ProForm Pro HIIT H14 Elliptical Review (2024): Intense, Low-Impact Cardio, Anyone?

Sometimes when you’re stuck between two options — chocolate or vanilla, elliptical or stair climber — the universe comes through with an answer. The ProForm Pro HIIT H14 Elliptical may or may not be that sign from above, but it’s nevertheless one of the best ellipticals we’ve tested. Its hybrid design turns the horizontal glide of an elliptical upright to more closely resemble a stair climber, allowing you to ramp up the intensity of your cardio.

While stair climbers are inherently easier on the joints than treadmills, the elliptical-like design of the gliding pedals lessens the impact that much more. After testing dozens of elliptical machines and stair climbers, our team thinks the unique design of the H14 is a great fit for athletes who need low-impact training, but still want an intense workout. Check out our ProForm Pro HIIT H14 Review to see if this hybrid piece of fitness equipment is a match for you.

ProForm Pro HIIT H14

ProForm Pro HIIT H14

This unique profile combines a stair climber and elliptical for a space-saving, high-performance training experience. The Pro HIIT H14 is also integrated with the iFIT online workout program, giving you access to over 17,000 live and on-demand fitness classes.

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About Our Expert

This article has been reviewed by Amanda Capritto, CPT, CES, CNC, CF-L1, CSNC, a certified personal trainer and CrossFit Level-1 instructor. She reviewed the research we cite to help ensure we’re providing helpful, accurate descriptions and recommendations.

Main Takeaways

Its compact, hybrid design combines the feel of a stair climber and ellipticals, though the stride is more vertical than horizontal.

Integration with iFIT gives you access to 17,000 workouts, some of which feature automatic resistance adjustments across its 26-level range.

While the 14-inch touchscreen supports iFIT, it lacks a device holder or access to streaming apps like Netflix and Hulu.

ProForm Pro HIIT H14 Elliptical Highlights

Price: $1,799

Resistance Levels: 26

Stride Length: 10” vertical, 5” horizontal

Weight Capacity: 325lbs

Product Dimensions: 52″ L x 29” W x 66″ H

Product Weight: 224lbs

Warranty: 10-year frame, 2-year parts, 1-year labor

After taking the ProForm Pro HIIT H14 Elliptical for a spin, it was apparent that its vertical orientation leans more towards stair climber than elliptical. However, this unique design does incorporate many benefits of ellipticals, like its hallmark gliding motion that’s easier on the joints than running. 

As certified personal trainer Jesse Zucker, NCSF-CPT, explains, both of these cardio machines can reduce the load on your joints that can lead to cartilage damage, but one more so than the other. (1) “The elliptical and the stair climber are both low-impact workouts, but the elliptical is lower-impact. Since your feet stay on the pedals, you’re not adding extra shock or force to your joints even as you increase the intensity.”

Traditional stair climbers mimic the real-world experience of — you guessed it — climbing stairs. As your foot lifts to reach the next stair, your knees and back absorb the shock as it lands. So while stair climbers offset more impact than a treadmill, an elliptical offsets more than a stair climber. The H14 helps close that gap by allowing you to plant your feet on the oversized, elliptical-style pedals.

Our tester on the ProForm Pro HIIT H14 Elliptical.

The vertical and horizontal gliding motion of this cross trainer combines the lower-impact cardio of ellipticals with the increased intensity of stair climbers. “I loved seeing the oversized pedals and they were well-cushioned like a true elliptical,” said our tester, a CrossFit Level-1 trainer. “Plus the two sets of handles — one fixed and one moving — gave me the option of working my upper body.”

They also highlighted that, while “elliptical” may be in the name, you should expect the motion of a stair climber. “I would absolutely call this a stepper machine before calling it an elliptical,” they said. “It’s definitely not as bulky as an elliptical — much taller than it is wide — but I was very impressed with how sturdy it was.” 

Our tester adjusting the controls on the ProForm Pro HIIT H14 Elliptical.

The price tag may induce some sticker shock, but with the iFIT-enabled 14-inch touchscreen, it still earned a 3.5 out of 5 for value from our tester. “At $1,700, it is definitely not cheap, but it’s really a high-tech machine,” they said. iFIT’s programming truly makes it one of the best fitness apps out there.”  

The iFIT app’s library of more than 17,000 classes includes trainer-led studio sessions and scenic hikes, walks, and runs, including my personal favorite, the Grand Canyon Hiking Series. You can even hop off and swivel the display to take on some strength training, yoga, or more. 

While an iFIT membership does not come cheap — $39.99 per month — our team thinks the variety of workouts and surplus of motivational trainers help justify the added expense. Also, select iFIT workouts can take control of your resistance, automatically adjusting the H14’s 26 levels to an instructor’s recommendations. 


