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ProForm 5.9 Lite HIIT Trainer

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weight
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ProForm 5.9 Lite

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L:43.4"
W:26"
H:64.9"
300 lbsEddy
current,
18 lvls
18 workouts,
iFit enabled
Frame: 10 years
Parts: 1 year
Labor: 1 year

We’ve already reviewed the ProForm Cardio HIIT Trainer PFEL09915, so, in this post, we’re going to address the ProForm 5.9 model. This is a lighter model and is considerably more affordable, but still offers an excellent range of features. For reference, this is the ProForm part number PFEL05918.

Key Features and Specifications

  • Assembled dimensions: 43.4L x 26W x 64.9H inches (110L x 66W x 165H cm)
  • Assembled weight: 150 lbs (68 kg)
  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs (136 kg)
  • Elliptical path: 8 inches (20.3 cm) vertical, 5 inches (12.7 cm) horizontal
  • Pedals: Cushioned
  • Handlebars: Mobile and fixed (with pulse sensors)
  • Resistance: Eddy current, 18 levels
  • Console: 18 workout programs, iFit enabled
  • Amenities: Bottle holder, tablet holder, speakers, cooling fan
  • Warranty: Frame lifetime / Parts 1 year / Labor 1 year

Frame and parts

Since it’s a HIIT trainer featuring a vertical path, the ProForm 5.9 has a considerably smaller footprint than most conventional, front-drive elliptical trainers, like the ProForm 520 E or the Sole E25, for example. It is only 43.4″ (110 cm) long, and 26″ (66 cm) wide. Therefore, it should fit in a smaller room or apartment. However, ProForm still recommends leaving at least two feet of clearance all around the unit, for ease of access and usage.

The fully assembled machine is fairly heavy, though. It weighs approx. 150 lbs (68 kg). It also has a low center of gravity; therefore, it offers exceptional stability. Even if you’re close to the maximum specified weight capacity (300 lbs), this trainer won’t rock or move. Plus, it’s rear base bars feature adjustable and rubberized levelers, while the front base has transport wheels which facilitate its relocation.

Needless to say, the machine’s frame is made of steel. However, it also incorporates several ABS parts in its construction. For example, the covers of the drive and resistance elements and the pedal trays are ABS-made. All the steel parts are powder coated with a durable paint finish, highly resistant to corrosion and abrasion. The colors used are black for the base bars and upright mast, and metallic gray for the pedal and armbars. These are the only colors available for this model.

This ProForm elliptical trainer is equipped with two sets of handlebars; on is mobile, the other one is fixed. The mobile handlebars feature longer grips reaching approx. 64.9″ (165 cm) above floor level. They’re directly attached to the pedal bars, so they move for as long as the pedals are moving; they cannot be locked separately from the pedals. The fixed handlebars have shorted grips. They integrate metallic pulse sensors and the machine’s console can keep track of your pulse if you hold on to them.

Elliptical path and step-up height

The ProForm HIIT Trainer 5.9 Lite is basically an elliptical stepper. Therefore, it doesn’t offer the horizontal elliptical path of a regular elliptical trainer. Its elliptical path is 8″ (20.3 cm) vertical and 5″ (12.7 cm) horizontal. This being said, the pedaling motion feels like climbing a set of stairs or using a stairmaster. It puts more focus on the gluteal muscles and thighs, but overall, the machine delivers an excellent full-body workout engaging multiple muscle groups.

As we’ve mentioned above, the machine’s pedal trays are made of durable ABS material. They don’t have articulations but they do have a cushioned surface. Therefore, not only that the trainer’s pedaling motion cancels a great deal from the impact on the joints, the pedals also reduce the workout impact on your feet. Also, the pedals are pretty large; they’re made to accommodate any type of athletic footwear and they have side and front guards for extra foot stability.

The pedal step-up height, differently put, the lowest pedal height is approx. 8″ (20 cm). Therefore, stepping up on the machine shouldn’t be too difficult even for persons with certain disabilities. Conversely, at their top height, the pedals reach approx. 20″ (51 cm) above floor level. This being said, it is recommended to place and use the machine in a room with a ceiling that’s at least 25″ (63.5 cm) higher than your own height.

