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Best High-Weight Capacity Ellipticals (300, 350 & 400 Lb)

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Last update: Oct 25, 2019

Finding an elliptical which suits your weight might be a bit of a challenge. There are a lot of ellipticals, but if you’re a heavy person, you’ll need a machine which supports your weight. This usually limits your options.

In this article, I compare the best elliptical machines for heavy people. Furthermore, you’ll discover relevant buying advice to make a better buying decision. Let’s dive into it!

Quick Overview: Our Top 5 Heavy Duty Ellipticals

Note: Clicking the above links will take you to further information, current prices and customer reviews on Amazon.

Best Ellipticals For Heavy Persons - Reviews 2019

1. Schwinn 470

Weight limit: 300 Lb

The Schwinn 470 is a sturdy elliptical with a weight limit of 300 pounds. It’s a quite popular model because it offers features like Bluetooth connectivity to connect your smartphone or tablet and has a stable build quality.

Additionally, the high-speed drive system has a perimeter weighted flywheel, which provides a more comfortable stride. It also has relatively large cushioned footplates. These features are especially useful for heavy people who are looking for a pleasant workout experience.

Furthermore, it has 29 programs which you can use to vary your training. The programs vary from profile programs to heart rate control programs. With the heart rate control program, you can choose a specific heart rate goal. The machine automatically adjusts the workout based on your goal.

Other features which allow you to vary your workout are the incline and magnetic resistance. This machine has a 10-degree incline and 25 levels of magnetic resistance. The console lets you control both the incline and resistance level with the quick buttons on the left and right of the console.

The 470 from Schwinn is a good choice for a beginner as well as a more experienced user. You might not use all of the features in the beginning. But after a while, you’ll probably discover them one by one, especially the Bluetooth connection.

PROS

  • It has Bluetooth connectivity, which makes it possible to use the Schwinn Trainer App and other fitness apps to track your progress.
  • Solid construction.
  • A good option for beginners as well as more advanced users because the machine offers 29 workout programs and 25 levels of resistance, which you can use to vary your workout.

CONS

  • The console and LCD-display might be a bit overwhelming at first.

2. Sole Fitness E95

Weight limit: 400 Lb

The Sole Fitness E95 is especially suited for heavy users who’re looking for an extra sturdy elliptical with a relatively high weight limit. 

The E95 can hold a maximum weight of 400 Lb, so you can expect the Sole Fitness E95 to be a robust fitness machine.

Additionally, the machine weighs 236 pounds, which is also relatively heavy. As you might already know, the weight of the machine is a good indication of the overall stability. The heavy total weight of the E95 makes your workout more enjoyable because the machine feels solid and stable.

Furthermore, it seems like Sole Fitness is convinced about the quality of this model. They give you a two-year labor warranty, five years on the parts/electronics and a lifetime warranty on the frame.

Another noteworthy aspect is the 27 Lb flywheel, which is also relatively heavy compared to the other ellipticals in this article. A heavier flywheel usually provides a smoother workout experience, because it feels more ‘natural’.

The E95 is a more advanced model suited for overweight users who are planning to use their machine on a daily basis. Or maybe share it with other persons.

PROS

  • It’s a relatively high weight capacity elliptical because it can hold up to 400 pounds.
  • The pedals are designed in collaboration with a physical therapist. According to Sole Fitness, the 2-degree inward slope pedals reduces the stress on the knees and ankles.
  • It has a relatively heavy flywheel of 27 Lb. This helps to provide a comfortable workout experience.

CONS

  • The E95 has ten workout programs; two heart rate programs, two custom programs, and six standard programs. Some users might want more programs.

3. Exerpeutic 1000XL

Weight limit: 300 Lb

The Exerpeutic 1000XL is a manually driven model especially suited for people who want to work out a few times a week. This model is what I call ‘basic’ because it doesn’t have a lot of features and is non-electric.

Keep in mind that the feeling of a workout on a non-electric elliptical is different from an electric machine. Some people might prefer one over the other.

Furthermore, the 1000XL has a manually adjustable 8-level magnetic tension resistance. This means you can adjust the level of resistance by turning the black knob at the lower center.

If you have large feet, then you might want to know about the relatively large pedal design. The pedals also have a ribbed design which prevents your feet from slipping.

The 1000XL is especially a good choice if you want a simple, no-nonsense machine. I would recommend it if you’re going to use it a few times a week at a lower intensity. In my opinion, it’s less suitable for users who want to use it for daily high-intensity workouts.

PROS

  • The 1000 XL is a basic model, which makes it a good option for people who are looking for a simple to use no-nonsense machine.
  • Extra large pedals for people with big feet.
  • It doesn’t make a lot of noise. So you can easily watch TV or listen to music.

