Currently available for £999.00 from Sweatband.com
ProForm 7.0 Elliptical Cross Trainer Review
With a lot of good ellipticals out there at the moment, we’ve been remiss by not getting our teeth into a Proform machine of late. With a substantial range on offer and having for years delivered quality machines jammed with lots of features combined with high specs it was high time to revisit them to take a closer look. The Proform 7.0, with its power ramp and interval training focus features caught our eye. So we got one in to scrutinise. Here’s what we found……
Firstly a word on assembly. This machine is simple by name and it’s assembly is simple by nature. We’re impressed. Very, very impressed. It took longer to unpack everything and dispose of the packaging than it took to put the 7.0 together. You need two people but your reviewer honestly can’t think of an elliptical of this stature that is easier to put together. It’s mostly already assembled with a few bits that need to be bolted on. Even if you’re flatpack-phobic you don’t need to fear this machine. Just make sure there are two of you and you’ll be ready to workout before you know it. Why oh why can’t more ellipticals be like this?
Aesthetically there’s a lot of grey and silver but, Proform, we forgive you. While the colourway might be a little unimaginative the machine itself is substantial enough to send out a clear message – USE ME! It’s big without being overbearing and very unusually for an elliptical at this sort of price, the manufacturer has built this cross trainer with dual rails! Dual rails are usually only to be found on more expensive models. They increase the stability and durability of a machine significantly and it’s fabulous to see them employed here. Quite how they’ve managed to do this without hiking the price up is a bit of a riddle as it’s not a cheap thing to do. In any case, it’s most welcome and makes this elliptical stand out.
Before starting the first workout there are a few adjustments to be made such as ensuring there’s no wobble by making sure that the leg levellers are, well, level. Then there’s adjusting the angle of the pedals to get the right fit for you. It takes just a few seconds to do this. Then there’s, well, there’s starting your workout! Excellent.
A quick look at the console tells you that this machine was made for anybody to use no matter how inept at technology one might be. It’s simple, easy to read with a nice bright LED display. One of the (many) impressive features of the console is the way it tells you how hard you’re working. This feature works throughout all the modes and programs. The manual mode can be used by simply powering up and starting to train, though the elliptical will use a default value for your weight and so it’s worth entering your weight (quick and easy to do) before you start for the first time. That way the power output you see on the screen will be closer to the reality of how hard you’re really working. Which brings us nicely onto the focus of the console on the 7.0.
The whole focus of this elliptical is to help ensure that you get a proper workout and it’s designed to make you put the right amount of effort into it. No slacking off here! Your power output in realtime is displayed on the screen and this works in all of the modes including manual. There are 28 preset workouts that are divided into ‘Tempo’ for a steady but challenging workout and ‘Interval’ for bursts of intensity and recovery. As you’d expect these programmes are of varying intensity. As you start a given programme, it shows you your power output target on the display and your actual current power output. You perform your work out by trying to hit the target all the way through until the end of the session. Work harder = get closer to your target. Hit the target and you know you’ve done what you set out to do and have made progress towards your fitness goals.
There’s also a clever feature which should appeal to those who like their interval training hardcore. The ‘Work’ and ‘Recovery’ buttons. For Work, simply set the desired resistance and incline to the setting that’ll make you seriously break a sweat. Press and hold the Work button until it beeps. Then set the resistance and incline to a level that’ll allow you to recover, but keep working without cooling down. Press and hold the Recovery button until it beeps. Having done this you’ve now programmed those two buttons to your own settings and all you have to do is press either one to revert back to the pre-programmed settings. Your target for each is displayed on the screen at all times. This is such a simple idea but in practice it’s brilliant. As long as you strive to hit (and ideally hit) the target shown on the screen, you’re guaranteed to get a great workout.
Other information such as calories, distance, pace pulse, incline setting, resistance setting, RPM, time elapsed and watts is displayed either in scan mode that’ll flick through them all in sequence or you can choose to permanently display a particular stat. It’s all very easy to get your head around and the way that the buttons on the console are set up it’s easy to operate while you’re in full flow. The console is also Bluetooth iFit ready so you can subscribe to the iFit interactive training service by installing the app on a tablet. The full details of what’s available in iFit is far too much to go into here but it’s worth checking out all the information at www.ifit.com. One bit of iFit that we will mention are the HD workout videos that are led by professional personal trainers. These videos really do work and are especially good at getting you to push yourself when you’re struggling. The effect of someone encouraging you really does help to get you across the finish line.
