The Proform Cardio HIIT Trainer is a spin on the traditional elliptical, with its motion that mimics stair-climbing more than running.
It gives you a 10-inch vertical climb, with just a 5-inch horizontal stride length. This actually works your leg muscles harder and maximizes calories burned in the time you exercise.
It’s still low-impact and easy on your joints, and because it’s more vertically built, it takes up minimal space in your home.
Keep reading to see how we rated this trainer across key criteria.
Overall Elliptical Rating: 4/5
- Compact design smaller than typical home ellipticals
- High intensity for a challenge at any skill level
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Great warranty included
- Stair climbing motion is more challenging for those who want an option for easier intensity
- Foot pedals may squeak after long-term use
ProForm Video Overview
- 28-lb flywheel creates smoother movement along the footpath
- Syncs with iFit for live training options
- Cushioned oversized foot pedals and multi-grip handlebars for an ergonomic fit
- 24 resistance settings
- 32 auto workout programs
Here’s how we think this home equipment measures up across a few important categories.
Coming in at $1,000, the ProForm HIIT trainer is decently priced considering the value it packs and the warranty included.
It offers an impressive performance level typically found only in high-end ellipticals over $1,000.
With 24 resistance options and a 28-lb flywheel, this equipment is designed to challenge any skill level.
Since there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee on the product, you’re not taking a risk when you buy, since you have a month to test it out.
Reliability and Warranty: 4/5
ProForm puts a lifetime warranty on the device’s frame, a 3-year warranty on parts, and a 1-year warranty to cover labour costs.
The warranties on parts and labour aren’t particularly long, but are comparable to the warranties on other equipment at the same price point.
We give the ProForm a 4 out of 5 for reliability because many users have reported issues and parts breaking down.
The device is not water-resistant, so it’s important to wipe down when you’re sweating to avoid breaking the console.
The manual has a lot of information about maintenance, care and troubleshooting.
Stability and Quality: 4/5
It’s made by a fitness equipment company of good repute, which speaks to the quality of the machine’s build.
The equipment weighs 130 pounds and can accommodate weight up to 350 pounds.
You can count on feeling safe due to its stability, even when you’re working the machine at your full capacity.
The 28-lb flywheel makes a smooth glide for the arm handles and foot pedals, so that the machine frame doesn’t move.
Happy customers note that despite the vertical height and small floor space this machine takes up, there’s no side-to-side rocking motion with this device.
There are many stabilizers that go into its build, resulting in a sturdy frame that remains still.
Size and Comfort: 5/5
Compared to the typical cardio trainer like an elliptical or treadmill, the ProForm HIIT trainer requires a lot less space.
It’s not necessarily much smaller, but it’s built in a more vertical way with a short 5-inch stride and tall 10-inch vertical climb.
The footprint of space it takes on the floor is just 52 by 29.25 inches, or about 4 ⅓ by 2 ½ feet.
Since it only takes the same space as an oversized chair, you can work it in with other furniture pieces in your space.
Or, place it in your home gym without taking too much of your equipment space.
The ProForm isn’t designed in a way for it to fold up, but it has front-mounted transport wheels so you can roll the device when you need to move it.
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) can be uncomfortable or even harmful for the body in certain cases.
While HIIT isn’t recommended for everyone, the ProForm makes intensity intervals possible without the impact or strain on your joints.
Whereas running or climbing stairs puts stress on your knees, hips and ankles from the impact of your weight, you keep your feet on the cushioned foot pedals when using this device.
This takes away the impact, so you can avoid wear and tear that leads to inflammation and pain.
Keep in mind, you need to bend your knees deeper using this machine than on an elliptical. If your knees are weak or injury-prone, you’re better suited for a regular elliptical or a recumbent trainer like the Teeter FreeStep.
The foot pedals on the ProForm are generously oversized, giving you plenty of space to find the footing that feels right.
Unfortunately, the pedals aren’t adjustable for changing your footing, and you can’t change the stride length or height.
Built-in features that add comfort to your workout include a drink bottle holder, 2-speed cooling fan, media device shelf for holding your tablet or phone, and Bluetooth-enabled audio speakers.
Since the ProForm trainer focuses on high intensity interval training, it offers 24 different resistance levels you can instantly adjust on the touch screen console.
The resistance works your legs as well as your arms, since the handlebars also offer you tension for the boxing-like motion they create.
There are multiple grip positions you can use on the handlebars to target different muscle groups in your core, arms, shoulders and chest.
We give the ProForm a 4 out of 5 for resistance because of the tension intensity it provides, enabling you to build strong glutes, calves, quads and hamstrings, as well as upper body muscles.
Since it has a 28-pound flywheel with a link-free magnetic resistance system, the tension you get is smooth, with no popping or jerking.
The reason we can’t give it a 5 out of 5 is that many users feel limited by the short 5-inch stride length.
Considering most ellipticals have stride lengths as long as 15 to 20 inches, you’re getting less of a range of motion with the ProForm.
Since you can’t adjust the stride length, you can’t train the muscles required for longer strides and it could potentially lead to muscle imbalance.
Some users say the stair-climbing motion feels limiting because they’re not able to get as much movement in their legs compared to the wider actions required on a bike, treadmill or elliptical.
The resistance system that enables you to move between 24 different tension levels at the push of a button is powered by magnetism.
This makes resistance changes noiseless.
The solid, sturdy build of the machine, which prevents the frame from rumbling and shaking during your workout, also makes it quiet.
Unfortunately, some customers have reported the foot pedals and the machine base itself becoming squeaky over time.
However, these cases could be mechanical issues requiring repair.
We give the ProForm a 4 out of 5 for noise because while it’s quiet when operating at its best, loud noises seem to crop up with use for some customers, even after just days or weeks.
We love the bluetooth-enabled sound system on this device, featuring 2-inch speakers. If music is critical to your workouts, you’ll love the sound you get on this device, and you won’t need headphones.
The 7-inch LCD display on the console shows you all your metrics and progress tracked during your workout.
However, the machine itself doesn’t store your workout data.
If you want to store your workout data, you can sync the device with iFit–an app that tracks your goals and offers trainer-led classes.
However, this requires an iFit membership for a monthly fee of $39.
Because this is $1,000 training equipment, we give it a 3 out of 5 for features.
The audio speaker is nice, but the fact that you can’t create a user profile and save your workout data or settings on the device is a disappointment.
On the plus side, there are 32 preset workout programs you can choose from, but you can’t create your own custom program.
Should You Buy the ProForm HIIT Trainer?
For a compact, well-built, high-intensity trainer at home, we definitely recommend the Proform Cardio HIIT Trainer. People looking to get the same results at home as they could at a gym have been happy with what this equipment is able to provide.
It’s a good value for the price, considering the features it has and the challenging HIIT workouts it can provide within minimal space.
Although some users have had issues with it making noises after months of use, the company puts decent warranty coverage on the product.