CONS

  • The pulse sensors might not give you an accurate reading of your heart rate.
  • The level of resistance isn’t automatically adjustable.
  • Some people might not like the feeling of exercising on a non-electric machine; however, this is a matter of personal preference.

4. Schwinn 430

Weight limit: 300 Lb

The 430 is another popular elliptical from the Schwinn fitness brand. This model is similar to the 470, but it also has some differences.

In my opinion, the Schwinn 470 is the more ‘advanced’ model of the two. Although both machines have a maximum weight capacity of 300 Lbs and a similar construction.

For example, the 430 has 22 workout programs, and the 470 has 29 programs. Another difference is the 20 levels of resistance compared to the 25 levels of the 470. For most people, this probably won’t make a huge difference. As the 430 still offers more than enough variation in terms of pre-set programs and resistance levels.

The main difference, in my opinion, is the Bluetooth connectivity which the Schwinn 430 doesn’t have. You can use this to connect with fitness apps to track your progress.

However, it also has a goal tracking system which you can use instead. The goal tracking system saves the statistics from all of your workouts to a particular user profile. This way, you can still keep track of your progression.

For example, the display can show how many calories you’ve burnt in the last 30 days on the machine. Therefore, the goal tracking system is especially useful if you want to set a specific goal for yourself, which is something I highly recommend.

PROS

  • You can use the goal tracking system to set individual goals for yourself, which is useful for weight loss.
  • Sturdy build quality.

CONS

  • The 430 doesn’t have Bluetooth connectivity, which means you can’t connect the machine with the Schwinn fitness app or similar fitness apps.

5. ProForm Hybrid Trainer

Weight limit: 350 Lb

The ProForm Hybrid Trainer is a bit different compared to the other machines in this article. It’s a mix between a recumbent bike and an elliptical machine.

The Hybrid Trainer might be a good choice for people who don’t feel comfortable to stand during every workout on their machine.

The machine itself functions just like a regular elliptical trainer would. You can choose between 16 digital levels of resistance. The simple training computer allows you to adjust the resistance by pressing the buttons on the monitor. The display itself is simple but straight-forward.

Furthermore, it has extra-large adjustable pedals and a stride length of 15 inches. If you also want to use the machine as a recumbent bike, then you can adjust the padded seat to match your height. These are all features which will make your workout more comfortable.

I would recommend this model to anyone who would like or need to vary their workout routine because you can choose between working out while sitting or standing. That’s why it’s especially suitable for users who can’t stand for long periods.

PROS

  • You can use it as a recumbent bike or an elliptical trainer, which might be useful for people with joint problems.
  • It has an integrated tablet holder, which you may want to use to watch your favorite shows while exercising.

CONS

  • It offers integration with iFit, however, to use iFit you’ll have to pay extra. (iFit is an online platform which you can use to vary your exercise routine and keep track of results).

What To Look For In A Heavy Duty Elliptical?

Weight limit

First and foremost, you should always check the maximum weight capacity. If the weight limit is too low, it’s not worth spending your time on researching about the particular model. So make sure you check it right away before everything else.

Additionally, I recommend keeping a decent margin between the weight limit of the elliptical and your body weight. For example, if you weigh 290 Lbs, I wouldn’t go for a machine with a weight limit of 300 Lbs. I would go for a model with a 350 Lbs weight limit instead. Just to stay on the safe side.

Choosing a machine with a relatively higher weight limit reduces the risk of exceeding the maximum weight limit. Exceeding the weight limit might cause your elliptical to break. Plus, if you put less pressure on the machine, you’ll probably experience a smoother workout experience.

Lastly, there’s no typical weight limit. Some might argue that most ellipticals can hold a weight between 250 to 400 Lb. However, this all depends on the model. Commercial models might have a maximum of 400 lb, while basic models may have a maximum weight limit of 250 lb. So make sure you check it!

Flywheel

The flywheel is one of the most critical aspects of your elliptical. The flywheel starts to rotate as soon as you begin to move the pedals. It also controls the amount of resistance. A good flywheel provides a smooth workout experience and helps to reduce noise.

If you’re a heavier person, you will most likely put more pressure on the flywheel than a lighter person. The weight of flywheels can vary a lot. They tend to begin at approximately 10 pounds and go up to about 40 pounds.

It’s hard to say how heavy the flywheel needs to be. It will mainly depend on; how intense you want to exercise, your weight, and your expectations. If you want to be on the ‘safe side’, then I advise choosing a machine with a flywheel of at least 15 to 20 pounds.

Stability

Stability is another important aspect of elliptical machines for heavy people. The stability of your machine is directly linked to the weight of the machine. Heavier ellipticals tend to be more stable. The weight of an elliptical trainer is usually a good indicator of its stability.

