bowflex lateralx

Bowflex LateralX LX3 & LX5 Reviews – Worth your money?

Bowflex LateralX Training Machines – Fitness at a price?

Bowflex LateralX training machines have made quite a fuss. Probably not exactly revolutionary, they add a new touch – lateral movements – to the regular routine of elliptical training machines.

And given that LateralX machines cost a lot, an interested buyer would probably wonder whether they are worth it. The goal of our Bowflex LateralX review is to help you make a decision.

We are going to examine what each of the LateralX options has to offer and will also dive deeper in the lateral training-related stuff so you get a clearer idea of what these machines are about.

Let’s get started with our Bowflex LateralX reviews.

Bowflex LateralX Reviews

Bowflex LateralX LX5 Performance Pack Review

Up first on our review is the Bowflex LateralX LX5 Performance Pack. If you have the money, it would be able to provide you with the most functionality among all the lateral machines on our list.

So what’s with the “performance pack” mentioned in the name of this product? For an about $300 premium over the standard Bowflex LateralX LX5 machine, the Performance Pack comes with an additional lower-end Samsung Galaxy Tab E 9.6-inch tablet preloaded with the Bowflex Experience app, as well as a Bowflex cardio machine mat.

What is probably going to be a more important thing for buyers is that the LX5 Performance Pack includes free shipping. And since Bowflex’s shipping is kind of expensive, this bonus is a very welcome one.

Now, is the Performance Pack really worth the $300 premium? After all, the base Bowflex LateralX LX5 isn’t exactly a cheap machine, costing $2,699 at the moment of the review’s writing! This will depend on what you need.

bowflex lateralx lx5 performance package
Lateralx LX5 Performance

If you don’t care about the included tablet, mat, and the free shipping, then the Performance Pack probably isn’t for you. If you instead care only about the training, the regular Bowflex LateralX LX5 is going to be enough for you, especially given that it is the exact same machine.

Speaking of the training machine, it also has quite a lot of features. Those include 4 handgrip positions, 10 resistance levels, 10 workout programs, and support of 4 users.

The lateral movement range of the pedals can also be widely adjusted in the LX5. And all this could be regulated via the 7.5-inch LCD backlit display.

A thing that should be mentioned about the pedals is that they have straps on them to ensure more secure positioning of the feet. Given the range of motion in this machine, the additional support is going to come in handy.

Bowflex LateralX LX5 also comes with integrated heart rate contacts and a heart strap to allow you to keep track of your heart rate both on and off of the training machine.

In the end, if you think that you’d really benefit from the included bonus items, the LX5 Performance Pack may be a good option for you.

Pros:

  • Comes with a Samsung Galaxy Tab E 9.6” tablet and a cardio machine mat.
  • Includes a heart rate strap.
  • A wide range of training programs.
  • The pedals have straps for secure positioning.
  • Adjustable lateral movement.
  • Covered by a 3-year parts warranty.
  • Free shipping.

Cons:

  • The priciest machine on the list.
  • No warranty coverage on the tablet or the mat.

Bowflex LateralX LX5 Review

This one, needless to say, is the regular version of the Bowflex LateralX LX5.

bowflex lateralx lx5
Bowflex LateralX LX5

Around $300 cheaper than the Performance Pack, this machine doesn’t come with the bonus items included in the pricier set. As you’d guess, we are talking about the Samsung Galaxy Tab E 9.6-inch tablet and the cardio mat. The free shipment also doesn’t apply to this model, though there are occasional discounts on the shipping.

Other than that, this is the exact same machine that came with the Bowflex LateralX LX5 Performance Pack. Again, it definitely isn’t a cheap machine, but for the $300 difference, it is going to be a more reasonable choice for some people.

The regular Bowflex LateralX LX5 also has features like 10 resistance settings, 10 inbuilt workout programs, up to 4 user profiles, and, most importantly, adjustable lateral motion range. It’s the exact same machine, so there isn’t much to pinpoint here. Again, if you don’t care about the extras in the Performance Pack, this one is going to be a better option.