Hybrid elliptical and stair climber design

Integrated with the iFIT app, which offers more than 17,000 classes

Swiveling 14-inch touchscreen for off-machine workouts

Vertical orientation minimizes footprint


Access to iFIT requires $39.99 monthly subscription

The touchscreen only streams iFIT

Our testing team struggled with assembly

Training With the ProForm Pro HIIT H14 Elliptical

BarBend’s expert team of certified personal trainers, CrossFit coaches, and gym owners have tried and tested more than 20 ellipticals and 10 steppers and vertical climbers. After spending time on the ProForm Pro HIIT H14 Elliptical, our tester, a CrossFit Level-1 trainer, utilized the BarBend equipment testing methodology to assign ratings of 1 (lowest) to 5 (highest) across 13 categories, including ergonomics, tech capabilities, footprint and portability, and more. 

After reviewing this article, BarBend expert reviewer Amanda Capritto added her insight and gave it her stamp of approval. Check out what we had to say about the ProForm Pro HIIT H14 and its unique hybrid design below. 

Hybrid Design

Even if you have experience with the best stair climbers and ellipticals, the hybrid design of the ProForm Pro HIIT H14 may surprise you. While it could be effectively described as a combo of the two, our tester says its vertical orientation makes it closer to a stair climber than elliptical. “The 5-inch horizontal stride definitely feels shorter than the 20-inch standard I’ve experienced with other ellipticals, but the 10-inch vertical climb makes up for it with a comfortable, stepper-like sensation,” they said, scoring the H14’s ergonomics 4 out of 5.

The vertical orientation of the ProForm Pro HIIT H14 Elliptical.

As certified personal trainer Jesse Zucker explains, ellipticals and stair climbers both focus on the lower body, but are actually quite different. “The elliptical mimics walking, but your feet stay on the pedals — you’ll basically be gliding. It also includes an optional upper-body workout if you opt for using the handles,” they said. “The stair climber does what it says: it mimics climbing stairs. You can adjust the resistance and speed on both to up the intensity.”

The H14 straddles the line between the two. Your feet stay on the pedals (like an elliptical), but it feels like climbing stairs (like a stair climber). Its moving handlebars support upper-body work (like an elliptical), but its 26 levels of ProForm’s “Silent Magnetic Resistance” (SMR) are more than you will see on many of the best commercial ellipticals.

Its 30-pound inertia-enhanced flywheel also surpasses the average range on most ellipticals — 16 to 20 pounds — and helped the H14 earn a durability rating of 5 out of 5 from our tester. “Along with its sturdy frame, the heavy flywheel helps increase its stability,” they noted. “It was also super quiet, so if you’re in a shared space, you won’t have to worry about too much noise.”

They continued, “There’s no incline or decline, but this resistance range is way more than the industry standard of 12 resistance levels.” 

They felt the lines between the elliptical and stair climber start to blur during their workout, rating its customizations 3.75 out of 5. “So, it definitely feels more like a stair climber, but you can also pedal forward and backward,” they said.


The smart HD touchscreen is integrated with iFIT, a fitness app offering thousands of trainer-led cardio classes and virtual hikes that consistently earns ratings of 5 out of 5 from our team. You can access this content via the 14-inch smart HD touchscreen, which swivels so you can take strength and mobility classes off the machine. 

iFIT on the 14-inch touchscreen of the ProForm Pro HIIT H14 Elliptical.

“The touchscreen is clear and it’s nice being able to swivel it,” they said. “But the belle of the ball is iFIT’s programming.” With over 17,000 classes at your fingertips, iFIT offers the type of immersive training that our expert reviewer Amanda Capritto thinks can help stay engaged and committed to their fitness regimen. iFIT is some of the best interactive programming out there and really helps prevent boredom,” she says. 

Access to all this streaming goodness will set you back an additional $39.99 per month. Plus, if you’re hoping to binge some Netflix or YouTube, bad news: the screen only streams iFIT. 

Our tester gripping the fixed handles of the ProForm Pro HIIT H14 Elliptical.

By connecting Bluetooth headphones (or plugging in wired headphones) you can keep up with your iFIT workouts without blasting the audio through the speaker. Bluetooth also enables you to connect a third-party heart rate monitor.

We do wish there was a media shelf or device holder on the console to prop up your own mobile device. If you decide to go with the ProForm Pro HIIT H14, our tester thinks an iFIT subscription is basically a requirement. “If you aren’t planning on subscribing to iFIT, I think you’d be better off with a less tech-centric machine,” they said, scoring tech capabilities a 4 out of 5. 

Low-Impact Cardio Training 

When they sized up these two home gym equipment favorites, Zucker noted that both can help reduce the stress on your joints that can lead to cartilage damage. (1) “The elliptical and the stair climber are both low-impact workouts, but the elliptical is lower-impact,” they said. “Since your feet stay on the pedals, you’re not adding extra shock or force to your joints even as you increase the intensity.” 

