for your money. We later learned of floor models that were just like new but cheaper, and that was our “a-ha” moment. I knew Life Fitness from our gym, LA Fitness, but I wasn’t happy with the basic model, the X1, and had assumed the higher end models were out of our price range. Fortunately the fitness store held a 20% off sale plus we were able to get a floor model which brought the price down even more; therefore, after getting on and off several elliptical cross trainers and spending hours at the store, I finally decided to buy the Life Fitness X5.


The Life Fitness X5 elliptical cross trainer is suitable for everyone because it has an adjustable stride length which means it is great for my husband (who has tall legs), and me (who has short legs). The Life Fitness X5 is smooth and quiet — thanks to the “Whisper Stride” Technology Life Fitness has — unlike the run- of- the-mill exercise equipment you find in a chain sporting goods store. The elliptical cross-trainer is durable and will last more than a decade which will make it worth every penny. The ball bearings are self contained so they will not accumulate grime and the elliptical cross trainer will be able to operate smoothly for many years to come.


The Life Fitness X5 elliptical trainer is big so if you’re thinking about buying it for your home, make sure you measure the length and width in your house in order to get an idea of how intrusive it will be in your room. The exact measurements are 83″ x 26″ x63″ and although the machine might seem like it’s the same size as every other elliptical in the store, it will look much large in your house.


Heart Rate Monitor
The Life Fitness X5 has hand pulse sensors which work as a heart rate monitoring system so you’ll be able to judge how hard you’re working. The resistance level ranges from 1 to 20 and I can attest to the fact that the higher levels really do make you sweat.

There are two water bottle holders which can be used to hold anything (including a television remote control) and are removable as well as washable. There is also an accessory tray which I use to hold my cell phone.

The pedals have a shock absorption system which is great for my feet since I have a collapsed arch, pronation, and bunions (which is the reason I had to get rid of my mini trampoline and buy an elliptical cross trainer). The foot pedals are also large enough for those with big feet yet contained so people with small feet won’t have to worry about losing their footing.However, they are not cushioned like a True Elliptical and as such, I would recommend that users wear sneakers and possibly cut up a mat cushion and place the pieces on the foot pedals.

Adjustable Stride Length
The stride length can be increased manually from 18″ to 24″. Though I wish the Life Fitness X5 changed strides electronically, it’s still better than a fixed stride length. I have seen my husband change the stride length and in theory I know how to, but when I attempted to do it, it did not work.

Coach Zone
If you’re someone who likes a personal trainer telling you what to do, you’re in luck with the Life Fitness X5 elliptical cross trainer because it comes with something called the CoachZone. This is where the machine encourages the exerciser to pull, push, use only their legs, etc. That way you can work your triceps, chest, biceps, glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, and/or calves.

In addition the level button, the Life Fitness X5 elliptical cross trainer has a button for pause/resume, calorie display, and reset. Different workouts are available as well like hill, random, manual, etc. I have tried them all and each provide a good cardiovascular workout. I particularly enjoy the variety that is available with the basic console.

Delivery and Installation
We paid only $99 for delivery and installation. We wanted to have it installed properly so it was worth the money but since we bought the floor model, all they had to do was bring it into our house, move it to the right spot, and plug it in. The delivery men made sure it worked before they left and provided me with user manuals (as well as a user CD). The Life Fitness X5 elliptical cross trainer weighs 250 pounds but it does have four wheels if you want to move it around in your room.

So far I really like the Life Fitness X5 elliptical trainer. It is a great piece of equipment and I hope it encourages me to do cardio each morning for at least 20 minutes. The elliptical is smooth, relatively quiet and easy to use. It doesn’t feel like a chore when I’m on it and of course, watching television while doing cardio makes the time go by more quickly. I would recommend the Life Fitness X5 but only if you can get it on sale, pre-owned, or a floor model.

For more information about the Life Fitness X5 elliptical trainer, visit Lifefitness.com.