Schwinn A40 Elliptical Machine Review
If you are looking for a low-impact, high cardiovascular workout, you have likely considered an elliptical trainer. These machines provide many of the same great benefits to your body as a treadmill or cross trainer without the high-impact on the knees and back.
Regular exercise is an essential component of a healthy and happy life. But many people find that certain issues make it difficult to do a regular workout. With elliptical trainers, you get a fun, exhilarating workout right in the comfort of your own home.
If you’re looking for a great elliptical trainer, you should consider Schwinn’s A40 model.
It has all the great benefits of an elliptical machine at an affordable price. In this Schwinn A40 review, we’ll cover everything you need to know about this machine to help you decide if this is the right trainer for you.
Click the item in the following table to go to your most pressing question, or just proceed reading this entire review.
- How Does the A40 Elliptical Machine Work?
- What Features Are Included on the Console?
- What Are the Different Workout Programs on the A40?
- What Are the Dimensions of the Schwinn A40?
- Are There Any Downsides to the Schwinn A40?
- Who Makes the Schwinn A40 Elliptical Machine?
- What Is the Warranty on the A40?
- Is the A40 Difficult to Assemble?
- Where Can I Buy the Schwinn A40 Elliptical Machine?
- What Does an Elliptical Machine Do for the Body?
- Our Verdict
How Does the A40 Elliptical Machine Work?
An elliptical trainer is somewhat of a hybrid stationary exercise machine. The basic idea is that the machine simulates running and walking but removes the high impact stress that is placed on the joints (particularly the knees) and the back. Running and walking are still among the best and easiest cardiovascular workouts, but people with knee or back issues are not able to do them because of the high impact.
That’s where the elliptical trainer comes in. The A40 offers a combination of leg and upper-body exercise along with elevating your heart rate, for a great cardiovascular workout.
This model is a front driven elliptical machine, which means that there is a flywheel at the front of the machine around which gears drive your step and which creates resistance, to increase the difficulty of the workout.
This front-driven flywheel will give you the feeling that you are climbing but without all the hazards that come with a stair machine. Your steps are guided by glide rails over which rollers more easily provide you a solid platform.
The flywheel uses magnetic resistance to increase the difficulty of the workout. Because of this kind of design, the elliptical will not make much noise. It should operate freely and increasing the resistance does not increase the noise. Compared to treadmills and other trainers, the elliptical is remarkably quiet.
The foot plates offer high, raised sides, which protect your feet from slipping out of the machine when you are part of the way through your stride. This gives you an added layer of protection for a safe workout. Foot slippage mid-stride could lead you to fall off the machine, which could lead to serious injury.
While you are climbing along on the foot plates, there are also attached arm bars. This allows you to work more of your body and provides for some stability. Using an elliptical machine takes a little getting used to and these bars provide you the confidence that you won’t fall off the machine. Plus, by adding resistance to the workout, you get a more complete exercise experience.
The machine is positioned on four stabilizer bars in the rear and a single stabilizer in the front. The rear stabilizers come with adjustable footers, which allow you to compensate for uneven flooring. This makes your elliptical level, ensuring excellent performance.
The front stabilizer bar can also be used as a roller to move the unit. By tilting the machine up using the rear bars, you can maneuver the trainer around with relative ease. This might be a good bonus for those who will need to tuck the machine out of the way between uses.
What Features Are Included on the Console?
The console of the A40 offers all the elements you need in order to track your workout. It comes with a 5 x 3 inch LCD display so that you can clearly and easily read the status of your workout or call up the various pre-programmed workouts.
The console will provide you with a variety of readings. If you choose not to use any of the pre-programmed workouts, a quick start option will get you going, whereby you can customize all the settings for your own workout. The console will display your Time, Distance, Speed, Calories Burned, Resistance Level, Heart Rate, and Course.
The console also comes with a two-speed fan integrated into the design. This can provide you with some relief from the heat while undergoing a vigorous workout.
Monitoring your heart rate is an essential component of a quality, safe workout. The console offers electromagnetic sensors on two bars extended from the console. By placing your hands on the sensors, you will get quick, reliable readings on your current heart rate. You will have to move your hands from the arm bars to check your pulse, but this can be done easily and quickly. Most users do not report any discomfort in letting go of the handles to check their heart rate.
What Are the Different Workout Programs on the A40?
The A40 offers a variety of workout options. First, you can customize your own workout by adjusting the resistance level from the one-touch buttons on the console. This can be a good option for those wanting to ease into the elliptical.
