The Home Buyers Guide To Choosing An Elliptical Trainer

By The Treadmill Sensei

Even in the depths of the DOJO do I hear your cries: “But, Treadmill Sensei, long ago you told us how to properly choose a home treadmill, but when will you share with us your wisdom on picking an elliptical trainer?”

Wonder no more as the Treadmill Sensei has heard your pleas and answer them with his most learned of words. I bring you the:

The Treadmill Sensei’s Home Buyers Guide to Choosing an Elliptical Trainer

Over the past few years Elliptical trainers have taken the fitness industry by storm. What was once a fad relegated to late night infomercials is now perhaps the single most dominant piece of equipment at the majority of gyms and personal training centers.

Let’s start with the guide by taking a look at the differences between a treadmill and an elliptical trainer. The most immediate thing you’re going to notice is that the elliptical is almost entirely impact free. This means you will no longer be subjected to the lower joint pain most associated with running. Even a treadmill with great shock absorbtion and an orthopedic belt, while better than running on pavement, will still abuse your knees and ankles.

On the flip side, a treadmill is much better for targeted training for joggers and runners. You can’t really train properly for a marathon on an elliptical. As close as the feel of an elliptical is to walking or running, it’s still not as good as actually running.

Now, let’s take a look at the “pain” of running. Recent studies have shown people to work out hard and longer on ellipticals because the perceived amount of effort seems to be much less. The more “comfortable” a work out, the longer and hard someone will go. This is one of the main reasons a lot of seniors and older exercisers have taken to the elliptical so readily.

Another glaring difference is the crosstraining arms most ellipticals have (with a few exceptions such as the majority of the Precor elliptical units). With the addition of the crosstraining bars, the elliptical allows you an additional aspect in your work out — strength training. Almost all fitness experts agree that all proper workouts need a strength training aspect and the elliptical packages it with the cardio training quite nicely.

Let’s talk about what to look for in an elliptical trainer. First, which is better, a front wheel or rear wheel elliptical. Truth be told, they both work exactly the same. Anyone who tells you differently is just trying to see you a bill of goods. They give you the exact same workout. The only real difference is if you’re a larger person or if you’re on a lighter weight (or less sturdy) machine. In this case, the front drives will definitely feel quite a bit sturdier. This is because when you work out on an elliptical, you are throwing all of your weight forward. Having the drive and heavy flywheel up front will help to balance you out. Larger flywheels are better as they tend to last longer and give more sturdiness to a machine.

Most elliptical trainers have magnetic brakes and you don’t want to mess with anything else. The old friction based brakes tended to wear out too quickly, so stay away from any dinosaur machines that still use them.

Stride is one of the most important features on an elliptical because they have the most to do with comfort. Longer strides are better on ellipticals — unless, of course, you’re a shorter person, but for most people strides of 18″ or longer are best. Personally, I’ve find 20-21 inch strides to be the best for anyone up to about 6’4″. Anything shorter than 18″ will be uncomfortable for most people.

Footpads: make sure the unit you are looking at has articulating footpads. The reason for this is because elliptical traininers with static footpads (such as the Tunturi units) can cause your feet to start to go numb on longer work outs. This is from the lack of circulation caused by the static pedals. Looks for footpads that flex with your feet. You’ll thank the sensei for it.

Things like programs, heart rate control and personal fans are nice, but the above points are the main things to keep an eye on. Also, try out the feel of the way you mount an elliptical. There are two varieties of mounting — side mount machines (such as the Precor 546 or Star Trac Rear Drive) and rear mount machines (such as the Matrix E5x or Horizon EX44). Some people have a bit of difficulty on mounting from the side and should look at rear drive options. As with the position of the flywheel, rear-mount versus side-mount ellipticals work exactly the same way.

The best way to pick out an elliptical is to head out to either a gym or local sports retailer and give them a try. Be warned, tho, once you work out on a commercial grade elliptical, it’s hard to transition over to a residential grade one. The top of the line commercial ellipticals are by Star Trac, Matrix, Precor and Life Fitness. The top residential grade ellipticals include Horizon, New Balance and Endurance. Fitnex and Spirit / Sole are great mid range brands that do an exellent job of giving commercial quality work outs for not much more than a residential price.

