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Can The Horizon Peak Trainer HT5.0 Keep Up With The Competition? [A Review]

horizon peak trainer ht5.0 review

Horizon’s Peak Trainer HT5.0 is the newest HIIT trainer machine to hit the market (see what I did there?). Essentially combining the movements of a stairclimber and an elliptical, the Peak Trainer is designed for intense, quick workouts that can supposedly burn more fat in less time.

Sounds great in theory, I don’t think anybody’s looking to burn less fat in more time.

Anyway, highlights of this machine include 10 levels of magnetic resistance, a compact footprint, and the inclusion of their new Sprint8 workout.

The most impressive spec might just be the cost- as the only HIIT trainer that’s well under $1000, price alone might give this model a heads up over the competition.

But the competition is pretty fierce. Does the Peak Trainer HT5.0 have what it takes to hold it’s own? Keep reading to find out.

The Horizon Peak Trainer HT5.0

Peak Trainer HT5.0

Hight intensity interval training (HIIT) has been growing in popularity over the last several years. And for good reason, this stuff works.

It’s all about performing short, intense bouts of exercise (intervals) with active recovery periods between. The idea is that you keep you heart rate up higher than you would doing a more moderate intensity workout.

This results in you burning more calories, burning more fat, and overall getting in better shape.

And since you’re working harder, your workouts can be shorter, which is perfect these days where it seems we never have enough time for anything.

Several fitness brands have come out with home fitness machines designed to provide these types of cardio workouts. Two of the most popular are the Proform HIIT Trainer Pro and the Bowflex Max Trainer M7.

These are both high-end, durable machines with a lot to offer, but they also come with a steeper price (especially the M7).

The HT5.0 is Horizon’s first attempt at a HIIT trainer. As a brand, Horizon has a good reputation for building high-quality equipment in the budget to moderate price range.

Pros

  • Compact frame
  • Full body workout
  • Combines magnetic and fan resistances
  • 10 levels of resistance to choose from
  • 300 lb weight capacity
  • Sprint8 workout designed to burn fat in less time
  • USB port
  • Price

Cons

  • Short warranty
  • Only 5 workouts
  • No bluetooth compatibility

Resistance

In order to provide a HIIT-style workout, it’s important that the HT5.0 is capable of providing an intense workout. Keep in mind, the only way you’re gonna burn that fat and those calories in a shorter period of time is if the intensity is higher than normal.

The motion Horizon’s machine uses for the pedals most closely resembles a stair climber. This means your feet will be working in a more vertical motion than you’d expect from a typical elliptical.

Which is good, because it means you’re going to activate your glutes, quads, and hamstrings more, which will in turn get your heart rate up higher.

The Peak Trainer uses a combination of magnetic and fan resistance. A lot of cardio machines, especially rowing machines, are starting to combine these technologies in an attempt to gain the benefits of both.

Fan resistance is great because the harder and faster you push, the more resistance you get. Magnetic resistance is nice because it gives you a steady, constant resistance regardless of how fast you push.

Combining them gives you a resistance system that provides a steady resistance at slower speeds, and more resistance as you push faster.

When it comes to noise levels, machines that combine these resistance systems usually fall somewhere in the middle- louder than a magnetic machine, but quieter than a purely fan-based machine.

This trainer comes with 10 levels of resistance to play with. This is pretty low when compared to the Proform and Bowflex models, ┬ábut that doesn’t mean the overall resistance it can provide is any less.

It just means you won’t have as much play in fine-tuning the resistance. That said, users don’t seem to mind, most agree the HT5.0 packs a pretty serious punch in the resistance category.

Frame

One of the benefits of all the HIIT trainers we’re seeing on the market is their compact footprint. The HT5.0 only takes up a floorspace of 47″ x 28″ (LxW), which is a lot less than most ellipticals.

The Peak Trainer has a solid frame with a max weight capacity of 300 lb. Fully assembled, it weighs 155 lb, giving it a solid foundation.

You shouldn’t have to worry about this machine wobbling during use.

Users agree the frame feels solid and the motion of the pedals is fluid. I mentioned the vertical pattern of the foot pedals, but there are also stationary and moving handles you can use during your workouts too.

The stationary handles have the grip heart rate monitors and are nice if you just want to isolate your lower body. The moving handles are very similar to the ones you’d find on an elliptical and will help give you more of a total body workout.

Speaking of ellipticals, the motion of the HT5.0 is low-impact as well, making it a comfortable mode of exercise (well, comfortable when it comes to your joints, I doubt you’ll find these intense workouts too “comfortable”).

Features

The Horizon Peak Trainer HT5.0 comes with the following features:

5.5″ LCD display- the display isn’t fancy, no touchscreens or anything like that, but it’s big enough to see clearly during your workouts.

5 built-in workout programs- the HT5.0 only comes with 5 workouts to choose from: calorie, weight loss, distance, manual and the Sprint8. This isn’t a ton to choose from, but keep in mind these workouts are designed to be short and intense- the Sprint8 option is what this machine is all about.

Sprint8 workout- this is Horizon’s interval workout. It consists of a warm up, a cool down, and a series of 8 intense intervals with short rest periods between. The whole workout only lasts 20 minutes, but by the end of it you’ll feel like you’ve been put through the wringer.

Tablet holder- there’s a built-in media shelf you can use to hold a tablet, magazine, or anything else you’d like to look at during your workouts.

USB port- you can charge your tablet or smart phones with the USB charging port in the console. It’s nice to know that your devices won’t be completely drained after your workouts.

Grip heart rate monitor- grab the stationary handles and you can monitor your heart rate during your workouts.

Speakers- you can connect a phone or mp3 player up to the console and listen to your favorite workout tunes through the built-in speakers.

Fan- there’s a fan built-into the console, might help cool ya down during those brutal intervals.

Warranty

The Horizon Peak Trainer HT5.0 comes with the following warranty:

  • 1 year parts
  • 90 day labor

I think it’s interesting Horizon doesn’t include a frame warranty. Otherwise, I’m disappointed in how short the parts and labor warranties are. Horizon usually offers pretty generous guarantees, but this certainly isn’t one of them.

The Bowflex Max Trainer 7’s warranty isn’t great (3 year whole machine), but it’s a lot better than this one.

I think the warranty department is where the HT5.0 could really use some work. Maybe it’s because this model is pretty new and hasn’t been on the market that long?

Final Thoughts

The HT5.0 is rather basic fitness machine designed for one purpose- provide intense workouts. You aren’t going to find any hi-tech features or HD displays on this one, but that might be a good thing if you’re looking for something that’s easy to use.

I like the simplicity of it. I feel like we are getting too caught up with the tech side of things these days. Not everything has to be “smart” and “connected”. Sometimes it’s nice to just unplug and get a solid workout in.

That said, the HT5.0 is really simple.

Although the Sprint8 workout is a nice touch, it’s really just an interval workout. And there’s only 5 of them (counting manual) to choose from.

I don’t doubt you can get a great workout on this machine. I like that Horizon used a combination of magnetic and fan resistance systems on this model and 10 resistance levels should give you adequate control over your workouts.

By biggest concern with the Peak Trainer is the short warranty. If Horizon had just added a few years to it, I would feel more comfortable with it.

Even with the lower asking price, the warranty is short.

Overall, I think the HT5.0 is a decent fitness machine and could work fine for people looking for a more affordable option to the Max Trainer M7 or HIIT Trainer Pro. But if you have the budget, I would recommend both models over the HT5.0.

 

Will

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