4.1. “Must Have” Requirements
There are some standard requirements a treadmill must meet in order to be considered a good buy.
First of all, the motor should have minimum 2.25 CHP (Continues Horse Power). There are motors that come with less power. These are good enough for light exercise, but from our point of view a good machine must have a motor with at least 2.25 CHP.
Another important detail is the belt size. Make sure you get a treadmill with at least 50 inches long and 16 inches wide belt. Smaller belts can transform your treadmill in a possible hazard.
If you plan to do complete training sessions, you need a machine that can support at least 10% incline. It will help you when you get to hill intervals.
Also make sure you have a cushioning system installed. Cushioning is designed to reduce the shock over your joints and offer improved comfort.
4.2. Test The Treadmill
We highly recommend testing the model you want to buy before the actual purchase takes place. Test the machine while wearing your workout shoes and clothes to see if it’s comfortable enough. If the machine is shaky do not buy it.
The hand rails should feel sturdy and not block your arms.
Make sure the belt is wide enough and if you are a tall person, check if you have enough room.
Verify if the display is visible from your workout position and if speed and incline controls are easy to access while you run.
Before buying a treadmill, make sure you have enough space in your room. Find the machine’s dimensions and with a measurement tool see if you have enough space before you order it. A treadmill that looks small in the dealer’s showroom can transform into a giant in your home.
Another thing you should consider is the noise the machine makes. If you plan to watch TV or listen to music while working out, a noisy treadmill can give you headaches. If you live on an upper level, the noise could disturb your neighbors and you get extra problems for nothing.
4.3. Manual Treadmills vs. Motorized Treadmills
There is a big difference between these two types of treadmills.
First of all, manual treadmills are cheaper, but at the same time they are harder to use and have a lot of drawbacks.
For example, the manual treadmills come with fixed incline positions and if you want to adjust it you have to stop the workout, get down, set the belt and start again.
Also, there are no built in workouts, entertainment features and no motor, so working out can be really boring.
As an advantage, besides the price, you consume much more energy during training.
Motorized Treadmills have everything a manual treadmill does not.
Our advice is to go for a motorized machine!
But in the end it’s your choice to buy a machine that fits your budget and that satisfies your needs.
4.4. Folding Treadmills vs. Non-Folding Treadmills
Most residential treadmills are folding products. The price difference is not major, but sometimes manufacturers sacrifice basic features in favor of folding systems just to give you a cheaper product.
On the other hand, a folding treadmill is much more useful to a person that lives in a small apartment than to someone living in a big house. So, this choice depends on your preference!
Just pay attention to the machine’s weight, and to the folding system. It may help to know that a good machine will be hard to move, so you need wheel transportation. And a heavy machine, can be difficult to fold. So an easy lift assist system included is extremely beneficial for your back.
Read More in Part 5 of this article : Don’t Buy A Treadmill If…