That’s it for the Sensei.

-The Treadmill Sensei

About the Author: The Treadmill Sensei: Treadmill and Elliptical Ratings and Reviews from the Master


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Elliptical Trainer – Health Benefits For Hearts, And Hips

By Rika Susan

Having an elliptical trainer as a cardio workout companion pays handsome health dividends. Improved cardiovascular function, overall conditioning, and healthy weight loss due to a revved up metabolism, are all part and parcel of the benefits of an elliptical trainer package.

Although these machines were primarily developed as a low-impact exercise solution, elliptical trainers have become superb general fitness tools, as discussed at They offer continuous motion, without the commotion, so to speak!

With the help of the firm footing provided by the elliptical trainer’s footpads or footplates, the user ‘walks’ with a natural, smooth, flowing movement. The result is bone-strengthening, weight-bearing, fat-burning, aerobic exercise, without the jarring that is a major cause of joint injuries.

You will have a riot on your hands if only your hips, glutes, and legs are called to ‘gym’ service. Maintain bodily harmony and peace, by looking at elliptical trainers that sport crosstraining handlebars. This will get your upper body into the game, placating complaining hips and thighs.

By following this strategy, you maximize the calorie-burning benefit you derive from your time on the elliptical trainer. At the same time, you will be strengthening your arms, back, chest, and shoulders.

Elliptical Trainer – A Basic Checklist:

Adjustable Resistance: As your body adapts to the cardio workout, and your aerobic capacity increases, you will need an adjustable resistance feature to maintain the effectiveness off the elliptical trainer program. Look for a machine that offers this feature at the push of a button. You don’t want to lose your momentum, while changing gear.

Backing Up Is Beneficial: An elliptical trainer should offer both forward and reverse motion. This prevents repetitive strain injuries, by cajoling different muscles into action. It also adds variety to your exercise routine, maintaining interest.

Concise Consoles: Make sure that you will be able to understand the workings of the elliptical trainer’s console. Functionality and clear programming are vital. Some machines conveniently accommodate more than one user.

Do-It-Yourself: Most elliptical trainers feature a wide variety of pre-set programs – more than enough to test your limits for some time. However, you may want the option to customize programs to allow for your particular needs. Check that this will be possible.

Even Fluency: When testing an elliptical trainer, a clear sign of the quality of the machine, is the fluency of the motion, and a low noise level. Any sign of instability, is a sign to focus on a different model.

Footprint Fit: If space is a problem, an elliptical trainer may be an ideal option, as it usually is quite a compact piece of fitness equipment. Many models come with wheels for no-fuss mobility.

Heart Rate Monitor: Most elliptical trainers feature hand grip sensors on the handlebars. In any cardiovascular exercise program, it is vital to monitor your heart rate, in order to make adjustments to the workout intensity. A heart monitor strap may also be available.

Incline Incentive: A quality elliptical trainer will have as one of its features, an 0% to 10% adjustable incline, allowing you to up the ante as your muscle power increase. For maximum cardiovascular and strength-building benefits, it is important to retain an element of challenge in your routine.

Jolts And Jars: When testing an elliptical trainer, look for a completely smooth movement, without any jolts or bouncyness in the footpads.

Knee-Demands: An elliptical trainer often is a suitable option to consider, if you are experiencing any knee problems. The natural movement promotes proper alignment of ankle, knee, and hip. However, it is always safe to check with a health practitioner, if you have any medical concerns.

Length Of Stride: Test the elliptical trainer to make sure that it is completely comfortable. Don’t let the machine cramp your style!

All the prominent manufacturers have designed state-of-the-art, feature-rich crosstrainers. The only way to make sure that you find the perfect partner for your cardio workout, is to thoroughly test a wide range of elliptical trainers.

About the Author: Also read the Winsor Pilates article at – Copyright Rika Susan of Please reprint with links intact.


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A Complete Review on the Schwinn 418 Elliptical Trainer

By Joie Charles

“I am too busy.”

“I do not have the time.”

“It’s too hard.”

These are the sentences we say whenever we are asked why we do not exercise. Well, in a world where each minute counts, it really is such a shame ti waste a 20 minute drive to the nearest gym when you can be using that to earn money or spend time with your family.

