Treadmills are a staple in any gym space, and for good reason. They offer a wicked cardio burn, have a ton of health benefits, and give you complete power over your workouts.
Another major benefit, and one that is often overlooked, is that treadmills help to eliminate some of the barriers to exercise, such as cold weather, tight schedules, and gym intimidation.
Honestly, the only downside to purchasing a treadmill is trying to decipher which is the right machine for your goals, preferences and space.
Not to sweat it (well, actually... maybe you will get a bit sweaty), because this is the latest and greatest addition to our Buyer's Bible.
This treadmill buyer's guide takes you through each of the key components of a treadmill, the importance of the running area, and offers some pointers on which tready will be best suited to your needs.
The heart of any treadmill is its motor, and its strength is determined by its horsepower (HP). Most often you will see the HP rating referred as either peak horsepower or continuous horsepower (CHP).
In brief, peak horsepower is the rating when your treadmill is operating at its maximum capacity, such as when you've got it on the highest speed, whereas continuous horsepower is the power you can use indefinitely without frying the motor.
You should always pay attention to continuous horsepower as this determines the treadmills ability to operate at a certain capacity for extended periods of time. All of our treadmill specifications are listed by their continuous horse power (unless stated otherwise) for your convenience.
Below we have set out our recommended motor size guidelines for your preferred activity:
- Predominately used for walking: 1.75 CHP or higher.
- Predominately used for jogging: 2.5 CHP or higher.
- Predominately used for running: 3.0 CHP or higher.
When shopping for a treadmill there are two main things you need to consider:
1. The weight capacity of the unit; and
2. The type of activity you'll be doing.
We do not recommend buying a treadmill that isn't rated for you as it will not survive long term use.
SPEED & INCLINE LEVELSSpeed
Of course you must buy a treadmill that can keep up with your running ability.
As a general rule of thumb you can get a gauge for the different speeds following these guidelines:
- Walking: 0.8kph - 6kph.
- Jogging: 6.1kph - 8kph.
- Running: 8.1kph +
Our diverse collection of treadmills offer speeds ranging anywhere from 08.kph to 22kph.
If you're going to be using the machine for running we recommend opting for a treadmill that can achieve at least 18kph. However, for our more advanced athletes we suggest popping down to our showroom (if based in Melbourne) to test them out.
Having the ability to alter the incline of your workout surface can be an excellent way to increase the amount of calories burnt, alleviate pressure off your joints, and build lower strength.
Majority of our treadmills come with pre-set programs that are hardwired into the machines computer.
What's great about this is that they tend to be goal-specific, centred around things such as fat loss and heart rate control. This is ideal for individuals who do not have a preference over walking, jogging or running, but are on a mission to achieve a certain ambition.
With the growing digital world more and more cardio machines are beginning to offer app compatibility. These apps offer an infinite number of tracks, give you access to top class coaches, open you up to a huge community of likeminded individuals, and allow you to easily track your progress.
If you're going to be running flat chat then you don't want to feel restricted or cramped whilst you train, which is why it is important for runners to purchase a treadmill with a larger runner deck.
If you're tossing up between two units, both with ample running speeds but one has a narrower surface, we recommend opting for the larger mat every time. This is because we tend to take longer strides whilst running, and we do not follow along a smooth course (we tend to unconsciously zig zag or drift from left to right).
Here are our suggested minimum running deck sizes for your preferred activity:
- Walking: 40cm (L) X 120cm (W).
- Jogging: 45cm (L) X 135cm (W).
- Running: 50cm (L) X 150cm (W).
CHOOSING YOUR TREADMILL
BODYWORX COLORADO TREADMILLS
With a 1.5 CHP motor, speeds ranging from 0-16kph, and a narrow surface area the Bodyworx 150 Colorado treadmill was most definitely built for walking.
Its compact frame will fit nicely into smaller sized gyms or can be placed out of the way in various rooms throughout the house.
Taking a step up from the Colorado 150, the Colorado 200 has a larger motor, bigger running surface, and faster speeds. Accelerating up to 18kph this treadmill will suit joggers and/or light runners wishing to bring their favourite activity indoors.
The boss of the Colorado series is most definitely the 300 model. With the
strongest motor, faster speeds and widest running surface, this treadmill was made for seasoned runners.
With the ability to accelerate up to 22kph this machine can be used for long distance runs or sprinting. It also features multiple pre-set programs, allowing you to work towards a wider range of goals.
SPIRIT SXT TREADMILLS
Perfect for anyone who is looking for an entry-level running treadmill.
The SXT185 has a tough motor and spacious running belt, both of which can support lengthy running sessions. However, this model can only accelerate up to 16kph so it wouldn't be suitable for sprinting.
Structurally the SXT285 is pretty on par with the SXT185, but mechanically the SXT285 has a bit more to offer.
With greater speeds, a larger incline, and a broader range of built-in programs, this model is better suited to recreational runners who are looking for a few more features, but still not too phased about sprinting.
With a massive weight rating and strong 3.5 HP motor, this treadmill will last you years! It comes with a ton of additional features such as audio jack, adjustable cooling fan, and accessory tray's to make your treadmill experience all the more better.
Despite having such a big motor its maximum speed is 19kph, so it still is not suitable for sprinting. However, if you're a runner planning to use your treadmill most days, this is the model for you.
This model pretty much combines the Spirit SXT285 and SXT385 into one super-
It has the same sized motor and speed range as the SXT285, but with greater incline levels.
Compared to the previous models the SXT685 has the greatest number of in-built programs, centred around more specific goals.
This treadmill also comes with some wicked features, including app compatibility, audio jack, tablet friendly reading rack and adjustable cooling fan.
BODYWORX SPORT TREADMILLS
A petite walking treadmill that'll fit nicely into your home gym space. With its small speed range and motor we don't recommend purchasing this machine if you're wanting to incorporate running into your program.
This model will be best suited to beginner walkers who are looking to increase their physical activity levels.
Offering a little bit more than the 1250 model, the Sport 1750 is a high quality walking treadmill that'll keep your workouts fresh and interesting for years to come.
With a broader range of speeds and diverse built-in programs, this model was made for more advanced walkers who are wanting to amp up their home workouts.
This treadmill can excel up to 16kph, however, due to the motor size we suggest only accelerating up to an easy jog.
Running comes into the mix with the Bodyworx Sport 2550 model. This unit can reach up to a whopping 20kph, great for long distance runners and amateur sprinters.
It features a spacious workout surface and tough motor that can withstand frequent running sessions.
The most advanced model of the Bodyworx Sport series. This treadmill has a big
motor, huge speeds, and a massive weight capacity, ready to take on some intense workouts.
Suitable for sprinting, running, walking and jogging, this machine can do it all. We recommend this treadmill for advanced runners or anyone who is looking to get extremely serious with their cardio fitness.