How to Choose Your Treadmill
If you want to choose the right treadmill, then you need to do some research in to the models available at your price range and what they offer. Alternatively if you know you have the budget, then you need to ensure you get the right features and the right warranty for piece of mind. With so much choice available on the market, why not take the time to read through our brief guide on how to choose the right running machine for your needs.
Choosing a treadmill will always partly come down to a personal choice of one over another. From the style to the features, we all have subjective reasons for choosing a product. This is fine provided the treadmill models you are choosing between all fulfil the functions that you need.
Is a Treadmill What You Need?
Ok this is maybe the most fundamental consideration otherwise this will be one very expensive mistake - a white elephant in your home if you like! Do you love running enough to justify spending upwards of £1000 on a treadmill? If you're having to even justify at this stage, then check out the other cardio equipment on the site like a rower or bike!
A running machine is relatively simple to use and can help you keep your cardio training right on track. Treadmills are excellent for, well, running (or walking). You can do it at speed, on an incline and sometimes on a decline, but it's all about running. You should also know that this is not a low impact way to workout, however well rated the shock absorption of the deck is.
If you like variation, to mix and match your training or want to focus on building muscle, then a treadmill will not be what you need. If you truly like variation, then go for a jog round the block with a pair of expensive and cushioning running shoes - they will be at least a tenth of the cost of a treadmill. You can then spend the money on a rower, bench and some free weights and enjoy your workouts even more.
How to Shop for a Treadmill?
Once you know that a treadmill is for you, research online the model, the brand and the type of treadmill you want. You can purchase online if you know exactly what you want or why not visit a retailer or studio to test some before you buy. At GymEquipment.co.uk we have a number of Technogym treadmills that you can try and we can talk to you in depth about features, budget-constraints and more to help you choose the right piece of equipment.
Ultimately, you will probably find better deals online that you will on the High Street. But don't be lulled into a false sense of security by a price that seems too good to be true. It probably doesn't include delivery or will not include installation - which is a major downside.
Type of Treadmill
For home use, you need to workout whether you have the space for a treadmill to sit there (i.e. a dedicated gym room) or whether you want to look at a space saving folding treadmill that allows you to put the deck up vertically when you are not using it.
The main difference, and advantage, when buying a non-folding treadmill is to do with stability of the machine when you're using it. The fixed treadmill is more stable by nature of it's design, which for serious runners or commercial reasons will give it the edge if you're looking to buy. That's not to say a folding treadmill is not stable, it just can't be as stable.
Must Have Features
There are a number of features that you should ensure any running machine you're looking at will have. Some will help you get started and some will ensure the longevity of your purchase.
Make sure you buy a treadmill with an adequate motor. If you intend to use this day in day out and also are on the heavy size, then you need to buy a machine that has a powerful motor, but a machine that also comes with an adequate warranty. Check the details of the motor included carefully as between 2hp and 2.5hp "continuous duty" motor is usually a standard you should aim for.
Shock Absorbing Deck
Makes all the difference to the impact on your knees and joints. A treadmill that has shock absorption should have a little give when you walk on it, but not feel at all spongy (this could cause more problems). Most mid to top end machines will have this as a standard feature, but it is definitely worth having if you are going to do some serious training on the machine.
Check the technical details for the maximum weight as well as whether it is included in the warranty.
Incline - Decline
If you are going to use this for a cardio workout then at some point you will want to increase the intensity and vary the training. Incline of the running deck will be an essential feature for many users so make sure it comes as standard with the model you are interested in. A decline feature is available on more expensive models and helps to simulate running as you would outdoors.
Any monitor that comes with a treadmill should have the basic functionality for time elapsed, distance covered, speed and incline (if that is a feature of the treadmill). There are a whole bundle of other features too including heart rate, preset workouts and programs and goals. Increasingly manufacturers are now able to include an LCD screen with TV and Internet functionality.
As always use a little common sense and check that the machine comes with a warranty that covers the motor, deck and any manufacturer parts and the electronics. You should also consider the after sales service side - does the manufacturer have a dedicated customer service line?