CommunityBrowse groupsBlogEtiquetteInvite Your friendsSuccess Stories


arc trainer vs. elliptical

Anyone know the difference between these two pieces of equipment? Which burns more calories? What about muscle groups?
They sure seem to work the same muscle groups so I'm very curious...

Wed. Mar 7, 5:46pm

Add comment  
Here's a link to an online pdf that scientically compares arc trainers to ellipticals.


Wednesday, March 07, 2007, 6:14 PM

Add comment
Thanks for the scientific info but I'm really not scientifically minded... I'm just more interested in layman's terms for how these two are different and which tends to burn more calories.
But, again, I do appreciate the info...

Thursday, March 08, 2007, 1:06 PM

Add comment
It seems that this study really focused on whether these pieces of equipment place undue strain on joints as opposed to which burns more calories, etc.
But, thanks for sharing anyway.

Thursday, March 08, 2007, 1:08 PM

Add comment
The article points out how ellipticals place more stress on your knee and can cause back ache or injury while stating that an arc trainer won't. With that kind of information, why would it matter which burned more calories? Do what is better for your body!!!!! (And I am a layman; I haven't taken a science class since gr. 11)

And thank you so much to the person who linked to the article. I've been saying for years that ellipticals put you all out of alignment and put stress on your knee joint and potentially your back. Nice to have an article to back it all up...

Thursday, March 08, 2007, 8:13 PM

Add comment
ArcTrainers burn WAY MORE calories

Elliptical machines hurt my knees. ArcTrainers never give me a problem, so that's the #1 reason why I like them.

They also have all of these different settings: hill interval, cardio, strength, etc. some of which are really tough. You will really feel your gluts and quads the next day. This is the only cardio machine (besides running on a treadmill) that I feel gives you a REAL workout.

And I can burn 300 calories in 30 minutes on the ArcTrainer - pretty good for a cardio machine (and this is with my own heart rate monitor - machine estimates tend to be a lot higher than real calories burned).

Friday, March 09, 2007, 10:55 AM

Add comment
To the 10:55 poster

Are you sure the ArcTrainer burns more calories? I have ssen that too when I compare the calories indicated on the elliptical to the ArcTrainer after the same amount of time. But I am not sure that I believe it. I have read that you can't really trust the machines when it some to calories burned.

After 30 minutes on the elliptical, the calorie count says 400. After 30 minutes on the ArcTraner, it says 500. My heart rate monitor suggests that I am working equally hard, so it doesn't make sense to me that the calories burned would be that different.

I find both machines get me going and nearly to the same extent.

Friday, March 09, 2007, 4:04 PM

Add comment
I feel like by and large the ArcTrainer and ellipticals are pretty comparable. These machines come in a lot of varieties and usually with a lot of settings, so how much energy they use up isn't really straightforward to compare.
I feel like the biomechanics and relationship to your anatomy is different on different machines and I don' t know what the effect is on calories, but it probably makes a difference in which muscles bear more load. For example, it feels to me like the Arctrainer has a longer vertical stroke than a Lifefitness elliptical.

Monday, March 12, 2007, 9:40 AM

Add comment
The thing about the Arc Trainer, according to the little sticker on the machine, is that the different levels mimic different machines/motions. Like 0-1 is a X-country skier, 2-4 is the elliptical, and I think the higher ones are the stepper, the hiker, and the climber. I'm more likely to use the arm poles because they're way more comfortable than any of the elliptical arm poles have been. My only complaint is that it feels like the pedals are a little to far apart in terms of width.

Calories burned...the resistance levels don't compare well (1-20 v. 1-100), so using my heartrate as a guideline, the output is pretty equal.

Monday, March 12, 2007, 10:56 AM

Add comment
Arc Trainer is Un-Elliptical and Burns More Calories w/Less Stress

When Cybex introduced its Arc cross-training cardiovascular machine five years ago its mission was to build a breakthrough piece of equipment that provided impact-free exercise and maximum training affect on muscles without overstressing the body.

“Perceived effort and joint discomfort are totally different on the Arc Trainer, compared with elliptical machines,” said Jeremy Boone, a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, who works with a vast array of exercising populations and is also part of the offseason program for the NFL Carolina Panthers. “I have clients who just can’t push themselves hard enough on elliptical trainers without it becoming too uncomfortable, or even painful, but on the Arc Trainer, they can work as hard as they want without experiencing any pain or discomfort. Even athletes with previous or rehabbing knee injuries feel that the Arc Trainer gives them a great workout without any knee pain.”

The Arc Trainer’s unique, “un-elliptical” pattern provides leg movement in a biomechanically correct motion that is impact free. The footplate moves in an arc path which simulates a rhythmic step up activity with proper mechanics, significantly reducing the shear component at the knee.


Monday, January 12, 2009, 6:48 PM

Add comment
heart rate / calories

This is something that's bugged me as well. Similar heart-rate implies similar oxygen burned implies similar work being done. Yet the ArcTrainer also tells me I am burning 40% more calories over the elliptical. Makes me suspicious that the ArcTrainer is simply inflationary.

