How Does the Precor AMT Compare To a Traditional Elliptical?

Precor AMT 835In addition to a very impressive elliptical machine series (EFX Energy and Precision) you may have noticed that Precor has another line of similar models called Adaptive Motion Trainers, or AMTs for short. At first glance they look just like a traditional elliptical trainer…but a closer look reveals much more.

The Precor AMT series, currently consisting of 4 models: the 813, 833, 835 and 885, take elliptical training to a whole new level, giving you total freedom of movement rather than a fixed or slightly adjustable stride. This means you can use the machine like a stepper, an elliptical or even a treadmill depending on how you execute your stride. What this does is target an endless combination of muscle groups, allowing you to take your workouts to a whole new level.

There are similar machines on the market today, including the popular NordicTrack FreeStride Trainer series, but the Precor AMT is a much higher-end, more gym quality machine. It’s also much more expensive. The base Precor AMT 733 starts at over $8000, vs. $3000 for the top of the line FS9i trainer from NordicTrack. But as with most things, you get what you pay for. Cybex also has something very similar called the Arc Trainer, which is a little less expensive.

All of the Adaptive Motion Trainers are similar, but you get more features and capabilities as you move up the line. Let’s take a look at the base model and work our way from there…

The Precor AMT Series Overview

The AMT 733, like all models in the series, allows you to adjust your stride from 0 to 36″ without having to touch a button. So you basically just choose what kind of stride you want and the machine responds. Keep in mind that a traditional elliptical machine will have an 18-20 inch stride, right in the middle of this range. If you choose a shorter length it’s as if you are on a stepper machine, and if you stretch out to 36″ it’s like you are running on a treadmill.

The 733 also features dual action arms for a full body workout, and fixed arms if you just want to target the lower body. There’s a nice rear platform that you don’t typically find on a traditional elliptical for easy entry. You get 20 different resistance levels and 6 workout programs to choose from, as well a large LED display, Quick Start function and both grip and wireless heart rate monitoring.Precor AMT Console

Check out all of the new Adaptive Motion Trainers on sale at the Precor store

Moving on you have probably the most popular model in the Adaptive Motion Trainer series, the AMT 835. This is the first model with OpenStride technology, which expands your range of motion even further. Not only can you adjust the length from 0 to 36 inches, with OpenStride you can adjust the height of your stride from 6.8 to 10″. User reviews of the AMT 835 say that it’s like you are floating on air while you work out…that’s how natural and free the motion is.

At the top of the lineup is the AMT 885, which adds a 15 inch LCD display, an additional 6 built-in workouts for a total of 12, and some design enhancements. Otherwise, it is very similar to the AMT 835.

What’s the bottom line on the Adaptive Motion Trainers from Precor?

The AMTs are pretty awesome, and really give you endless possibilities as far as your motion is concerned. Whereas a traditional elliptical keeps you in a tight range, the Adaptive Motion Trainers, especially the AMT 835 and 885 with OpenStride, allow for a complete range of motion that you can choose on the fly, varying your workouts as much as possible. Add to that 20 levels of resistance and you can really have a totally different workout every single time you use the machine.

The only real drawback is the price, which starting at $8,200 and going all the way up to over $12,000 is well out of reach for most of us. Given the price, it would be nice if they had web-enabled touchscreens, Preva workout tracking like Precor’s higher end ellipticals, or even at the very least a wireless heart rate monitor.

Still, if you can afford one, the versatile Precor AMT trainers are as good as it gets, sort of a super elliptical that gives you total freedom of movement to work out exactly as you please. I’d love to have one of these machines in my home, but for now I will have to settle with using it at my local gym.