What Happened to the Golds Gym Treadmill?
Years ago a Golds Gym treadmill was an impressive piece of cardio equipment, with many different models available at various price points. But over the past few years the brand has fallen off a bit, and better treadmills have taken their place. Currently, ICON Health and Fitness, the makers of the popular NordicTrack and ProForm brands, have the license to use the Golds Gym name and they sell four very basic machines all under $700.
Are the treadmills and the Golds Gym health clubs the same company?
As you can probably tell from the logo, Golds Gym treadmills and other cardio equipment including their ellipticals, bikes and strength equipment are technically the same company. In fact, on the official website, there is a tab at the top labeled Gym Memberships that you can click on and it will take you to the Gold’s Gym site where you can search for a health club near you.
However, as of July of 2001, ICON Health has had a licensing agreement with Gold’s Gym to use the name exclusively, and all cardio equipment bearing the Golds Gym logo is designed, manufactured and sold by ICON. As far as the treadmills, there was originally a decent lineup in the early 2000s. But it has slowly become their lower end brand, with the company focusing much more heavily on their bread and butter, NordicTrack and ProForm.
What are the current Golds Gym treadmills?
As of this writing, there are four models available for purchase. You have the 420, the 430i, the 520 and the 720. All of these models cost between $500 and $700 dollars. There was a very popular, less expensive model called the Golds Gym 450 treadmill but it is no longer available.
The problem with these treadmills lies in the fact that it is very hard to produce a quality treadmill for less than $700. Plain and simple. So you might be saving a little money short term, but you will surely be disappointed once you actually get on the machine and start working out. You are much better off spending a little more money, on a ProForm treadmill for example, and getting something that will last much longer.
Let’s take a look at the current lineup so you can get an idea of what we’re talking about here…
The base Golds Gym 420, which is an upgrade of the previous 410, has a weak 2.5 HP motor, a small running deck (18″ x 50″). By comparison, most entry level treadmills will have at least a 20″ x 55″ running area. It tops out at 10 mph, as opposed to the typical 12 mph, and perhaps worst of all, you get only a 5 year frame and motor warranty. Compare that to lifetime coverage on frame and 25 years on the motor on the base ProForm treadmill and you can quickly see how the Golds Gym treadmill is the poorer choice.
The slightly more expensive 430i does give you ICON’s iFit technology, which is a plus, but reduces the deck size even further (16″ x 50″) and no improvement on the warranty. The 520 has similar specs to the 420, so that’s not much better.
Looking at the current top of the line model, the Golds Gym Trainer 720, it gets a little bit better but not much. You get a decent 20″ x 55″, a few more workouts, and a better warranty package: Lifetime frame, 25 years motor, 1 year parts and labor. But at $699, you’re much better off with one of the ProForm treadmills.
What’s the bottom line?
For whatever reason, a Golds Gym treadmill is not what it used to be. The quality is no longer there, and you have better options in the price category. You can take a look here for the best cheap treadmills, as any of those models will be better than a Golds Gym one.
If you are doing very basic workouts, like walking for rehab, you might be OK with a Golds Gym…but if you think you might be jogging or running, or there are multiple users, or if you are very tall or on the heavy side, you’ll be much better served with a higher quality treadmill. Horizon and ProForm have good options in the under $700 category, so read through those reviews to decide which is the best machine for you.