AFG 3.1 AE Elliptical Trainer Review

The AFG 3.1 AE Elliptical trainer is a SixStar Certified ™, mid-range high value machine designed to keep your body in prime position for optimum workout results. The biomechanical research involved in the creation of the trainer means the design provides you with a super smooth, super strong foundation for your fitness program.

It’s also a feature-packed elliptical with a lot of customisation options. Although it’s a great all-round machine, there is the odd small feature that lets it down which we’ll be highlighting in this review.

 

Technical Specifications

  • 76 x 24 x 67 inches
  • 325 pounds (147 kg) Maximum weight limit
  • 216lbs (98.5kg) Packed weight
  • 198lbs (90kg) assembled weight

 

Key Features

  • SixStar Certified ™ Frame ensuring a smooth and comfortable ride
  • 20 levels of power incline (5% increments)
  • Advanced workout tracking
  • 13.5-inch step-on height
  • 20-inch stride length
  • In-built speaker system (with iPod/MP3 pocket and headphone input jack)
  • 10 different workout programs
  • Premium Pedal Cushioning
  • 23lbs flywheel (extremely heavy-duty and smooth)

 

Comfort

You should expect a high-level of comfort with the AFG 3.1 as it has all the engineering kudos behind it to keep your body in the best position for workout while also providing you with a smooth and fluid range of motion. These boasted features mean you shouldn’t really have to question the feel of the machine at any point, and you don’t.

“It is high quality. It looks and feels solid and has all of the options that you would expect from a much higher end elliptical.” – Click here to read the full review on Amazon.

It’s safe to say that the research really has paid off and you can’t fail to enjoy the smooth elliptical motion you’re provided with. The pedal grip is also incredibly solid which helps to create a secure feeling when enjoying the faster motions (i.e. you don’t feel as though the machine is about to fall over when you really get stuck-in to your workout).

One small issue is the lack of gel on the pedals meaning that the pads of your feet remain unsupported; this isn’t a workout obstruction but can be an issue if you’re working out for a relatively lengthy amount of time (i.e. over 45 minutes).

 

Performance

The customized workout feature on the AFG 3.1 AE elliptical trainer means that you get to choose exactly how hard you want to push yourself. The inbuilt programs available are considerably more difficult than those on a standard gym machine meaning you could see better physical results outside of the gym, in your own home, if you you’re willing to put the work in. With 20 levels of power incline at 5% increments and 20 different levels of resistance, you’re well set up to push yourself.

“This is a very well built machine and I would recommend it for those looking for a good workout” – Click here to read the full review on Amazon.

It’s important to note that although the inbuilt programs don’t utilize the incline facility, the customized feature can, so you can make your own program easier if you’re new to ellipticals (and the inbuilt programs are too much of a push) or harder if you really want to progress quickly. You can also add inclines on the inbuilt workouts if you like the program but need it to be more challenging.

Essentially, the AFG 3.1 AE performs exceptionally well. It’s highly customisable but also offers a range of in-built workout programs including programs for weight loss, interval training, muscle toning and many others. It has something for everyone.

 

Ease of use

Once set up, the AFG 3.1 AE is super easy to use. The user interface is well laid out and set up to allow you begin your workout almost immediately. The machine has been designed with simplicity in mind which means you’re straight into exercise mode without any messing around on complex set-up procedures.

The workouts are easy to choose from and offer manual intervals, weight loss, constant watts, muscle toner, reverse train, oregon trail, THR zone and customer 1 & 2, all which can easily be set up with just the push of a button. The machine gives a moderate 20-inch stride length which can’t be adjusted; this is suitable for most people with average stride, but wouldn’t be comfortable for those with extra short/ long strides (i.e. those who are on the extra tall/short side).

The LED console has three different windows allowing you to track the progress of your workout. This includes information like calories burnt, distance travelled and time spent working out. The heart rate monitor comes into play when you place your hands on the handlebar sensors and although this isn’t always super accurate, it does offer a rough estimate.  It is possible to purchase additional extras with the machine, one of which happens to be a chest strap to provide a more accurate heart-rate reading.

“The assembly instructions were easy to follow and the required tools were provided.” – Click here to read the full review on Amazon.

There are one or two small issues you should be aware of if you’re considering buying the AFG 3.1 AE elliptical trainer though. Firstly, the machine is pretty bulky, heavy and doesn’t have wheels. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as it makes for a sturdy machine when set up, it simply means you should set the machine up where you intend to use it.

Secondly, some users have also reported various noise issues with the machine, predominantly a squeaking noise in the movement, which can be slightly off putting when working out. It’s nothing serious though and likely nothing a bit of TLC can’t fix if the issue does happen to arise.

 

Entertainment

afg-31-ae-elliptical-trainer-ipod-dock

 

“The built in iPod speakers are a nice touch and help pass the time.” – Click here to read the full review on Amazon.

The IPod/ MP3 speakers are very easy to use and allow you to connect your IPod/ MP3 player using a simple speaker jack system. The sound quality is relatively good but may not satisfy those wanting a crisp, bass heavy soundtrack during your workout. However, there is a nifty pocket for your iPod on the front of the machine if you prefer to use headphones.

Unfortunately, there isn’t really much of a ledge on which to rest a book, e-reader of tablet PC, which can be a pain for technology lovers.

 

Warranty

  • Frame: Lifetime
  • Parts: 3 years
  • Labor: 1 year

 

Final verdict

If you’re looking for a moderately priced, high-quality elliptical, the AFG 3.1 AE elliptical trainer is definitely one to consider. Sure, you may not get all the additional features a higher end model offers, but you do get enough to give you an entertaining and well rounded workout. Aside from a few potential noise issues, the SixStar Certified ™ frame is extremely solid, reliable and easy to set up.

“As compared to elliptical I have used at the gym; it works as well if not better.” – Click here to read the full review on Amazon.

Despite the IPod/ MP3 speakers being of moderate quality, the AFG 3.1 AE still offers more in terms of entertainment than some higher priced elliptical trainers and certainly isn’t a facility to discount, especially if you like to wear headphones during your workout. Plus, with 20 levels of incline, 20 levels of resistance, additional customized workout options, advanced workout tracking and premium pedal cushioning just to name a few features, the AFG 3.1 AE offers just about everything you could ever need to ensure a customised and enjoyable workout.

Overall, the AFG 3.1 AE elliptical trainer really doesn’t lack in any area because the features it does have are so well-designed and work extremely well. At roughly $500 dollars below the average elliptical price tag of $1,500, it’s well designed, well structured, well priced and ultimately, worth every penny (or cent if you happen to be in the U.S./Canada).

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