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Treadmills : An Expert's Guide to Purchasing A Treadmill

Is a Treadmill Right For You?

Many people come to our site and ask questions about treadmills, especially the ones that are seen at large discount retail stores. We do not sell treadmills, but are here to give advice and our personal opinions as highly educated fitness experts who have design personalized programs for those who own a treadmill and have signed up to train with us. We have a wide range of experience dealing with and using many different types and brands of treadmills.

As a convenience for those who decide to purchase a treadmill, we have supplied links to retailers who sell treadmill machines. We have more information about finding a good deal on a treadmill later on this page.

Bowflex Treadclimber Low Monthly Payments $24 per

Is A Treadmill Right For Me?

The decision to purchase a treadmill machine should be well-thought out. Do not purchase a treadmill on a whim based on a late-night infomercial or impulse purchase. The high-end treadmill models are expensive and the cheapest models may not be the best choice for you. It is also important to understand yourself, your fitness level, your habits, your home environment, and your family before choosing a treadmill. Before you begin thinking about which model of treadmill is right for you, you need to decide if any treadmill is right for you. Some of these general questions are relevant when purchasing any home gym exercise equipment.

Assessments to Make Before Deciding to Purchase a Treadmill

Before deciding to purchase a treadmill, you need to make the following assessments:

Advanced runner or someone who is training or wants to train for a race environment

If you fall into one of these catagories, a treadmill may not be right for you. A treadmill can be a good tool for training when the weather is poor and you cannot run outside, but you should not count on it as your primary means of training if you plan to race outdoors.

The right home environment to use a treadmill?

Although a treadmill takes up relatively little space, you do need a space to use it and it does take up more room than most other cardio machines. If you have to move furniture or shift things around every time you use it, you are less likely to use it than if you have a dedicated space for it. Although some are marketed as easy to fold and put away, some are heavy, cumbersome, and difficult to fold up and store. Some have to stay out in full working position all the time and do not fold up out of the way. Make sure that if you have family members who will be around when you work out that they will not hinder your ability to work out at home. Make sure there is a space where you can work out without disturbing the rest of the family or without being distracted or interrupted by kids, pets, etc. If your family will be around while you use your treadmill, make working out and using your treadmill a family activity. You should be able to work out at home without anyone or anything distracting you, or preventing you from working out.


Make sure you can work out on your own at home. If you need someone to work out with to stay focused and on track, find that person and work out with them. Do not look for excuses or find distractions when trying to work out at home. If you think you cannot work out on your own and at home consistently, then you need to have someone (preferably a family member) who will be dedicated enough to work out with you. Think long and hard about different ways to motivate yourself to work out on your own and at home. Many people have good intentions when purchasing exercise equipment to use at home, but underestimate their ability to work out at home (and end up hanging clothes on their new purchase).

Enjoying using a treadmill

You need to enjoy using your treadmill. You need to enjoy any activity or machine you expect to use consistently. If you are already a treadmill user at a gym and are looking for a treadmill to supplement you at home, you already know this. If you haven't used a treadmill previously, you may want to get a short-term gym membership somewhere to try out a friend's treadmill to see if you would really enjoy using it consistently. Another option here is to buy a treadmill that has a trial period or money-back guarantee. If you find you do not enjoy using your treadmill you can then return it.

The support of my family and those with whom I live

Having the support of your family and those you live with is a large part of any home workout program. Work with your family to have this support. (Most family members will not be supportive if your new treadmill blocks the TV during the big game or their one favorite show!)

Assembling a treadmill

If you purchase a treadmill that requires assembly by you, make sure you, or someone you know (who is willing to help), can assemble it. Many companies will deliver and set up your newly purchased treadmill for you.

What Treadmill Model/Brand Should I Buy?

There is a wide range of treadmill machines which vary greatly in price and quality:

There are many types of treadmills and their price, quality, and features vary greatly. We cannot choose which treadmill is right for you, but we have some questions you should ask yourself when selecting which treadmill you would like to purchase. We will point out some of the positives and negatives we have encountered with some of the treadmill models so that you can be as informed as possible when choosing a treadmill. When we review a treadmill here, we will give you an overall review of the treadmill, as well as its retail price and where it was located when we reviewed it.

