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Everything You Should Know About ProForm’s Pro HIIT H14 Trainer [A Review]

proform pro hiit h14 trainer review

With a compact footprint and the ability to get your entire body involved, ProForm’s Pro HIIT H14 is a popular choice for folks looking for an elliptical style machine that won’t take up too much space.

Actually, the H14 reminds me more a stepper machine with handles, but more on that in a bit.

Highlights of this cardio machine include a 30 lb flywheel, 26 magnetic resistance levels, and a 325 lb weight limit.

It’s also kinda hard to miss the 14″ HD touchscreen console that gives you access to unlimited, instructor-led streaming workouts through iFit.

All things considered, I think the H14 is a pretty solid choice for a HIIT trainer in this price range, but this machine’s got its fair share of user complaints too – mostly regarding customer service and the usability of the software.

So, before you buy, you need to know what you’re getting into and that’s where I can help.

In this review, I’ll go over everything this trainer does and doesn’t have going for it.

After reading, you’ll know whether or not the Pro HIIT H14 is the right choice for your home gym.

Off we go.

The ProForm Pro HIIT H14 Trainer

proform pro hiit h14 trainer

Image courtesy of ProForm

ProForm’s HIIT trainers have been around for several years now and they’ve become popular for their ability to provide a full body workout, while taking up less floorspace than a treadmill or full size elliptical.

There have been several different model variations through the years, but the general concept has remained the same.

Of course now, all the ProForm trainers come with HD touchscreen consoles and streaming capabilities because God forbid anything not be streaming equipped these days…

Anyway, the H14 is the highest-end HIIT trainer in ProForm’s current lineup and a the time of writing this, is going for around $1600.

ProForm still offers their older model of the H14, as well as the Carbon HIIT H7, which is part of their ProForm+ program that allows you to get select machines for free when you agree to a 3 year iFit commitment.

It’s actually a pretty good deal if you’re confident you’ll want to be streaming for at least 3 years.

But back to the H14.

Let’s start with a rundown on the performance side of things and then we’ll go over the features and other stuff you should be aware of.

Pros

  • Fully body workout
  • Low impact
  • Compact footprint
  • 30 lb flywheel
  • 26 magnetic resistance levels
  • 14″ HD touchscreen console
  • Access to instructor-led workouts (iFit)
  • Scenic routes (iFit)
  • Interactive training (iFit)
  • Multi-grip handles
  • Large, cushioned pedals
  • Bluetooth headphone/heart rate strap compatible
  • Cooling fan
  • Good warranty

Cons

  • Some user complaints regarding quality control
  • ProForm’s customer service doesn’t have the best reputation

Stride Length

I’ve organized this review the same way I do my other elliptical reviews, but the H14 isn’t exactly a true elliptical.

And I say that because the step pattern is pretty different on this machine.

Traditional ellipticals come with an oval-shaped pedal motion, while the H14 utilizes a much more vertical motion – it’s not completely vertical like a stepper machine is, but it’s pretty close.

More specifically, the H14’s pedal movement is 10″ up and down and 5″ front and back, so there’s a little bit of an arc to it, but again, it’s closer to a stepper than a traditional elliptical.

Which helps keep the footprint of the H14 a bit more compact (29″ x 66″), but I think it also helps with the whole HIIT workout thing too.

With a smaller movement arc, I would think it’s easier to workout at higher RPMs and against heavier resistances – after all, this is a HIIT trainer.

But unlike traditional stepper machines, there are moving handles on the H14, so like a traditional elliptical, you get to use your arms too, which helps you get a full body workout in.

Which is good when it comes to getting that heart rate up higher, burning more calories and fat, and all that good stuff.

But even though the H14 uses a more vertical stepping pattern, your feet still stay on the pedals the whole time, so it’s still quite low impact.

The H14 also comes with an in box weight of 225 lb, meaning its true assembled weight is likely somewhere in the 190 – 200 lb range.

I mention this because I think it’s a good idea to check out machine weights – mostly because this gives us an idea as to how robust or heavy-duty these machines are when compared to other competitors.

For the sake of comparison, the similarly priced Bowflex M6 comes with an assembled weight of 148 lb and the significantly more expensive Spirit XS895 weighs it at around 205 lb.

So, based on this, I’d say the H14 is pretty heavy-duty for a home HIIT trainer.

It also comes with a pretty impressive weight capacity of 325 lb, allowing folks of all sizes the ability to safely use it.

Resistance

When it comes to resistance, the H14 acts very similarly to most other home ellipticals or indoor cycles and uses a weighted flywheel and magnetic system.

And like other ellipticals and exercise bikes, having a heavier flywheel is beneficial in this situation too because the extra weight helps create a smoother feel.

