Professional Treadmills... Ahh yes, the holy grail of treadmills in both quality and price.
These treadmills are actually quite different than your normal run of the mill options that you see at the store and online.
In fact a professional treadmill is really the only type of treadmill that I really recommend anybody get nowadays.
They last longer, require less maintenance (if any), can be used for at-home only or commercially, and the cost is not all that much higher than your traditional treadmill options that most everybody else gets because they typically do not take the time to do their research like you are doing right now.
What Is a Professional Treadmill?
This type of treadmill is basically as close to a commercial treadmill as you can get without spending a fortune. A professional treadmill is designed to offer the best of both worlds in the form of functionality and performance similar to a commercial treadmill, but the price that’s closer to a runners or personal treadmill.
If you don’t already know, commercial treadmills can cost a fortune. But what if you don’t have the budget for a quality commercial treadmill but would still like the kind of features and build quality it offers?
Well, in that case, a professional treadmill is your best bet. It boasts a much better build quality than a personal or runners treadmill, and can handle a lot of weight and rough use.
The repairs and maintenance needs of a professional treadmill are far less than a typical home runners treadmill as they are typically built very heavy duty. This makes them a great option as a multi-person treadmill – or a treadmill that will be in use for long hours every day – something a personal treadmill would struggle to handle.
Our Top Pick
Bowflex BXT 216 Folding Treadmill
- Best Home Option
- Foldable - Compact - Easy To Move
- Excellent Bang for Your Buck - Cost Effective Option
- Built to Last - I've owned it for 4 years - Thing is a tank
- Highly Rated
- Most Popular Option
Professional Treadmill vs. Traditional Treadmill
While we did touch upon some key differences between a professional treadmill and a traditional treadmill above, it’s important to understand them in more detail.
Better Build Quality
There are many common durability issues associated with regular treadmills. It’s not even uncommon for them to break down after a few months of use, especially if you’re a bit demanding with your workouts.
In fact, you may start having durability issues with a regular runners treadmill if you have been putting it to rough use, using it for long hours regularly, or if it’s being used by heavy users. A regular treadmill is not designed to handle these things.
Sure, depending on the brand and quality of the treadmill some may manage to last longer than the others, but this is a fairly common problem across the board. And the treadmills that don’t breakdown as easily, often require regular repairs and higher maintenance costs.
A professional treadmill, on the other hand, is very solidly built with much stronger and higher quality parts and components than its regular counterpart. Some of the better professional treadmills – especially the ones we have reviewed below – are particularly designed for multi-person use, meaning they would have no durability issue even after being used for long hours every day for a long period of time.
The quality, strength, durability, and the lifespan (without needing repairs or higher maintenance costs) is the biggest difference between a professional treadmill and a regular one.
Handles More Demanding Joggers Quite a Bit Better
There are joggers that like to run faster, or put the treadmill through a lot of rough use. A regular treadmill would certainly have a hard time keeping up with such runners for a long period of time. It would start showing signs of damage surprisingly soon, especially if it’s not an expensive, high-end personal treadmill.
But then it makes more sense to buy a professional treadmill instead of an expensive personal treadmill, as the cost would be similar but you would get much more with the former in terms of the build quality, durability, functionality and speed.
Not to mention, there are always risks associated with using a regular treadmill for heavy users. They are not just limited to the treadmill getting damaged, but may also pose a risk to the users.
You get the peace of mind with a real professional treadmill that it won’t breakdown in the middle of a workout session and leave you wondering how to get off it safely or avoid harm to yourself.
Many regular treadmills also include terms in their warranty stating that if heavy users or many users use the treadmill – or that it has to withstand rough or constant use – then the warranty will be void and the buyer will be liable for any repair and if someone ends up getting hurt.
Regular treadmills are usually rated for users weighing much less than professional treadmills, meaning that the latter are a much safer, more durable and functional option for heavy users.
With a pro treadmill, you wouldn’t have any of the other limitations that you would with a traditional runners treadmill.
A professional treadmill outdoes your traditional personal treadmill in every department, and offers you a level of workout you would never be able to get with a basic regular treadmill.
Or if you can, not for long.
More Features and Better Functionality
A runners or regular treadmill is also much more limited with its features and functionality than a high-quality professional treadmill.
They will come with a more powerful motor, more advanced features, better functionalities, customization options, interactive coaching and virtual workouts, large LCD screens, better speed variation and the list goes on.
