Wondering if your elliptical machine can handle your weight? You’re not alone. I’ve done some digging and found your answer.
On average, an elliptical machine for home use can handle 292 lbs./132.5 kg. The user weight limits for elliptical machines range from 220 lbs. (99.7 kg) to 375 lbs. (170 kg). The most common user weight limit is 300 lbs. (136 kg). Commercial machines have different load limits.
The user weight limit is important to know but does it say anything about the quality? Keep reading to find out.
Elliptical machine user weight limits
Of course not every machine is the same and the number mentioned above is an average. Averages don’t always tell the whole stories. Here’s a list of popular models for home use and their user weight limits. This chart covers a lot of popular elliptical models for home use. Models for commercial use are not included and might be different.
|Brand||Model||Weight (lbs.)||Max load (lbs.)|
In this chart you can see that the average weight limit for a home elliptical is about 292 pounds/132.5 kg. What you can also see however is that there is a pretty wide range in weight limits of these machines.
The lowest weight limit in this list is only 220 lbs/99.8 kg. That is actually pretty low. Sure, many people are lighter than that but an increasing amount of people is actually heavier than that. That means it is really important to check the weight limit of the specific machine you’re looking to buy, especially if it’s going to be used by a person that weighs more than 220 lbs.. Since 220lbs. seems to be the lowest load limit for home elliptical machines, people that are lighter than that will be fine with any machine.
In general, the machines with the higher weight limits of over 300lbs. tend to be the heavier and bigger machines although there are some exceptions.
Many of the machines in the above list have a weight limit of 300lbs. This seems to be a kind of standard that many machines are built to meet. For the vast majority of people a weight limit of 300lbs. is perfectly fine but it all depends on your personal situation of course.
Knowing an average doesn’t help you much if your specific machine is different. It’s always good to look up the weight limit of your machine before buying to prevent unpleasant surprises.
One reason many people have to go for a machine that has a significantly higher weight limit than your body weight is that those machines could have a better build quality. That’s not as clear cut as you might think however. Keep reading to find out what a weight limit tells you.
Is the weight limit a sign of build quality?
You might wonder if this discrepancy is an indicator of the quality of an elliptical machine? The indicated weight limit is the result of a few factors;
- Manufacturer safety margin
The most important deciding factor in what the weight limit of a piece of equipment is, is the design. When designing a piece of equipment, the manufacturer thinks about how much weight they want to handle a machine. It’s not like they just build something and then find out how much weight it can handle. The rest of the factors will follow from the design.
The construction and materials are what gives the machine its strength. Thicker steel and stronger bearings made out of better materials can handle more weight than cheaper/inferior materials. Producing a machine with a higher weight limit requires a manufacturer to use more/better materials or construct them in a better way. In that way, a machine with a higher weight limit does indicate higher quality.
Another thing that can influence the advertised weight limit is the marketing department and the safety margin of the manufacturer. It’s unlikely you’ll find a machine that will collapse if you are one pound over the weight limit. Manufacturers have a safety margin built into the machines. However, not every manufacturer necessarily uses the same safety margin.
For example, one machine might be advertised with a 300 lbs. limit but only have a 5% safety margin, while another machine with the same 300lbs. indicated limit has a safety margin of 35%. Obviously the second machine has to be constructed in a better way with better/more materials. Therefore the advertised weight limit might not completely correlate with build quality.
A machine that’s built to handle a higher load limit doesn’t necessarily have to be of higher quality or be better in general. A machine with a weight limit of 220 lbs. used by a person that weighs 200lbs might last longer than a machine with a weight limit of 350lbs. used by a 330lbs. person might last the exact same amount of time.
However, it does make sense that a machine with a higher weight limit, would last longer than a machine with a lower weight limit used by the same person. Weight puts stress on all the moving parts and structure of the machine. If you’re using 80% of the weight limit of one machine but only 50% of another, it’s likely that the latter will last longer because the relative stress is lower. This is not a guarantee however; there are many factors that influence when a machine breaks.
The weight limit only tells you something about the strength of the structure however. There are also electronics, rubber grips, pedals and other parts that aren’t part of the core structure. The core structure is what supports the weight. All the other parts don’t really influence that. That means that a machine with a high weight limit doesn’t necessarily indicate high build quality in the accessory parts.
Where to find an elliptical machines’ weight limit? The user weight limit of an elliptical machine can be found in the user manual. If you know the brand and model number, Google will likely be able to tell you the weight limit as well. Finally, if both those fail you can call the producer or store you bought it from for more information.
How long should an elliptical stride length be for a 5’9 person? The best elliptical stride length for a person that’s 5’9 tall is 20”-22”. This length will ensure you can move with good posture and not force yourself into a bad movement pattern. Doing this can cause injuries that could have been prevented with a correct stride length.
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