Part of Precor’s innovative and award winning range of commercial fitness machines, the Precor 835 Adaptive Motion Trainer with Open Stride provides a unique low-impact workout, that’s ideal for all fitness levels.
In this review we take a look at what could be the most advanced elliptical on the market. This includes the infinite range of stride paths, display console features, workout programs, and state-of-the-art console technology.
Award winning design features
Before buying any new piece of fitness equipment, it’s important to make sure that it is not only suitable for your current level of fitness, but also that it can provide a challenge for years of future workouts.
This was one of the goals behind the design of the Precor 835 AMT, with its Open Stride technology, Kevlar belt drive, and electromechanical braking system.
Unlike the limited plane of motion you experience with an elliptical or treadmill, the AMT 835 is designed to let you find your own range of motion, depending on the muscle groups you want to train.
A combination of a treadmill, elliptical, and stepper in the same machine, the adaptive stride and workout arms allow you to create an effective full body workout.
By simply adjusting your movement on the machine, you can effectively work your quads, glutes, hamstrings, and calves, which can burn up to 1200 calories an hour.
This also helps to keep your workouts feeling fresh and interesting, with the combination of preset workout programs, resistance settings, and stride options creating over 7200 different workout routines.
The Precor AMT 835 also offers 3 different grip positions, to keep you well supported during every workout.
To make it easier to get onto the machine, a large step-up platform has also been added to the base of the machine.
P30 display console features
Even with such a wide range of innovative design features, it’s important to have a display console that’s intuitive to use and allows you to effectively track your workout.
This is why the Precor 835 AMT features the P30 display console, which not only displays all your important workout information, but can also support a number of optional attachments.
This includes a 15″ Personal Viewing System (PVS) for watching your favourite TV while you workout, wireless entertainment cap, and personal entertainment player (PEP).
A step up from their Experience Series, the large LED displays and easy to navigate menus allow you to focus on getting the most from your training.
One of the more unique additions to the console is the Stride Dial, which acts as a visual indicator to keep you informed of your stride length, as well as the muscle groups being targeted.
Workout statistics trackable through the P30 display:
- Average speed
- Calories burned
- Heart rate
- Time elapsed
- Time remaining
- Rate per minute
- Stride length
- Target heart rate
Precor 835 Adaptive Motion Trainer – Features Summary
- Naturally adapt stride length from 0 to 36 inches.
- Open Stride technology allows users to adapt stride height from 6.8 inches to 10 inches.
- Visualize stride length changes in real-time with Stride Dial to target muscle groups
- 20 resistance levels (20-375 Watts).
- Heart Rate sensors located on fixed handlebars or use the telemetry function with a chest strap.
- Dual Action provides both upper and lower body workouts
- Readouts: Heart Rate: Current, Average, Max, Target; Distance: Total, Remaining, Target; Calories: Total Burned, Calories/Min, Calories/Hour; Time: Target, Elapsed, Remaining, In-Zone; Strides: Per Min, Avg, Total; Mets; Watts
Preset workout programs
If you were to take a look at most top of the range elliptical trainers, you’ll notice that their range of motion is much more limited than on the AMT.
Although there is some variation between the front and rear driven machines, essentially the aim is to recreate your natural walking, jogging, or running motion as closely as possible.
While this is certainly an effective way to train your lower body, the stride length will often be fixed. This can make it difficult to find a machine that provides all the workout programs you need, but also matches the length of your natural running stride.
This is where you really see the benefits of the Adaptive Motion technology.
There’s no need to jump off the machine mid-workout to adjust any stride or incline settings, the Precor 835 AMT automatically adjusts to your chosen range of motion.
It’s this technology that has made it possible to create and pre-program so many unique workouts into the display console, including heart rate controlled, interval, ‘Rolling Hill’, and ‘City Steps’.
The following workout programs are preset when you buy the machine, requiring no additional purchasing of modules or yearly subscriptions:
- Heart rate controlled – Activated by holding the heart rate hand sensors or wireless telemetry heart rate monitoring using a chest strap.
Your current heart rate is displayed on the LCD screen, which can be useful for ensuring you stay within a set range, and crucial for achieving specific fitness goals.
- Interval – The intensity of the interval workouts is fully adjustable using the resistance settings to cater for all levels of fitness.
Periods of cardio with your heart rate at a lower reading are followed by periods of cardio with a higher heart rate to condition your cardiovascular system.
- Weight loss – 7 rounds of four-minute intervals to provide a 28 minute workout focussed on maximizing fat loss and calorie burn.
- Variety – Following the same routine every week is the best way for your fitness gains to slow down or even stop.
The ‘Variety’ program varies the resistance throughout your workout in a random pattern, which also keeps your training feeling fresh and interesting.