However, Zucker favored the stair climber for intensity. “The movement pattern of climbing stairs, especially with resistance, engages more of your lower body muscles, raising your heart rate and intensity quicker.” 

The oversized cushioned pedals of the ProForm Pro HIIT H14 Elliptical.

The H14 combines the increased intensity of climbing stairs with the low-impact gliding motion of ellipticals. That said, the stride length is only 5 inches long, which is far shorter than the 20-inch average on most models we have tested. But as our tester noted, this machine is a blend of both. “This is not a traditional elliptical at all,” they noted. “You can’t take the long gliding strides you would on a typical elliptical.”

Compact Footprint

Most stair climbers and ellipticals eat up about as much floor space as a recliner — 10 to 13 square feet. We wouldn’t count the H14 among the best compact exercise equipment we’ve tested, but its vertical silhouette can save you a little bit of space. “It takes up 10.47 square feet, so it’s not as space-hungry as a regular rear-drive elliptical,” they said, rating its footprint and portability 3.5 out of 5. “However, it is taller than those machines, and it doesn’t fold or anything.” 

At 224 pounds, it’s not exactly easy to move around. Our tester noted that the front-mounted transport wheels make it manageable, though. “I definitely wouldn’t call this thing ‘light,’” they said. “Most people shouldn’t have trouble rolling it around a room, but if you’re going up or down any stairs, call a friend.” 

The base of the ProForm Pro HIIT H14 Elliptical.

All in all, they think it’s best to choose a recliner-sized spot for its forever home, but think twice before setting it up in a garage. “This is relatively common with machines like this, but the warranty will be voided if it’s not stored in a climate-controlled space — like a garage,” they said. 

What to Consider Before Buying the ProForm Pro HIIT H14 Elliptical

While it offers many characteristics of ellipticals — gliding motion, oversized pedals, and moving arms — the vertical orientation is closer to that of a stair climber. This means your workouts will have a bit more bite since you’ll be climbing higher than most ellipticals. Consider that, along with these key factors, when you think about adding this hybrid cardio machine to your space.

Preferred Training Type

Before committing to the H14, remember that it more closely resembles a stair climber than an elliptical. This means the low-impact cardio it offers up will be more intense than the smooth horizontal glides of traditional ellipticals. Steady-state cardio is certainly possible on the H14, but, as its name implies, this machine is best suited for sweat-drenched HIIT workouts.

[Related: Elliptical Vs. Stair Climber]

This machine’s 26 levels of magnetic resistance can be adjusted via the console or, if you’re in a compatible iFIT class, automatically via the app. This way, you can focus on surviving your HIIT session rather than scrambling to navigate all those quick resistance changes. 

You’ll also want to keep in mind that the only onboard programming is iFIT. Capritto recommends factoring in the additional cost of iFIT ($39.99 per month) when making your decision. “If you don’t want to pay for a fitness subscription, you may want to look for an elliptical that has built-in workouts,” she says.

Available Space

The H14 takes up about as much floor space as a typical recliner. (2) When you’re planning out where you might park it, ask yourself whether you could drop in a small piece of furniture in the same spot. 

Our tester rolling the ProForm Pro HIIT H14 Elliptical.

Capritto says measuring the place spot your elliptical, stair climber, or hybrid machine will stay should be your first consideration. “This is a good place to start, because you’ll be really frustrated if you buy an elliptical that doesn’t fit in your intended space or — if you need to be flexible with your space — isn’t easy to move.”


Compared to most ellipticals, the H14 would land at the top of the average $1,200 to $1,800 we usually see. But remember that this is a unique machine, so it’s not exactly an apples-to-apples comparison. One determining factor is its 14-inch touchscreen and iFIT integration.

Capritto says that high-end features like these can bump the price well above that of the best budget home gym equipment. “You’ll pay a lot of money to get top-tier features on an elliptical, just like you will for any other big piece of cardio equipment,” she points out. “While there are plenty of budget-friendly ellipticals available, they won’t check all of the boxes for a lot of people.”


In the heat of a workout on the H14, conveniences like the fan and water bottle holder can make a big difference. It also includes transport wheels to aid in moving it around, as well as leveling feet to make sure it stays balanced during use. Our tester rated the H14’s conveniences 3.75 out of 5. 

ProForm Pro HIIT H14 Elliptical Vs. the Competition

The ProForm Pro HIIT H14 Elliptical is a unique mashup between an elliptical and stair climber, but we have tested a few other hybrids out there that also favor a vertical orientation. Along with two other combo machines, we included the NordicTrack AirGlide 14i, one of the best ellipticals with incline we’ve tested. 

