Are You Looking for a Treadmill or other Gym Machine?
As you read this article you may have been thinking about buying a piece of home gym equipment or fitness equipment like a treadmill, elliptical trainer, or a rowing machine for quite some time, or you have only just begun your search, but have you really considered why you want to buy a treadmill?
Either way, like most of us you are looking at hearing about the best value you can get so that you feel that you have got yourself a good deal.
And where buying a car that breaks down means that you have to find a lift somewhere, when a treadmill breaks down it can mean serious disruptions in your exercise routine, some people who break their routines for long periods never start training again.
It is so important to buy from the right people so that your treadmill is backed up, serviced and repaired for many years into the future.
There are too many cheap and fancy looking treadmills littering garages and stores rooms in South Africa which can’t be repaired. bad treadmill makes are just like Trojan horses infiltrating your homes taking up space and wasting money.
What Is A Treadmill?
OK, we are not going to sell many units like that, but you get the idea!
Treadmills are running and walking machines that allow you to walk or run and stay in the same place. There are hundreds of different types of treadmills and many different manufactures all claiming to have the best gym equipment in the world.
The issue is of course not who has the best treadmill in the world, (if we played that game nobody would every buy the computers in the shops because they are outdated before anyone puts a price tag on them).
No the issue is rather how quickly you can begin benefiting from your new purchase, how reliable the treadmill is and how much back up you can expect from the manufactures. Hence my first question at the beginning of this article as to “why do you want the treadmill?” It’s not an investment it is vehicle to better health. What do you want to achieve with your new treadmill?
Weight Loss and body shaping with a treadmill
Losing weight with a treadmill can be really easy because most people find that walking and running is an easy exercises to perform.
Fitness and physical performance with a treadmill
Improving your physical performance by using a treadmill might be important to you if you are a runner or an athlete. There are a number of other sports and activities that require physical fitness which would benefit from regular running and similar cardio vascular exercise.
Health maintenance with a treadmill
There are numerous health benefits to regular exercise and using a treadmill in the correct way would most certainly improve your health in many areas. You can also read more about this in my article on the benefits of regular exercise here.
“Can I be in better shape, is it worth investing in my health”
“Is it worth buying a treadmill form a reputable company and getting it right the first time around”.
So for the detail people out there, (and I am one of them!) Here are some of the technical questions answered.
Is a Treadmill Better Than an Elliptical or an Exercise Bike?
A treadmill is not better than an exercise bike, an elliptical cross trainer, a gym stepper or a rowing machine. It is simply a different type of exercise using a very natural in born movement called walking, (or running).
Because of the relative ease of the walking movement a treadmill may be an easier machine to use for many people.
Treadmills are Convenient Gym Equipment and Fitness Equipment Items
Folding Treadmills – No space? Small house? Folding treadmills are the answer. Make sure if folds up with minimal effort. make sure that it’s secure and has a adequate maximum user weight.
Fixed or non Folding Treadmills – Dedicated space for your gym? Fixed Non-folding treadmills are slightly more stable than folding treadmills. Many bigger treadmills and light commercial treadmills are non-folding.
Commercial Treadmills like the Tunturi Platinum Treadmill – Commercial treadmills are built for a commercial environment such as a busy gym or health club. These are money making fitness business assets and need to be viewed as such.
They are more expensive but will not let you down in the long run. Nothing is words than seeing a cheap home treadmill in a commercial gym. No, nothing is worse, not even a second hand treadmill, (urrgh).
Treadmill Warranty: The Wiring Under the board
How long is your treadmill motor and frame guaranteed for? That’s how long the manufacturer is very confident of your equipment being used.
A year? Well when it comes to supermarket cheap treadmill purchases, many people have not even taken the treadmill out of the box yet.
Treadmills have wear and tear parts which naturally fade over time and its is important that you buy from a manufacture who is able to continue to supply you with spares at a reasonable price.
Refurb treadmills are just used second hand (and sickly) treadmills in a sheep’s clandestine invisible cloak. Stay away from refurbs. It’s like that cheap 1978 Ferrari in the Auto trader. Wait until you have to buy parts.
Some companies also cover labour as well as spares under a warranty. We offer it all. This is not normally the case when the treadmill is sold into a different country.
Treadmill mats and heart rate monitors are the most important and popular accessories. You could also invest in silicone oil and in some cases.
You can purchase many accessories, at Fitness Superstore we offer accessories such as:
Floor protector Mats , Extended Treadmill Warranties, Heart Rate Monitors and much more.
Some treadmills even come with an option set of safety handrails.
Most treadmills have some programs. The most useful programs for fat loss and fitness are the interval and heart rate programs. Find out more about interval training here.
Programs generally take the monotony out of the walking and running by changing the treadmill incline, (elevation) and or speed to simulate an actual route or to push you in and out of pulse rate limits.
Treadmill Maximum User Weight
Treadmill manufactures will set a maximum user weight when they grade the various treadmills in their ranges. Most treadmill manufactures offer a number of different treadmills within a range almost like a different motor sizes within the 3 series of BMW cars.