Just to give you a little example, our top professional treadmill that we reviewed below comes with a 4.0 CHP motor, which is much more powerful than the 2.5 CHP or even lower rated motors you get with most regular treadmills.
The same goes for the other features as well. You will be hard-pressed to find the kind of speed variation and other advanced functionalities it offers in regular treadmills.
Some of the major areas where these treadmills absolutely blow away a regular one includes the following.
- Motor – Pro treadmills come with a much more powerful motor as explained above
- Deck area – You typically get a much large running track, more cushioned treadmill deck than with a regular treadmill, which makes the workouts much more comfortable and effective.
- Handles heavier users easily –Using a cheap runners treadmill may pose a safety thread to heavy users, but professional treadmills are rated for users weighing up to 400 lbs
- Great durability and stability – These treadmills boast much more durable and stronger components and parts, offering great overall durability and stability during the workouts
- Workout programs – You get much more preset workout program with a professional treadmill, and they are all also more personalized and offer more customization than what you get with a regular treadmill
- Advanced Functionalities –Some of the better professional treadmills adjusts according to your speed, come with many preprogrammed workouts, and allow you to create your own too
- Ease of use – Contrary to what you feel, they can be just as easy to set up and use as regular ones, despite a much higher level of functionality, power and performance
- Personalized feedback and coaching –You can’t expect much from a personal or traditional home treadmill in terms of feedback or coaching, but a good professional treadmill like the Bowflex BXT216 reviewed below offers real-time feedback and in-workout coaching that goes a long way in motivating you and improving the effectiveness of your workouts
Best Professional Treadmills
Now that you know what you need to about a this type of treadmill and how it compares to a regular traditional treadmill, let me walk you through the best professional treadmills on the market.
Bowflex BXT 216
Best Home Professional Treadmill
- Adjustable according to your workout intensity with a 15% incline
- The deck cushioning is second to none in this price range
- The belt is not only smooth but offers a great grip
- Virtual courses that turn out to be useful for beginners
- The speakers aren’t the best but at this price they are decent
- Very well-written instructions that make the otherwise demanding installation process fairly easy
- The warranty is 2 years on the parts, 5 years on the motor, and 15 years on the frame
If you want to get a gym-like workout at your home, the Bowflex BXT 216 would be right up your alley. While its functionality and power is comparable to a true commercial treadmill, its price tag and space-friendly design is more like that of a traditional home treadmill.
That’s not saying it’s a small treadmill. It still weighs a bit over 300 pounds, and is sturdy enough to allow heavy users weighing up to 400 lbs. Now that’s some serious power right there!
However, its space-friendly design features a Soft Drop folding system, so that you can fold it up when you’re not using it. Folding it up and down is not difficult or time-consuming either, and shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes.
As mentioned above, it boasts a 4.0 CHP motor, an impressive speed variation which ranges from 0 to 12 MPH, as well as personalized, real-time feedback and in-workout coaching. The coaching support is going to come in very handy for beginners in particular.
The running area is very spacious, measuring 22” x 60”, making it comfortable to run on for heavy users. There are as many as 11 preset workout programs that you can activate at just the push of a button.
This makes it a very beginner-friendly professional treadmill and perfect for home use.
The color back-lit LCD display is very interactive and advanced, showing a lot of useful information while you’re working out. It’s also fairly large measuring 9 inches.
There are tons of advanced features, including an automatic fan that offers 3 different speeds, USB charging ports for your smartphone and tablet, slots to hold your water bottles, tracking your improvements and so much more.
It’s a true professional treadmill that supports multi-person use, and allows you to save multiple users. It’s great for beginners that want to do some light exercises, as it guides them to do things like stretch movements, and also gives diet tips.
You can also listen to the Bowflex Radio while you’re working out, which offers a large variety of music to make your workout an enjoyable experience.
Finally, it offers Bluetooth connectivity that allows you to track your progress from the comfort and convenience of your smartphone or tablet. There’s also the World App that offers a unique experience of exploring exotic locations while you run on your treadmill.
I’d love to rate it a full 10/10,but there must have been a bit more for me to be able to do so.
One of those things would be a decline functionality, while a treadmill having a bit more incline wouldn’t hurt as well.
It would have also been great to have a few more years of warranty on the motor, but maybe I’m expecting too much here for a very durable, fairly-priced professional treadmill.
All that being said, I’d rate it a 9.5/10.