The closest comparison to the H14 is the stair-climber feel of the BowFlex Max Trainer. Like the H14, your feet will remain grounded in oversized pedals as opposed to lifting and stepping on a traditional stair climber. However, because the stride is strictly vertical, it functions much more like a stair climber than the true hybrid nature of the H14. The Max Trainer does cost $300 less, but the machine is a bit slimmer. You’ll notice a 76-pound product weight difference, plus a lower weight capacity and eight fewer resistance levels.

You may need to read our NordicTrack FS10i FreeStride Trainer review to get the full picture of how its hybrid design works. Instead of combining the functionality of a stair climber and elliptical, it throws in the feel of a treadmill to mix up your training even more. This is one you may need to see in action, so watch BarBend’s Jake Herod, NASM-CNC, take it for a spin below.

To draw a comparison to a true elliptical, we included one of our favorites, the NordicTrack AirGlide 14i. Spec-wise, it aligns with the ProForm Pro HIIT H14 perfectly in price, resistance, and warranty — even their overall weights are only 20 pounds apart. 

However, the AirGlide 14i is an elliptical through and through. It’s one of our highest-rated ellipticals, but working out on the H14 is much closer to the feel of a stair climber than an elliptical. The vertical silhouette of the H14 makes its footprint of 10.47 square feet around 13 percent smaller than the two NordicTrack models.

Places to Buy the ProForm Pro HIIT H14 Elliptical

You can buy the ProForm Pro HIIT H14 Elliptical on the ProForm website, Amazon, and major retailers like Dick’s Sporting Goods.

Customer Experience

Ordering the ProForm Pro HIIT H14 is a simple enough process — add to cart, enter your card info, checkout — but its complex assembly is what earned it just a 2 out of 5 from our tester. “You definitely need an extra set of hands, as well as a clear schedule,” they said. “If I had to do it again, I wouldn’t hesitate to take advantage of the $199 white-glove assembly package.” 

ProForm offers a 30-day return window, but you will be on the hook for a $250 return shipping fee, as well as a 10-percent processing fee. Our tester also rated ProForm’s customer service a 3.5 out of 5. “There is a live chat on the website, but it just directed me to the phone number, so it wasn’t exactly helpful.”


The warranties that back up the ProForm Pro HIIT H14 — 10-year frame, two-year parts, one-year labor — earned a 4 out of 5 from our tester.

Company Information

ProForm manufactures some of the best treadmills, ellipticals, and rowing machines that our team has used. All their cardio machines all are integrated with iFIT to bring the studio experience into your home. To reach their customer service team you can call 1(888) 742-0128 or head to the contact page on the ProForm website.

In Conclusion

Hybrid cardio machines like the ProForm HIIT H14 can’t always be classified as simply an “elliptical” or “stair climber.” After getting a feel for the H14 ourselves, though, we think it combines the best of both worlds. On the spectrum of stair climber to elliptical, its vertical orientation lands it closer to the former. But with your feet firmly planted on the oversized pedals, you’ll still benefit from the low-impact cardio that makes ellipticals an at-home fitness staple.

We think a hybrid machine like the H14 would be a great fit for anyone who needs to save their joints a bit of stress, but wants to raise the intensity of their cardio sessions. With 26 resistance levels and moving arms reminiscent of traditional ellipticals, you may be begging your iFIT trainer for a break. If you’re ready to give your cardio sessions a boost, the ProForm HIIT H14 Elliptical might just be the kick in the pants you’ve been looking for.

ProForm Pro HIIT H14 Elliptical FAQs

How much does the ProForm Pro HIIT H14 Elliptical cost?

At $1,799, the H14 is not exactly “budget-friendly.” However, with iFIT integration and a 14-inch touchscreen offering crystal-clear virtual workouts, we think it’s rather reasonable. Keep in mind that this hybrid machine more closely resembles a stair climber than an elliptical, but since your feet never leave the pedals, you can expect less stress on your joints.

Is ProForm HIIT trainer worth it?

Our tester rated the H14’s value a 3.5 out of 5 because, for the right person, this is a solid machine. That person would be someone who values low-impact training, but prefers the intensity of a stair climber over an elliptical. A big selling point is its 14-inch touchscreen and integration with iFIT, which our team thinks is the best online workout program for cardio.

Is the elliptical better than the HIIT machine?

Whether a traditional elliptical trainer would be considered “better” depends on who is answering the question. We think the ProForm Pro HIIT H14 is ideal for those looking for high-intensity interval training, while reducing impact on joints. While it features the smooth glide of a true elliptical, its vertical orientation requires more effort than a typical horizontal stride.

What is the warranty on the ProForm H14?

ProForm backs up the H14 with a 10-year frame, two-year parts, and one-year labor warranties.


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