Tech Specs


Build Quality


Treadmill Review

Updated: September 12, 2023

The AssaultRunner Elite has 62 slats that roll over 100 precision ball bearings with 12 roller guides. Yet, when I run on it, the Elite sounds like the purr of a leopard or a cheetah. With a steep curved compared to other manual treadmills, the AssaultRunner Elite Treadmill helps you reach top speed fast. This review of the AssaultRunner Elite Treadmill recounts my experience walking, running sprints, tempo intervals, and at steady state, so you can decide if the Elite meets your needs.

Assault Runner Elite Manual Treadmill Review 2024
Go as fast as you would on a 400m track with the AssaultRunner Elite

Who The AssaultRunner Elite Manual Treadmill Is Best For:

  • Crossfit Athletes: Seriously, how dare motorized treadmills do any of the work for you. Your workouts are serious, about finding your limits, and being your best. The AssaultRunner Elite doesn’t need motor power; it needs yours.
  • Team Sport Athletes: Whether you need to practice speed and endurance for soccer, work on your 40-yard time, or do some pre-season conditioning, the Elite treadmill makes these workouts easier than motorized treadmills, because the belt speed and acceleration are under your control.
  • Track Runners: Colleges and high schools can be stingy with access to their outdoor tracks, and you can almost forget finding public access to a 200m indoor track. The AssaultRunner Elite lets you do some speedwork without a trip to the oval office.
  • Large Walkers or Runners: The AssaultRunner Elite has a maximum weight capacity of 400 lbs, beating most motorized treadmills. The belt length is 65” for accommodating long sprint strides.
  • Energy-Conscious Exercisers: Manual treadmills make great treadmills for energy-conscious users because they do not require electricity to run. You power the treadmill!

Pros And Cons Of The AssaultRunner Elite Treadmill


  • The unlimited speed leads to nearly unlimited workout possibilities. You will never get too fast for this treadmill.
  • The steep curve makes it easy to get the belt going fast!
  • The belt has a lifetime warranty, reflecting the sturdy build of the AssaultRunner Elite.
  • Every run burns more calories than the same run on a motorized treadmill.
  • The Elite has a high maximum user weight capacity of 400 lbs.
  • No motor means no electricity!
  • The Assault Runner is low maintenance. You don’t have to worry about servicing the belt or breaking down the electrical components like you would on a motorized treadmill.


  • Falling is more dangerous on a manual treadmill as there is no safety key, and the speed could be much higher if you sprint.
  • Runners who land on their heels might have difficulty running smoothly on this treadmill.
  • You cannot incline or decline the treadmill, and the curved belt makes it feel like the surface is always slightly inclined.

Treadmill Review Of The AssaultRunner Elite Manual Treadmill

Build Quality

Assault Runner Elite profile
A sturdy frame and a steep curve make for a powerful manual treadmill.


Assault Fitness has built this treadmill with commercial-grade materials, so you get the same quality machine that they sell to gym owners. The frame is powder-coated solid steel, black with gray accents. Red and white branding runs along the uprights, with solid white branding along the side of the deck.

The corners of the uprights and arms are covered with a soft, rubbery material. This material provides a great grip even when you get very sweaty. The arms are very stable, so you can be confident of the support if you need to lift yourself off the deck quickly. The foot rails are wide and textured. I regularly hopped on and off the deck when I needed an immediate break from running at peak speed, and the foot rails were always easy to find and keep my footing on.

Assault Runner Elite handle
The handrails are supportive and textured.


There is no motor, or I might say you are the motor! This treadmill’s power capabilities are your abilities, so go as fast or slow as you need.

Running Surface

The belt is 17” x 62”. Manual treadmill belt widths tend to be narrower than motorized treadmill belts. This narrowness requires you to be more attentive to your running form. For runners or walkers who struggle with staying centered on a treadmill belt or have a wide step width, the AssaultRunner Elite may not be suitable. The Elite could be a good tool for this form change if you are trying to improve your running symmetry or step width. Go slow, manage your expectations, and, most importantly, stay safe.

The material the belt is made of is thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU). Fun fact: a lot of running shoes use TPU in their midsoles! So this material is great for running. You can even go barefoot on the AssaultRunner.