Best Home Folding Professional Treadmill
- An integrated tablet holder, and space for storing your water bottles so that you can stay hydrated while you work out
- Impressively powerful audio speakers which support Bluetooth
- USB charging for your smartphone and tablet
- Ability to create multiple users
- 10 preset workout programs, which include cardio, fat burn, interval, hill, strength, and even two “heart rate controlled” workouts
- You can create your own two workouts, and there’s a manual mode too
- Easy to increase and lower the speed, something I think the beginners would really appreciate
- Ability to quickly access useful information while using a specific workout program thanks to the easy toggling convenience
- As far as being beginner-friendly is concerned, the BXT 216 certainly has an edge over the F85 thanks to its 11 preset workout programs designed with beginners in mind
- The customization features and real-time feedback and coaching of the BXT 216 is again something that makes it more beginner-friendly than the F85.
If you’re after an even more durable treadmill than the BowflexBXT 216 and don’t mind paying a bit more, then the Sole F85 would turn out to be your best bet.
It’s one of the few on the market that comes with a lifetime warranty on motor and frame, which reflects the confidence Sole has in its durability and sturdiness.
The F85 comes with a 4.0 CHP motor too, with the speed variation being 0.5 to 12 mph. However, the operation is quieter than BXT 216, which matter for people like me who might find a bit annoying when working out.
Its rollers and flywheel are some of the largest you would have ever seen, and that not only translates to a higher durability, but also a smoother workout.
The deck is pretty spacious just like the BXT 216, measuring exactly the same at 22” x 60”.
The cushioning is top notch, with a superior shock absorbent ability which is a great plus for heavy users. The F85 is rated for users up to 400 lbs. as well.
Although this is not a fold flat treadmill the Sole F85 is our most compact professional treadmill the folding design with hydraulic assist is well thought out and saves a lot of space.
There are as many as 30 levels of incline, the highest being at 15%.
The 10.1” backlit TFT screen is large and functional, displaying your workout progress and offering easy integration with your smartphone or computer. There’s Bluetooth connectivity too for easy and wireless data sharing.
The tech integration goes as far as allowing you to sync the Sole Fitness app with other fitness apps like MyFitnessPal, which offers an easy way to manage all your fitness activities.
Well, the Sole F85 brings so many features to the table that I wouldn’t be surprised if I missed out a few minor ones.
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the F85, but I can see a couple things some users may not like especially when comparing the F85 with the BXT 216 we reviewed above. One is that it does not have a bunch of extra nic nac features like the BXT 216 and that the user interface looks a little dated. But this treadmill is designed to be the most reliable well built treadmill out while not costing a ton so you choose, pay more for more features or pay less for this and get one hell of treadmill that'll last you a lifetime.
Don’t get me wrong. Both the Bowflex BXT 216 and the Sole F85 are excellent professional home treadmills, but after taking everything into consideration I’d say the former is a slightly better option for beginners while the latter would appeal more to heavy users and experienced runners.
It would be unfair to rate the Sole F85 anything less than 9.4/10, given its amazing durability and lifetime warranty, something which is unrivaled in its price range.
NordicTrack Commercial 2950
Best Commercial Professional Treadmill
- The 4.25 CHP motor makes it one of the most powerful professional treadmills money can buy.
- The 22” HD touchscreen is very large and interactive; it’s also wide, true HD quality, and allows watching the interactive iFit videos with great clarity.
- One of the few treadmills that comes with both inclining and declining ability to offer outdoor-like running conditions, it inclines up to 15% and declines up to 3%
- As many as 40 different built-in workout programs with a great variety for different types of runners.
- Roomy running area exactly the same as the above two treadmills at 22” x 60”.
- Includes free iFit membership for a year that allows access to on-demand workouts with real-time trainer controls. You can also download unlimited workout programs.
- It comes with a unique technology based on the Google Maps Street Views that allow you to replicate running environment of different terrains across the world.
- The advanced cushioning system paves the way for a surprisingly comfortable running experience.
- It’s amazingly quiet for a heavy duty commercial treadmill.
- Bluetooth connectivity, 3-inch stereo speakers, space-saving foldable design, self-cooling functionality, shock-absorbent deck, precision non-flex rollers and much more
If the budget is not an issue for you and you prefer a true commercial treadmill over professional treadmills, then you can’t go wrong with the Commercial 2950.
There are a lot of things that make it stand out from other professional or commercial treadmills out there. Let’s get to the 10 most important features above.
I think the rating would vary a bit depending on how comfortable a user is paying the iFit membership fees after the free first year should you continue to decide you want to keep using it.