The eight different levels of resistance offer intricate levels of different workouts so that you can find the perfect exercise for your experience level.
If you want a recommended workout, the A40 can customize a workout for you based on various metrics. These pre-programmed workouts come in three basic varieties.
First, if you are mainly concerned with burning calories, there are two low-intensity workouts that are designed for inexperienced exercisers or those with somewhat more experience. These workouts provide a variety of resistance levels that gradually change over the course of the workout. You will go from periods of high resistance to low throughout the workout, making it fun and challenging.
The second kind of pre-programmed workout provides what you might call a mountainous experience. These workouts are great to test your endurance and really get your lungs and heart pumping. These workouts will gradually raise the resistance levels the longer you work out to simulate hiking up a mountain. The higher your go, the steeper it gets! These workouts can be great for any level training, but should really push those already in decent physical shape.
The third kind of workouts offered on the A40 is very challenging. These workouts are for advanced trainers who really need to push their workouts to the next level. These challenging workouts combine the elements of the first two, providing both intervals of resistance and slowly increasing the levels of resistance. Even veteran trainers should find these workouts fun and challenging.
Whatever kind of workout you are looking for, the A40 has a good option. With these three kinds of workouts and the ability to customize your workout, anyone should be able to find great exercise with this machine.
What Are the Dimensions of the Schwinn A40?
You should make sure that you have enough room wherever you plan to place the elliptical. On the floor, its dimensions are 4.9 feet long and 1.9 feet wide. You will want to have several inches free all around to allow for some movement.
As far as height goes, the A40 itself is around 5.3 feet tall. But to determine the actual height clearance, you will want to measure your own height plus 16 inches.
16 inches is the height of the footplate so this will tell you how much clearance you need so that you do not hit your head on the ceiling. You should also give yourself a few extra inches just to make it comfortable.
The machine itself weighs about 90 lbs., so it is solid enough that it should not move around. If you do need to move the elliptical out of the way, two people could easily lift and move it. But like most stationary equipment, it is not meant to be moved around a lot. You should try and find a place for the elliptical where it can stay without much movement.
The maximum weight recommended by Schwinn is 275 lbs., so you should consider whether you are within the recommended limits. This machine is meant for those looking for a great workout, but not necessarily those who need to lose significant weight.
The stride length of the A40 is 17 inches. This refers to the distance between each step you take. You should note that this is somewhat shorter than the average stride for both men and women, so it might take some adjusting for your unique body type.
The distance between the two-foot plates is approximately 6 inches from inner side to inner side. This should give you an idea of how far apart your feet will be when using the machine. This should be a comfortable position for most people.
Are There Any Downsides to the Schwinn A40?
While the A40 is an excellent machine, it is not without its faults (as is the case with any equipment). One of the downsides is that the console is powered by batteries. If you use the fan regularly or have multiple people who use the elliptical machine, you might find yourself having to change the batteries more than you like. This can be avoided by purchasing a separate AC power adapter, but this does not come with the unit.
In addition to the power issues with the console, it is also not backlit. That means that you will need plenty of light in the room to read the console easily. If you are considering placing the trainer in a basement or otherwise low-lit room, you should supply a little extra light to make reading the console easier.
The fans on the console are also fairly low-performing. While they will move air around a bit, do not expect them to keep you completely cool while working out. It would be a good idea to have another fan around to help keep you cool.
Another possible problem some users report is the short stride for taller people. If you are over six feet tall, you might find that the A40 does not naturally fit your stride. In this case, you will feel like you are walking with short, stilted steps. This can be uncomfortable, but not necessarily a deal-breaker. It may just take a little time to get used to the stride until if feels more natural to you.
Who Makes the Schwinn A40 Elliptical Machine?
You have probably heard of the name Schwinn before. If you are wondering if this is the same company that makes bicycles, you’re right! The Schwinn brand has been synonymous with bicycles for over 100 years.
Schwinn was founded in 1895 in Chicago by Ignaz Schwinn, a German engineer. The company stayed in the family throughout the 19th century, producing some of the most famous and well-known American bicycles.
In 1992 the company filed for bankruptcy and changed hands a few times. Today the Schwinn name is owned by Dorel Industries, a Canadian conglomerate. Under this new management, the Schwinn name has been expanded into multiple products including home-gym equipment like the A40 elliptical.
What Is the Warranty on the A40?
Schwinn has several different warranty conditions on their elliptical machines. First, they warranty the frame of the A40 for two years against any parts malfunction or manufacturer defects. For all other parts of the elliptical, including the electronics, Schwinn warranties against the same defects for 6 months. That’s fairly standard for the industry, though you will find longer warranties from some other manufacturers.
