If you’re into cross-fit, a simple, cheap treadmill won’t meet your needs. You need something with a great motor that will offer a variety of incline and workout options. An incline treadmill is ideal for fat loss and shaping your leg muscles. It’s a much more efficient form of weight loss than a standard mill, and you’ll see better overall results after your workouts. It’s hard to find a good treadmill with top-notch incline capabilities, since this is something that’s typically a specialized feature. Typical treadmills only offer 15 percent inclines or less, but if you’re serious about this style of training, you need something that will do up to 30 percent to really tone your muscles.
Features of a Great Treadmill
Most treadmills offer incline and decline features, but if you’re serious about cross-fit training, you’ll invest in a real incline trainer. Once you’ve found a treadmill that offers a 30 percent incline, you’ll want to check a few extra specs to make sure it’s a good machine. Here are a few things that signal a good treadmill in general.
Motor: A typical good quality motor is at least 3.0 CHP. If you want an excellent motor for heavy use, go for 4.5 or 4.0 CHP.
Speed: Most treadmills offer top speeds of 10-12 mph, which is perfectly acceptable in most cases. However, if you’re a speed trainer, you’ll want to look for something a little higher.
Maximum Weight: Look for something that’s able to handle at least 300 pounds. Even if your weight is nowhere near this mark, a treadmill that can handle more weight is considered more durable.
Space: If you’re bringing the treadmill home, you typically want it to be fairly compact and easy to fold and store. If you’re a taller person, however, the larger running surface area is very important. Make sure that the size of the treadmill will work for your home space and your size.
Features: There are a lot of fancy extras available with treadmills. Though this won’t make your treadmill more powerful, it can make your workouts more comfortable. Look for web-enabled touch screen displays and a variety of built-in workouts to add variety and comfort to any workout.
Price: Avoid purchasing a treadmill that’s dirt cheap. Quality treadmills are usually higher priced, at least $900 at the higher end, more durable treadmills running as much as $5,000. That being said, you can always find something of high value in your price range if you read reviews and know how to look.
Top Incline Trainers
To help you in your search for the perfect incline treadmill, here’s a list of brief reviews on top incline treadmills available for home use.
NordicTrack Incline Trainer X11I
Personal trainer and Biggest Loser star Jillian Michaels calls this NordicTrack wonder “the fastest way to lose weight.” It offers a 40 percent max incline and a 6 percent max decline with an all-powerful 4.25 CHP motor that comes with a lifetime warranty. The highest speed setting is 12 mph.
The size of the track is larger than most at 60 inches long and 22 inches wide. It also offers Reflex adjustments that reduce the stress placed on your knees.
All the extras are there as well, with a web-enabled, full-color, 10 inch touchscreen display and iPod port. Heart rate monitors, tablet holders, also come standard as well as an assortment of 44 built-in workout apps that use the incline capabilities to their fullest. All these features are yours for approximately $2,499.
BowFlex TreadClimber TC100
The reviews for this BowFlex model are also excellent. It’s specially designed for lower impact workouts and efficient weight loss. This mill is a little different than your typical treadmill because it offers two separate treadles with moving belts, one for each foot. Like an elliptical, the two treadles move in an up-and-down motion, but unlike an elliptical, the belts are moving as you go. This style is said to burn as much as 2.5 times more calories than a traditional treadmill.
It’s important to note that this mill is designed specifically for walkers. It has a high incline, but a max speed of four mph, so you’re guaranteed a good workout and plenty of calories burned, but it’s not ideal for runners. It retails at $2,199.
FreeMotion i11.9 Incline Trainer
The FreeMotion trainer inclines to 30 percent and declines at a maximum of 6 percent, so that those training for hill running or walking can experience something similar to the real deal. It’s not quite as heavy duty as the NordicTrack trainer, for those who aren’t training extra hard, the incline will have plenty of kick. Regardless of the lesser incline, it’s a smoother ride, more durable, and able to handle higher speeds.
The FreeMotion is one of the highest priced treadmills on the market at upwards of $4,000, but the features and durability make it worth it for serious athletes. It has a larger track with a powerful 4.25 HP motor. There are 44 touch workout programs with iFit activation and a web-enabled touchscreen for a simple and more comfortable workout. If you want all the extra features, you can add a 14 inch HDTV to the mix.
NordicTrack X9i Incline Trainer
The reviews for the NordicTrack X9i Trainer are also very good, although they don’t quite match those of the X11I. It’s a more basic model, but it’s still high quality and will help you tone up very efficiently. It also inclines up to 40 percent and declines at a max of 6 percent. It’s the closest you can possibly get to a running real hills.
It has Reflex cushioning, but a smaller motor with 3.0 CHP. It’s not quite as good as the 4.25, but at $1,899, it’s a more affordable option for the average trainer.
Some of the features include a full color 7 inch touch screen display, calorie and step counting, heart rate monitoring, distance, and more. There are 44 built-in workouts that can be customized to your preference, and it’s iFit enabled.