This is why home fitness machines are getting more and more popular each day. They provide an easy way for us to get in shape and at the same time, offer a better living lifestyle.

If you are serious in getting a home fitness equipment, you may want to consider the Schwinn 418 Elliptical Trainer. This machine was tagged as the best home equipment in 2005 and even though that may be some years back, it is still a pretty decent machine.

Here are some details of the Schwinn 418 Elliptical Trainer.

• In terms of stride, although the current Sole e35 may have a longer stride of 20 inches, the Schwinn 418 Elliptical Trainer can still compare at an 18 inch stride. Besides, if you have a petite frame, you may not need a too long stride.

• For its resistance, it has 8 resistance levels, making it suitable both for those just coming out of the exercise-less rut and for those who have been seriously training for quite some time. It is also very convenient to change your resistance level as it is done electronically, without breaking your stride. No need to get off and adjust belts for this machine.

• If you are a fan of change, then the 12 programs of the Schwinn 418 Elliptical Trainer will truly help you exercise. It has 12 different work out programs like manual, one fitness test, rolling, valley, 2 heart rate, fat burn, mountain, intervals, ramp, random, plateau among others. This will keep your work out interesting and break any monotony that can lead to boredom, then laziness.

• Heart rate can be monitored either through the hand grips or you can strap on a chest strap. This may not be as “cool” as a telemetric wireless heart rate checker but it can still perform its task of approximating your heart rate.

• It has a great warranty deal for the frame of 15 years although you can only get 6 months of free labor on it.

• They say that the more you see your progress, the more pumped up you become in your exercise. Fortunately, the Schwinn 418 Elliptical Trainer has a built in LED monitor that will give you data on your progress like the number of cals burned, the time, heart rate, rpm’s, speed and even resistance level.

• The machine also has a handy bottle holder to hold your energy drink or your water while you exercise.

Bottom line is the Schwinn 418 Elliptical Trainer may no longer be the best home fitness equipment out there, but for its price, it works decent. Best of all, it serves its basic purpose.

About the Author: To get information about another Schwinn machine, visit our Schwinn 438 elliptical trainer review. If you want to get the best information about ellipticals, visit our elliptical fitness equipment guide.


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SMOOTH FITNESS CE 7.4 ELLIPTICAL TRAINER Efficient and fun, elliptical machines have become one of the most popular forms of exercise today. Ideal for toning muscles and burning calories, elliptical machines provide an invigorating low-impact, total body workout. For those who want professional results without a costly fitness club membership, the CE 7.4 elliptical cross trainer from Smooth Fitness is the perfect choice. Built to commercial standards, the Smooth CE 7.4 gives you everything you need to achieve results beyond your expectations. Choose from eight challenging preset programs or customize each session to meet our own personal fitness level. Complete with a wireless heart rate monitor, handgrip pulse sensors, and tilt and go wheels, The Smooth CE 7.4 has more features than other elliptical trainers that cost up to $2000 more. In business for over 20 years, Smooth Fitness also provides a “worry free” warranty with one year of in house repair. For more information or to order your Smooth Fitness elliptical trainer, please visit or call toll free at 888-211-1611.


Nordic Track Elliptical Trainer With Spacesaver

By Jim Kesel

The Nordic Track elliptical cross trainer has a lot of very desirable features that most elliptical trainer user’s desire. The Nordic Track SpaceSaver feature allows the crosstrainer to be folded up for space saving. New design features allow the user to adjust the length of their stride. Changing the stride length allows the targeting of specific muscle groups and facilitates calorie burn. A shorter stride will tighten and lift the buttocks, slim the hips and tone the hamstrings to eliminate the formation of cellulite. A medium stride and fast pace will provides a great cardio workout. The longer stride increases endurance and gives you a high calorie burn workout.

Nordic Track elliptical machines are known to be the best value for the money on the market today. In general Nordic Track elliptical cross trainers are well made and relatively sturdy. Their main features include:

• Adjustable stride length, Stride length adjusts from 14 to 18 inches.

• Changeable intensity levels on the fly with 10 different levels.

• Clear and easy to read LED readout on the console

• Smooth stride that is without jerky or bumpy movements

• Heart rate monitor on the handrails with no attached wires to get in the way.