If it’s not a problem at all, the NordicTrack Commercial 2950 is deserving of a 9.5/10 for a commercial treadmill.
I’m particularly impressed with its advanced functionality offering tons of bells and whistles and the real-time trainer feedback with the iFit is unmatched in its category.
Best Light Commercial Professional Treadmill
- A 3.75 CHP motor
- A spacious running area measuring 22” x 60”, the same as all the three professional treadmills reviewed above
- Advanced flexibility with 15% power incline and up to 3% decline
- iFit membership (1st year for free) – one of the most unique features of a NordicTrack treadmill
- Interactive 10” touchscreen that serves as the gateway to advanced interactive workouts with live personal trainer support, ability to experience global terrains right from your home and real-time workout tracking
- Offers total-body training through its cross-training workout training
- As many as 50 different workout programs – among the highest in its category and great for beginners to hit the ground running with their workouts
- Thick belt helps ensure quiet operation
- Great flexibility in terms of cushioning, as you can both keep it on or off depending on your preferences and how “hard” you want to make the workout for you
- A neat luxury feature in the AutoBreeze fans to keep you cool while you workout
- Foldable design
- Rated for users weighing up to 300 lbs
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Two powerful speakers producing great sound
- Warranty: 10 years on the frame and 2 years on the motor and parts
If you’re looking for a commercial treadmill without breaking the bank, the NordicTrack Commercial 1750 would hit the spot for you.
While not as advanced or powerful as the Commercial 2950 we reviewed above, it’s perfect for light commercial use.
Overall, it’s a decent option for anyone looking for access to the advanced iFit coaching and training system and commercial treadmill functionalities at a great price. But the motor isn’t quite as powerful as some of the other pro treadmills and this is something that could be a concern for heavy users.
For a commercial treadmill at this price point though, it’s an acceptable trade-off. But not without taking a star off, so I’d rate it a 9.0/10.
NordicTrack Commercial X32i
Best for Interactive Training
- 4.25 CHP motor
- Free iFit membership for a year
- 50 different workout programs
- Self-cooling functionality
- Bluetooth connectivity coupled with impressive speakers
- 10 years warranty on the frame, and 2 years and one year on motor (and other parts) and labor, respectively
- Speed variation range is 0 to 12 MPH
- Lots of programming options for advanced users
- The max weight limit is 300 lbs, which is the same as the other treadmills we reviewed above. The Commercial X32i is priced at least twice as high as these treadmills. So I expected more on this front.
- No storage space for your water bottles or smartphone. The monster screen takes all the space.
The NordicTrack Commercial X32i is like working out with your own personal trainer. It comes with an incredibly large 32” interactive touchscreen.
The iFit trainers control all the important aspects of your workout in real-time, making you feel as if you’re training at a high-end gym with some of the most experience trainers assisting you.
It has all the bells and whistles of the other two NordicTrack treadmills we reviewed above, but a lot of other advanced features too. Its incline and decline capacity in particular is very impressive, going from a 6% decline to a 40% incline.
The deck is another area that stands out from other treadmills. It’s designed to offer the same experience as running outdoors.
The size of the track is the same as the other treadmills we have reviewed above, measuring 22” x 60”. But its flexibility is far better than them all.
It also comes with advanced cushioning, with varying levels of shock absorption depending on the side of the track you’re running on.
I’d give it two different ratings. For advanced users that weigh less than 250 pounds, it would probably be the best treadmill in the world.
I wouldn’t hesitate giving it a glowing 9/10 if I was one of them.
However, things get a little less impressive if you’re a heavy user and not really fond of advanced functionalities or all the cool bells and whistles it comes with. For such type of users the X32i would probably be more like a 8/10.
3G Cardio Elite
Best Professional Treadmill For Long Distance Runners
- 4.0 CHP motor
- Excellent For Long Distance Runners
- A larger running area measuring 22” x 62”, something worth noting for heavy users
- Speed variating range is 5 to 12 MPH, which is actually a bit limited compared to other comparable treadmills, and makes the workout more challenging for beginners
- Rated for users weighing up to 400 lbs, which is much higher than the NordicTrack Commercial X32i we reviewed above
- The incline range is up to 15%, no decline
- A few preset programs to help beginners get started quickly
- Multi-fan cooling actually offers decent cooling and comes in pretty handy
- Built-in speakers
- Heavy duty with great stability
- Lifetime warranty onmotor and frame for residential use, and 5 years on motor, frame and parts each for commercial use
This is another great commercial treadmill but from a lesser-known brand. However, that doesn’t take anything away from its overall performance and durability, as it’s a solidly built durable treadmill offering a great overall performance.