The console also features a fan, speakers and tablet holder as standard and built-in wireless heart rate receiver for use with a chest belt which is Bluetooth based for better performance than standard heart rate receivers. It worked perfectly throughout testing so it’s not just a manufacturer’s claim!
The setup and the focus of the console on the Proform 7.0 is very impressive but just as notable is the overall build. The basic design is cut from the same cloth as the elite series machines from Proform’s sister company NordicTrack so what we’ve got here is a seriously tough bit of kit. It’s hard not to notice just how rugged this cross trainer is. The double rail configuration adds a level of stability that’s simply not there in other machines at this price. It’s smooth and quiet all the way throughout the action and even on maximum incline, where you’d expect a bit of wobble, there is none. None at all. As soon as you start using this elliptical it’s very obvious that a huge amount of know-how has gone into its design. The 11kg (24.2lbs) flywheel also plays its part ensuring that even at the point of no return there’s no change whatsoever in the speed of the rotation.
The Proform 7.0 has a power ramp that lets you change the incline settings of the machine. The stride length actually changes depending on the selected level of incline. At its lowest, the stride is a substantial 20.8” (53cm) producing a flatter ellipse while on its highest incline setting the stride reduces to just over 19.5” (50cm) delivering more of s stepper style action. This power ramp feature not only allows you to work different muscle groups during your workout at the touch of a button it also means that any user, regardless of their size, should be able to find a setting that works especially well for them.
It’s hard to overstate just how impressive the all-around package the Proform 7.0 delivers is. It’s rock solid, it’s comfortable due to being able to set both stride length and pedal angle, it’s extremely smooth and quiet and it’s easy to use. It also provides the potential to increase your training options via the iFit service too so it’s highly unlikely you’ll ever ‘outgrow’ it.
All in all the way that that focus on the Proform 7.0 elliptical is geared around making sure that you actually get a proper, effective workout is excellent. It’s simple, easy to understand and it’s potent in a way that most other cross trainers just aren’t. This aspect, combined with the great ergonomics and excellent build quality of this machine make it one of the most exceptional ellipticals that we’ve ever tested in this price bracket, and one that we highly recommend.
From a distance, the Proform 7.0 looks like most other front-drive ellipticals. However, the way that it's built and the focus it has on making sure you get an effective workout makes this cross trainer really stand out from the crowd. The principle is dead simple - keep the needle pointing in the right place and the reward is that you'll get fitter and stronger fast. It's simply impossible to argue with that as an approach. It's incredibly effective. The obviously excellent build quality here also means that this is a machine that should give years of service. Can you really ask for any more? If you've got the space this we'd say that it's a 'no brainer'. There's simply nothing out there available at the same price that offers an all-round package this good.
ProForm 7.0 Specifications
- 11kg (24.25lbs) flywheel
- 50cm-53cm (19.6″-20.8″) adjustable stride
- 22 levels of Silent Magnetic Resistance (SMR)
- Incline: 0°-20°Adjustable Power Ramp
- Console Display: Round Watts LED display with Endurance, Tempo and Peak zones; Work and Recovery buttons for Interval Training
- Feedback: Speed, time, distance, calories burned, heart rate, resistance, pace, incline, rpm, Watts
- 29 programmes (manual + 28 pre-set workout apps including 14 Tempo apps, 14 Interval apps)
- Hand pulse sensors + Bluetooth Smart wireless receiver (chest strap optional extra)
- iFit Bluetooth Smart enabled (subscription optional)
- Compatible music port for iPod®/mp3 player, Intermix Acoustics™ 2.0 sound system
- Oversized, adjustable pedals
- Transport wheels
- Dimensions (L x W x H): 202cm (79.5”) x 64cm (25.2”) x 165cm (65”)
- Maximum User Weight: 125kg (275.6lbs)
- Conveniences: bottle holder and tablet holder
- Warranty: 2 years parts and labour (if registered within 28 days of purchase)
ProForm 7.0 Elliptical Cross Trainer - Console / Display Unit
Currently available for £999.00 from Sweatband.com
Also see our Elliptical Cross Trainer Comparison Table
Whilst every effort is made to give you accurate information we cannot guarantee the technical specification. Models change on a regular basis and may differ slightly from the above review. We recommend you contact the retailer if you have a question regarding technical data. Please read our Legal Disclaimer