Like all cross trainers, Life Fitness 9500 Crosstrainer has foot platforms that go round in an elliptical arc (thus the name “Elliptical trainers”) while simultaneously having handlebars that move forward and back (thus the name “Cross trainer” – you exercise your arms and legs at the same time). Don’t expect to build your arm muscles much with these things, by the way, but using your arms as well has obvious benefits – you can keep going for longer, burn a few more calories, and it does tone your arm muscles.
Several things make the Life Fitness HR 9500 Elliptical Crosstrainer Rear Drive superior to the two Reebok cross trainers that I’ve used. Firstly, instead of 10 you have 20 levels of resistance, which allows more control over how hard you want to work. Secondly, a heart rate monitor built into the handlebar grips, allowing the machine to have “Fat burn” and “Cardio” modes, which automatically adjusts the resistance to help keep your heart rate in the desired range. (Burning fat is a lower heart rate – about 124bpm for a 29 year old – while cardio works your heard faster, being about 153bpm for a 29 year old. The rate will reduce the older you get, it’s based on your maximum predicted heart rate minus a set figure.) This is a useful feature much like that found in most treadmills. Thirdly, and perhaps most crucially, the elliptical motion is longer, resulting in move even working of the anterior and posterior muscle groups in your legs (whereas other machines tend to focus on your posterior muscles – those at the back of your legs). This smoother motion feels very natural and thus makes it easier to keep going for longer – on low resistance levels it is very easy to keep going for a long period of time without feeling much strain in your legs, and you still burn a lot of calories that way.
In addition to this you have several other settings for hill climbing, random, zone training, and easy strolls to work your muscles in different ways and to different extents. The display shows you calories burned, distance covered, speed (in rpm), time left / done. You can change the time at any point and, depending on the programme you’re running, you can change either the resistance level or desired heart rate. You always get a cool down at the end (3 of 5 minutes, depending how long you’ve worked out for) , which is a good way of burning extra calories without much appreciable effort. (It also helps your muscles to cool down gradually, which is obviously a good thing.) Some people might find the minimum time setting of 10 minutes a little too much to begin with, but if so you can always get off before the end until you’ve built up your endurance a little! If you really want you could use the machine backwards – but personally I wouldn’t recommend it!
The 9500HR model features our exclusive Lifepulse™ digital heart rate monitoring system–the most accurate way to calculate individual heartbeats. This total body Cross-Trainer combines the cardiovascular/muscular benefits of running and the low impact of walking. No cords or outlets required. Cost-effective and convenient. Work large groups of upper and lower body muscles at the same time. Alternate between forward and backward motion for total body results. Lifepulse™ digital monitoring system is nearly as accurate as a clinical EKG. Polar® telemetry monitoring system.
Advantages: Lower Body with Arm Action
Resistance: 20 Levels
Programs: 9 Pre-programmed Courses
Heart Rate: Lifepulse™ Contact & Polar® Telemetry
• Max User Weight: 400lbs.
• Unit Weight: 385lbs.
• Special Features: Contact Heart Rate
• Unit Warranty: 6 Months Full Parts & Labor w/1 Yr Motor
• Shipping Weight: 425lbs.
• Shipping Dimensions: 89" x 38" x 70