The Lifespan EX3 Elliptical — a solid contender under $1000


Your Treadmill Sensei feels a bit like a lazy boy because he hasn’t done a new review in far too long. In an effort to get back in to the swing of things I’m going to dust-off a reader email from a couple of weeks ago. I’ve been holding on to this note from “Maria” because I hadn’t had a chance to get my hands on a Lifespan elliptical for quite a long while. Luckily, I was able to find one at another shop here in the area (thanks, Charles!) and I got to do a nice run through on the EX3 elliptical.

Let’s see what Maria had to say:

Morning Sensei
I have been having trouble finding any info on Lifespan EX3 elliptical. It looks like a great machine and offers quite a bit of features. I am torn between it and the Sole E25 in the same price range. Can you please help me narrow my decsion? Thanx, Maria

Thanks for your note, Maria. I don’t know that I can help you choose an elliptical, but I can give you a review of the LifeSpan EX3 Elliptical and, hopefully, give you enough information to choose for youself.

I want to start off by saying that I very much like PCE Fitness, the company the produces the Lifespan line of equipment. The reason for this is they produce some great equipment and also target a lot of their focus on seniors and the over-55 crowd. A lot of other manufacturers forget about this very strong area of customers that needs equipment (and value/budget equipment) to help them stay in shape and better thier lives. I think about this quite a bit as I, myself, get closer and closer to my golden years. Hats off to PCE and Lifespan for those efforts.

The Lifespan line itself is a medium aged line and has been around for about 6 years now — PCE has been around since the early 1990s. And don’t let the “senior-friendly” face of the Lifespan equipment fool you, they put out some great equipment for all ages of use.

The first thing you notice about the LifeSpan EX3 Elliptical is not only how short but how solid the unit looks. Because of the shorter length of the machine and the bulkier front drive system, you’ll find this to be one of the sturdiest elliptical rides in a home-grade elliptal. These things are solid and do not move thanks to their 210+ pounds of weight.

The next thing you’ll see is the rear step-up or rear access of the machine. This is great, especially for those of you like me who have very little coordination, because of how easy it is to mount the LifeSpan EX3. Walk up behind it, place one foot on the pedal and then the other. It’s that easy. No more trying to get on from the side or having to step over long rails.

Please do me a favor and completely forget about what Lifespan calls their EX-Link drive system. Every manufacturer out there is going to try and tell you their trademarked and patented systems are the very best. It’s really not true. The 20″ stride on the EX3 Elliptical is nice and very smooth, but it’s nothing overly spectacular or revolutionary. It feels good and that’s all that matters.

All-in-all, the LifeSpan EX3 Elliptical is a very good unit that meets or exceeds everything else out there at its price point of around $999.

Unfortunately, where this elliptical comes up short is in the warranty. Unfortunately, the Lifespan EX3 doesn’t give you much of one. With 2 years for parts and 6 months on labor, the LifeSpan EX3 Elliptical is sorely lacking, which is a shame for such a decent machine. If you’re picking one up, make sure to barter a bit to see if you can get the dealer to toss in an extended warranty as part of the sale. They may or may not doing it but it’s definitely worth a shot. If you can get that tossed in you’ll have a nice machine to help you get in shape. I believe Amazon offers a slightly longer 3 years for parts and 1 year for labor on their site.

For having only one bump in an otherwise smooth road, the Treadmill Sensei gives the Lifespan EX3 Elliptical 3.5 out of 5 golden buddahs.

For being a solid machine, the Lifespan EX3 Elliptical gets a solid 3.5 gold buddahs out of 5.

Get more information and compare the Lifespan EX3 Elliptical

Lifespan EX3 Elliptical Specifications
Stride: 20″
Resistance: 16 levels
Resistance Type: Magnetic
Console: LED
Display: Time, Distance, Speed, Calories, Resistance Level, Heart Rate
Heart Rate Monitor: pulse grip and wireless
Heart Rate Control: Yes
Programs: 10
Transport Wheels: Yes
Max User Weight: 350 lbs
Unit Weight: 213 lbs
Dimensions: 67″ L x 29.2″ W x 63″ H
Grade: Residential
Frame Warranty: 15 Years
Parts Warranty: 2 Years /3 years
Labor Warranty: 6 Months / 1 year

-The Treadmill Sensei