Do Cross Trainers Need Power? Know Here

Written By Christian
Updated On October 28, 2021

Can I Use a Cross Trainer Without Power?

When kitting out your home gym, you might be on a budget for choosing certain exercise machines, cross trainers and even treadmill's don't come cheap and neither does the electricity cost. 

You might be wondering if you can operate an electric cross trainer without power in this case, and while manual cheap cross trainers do exist on the market and can be used without power, elliptical trainers that have a motor and belt will always need electricity to function. 

To find out more about whether or not you should buy a cross-trainer without power, how much power one uses and other important features to consider in your cross trainer we have composed a small guide below with everything you need to know. 

Can I Use a Cross Trainer Without Power? 

The average cross trainer on the market works your entire body through a range of resistance in the machine, the electronic cross-resistance happens through the motor and belt on the electronic cross trainer making stride lengths more difficult as you up the resistance in stages. 

Often, technical cross-trainers that are powered with electricity will always need the power to function, you can't use the electronic resistance without the power. 

However, if you do want to cut electricity costs you can use a manual cross trainer instead of an electric one which will give you the same cardio benefits. These types of manual machines might have less resistance levels and be slightly less supportive but are very affordable cross trainers to buy upfront and run in a home gym. 

We have listed the advantages and disadvantages of a manual cross trainer and an electric cross trainer below to help with your decision. 

Manual Cross Trainers 


  • Saves money to run. 
  • More affordable upfront. 
  • Gives a more challenging workout. 


  • Not many resistance levels. 
  • Depends on the natural stride. 

Electric Cross Trainers 


  • More cross trainer brands options on the market. 
  • Offers better levels of resistance. 
  • Adjustable stride and motor propelled support.


  • Most expensive cross-trainers. 
  • Use a lot of electricity. 

Do Cross Trainers Use A Lot Of Power? 

If you have decided that an electric cross trainer with magnetic resistance is right for you then you might be wondering just how much power these individual products use if you install one in your home gym. 

Well, the power an electronic cross trainer uses all comes down to the types of resistance you are using on it and the motor power, cross trainer brands will differ in power usage, however.

A cross trainer cost for electricity is still very similar to treadmills and other motorised exercise machines on the market, so we would not say that one machine over the other saves more money.

Although we can't give you a specific amount of electricity your cross-trainers use per hour, it could on average range between 300 and 900 watts per hour. 

The amount of power your cross trainer uses does not just depend on levels of resistance but it depends on other factors too, we have listed them out below. 

  • Motorised treadmill power - If you have expensive cross trainers which are higher in power then these will use more electricity to run.
  • Cross trainer owners weight - No matter the models of cross trainer, the heavier the user is in weight then the more electricity it will use.
  • Speed of cross-trainer - Power consumption is variable according to stages resistance but it is also influenced by the speed you are operating the machine at, higher speeds mean more power used.  
  • The time you use it for - The power used by your cross trainer will change according to the length of sessions it is used for. 

Other Considerations For Buying a Cross Trainer 

Not only do you need to consider how much power your cross-trainers brands use, but you additionally should be considering a variety of other essential features in your model so as you can be certain you are buying the best key cross trainer for your home gym. 

  • Stride length - No matter what type of cross trainer you buy, one of the essential cross trainer key features to consider is stride length. Longer strides on high-end cross trainers mean a harder workout, but some of the best machines have an adjustable stride. 
  • Resistance levels - The more resistance level on cross trainer models then the more customised workout you can have according to your level of fitness. Pricier cross-trainers will often have a better range of resistance levels.
  • Design - Ensure that your trainer has comfortable motion handles, an information display and can take your max user weight. Consider if you have enough storage space for your top-rated cross-trainer too.
  • Type of trainer - Apart from manual and electric trainers, there are also a few other cross trainer types to consider on the market. For example, there is a front-drive cross-trainer type that has its flywheel at the front of the machine and a rear-drive cross-trainer type that has more adjustability and its flywheel on the back of the exercise machine. There is also a 2-in1 cross-trainer type that can be turned into an exercise bike.
  • Programmes - Different cross trainer brands will come with a variety of programmes to work out with, some expensive cross trainers will have a better range of workout programmes while cheaper models will have a more basic variety. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Cross Trainers Power 

How much do good cross trainer brands models typically cost? 

This depends on the type of cross trainer you choose and its features, but in general, they can cost between £300-£6000 for a more professional gym type trainer.

Is a rear-drive cross trainer better than a front-drive cross trainer? 

Rear-drive cross trainers are generally more preferred than front-drive cross trainers as they have a more natural resistance feel and better-extended stride options on the machine. These mid-range cross trainers are more expensive, however. 

Do manual cross trainers have adjustable resistance? 

Some manual cross trainers will have a manual resistance dial to change the intensity of your workout depending on your fitness level. This resistance will have a more limited range however in comparison to an electric trainer.

How can I save electricity cost with my cross trainer power? 

There is not much you can do to save electricity on your cross trainer, but we have a few suggestions which can help save you some money, for example, turn your machine off at all times when you are not using it and don't run the machine at high speeds unless necessary. 

Also maintain your trainer well so as it can not perform under any unnecessary strain.

Final Words 

To conclude, manual cross trainers do not need the power to function, but electric models with a motor and belt will need to be plugged into an electricity source to function. How much electricity your cross trainer uses all comes down to trainer considerations such as the speed you are operating the machine at and even user weight. 

We would recommend choosing a manual cross trainer if you are looking to save money and don't mind the extra workout, but if you are looking for a great range of resistance levels and motorised support in your machine, an electric cross trainer might be the more suitable pick.


Starting my working career as a personal trainer, I quickly became familiar with equipment around the gym. While each piece of kit has its place in your overall body fitness; I find the cross trainer to be the most effective while mitigating the most amount of risks. That is why I created to help others in their home fitness journey.

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