The Lifecore LC1000z Elliptical Review – An average elliptical at under $1500

Now that that the Health & Fitness Expo in Denver is over the Treadmill Sensei can get back to reviewing treadmills and ellipticals.

Here at the DOJO we interact with a lot of retailers — some from here in the SOuthern California area and some from all over the country — and what I’ve learned is that every retailer has his or her own favorite brand of equipment. Some love equipment because of quality but for most the love affair comes from how much margin (or profit) they get from a brand. So I’m always getting request from dealers to review whatever brand they are wanting to push in their store.

**UPDATE** The LifeCore LC1000z elliptical trainer is no longer being sold. You can check out the latest models for sale here: LifeCore Ellipticals

I generally don’t have the time to jump on every request, but one local area retailer asked if I could do some more Lifecore Fitness reviews and even offered to loan the DOJO a Lifecore LC1000z elliptical to help out. Since the Treadmill Sensei is a bit lazy and tracking down some of the equipment is a difficult process, I told the retailer to bring down the elliptical and I would check it out. Unfortunately, I don’t think the review was exactly what he was hoping for so he asked that I not mention the name of his store this time around.

Let’s check out the Lifecore LC1000z elliptical review!

Upon receiving the boxed Lifecore LC1000z elliptical from the hopefull retailer, the guys at the DOJO and I tore into it like a pack of rabit beavers. Box bits and packing material flew everywhere! One thing I immediately appreciated was that the assembly instructions for the LC1000z were put together very well, were easily to read and made assembly a snap. Look for assembly to take you around 30-45 minutes and to cause very little frustration.

Like all Lifecore ellipticals, the LC1000z elliptical is based on the older-style rear drive architecture similar to the old school Tunturi ellipticals. What this means is non-articulating footpads that may cause foot numbness over the course of longer workouts and a less than stable front end. In the Lifecore LC1000z’s defense, it does have a very solid base and its upfront front strut isn’t as flimsy as on most rear drive ellipticals. Unfortunately, weighing in at under 140 pounds keeps it from being the most sturdy of ellipticals.

Unfortunately during my 6 days of testing the LC1000z elliptical, everything about it screamed “average” to me. There was nothing overly outstanding or (on the other side) terrible about it. The elliptical motion of the machine was decent but the stride felt a little stunted to me. I almost felt like I was taking “stutter steps” instead of being allowed a full stride. The pedals were adjustable, but only forward and back instead of, more importantly, at an angle. I also felt the pedal spacing was a bit wide for me but larger users may feel different — although, larger users might want to try a sturdier machine for their workouts.

For every positive I found about the machine I found an equal negative. Even the high number of programs (14 on the LC1000z) gave me the impression of “been there, done that,” and nothing stood out. The Lifecore LC1000z isn’t a bad machine at all, but it feels like it should have come out in the mid 1990s when its technology and design were still new and exciting. Now, it feels a bit like a relic of the past trapped in a high tech future. I also felt like it was a bit over-priced at $1499. For the features of the LC1000z elliptical, I felt Lifecore should have priced it closer to $1199 or $1299.

For being shiny but boring, the Treadmill Sensei gives the Lifecore LC1000z Elliptical 2.5 out of 5 golden buddahs but would have loved this machine in 1994.

Although a bit boring and over-priced, the ease of assembly and decent construction allows the Lifecore LC1000z elliptical to rise to being average.

Lifecore LC1000z Elliptical Specifications
Flywheel: approximately 18lbs
Display: LCD
Programs: 14
Resistance Levels: 16 levels
Heart Rate Monitor: Yes
Heart Rate Control: Yes
Max User Weight: 400lbs
Unit Weight: 137lbs
Price: Under $1500