Tech Specs


Build Quality


Treadmill Review

Updated: August 4, 2023

The LifeSpan TR5500iM is a running treadmill. Its 4.0 continuous horsepower and 22” x 60” vouch for its efficacy as a cardio machine for runners. The 5500iM is ready for intense training with great speed and incline ranges. This treadmill does not require a monthly subscription to access any of its features. It relies on a nice selection of preset training programs, customizable programs, and manual training instead. Our review of the LifeSpan TR5500iM explores its build, performance, and training capabilities.

Who The LifeSpan TR5500iM Treadmill Is Best For:

  • Runners: The powerful motor, belt dimensions, and speed capacity are more than sufficient for running. The TR5500iM should keep up with you for miles and miles of training.
  • Subscription Dodgers: This treadmill does not require a monthly subscription to access training or entertainment content. It is a pricey treadmill, but the cost is not ongoing unless you choose finance the treadmill.
  • YouTube Watchers: Screencast your favorite YouTube videos right onto the treadmill’s 10-inch color display. This feature should work for Apple and Android users.
  • Walkers: The TR5500iM is a great choice for a household with multiple walkers. Features like IntelliStep and IntelliGuard keep your training effective and safe.
  • Quiet Treadmill Shoppers: No running treadmill is going to be perfectly quiet, but the TR5500i is much quieter than most other treadmills we have tried.

Pros And Cons Of The LifeSpan TR5500iM Treadmill


  • The TR5500iM has a 4.0 CHP motor for high-mileage training.
  • The spacious running deck measures 22” x 60” for long, running strides and improved comfort.
  • The 10-inch full-color touchscreen display allows users to Screencast YouTube videos during their workouts.
  • IntelliStep counts your steps while IntelliGuard stops the treadmill after 20 seconds of no activity detected.
  • The TR5500iM is very quiet, even while the incline is changing.
  • The speed range is 0.5 to 13.5 mph. The maximum incline is about 13% grade. There are 2 decline levels.


  • The TR5500iM does not have smart video training content like that from Peloton or iFIT.
  • The TR5500iM is a bit pricey compared to comparable treadmills.

Treadmill Review Of The LifeSpan TR5500iM

Build Quality


The LifeSpan TR5500iM has an all-steel frame, creating a very sturdy treadmill. There is minimal wobbling or shaking while the user is running. The treadmill is a bit heavy, but it creates a very supportive machine.

The treadmill arms are long but a bit slippery. A little texture or rubber would improve the feel of the arms. As they are now, they are only slick plastic that may be difficult for some users to support themselves with when they are very sweaty.

The footrails are stable. They are narrower than some users may prefer. I measured them to be 3.5 inches wide. Most shoes are going to be wider than this, so the footrails could be improved by having a width of 4 or 4.5 inches. Of course, this slimmer width reduced the treadmill’s overall footprint by a little bit. The footrails are textured, so most users should be able to stand on them without a problem. Users with balance concerns should be mindful of this slimmer width if they will often stand on the footrails.


The LifeSpan TR5500iM’s motor is 4.0 continuous horsepower. Motors with this rating are designed for long-distance running. They can handle daily use. If you have more than one user in your household, this treadmill would be great for two or three users doing low to medium mileage per week. A treadmill with a 4.0 HP motor should have improved longevity at higher speeds and usage levels than weaker competitors.

I was very impressed by the sound of the motor. Both the incline and speed transitions were quiet enough that I could not be certain when the treadmill had reached the prescribed pace or grade.

Running Surface

The 22” x 60” running surface provides plenty of room for running. This treadmill is a great size for users with long strides or larger frames. I did feel a little crowded by the motor hood. I wish the console was moved a little further along the belt for more clearance before the motor hood. Whenever I needed to adjust my speed, incline, or the onscreen display, my foot often scuffed the motor hood. It did not ruin my run, but it was a bit annoying. The step-up height is not bad. I measured the deck at 10 inches when the incline is at 0%.

The deck is not as soft as some users may prefer. I rather liked its moderate cushioning. It made my run feel more comparable to my outdoor activity. At this price point, users may be expecting something more soft and bouncy, and the TR5500iM does not quite deliver on that. If your goals are to get faster or conquer a new race distance, the TR5500iM is going to prepare you more for that event, because it is not doing as much of the work for you compared to a treadmill that makes running feel easier.


The TR5500iM is a folding treadmill. It uses two hydraulic shocks to help with lifting and lowering the deck. The deck softly lowers itself to the ground once released. Simply push the deck slightly up and press your foot against the left kick-release hydraulic arm to release it. The deck is a bit heavy to fold back up. Users with limited upper body strength or weight lifting restrictions may not find the TR5500iM the easiest treadmill to fold back up. We expect that most users should not have a problem.

