Matrix A50 Ascent Trainer
- Choice of 3 Different Consoles
- Wheel-and-Track-Free Suspension Reduces Noise and Friction
- Run World Trails with Virtual Active
- Online Workout Tracking
- Lose up to 27% Body Fat with Sprint 8 HIIT Training Workouts
- Variable Stride of 20 - 24 Inches
- Browse the Internet With the XIR Console
- More Resistance Levels Than the A30
- Upgraded Footpedals
- Stride is Adjustable Only Due to Incline Adjustment
- Not Ideal for Budget Buyers
Matrix A50 Review – Highlights:
The Matrix A50 elliptical is the premium Ascent Trainer in the Matrix lineup, giving you more resistance levels, better pedals and grips than the A30 Trainer.
The A50 elliptical is technically called an Ascent Trainer – referring to the fact that you get power incline on this model (and can choose a more inclined or ascending elliptical motion).
The design of the Ascent trainer is unique. It’s built with an elliptical design that takes out the tradition wheel-and-track design that you usually see on standard elliptical trainers.
The wheel-and-track-free design gives you a smoother, more consistent feel with less friction and dead spots as you run.
(It’s also fair to note that you’ll have less to clean – as elliptical trainers with wheel-and-track designs also tend to get dirty or dusty. You have to keep the tracks clean to avoid the wheels getting dirty and potentially coming off the track.)
The Matrix A50 also gives you a more compact footprint – making this trainer ideal if you have a smaller workout area.
But even though it’s more compact than other trainers, the side arms on this model still make you feel like you have a lot of support when you’re on it.
Matrix A50 Review – The Consoles:
Any Matrix A50 review has to start with the consoles – since you won’t know all of your options if you choose the wrong console. The Matrix A50 elliptical gives you the choice of 3 different consoles.
We love this option since that means you’re not paying for features that you really don’t want or need. Here’s a review of your options:
#1 Simple XR Console
This is a dual-color, basic backlit LCD display (not a touch-screen). It displays all of your must-have workout stats but excludes most of the fluff and entertainment options you get with the 2 other consoles.
There is some WiFi connectivity which you can use to track your workout stats with the Viafit app – or use to connect to the Passport player (see below for more on Passport).
This is also the most affordable option and great if you just want a standard elliptical with the basics-only.
#2 Intuitive XER Console
This is a larger more intuitive, touch-screen, full color console. It includes Wi-Fi Connectivity for access to your favorite social apps like Netflix, Facebook, Hulu, YouTube, Twitter etc.
So you can watch Netflix shows or catch up with the latest Twitter news on this console – very cool.
The Bluetooth connectivity on this console supports wireless headphones and polar heart rate monitors.
You can also watch scenery in large living color from this console with Virtual Active (see below for more on Virtual Active). Like the XR console, it works with Viafit to track your workouts and with Passport player.
#3 Ultimate XIR Console
The XIR ramps it up to a huge console – 16 inches (vs 10 inches on the XER Console). It’s full-color, touch screen and, unlike the XER console, it is HD.
You get Wi-Fi Connectivity for access to your favorite apps like Netflix, YouTube, Facebook and more. Plus this console also comes with a fully-functional internet browser – so you can go online and surf the net as you workout.
The speakers and sound-quality are also higher-grade on this console (vs the XER console). Basically this console is built for someone who wants the full, health-club-style experience as they workout.
Lose Weight Fast with Sprint 8:
Sprint 8 is a Matrix-exclusive HIIT training workout (included with all Matrix A50 consoles). It’s specially designed to give you maximum weight loss results in minimum time.
In the 20 minute Sprint 8 workout you’ll do 8 high intensity intervals designed to maximize fat burning both during and post-workout.
According to studies done by Johnson health (the company that manufactures Matrix), Sprint 8 users burned up to 27% of their body fat in just 8 weeks without changing their diets at all – which is incredible.
The best part?
The participants in the study only did 3 workouts a week. So you can get results from just 3 twenty-minute workouts a week with Sprint 8 on this machine.
Run World Trails with Virtual Active
Virtual reality is the next frontier in the fitness equipment market – and Matrix/Johnson is one of the leaders in this area.
Virtual Active (included on the XER and XIR consoles) is a first-person, forward-motion video experience designed to make your workouts more enjoyable and effective.
You’ll run stunning world trails and see the actual scenery around you on your elliptical console. The workout footage is synced to the speed and intensity of your workout to give you a more realistic “running outdoors” feel.
Here’s a video showing you how it works (You really only need to watch the first 36 seconds – the rest of the video is not a Matrix A50 review – it’s just about using Virtual Active with your Matrix bike).
The XER and XIR consoles come preloaded with 2 destinations – Northern Rockies and American Northeast. (You don’t get this feature on the basic XR console).
You can choose to have a guided or basic workout. With the guided workout, you’ll get a trainer guiding you through your workout, giving you tips and encouraging you along the way. With the basic workout, you run alone without the trainer and just enjoy the scenery in quiet solitude.
Matrix A50 Review – Any More Benefits?
All Matrix A50 elliptical consoles are compatible with the Passport player device. Passport is an additional option that lets you add the virtual reality trail-running experience to your TV (instead of just your console).
So you have an even larger screen to enhance your training experience.
You can connect Passport to your TV, and get high definition destination footage in large, living color synced to your speed and intensity (passport player is sold separately and is pre-loaded with 2 destinations).
Another benefit is that the Matrix A50 works with Viafit (a free tracking app) to track your daily workouts and sync them to your favorite fitness apps. This is a great tool to see how far you’ve come and challenge yourself to go even further in your fitness goals.
More Resistance Than the A30 Model
The Matrix A50 comes with a few upgrades over the A30 model – including more resistance levels. You get 30 resistance levels (vs 20 on the A30 elliptical).
So you have more room to grow and challenge yourself as your fitness level improves on this trainer.
You also get upgraded, padded footpedals on the A50 that don’t come with the A30 model.
Matrix A50 Review – Anything Else You Should Know?
While Matrix advertises the stride length as “variable” (and it is, running from 20 – 24 inches), you should know that the stride only changes when you change the incline on this trainer.
You can’t just choose your own preferred stride and then go – you have to change the incline.
And while the price on the A50 might be a big high for someone just looking for a basic, starter elliptical, you do get what you pay for.
The construction is top-notch which you can see in everything from the heavy 30-pound flywheel to the proper ergonomic footpedals and the “Perfect Stride” design that closely mimics the way you run outside.
Plus the Exact Force Induction brake gives instant resistance changes. Because there are no moving parts in this system, it’s also quieter and more durable than traditional magnetic braking systems.
Overall this is a high-end commercial-grade elliptical designed to give you the ultimate training experience.
Where to Buy and Save:
You can get the Matrix A50 elliptical (along with the latest upgrades to the consoles) direct from the Matrix Manufacturer here. They also have several videos showing you various features of the trainer – so you can see how it works.
You can also benefit from any ongoing sales (they have several throughout the year) and get Free Shipping to your home.