Do I Really Need a Smart Elliptical?
A smart elliptical is one step up from a traditional elliptical machine. It has everything you would expect from the average elliptical including a drive system, deck, rollers, and foot pedals within a cardiovascular machine that delivers a low-impact workout with the addition of smart technology. The result is an elliptical trainer with enhanced capabilities and features designed to deliver a customized personal training experience that records detailed data that can be accessed across several devices along with other useful features.
These features may include but are not limited to web browsing and video streaming with access to a variety of web applications. The concept behind the smart elliptical is simple. By making training more entertaining, interactive and data-driven, people are more inclined to not only exercise but exercise more often while utilizing the collected data to set and achieve more fitness goals; all of which can drastically improve one’s overall health and wellness.
Differences Between a Traditional and Smart Elliptical
The main difference between a traditional and smart elliptical is technology. They operate similarly and are made using the same components but come with the added benefit of features like interactive personal training, more training options to eliminate monotony, and detailed data tracking with access across multiple devices. All these enhanced features are possible with the integration of a fitness application like iFit, as well as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technology. Additionally, the average smart elliptical can handle multiple users and may also have entertainment-related features like Bluetooth audio speakers, a smart device holder, charging port or even a touch display that can also be used to watch live television or on-demand shows.
Another difference that elliptical users will notice is that smart
ellipticals tend to be much quieter. The drive systems are whisper quiet
which makes sense since audio plays a major role in the user experience
of a smart elliptical. A loud drive system would greatly take away from
the smart features and capabilities.
Lastly, the price of traditional and smart ellipticals differ. The
price of traditional elliptical machines ranges from just under $400 to
$1500+ whereas smart trainers tend to start at around $1000. Despite
smart ellipticals being more expensive, their enhanced specifications
make them well worth the investment.
Benefits of Smart Ellipticals
The smart features certainly have their benefits. The main one being the fact that they prevent directionless training. Instead of stepping onto the trainer and mindlessly striding along, there are programs, training apps, and/or interactive personal training to turn to. Furthermore, they encourage data-driven workouts which is excellent for those with specific fitness goals such as weight loss or toning. Smart ellipticals make everything from establishing a starting point to setting and exceeding goals easy resulting in a more structured approach to fitness. Making the most of the time you have to exercise and actually seeing your progress in the provided data is incredibly motivating.
Moreover, smart ellipticals and the programs/personal training interactivity that come with them delivers a more complete workout that supersedes the usual cardio-focused elliptical training. Oftentimes, smart trainers are designed to activate more muscles. This is done by increasing the height of the vertical path of each stride, providing more resistance levels and/or increasing the machine’s maximum incline. Sometimes resistance and incline are even adjusted automatically during preset programs or interactive training. By upping the intensity and throwing some unexpected challenges into the mix, more progress is made.
Smart ellipticals do come with app integrations but, in a way, these limit users since they can only use the manufacturer’s selected integration rather than having the option to use Google Fit, Fitbit or the popular Apple Health app. On top of that, these app integrations often require a paid subscription once the trial runs out meaning many users will miss out on a large chunk of what a smart elliptical trainer can do if they don’t wish to spend the extra money. That being said, there are three popular apps that are ideal for elliptical training. These include iFit, MyFitQuest, and BeatBurn Elliptical.
iFit is an excellent application because it gives you access to interactive personal training in the comfort of your home. Additionally, several smart ellipticals come with iFit.
MyFitQuest is also worth mentioning since it is designed to be compatible with various types of fitness equipment thanks to Bluetooth technology. The app’s key features include tracking workout duration, distance covered, and calories burned as well as weight.
As for BeatBurn Elliptical, it uses beat-sync technology to make workouts more interesting while helping increase your work output along with delivering new challenges daily and tracking your progress. Much like MyFitQuest, the app uses Bluetooth technology to connect to elliptical machines.
Overall, a smart elliptical is an excellent investment that will make a huge difference in your workout routine. They deliver the low impact exercise you’d expect from an elliptical plus a lot of fun extras. Smart ellipticals come with a long list of benefits and are ideal for those who wish to avoid training monotony via either interactive personal training or progressive programs. With that also comes detailed data tracking, entertainment and more.
Although they currently start at around $1000, we predict that in 2-3 years, smart ellipticals will be the norm meaning that both low and high-end models will have smart capabilities. Unfortunately, we’re currently limited by apps. Depending on your specific needs, there may not be an app that has everything you want. Moreover, many smart ellipticals on the market are either limited by the manufacturer’s selected app integration or work better with one app than others meaning you may run into syncing issues if you’re partial to Google Fit, Fitbit or the Apple Health app. Fortunately, technology is forever evolving meaning there are certainly some advancements to look forward to.