If you couldn’t already tell, this treadmill is designed with long distance runners in mind. The large running area, higher user weight rating, and great stability and durability are all reasons this treadmill could turn out to be a perfect fit for marathon runners or people who like to jog for long distances.
I see no reason to rate it any less than 9.5 for long distance runners. Other users who do not do long distance running, however, would find a better option in some of the other treadmills we reviewed above like the Bowflex BXT 216.
Best Bang For Your Buck Professional Treadmill
- A 3.0 CHP motor which is in line with my expectations at this price point
- A slightly smaller track than the treadmills above measuring 20” x 60”, but nothing major
- Up to 15% incline – I wouldn’t expect anything better here
- 10 preset workout programs and two user profiles – Not the best, but it would be enough for most users
- Max weight capacity is 325 lbs, which is pretty much in the range budget treadmills offer
- Great shock-absorbent foldable deck design
- Stable surface that makes running comfortable
- Speed variation: 0.5 to 12 MPH
- LCD screen allows tracking your progress, but without any bells and whistles
- Foldable frame design
- Lifetime warranty on both the frame and motor, and 3 years on the parts
- Bluetooth, audio speakers, cooling fans, tablet and water bottle holders, and a USB charging port – extras budget users would be grateful to get in this price range
The Sole F63 is the best balance of price and functionality a budget user can find on the market. It offers pretty much everything an advanced professional treadmill offers, but for a much lower price.
But what’s the best thing I like about it?
The solid construction with heavy duty parts and components has impressed me more than anything else. And this is what I love about this treadmill.
Given the price point limitations, Sole decided to do away with the extras and bells and whistles and focused on the basics, and in my opinion got it spot on.
This is a great durable professional treadmill offering incredible value for your money.
I’d like to make it clear that although it's a great treadmill, it’s better-suited for budget shoppers. For those with a higher budget would find much better options in the other treadmills we reviewed above.
But for users who can’t afford anything better, this would be a solid 9/10 treadmill for them.
- A 3.25 CHP motor which is better than F63’s 3.0 CHP motor
- 30 preset workout programs, much higher than F63’s 10 programs, which is good for beginners
- Max weight capacity is 350 lbs while the F63 is rated for 325 lbs
- Adjustable cushioning as you can turn it on and off as per your workout needs and preferences
- Lifetime warranty on both the frame and motor, while the deck and parts come with a 5-year and 2-year warranty, respectively
The XTERRA TRX4500 is another great budget professional treadmill. A lot of the features are similar to the Sole F63 we reviewed above, including a 20” x 60” running area, up to 15% power incline, foldable design, and 0.5 to 12 MPH.
Why is it ranked lower than the Sole F63 then?
While the TRX4500 certainly offers some advantages over the Sole F63, the latter still has an edge in the form of a much more durable and heavy duty construction.
That’s not saying the TRX4500 is not durable, but Sole treadmills are usually in a class of their own when it comes to the overall construction and build quality.
They are tanks
Furthermore, there’s one drawback associated with the TRX4500 and that’s a relatively weaker cushioning system. So for long-term use, the Sole F63 does turn out to be a winner.
All things considered, the XTERRA TRX4500 is worthy of at least a 9/10 rating.
If you’re not a heavy user and do not have to worry much about the durability, the TRX4500 would be an even better option for you.
Professional Treadmill Shoppers – Here’s How to Buy the Best One
While all the professional treadmills we reviewed above are the best options you will find on the market, the exact best option for you may boil down to your needs and preferences.
So let us give you some specific suggestions below.
Do You Want to Do Interactive Training Workouts?
If you’re a beginner and would have to rely a lot on expert advice and help from trainers in realtime, the NordicTrack Commercial X32i would turn out to be your best bet.
It comes with a massive 32” interactive touchscreen and free iFit membership for one year to help you do just that.
Do You Need a Treadmill for Home Use or Commercial Use?
This is a very important consideration, as you will have two very different set of options depending on whether you’re looking for a treadmill for home use or commercial use.
Best Treadmill for Home Use
The Bowflex BXT 216 is as good as it can get for home use.
It has all the features you will ever need, it’s super sturdy and durable, and it’s capable of handling heavy users and long hours of use.