Assault Runner Elite deck
The slat belt is comfortable to run on and easier to move than other models.


The AssaultRunner Elite is not a folding treadmill. It requires a dedicated space. Though it has transport wheels, the treadmill is close to 300 lbs. I recommend finding a place for it to stay permanently. Some users may need assistance to relocate the treadmill. If you do need to relocate it, the Elite has a grab bar on the back of the treadmill for lifting it–keep good deadlift form!

Assault Runner Elite wheels
The AssaultRunner Elite can be lifted onto its front wheels for relocation–easier than it looks!
Assault Runner Elite rear handle
The rear grab bar encourages proper deadlift form for relocating this hefty machine.


There is no incline or decline. The belt’s curvature makes the belt feel inclined. I noticed my calves burning like when I run uphill. It is not exactly the same experience, because the middle of the treadmill, the bottom of the curve, is pretty flat.

Features & Accessories

The AssaultRunner Elite manual treadmill does not require electricity, so the features are minimal. A manual treadmill requires more focus than motorized alternatives. Assault Fitness has assisted in keeping your focus by removing any distractions.

Console Overview

The console is minimal, with only the necessities to make your run or speed workout simple and smooth. The console is one of the main differences between the Elite and the AssaultRunner Pro. The Elite comes with a few more features than the Pro, namely storage.

Assault Runner Elite console
The console is simple and easy to use.


The console screen is battery-powered with hi-contrast black text on a white background. The screen sits on the console's left and displays an array of metrics. From top to bottom, it reads: time, calories, distance/speed, watts/pace, and ANT+/Bluetooth connection. The screen is small, and I found it crowded. Users with visual difficulties may find it hard to read.


There are 3 program buttons to the right of the screen. These buttons include interval programs, target programs, and heart rate programs. These buttons are tactile, not touchscreen. Beneath the program buttons are the functions: connect Bluetooth, change units, split time, and speaker on/off.

There are five buttons at the bottom of the console on a small ledge. First are the arrow buttons, which allow you to toggle between the programs within the respective categories. ‘Enter’ lets you select your option, ‘start’ begins the program, and ‘stop’ ends or resets the screen if held.

All of these buttons were easy to use. Since they are tactile, you don’t have to worry about being too sweaty to work a touchscreen.

Cup Holders

There are two cup holders. These are spacious enough to fit a standard plastic water bottle or smartphone. The entire treadmill is very sturdy, so you can feel safe placing your belongings inside. The cup holders are removable to assist with cleaning.

Assault Runner Elite left cup holder
A lot of manual treadmills leave out cup holders, but the Elite gives you everything you need.

Device Rack

The ledge on the console is too small for me to call it a device rack, but it is sturdy enough to place your phone. Placing your phone here blocks the rest of the console, so I used a cup holder to store my phone.

Assault Runner Elite display
The small device rack is sturdy enough to hold a smartphone.


If the AssaultRunner Elite is your first venture into the manual treadmill space, know it is harder than running outdoors on a flat course or treadmill. You burn more calories using a manual treadmill, which translates to a harder workout. It will take some time to get used to running on the curved surface. Use your first few workouts to get the hang of running on the curved belt, speeding up and slowing down the treadmill, and utilizing the arms and foot rails to hop on/off the treadmill.

Assault Runner Elite running front
Running on a manual treadmill takes getting used to, but soon you will be sprinting.

Even having used other manual treadmills, I spent several minutes walking and warming up before I felt comfortable running. It is good to get familiar with any treadmill, but manual treadmills lack the safety features of other treadmills. There is no motor, so the belt cannot be stopped by a safety key. Knowing your limits, getting comfortable using the arms and foot rails, and slowly building your skill at using the AssaultRunner Elite can mitigate this risk.

On to the exciting portion! I tried one of the AssaultRunner Elite’s onboard programs, a 20-10 interval workout. For 8 sets, I sprinted for 10 seconds and jogged for 20. It was quite the workout, and I was always excited to see how high I could push the speed reading. It motivated me to go faster. The more accustomed I grew to the treadmill, the better I got. Admittedly, I found it much easier to hop off the treadmill and let the belt slow down on its own than bring it down with my foot control. I am out of practice when it comes to sprinting, but peak efforts are very taxing, so I suggest getting used to this method.

