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Buying a treadmill (video/plea for help).

Fri, May 28, 2010

cardio, Videos

Dear MizFit,

My husband, who dislikes the cardio as I do, recently mentioned he’d like to own a treadmill.   Needless to say Im shocked.  While Im not sure we currently have the fundage (technical term) Id love your amazing readers’ insights on home treadmills they own or long to own.

Id appreciate all thoughts from DREAM treads (the super pricey) to CHEAP dreads (non-motorized anyone?).

Thanks so much,

xo xo,

MizFit

Yes, People.

From me.

To me.

And really to you.

Any and all home treadmill thoughts?

Please to hit me up in the comments.

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56 Responses to “Buying a treadmill (video/plea for help).”

  1. cammy@tippytoediet says:

    Have you thought about checking Craig’a list? Our local CL usually has lots of ads for treadmills, ellipticals and such. Might be worth a look?

    • lionsfan64 says:

      Cammy-You are correct, I live in West Michigan and on our Craigs list i see enough really nice equipment for really cheap, in about a week you could build a whole home gym for under $300, just under the topic of-for sale sporting, not to mention the-free heading-people are moveing, have a child coming, or just want it moved. Heck i bought 265lbs of weights a bench, a belt and 3 bars for $45, all i really wanted was the 125lbs of steel weights he had. I gave the rest away. Today in Sparta,Mi tread mill $1.

  2. Andrew(AJH) says:

    We bought a treadmill last year, spent over $2,000 on quite a good one. Problem is, it hardly gets used. I find proper running (outside) much more enjoyable, and find that treadmill running plays havoc with my calves.

    My advice, save your money.

  3. Eve says:

    That video is hilarious!!!!

    Why not stick with running at the gym. Or does the Mizter not belong to a gym?

  4. Helen says:

    I love my treadmill and laugh I couldn’t tell you what the brand or make is either (I am at the office).

    I do give you a hi5! for supporting your husband and his running and need to know if he, too, wears tutus LOL

    Have a good weekend!

  5. anne h says:

    Two words - craigslist!

  6. Kiimmy says:

    I am not a runner so no idea, but have a great weekend!

  7. JourneyBeyondSurvival says:

    I did my research on consumer reports. I’m tall so I needed to make sure the length of the belt was long enough and also sturdy enough since my bones weigh more than 100 pounds when stripped of flesh.

    THEN, at the end of February-just after the fitness craze wanes-I got me my dream treadmill. From Sam’s. With a TV. The top rated treadmill mind you, for $1000 brand spankin new.

  8. Kat says:

    Craigslist is great and there is also a chain called Play it Again Sam that sells used fitness equipment. We have a Precor elliptical machine that we bought four years ago. It was very pricey, but still is going strong after more than 2 million steps. We bought a 5 year warranty and have used it a few times for simple tune ups and replaced a wheel once. It is a good idea to try the machine out before you buy it. Have a great weekend!

  9. JourneyBeyondSurvival says:

    *BLARGH* I just typed a profound response and it’s vaporized! noooooo

    So cliff notes version:

    consumer reports-consider your heights, weights, frequency of use
    Big Box Stores-I bought the top rated machine from the year before for $1000. In February. TV, Fan, Incline, Music etc. Brand Spankin New.

  10. Erin Elberson says:

    Checking in with your local reps for Star Trac and LifeFitness can net you a refurbished gym quality treadmill on the relative cheap. We got a few years old, but with a brand new belt and motor Star Trac for $1000. I found the guy on Craigslist.

  11. Lynda says:

    I wonder if you could get a company to donate one to the MizFit household if you prmised to train on it?

    Maybe!

    Also, thanks again for the tips on kids and exercise.

    I have already started implementing them with the twins.

  12. Natalia says:

    :) We had great luck with a treadmill that we bought from Sears. It was an Image. It was great quality it had a 12% incline. You could make the track harder or softer to walk on. It was a beast and was not a space saver! But it held up well which can be attributed to the quality of the machine, OR the fact that we didn’t use it very often, ;) compared to the number of years we owned it.

  13. Lynda says:

    Just clicked on that link in your post.

    I didn’t know you were in Fitness magazine!!!

  14. Miz says:

    THREE CHEERS FOR MY EARLY MORNING PEEPS! (or mid-day or night I guess depending on the timezone :) ).

    Thank you for your tips.

