Technogym Synchro Forma Elliptical review

Technogym Synchro Forma EllipticalPrice: £2990
Buy From:
Fitness Superstore

Ease of use: 5
Console features: 3.5
Value for money: 4
Comfort: 4
Build quality: 5
Overall rating: 4

If you’re looking for gym quality, the Technogym Synchro Forma doesn’t disappoint, as you’d expect at that price point. Before trying out this offering from Technogym, I was already aware of the influence of this brand, and have used their commercial Excite range of cardio equipment in the gym. Technogym is a popular brand in gyms across the world and are renowned for their quality and technological innovation (hence the name “Techno”gym, I guess!)

The big pros

The Synchro Forma Elliptical has been adapted for the home, based on the club models. The first thing I noticed about the Synchro was its presence. It looks really solid and sleek, just like the commercial elliptical I’m familiar with. Using the machine, it felt incredibly stable and as strong as the one I use in the gym, very unlike some of the other cheaper models I’ve tried.

In terms of exercise quality, I really enjoyed using the Synchro. The long arms on the machine feel great and I could really feel it in my arms when I cranked up the resistance, of which there are a respectable 12 levels. The movement is quite unique and felt different from other ellipticals, thanks in part to its ergonomic pedal spacing, which sets them wider apart. It felt almost like walking up a hill, which my wife loved when she had a go as she could feel it working the muscles in her backside. It also gives a real burn on the quads.}

For me, a decent console is so important, and the Synchro’s is really easy to use. Navigation is simple and gave me all the information that I want to see in separate windows, such as my speed, distance and calories burned. Personally, I can’t stand it when I am trying to keep a steady speed and the screen changes. The Synchro doesn’t do that. It’s a shame that there aren’t quick level keys as I find those useful, especially for when doing intervals, but the resistance does change pretty quickly with handy resistance buttons in the handlebars.

The iPad holder on it is great and holds your iPad really tight. I’ve been on the Synchro many times now and I haven’t been worried yet that it will fall off, no matter how hard I’m pushing myself.

Technogym Forma Training link

The Training Link feature is also a big plus on the Synchro. This allows you to track your progress more effectively and brings you engaging workout options via the Training App. It was easy to get started – I simply connected my iPad via Bluetooth and I could upload all my results to my online account. The Training App also lets you listen to music and watch videos. Plus, as it allows multiple accounts, my wife could set up her separate training diary too.

The Synchro is a great machine, and the only thing that might pose a problem is the price, which is quite steep for a home elliptical. However, that said, the Synchro is very high level and does deliver what it promises.


The Synchro Forma is a great bit a kit and worth the money. I would recommend getting the Training Link when you buy it, as it does cost more to add it on. If you want your home kit to feel just like the machines in the gym, then this is a great elliptical to invest in.

Buy Technogym Synchro Forma Elliptical at FItness Superstore. They have some great finance options too, including 0% interest.

Octane Q35C Elliptical Review

Price: £1,899
Buy From:
Fitness Superstore

Ratings (out of 5)
Overall Rating:
Ease of use: 5
Console Features: 3.5
Value for Money: 3.5
Comfort: 5

The Q35C elliptical from Octane is their entry level cross trainer. Don’t be fooled however, into thinking that this is an entry level product. Octane Fitness are one of the world’s premier manufacturers of ellipticals. One of the reasons they are so good at what they do is because it is the only type of fitness product they make.

The stride pattern and shape of movement on their machines is unlike any other. This is because they have focused their attentions on making the workout as natural as possible by mapping to the body’s natural biomechanics. This enables users to concentrate more on putting effort into resistance levels rather than having to overcome the more usual bouncing stride of most other cross trainers. The movement is flatter and far more like a running motion which virtually eliminates any heel lift resulting in more leg muscles being used therefore creating a much more efficient workout.

