Fitness Equipment Reviews

Precor AMT vs. Technogym Vario vs. Life Fitness FlexStrider – Which Premium Cross Trainer Is The Best?


Elliptical cross trainers are an excellent form of cardio because they work your entire body simultaneously. Unlike treadmills, exercise bikes, and step machines, ellipticals keep your upper body musculature engaged. This is not only great for burning calories but for toning your arms, shoulders, and back too.
There are even more advanced versions of ellipticals, also known as cross-trainers. These are different from standard ellipticals as they let you change stride length freely, which is also known as user-defined movement. As you are about to see, certain manufacturers make cross trainers that also let you adjust stride height. Standard ellipticals have fixed stride lengths and machine-defined movement, which means you will have to adapt to the machine.
This post will compare three popular premium cross trainers you can see in the best-equipped gyms worldwide – Precor AMT vs. Technogym Vario vs. Life Fitness FlexStrider. You will see the benefits of each, which will help you decide which machine is the right one for your own (home) gym. Let’s roll!

Precor Adaptive Motion Trainer (AMT)

Precor was the company that originally introduced “adaptive motion” as a concept back in 2007, revolutionizing fitness equipment. This whole new group of cardio equipment adapts to the user’s natural movement pattern. The same goes for modern Precor AMTs – exercising on these machines is incredibly comfortable, which means you will be more likely to do it regularly.
Also, depending on the model, you can choose Precor AMT with Open Stride, such as Precor AMT 885 with Open Stride w/P82 Console. This technology, introduced in 2012, enables you to change stride length however you please, all the way up to 36 inches (91 cm), but also stride height. This will mean you will have more possibilities when working out. You can walk, run, climb, all at various paces, with or without handles. That makes Precor AMT incredibly versatile, and Open Stride models well worth the investment.
If you opt for a model like Precor AMT 885 with Open Stride w/P82 Console, you will control the machine with ease while enjoying multimedia on a 15″ ergonomically centered screen.

Technogym Vario

Technogym Vario allows you to freely move between various movement types without stopping your workout. That’s because it is not fixed, like traditional cross-trainers, which enables you to move freely and naturally as you exercise. Vario can adapt to any stride length, 0-33 inches. It is suitable for people up to 6’9” (210cm) tall and can withstand up to 350 lbs (160 kg).
You can opt for step movement, classic elliptical, or Vario, which is similar to sprinting with long strides. But, as noted, you can freely change movement type mid-workout, without adjusting any settings. This will challenge you in a new way and make the workouts much more enjoyable.
Another benefit of Vario models such as Technogym Vario EXC 700i is their quiet and smooth operation. Your full-body, low-impact workouts will engage muscles without taxing your joints, making Vario an excellent option if you had issues with injuries.

Life Fitness FlexStrider

Life Fitness FlexStrider Platinum Club has Natural Elipse Path technology with optimal, smooth, and natural feeling motion, no matter the stride length. That, combined with the fact that you can change stride mid-workout, means your training will have a natural flow and that your training will be both fun and intensive.
FlexStrider is suitable for athletes of all sizes, as it has a 0-36 inch stride length. That also gives you exercise variability – you can use the FlexStrider basically as a step machine, but you can also do full sprints on it. With longer strides, your arms will move farther back and forth, which means you will have a more intensive workout for the upper body too.
Depending on the console you pick, FlexStrider will let you choose various workouts but also connect the machine with your phone via Bluetooth, control TV, and of course, monitor your heart rate and change workout intensity.

Precor AMT vs. Technogym Vario vs. Life Fitness FlexStrider

Choosing between these machines is not easy, as all three machines are top of the line. But, there are some differences, and depending on your needs, you might find one elliptical better than the others:
Stride Length And Weight Capacity
All three machines are ellipticals with user-defined motion which is fantastic. Machines of this type are more natural than fixed ellipticals and are more fun to use, and give better variety.
Still, Precor AMT and Life Fitness FlexStrider have a ” advantage over Technogym Vario, as they have 0-36″ stride length, while Vario has 0-33″. This is not a massive difference but is worth noting, especially if you are taller.
Precor AMT and Technogym Vario have a maximal user weight capacity of 350 lbs, while Life Fitness FlexStrider can withstand up to 400 lbs. While this doesn’t seem important if you are not nearly as heavy, it speaks of the quality. If equipment can withstand more weight, it usually has better quality parts and will probably suffer less wear and tear.
Winner: Life Fitness FlexStrider
Exercise Variability And Intensity Options
While you can use all three machines for different types of movements (step, walking, running), Precor Open Stride technology offers the most freedom.
Precor models with “Open Stride” technology have 36″ stride length but also allow you to change the stride height up to 10″. That will give you many exercise and intensity options, keeping your workouts fresh and exciting. You can walk, run, sprint, step, or climb, all while using a single piece of equipment, hitting multiple muscle groups.
Winner: Precor AMT With Open Stride
All three manufacturers offer different console options you can choose depending on your budget and needed functionality.
Basic consoles are a lot cheaper, but also more reliable. These are Vario LED console, FlexStrider Explorer console, and Precor 835. You will have the most basic functions which will let you control your machine and choose workouts, but no advanced multimedia options.
More expensive consoles are Vario Visioweb/WelnessTV, FlexStrider Discover SI/SE, and Precor P80. With these consoles you will have a better multimedia experience, touch-screen controls, ports for your devices, as well as TV, depending on the models you pick.
The best consoles are Vario Live, FlexStrider SE3, and Precor P82 console. These let you watch TV, connect to the internet, have the best interactive workout programs to keep exercising interesting and have high-quality HD screens to let you fully immerse yourself while working out.
In our opinion, Precor P82 Console is the best one. P82 Console has a 15” screen that is in a perfect, ergonomic position. That allows you to watch TV comfortably, enjoy multimedia, and if you connect it to the internet you can access numerous workout programs for different goals, on their Prava platform..
Winner: Precor P82 Console
Reliability and Maintenance
When it was first released, Precor AMT had some reliability issues when the original version was released, but, since then, these machines are very dependable, and you can expect them to last a long time without problems. Life Fitness FlexStrider machines are also very reliable. The issue with Technogym isn’t reliability, but expensive parts. If your machine does need a repair, it won’t come cheap, if you choose Technogym.
Winner: Precor AMT


Precor AMT vs. Technogym Vario vs. Life Fitness FlexStrider – Which Premium Cross Trainer Is The Best – is a close call. If we had to choose, we would say that Precor AMT with Open Stride wins, primarily because of its excellent “OpenStride” technology and its great consoles. The fact that you can change stride height as well as length is the key difference-maker, giving you even more freedom, and making workouts more fun and effective.
Precor also wins in the price/quality ratio. Technogym, for example, is a renowned brand. But, when you consider its hefty price tag and combine it with its very expensive parts, it’s questionable if it’s worth the investment.
In the end, make no mistake – all three machines are top of the line, made by famous fitness equipment brands. Their quality and reputation justify their hefty price tag, and if you can afford them, any of the three will give you great workouts for years to come.

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