    Im thinking a treadmill company would not wanna donate to our KindaSortaBeginningRunnerArses but you never know until you inquire right? :)

    off to corral the energy of the 4 year old and kick off my Friday.

  15. jeepjenn says:

    I got my treadmill brand new at a hardware store that was closing, and liquidating inventory for about 1/4 of the full price…They didn’t want to have to move it!

    If you decide to buy used, other than the computer and mechanics working, you want to look at the foot bed under the belt. This is the part (the actual part that you walk on…) that will show wear and tear the most. It should still have lots of life in it and show no wearing.

    Also, if you buy one that folds up, it should still feel tight…(no movement left or right when you are bringing down the walking part!)

    Good Luck! I love my treadmill!!

  16. Liza says:

    I am an ellipticaller (technical term. ha ha.) so I cannot help you.

    Are you racing again???

  17. Roni says:

    I had one… used for about a week.. and then it became a clothes dryer. For me it wasn’t a good decisions I need to go OUT, be OUT. When I bring exercise into the home it’s easier for me to avoid it because I can “just do it later.”

    I’d also add that as a runner/walker once I took the leap outside there’s no going back to the treadmil. I crave the fresh air and open road!

    But that’s just me… I’m sure others have great experiences with them being in the home.

  18. Helen says:

    Research. A lot. You’ll be amazed at how much the features vary. How important is incline percentage? Belt width? Height and weight of the people using it? Do you want an HRM? Look at motor strength. Look at the warranty!

    There’s a website where you can compare various brands, etc.

    http://treadmill-resource-center.com

    DON’T buy cheap but if it’s an expensive top of the line one you might consider used. Only thing is those don’t come used too often.

    We didn’t have a lot of fundage so we bought “mid” and have never regretted it. When we bought it I was the one and only who ever used it. My Mr. got back into running and now we both pound on the thing, especially in the winter and/or pouring rain.

  19. Fab Kate says:

    The treadmill thing for me has been a struggle. When I had my car, I used to drive over to the senior center to do the treadmill every morning. Then when I joined defined fitness, for me it was all about the treadmill and water aerobics. I even chose my apartment, in part, because they had a treadmill in a small workout room (which, unfortunately, doesn’t work)

    Once upon a time I refused help from a very nice blogger who offered me some advice and connections relating to getting a treadmill on my income, which I turned down, because I was too afraid (and maybe a little proud) to become involved in marketing. Now I have a second blog that does nothing but, just to keep my head above water.

    and to, I hope someday, have a treadmill of my own.

    I imagine you would be able to get a treadmill from someone who would love you to feature it on your website, or in any of the other things you do. It’d be a great sales booster, to have you review and use their treadmill, especially considering the number of readers you have. Have you contacted any companies yet and discussed promotions? I mean, “runs in tutu” could be the kind of viral video concept that would really give a brand some visibility…

  20. Laurie says:

    I purchased mine from craigslists and used it till it broke.

    Only then did I invest in a new one and spend lots of cash.

    Id recommend that especially if you aren’t sure how often it wll be used!

    I think you and Ren Man have caught the running bug ;)

  21. Debbie @comfycozycrazy says:

    My treadmill is 13 years old and I got it from Sears. It’ a Pro-Form. I use it 5 days a week for 30-60 minutes. So far it’s been great. I will say, though, that I tried a Sole from Dick’s Sporting Goods and it ran like buttah. I’d say run outside but I know you live in TX and that could make for some really sweaty hot summer runs. I run inside because of the kidlets, I can’t drag three out with me, and I can’t get a sitter if I want to do it in the morning when they’re home. Maybe someday I’ll venture out on a Saturday morning for a run when the husband’s home. For now, though, I run in the dungeon. Can’t wait to hear how this goes for you! Definitely need video of tutu on treadmill.

  22. New Runner says:

    I was just starting C25K when you posted all about your half marathon training.

    Initllay I thought it would depress me since I couldn’t run a mile yet LOL

    I was inspired by how you pushed through on days you did not want to run.

    Now that I am almost a “runner” I say go outdoors.

    Much more fun.

  23. TexNYQueen says:

    Purchase a Proform approx 5 years ago through an online seller and I was able to pay for it over time. I did use it regularly when I first bought it. But for the past 3 years, it’s received little use because it’s very LOUD. Unlike going to the gym where the noise is masked because of the size of the gym, a home treadmill is LOUD LOUD LOUD.