This might be a factor to take into account when looking at motor size. The heavier you are the more strain you put on the treadmill motor.
Most home treadmills should easily accommodate people of 120 kgs and commercial treadmills should accommodate people of up to 180kgs and more.
Most home units run with a DC motor which works well at higher speeds. A very heavy person walking on an undersized treadmill motor is an accident waiting to happen as this puts massive strain on the treadmill. This is why it is is important to ensure a long motor warranty on your new treadmill.
Do you know how long the warranty is on most cheap supermarket treadmills? When you run, the impact on the treadmill may be 2.5 times that of your bodyweight.
What Treadmill motor should you be looking for?
The electric treadmill motor is the main drive of the treadmill. Power or output is stated in horsepower (HP) Higher numbers indicate a stronger motor.
Just to make things easier for us information overloaded consumers, manufactures often state two different HP values, one is called treadmill motor peak output and the other is called continuous duty.
Peak output is the maximum a treadmill can reach for a very short period of time and it is not a particularly useful measurement. The normal time period for peak output is around 15 minutes however this may be as little as a minute if a manufacturer wants to boost its claims. Still like the sound of the cheap treadmills?
Continuous duty treadmill horsepower is a better measurement of a more sustained use without dropping below the stated level.
If you run for longer than 15 minutes at a time then all things being equal you should look for a motor of 2.25 HP. If you weigh more than 80 kgs and do a lot of lengthy sprinting work on your treadmill then you are pushing the limits and should invest in a motor of at least 3 h.p.
Motor ratings vary from manufacturer to manufacture as the HP number must be for a certain period of time.
History Of The Treadmill
For those of you who are interested in where the treadmill industry came from read on. If you are more interested in seeing the most modern and advanced treadmills available on the planet right now, then click here instead
The treadmill may be one of the most advanced and costly items of cardio vascular gym equipment in any commercial gym or home gym. But how on earth did someone come up with the idea of creating machine that made you stay in one spot no matter how much energy you used?
Well it turns out there was a practical purpose these large conveyer belts and that as to harness the power of animals and then later to punish inmates! The word Mill of course coming from the Grinding Mill and the word Tread from a particular type of tread of trendy Adidas trainers that the inmates were issues with the old days.
Stories abound on the internet as to who actually invented the first Treadmill. Possibly the earliest reference is an engineer called William Cubitt who developed the Treadwheel to exercise prisoners. The treadwheel also found some favour for unemployed soldiers after the Napoleonic Wars.
According to Wikipedia and Google, the first person to “invent’ the a commercial treadmill was William Staub. He set up a brand called Pace Master which is no longer available. Surprisingly you would find that some of the fundamentals of the old treadmills are the same, such as deck, running belt, motor and control buttons.
The concept of using animal and human power may well be making a comeback as South Africa and the rest of the country begin running short of electricity. There have even been some attempts at manufacturers designing powerless treadmills, yet the products in the market have been expensive and not a popular item for gym members.
It would seem that the electrical powered treadmill is here to stay.
Modern Treadmill Features
Modern treadmills will now have features that would have boggled the minds of the original designers. The more we know about human physiology as well as human motivation, the better the treadmills become. A good treadmill will be safe, comfortable, reliable and fun to use.
Expect to see some of the following features
Cushioned Running Decks:
Reversible and self waxing running decks:
Advanced consoles, some with iPad integration:
Variable Workout Programs:
Heart Rate Control:
Incline and Variable Speeds:
Bluetooth and software integration:
Treadmill Makes and Brands
So who should you trust when it comes to making this decision? As you have no doubt experienced in many of your purchases going “Cheap Cheap” when you make an important decision is never a good idea!
There are a lot of big name brands out there as well as some not so big. When you make a choice on your treadmill stay with a known brand. Some names that you will come across are Tunturi, Strengthmaster, Matrix, Life Fitness, Lifespan, Technogym, Power Jog, Star Trac, Vision Fitness and Cybex.
Big names companies like Reebok have now got in on the action and make some half decent gym equipment for home use. Tunturi is one of the oldest most established gym equipment companies in the world and still seems to have bet balance between commercial and home gym equipment.
Summary of Treadmills and Treadmill Prices
So that is story of the treadmill. You may decide that buying a treadmill is the right thing for you now, or you may decide that you want hear more about what I can show you about other ways of getting the body you deserve. Contact me or send an enquiry so that you can make the right decision first time around.
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About MilesHi! my name is Miles Harrop. I am an educator, writer and life coach specializing in fitness, wellness, human behaviour and brain based coaching. I help you to transform your body by helping you buy the right gym equipment first time around, and to learn how to "change your mind" so that you can transform your body easily and effortlessly. Let me help you achieve your goals today!
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About Miles Harrop
Miles is a trainer, writer, coach and therapist in the areas wellness, influence and motivation, with more than 25 years of experience in transforming people physically and mentally.
With a strong background in the fitness industry, business coaching, group training and therapy, Miles has taught thousands of people how to change their bodies, their minds and their lives.
See more information about Miles here.