The 18th century term horsepower describes the possible output power of engines, machinery and electric motors. When it comes to treadmills, it is a standard measurement of how much work your motor can do. Finding the right horsepower in your treadmill will enable you to reach your workout goals and ensure your machine’s engine will last after years of wear.
Types of Motors
Two of the most common types of motors for treadmills are referred to as peak duty and continuous duty.
Peak Duty: A peak duty motor rating represents the greatest output power at which a machine will run. Typically, peak motors can only run at max capacity for a short period before decreasing output power. This type of motor might be sufficient for people using their treadmills for walking or low-intensity interval training. Where peak duty motors are typically less expensive, they are also viewed as less powerful and less reliable.
Continuous Duty: As the name suggests, continuous duty motor ratings show the power a treadmill can produce at a constant level during a workout. Though you will have a greater initial investment for a treadmill with a continuous duty motor, the treadmill will be able to keep up with your intense workouts and should last longer than a peak duty motor. When looking at treadmill reviews, check for the letters “CHP” meaning continuous horse power to find a continuous duty motor.
Your Horsepower Should Match Your Goals
Low horsepower: Treadmills that produce 2.0-2.5 horsepower are considered to have low horsepower. These machines are best suited for individuals looking to maintain health through slower-paced workouts. Lower horsepower can also be an excellent choice for joggers looking to drop a little weight.
High horsepower: Energy output ratings over 2.5 are categorized as high horsepower. These treadmills are a better fit for high intensity training. The increased horsepower motors are better for distance trainers and other serious runners.
Treadmill users weighing over 200 lbs. should look for treadmills with additional horsepower. If you are only planning on moderate exercise, 2.5 HP should be sufficient. For more intense workouts, look for at least 3.0 HP.
After checking that the motor type and horsepower matches your goals, the next step is to try out the machine. See if the motor can keep up with your maximum speed. If you notice the motor struggling during your highest intensity, it does not have enough horsepower to achieve your workout goals. Utilize the 30-day trial offered by most companies and exchange it for a machine that better fits your needs.