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Matrix A30 Ascent Trainer Review

Quick Summary

Dramatic and durable, the A30 is an impressive Ascent Trainer elliptical from Matrix Fitness.

This incline trainer’s versatility is ideal for sculpting lean muscles: The pedals’ path can tilt from 24 to 54 percent, plus there’s adjustable stride.

The Matrix A30 can also meet any trainee’s toughest training with its 30-pound flywheel and excellent workout programming.

Pricing starts at $2699.

Learn more from our full Matrix Ascent Trainer review below.

Specifications

FitRated
Model Matrix A30
Rating

Our custom rating considers all of the elliptical's features, specs, warranties, and 100's of user & expert reviews, to save you time!

90.5%
List Price

Suggested retail price, typically higher than the price you'll pay with our recommended retailers.

$2,699
Best Price

Since prices change daily, this link goes to our preferred retailer for the best price we've found.

$2,699
Resistance

Resistance is what determines calories burned per stride. The more levels, the more precisely you can control the difficulty.

20 Levels
Resistance Type

The type of resistance affects the performance of your elliptical. Magnetic and Eddy-Current are the most common types.

Electronically Adjustable
Stride Length

Stride Length is important for comfort and smooth strides. A stride length of 18-21 inches is ideal for most heights (5'3 - 6'7).

20" - 24"
Pedals

Elliptical pedals can be cushioned and adjustable for maximum comfort and minimum impact on joints for injury prevention.

Oversized
Incline

Some elliptical trainers can be set at an incline to increase difficulty and burn more calories.

n/a
Flywheel

The flywheel controls the smoothness and resistance of your workout. In general, the higher the better.

30 lbs.
Programs

Elliptical Programs allow you to complete a workout with changing speeds and inclines, without changing anything manually.

5-11
User Profiles

For each profile the elliptical allows, you can create a custom user account with saved programs and goal settings.

n/a
Heart Rate

Heart Rate programs allow you to track how many times your heart is beating per minute (bpm), and some control the workout for you.

Yes
Display

Elliptical Display refers to the screen you'll look at to monitor workouts. LED and LCD displays are similar to TV screens.

XR, XER or XIR
Max. Weight

Max User Weight is the amount of weight, in pounds (lbs), that it can safely support, which can represent durability.

350 lbs
Dimensions

Dimensions are included to help you figure out if this elliptical will fit properly (Length x Width x Height and Height x Depth).

74.8” x 29.5” x 65”
Upper Body

Most ellipticals have handles to hold while you're working out that provide an upper body workout.

Accessory Tray

Some ellipticals include an accessory tray for holding items such as water bottles, wallets, keys, or MP3 players like iPods.

Speakers

Ellipticals that include a sound system allow you to listen to your MP3 player/iPod through built-in speakers (without headphones).

Cooling Fans

Cooling Fans are designed to help keep you cool during an intense workout on your elliptical.

Folding?

Some ellipticals are designed to conserve space by folding up. This is a convenient option, but some features might be reduced.

Quick Controls

Quick Controls allow you to select speed, incline and even workout programs with the touch of a button (usually on the handles).

Warranty

The warranty is an important part of your investment. The longer the warranty, the longer you can get free/discounted repairs.

Frame: Lifetime
Parts: 7 Years
Labor: 2 Years

Rating: 90.5%

Our Rating

Rating: 90.5/100. Enjoy physical and mental benefits of workout variation with the dynamic Matrix A30 Ascent Trainer. This unique suspension elliptical offers extreme versatility of motion by combining an adjustable stride with multiple incline settings up to 54%. Upper-body exercise is an option too. Even more variety comes with Matrix workout programming: In addition to providing standard elliptical workout programs, even the simplest Matrix console can connect the A30 to a home TV for immersive “virtual reality” video workouts that respond to user motion. These allow for realistic climbs through the Rocky Mountains, to Alpine villages and other scenic destinations for hikers. The advanced A30 consoles add HIIT (high intensity interval training) to the mix, plus they have built-in video workouts (no TV required, but it’s still an option). The Matrix A30 Ascent Trainer is sized reasonably for most homes and carries a very confidence-instilling warranty package. The main drawback for most shoppers is that the base price of $2699 increases with selection of the more advanced consoles. Is this the best trainer for your body and budget? Here are pros and cons to consider.