The treadmill has two transport wheels. The TR5500iM can be tilted onto these wheels for relocation. It weighs 270 lbs, so many users will not find it practical to move the treadmill around often. It is much easier to roll a treadmill across a hard floor, so keep that in mind when deciding where you will be using versus storing your treadmill. You may initially think that rolling a treadmill in and out of a corner is no biggie, but if the tediousness of it becomes a burden, it could become a barrier to exercise.


The TR5500iM has 13 levels of incline and 2 levels of decline. The maximum incline is about 13%, but the decline (as we measured it) falls a bit short of -2%. It can be a little confusing what treadmill companies mean by “levels” of incline and decline. Yet, the TR5500iM’s abilities provide plenty of training variability. The maximum incline felt challenging. The decline is not very noticeable off the treadmill, but it is noticeable while you are walking/running on it.

The incline adjustments are quieter than other treadmills. Unfortunately, the incline adjustments are slow. The TR5500iM is not ideal for short fast hill intervals, but it has plenty of utility elsewhere to make up for it. If you are more concerned with noise production than how fast the speed and incline transitions are, this treadmill might be for you!

Features & Accessories

The TR5500iM has a great balance of smart and low-tech features. It is not as technologically advanced as other treadmills in its price range, but its simplicity keeps it more approachable and user-friendly. This LifeSpan treadmill does not pair with premium subscription content, so all the features are kept out from behind a paywall. IntelliStep and IntelliGuard seem like two common sense features, but few treadmills outside of LifeSpan’s products offer these features. I appreciate that LifeSpan seems to be forging its own path in the treadmill market rather than recreating what has worked for other brands.

Console Overview

The TR5500iM’s console is user-friendly. There is a vertical display. The main buttons are positioned on the keypad beneath the screen. It is a bit like having a simple laptop for your treadmill navigation..

The buttons on the keypad consist of the fan control, the start, stop, and pause buttons, the +/- speed and incline buttons, and the quick adjust speed and incline buttons. The horizontal orientation of these buttons makes them a lot easier to press while running or walking. The only negative to the buttons is the lack of representation of the speed and incline possibilities. The speed and incline have quick options for 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10. Yet, the speed goes to 13.5 mph, while the incline goes to level 13 and -2. I also do not like when there is no quick button for making the incline grade level. The +/- buttons are right next to the quick adjust buttons, but I don’t think this quite makes up for this oversight. The heart rate handles also have speed and incline adjustment buttons.


The LifeSpan TR5500iM has a 10-inch touchscreen display. The interface has a blue theme, which is different but nice. The screen is easy to navigate with large buttons. The activity screens can be cluttered. I had some difficulty discerning what all the different numbers meant. With three different screens to choose from, I think LifeSpan could tone down what is presented on each option to keep them from being overwhelming. The screen may not have enough color contrast for some users, but the basic metrics are large enough that most users should be able to read them.


IntelliStep tracks user steps. This feature is pretty accurate. There was a less than 2% difference in the number of steps the treadmill estimated I took and the estimation of my Garmin watch. If you are trying to hit a step goal, this treadmill is great for giving you insight into your progress toward your goal!


The deck is able to sense user activity. Thus, IntelliGuard is LifeSpan’s unique safety feature. If no steps are detected for 20 seconds, the deck will automatically stop. The paused workout screen will appear. Users then have 5 minutes to resume their activity or end their workout.

Cup Holders

Two cup holders provide a place to put your water, nutrition, or your phone. They are stable, and I did not hear or see any rattling of my belongings while walking or running.


The fan’s strength is fine. It has three power levels, which can be controlled by the fan button on the keypad. The angle of the fan is not my favorite. It hits my stomach, which feels a little strange while running. I am only 5’4”, so taller users will probably like the fan’s positioning even less. The fan was not overly loud despite its strength. If it was positioned elsewhere, it would be perfect.


Bluetooth allows the TR5500iM to connect to your phone or tablet. It can also connect to a HR monitor. Not all HR monitors are compatible. My Garmin did not connect.

After completing a workout, you will be invited to sync your workout to the LifeSpan app if you want. The process is super easy. I opened the app, connected the device in one easy step, and watched my workout appear onscreen. I like that I can look back on my activity and see all the metrics that the treadmill recorded. Fitness watches and wearable notoriously do not record treadmill workouts very accurately, so it is great to see what my actual pace and distance were.

