The Proform 20.0 Elliptical Review — Interactive Fitness

One of the cooler new trends the Treadmill Sensei really enjoys is what people are calling “interactive fitness.” Now, I could have sworn all fitness was interactive or it wouldn’t work, but marketing people love their buzz words. What they mean by “interactive fitness” is usually a piece of fitness equipment which hooks up to a video game. There have been quite a few “interactive fitness” items on the market for a while now, such as the Game Bike and DDR Dance Pads, but what I’ve always wanted was a Game Elliptical which hooked up to my computer to play MechWarrior/Giant Robot type games.

**UPDATE** The ProForm 20.0 elliptical is no longer available for sale. For the latest models check out our ProForm Reviews section.

Now that would be awesome!

Well, an interesting thing happened to me recently while my wife and I were over at her Uncle Chris’ house (you may remember my Uncle Chris story from my Proform 1500 Treadmill Review for his wife’s birthday. I was rambling on and on about how cool a MechWarrior Elliptical would be and that I wished some brilliant manufacturer would create one when Uncle Chris mentioned that he saw a game elliptical on sale at a specialty fitness shop he visited while in Las Vegas. Needless to say I replied that there was no way such a thing would exist without my knowing it because I am the Treadmill Sensei and I know all and see all.


Uncle Chris promptly went in to his home office and came back a few minutes later with a print out from Proform’s website showing off their 20.0 Elliptical. To rub things in further he highlighted a portion of the print out detailing the two video games built in to the Proform 20.0 Elliptical. Then, to rub salt in to my wounded ego even further by suggesting I didn’t know about the game elliptical because I wasn’t the “elliptical sensei.”

I hate it when Uncle Chris is right.

In order to save face, and with visions of battling giant robots in my head, I hopped online and ordered myself a Proform 20.0 Elliptical. What arrived wasn’t what I expected, but was something cool for kids nonetheless. I’m going to review the elliptical side of the 20.0 Elliptical first and then follow up with the interactive fitness stuff second.

The unit itself is a very lightweight elliptical. No unit weight, flywheel weight or maximum user capacity were listed in the thin booklet which came with the Proform 20.0, but I estimate the maximum user weight to be no more than 175 pounds. I think my own svelte 170 pound body was testing the limits of its frame. The lightweight flywheel, which I’d guess was 10-14 pounds tops, doesn’t produce the greatest elliptical motion for workouts. It is more of the “D” shape most lower end ellipticals produce.

With 9 programs and about 8 levels of resistance, the Proform 20.0 elliptical really isn’t meant to be a heavy duty workout machine, or even a machine to do a light, regular workout. What it is meant for is as a way to get your kids interested in fitness by tricking them in to enjoying it. While there weren’t giant robots or MechWarrior battles, the Proform 20.0 did have a couple of simple, fairly addictive video games which are tied to the user’s workout. Proform even placed the controls at the top of the elliptical handlebars to make them more accessible to game players.

Even though the Proform 20.0 Elliptical isn’t the sturdiest of machines I do recommend it for parents who want their kids to get some exercise while playing their video games. My one wish is that someone would produce one of these machines for big kids (like me) and let us hook it up to a good mech/giant robot combat game. I’d never get off a MechWarrior Elliptical!

For being a decent machine for kids, the Treadmill Sensei gives the Proform 20.0 Elliptical 3 out of 5 golden buddahs.

3 gold buddahs out of 5 for the Proform 20.0 Elliptical

Proform 20.0 Elliptical Specifications
Flywheel: Approximately 12 lbs
Max User Weight: Approximately 175 lbs
Unit Weight: Approximately 110 lbs
Heart Rate Monitor: Pulse grip
Heart Rate Control: Yes
Levels of Resistance: 8
Display: LCD
Programs: 9
Price: $799