Drive and resistance

The first aspect to mention here is that ProForm 5.9 Lite HIIT Trainer features a dual belt drive system. This being said, not only that the pedaling motion is very smooth and quiet, it also adds a bit of difficulty to the ride, apart from the tension generated by the resistance system itself. Also, since it’s a belt drive system and the machine doesn’t integrate any chain in its construction, the transmission doesn’t need any lubrication.

The unit’s internal flywheel has a balanced structure for improved pedaling stability. It only weighs 12 lbs (5.4 kg), but this weight shouldn’t affect the consistency of the ride as this HIIT trainer has a magnetic resistance system.

The flywheel is bi-directional; therefore, you can pedal in reverse if you want. This way, you can alternate pedaling sessions in order to focus different muscle groups for a more consistent workout.

The ProForm HIIT Trainer 5.9 Lite is equipped with an eddy current resistance system. This means it requires an external power source for the resistance adjustment to be possible; an AC adapter is included with the unit. It also means that the console can auto-adjust the resistance if a preset program is selected.

The machine makes available 18 levels of resistance. The first level is fairly light, great for low-intensity cardio or recovery training. Conversely, the 18th tension level delivers plenty of resistance for anyone who wants to improve strength and stamina.

Console

The ProForm 5.9 Lite HIIT Trainer is equipped with a pretty inclusive console. To begin with, it has a 5″ LCD display with LED backlight and large digits for improved readability. It tracks time, distance, speed, pulse, RPM, and calories per hour. You can select either miles/MPH or kilometers/kmh for the display of distance and speed. Also, the unit is telemetric. This means it can track your pulse from a wireless HR chest strap.

The console makes available 18 workout programs divided into 3 categories. There are 7 calories workouts, 6 time workouts, and 5 interval workouts. Each program category has its quick key on the console dashboard. Also, there are quick selection keys for the 2, 4, 6, 8, 10,12, 14, 16, and 18 resistance levels.

The console unit is also iFit enabled. This means you can sync it with your smartphone, tablet, or laptop in order to access your iFit account. This way, not only that you can track your progress online, you can also use one of the many interactive virtual workouts in the iFit database. An iFit membership is not included with this machine, though. But nonetheless, if you don’t opt for one, you can still use the onboard workout programs.

The console also has an integrated sound system and a tablet holder. The sound system consists of two speakers placed at the bottom of the unit. Therefore, you can connect your smartphone or tablet to the console via an AUX cable and play your music through the integrated speakers. The tablet holder consists of a small shelf placed below the unit’s controls. This shelf is large enough to accommodate any tablet.

Assembly and Maintenance

The machine’s drive and resistance unit comes pre-assembled. However, you still have to attach the base bars, the console mast, the pedals, the handlebars, and the console. This may take more than an hour. The process is not too complicated, though, and the manual provides very clear step-by-step assembly instructions. Also, all the necessary tools are included.

During the assembly, it’s recommended to grease the machine’s joints so they won’t require any further lubrication for a longer period of time. Once the unit is fully assembled, maintenance only requires you to keep it clean, and periodically check for any loose bolts or parts.

The Pros

  • Sturdy construction – can support users up to 300 lbs;
  • Elegant design;
  • Compact footprint;
  • Transport wheels integrated into the front base;
  • Adjustable stabilizers on the rear base;
  • Cushioned pedals for extra comfort;
  • Pulse reading function (integrated pulse sensors and HR chest strap compatible);
  • Frictionless and automatic eddy current resistance system (18 levels);
  • Dual belt drive system for extra pedaling stability and resistance;
  • LED-backlit console display;
  • 18 preset workout programs;
  • iFit enabled console;
  • Sound system included;
  • Tablet holder included;
  • Bottle holder included;
  • Easy to assemble;
  • Little maintenance required;
  • Excellent warranty.

The Cons

  • iFit membership is not included;
  • HR chest strap is not included;
  • AUX cable for the sound system is not included.

Summary

The ProForm 5.9 Lite HIIT Trainer is an is an elliptical stepper machine featuring 18 levels of eddy current resistance, a set of pedals with extra cushioning, and a console with 18 workout programs. The console is also iFit enabled but the machine does not include an iFit membership. It’s a great machine for light to high-intensity cardio workouts, muscle toning, stamina development, and weight loss. It’s also considerably more affordable than other ProForm steppers and offers excellent value for the price.

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