The Nordictrack Elliptical ACT trainer was something completely different when it was first introduced to the home market over 3 years ago.
It was a center drive elliptical – which means that instead of a large flywheel in front or back of the pedals, there were 2 smaller flywheels on either side. This made the machine much more compact – and also made it look more like a commercial gym machine.
Since then, the ACT has been updated with tweaks here and there every year or so.
Is it still a good buy for you? Here’s a review of the pros and cons of this popular elliptical trainer to help you decide:
Pros of the Nordictrack Elliptical ACT:
#1 Center Drive Design Feels More Natural
Because of this design, you tend to stand more upright on the footpedals as you “run”. The footpedals are also a bit closer together than on a front or rear drive machine.
These 2 factors make for a more natural feel – and an overall more comfortable workout. Some people also feel that because you’re more upright and not leaning on the handrails as much, you’re also burning more calories.
#2 More Compact Design
The ACT is a very compact elliptical – in fact it is Nordictrack’s most compact machine. With a footprint of only 51″ long by 34.5″ wide, it’s perfect for smaller home gyms, condos or apartments.
#3 iFit LIVE
This is something you don’t find on other brands. The ACT comes with iFit LIVE compatibility. iFit LIVE connects your elliptical to the internet. From there you can download new workouts from Jillian Michaels where she coaches you through your workout.
You can also map out new trails to run using Googlemaps and even track your workouts over time to see how far you’ve come. You don’t need iFit to use this trainer, but it’s a great tool if you want to try it for added motivation.
#4 Adjustable Stride
The ACT has an easily adjustable stride setting. You can choose from 18, 20 or 22 inch strides. Stride is the furthest distance between the pedals – and is largely based on your height.
The adjustable stirde makes this a great option for multi-user households as everyone can choose the stride the feels most comfortable for them.
#5 iPod Dock
Although this is getting fairly common, it’s still a great feature that will make your workouts a lot more fun. You can plug in your iPod and listen to your favorite tunes through the console speakers.
So those are the pros – what about the cons?
Well, there are a few you should be aware of before you buy:
#1 No Incline Option
Because of the limits of the center drive design, there is no option for incline. You don’t need incline to get a good workout – but many people do like it.
#2 Dual Color Console
The console is bright and easy to read – but unlike the higher end ACT 7 or 10 models which come with multi-color consoles – the ACT console is smaller and dual color only. This means you do lose a bit with the iFit programs and the maps function.
So that’s a quick rundown of what you should know about the Nordictrack Elliptical ACT. Is it a good buy for you?
While it doesn’t have some of the bells and whistles of higher end machines, if you’re looking for a more compact elliptical with a natural feel and lots of entertaining options – for under $1000, it’s definitely worth considering.