Assuming you’re a heavier person, you will want to go for a model which is as heavy as possible. If you’re in doubt between two similar models, I advise going for the machine with the higher overall product weight.

Another aspect that influences the stability is the construction. A solid construction prevents your elliptical from shaking. Especially the design of the base is something you may want to pay extra attention to, as this is the foundation of the machine.

Additionally, you might want to choose a model with a heavy-duty steel frame. How can you tell if the frame is solid? The warranty period usually gives you a good indication of how solid the machine is. This applies to the warranty on the frame as well as the warranty on things like parts and labor.

What are the benefits for heavier people?

Low-impact exercise

A heavy person has to carry more weight. This can put a lot of pressure on the joints when working out. Therefore, if you want to burn calories by working out on a cardio machine, it’s important to choose a low-impact exercise.

A workout on an elliptical is considered a low impact exercise because your feet never leave the pedals. If you would compare a workout on an elliptical to for example, jogging or running on a treadmill, the elliptical is usually less stressful on your lower back, ankles hips and knees. That’s why ellipticals are a good choice for heavier people or people who have knee problems.

Of course, this also depends on the intensity of your workout. Walking on a treadmill puts about the same pressure on your joints as a workout on an elliptical.

Please note: always consult a doctor or personal trainer if you have questions about your particular situation.

Full-body workout

You can burn extra calories by holding the arm poles. This way you will target your lower-body as well as your upper body.

Unlike, for example at an stationary bicycle where the main focus of the machine is at the lower part of your body. On an elliptical, you can train your arms, back, shoulders, chest, and legs at the same time, which is more beneficial if you want to burn those calories.

Long-term challenge

Even when you become fit the machine still offers enough of a challenge, because an elliptical is suited for beginners and more experienced users.

As you progress, you can choose to increase the amount of resistance, start with interval training or increase the time of your workout. So, an elliptical always provides a challenge, even if you’ve lost a significant amount of fat and start to become fit.

Is an elliptical good for weight loss?

Compared to other types of fitness equipment, an elliptical trainer is a good machine for weight loss. According to a Harvard Health Publication, the elliptical is rated as one of the top five exercise machines for weight loss.

During the research, the researchers compared a lot of different 30-minute activities. The elliptical trainer is rated at the 4th place of highest calorie burning activities in the gym. The activities that burn more calories are; skiing on a ski machine, high-impact aerobics, and vigorous cycling on a stationary bike.

125-pound person 155-pound person 185-pound person
Calories burned 270 335 400

Calories burned during a 30-minute workout on an elliptical trainer.

How to use an elliptical if you’re overweight or obese (for max. efficiency)?

If you’re going to use your elliptical to get in shape, you probably want to start burning calories as fast as possible. To be honest, in the first few weeks of using the machine you’ll most likely lose weight on the elliptical no matter what you do (assuming your diet stays about the same). If your progression starts to slow down, you may want to start varying your workout routine.

Changing your routine from time to time is very important to burn calories efficiently because after a certain amount of time your body will most likely get used to your standard workout pattern. If your body gets used to your normal workout routine, you’ll probably burn fewer calories per workout.

Vary your workout routine!

You can vary your workout routine in a lot of different ways. Extending the time you workout is the most obvious one.

If you’re starting out, I suggest beginning with 20 to 30 minutes at a steady pace for at least three times a week. 20-30 minutes of cardio for at least three times a week has a lot of benefits for your health and helps to lose weight.

As you progress, you may want to extend your workout by 5-10 minutes to vary your training. Additionally, you can increase the number of exercises per week. Go from exercising three times a week to four times or even more. Additionally, you can also start with interval training.

If exercising isn’t already part of your daily routine, then I suggest starting slowly. Set a realistic goal. Also, make sure you always ‘listen to your body’ and consult a doctor or fitness instructor if you need one!

Closing recommendations

After reading this article, you’re hopefully closer to making your final decision.

I usually pick one clear winner in these kinds of articles, so that you’ll know my personal preference. However, if you are a heavier person, the weight limit plays an important role in your buying decision.

A 250-pound person usually needs another machine as opposed to a 300-pound user. So that’s why it’s a bit harder for me to pick one clear winner.

If I still had to pick one model, it would be the Schwinn 470. This model is, in my opinion, the ‘winner’ if you weigh less than 300 Lbs. The reasons why I recommend this model are simple.

It’s a reliable machine with useful features, like the Bluetooth connectivity which you can use to connect your device with certain fitness apps. The 10 degrees motorized incline, 25 levels of automatic resistance, combined with the stable build quality are also all reasons why I recommend this particular model.

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