The H14 comes with a flywheel that weighs 30 lb, so it’s got plenty of mass behind it to build momentum and create a fluid stepping movement.

That 30 lb flywheel is paired with 26 levels of magnetic resistance, resulting in a quiet workout experience.

When it comes to resistance levels, having more doesn’t necessarily give you more overall resistance, but it does mean you can make smaller adjustments between levels.

Which I think is a good thing because it means you have more control over your workouts.

With 26 levels, the H14 gives you more control over the M6 (16 resistance levels) and the XS895 (20 levels) mentioned above.

Most users also agree the H14 can provide plenty of resistance, so you shouldn’t have any concerns about whether or not this trainer will be able to challenge ya.

Overall, I like that the H14 comes with such a heavy flywheel and so many resistance levels to work with.

Features

The ProForm Pro HIIT H14 Trainer comes with the following features:

14″ HD touchscreen console- when it comes to the tech features, the large, touchscreen console is certainly the star of the show here. Not only is it large and HD, but it can also tilt and pivot to make it a little easier to follow workouts when you’re off the machine. This sophisticated console is here because the H14 is designed for iFit streaming.

iFit- you probably know this already, but iFit is ProForm’s (and NordicTrack’s) streaming platform. This is how you access all the instructor-led workouts, scenic routes, and everything else streaming related. ProForm includes a free 30 day trial with purchase, but then you’ll be responsible for the $39/month streaming fee. Keep in mind, an iFit membership isn’t required to use the H14, but without it you won’t be able to access the instructor-led workouts or interactive training feature.

Interactive training- this feature allows the instructors to automatically control your resistance levels during workouts and it’s only available through iFit. It’s a pretty cool feature, but you can always control things manually too if you prefer.

Multi-grip handle bars- the handlebars are large and come with several different grip options, allowing folks to choose any hand position they prefer. You can also switch your grip up throughout workouts to target different upper body muscle groups.

Large pedals- the pedals are large, cushioned, and textured for a more comfortable feel during workouts.

Bluetooth compatible- there are built-in speakers, but it’s also compatible with bluetooth headphones for those times you want to keep noise levels down.

Cooling fan- there’s a built-in cooling fan (2 speeds) to help keep ya more comfortable during workouts.

Water bottle holder- yup, there’s even a place to put your water bottle.

Assembly

If you decide to purchase this H14, you shouldn’t worry too much about assembly – it’s a pretty straightforward process.

The main frame of the H14 comes pre-assembled, so you won’t be messing with any internal components.

Instead, you’ll be responsible for attaching the stabilizer feet, the pedals, the stationary and moving handles, the console, and several covers.

ProForm does a pretty good job with their assembly manual and it’s pretty easy to follow, but I’m sure you can find youtube videos to help too if necessary.

Just keep in mind this is a pretty heavy machine, so it’s always a good idea to have a second person around to help if necessary.

Overall though, I think most fairly handy folks should be able to get this trainer put together with minimal headache.

Warranty

ProForm backs their Pro HIIT H14 Trainer with the following home warranty:

  • 10 year frame
  • 2 year parts
  • 1 year labor

There aren’t a ton of these types of cardio machines around to compare with, but generally speaking, I think ProForm’s warranty here is pretty decent.

Ten years on the frame for a cardio machine in this price range isn’t bad – lifetime would obviously be better, but this is still much better than the 2 year warranty Bowflex offers on their M6.

And 2 years on parts is pretty standard for a cardio machine in this price range too (as is a year on labor).

This warranty looks great compared to the 2 year frame/parts and 90 day labor guarantee Bowflex offers, but it’s not nearly as good as the lifetime frame, 10 year parts, and 1 year labor warranty Spirit offers on their XS895.

But to be fair, Spirit is a more expensive brand and they have the best warranties on the market.

Overall, I think ProForm offers a fair warranty on the H14.

Final Thoughts

Ok, that about does it for the H14’s performance specs and features.

I think this HIIT trainer scores well with its heavy flywheel, heavy-duty frame, and solid warranty and it certainly offers plenty of great tech features (assuming you’re cool with iFit).

So, assuming your H14 works the way it’s supposed too, there’s really not much to complain about here…

But there seems to be a growing number of users complaining about quality control and unwanted noises during use.

Which can be a real issue, considering how awful ProForm’s customer service reputation is – ProForm’s customer service is notorious for being hard to contact and taking forever to get back in touch with people.

Definitely something to consider.

But the reality is, there aren’t a lot of comparable trainers to choose from in this price range.

I think the H14 is a better buy than Bowflex’s similarly priced M6; Spirit’s XS895 is a nicer machine, but it’s more expensive and not equipped for streaming workouts.

Overall, I think ProForm’s H14 is a cool cardio machine with a lot to offer, but it’s a bit of gamble considering the issues some users have run into.

 

 

Will

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