Assault Runner Elite running feet
My calves are always challenged by the weight of moving the belt. It’s a great workout.

Not only did I sprint, but I also ran at a steady pace–or as steady as I could manage. My speed varied a little more than it does when I run outdoors. Over time, my speed varied less and less. Maintaining a steady pace grows easier with more time spent on the AssaultRunner Elite. This variability is one of the advantages of non-motorized treadmill running over motorized treadmills, because it more accurately represents outdoor running. Our bodies make tiny adjustments to our metabolism to maintain our temperature, produce the fuel our muscles need, and regulate our breathing. Even when we maintain a specific intensity, our pace can vary due to fluctuations in these processes.

The belt feels cushioned underfoot. I found it comparable to running on a rubberized track. TPU is a great material for running. It holds up well in hot and cold conditions. TPU also has a bouncy quality to help return more energy to your legs with every step. My feet never ached while sprinting, and I typically wear low-cushion shoes to help me get a good feel for the surfaces I run on. I did not have any problems running on the slatted surface. It felt incredibly smooth.

Walking on the AssaultRunner Elite was not difficult for me. It feels nice to walk on. That said, this treadmill is overkill for walking alone. I recommend a motorized treadmill, as you can find much cheaper options to suit your needs. The only walkers I would recommend the AssaultRunner Elite to are those deadset on using a manual treadmill. If that’s you, this treadmill could be a good choice.

The AssaultRunner Elite manual treadmill gives treadmill running a whole new set of workout possibilities. The workouts I couldn’t do on motorized treadmills, I can do on the AssaultRunner Elite. I can’t turn down track running completely–it’s too nostalgic for me–but the AssaultRunner could certainly replace weekly track sessions.

Training Options

The AssaultRunner Elite manual treadmill is a low-tech treadmill without electricity and no WiFi connectivity. It can pair via Bluetooth and ANT+ to receive heart rate data for heart rate zone training. This is one of the training program options on the Elite.

There are also onboard programs that do not require heart rate monitoring. Intervals include 20/10, 10/20, and custom. If you have a specific target, you can set a time, distance, or calories. There is also a competition mode which is a little harder to access. It performs very similarly to the target program options. New workouts are added every day. The app is relatively basic for now, but I expect Assault Fitness to build a more substantial fitness app over time.

Assault Runner Elite display
Try an interval workout or set a target program.

The AssaultRunner Elite’s program options are very basic, but it feels like that’s all that is necessary. I love the AssaultRunner Elite for allowing me to train according to my plans. I can do some of the most complex track workouts on this treadmill, and I don’t need the treadmill to lead me through them. I think this is a smart choice, because the target audience for this treadmill is likely using a training plan or receiving coaching. If you aren’t in that category, don’t be deterred. There are plenty of online training resources, including Assault Fitness’s very own app.

The Assault Fitness app provides training recommendations and videos. You can keep track of your progress and compete against your friend and the Assault Fitness community. The app allows you to add friends, join groups, and participate in challenges specifically designed for your treadmill.

One of my favorite track workouts is a classic distance pyramid. To try it, do: 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 1200m, 1600m, and then descend the same distances all the way down to 100m. In between each distance, rest or jog for 2-4 minutes. The tricky part is to push yourself almost as hard as you can on the 100m, 200m, and 400m distances but to find your pace and settle into the 800m, 1200m, and 1600m distances. The rests should be as easy as you need them to be. I could never do these workouts on a motorized treadmill!

Assault Runner Elite running
Who needs an indoor track when you have one of these?

Bottom Line Review: AssaultRunner Elite Treadmill

The AssaultRunner Elite manual treadmill opens doors that you thought were closed on traditional motorized treadmills. The pronounced curve of the belt makes reaching your normal sprinting pace easier than manual treadmills with shallower curves. The construction is unyielding no matter how fast you want to go. It's a powerhouse of a machine with a well-cushioned belt backed with a lifetime warranty.

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