    Plus,I find that I prefer walking outside or at the gym.

  24. keila says:

    I have a love/hate relationship w/ my treadmill. I couldn’t tell you the make or model but I did not pay very much for it ($500). I prefer to walk/run outside whenever I can but the tready comes in wuite handy when the weather is being uncooperative. I will suggest that it helps if you have somewhere in your house where you can watch TV while you’re on the treadmill. It helps to forget how mindnumbingly dull walking/running on a treadmill really is.

  25. Joanna Sutter says:

    I do not own a treadmill, but I own a spinning bike. My advice? Go for quality…you’ll never use a treadmill that’s loud, wobbly, or skips.

  26. Pat says:

    Hi MizFit,

    I signed up for my first 5k a month ago and needed this post.

    I am in the same boat as you are money-wise, but would love a treadmill at home.

    I had never thought about craigslist!

    Pat

  27. Diane Fit to the Finish says:

    We bought one at Dick’s Sporting goods but I didn’t like how it made my back feel - so we sold it to some friends for less than half what we paid for it! Maybe you can find someone like me!

  28. JavaChick says:

    I bought mine at Sears, I think it is a FreeSpirit (I’m at work). It was mid-range price wise I think, not the most expensive, not the cheapest. I would say do your research and know what you want, then go somewhere you can try them out and see demos. The sales rep at Sears was very helpful when I bought mine. I didn’t want a lot of bells and whistles, but I wanted one I could run on, one that I could easily fold up and move out of the way, one that was not too noisy. The sales rep knew his stuff, explained differences, turned them off and on, demonstrated folding them up and all of that. I’ve been happy with mine; it gets a fair amount of use and so far (after 2 1/2 years) no problems.

  29. DestinationAthlete says:

    Like lots of others that have already posted…you get what you pay for.

    The big thing to look for is shock absorption (woefully underserved on the “cheap” ones) and ability to vary inclines. The more money you put into the ‘mill, the more likely it’s going to stand up to the daily wear and tear you shall all be giving it. You’re also more likely to get more speed(s) available to you, better construction, improved mechanics, and spiffy do-dads as well.

  30. Felice says:

    I have a treadmill at home and although I MUCH prefer to run outdoors, I am very glad I have an indoors (non-gym) option. I have a True 500 and love it. I bought it in 2001 and it has been an excellent investment. It was pricey at the time but we haven’t had to do any maintenance on it, other than wax under the belt and keep it clean. Which is basically nothing. It is fairly accurate and the size is good. My husband is tall so we wanted something that was substantial enough for him — but, honestly, he rarely uses it. So, I benefit from having the wider, longer belt (in my opinion those do make a difference).

    Good luck!

  31. Jenn @Fitness for the Fitness-averse says:

    Totally agree with checking Craigslist - we’ve gotten all sorts of fab-o stuff on the cheap that way.

    Also, I agree with Andrew. We’ve got a pretty decent treadmill… and it collects dust. I’m actually even procrastinating moving it to my studio because I’m not 100% sure if I’d even use it with clients.

    I much much much prefer running outside. And Carla, I think you said during one of the podcasts that you use things like mailboxes and phone poles to keep you moving forward - as in “if I can just make it to that phone pole…” I agree - I like that much better than watching the numbers on the mill click by.

    But - that is just my $.02

  32. Brandi says:

    I’m with Roni up there. There is no comparison to being outdoors!

    Plus…I did the same thing…oh, I can just do it later. I’ll walk/run while I watch a movie etc etc. It never happened.

    I’m sure it works great for some people, but not me. AND IT’S LOUD! There is no such thing as watching a movie while you run unless you have a way to get the sound to your headphones.

    GOOD LUCK!!

    PS: The tutu is AWESOME

  33. Aubry says:

    I also have to say loud loud loud!
    In my experience no matter how fancy the tread or how high the sticker price.

    Is that really you at a GYM in a tutu??

  34. Donna Bush says:

    Well, I’ll be one of the many to endorse Craigslist. Or Play It Again Sports. The beauty of buying a used item (make sure it’s comfortable and works properly) is that if you’re not sure you’re going to use it very often, you’re not out a lot of cash, and you can re-sell it for about what you paid for it. If you plunk down a big wad o’ cash on a new model, and then don’t use it, you’ll be lucky to get half what you paid for it on Craigslist. (I’ve had 2 treadmills from CL now.)

