Ohiyo!

I haven’t talked about my son for a week or so now because things have been a bit crazy at the DOJO, like always! Since he arrived in Southern California for his summer vacation a couple of weeks ago, I have put my son to work in the repair shop. He said it was too hard for him to find a summer job becase of his long hair so I solved both of his problems in one fell-swoop: I told him he was going to work with me at the DOJO and then informed him my beloved wife would be cutting his hair. It didn’t take him long to get over the double shock and he’s been doing really well helping me review and test out equipment for the reviews. He’s been spending 4-5 hours a day working out on treadmills or ellipticals we have in here at the shop and seems to be enjoying it quite a bit.

Here at the DOJO the Sensei has been hearing about a lot of interesting new equipment coming up for the next busy season — in fitness, the busy selling season runs from about November through April. I say “interesting” because while I am hearing about some very cool equipment I’ve also heard rumors about one formerly decent manufacturer potentially producing one of the worst ideas since allowing Rosanne Barr to sing the National Anthem. But more on that after the big fitness show in Denver next month.

Today I want to talk about a long historied company which tends to go unnoticed, at least on the treadmill and elliptical side of things. The company I’m talking about is Recreational Supply, Inc., who produces the BodyCraft line of fitness equipment. Now, anyone who is in to strength training or high quality home gyms is probably already familiar with that name: BodyCraft manufactures some of the top rated gyms you can buy and are known for ultra high quality, good pricing and excellent customer service. Let’s see how one of their treadmills holds up to their reputation.

A few weeks ago one of the DOJO’s clients, a local gym owner named Ken, offered to loan me a BodyCraft 1160 Treadmill he had picked up several months before. I was a bit surprised Ken could run because he is one of the largest men I’ve ever met — I believe he’s got muscles that haven’t been named yet. Whenever he calls to have us install or service equipment in his gym I always joke and ask if he needs a neck installed as well. He’s a good guy. Ken made me swear not to take his treadmill apart. Don’t tell Ken, but that is the first thing we did in order to see how easy the BodyCraft 1160 is to assemble.

Beginning with the assembly, the 1160 treadmill was very easy to put together. BodyCraft did an excellent job with all of its machined parts and drilled holes…and everything lined up perfectly on the machine. I made my son put the unit back together so I know it isn’t that difficult — he has problems putting a sentence together, so him getting the BodyCraft 1160 together in under 20 minutes was a great indication of the unit’s great instructions.

From there I had him give the BodyCraft 1160 treadmill an hour workout. He doesn’t have a huge amount of experience with the equipment so it was an excellent opportunity to see how a real owner of one of these treadmills would use the machine. The first thing he did was play with the speed and incline controls. He mentioned that the BodyCraft’s controls were a lot more responsive than the ones on the Bowflex his roommates use back in New York city. He also liked the layout of the treadmill console with an LCD screen above and LED readouts below.

From there he worked his way through a number of the 15 programs on the BOdyCraft 1160. I also asked him to hop a bit to test to treadmill’s sturdiness and shock absorption. My son is a bigger guy, approximate 260 lbs and 6′ tall, and the solid frame and deck of the BodyCraft 1160 held up extremely well to his bulk — a bulk my wife is hoping we can help him reduce over the summer.

On the technical side, BodyCraft has learned very well from its home gym construction in regards to making one of the most solid treadmills available for under $1800. Very few other treadmills in this price range can give you the rock-solid feel of the BodyCraft 1160.

I was a bit surprised to see a 2.5 horsepower motor rating on a treadmill in the $1500-$2000 price class. Normally a manufacturer will rank up a motor in order to compete spec to spec with other models. Do not be fooled by the 2.5hp rating on the BodyCraft 1160. The motor is a monster. It runs cool, at low RPMs and don’t pull a huge number of amps when loaded down. This is a motor that someone like Icon would rank up as a 4hp or higher, and is commercial quality. These are the same motors used in a number of gym grade machines out there.

The 1160 stacks up and even exceeds most other standard home treadmills in its class. It has a runner-friendly 20″ x 58″ running area, well-machined 2.5″ rollers, an outstanding 15 programs, heart rate monitoring and control, and power assisted folding. The only areas to nitpick on the machine are the top speed (11 MPH) and maximum incline (12%). I’d like to see BodyCraft punch those numbers up a bit in order to be the top choice for those looking for running workouts or marathon training. Bowflex, Spirit and Sole watch out…these guys mean business!

For putting out a great machine (and for having an owner named Al Gore!), the Treadmill Sensei gives the BodyCraft 1160 Treadmill a top score of 4.5 out of 5 golden buddahs.


The BodyCraft 1160 has a nice showing with 4.5 gold buddahs out of 5.


Get more information on the BodyCraft 1160 Treadmill.

BodyCraft 1160 Treadmill Specifications
Motor: 2.5hp
Running Area: 20″ x 58″
Rollers: 2.5″
Max Speed: 11mph
Max Incline: 12%
Programs: 15
Console: LCD
Heart Rate Monitor: Yes
Heart Rate Control: Yes
Readouts: Speed, incline, pulse, time, pace, calories and distance
Folding: Yes
Max User Weight: 350 lbs
Unit Weight: 270lbs

-The Treadmill Sensei
http://www.treadmillsensei.com