ProForm 320 ZLE Elliptical Trainer Review

ProForm have a wealth of experience at producing mid-priced machines that usually boast an impressive array of features, so at around £500, the  320 ZLE is dropped into very familiar territory. That said, it’s a highly competitive marketplace and even ProForm themselves have some impressive offerings at around this price point. We were eager to see what this new arrival brings to the table….

It’s often easy to distinguish a ProForm elliptical by the rather unique design. The 320 ZLE however, shares an ambiguous resemblance to many other brands of rear driven machines. That’s not to say that it’s not attractive – the sleek lines and silver bodywork are visually appealing, but often ProForm machines may have a folding design or incline ramp that gives rise to a more unique shape so it’s left us wondering what, if any, innovations the 320 ZLE was hiding?

Firstly, tucked away at the rear of the machine is an 8 Kg Flywheel. The weight itself is average but it offers a nice smooth movement that was a pleasure to use. The stride length is 18 inches so this machine should prove comfortable for a variety of different users with a maximum capacity of 17 and a half stone (113 kg). However, this maximum user weight is a very conservative estimate (although it must be strictly adhered to!) being as our own reviewer (Charlie Rawes) exceeded that weight during testing and the 320 ZLE coped admirably, displaying good, chunky build quality.

The machine also has plenty of resistance, with 16 levels that should prove challenging to most beginners and even intermediate users.

As is customary on most ProForm models, we were pleased to see the familiar iFit SD card slot on the front of the console. This feature alone offers a good reason to embrace the brand, especially if you require extra motivation and guidance with your workouts. The concept behind iFit cards is rather simple but effective. The cards are available to buy separately and offer weight-loss or wellness programs. Each card contains 24 workouts spread over an 8 week program that has been designed by a certified Personal Trainer. By inserting the SD card into the machines slot, you can select a workout and the voice of the trainer will guide you through the integrated speaker system (it is worth noting that the console has volume controls so you don’t necessarily have to listen if you’re not in the mood!)

As far as in-built programs go, there is a good selection available. ProForm have stuck to their usual approach of dividing the workouts into ‘Weight-loss’ and ‘Performance’ sessions. You have 8 of each giving you a total of 16 preset courses to choose from.

To view the selection, you repeatedly press the respective workout button which shows you each course profile in turn. The profile segments scroll across the top third of the screen, it’s duration is displayed in the middle and the program number at the bottom. Unfortunately the screen is rather narrow so it doesn’t have the capacity to show the whole course at a glance, making the selection process rather slow. We feel it’s a shame that the screen wasn’t made slightly bigger as there is certainly the space on the console to house it (or if not a bigger screen, then certainly a printed menu of the course profiles around the screen would have been helpful.)

That said, the course profiles are nice and varied and regardless of whether they are in the weight loss or performance category, they should all be considered effective for either purpose.

During the workouts, the machine keeps you aware of approaching changes in resistance by ‘beeping’ and the new resistance level appears as well as the target RPM pace that you should keep up with.

Unfortunately all of your training feedback is not displayed on a continuous basis but by pressing the ‘Display’ button gives you various options. (You can view Time ticking down and speed…. Calories burned and Distance covered or Calories and Speed)

In addition to the Pre-set programs, we liked the manual mode which appears when you first turn on the console. The quarter mile track appearing in the dot matrix is engaging and motivating for getting those laps in!

There are pulse grip sensors on the static handles however there is no inbuilt receiver for wireless readings and therefore the machine does not feature any heart rate controlled programs.

Another slight disappointment came from was the inbuilt cooling fan. It has a dual setting, although it’s only on ‘high’ that you can feel a slight breeze. Our grumbles are not so much directed at the fan’s efficiency (rarely do fitness machines blow out much air due to their size) but rather, we were just slightly disappointed that more space was devoted to a 4” fan than was allocated to the more important feature of screen display!

Anyway, we certainly don’t begrudge the room taken up by the inbuilt speakers. Not only do they do the essential job of giving us the Personal Trainer guidance through iFit card sessions, but they also produced a surprisingly clear and tight sound when connected to an iPod or MP3.

There are some other welcome features included too. There’s a convenient bottle holder or accessory storage compartment within easy reach on the console mast. Down at ground level are levelling pads on the rear stabiliser as well as a useful welded D-shaped handle allowing you to lift the rear end and wheel the machine along on the 3” rollers that double as end covers for the front stabiliser.

So what do we think overall? Well we’d certainly describe it as ‘fine’ in the sense that it does everything fairly well, but we just can’t really get too excited about the 320 ZLE! Perhaps we have just grown to expect a bit more innovation from ProForm? Sure if you make some through comparisons then it may possibly have an extra kilo of flywheel weight than some similarly priced models… maybe it’s got a few more resistance levels than others too, but we’d be struggling to find any unique selling points that aren’t common place on many other models. ProForm do a good range of elliptical cross trainers, some that fold, some that incline, most with iFit card compatibility… this one just doesn’t really stand out from the rest in any way.

Best Price

The Proform 320 ZLE is not currently available from any retailers we're aware of in the UK.
It may be worth looking for a used machine on ebay

Review Summary - In Brief

The feature that stands out the most on this cross trainer is the long, 18" stride length on a compact sized machine. The ProForm 320 ZLE puts in an admirable performance in our tests as a good all rounder and with a price tag of sub £500, it's pretty decent value.

Proform 320 ZLE Specifications

  • 16 levels of computer controlled magnetic resistance
  • Size in use: (L x W x H): 164cm / 64.6” x 64cm / 25.2” x 159cm / 62.6”
  • Product Weight: 67kg / 147.7lbs
  • Max. accepted User Weight: 113kg / 249lbs
  • 18″ (45.7cm) stride length
  • 8kg (17.6lbs) flywheel
  • 8 performance programmes
  • 8 weight loss programmes
  • Console with blue-tinted LCD display
  • Console feedback: time, speed, calories, pulse, distance
  • Pulse measurement via Dual EKG Pulse grips
  • Dual action handlebars for total body workout
  • Oversized pedals for enhanced comfort
  • iFit SD card compatible for interactive exercises
  • Intermix Acoustics 2.0 Audio System with stereo speakers and line-in input
  • Workout fan: Dual-speed CoolAire™
  • Bottle Holder
  • Guarantee:  2 year frame, labour and parts guarantee (must be registered within 28 days to get 2nd year)

ProForm 320 ZLE Elliptical Cross Trainer - Console / Display Unit

ProForm 320 ZLE Elliptical Cross Trainer - User Reviews

The Pros

  • Good build quality
  • Smooth and comfortable, 18” stride
  • iFit SD Card compatibility
  • Good inbuilt speaker system

The Cons

  • Small screen display
  • Not suitable for users over 17 and a half stone
ProForm 320 ZLE Elliptical Cross Trainer Reviewer Ratings

Ease Of Installation - 6.5
Appearance - 7
Smoothness - 7.5
Comfort - 8
Reliability - 7.4
Noise - 7.5
Ease Of Use - 7
Controls - 7
Warranty - 8
Value for Money - 8
Best Price

The Proform 320 ZLE is not currently available from any retailers we're aware of in the UK.
It may be worth looking for a used machine on ebay

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

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