• Nordic Track SpaceSaver Technology that allows the elliptical cross trainer to be folded up after use.

• Two speed cooling fan that will keep you cool as you burn calories. This simple feature will allow you to workout longer in cool comfort.

• Large comfortable pedals that allow you to adjust your foot position for comfort and to target different muscle groups.

All these feature come together to make the Nordic Track elliptical trainer a good piece of exercise equipment that will help you stay in shape. As a rule of thumb in terms of value and reliability you should expect to pay about $1000 for a good elliptical cross trainer. Currently the median Internet price for the best Nordic Track elliptical is about $800. This is substantially lower then the in store MSRP.

When ever you are purchasing any piece of exercise equipment you need to look closely at the provided standard warranty. Many manufactures only provide bare bones 90 day warranty. This means you must consider purchasing or negotiating for an extended warranty. An ideal warranty should cover at least 1 year of labor and 2 to 3 years parts. Warranties should cover the electronics/console, motor, brakes, frame and all labor costs.

The features of the NordicTrack elliptical make it a great value. Elliptical trainers are about the best piece of exercise equipment that you can own. They allow you to lose weight, tone up and conduct a total body workout all with one convenient piece of exercise equipment. The NordicTrack SpaceSaver Elliptical is an exceptional piece of equipment.

About the Author: James Kesel< MS. is the publisher of Elliptical Trainer Information website, We have information on Nautilus, Nordic Track, Life Fitness, ProForm, Tunturi, Schwinn,Reebok, Horizon, and Vision elliptical trainers and cross trainers.


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Stamina 55-1610 InMotion E1000 Elliptical Trainer Video

Stamina 55-1610 InMotion e1000 elliptical trainer review! Stamina 55-1610 In Motion e1000 Elliptical Trainer comes with a foot-pedal only chassis that can easily be kept under the desk. The Trainer weighs 24 pounds so it is light enough to be carried to the office! The body of the chassis is made from steel. The pedals are non-slippery allowing you to workout without any support or fear of falling. E1000 Elliptical Trainer machine is also equipped with an electronic monitor to track your workout time and calories burnt. Product features include: foot pedal only chassis that fits handily under a desk; lightweight, easy to assemble and use at home or office; low-impact design for knee, hip and ankle protection; strides, exercise tune, and calories are tracked; steel construction with non-slip pedals. Amazon customers liked Stamina 55-1610 InMotion E1000 because its small and light weight, and the foot pedal alone proved sufficient for even intense workouts. Some reviewers stated that they constantly carried their elliptical machine to work along with them in a car. They added that workout is easy and does not look diffcult despite the initial fear one may have of falling. A few customers however said that the range of workout options is limited because there is not much resistance to motion, but felt that because it offers a natural position for workout, the workout with Stamina 55-1610 InMotion E1000 Elliptical Trainer is very beneficial.

Go here to see the original: Stamina 55-1610 InMotion E1000 Elliptical Trainer Video

Nordic Track Elliptical Trainer Information

By Jim Kesel

The Nordic Track brand name is now owned by Icon Health and Fitness which is one of the largest manufactures of fitness equipment in the world. Nordic Track is known for their SpaceSaver elliptical trainers that have several good features that are unique to a low to mid level elliptical machines. One of their best features is found on Nordic Track ellipticals is the incline ramp on the model CX 938 and CX 1055. This allows you to change the angle and shape of the elliptical stride to work different muscle groups of the lower body. This feature makes this elliptical trainer a true cross trainer.

The Nordic Track Stride Thru or right system also changes the length of stride. Ranging from 18 to 21 inches the stride targets specific muscles groups. The shorter stride will work, tighten and raise the buttocks and slim the hips while the longer strides will help burn calories. The pedals on most models are large enough to allow you to comfortable place your feet for long rides. The upper body workout using the simulated ski poles along with the long strides will also keep you from losing upper body strength and mass that normally accompanies cardio exercise.