It also saves a lot of space in your home with its low profile foldable design. What else can you ask for?
Best Treadmill for Commercial Use
I don’t think there’s a commercial treadmill offering a better value for money than the NordicTrack Commercial 2950.
The impressively powerful motor, large interactive touchscreen, both incline and decline functionality, advanced cushioning system, iFit membership and surprisingly quiet operation are all hard to find in a commercial treadmill that doesn’t cost a ton.
Treadmill Cost – How Much Do You Have to Spend?
While we have discussed treadmills at different price points in this post, we haven’t reviewed the really cheap ones out there. And there’s a good reason for that.
A treadmill isn’t something you would want to cheap out on. Cheap treadmills that don’t offer the required stability or durability are not only going to reduce the effectiveness of your workouts, but may also make you vulnerable to an accident in case something goes wrong.
And don’t even get me started on how annoying it is to take care of their maintenance needs. If you’re a heavy user, you would probably end up spending more on a cheap treadmill’s repairs and maintenance than you would buying a better option like a professional treadmill.
The same would be true if you’re looking for a treadmill that will be used my multiple users.
A cheap treadmill can never be a good fit for that. Don’t let those lengthy sales pitches fool you into believing otherwise.
As we mentioned above, many regular treadmills won’t even honor their warranty if it has been used by heavy users or multiple users.
Would you really be fine with that kind of limitations? I bet not!
However, that’s not saying the budget shouldn’t be a factor to consider at all. In fact, we have considered the cost as an important factor for each of the treadmill we picked and reviewed in this post.
The treadmills we have reviewed offer the best bang for your buck. They are all a great balance of budget (price) and features, functionality, and performance.
The warranty is also an important factor to consider when buying a treadmill. It’s surprising how many buyers overlook this aspect of the treadmill and do not even read the warranty terms.
It’s easy to think you’re getting a great deal at a cheap price until you actually read the warranty terms and conditions.
As we explained above, some treadmills only offer a warranty if the treadmill is not used by heavy users, or users weighing over the weight limit mentioned in the warranty terms. The same goes for multi-person or heavy duty use.
Some treadmills also mention that their warranty would only be applicable if the treadmill is used for personal or residential use only, and not commercial use.
That said, all the treadmills we reviewed above offer a pretty good warranty, some much longer than the others. And the good news is that all of them have a very high weight capacity, meaning there would be no issues with the warranty period even for heavy users.
Furthermore, as they are professional treadmills, they are all rated for multi-person and demanding workouts. Some of them even come with different levels of warranty for both residential and commercial use, so at least they offer you an option to put the treadmill to commercial use too.
Coming to the specific suggestion on this front, nothing beats the Sole F85’s lifetime warranty on both the motor and frame. A rock-solid warranty on a rock-solid treadmill.
How Much the Screen Size Matters to You?
The screen size is another factor that many users overlook, but they really shouldn’t. This is especially true for beginners or users looking to get expert support.
A large screen with coaching or trainer support can make the workouts very interactive and can help beginners get started easily.
And if interactive workouts and a large screen appeal to you, then you would want to go with either the NordicTrack Commercial 2950 or the X32i.
Both offer pretty much the same features as far as their “screen” functionality is concerned, but the X32i boasts a massive 32” HD display while the Commercial 2950 offers a 22” HD screen.
However, for interactive workouts and advanced coaching while working out, both these treadmills are a great option. They help you get a professional workout right from your home, as there are professional trainers that control the treadmill settings in real time.
In addition, there’s a wide range of coaching videos, access to the iFit community, and great preset workout program.
The screens are also water resistant and the HD quality is as good as anything you may have seen.
Beginners vs. Advanced Users: Usage and Preferences?
While all the treadmills above are great choices for both beginners and advanced users in general, some may turn out to be better than the others depending on the usage and preferences of the users.
Some of the important features beginners would want to look for
- A diverse range of preset workouts
- Speed variation should start from 0 or a near 0 point, so that beginners can take their time before being comfortable switching up to higher speeds
- Spacious running track – all our professional treadmills above come with a very spacious deck
- Cushioning system – Beginners could really do with some cushioning support when working out, so this is important factor too, treadmills with cushioning systems are also great for people with bad knees or who are coming back from a knee injury
- Training and coaching videos – So that a beginner isn’t forced to spend hours finding some useful and accurate information on YouTube. Also nowadays there are exercise apps like Zwift, which is compatible with a lot of treadmills, these apps give you a gamified running experience, making it easier and more enjoyable for you to use the treadmill.
