Behind the Scenes: Making of the Latest EFX®

For Gym Operators

Behind the Scenes: Making of the Latest EFX®

If you’ve ever wondered what goes into designing a new product, the answer is a lot.

Making the new Experience™ Series EFX® with Converging CrossRamp® was a company-wide effort for Precor, requiring a huge amount of evaluation and validation to ensure that the changes we made were for the better. We knew that any new EFX model had to live up to a history of a highly regarded elliptical product for operators and exercisers alike.

 Making of the EFX

Perfecting the Cardio Blueprint

When Precor invented the Elliptical Fitness Crosstrainer™, or EFX®, in 1995, it took the world by storm, quickly becoming a favorite piece of equipment for exercisers of all ages and fitness levels. Today, the elliptical is ubiquitous in gyms across the world and used by millions of exercisers every day.

As the originator and leader of the elliptical category, Precor takes continued innovation seriously. We believe that there’s always room to gain new insights and improve on past designs – even if the past designs were already great. Our new EFX enhances the well-known design of our current product through biomechanical research and feedback.

User Insights

For any new product, fit and feel, durability, and usability are paramount, and these qualities were at the forefront throughout the design process. We knew that exercisers wanted an elliptical that was effective and comfortable, and that operators wanted equipment that was easy to maintain and clean.

Precor Senior Product Manager Doug Durnford says, “Once the key product requirements were defined, the new EFX was in development for nearly three years to ensure that operators get the best value for their money, and users experience the best elliptical exercise.”

Perhaps the most important part of the design process was product testing and speaking with the people who interact with our equipment the most: exercisers and facility operators. To gain insights on exerciser preferences, Precor observed and interviewed 150 exercisers at three clubs in Washington and California. We were able to gauge what users liked and disliked about older Precor models as well as ellipticals made by other manufacturers, allowing us to maintain the features that exercisers love while improving others in the new design.

 Making of the EFX

Ergonomic Design

Any change to the form or motion path of the elliptical had to be proven as ergonomically and biomechanically sound. Ensuring that equipment encourages proper joint mechanics and muscle activation is critical, and the team of engineers and product designers at Precor took into account every move an exerciser’s muscles make when designing the new EFX.

Research-Based Validation

Precor commissioned three independent research studies from a university in Washington State to evaluate and validate the new design. To exercisers and operators who are familiar with Precor’s ellipticals, the most noticeable difference in the new design is the converging CrossRamp.

“This will be Precor’s fifth generation EFX, made to operate and feel even better, with the patent-pending converging CrossRamp design,” Durnford says. The Converging CrossRamp draws an exerciser’s feet slightly toward the centerline at the foremost point of their strides, which replicates the natural movement of walking and running.

Although the new EFX design is finished and the product is launched, the process of validation isn’t over. Durnford says, “Extensive lab and field testing is ongoing to ensure that the reliability of the new EFX is as good or better than previous generations.”

The testing continues, but Precor is confident that the new EFX is our best design yet and will bring excellent fitness experiences to people all over the world.

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Lauren Holstein
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Originally from New Jersey, Lauren feels right at home in Seattle’s coffee-drinking, outdoorsy, bookworm culture.

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