Pros:

  • Variable Stride (20″ to 24″)
  • Steep Incline (24 to 54%)
  • 30-Pound Flywheel
  • 20 Resistance Levels
  • Quiet Magnetic Braking
  • Preset Workouts
  • Wireless Heart Rate Monitoring
  • Wireless Data Tracking
  • Optional Speakers
  • Optional Mobile Apps & Web Browser
  • Passport-Ready
  • Optional Integrated Virtual Active Video
  • Reading Rack
  • High Capacity (350 pounds)
  • Good Warranty

Cons:

  • High Price
  • Extra Cost for Passport Player (Optional)
  • Not Portable (313 pounds)

Introduction

What makes the new Matrix A30 a special find? Steep incline settings make it unique among elliptical trainers. This feature alone makes the Ascent Trainer an unprecedented fitness machine — but Matrix engineers went even further, adding to the versatility with a long adjustable stride. They didn’t skimp on the flywheel or electronics either: This machine can accommodate anyone’s program preferences and level of desired connection to the online world. Read on for details.

Workout Programs

A choice of workout consoles helps Matrix Fitness equipment stand apart from most competitors, especially in the home elliptical market. Matrix Ascent Trainers are compatible with the Matrix XR, XER and XIR consoles. The XR has five standard workout programs, the XER has ten, and the XIR has 11. (Switching between programs is especially convenient with the latter two consoles, which each have a “Change Workout” button.) Matrix Ascent Trainer consoles support special types of workouts as well:

  • Virtual Active video tours are an option with all Matrix Ascent Trainer consoles. Virtual Active high definition video is captured with ambient sound in favorite tourist destinations worldwide. One way to view Virtual Active is directly on a Matrix XER or XIR console; realistic treks through the American Southwest and other scenic destinations are preloaded. Another choice with any Ascent Trainer console is experiencing Virtual Active on a big-screen home TV. This option requires the separate purchase of a Passport Media Player, which is sold with two films included. Other Virtual Active films can be purchased at JohnsonFit.com.
  • For HIIT (high intensity interval training) at all ability levels the Sprint8 app is provided on select consoles (the XER and XIR). Sprint8 workouts are just 20 minutes each but they deliver impressive benefits very quickly. Some benefits of choosing a Sprint8 workout three times per week are quick weight loss, an increase in lean muscle mass, and improved LDL cholesterol.

Whichever Ascent Trainer console and workout you choose, your data can be automatically sent to mobile apps as described below.

Matrix A30 Ascent Trainer Features

Are you motivated by workout stats? For those who focus on numbers, ViaFit connectivity on all Ascent Trainer consoles is a helpful tool. ViaFit automates the sharing of fitness statistics between the A30, various apps that you might use for fitness, and devices such as pedometers. ViaFit can also export workout info to social media.

Heart rate monitoring is made easy with wireless heart rate receivers. Additionally pulse readers are built into the Ascent Trainer’s handlebars. Wireless chest straps are included with select Matrix consoles.

Like fine commercial ellipticals, the A30 provides resistance primarily from its heavy drive. Weighing in at 30 pounds, the A30 flywheel is heavy enough to build up inertia for wonderfully smooth training. It’s also hefty enough to challenge very skilled trainees. Worth noting though is that changes in resistance take a bit longer on this unit compared with the Matrix A50, which isn’t much more expensive.

Striding on the A30 follows a choice of 20″ to 24″ elliptical paths. The stride can also be altered with incline settings from 24 to 54 percent. These options allow for almost unbelievably fast calorie burn, plus they enable the targeting of muscles from the glutes to the calves.

Pedals on the A30 are oversized for comfort. They lack the rubber inserts of the A50, but cushioning isn’t a critical factor considering that 1) you can wear cushioned shoes and 2) elliptical training is already low-impact.

Total body training is an option with help from the A30’s standard handlebars. These can also be left stationary, and a second set of grips are provided for stability. Matrix handlebars have built-in heart rate monitors and fingertip controls for the machine’s resistance.

Digital entertainment options are extensive with the XER and XIR consoles. These both have integrated speakers as well the apps for Facebook, Twitter, Hulu, YouTube and Weather. Additionally included only with the XIR are a web browser and a connection to “My Media.”

A bottle holder and a reading rack are integrated with each A30.

Warranty & Guarantee

The Matrix A30 home warranty includes:

– Frame: Lifetime
– Parts: 5 Years
– Console: 5 Years
– Labor: 2 Years

Ascent Trainers are sold with 30-day trials.

Conclusion

The Matrix A30 is an exciting match for the serious crosstrainer. It’s especially meant for people who already have worked their “elliptical muscles”; using the steep incline requires good lower body strength and cardio endurance.

Tip: If the A30 seems like a good match, do consider the A50 as well. The A50 costs just $300 more but allows better control over resistance, has an even longer warranty, and has upgrades on the pedals and arm bars.