Pros:

  • Comes with a heart rate strap.
  • Plenty of training options and resistances.
  • Strap-equipped pedals.
  • Adjustable lateral movement in the pedals.
  • Backed up by a 3-year parts warranty.

Cons:

  • Rather expensive.

Bowflex LateralX LX3 Review

And closing off our reviews with Bowflex LateralX LX3, the cheapest machine in the Bowflex LateralX line. It is somewhat limited relative to the pricier lateral machines, but it still has plenty of training potential to offer.

bowflex lateralx lx3
Bowflex Lateralx LX3

At its basics, LX3 is identical to LX5, but there are some crucial differences between them to keep in mind.

And by the way, don’t get frightened by the number of cons we pinpointed below.

Those actually are relative to the LX5. On its own, Bowflex LateralX LX3 is a rather functional training machine.

The first thing that differs in this lateral machine is its training functionality.

Namely, it has:

  • 8 resistance levels. LX5 had 10.
  • 7 workout programs, while LX5 had 10.
  • Up to 2 user profiles, while LX5 had 4.
  • 2 handgrip positions, while LX5 had 4.
  • Fixed lateral movement in the pedals. LX5 allowed for a wide degree of adjustability in the lateral movement.

It’s quite evident why LX3 is a bit limited compared to LX5, right? This isn’t everything though, there are some other things as well.

For example, Bowflex doesn’t include a heart strap with this machine, so you won’t be able to keep track of your heart rate remotely. It does come with integrated heart rate sensors though.

There is also another kind of strap absent from LX3. Its pedals, unlike those of LX5, don’t have straps. This may make LX3 slightly less convenient, but given that it has a limited range of lateral motion, the absence of straps shouldn’t be noticeable.

The weight difference between LX3 and LX5 may also be important to you. LX3 weighs 224 pounds, while LX5 weighs 258 pounds.

Lastly, the warranty on LX3 is also shorter – just 1 year on the parts.

Overall, this machine costs about $700 less than LX5 and about $1000 less than the LX5 Performance Pack¸ which makes its more limited functionality justified. For someone with a tighter budget, LX3 could make for a great training machine.

Pros:

  • Relatively inexpensive.
  • Great training functionality.
  • Weighs 224 pounds, over 30 pounds lighter than LX5.
  • Backed up by a 1-year parts warranty.

Cons:

  • Fewer training options than in LX5.
  • Fixed lateral movement.
  • The pedals have no straps.
  • No heart rate strap included.
  • Only 2 handgrip positions.

Common features between Bowflex LateralX machines

The Bowflex LateralX machines we reviewed are quite different from each other, but they do have some notable common features. It is those features that make LateralX machines very interesting, regardless of which model we are talking about.

Lateral movement

lateralx movement
lateral movement is unique to the LateralX

The first and most notable feature in Bowflex LateralX machines is their lateral action. Their pedals are designed to move in three planes, requiring you to pull, push, stand up, and squat.

As Bowflex claims, such a movement allows for a 39% increase in calorie burn compared to standard elliptical machines. And this number is believable, given how many things are going on in LateralX machines at once.

7.5-inch backlit LCD display

bowflex lateralx console
Display and tablet

Bowflex equipped all the versions of LateralX with a big 7.5-inch backlit LCD display. Such a large display should make monitoring your training very convenient. And given the amount of movement you are going to go through on a LateralX machine, the display size should allow you to see the data at all times.

Media shelf/tablet holder

All LateralX training machines also have a media shelf, which can work as a tablet holder as well. This shelf should be big enough to hold any tablet device on it, let alone a smartphone.

12-week workout plan

Bowflex includes 30 full-length instructor-led workout videos with all their LateralX machines. The training videos spread over 12 weeks, so there is plenty of training stuff included out of the box.

In fact, the videos are focused not only on exercises on LateralX machines but also cross-functional workouts like yoga or optional SelectTech Workouts.

Bowflex LateralX App

Bowflex also has a LateralX App, which is compatible with Apple devices on iOS 10.0 and higher, as well as most Android devices running on Android 5.0 and higher.