Nordic Track elliptical trainers are equipped with SMR (silent magnetic resistance) from Icon that allows a fairly smooth ride. This system allows you to change resistance on the fly without interrupting your workout routine. Nordic Track elliptical trainers like many of Icons elliptical machines have the reputation of being noisy and clunky. The higher end elliptical trainers apparently do not have this problem. Nordic Track includes between 10 and 19 workout programs with its elliptical trainers that will fit most people.

Nordic Track ellipticals also have a console with easy to read LED scan that lets you read it from almost any angle. EKG handle bars will also give you fairly accurate heart rate readings. On some models you must hold the sensors fairly tightly for more than 15 seconds to get any reading at all and on other models the grip sensors give you a read out fairly quickly. Mid range and higher Nordic Track elliptical machines have multi-speed fans which are really appreciated during long rides in non air conditioned sites.

Elliptical trainers costing less than $1100.00 are design for infrequent use in a residential setting. If you are planning on using your elliptical trainer more than twice a week for hard intense rides lasting more than 30 minutes then you should seriously consider moving up to a higher end elliptical machine. Nordic Track has a fairly good warranty that covers frame, parts and labor for one year. It is imperative that if you are purchasing a mid level elliptical trainer that you invest in an extended warranty.

Nordic Track elliptical trainers are very popular. We recommend the mid level ($500 to $900) elliptical machines for casual in home use. Elliptical trainers are probably the best piece of fitness equipment on the market.

About the Author: James Kesel< MS. is the publisher of Elliptical Trainer Information website, We have information on Nautilus, Nordic Track, Life Fitness, ProForm, Tunturi, Schwinn,Reebok, Horizon, and Vision elliptical trainers and cross trainers.


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Proform 675 Cardiocross Elliptical Trainer Problems

By Jim Kesel

The Proform 675 CardioCross Elliptical Trainer typically sells for $300.00. This elliptical is touted to have an instant feedback display, features a large LCD window that allows users to keep track of key facts like, calories burned, pulse, time, speed, and distance traveled. The Proform’s console sports a Coolaire Workout Fan. The Proform 675 allows users to adjust the intensity of their workout with the help of adjustable electromagnetic resistance. The Elliptical Proform 675 offers a fourteen inch stride. The longer stride is offered in an effort to provide Elliptical users with longer muscles, and the ability to grab a long range of motion.

All these features really make the Proform 675 Elliptical Trainer sound like a great elliptical. However, This is a very cheaply made piece of exercise equipment. It also has only a 90 day warranty.

We spent a good deal of time looking at customer reviews and talking to owners and operators who have used the Proform 675 CardioCross Elliptical trainer. The number one complaint heard from users beyond the poor quality was short 14 inch stride that this elliptical provides. One individual stated that it was more like a stepper than an elliptical.

After reviewing Proform 675 elliptical on line reviews we could only find 3 that would recommend this elliptical trainer. Most comments were that it broke down was fixed and shortly thereafter broke down again. Cheap parts were also cited frequently. It appears that most of the Proform ellipticals broke down within six months.

We strongly recommend that you look at other competitors models prior to purchasing this elliptical. As with any piece of fitness equipment you should physically test any elliptical you are considering to purchase. Take you workout clothes and do a normal to slightly more intense workout right at the dealers. If they say you cannot take it for a test ride, find another dealer.

About the Author: James Kesel, MS For more information and reviews of the Proform 675 CardioCross Elliptical Trainer visit our popular website Elliptical Trainer Reviews.


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Elliptical Trainers : Elliptical Trainers: Advanced Programs

The strength training program is an advanced program for the elliptical trainer that helps build endurance. Learn about advanced workout programs with tips from a personal trainer in this free video on elliptical trainers. Expert: Hank Odluski Bio: Hank Odluski has been a personal trainer for over 10 years at The Basic Gym, which is located on 1584 South Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs, Calif. Filmmaker: Nili Nathan

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2012 Elliptical Trainer Best Buys

By Fred Waters

Fred Waters author of the Fitness Equipment Source web site. He has worked in the fitness equipment industry for over 15 years and has been providing elliptical trainer reviews over the years to literally 100s of thousands of potential customers. Every year he comes out with his elliptical trainer Best Buy recommendations to assist people in finding the very best value for their body and their budget. He has personally visited the corporate headquarters of each of the models mentioned below and has talked to their top executives. This gives me the type of insight you will not find on other elliptical review sites.

