When it comes to the best home exercise equipment, people often don’t pay attention to brand names, but instead, simply resort to a specific modality or a forever favorite. When they are buying a machine for home use, features and price tend to outweigh a particular brand. After all, one treadmill is pretty much the same as the next, right?
Not so fast. Exercise machines are like cars. While cars all have similar capabilities, they vary in design, features, quality and cost. Driving a Kia, for instance, is a different experience than driving a Tesla. Similarly, you’ll notice a difference if you’re using a $300 elliptical versus a $3000 model. That’s not to say that only expensive units are good, but they are noticeably different.
It’s smart to pay attention to your fitness equipment, not only at the health club, but also if you purchase a unit for home. Exercise is an investment in your health, and can pay big dividends – so do your homework on what you are using. Today, there is a lot of variety in fitness equipment, and all machines are not created equal! By checking out different brands and models, you can see what’s available to vary your routine, keep you motivated and provide new challenges.
Get to know a little about fitness equipment brands, and then hop on their units to see how they feel and which you like most. There are no right or wrong answers here; ultimately, you get to decide what you think is the best home exercise equipment, or what you prefer at the gym.
Here, we’ll introduce you to Octane Fitness, which has a unique profile and a relentless focus on revolutionizing workouts.
On a Mission
Founded in 2001 by two passionate industry veterans who launched the business in a basement, Octane Fitness originally was dedicated to making the best ellipticals in the world. As it accomplished this over time with home and commercial models, the company broadened its expertise into creating the best zero-impact equipment across the globe.
While some companies offer a wide variety of equipment, Octane remained resolute – and unique – in its exclusive focus, dedicating all of its resources and tireless efforts into equipment that worked the entire body effectively without repetitive, jarring impact. Rather than trying to be all things to all people, Octane deliberately chose to master a specific category with premium equipment, features and programs that people worldwide would use to fuel their lives.
Octane has an impressive history of product innovation, which has resulted in new ways to exercise and get fit. The company began by fine-tuning and improving the traditional standing elliptical trainer via design and feature enhancements. (More on this below.) Then it let loose on all sorts of variations of ellipticals:
- Recumbent elliptical – The innovative xRide recumbent elliptical debuted in 2008, providing all the advantages of total-body elliptical workouts, but with the comfort and support of a seat.
- Lateral elliptical – In 2012, Octane launched the unique LateralX, which provides linear (elliptical) and lateral (side-to-side) motion for one-of-a-kind workouts in multiple planes of motion that engage more muscles, such as the hip abductors and adductors, add variety and provide functional training.
- Cross trainer – The XT-One added even greater variety to Octane’s growing product line-up, enabling exercisers to walk, run, hike and climb – all on one machine, and within a single workout – with strides from 20’-28’ and 10 incline levels.
- Zero-impact running – In a category truly all its own, the unprecedented Zero Runner replicates natural walking, jogging and running motion without repetitive impact, enabling more people to benefit from these valuable activities. Users take advantage of independent hip and knee joints to define their custom motion.
After Octane Fitness was acquired by Nautilus, Inc. in 2015, the companies collaborated to deliver improved ways to exercise:
- Air bike – Based on the eternally popular Airdyne, the Octane AirdyneX offers infinite resistance, extra comfort and HIIT or steady-state total-body cycling sessions for all levels of exercisers.
- Functional trainer – The Max Trainer provides intuitive, challenging HIIT or steady-state workouts that use dual resistance and a motivating calorie meter for outstanding efficiency and effectiveness.
With each new exercise machine, Octane carefully analyzes how it can enhance the user experience. The team’s abundant creativity and attention to detail have yielded numerous unmatched features, including:
- Body-Mapping Ergonomics and patented QuadLink drive – on standing ellipticals, this design replicates natural motion like walking, jogging, running and moving backwards
- MultiGrip and Converging Path handlebars – specially shaped handlebars with ergonomic path of motion offer variety to target different muscles and fully engage upper body
- SmartStride interactive ergonomics – monitors pace and direction and automatically adjusts stride length accordingly throughout workouts
- PowerStroke – unique design on recumbent ellipticals that facilitates optimal leg extension and use of more muscles
- Dual stride tracing – novel technology on the Zero Runner that enables uses to monitor and maintain consistency in their stride
- Octane Fitness app – using a mobile device, serves as a virtual personal trainer on Octane machines, providing multiple specific regimens designed to meet exercisers’ specific goals
Look to Octane machines for pre-programmed workouts that are distinctive, motivational and varied. In fact, the following workouts are exclusive to Octane Fitness, providing challenge and interest to keep you exercising:
- Workout Boosters – These signature routines offer HIIT and cross training as part of any program, and include X-Mode, GluteKicker and ArmBlaster on standing ellipticals; QuadPower, ThighToner and X-Mode on the LateralX; and Chest Press, Leg Press and X-Mode on the xRide.
- CROSS CiRCUIT – One-of-a-kind workouts that combine cardio intervals on elliptical with strength training and flexibility exercises for valuable efficiency and variety – and all-inclusive sessions. Exercisers can choose from various routines, including Major Muscles, Chest & Back, Legs & Butt and more than 35 regimens. To keep you on track, use the Octane app to access interactive videos that demonstrate proper form for more than 225 strength training and flexibility exercises.
- 30:30 Interval – An exclusive workout that builds endurance and power while measuring heart rate recovery as an indicator of cardiovascular fitness. It consists of multiple intervals of 30-second sprints, followed by 30-second walks.
- MMA – This advanced regimen mimics real-life mixed martial arts (MMA) bouts where the machine challenges users to work harder to develop strength and power by overcoming responsive resistance.
- Stride length – Exercisers can take on PowerWalk, Stride Interval and Dual Direction regimens on Octane’s standing ellipticals to incorporate variety and cross training.
- Lateral width – On the LateralX, Lateral Interval and Dual Direction programs automatically change the lateral width throughout so that users must continue to adapt their efforts to keep up.
- Incline – The XT-One’s Mountain Peak, Progressive Hill and 30:30 Hill vary the incline throughout workouts via intervals so exercisers must engage muscles differently to conquer new terrain.
- Max Interval – This trademark 14-minute HIIT session on the Max Trainer demands 25 seconds of all-out effort, followed by 80 seconds of recovery, for a total of 8 heart-pumping, exhilarating rounds in just 14 minutes that drive stamina gains and results.
It’s no wonder that Octane has won more than 120 Best Buy awards already. And keep watching, as you can bet there’s more to come from Octane Fitness!