If your in search of an elliptical machine, I'm quite certain that you have run into Cybex arc trainers all over the web in your journey to get a calorie burn'n, weight loss targeting high intensity fitness machine! I deal with people that always question "what is the best arc trainer for the home?" My quick answer is always the one that you can afford.... Yes that simple. Looking at elliptical trainers such as arc trainers the mechanics really have not changed since they were first thought up by the brain trust at Cybex international years ago, realistically the major differences are whether the Arc is a lower body model such as the 600a, 620a, 750a, 625a, 525a or the 770a. The "A" on all arc trainers mean Lower body and vary little in the stride length , incline level or even range of motion. The Body of the arc trainer will look difference but what cybex has managed to do is to keep the biomechanics the same from year to year in there production. As far as the quick start and target heart rate functions i'd say almost all cross trainers at this point will do that just as well on an older say cybex 750a model then on the latest models like the 625a, 770a out in the market today.
The other major difference is if the Arc trainer is a total body or an upper body elliptical, which just means you will get more of a total body workout, out of it but people find them to be easier workout since it's not just the legs going through the arc motion but your arms helping the stride and getting full body to go through the exercise cycle. The Cybex 770at or 625at's are the latest of these units and is a great exercise machine and can compensate with extra programming that the older generations did not come with so you can make them harder to use as your fitness level increases. Note that the "AT" stands for total body so keep that in mind while in the hunt for one of these great pieces of fitness equipment . I would probably stay away from the older models at this point since they are not longer supported by Cybex and parts will become harder and harder to find in the future in case of break down , these units are the 600a, 620a, 610a and 630a, totally obsolete, if you find them for a good deal and are in good shape don't be afraid to purchase one they are commercial machines and should hold up in a home for years but as the years go by in will increase the chances of ever being able to find a part for them. This all being said what should make the biggest difference in what style of arc trainer you buy is more about what other pieces of exercise equipment you have in your home gym to accompany the arc trainer. So if my space is limited or my budget only allows me 1 piece for my home gym id stick to the "AT" total body arc trainer . This will get more muscle groups involved and will get more bag for the buck on your home fitness journey. Note that the cardio workout you get from the arc trainer is what you put into the machine so really try to get into it for its to be most effective pretty much all cardio machine are the same in that manner. Now if you have a preference because you enjoy the use of a lower body arc trainer at your local gym by all means stick to that, I would like to say the best elliptical is the one you actually use and feel comfortable with. Also if you have other units in your home gym and are looking to add something new that can get your heart rate level up that's low impact, a lower body arc trainer would be perfect since they are more economical then there total body counterpart.
Noticed I did not get into why Arc trainers are better than the other elliptical cross trainers out there! The reason is simple ellipticals are all about comfort and bio-mechanics that only the user can determine. Chances are if you're reading this your already in the market for an arc trainer and know that it suits your body and work out style. In my perspective there all pretty much the same and the best one for you is the you use and can afford!
Lincoln, Rhode Island