For 2012 there is a continuing trend to offer better quality, more innovation and overall better value . What you can get on a elliptical trainer today would have cost considerably more several years ago.

Our first choice at the competitive $999 is the 2012 NordicTrack AudioStrider 990 PRO. Both the ergonomic features and the innovative technology make it an exceptional deal. Where do I start? The AudioStrider utilizes many of the same design features found on commercial grade Precor ellipticals. NordicTrack leases the patent from Precor. This includes the rear drive design and the Power Incline feature. The rear drive gives a very natural elliptical motion, like running in the air. The Power Incline allows you to incline your elliptical stride, which results in a more intense cardio burn that also targets more lower body muscles.

The AudioStrider 990 PRO is also iFit Live compatible. For an additional fee you get a module that allows the elliptical to communicate with the Internet. You are able to go to and define your fitness goals. iFit Live will download a customized workout routine with audio coaching. Your daily stats are recorded on your account. You can also trace routes on Google Maps and iFit Live will simulate the terrain by controlling the incline. With the use of a laptop or smartphone you can visualize your progress on Google Maps. And if there is a street scene you can actually see yourself running down roads. This technology has redefined cardio exercise equipment.

Next we have the Smooth CE 3.6 elliptical trainer at $1,299. What is most notable about the CE 3.6 is that it is a low maintenance and durable machine with an excellent service record. And that is reflected in the lifetime frame and braking system, 5-year parts and 2-year labor warranty. A very generous warranty at this price range, which suggests that the CE 3.6 seldom has service issues. You also get a speaker system, fan, wireless heart rate control, and pedals that pivot with the angle of the elliptical stride.

at the $1,500+ range we chose another NordicTrack product, the E 15.0. This elliptical trainer is loaded with features designed to give you a superior workout and motivate you at the same time. First, you have the ability to both incline and decline the elliptical stride. This lets you simulate going up and down mountains. It also allows you to target more lower body muscles groups. You get a 10″ Google Android Internet Browser that allows you to access your favorite web sites as you exercise. The footpedals can be adjusted to the perfect angle to minimize heal lift and numbness. The flywheel weighs a heavy 32 lbs. giving you a smooth and natural elliptical stride. Life the AudioStrider 990 PRO the NordicTrack E 15.0 comes with iFit Live. In fact, the module is included in the price. With the Android browser you can directly access and view Google Maps without the need of a laptop. Also, when you trace a route the E 15.0 will simulate going both up and down hills with the incline and decline feature. Do to time restraint I left out several other features, but you get the point. The NordicTrack E 15.0 is not your run of the mill elliptical.

At $2,000+ we chose Yowza Fitness Captiva. The Captiva has two features that make this elliptical a stand-out. First, there is the Variable Motion, which varies the motion and stride from 18″-32″. In comparison to a fixed elliptical stride, the Variable Motion exercises more lower body muscles while getting an intense cardio workout. Second, you have the patented Cardio Core Training. In general, the dual handlebars on an elliptical trainer provide minimal results. In contrast, the Captiva has a T-bar that swings from left to right, forcing your body to twist. You target your core muscles like abs and obliques. These two technologies make the Captiva one of the most innovative and effective cross-trainers on the market. This is a serious cardio burning, body toning machine.

Our final choice is one of the best elliptical trainers on the planet, the Precor 5.33. Precor invented the crosstrainer and holds numerous patents that the competition is always trying to work around. The 5.33 excels in its ergonomic and biomechanical features and provides one of the most fluid and natural elliptical motions in the industry. The Precor 5.33 is a commercial grade residential elliptical. In fact, it uses the same frame and many of the components found on their commercial models. The evidence of the durability of this machine is the 10 year parts warranty. The Precor 5.33 costs $4,500, but that is the price you pay for perfection.

So there you have it, the 2012 Best Buy picks. Each of these elliptical trainers are an excellent choice if you are considering a cardio machine for your home.

About the Author: Fred Waters has worked in the fitness equipment industry for over 15 years. If you are in the market for an elliptical trainer, you can get his recommendations at Elliptical Trainer Ratings and Reviews site. He assists people in getting the right equipment for their body and their budget.


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