The other thing you should know about Schwinn’s warranties is that they are non-transferable. What this means is that they are only good for the original purchaser. If you buy the A40 second hand, the warranty will be null and void. This is a great reason to buy the equipment new so that you can protect yourself against any manufacturing or parts errors.
Is the A40 Difficult to Assemble?
“Difficult” is a relative term when it comes to things like assembling furniture and home equipment. What is “difficult” for one person may not be difficult for another.
If you have experience putting things together or feel comfortable around tools, the A40 should not pose any significant problems. You will just need to make sure that you follow all the assembly instructions exactly.
Some people are tempted to tighten all the nuts and bolts as they assemble the machine, ignoring the instructions which explicitly say not to do this. You need to keep everything loose throughout the assembly process in order to ensure correct alignment of the various pieces. If you tighten the machine as you go, you will not be able to properly fit all the pieces together.
Assembly of the A40 should only take you between 1-2 hours, depending on how good you are with putting things together (or possibly less if you are really good). But take your time, as rushing through the assembly could cause you to overlook something and damage the elliptical. If the machine becomes damaged because of faulty assembly, Schwinn will not warranty the unit.
Where Can I Buy the Schwinn A40 Elliptical Machine?
There are several options when it comes to finding a place to buy this elliptical machine. Many sporting goods stores will carry quality home exercise equipment, but may or may not carry the A40 by Schwinn.
One of the downsides to purchasing this model from a department store is that the machine can be somewhat unwieldy to transport. You will need a large open cargo space to move it on. Plus you will have to carry it yourself to wherever you plan to set it up. And considering that the shipping weight is close to 100 lbs., you will probably need at least two people to move it while it’s still unassembled and in the box.
If you purchase the elliptical from an online retailer, like Amazon, you can have the machine shipped directly to your door with no hassle of having to transport it yourself. The item will often be delivered by one of the major carriers, which provides protection against any damage.
On the other hand, if you drop it while taking it home yourself, you will often be out of luck if it’s damaged. And often, retailers like Amazon will offer free shipping (though not always), which saves you even more money and gives you greater convenience.
Another nice feature offered by Amazon is their Home Service option. If you are not confident you’ll be able to put the machine together on your own, Amazon provides a qualified technician who will set the machine up in your home. This service costs extra but can be a real time-saver.
A professional installer will likely be able to put the machine together much more quickly, plus you have the peace of mind knowing it is done right. The last thing you want to do is put the machine together incorrectly and damage it. As noted above, this would not be included in your warranty.
Finally, ordering from Amazon gives you a 30-day return policy if you decide not to keep the unit. You’ll have to repackage the machine and ship it back, but this gives you some trial period where you can see if the machine is going to fit your needs.
What Does an Elliptical Machine Do for the Body?
As we have already noted, an elliptical trainer like the A40 provides an excellent cardiovascular workout with low-impact on your joints and back. The benefits to your heart and blood circulation cannot be overstated.
In addition to the great cardio workout, the A40 also provides some advantage to several muscle groups. However, we should point out that an elliptical machine does not provide strength training. The resistance levels on the A40 are not comparable to what you will get from lifting weights.
Nevertheless, you do get a decent workout for your major muscle groups. The most obvious benefit is to the various leg muscles. Like walking and running, these will be the primary muscles that you will use during a workout.
But in addition to these, if you use the arm bars well, you will also work out your arms and abdominal muscles. This will be determined somewhat by how much you use your arms to work against the resistance. But the more you do it, the more benefit you will see in these areas.
And working out your whole body should also have great benefits for weight loss if combined with a proper diet. Various health organizations recommend different levels of activity for weight loss, but a general consensus is that somewhere between 20 to 25 minutes per day of elevated heart rate can keep one fit and healthy. There is no need to spend hours upon hours at a gym. With the Schwinn A40, you can reap all the benefits of exercise right in your own home.
The Schwinn A40 elliptical trainer is a fantastic home fitness solution. It comes will all the basic features you could want from an elliptical machine at an affordable price.
With its great variety of workouts, any level of experience from beginner to veteran should find this machine useful and beneficial in meeting health and exercise goals.
While the A40 is not without its drawbacks (what machine is), they should not be deal breakers for most people. And the convenience of home delivery makes it extremely easy and convenient to set up your own gym right at home.
The Schwinn name has become synonymous with quality products and the A40 does not disappoint. If you are looking for a quality machine, this trainer should be high on your list.