HR Sensors

There are two heart rate grip sensors on the treadmill. These are located on the handles in front of the console. These handles are comfortable to reach and hold during walking activities. I recommend using a natural arm swing during running instead of holding on to these sensors. Choose a wearable heart rate monitor over using these sensors if you want the most accurate and comfortable workout experience. I do appreciate that LifeSpan includes these on the treadmill, as some walkers will surely wish to check in on their heart rates or make use of them during the HR training programs.


The speakers are Bluetooth. The audio quality is not the clearest, but the volume level is great. I was able to listen to music at a very low volume during my run and hear just about everything. I could have turned it up much higher and felt like I was throwing a party, so I was pleased with the TR5500iM’s audio capabilities. The speakers are front-facing and sit alongside the screen.

Device Rack

There is a narrow compartment about the length of the screen. It runs behind the keypad area. This channel allows you to place a phone or tablet inside for viewing while exercising. Because your device sits in the compartment, some of the screen will not be visible. Fortunately, there is another option.

Screen Casting

The TR5500iM allows you to screencast YouTube videos from your smart device (Apple or Android) onto the screen. The Bluetooth audio then allows you to hear the video audio through the treadmill. This way, you don’t have to be worried about looking so far down at your device or having the bottom portion of the screen cut off (unless your device is blocking the treadmill screen…) This is a nice upgrade to the current model of this treadmill from previous editions. It allows for an excellent variety of entertainment and training content.


Running on the LifeSpan TR5500iM is enjoyable. I could easily program my own workout, do a quick start activity, or do an onboard program. Its really easy to jump into a workout. I did not feel like I needed the manual nearby to operate the touchscreen or set up the workout I wanted to do. I did not feel restricted in what I was able to accomplish on this treadmill. It would be a great option for shorter, faster runs or long, steady sessions.

The belt has a great texture, keeping my run smooth and steady. The speed and incline adjustments were smooth underfoot, but actually pressing the buttons was a little frustrating. The incline adjusts by 1 level and the speed by 0.1 mph unless the quick adjust buttons are used. Holding the +/- buttons down did not result in speeding up the treadmill or inclining it faster. I would prefer to hold the button down to go faster, because multiple button pushes slowed my workout progress down. It’s a minimal flaw, but it might matter to you if you are running a speed workout, like a fartlek, where the pace isn’t always predetermined.

One of my favorite and scariest things to do when testing treadmills is to pull the safety key. The TR5500iM’s safety key stops the treadmill very fast. There are advantages and disadvantages to this. First, a fast stop ensures that if there is an emergency where you need the treadmill to stop ASAP, it will. This could matter if something is caught in the belt, a child or pet is nearby, or you fall. On the other hand, a fast stop could be dangerous for someone who is still running on the treadmill. I have been known to accidentally pull the safety key or to pull it when my workout is a maximum effort and I simply can’t keep running anymore. It could trip you up by stopping so quickly, so be mindful of this feature.

I want to highlight again how quiet this treadmill is. It is hard to establish an objective noise rating. Attempts to standardize our ratings of noise levels have not been the most effective. There are just too many variables. Yet, the TR5500iM is noticeably quieter than its competitors. The foot noise will vary by how you run, but my steps were quieter than normal. I am typically a very loud treadmill runner, so hopefully that gave my fellow reviewers some relief!

Subscription & Content Options or Training Options

This treadmill does not have premium subscription training content. Instead, the TR5500iM has robust onboard content options. There are 50+ training programs as well as customizable programs. These programs vary the impressive speed and incline ranges to give you many different kinds of workouts. You can create a short or long workout to your specifications. The interface is really easy to use. You simply have to set the time you would like to train. Then a dot matrix appears which allows you to set speed and incline. It is much easier to do than I can explain in words, unfortunately!

Screencasting has opened the doors of possibility on the TR5500iM. YouTube has tons of free training content and entertainment. The possibilities are endless. I love that LifeSpan gives users plenty of freedom.

Bottom Line Review of the LifeSpan TR5500iM

The LifeSpan TR5500iM is a folding treadmill designed for runners. The training possibilities are excellent, though there is no native video training content. The ability to mirror your phone screen to watch YouTube videos like training really unlocks the TR5500iM’s entertainment and training potential. The motor strength and deck size combine for a treadmill build that lives up to runners’ expectations. However, walkers will equally enjoy this treadmill’s unique ability to track their progress toward a step goal and stop the deck if they step away for a moment. The TR5500iM demonstrates that LifeSpan has carved out its own niche in the residential treadmill space without copying other brands. The trustworthy design of the TR5500iM makes it a great home treadmill choice if you can handle the premium price.

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