Treadmill Buying Guide
Before you start
Consider how you're going to use the treadmill?
If you are simply looking to enjoy some gentle walks, then an entry level compact machine with a smaller motor and deck area may suffice. However, if you're planning on more rigorous workouts involving jogging and running, then it may be advisable to look at models with a more powerful motor(thus a higher top speed); and a larger running area that offers more room to move.
Who will use the machine?
It may seem obvious to say that we are all different shapes and sizes, but this is worth remembering when choosing the right model to suit you. A slightly more expensive model not only offers a bigger motor to power the belt and a larger exercise area, the extra investment can be prudent for many other reasons – you'll get improved build quality, a larger maximum user weight capacity and perhaps the added benefit of a shock absorbing deck to protect the joints.
Where are you going to keep it?
Treadmills are one of the larger pieces of home cardio equipment and although many have space-saving designs and folding decks, they still need to be accessible for convenient, hassle-free workouts. Jot down the machine's dimensions given in the product spec, measure up the floor space you have designated for the treadmill and then double-check that there is adequate room to enjoy unrestricted freedom of movement, without feeling claustrophobic.
What's your budget?
Of course, budget will influence your choice, but it is best to view buying a treadmill as an investment.
In the following categories, we have outlined what to typically expect and consider from treadmills at various price points:
e, which allows greater control of the workout intensity at all times. The whole machine is designed around a large fan at the front of the machine so they can even provide the user with a refreshing breeze as they workout too!
- Compact design, ideal if you are limited on space
- Folding mechanisms and lighter build allows for easier manoeuvrability and storage
- Basic programme options and electric incline
- Ideal for walking & jogging sessions
- User-friendly, basic controls for beginners/intermediate users
- Great value for money
- Limited maximum user capacities
- Smaller running decks may feel restrictive to taller/larger users
- Slower top speed and lower incline capacities
- Not really designed for the serious runner
- Medium sized machines offer a decent running area
- A greater number of programmes to add training variety
- Improved build quality allowing for a larger maximum user weight
- Motors of around 2.0 continuous horse power deliver adequate speed for most runners
- The cushioning of the deck can often be rather firm and less forgiving on the joints compared to higher priced models
- Limited features
- Full sized machines offer a spacious running area for freedom of movement
- Designed for rigorous use and built to last
- Great selection of programmes to keep boredom at bay
- Accurate heart rate sensors (often compatible with wireless chest straps)
- Good shock absorbing decks designed to reduce impact on joints
- Ideal for the serious running enthusiast
- Possible features can include: MP3 connectivity, inbuilt speaker systems, console cooling fan, quick keys for effortless adjustment of speed/incline
- Not ideal if you are limited on space. These machines are large to store and not easily manoeuvred
- Superb quality
- The ultimate workout experience for any user from beginners to professional athletes
- Large maximum user capacities
- Tirelessly powerful motors deliver inhuman top speeds!
- Vast array of programmes
- Huge selection of features
- Cost, however if you have a larger budget, these machines are an investment that will last a lifetime