Currently available for £799.00 from Sweatband.com
ProForm HIIT L6 Elliptical Cross Trainer Review
When it comes to home fitness equipment there are few manufacturers that have both the knowledge and size to be able to produce ellipticals that won’t break the bank but still deliver an experience that meets the expectations of the ever-increasingly demanding user. Whether you’re trying to get fit, stay fit or train for an event, you’ll typically be able to find a Proform machine in the Proform product catalogue that’s suitable for your needs. We took a look that the Proform HIIT L6 to see what the successor to the hugely successful Cardio HIIT model has to offer. Here’s what we found…
As with most elliptical trainers, the HIIT L6 requires assembly and like most large elliptical trainers it also requires two people to assemble it. However, unlike many large ellipticals, the assembly steps required here are very straight-forward and the manual is also very well presented with clear descriptions and diagrams. This makes the whole assembly process less tricky and much easier than many smaller models we’ve come across.
Like it’s predecessor, the HIIT L6 features a very compact footprint, especially considering how big and sturdy a machine it is. With a length of 170cm (67”) and a width of 76cm (30”) it takes up only marginally more floor space than many other models including those that are overall much more diminutive and less bulky. Another feature of the design that’s worth noting is that because of the way it’s constructed and the way the action works, you don’t need to allow additional space over and above the footprint to actually be able to use this model in the same way you do with practically every other elliptical out there (with a few notable exceptions). And, while it’s not possible to describe the HIIT L6 as a compact model due to its heavy-duty construction and sheer bulk, it does certainly take up less room than most other equivalent models out there making it a good option even if you don’t have a dedicated room or gym to house it in.
Step up onto the HIIT L6 and it’s immediately apparent that the people that designed and built this machine know their business. Firstly, this a sturdy bit of kit and with the aid of the fixed handlebars it’s a very easy machine to climb onto. There are no wobbles as you step up and once you’re in position the combination of the oversized pedals, which feel like a proper platform, the chunky handlebars and the 82kg dead weight of the machine really inspire confidence. The action on the HHIT L6 is smooth and pretty much near-silent, and even in a quiet room with no ambient noises the sound levels are very low which is impressive. Is it dead-silent? Not at all but it is very quiet and isn’t going to bother anyone in the next room or require you to don a set of headphones to drown out the noise.
This model is a cross between a traditional stepper and a tradtional cross trainer. Instead of a flattened ellipse in action, there’s more of a step to it so it very much falls between the two types of machine. This is a very effective setup for burning large numbers calories fast and places emphasis on the glutes, legs, back and shoulders. For those that don’t know, HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. It’s a training method that involves the person exercising to put 100% effort at fastest speed they can muster for a preset period (eg 20sec), followed quickly by short recovery periods and then back to the high-intensity burst. This does a fantastic job of really getting the heart pumping while simultaneously helping to increase core strength and burn calories. Also, because of the nature of the action vs a traditional elliptical, the issue of stride length disappears. Because of this the HIIT L6 is just as well suited to a 6ft 4″ person as 5ft 5″ person making it an excellent choice for family use situations. When it comes to the ergonomics of this machine, Proform has got things spot on and the HIIT L6 delivers a very comfortable workout. It’s also very capable of challenging even already-fit users.
The console on the HIIT L6 is a high contrast 6″ LCD display that features large, bright and easy to see characters and even in bright ambient light, it’s very easy to track your data with the display serving up a range of data including distance, pace, calories, resistance, pulse, RPM, time, speed, vertical distance ( this data set is a consequence of the fact that this elliptical is a cross between an elliptical and a stepping machine and lets you know how far up high you’ve ‘climbed’) which is actually a fun and motivating way to set training targets. There’s also a scan mode so you can choose to have a stream of different data in a repeating cycle or to pause on a particular data set (eg calories) to keep a closer track of that aspect of your training which is especially useful when performing targetted workouts. It’s also possible to customise which data sets are shown when in scan mode and while this may sound like a minor feature, we found the benefits of being able to see only the information you want to see had a material positive impact on motivation in manual training sessions.