- Shock-absorbent design and stability is a must for beginners; they may not be able to handle a shaky track when they are working out at higher speeds
- A large LCD screen would be helpful too, as it would make it easy to track progress and get important information easily
- If you’re an absolute beginner, getting a treadmill with the iFit membership would be a great help
Now, what should the advanced users look for?
- A powerful motor that would easily be able to handle more demanding workouts
- More than the preset workout programs, being able to customize the workout programs, build their own ones, and the ability to customize the functionality of the treadmill in general would matter more to advanced users
- A higher incline and the ability to decline may not be necessary for all advanced users, but still a great feature to have
- The speed variation range – higher the better
- While the cushioning system would be important to advanced users too, they would preferably want to have an adjustable system where they can turn it on and off as per their varying workout needs
- Stability – the treadmill should be able to handle the demanding workouts without making the workout condition difficult for the user
- Warranty is more important for advanced users than beginners, as they are more likely to need it
Should I just run outside instead of buying a treadmill?
Well, if you really could go out and run every day, you probably wouldn’t even be reading this right now!
The thing is, we aren’t really good at leaving the comfort of our home for running outside, at least not regularly.
But a treadmill can go a long way in filling this “motivation” gap. As all you would need to do is jump on the treadmill and get running, you would be much more likely to do it regularly than running outdoors.
In addition, a treadmill offers a lot of functionalities that make your running much more customized to your body’s needs, as it allows you to adjust how hard or easy you want the workout conditions to be.
You also don’t have to deal with the usual issues when running outside like potholes, oncoming traffic, bad weather, and so on.
Top Treadmill Brands
While we have only reviewed professional treadmills from reputed brands in this post, some brands are definitely more reliable than the others.
And when it comes to the top treadmill brands out there, there’s little doubt that Bowflex, Sole, and NordicTrack sit right at the top of the list.
Let us quickly review these top treadmill brands below.
Bowflex is actually owned by the Nautilus, but it has emerged as a better and more popular brand than its “parent” brand when it comes to treadmills. In fact, it’s one of the most popular brands for professional treadmills.
And one of the biggest factors that has made it one of the best treadmills brands is the great balance of price and functionality it offers.
While many similar brands offer expensive treadmills that come with a lot of bells and whistles, Bowflex sticks to the basics and focuses on allowing its users to get a gym-like workout from the comfort of their home.
You would be hard-pressed to get a better value for your money than with a Bowflex treadmill when buying a professional treadmill for home use.
Sole is another brand that offers a great value for money with all its treadmills. However, there are some major differences between Sole and some other brands out there.
Sole puts a lot of focus on the durability and stability of its treadmills over advanced functionalities and extra bells and whistles. This is especially true for the treadmills it sells at the more budget price points.
Some of its more expensive commercial grade ellipticals and treadmills also come with advanced functionalities and a lot of extras, but it’s the budget treadmills where it really enjoys an edge over the other brands.
The budget options it offers like the Sole F63 turn out to be surprisingly durable for their price, while also offering all the features you would need for a complete workout.
Sole’s confidence in the durability of its professional treadmills is evident in the fact that it offers a lifetime warranty on both the motor and frame with its top professional treadmill, the Sole F85.
If you have some coin to spend, NordicTrack is your brand. It’s hands-down the best brand if you’re looking to purchase a commercial treadmill or a high-end treadmill with tons of advanced features and functionalities.
While these treadmills aren’t for budget buyers, they come with pretty much everything imaginable in a treadmill.
However, one of the most unique and highlighting features of NordicTrack treadmills if the iFit membership. It allows users to get a professional workout, assisted by a professional trainer in real time.
Some of its advanced functionalities usually include being able to get the same kind of experience as running outdoors, as well as being able to run on different terrains across the globe.
The tons of coaching videos are a great help to beginners as well.
NordicTrack treadmills also offer a lot in terms of tracking and all the advanced statistics you would ever need.
If you’re a beginner and have set tall goals for yourself –or are looking for some of the most advanced commercial treadmills out there – NordicTrack has you covered.
FAQ Most Treadmill Buyers Have
Many users may be looking to buy a professional treadmill for the first time, and may have many questions about it. So let us try and answer some of the most common questions related to buying the right professional treadmill for your needs.
Who should buy a treadmill?
If you are building a home gym set up or are just simply needing a treadmill that is going to last you, give you your monies worth, and allow you to skip the gym membership fees and hassle then you are probably in store to buy one.