Beginning exercisers

Even someone who has never exercised at all can use a treadmill. This does not, however, mean that you can necessarily buy the cheapest, lowest end model treadmill you can find. Some features, like weight capacity, bed length, smoothness, quality of construction, ease of use, etc. are important whether you are a beginner or experienced treadmill user.

Experienced exercisers

An experienced exerciser may or may not need to choose a more advanced treadmill. This does not necessarily mean that you need to go to the top-of-the-line model, but that you need to decide what options and features are important to you. Find the model with the features/options you want and make sure that the weight capacity, speed, incline, bed length, etc. can accomodate you.

Who will be using the treadmill?

Will you be the only person using your treadmill? If not, factors like features, weight capacity, etc. will need to be considered for each person who will using the treadmill. Your choice may be very different if you are buying a treadmill that will be used by more than one person. If choosing a treadmill for people with a range of fitness levels, choose the one that will accommodate the more advanced user. A beginner can use the most advanced treadmill, but an advanced exerciser may not be satisfied with an entry level model. If more that one person will be using the treadmill, you need to agree on what model will work for everyone. Since not all retail models of treadmill fold flat for storage space is a factor when making the decision on which model treadmill to choose.

Storage of your treadmill and where to use it

Figure out where you are going to store your treadmill and where you are going to use it. Make sure you are very realistic about this and remember that your treadmill should be stored near, or sitting right where, you are going to use it. (You are less likely to use your treadmill if you have to it take out and put away. It should ideally sit out right where you are going to use it.) If possible, use your treadmill in a place where you do not need to move it or store it. After you have figured out where you are going to store and use your treadmill, take accurate measurements of these areas. Details for each model should list the measurements you need including the dimensions, the folded footprint (if applicable) and the workout area. Before you purchase a treadmill, make sure that it can be stored and used in the place you have selected. The space you have to work with may be a factor when choosing your treadmill.

Treadmills with an incline

We recommend that you choose a treadmill that does have an incline feature. The incline feature allows you to change the difficulty of your workout without adjusting your speed and can gives you more workout options than a treadmill that does not have an incline feature.

Importance of the warranty

Before purchasing any treadmill, check the warranty coverage for your treadmill very carefully. Does it include parts, motors, labor, frame, etc.? How long is the warranty? Is it limited or all-inclusive? What type of usage could void the warrantly? If your treadmill needs service will someone come to your home and fix it or do you have to ship it somewhere? Do you have to pay for the shipping? Will you get a new treadmill, will yours be repaired, or will you receive a remanufactured treadmill? All of these things are very important to think about when choosing your treadmill. Although warranty coverage is important, we do not recommend that you purchase an extended warranty for your treadmill. Extended warranties are money-makers for the companies who issue them and are not actually in the best interest of the purchaser.

Obviously there are many more questions you should ask yourself when deciding which treadmill model is right for you. Our questions are designed to help you make an informed decision and to point out some of the less obvious things you should think about when making your choice.

Reviews of Some Retail Treadmills

Bowflex ® TreadClimber ® - The Bowflex ® TreadClimber ® is Bowflex's ® answer to the treadmill and the stepper.. It allows you to get a good cardio workout without running, because of its incline climbing motion. It is a like having a a treadmill, stepper, and elliptical trainer all rolled into one. Bowflex ® makes three versions of its TreadClimber ®, so there is one for every fitness level and most budgets. Since it is made by Bowflex ®, you can be assured that you are not getting a product from a fly-by-night company that is here today and gone tomorrow.

Bowflex Treadclimber Low Monthly Payments $24 per

Where Can I Find a Good Deal on a Treadmill?

After someone has made the decision to purchase a treadmill machine, the next question we hear is, "Where can I find a good deal on a retail treadmill?"

One place to find good deals on treadmill is on the Internet with retailers who work as affiliates with fitness retailers as we do. We offer our unbiased opinion on treadmills and then, if you decide a treadmill is right for you, provide links directly to treadmill retailers as a convenience for those who have made the decision to purchase a treadmill.

If you need further information about purchasing a treadmill, training with us using a treadmill, or if you would like more information about our services or CD Rom, ask your questions directly by using the Contact Us Form, or call us toll-free at 1-888-203-6791.

Each treadmill and its various models are registered trademarks of their individual manufacturer.