In terms of training options, the HIIT L6 differs from many other models out there in that there are no ‘on-board’ workouts programmed into the console. The console supports a fully offline manual mode allowing you to step up onto the machine, press start, and start working out while manually adjusting the resistance settings. It literally could not be any simpler to operate and the HIIT L6 is bound to appeal to those out there that don’t care about glossy interactive training videos and just want to get a daily workout. When we say it could not be simpler, we really mean it! There are no targetted workouts, no countdown options, or indeed any other options, you simply step up, press start, and start your workout controlling the resistance manually.
On the flip side, the HIIT L6 is at its heart, a connected, interactive training machine and as such is not short on training options. In fact, it has a silly amount of training options by way of the subscription-based iFit eco-system. Subscribers to iFit get access to an absolutely huge catalogue of high-definition workout videos led by professional personal trainers, with the workouts usually taking place in exotic and beautiful locations. All the workouts fall into the same types of categories that you’ll find in built-in programmes eg Cardio, Endurance, Fat Burn, Weight Loss and so on. The workouts are run by leading PTs making them engaging and effective while the videos themselves demonstrate excellent production values. In addition to the training videos, iFit also features Google Maps workouts that allow you to map out your own routes on Google Maps, and you can participate in online challenges against other iFit members. You also gain access to personalised advice for nutrition, exercise routines and sleep schedule. iFit is a whole world unto itself and offers more than we can cover in this review, but if you want to know more visit the iFit website for full details. A free 30-day subscription to iFit is included in the package though you will also need a tablet and a good internet connection to get the very best out of it.
Other extras include a contrast adjustment for the LCD screen and the units of measurement can be changed from imperial to metric via the simple push of a button on the console, for those who prefer miles to kilometres. There’s also a built-in shelf for placing a tablet onto for when using iFit workouts and a nice, deep, water bottle holder situated front and centre making for easy and quick access to your water without having to fumble around or stoop down to reach it. And last but not least, the HIIT L6 offers MP3 playback capability via a 3mm input jack, a 2-speed cooling fan, integrated Bluetooth heart rate receiver and Proform’s 2-year on-site parts and labour warranty.
There are many models at this price point and they do tend to be a mix of everything from OK to not so good to really great and in our opinion, the HIIT L6 falls into somewhere in between. It's smooth and quiet, is well built, doesn't take up acres of space and with the iFit option it's got a huge variety of workouts and ways to train and all these things make it much easier to stay motivated over longer periods of time. Given the price being asked in the current market this is a very strong offering and one that's easy for us to recommend.
ProForm HIIT L6 Specifications
- 14kg (31lbs) inertia enhanced flywheel
- 22 digital levels of SMR™ Silent Magnetic Resistance with OneTouch™ controls
- 5” (13cm) horizontal and 10” (25cm) vertical elliptical stepping path
- 40cm (16”) stride length
- 6″ high-contrast LCD display
- Feedback: Calories, distance, pace, pulse, resistance, RPM, speed, time, vertical distance; scan mode
- Programmes: Manual mode
- iFit Coach BLE Enabled – use the iFit Smart Cardio app on compatible tablets and smartphones to get access to a huge, ever-growing library of interactive trainer-led workouts (30-days Family membership included)
- Heart Rate Measurement via Hand pulse sensors + Bluetooth® Smart wireless receiver (chest strap optional)
- Sound System: Compatible music port for iPod®/mp3 player, dual 2” speakers
- Extras: CoolAire™ workout fan, tablet holder, water bottle holder, levelling feet
- Oversized, cushioned pedals
- Multi-grip handlebars
- Product dimensions: (L x W x H): 170cm (67”) x 76cm (30”) x 169cm (66.5”)
- Product Weight: 82kg (181lbs)
- Max. User Weight: 147kg (324lbs)
- Transportation wheels
- Warranty: 2 years parts and labour (if registered within 28 days of purchase)
ProForm HIIT L6 Elliptical Cross Trainer - Console / Display Unit
ProForm HIIT L6 Elliptical Cross Trainer - User Reviews
- Heavy duty construction
- Simple to operate option for those that don't want to go interactive
- Ergonimcaly sound
- Lots and lots and lots and lots of workouts
- Needs a good internet connection
- We feel we're being a bit harsh by putting paying for a subscription a negative as for the money you get an awful lot and it's not any pricier than most other subscription services, but OK, you only get the first year free
Currently available for £799.00 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