Track progress with the App

And since all LateralX training machines have Bluetooth 4.0 compatibility, the data between the app and the machine is synced automatically.

What the LateralX App allows are goal and progress monitoring from week to week.

The app also provides you with motivational awards for your milestones, as well as gives to you access to the 30 training videos we mentioned earlier.

What the LateralX App allows are goal and progress monitoring from week to week.

The app also provides you with motivational awards for your milestones, as well as gives to you access to the 30 training videos we mentioned earlier.

Bowflex Radio

The last noteworthy feature present in all Bowflex LateralX training machines is the Bowflex Radio. Bowflex basically streams various kinds of music via this radio. It’s a nice feature to have for sure, but if you have your own music library, you probably won’t care about the radio that much.

Financing

Interestingly, Bowflex offers financing options for those who don’t want to shell-out cash up-front for LateralX machines.

The financing program is offered to those who have a Bowflex credit card. In fact, purchases made with a Bowflex credit card do not require money down. If your credit is approved, you’ll be able to pay the price of the purchased training machine in full with no interest over 18 months.

If the price is not paid in full within 18 months, you will be charged an annual interest rate on the promo purchase from the purchase date, which is 29.9% for new accounts and a minimum of $2. So if you are not sure whether or not you will be able to pay the price of a LateralX machine in full within 18 months, you should probably avoid this financing program.

Shipping

Bowflex LateralX machines are quite big and heavy, and the question of their shipping costs would obviously worry you.

Bowflex generally offers standard, 2-day, and overnight shipping for their products, but only standard shipping is available for LateralX training machines.

Standard shipping to the contiguous US costs $199, while shipping to Alaska/Hawaii costs $499. But let’s not forget about the free shipping on the LX5 Performance Pack.

The expected delivery time for the order is within 9 business days, which means that the shipping may take up to 2 weeks.

It should be also noted that LX3 is shipped in two boxes, LX5 is shipped in three, and LX5 Performance pack is shipped in 4.

Assembly

Unfortunately, all the Bowflex LateralX training machines come partially disassembled. And the worse thing is that it isn’t easy to assemble them on your own.

Bowflex does offer professional in-home assembly, but it is going to cost an additional $249 for you. Unless you are lucky to know someone who has assembled a Bowflex LateralX machine, you will need to factor in the assembly cost in your budget as well.

If you do decide to order in-home assembly, you will be contacted 1-3 business days after the product has been shipped to you. Bowflex schedules assembly between 8 AM and 10 AM Monday to Sunday and from 9 AM to 6 PM on Sunday. Keep in mind that the in-home assembly service is limited in some areas of Alaska and Hawaii.

In case you wish to cancel the in-home assembly service after purchase, you may do so at least 48 hours before the scheduled appointment. Then, you will receive a full refund within 7 business days.

Warranty

All Bowflex LateralX training machines come with a base warranty. However, there are some extended-length warranties available for an additional fee. Those plans vary slightly across the LateralX models, as evident from this table:

LX3 LX5 LX5 Performance Pack
What’s included Price What’s included Price What’s included Price
Standard warranty 1-year parts; 90 days labor Included 3-year parts; 90 days labor Included 3-year parts; 90 days labor* Included
3-year protection plan 3-year parts; 3 years labor $149 3-year parts; 3 years labor $189 3-year parts; 3 years labor $189
5-year protection plan 5-year parts; 5 years labor $199 5-year parts; 5 years labor $249 5-year parts; 5 years labor $249

* The included Samsung Galaxy Tab E 9.6-inch tablet and cardio mat are not covered, as we mentioned above

As you can see, the standard protection plan for LX3 has a shorter 1-year parts warranty. In addition, its extended plans are slightly cheaper than those of LX5 and LX5 Performance Pack.

Is it worth to go for an extended protected plan? If you have the money to spare, we’d say yes. 3 or 5 years is a lot, and plenty of bad things could happen to your training machine. And without a protection plan, it would probably cost more for you to have the machine repaired or its component replaced.

And besides, instead of trusting others with maintenance, why not entrust it to Bowflex?