Sunday, February 22, 2009, 10:21 PM

Add comment
arc trainer vs elliptical

I tried the arc trainer last week by accident. I wasn't paying attention and got on it instead of the elliptical, which are on the row behind the arc trainers. WOW! It's so much better than the elliptical in the short time that I've used it. I have much more endurance, burn more calories, put less stress on my knees and hips, and actually enjoy doing it! I brought my work out buddy today who has arthritis in both knees, low endurance, and has been away from the gym for a month. She was able to do 25 minutes and had no pain. She could have gone longer, but we had a time constraint.
We both are on a weight loss program and this is the cardio machine that will help those pounds continue to melt away.

Monday, March 08, 2010, 11:23 AM

Add comment
Where to buy and get it delivered/installed?

My wife and I love this machine in our local fitness center and we are planning to buy one; it is expensive but it is worth the buy considering our schedule and health;

I need some suggestions to the where abouts to shop; anyone has any idea? I looked at eBay (cheap - sells refurbished) and Amazon and they do sell but I need to hire someone to get it inside my house and also assemble; was wondering if there are any online stores that delivers and assembles with local contacts? Or some local stores (Austin, TX area) where I can buy and get it delivered and installed.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010, 10:18 AM

Add comment
Arc Trainer vs Ellipcical Machine

I usually walk on the treadmill for about 20 minutes to get warmed up then I will workout on the Elliptical for 40 minutes. I love the elliptical machine. I feel I get a great cardio workout. I maintain my HR in the 160's and burn 500 calories in 40 minutues, if I increase the level I burn more calories. The only way I can get through any workout machine is jamming to my music. My pace and energy depends on the song that is playing, I go slower for slow songs and really pump it up for upbeat faster songs. If your trying to shed the pounds this technique is awesome because you are changing up the pace instead of sticking with the same pace throughout your workout. Depending on my stance I am able to work the quads, hamstrings, outer hips and calfs. Sometimes, I will put it in reverse to workout the buns. I also push and pull with the handles so I get a good upper body workout.

I tried the Arc Trainer a few years ago and didn't really like it. It felt really akward and harder to me. It just seemed like it put more strain on my body. I think I lasted about 2-3 minutes on it. Maybe its because I am a short person. =) I have been thinking about giving it another try though this week. Hopefully, this time I can last 10 minutes...haha. I need to gradually build up my time as my muscles get used to this machine. I really want to give my ab and butt muscles a good workout and really hope this is the machine for it !!

Has anyone lost inches in thier thighs using this machine? That is another goal I am hoping to conquer. I want to loose inches off my thunder thighs !!

Happy training to all.
Don't give up - push yourself - You can do it !

Saturday, April 17, 2010, 5:51 AM

Add comment
I have to ditto what the PP said. I found the Arc Trainer awkward and uncomfortable too. I also found it harder than the elliptical. Unlike the PP I'm a taller person, and I wondered if the Arc was maybe more comfortable for shorter people. I guess not.

I love the elliptical, but everyone is different.

Saturday, April 17, 2010, 1:53 PM

Add comment
Arc vs Elliptical

I tried elliptical trainers and found that my knees were headed straight to surgery...I can use the treadmill, but the next day my back hurts.

I have had 3 years of back pain (after years of happy running then walking, skiing, x-country, video workouts, gardening). What I was delighted to discover is that the Arc Trainer no only does not make my back (or knees) hurt, it makes my back feel BETTER. I find that if I push forward with my hips (like X-country skiing) from time to time, it feels better. I ignore the program and do an interval set for 30 minutes-20sec as fast as possible, then 40-60 sec at 75-85 stm, with the program varying the intensity.

I LOVE THIS MACHINE but don't you use it-I want it to be free at my Planet Fitness when I go. I am tall (5'10" and female and over 50

Thursday, January 06, 2011, 12:04 PM

Add comment

Related Content:

How To Lose Weight- The Basics
Weight Watchers Points System
The Fat Smash Diet
The Eat To Live Diet
The Beck Diet Solution
How To Get The Motivation To Lose Weight


How To Be Successful Using PEERtrainer

How To Burn Fat
Online Weight Loss Support- How It Works
Does Green Tea Help You Lose Weight?
Tips On Using PEERtrainer
Visit The PEERtrainer Community
Diet and Fitness Resources


Weight Watchers Meetings
Learning To Inspire Others: You Already Are
Writing Down Your Daily Workouts
Spending Money On A Personal Trainer?
How I Became A Marathon Runner


Preventive Health

How To Prevent Injuries During Your Workout
Flu Season: Should You Take The Flu Shot?
Are You Really Ready To Start PEERtrainer?
Super Foods That Can Boost Your Energy
Reversing Disease Through Nutrition

New Diet and Fitness Articles:

Weight Watchers Points Plus
How To Adjust Your Body To Exercise
New: Weight Watchers Momentum Program
New: PEERtrainer Blog Archive
Review Of The New Weight Watchers Momentum Program

Weight Loss Motivation by Joshua Wayne:

Why Simple Goal Setting Is Not Enough
How To Delay Short Term Gratification
How To Stay Motivated
How To Exercise With A Busy Schedule

Real World Nutrition and Fitness Questions

Can Weight Lifting Help You Lose Weight?
Are Protein Drinks Safe?
Nutrition As Medicine?

Everyday Weight Loss Tips

How To Eat Healthy At A Party
How To Eat Out And Still Lose Weight
The Three Bite Rule
Tips On How To Stop A Binge