Anyone looking to stay fit and healthy should consider buying a treadmill, as running, jogging, walking are all essential components of a complete workout.
I'm A Bodybuilder is a Professional Treadmill Best For Me
This is a common question believe it or not, and now that you know what a professional treadmill is you can answer that on your owns based on the training that you do.
If you want a treadmill that is going to last you, one that does not require any maintenance or repairs, and one that does not cost a ton, then yes a professional treadmill is going to be your best option if you are wanting a treadmill for your bodybuilding home gym set up.
Can a Treadmill Workout Be as Effective as Running Outdoors?
As a matter of fact, running on a treadmill can be more effective than running outside. You get to create a customized workout or running environment, and don’t have to deal with any obstacles as you do when running outdoors. This makes a treadmill workout perfect for seniors and for people with bad knees who would otherwise be running on the concrete rather than a cushioned treadmill deck.
Furthermore, the type of treadmills we have reviewed in this post offer a lot in terms of professional coaching and even real-time training, which help you get the most out of your workout.
What type of treadmill should I choose?
That’s actually quite subjective and depends on your needs and preferences, but we have reviewed both the types of professional treadmills including for residential use and commercial use.
A professional treadmill offers the best as far as the performance, functionality and durability is concerned, while also being priced much cheaper than a commercial treadmill (unless you want to buy a commercial treadmill itself).
What is CHP?
CHP basically means continuous horse power. It’s similar to HP or horse power, which used to be widely used to describe the motor power in treadmills before.
However, the only difference is that CHP refers to the power the treadmill can generate, or rather continue to generate, while the treadmill is in use. HP or horse power only gives you an idea of the peak power the treadmill can put out.
In other words, a CHP is a better indicator of a treadmill’s power than HP, which is why most manufacturers have started using it lately.
What CHP do I need?
A lot depends on your workouts and your body weight. If you plan to run or jog on the treadmill, you will need more CHP than someone who would only be walking during their workouts.
Similarly, a user weighing 300 pounds or more would certainly need a higher CHP than someone weighing under 200 pounds.
But to get a little specific, here are a few general rules of thumb.
- A runner would ideally need 3.0 CHP
- A jogger would be fine with around 2.5 CHP
- A walker would have no problem with a treadmill offering 2.0 CHP
Now, coming to the weight, there are some easy rules here too.
- Users weighing up to 200 pounds should simply follow the above suggestion, depending on their use
- If you weigh more than 200 pounds, you may need to add 0.5 to 1.0 CHP to the above suggestions depending on your exact weight
Finally, you must also remember that if you choose a treadmill that offers a higher CHP than what you actually need, you may just end up spending a few hundred more on its price. But you will at least also get a higher durability and better performance.
However, if you go with a treadmill that comes with a less powerful motor than what you need, you would run the risk of not getting the desired performance out of it, damage to the treadmill, and a lower durability.
What’s the ideal weight capacity I should look for?
Good question! A lot of users make the mistake of only looking for the exact weight capacity as their weight.
This is a bad way to approach this factor as if you weigh almost as much as the max weight capacity of the treadmill, you may not have a comfortable running experience, as the treadmill may not offer the kind of stability you need for an effective workout.
So you would ideally want the max weight capacity to be at least 20% more than your current weight. A treadmill that has a higher weight capacity will provide you with the stability you need to have a comfortable and effective workout.
Are Preset Workout Programs Helpful?
They are definitely helpful, especially for beginners. If you have never worked out on your own, preset workout programs will help you get started easily.
The treadmills we reviewed above offer different types of preset workouts depending on your workout requirements, which should cover pretty much every type of user.
Professional Treadmill or Commercial Treadmill? Which is best for home use?
This is a simple one. If you’re looking for a treadmill for home use, you don’t even need to consider the commercial treadmills.
Professional treadmills like the ones above or a perfect mix of in between commercial and residential. They are built better, cost less, and are more compact than commercial treadmills.
However, you would want to follow the same approach when looking for a commercial treadmill too. Your best bet would be to simply go with one of the true commercial treadmills we reviewed above. There are two commercial options above that are considered both commercial and professional
Do you need different shoes when using the treadmill?
I would suggest you buy a pair of treadmill running shoes if you are planning on doing anything other than walking on your treadmill. The reason for this is treadmill running shoes are designed to keep your feet supported with the extra padding and ankle support which allows for a comfortable and effective workout.
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