Returns

In the end, if you find that you aren’t 100% satisfied with your LateralX training machine, you may contact Bowflex customer service within six weeks of delivery and request a refund. Keep in mind that the refund does not include shipping, handling, or assembly fees.

To receive a refund, you will need to first receive a Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA) number from Bowflex. If you return your LateralX machine with no RMA number, you will not be refunded.

After receiving an RMA number, your return shipment must be postmarked within 2 weeks. The training machine must be returned undamaged, in its original condition, and with all the accessories included.

What is lateral training?

bowflex lateralx training
LateralX Lateral Training – effective and efficient workouts for the entire body

So you may have been wondering what this lateral training thing is about. Let us explain to you what it is.

The majority of our daily movement is performed in a linear plane, that is, going forward or backward. Walking or running are typical linear movements.

Lateral training is basically training of side-to-side movements. For example, side lunges are lateral movements, while sprinting is a linear exercise.

Now that we’ve established what lateral training is, another question requires an answer – who would benefit from lateral training?

We’d say that absolutely everyone could benefit from lateral training. The thing is that lateral training has the potential to prevent injuries, as well as bring some variety in your training.

In some sports like football or tennis, athletes very often perform lateral movements, like rapidly changing directions. And given the explosive nature of such movements, significant muscle and joint conditioning would be required to both improve performance and prevent injury.

Strengthening your joints and muscles for lateral movements could be useful outside of sports as well. If your goal is to be in good shape, definitely do incorporate lateral training in your routine. While your goals may not be as extreme as in sports, lateral training would allow you to add more variety to your training to possibly improve your results and also stay injury-free.

There are plenty of ways of doing lateral training. The simplest way is to do bodyweight exercises involving side-to-side movements. However, since you are reading this material, you are probably more interested in what Bowflex LateralX can do for your lateral training.

Benefits of Bowflex LateralX Training

Bowflex LateralX training machines are marketed not for athletes specifically but rather for those who want to increase the effectiveness of their routine, as well as on those who are worried about their joint health.

As we’ve mentioned above, LateralX machines’ pedals move in three planes – or directions, if you will – up-down, back and forth, and side-to-side. You would thus need to perform more body movements on a LateralX machine than on a traditional elliptical machine. In its turn, your calorie expenditure would probably rise as well.

And, as claimed by Bowflex, which we again mentioned above, LateralX allows for 39% more calorie expenditure than a traditional elliptical machine.

When it comes to impact on joints and muscles, LateralX machines are going to feel very close to elliptical machines. Namely, they are going to be less hard on the joints than more traditional training types like running.

That’s because your feet are always going to be planted on the pedals, which would allow you to avoid the impacts experienced in running. For most people, the impact of running is going to be okay, but some people can’t tolerate it for a variety of reasons.

When it comes to athletes, a LateralX machine could provide benefits in endurance or recovery training, but probably not for the training of strength and explosiveness.

It should be mentioned that there are ways to do lateral training without spending thousands of dollars on training equipment. There are plenty of lateral bodyweight exercises you could perform. However, machines like LateralX make training more convenient and easy on you.

The pedals are moving in a predetermined trajectory, and your job is to “just” apply force to rotate them. They also don’t require much mobility, which is why they could be used by people with limited mobility and injuries.

You’ll get a more pleasant experience than from running, albeit the calorie expenditure will likely be less. But again, some people just can’t go to the max and run every day to lose weight.

Are Bowflex LateralX training machines worthwhile?

Even the cheaper Bowflex LateralX LX3 is going to be a pricey buy. In the end, would it be worth it to go for one of the LateralX models?

This one is really going to depend on your needs and your budget. The budget plays a big role here, but if you have the money, it doesn’t mean that you must get yourself a LateralX training machine.

When it comes to all-around training, Bowflex LateralX machines are probably going to do an excellent job for you. Elliptical machines already put quite a bit of load on the muscles, so imagine how much more it would take for you to move not only forward but also laterally.

Again, if you are result-driven and want to lose weight, running or playing football is probably going to do a much better job for you. But if you can’t really leave your home due to time or mobility limits, LateralX machines are worthy of consideration.

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