The stride length is 20.5 inches and the pedals are spaced at less than 2 inches which will suit almost everyone, with only very tall users over 193cm perhaps finding it a little on the short side. Despite the not inconsiderable stride length this elliptical does not have a large foot print. At just 66cm wide by 166cm long the Q35c would be considered compact in comparison to the alternatives at this price point in the market and this is due to Octane’s patented Quadlink drive mechanism.

The upper body moving arms are also well positioned to allow maximum engagement of the core muscles and ensure users retain good posture when working out.  The console is well laid out and easy to read with all the essential workout feedback displayed. Program wise there are 10 preset options providing variety and challenge for all levels of fitness.  There is also the X-mode option which has timed random exercise prompts to break up the monotony of a workout and ensure you are pushing yourself.

GluteKicker and Arm Blaster are two other program variants unique to Octane to focus on upper or lower body accordingly.  Hear rate monitoring is available via the contact grips on the static handles although use of a telemetric wireless strap is excluded as the console has no polar chip. This is a surprising omission on a product at this level and value however   this feature is included on the higher spec Q37ci model. The whole machine feels substantial and is backed by a 5 year parts and 2 year labour warranty.



  • Fantastic natural biomechanics
  • Compact footprint
  • Effective upper body workout



  • Lack of wireless heart rate option and heart rate programs
  • Console a little basic considering the price.

In summary then, if you are looking for a cross trainer with the best ergonomics and the most natural movement the Q35C is better than any other cross trainer out there for this sort of money. The lack of console features won’t put everyone off as there are enough options for the majority. Its compact size and bombproof build quality will also appeal to many although the premium price may not as much.

Price: £1,899
Buy From:
Fitness Superstore

Life Fitness X1 Cross Trainer Review

Life Fitness X1 Cross Trainer Track ConsolePrice: £2,095
Buy From: Fitness Superstore

Ratings (out of 5)
Overall Rating:
Build Quality: 5
Ease of use: 5
Console Features: 5
Value for Money: 4



The Life Fitness brand is well known throughout the world due to its prominence in gyms and health clubs. It can quite often be the only experience of a cross trainer that people have had.

Life Fitness have a large range of both commercial and home use models, ranging from the X1 model reviewed here right up to the impressive club series integrity range.  So, what can you expect from the X1?  Firstly, as with previous models there are two console options, with the more basic GO and the more advanced TRACK.  The track console incorporates iPOD/iphone compatibility with integrated controls to adjust the volume and make track changes.  No speakers are included so headphones would still be required, however it does remove the need to fiddle with your ipod during your workout and it does seem that more and more manufacturers are starting to include this type of technology in their ranges.

Life Fitness X1 Cross Trainer Track Console, ConsoleThe track console also includes a virtual trainer facility which allows users to create workouts, track results and progress online and then connect to the console directly via USB or by using the rather innovative Life Fitness virtual trainer App. There are also a huge number of programs available from the console directly including heart rate control, interval training and goal base workouts.  Up to 4 user profiles can be created and a wireless chest strap is included.  Despite this sophistication it was still easy to navigate and felt quite intuitive to use.

This is no small unit at just over 2 metres long (206cm L x 76cm W) and the stride length is substantial as a result. 20 inches should, broadly speaking cater for the majority of users quite comfortably with only exceptionally tall users (195cm and over) potentially finding the stride a bit short.  The whisper stride technology that Life Fitness use means that operation is silent and smooth regardless of the resistance level.

It feels solid and very well made and the maximum user weight of 158kg (29 stone) reflects this. The warranty is a very respectable onsite 3 years parts and labour, it has quite a contemporary style and is certainly on a par with other prestige brands like Octane Fitness or Precor Fitness in terms of features and specification.


  • Feature packed console
  • Good biomechanics and decent stride length.


  • None really, although the price point means that the X1 will only be an option for those with a reasonable budget and space to match.

In summary then, a quality elliptical that looks and feels every bit a prestige piece of fitness equipment. Lots of programs included with a smooth comfortable ride, catering for users of all shapes and sizes.

Price: £2,095
Buy From: Fitness Superstore