Our JTX Strider X7 review delivers our impartial assessment of this high spec’d cross trainer. Read on for full details.
Cross trainers are great. They allow you to easily work your heart and lungs hard, which in turn will boost your stamina and cardiovascular capacity, which is vital for maintaining your health and fitness.
They also allow for a nearly full body workout, bringing your arms, legs and back into every movement (though you can forego the upper body and simply blast your legs.) In fact, when used correctly, a cross trainer can target your glutes, hamstrings, quads, chest, back, biceps, triceps, and core muscles.
Allowing you to work such a range of muscle fibre will mean building, strengthening and improving endurance in the process.
Anything that uses this much muscle fibre at a reasonable intensity will also be great for torching calories. Cross training will allow you to burn around 300 calories in a half hour bout, depending on intensity and biometrics. This will be vital in weight loss, in which you’ll be looking to maintain a daily caloric deficit of 500 or more.
They manage all this whilst keeping you safe. They are sturdy and self-enclosed, so there is very little chance of falling and hurting yourself. They are also incredibly gentle on the joints, with hardly any strain present. Equivalent exercises like power walking, jogging or running can be ruinous to the ankles, knees and hips. Not so the cross trainer – your joints will thank you for using one.
If you want a good way to keep in shape, a cross trainer can be a valuable tool. If you’re looking for a good quality cross trainer, the JTX Strider-X7 is a very strong contender. It is a large, sturdy model, built to last. It makes many of the other budget models on the market seem small and fragile. With a mid-range price tag and top-notch performance, it is everything you could ask for.
In this review, I’ll be showing you exactly what you get for your money.
JTX Strider X7 Specs
As stated above, the JTX Strider X7 is very good value for money, coming in with a midline price tag but delivering a wealth of features. It has everything you need to get a good quality home workout in, in comfort and style. If you’re looking to manage or maintain your weight, build your muscular endurance, or improve your cardiovascular fitness, it will have something for you.
As basic features, it brings a lot to the table. These include:
• 12.5kg flywheel with 16 resistance levels
• 21 programs + 4 design your own programs
• Heart rate training options included
• Stride length of 16 inches
• Includes transport wheels
• Compact size: 130(l) X 70(w)cm
• Warranty – 2 year repairs + 5 years on frame
This really is quite a lot.
First up, it’s compact and robust. It is conveniently sized for most homes, without any noticeable compromise in strength, build quality or overall experience. In fact, it has a top user weight of 130 kg, which shows how durable it will be for most people. Add to this a sixteen-inch stride length and you have a machine built to accommodate (cross trainers with smaller treads, which are many, restrict a user’s ability to exercise effectively, cutting off intensity quite sharply.)
Then we come to the nitty gritty design elements – the mechanics of the machine itself. The flywheel is reassuringly heavy, which shows in the range and quality of resistance levels (the JTX Strider-X7’s electro-magnetic resistance system has a 16-point range).
The lower ends glide nicely and will serve as a good beginner’s exercise or a warm up for a more strenuous routine. The upper reaches get hard, quickly delivering a challenging workout for even more advanced athletes. Everything runs smoothly, too, in large part due to the magnetic brake system, which offers quiet and smooth pedalling no matter how heavy the workload.
Finally, you get a 5-year frame and 2-year in-home repairs warranty and ‘no quibbles’ cash returns policies for up to 28 days. This is very welcome and decent for such a midrange model.
Using The JTX Strider X7
Despite its significant weight and very sturdy build, the JTX Strider-X7 is easy to move around courtesy of the wheels built into its base. In fact, it’s easy enough to store so that, despite owning a hefty great cross trainer, for the sake of a bit of cupboard space or a handy corner in a spare room, you wouldn’t know it was there most of the time.
Let’s move on to how it performed when using it…
There is a decent amount of variability with the JTX Strider X7, which is always a must but never guaranteed with a cross trainer. You have the option of 25 available training programmes, of which 21 are pre-set and 4 are for self-customisation – a lovely little perk.
The 21 pre-installed programs include variations for everything you would want from a cross trainer – caloric use, fat burning, hill climbs, interval training, pure cardio and so on. These are all made available via the great on-board computer, which is big, full colour, touch screen, user friendly and easy to navigate.
It is also smart. It tracks all the metrics you need: time, distance, speed, and calories as well as body fat and pulse measurement. You can punch in your biometrics, age and so forth and it will calculate your optimum heart rate for training and customise all the programs to your needs. It can track your heart rate using the Polar compatible chest strap included with purchase.
The importance of this feature cannot be readily overstated. Heart rate training is one of the best, most efficient methods you can use for improving your cardiovascular fitness and managing your weight. Simply knowing that you are pushing yourself into the 85%+ max heart rate range for, say, twenty minutes at a time (the so-called Orange Zone), will keep you confident in your body’s after burn. Your body will essentially burn more calories than normal at rest for around 24 hours after you’ve finished training.
As the JTX Strider-X7’s computer monitors your heart rate and adjusts the resistance to keep you working in the ideal heart rate zone, you can ensure that you are consistently hitting the Orange Zone, and so consistently burning calories. This will be a huge tool in your fat loss or weight management drive.
The polar heart rate tracker will also connect you to training apps to keep you motivated, which is fairly handy.
The fact that you get so many pre-installed programmes and, on top of this, have the option to customise your own, means that you should never get bored, no matter how often you use the JTX Strider-X7. All goals and abilities are very well catered for, and you can change things up whenever you want.
The hill, interval, fat burning, and heart rate programs are particularly good for oscillating intensity whilst consistently maintaining the heart rate levels needed to hit your goals. Quick start buttons ensure that you can raise the resistance quickly when you are ready for that extra push or during interval training – use with caution, or your legs and lungs will find themselves in a race to see which can burn out first!
Most heights and weights are catered for by the 130 kg upper limit and 16-inch stride, which is fairly standard in a good cross trainer. I’m a shorty, at only five foot eight, and found it to be perfect (let’s not go into weight – a little bit too personal!) However, a 16-inch stride should suffice for most athletes up to around six foot two or thereabouts. Obviously, individual differences will play a part, but this is still pretty inclusive.
I’m sure it’s no surprise that I think the JTX Strider-X7 is a good-quality investment. It does everything you need it to, giving a smooth, comfortable tread through a range of resistances and programs, with an array of data available to help you optimise your training.
However, it is more than this. It is small yet incredibly well-built and sturdy. It is heavy, because of this, yet is very manoeuvrable. It is priced in a mid-bracket area but delivers a much higher end user experience.
The added extras are great. You would usually expect to see a few of them in any given machine. To find them all in one place is a treat, especially in such a modestly priced machine. Customisation options and the ability to choose between a wide range of programmes keeps it fun, whilst heart rate monitoring and tailored biometric-based goals keeps it efficient.
If you’re looking for the perfect cardio workout at home, the JTX Strider-X7 will not disappoint. If you’re looking to lose weight, build up your stamina and bring in some full body muscularity with a bit more panache than is usual in an at-home cross trainer, this is the one for you.