- Performance – Designed as a kind of fitness test based on the Gerkin Protocol, the ‘Performance’ program gradually increases the incline and speed.
You gradually progress through preset stages, and whichever stage you are at by the time the test ends indicates your level of fitness.
This is then represented by a score on the screen as a measurable target for improvement.
- City Steps – The first of 5 custom designed ‘Climber’ programs, designed to take advantage of the stepping style of exercise.
The City Steps program will gradually increase the rate of stepping in stages until you reach a peak, before decreasing back to your starting pace.
- Fat Burn – A high-intensity program designed to maximize fat loss and improve your cardiovascular conditioning, in the same way that the ‘Weight Loss’ program will when training with an elliptical style of motion.
- Rolling Hill – A high step rate program designed to recreate the feeling of running through peaks and valleys.
This program is similar to the Rolling Hill programs found on treadmills, where the incline changes throughout your workout, but provides a more consistent level of high intensity.
- Steady Climb – Gradually increases the step rate throughout your workout with no drops in workout intensity.
An excellent choice of program if you are looking to increase cardiovascular endurance.
- Pyramid – Similar to the ‘Steady Climb’ program, ‘Pyramid’ switches to a decreasing step rate once you reach a peak mid-workout.
YouTube video of the Adaptive Motion Trainer (earlier 100i model):
Product comparison: Precor 835 AMT vs. AMT 100i
Before committing to any buying decisions, it can be useful to know if there are any similar products available, and how their features compare in terms of both exercise options and value for money.
An upgrade over the earlier AMT 100i model, the AMT 835 does have some clear advantages, and in particular relating to the strength of the frame.
Not only do you receive the additional preset workout programs, but the later AMT 835 model is also capable of supporting more than 150 lb of additional user weight.
The stride length is another of the differences and a clear improvement, adding an extra 9 inches to the maximum range of motion. This makes it a much better option for taller users.
|Model||AMT 100i||AMT 835|
|Frame Warranty||7 years||7 years|
|Stride Length||0 to 27 inches||0 to 36 inches|
|Product Weight||445 lbs||422 lbs|
|Weight Capacity||350 lbs||514 lbs|
|Product Dimensions||74" (L) x 28" (W) x 69" (H)||80" (L) x 35" (W) x 73" (H)|
Quality of assembly instructions
One of the great benefits of buying such a high quality piece of fitness equipment from Precor is that all the assembly and installation is taken care of by Precor’s own trained installers.
This helps to guarantee you get setup quickly and correctly to start enjoying your first workouts as soon as possible.
That’s why although a user manual is provided, you don’t have to worry about not being able to follow complex diagrams and parts lists.
Instead, the user guide walks you through everything you need to know about getting the most from your new Precor 835 AMT. This is split into two main sections; Operating the P30 Console, and Maintenance.
There’s even a troubleshooting section to help diagnose any error messages that display on the console, making it easier for Precor to quickly resolve any issues.
About Precor’s commercial range of AMT machines
Despite being classed as a range of ‘Commercial’ quality machines, Precor have also made their AMT range available to home gyms.
If you’re looking to get the most from your training, you’ll want to make sure you look at the 835 or 885 models, as these are the two machines that offer the Open Stride technology.
Originally launched in 2007, this is the 3rd generation of Adaptive Motion Trainers from Precor and is the exact same unit as the commercial machines you’ll find in fitness clubs worldwide.
Established in 1980, Precor have used all of their 30+ years of experience in developing fitness equipment for commercial and healthcare environments to produce a machine that caters for all levels of fitness.
The result is the AMT with Open Stride.
Whether you’re looking to buy the Precor 835 AMT as a new machine or as a refurbished model, it can be useful to find out other people’s experiences after buying.
This is particularly true when it comes to higher priced machines, but it can be difficult to find a reliable source with enough customer reviews to build up a balanced opinion.
We’ve personally found Amazon to be the best resource for reviews, as well as offering the best price for both new and used fitness equipment in Precor’s commercial range.
From reading through these reviews ourselves, we’ve put together the following lists of pros and cons to act as a quick reference:
- Smaller overall footprint compared to most standard ellipticals
- Professional home assembly service available
- Provides two effective training options in one machine; a stair stepper and a long-stride elliptical
- Exceptional warranty coverage, even for a machine in this price range
- Wide range of different motions and workout programs keeps your workouts feeling new and challenging
- Capable of providing both an upper and lower body workout
- Higher level of calorie burning options than treadmills or ellipticals on their own
- Commercial level of build quality and excellent customer support
- Award winning design
- Difficult to find any real negative reviews of this machine, hence the high average review rating. The only issue preventing more people from buying is that the price is out of their budget.
What’s the coverage on the warranty?
- Parts: 2 years
- Labor and wear items: 1 year
- Frame and welds: 7 years