    That said, whatever you buy, be sure you test it out first. Getting one that folds up is really nice because it can be folded up when not in use. Also, because you have a little one, be absolutely certain it has a “panic key” or whatever it’s called so you don’t have a tragedy (like Mike Tyson’s daughter) if she decides to test her boundaries and get on there. Awful to think about, but necessary, unfortunately.

    I find the treadmill is great motivation because it’s always there, regardless of weather or other obstacles. No matter what, I have no excuse for not getting to the gym. Good luck.

  35. merrymishaps says:

    I started out on the treadmill, and didn’t want to invest a lot of money since I didn’t know running would stick! I bought a ProForm CrossWalk from Sears for about $300. Used it a lot as a newbie, now I use it only when I can’t get outside, but it’s definitely great to have. It kept me on track for marathon training this winter when we got tons of snow. Between that, DVDs and the Wii, I don’t need to join a gym. Much cheaper in the long run!

    I think it might be starting to die now since it’s started changing my speed randomly (it’s not fancy enough to do intervals!), but after 6.5 years I can’t complain.

    Make sure your husband doesn’t ramp up his running too quickly like mine did! He went from nothing to 6 miles a day on the treadmill pretty quickly, and got injured. He was seeing results (lost ~20 pounds!) and pushed a bit too hard. At least he’s still active and biking daily now!

  36. MizFit says:

    THANK YOU THANK YOU for all your tips, laughs (@fittothefinish) & quoting me to me (seriously, Jenn, that made my week!).

    Im going to print all of these out at the end of the weekend.

    you know, because Im confident ya’ll have so many more to send my way : )

    and YES.

    Thats me. In a tutu. At an Austin gym.

    I was testing driving it to be sure it didnt chafe (it didnt) in case I really did decide to wear it during the Disney Princess Half-Marathon (I did :) ).

  37. Shelley B says:

    I have no advice since I don’t own one (and unless I hit the lottery, probably never will), but there are times (hello HOT HOT Texas) that it would be nice to have so you could have the option of just sweating as opposed to sweating while getting sunstroke.

    I vote for some brand to give you one! :)

  38. Ryan @NoMoreBacon says:

    Costco has some really nice treadmills and I know you’re a fan of all things BULK :) The big advantage to buying from there is that if anything every does go wrong with it, they’ll take it back and replace it or refund you. No questions. I like buying with that kind of confidence. It makes buying bigger ticket items like a treadmill an easier decision for me to make.

  39. Yum Yucky says:

    doggone-it! I don’t own a treadmill…or the treadmill space. At least not until eldest child flies the coop and I convert her huge-azz bedroom (much bigger than mine) into a home gym. I told her I was gonna. And then she got mad.

    but I can’t wait to see what you get!!!

    …and thank goodness there was no treadmill outtake like on Funniest Videos. I was bracing myself.

  40. Quix says:

    No help here. If I’m going to run I like to leave the house. I think I would be too tempted to take a break where I can’t running outside or wouldn’t at the gym. Plus I can only really have ONE workout room (I think Zliten would balk at me taking over the office too) and it’s pretty full up with using it for DDR, weights, and videos.

    You might do the cheapo craigslist thing to see if you would use it, and then spend the money if you find it’s useful. :)

  41. Kimberley says:

    I don’t own a treadmill, I just use the one at the gym in my building. Walking (no running here) is just about my least favourite exercise so I don’t do it often. We tried out a new YMCA a couple of weeks ago and they had some primo exercise equipment. I love the really good machines.

    Love the tutu!!!

    You and the Tornado are welcome to come and swim with me anytime. I would get my son in there too…just to watch the Hurricane chill with the Tornado.

  42. TS says:

    I used to have a treadmill. It was great for giving me the confidence to run outside. However, it was LOUD. That’s why I got rid of it (and exchanged it for an elliptical). When trying out treadmills, bring your music player with you, and pre-set it to a volume that you wish to listen to (that way when you’re listening to music, you don’t have to worry that your workouts are making you deaf). If you feel you can comfortably listen to the music as a motivator while running, then it’s a quality (quiet) machine, and go for it. Otherwise, spring for a more expensive, and quiet one.

    Also, make sure that the incline and speed degrees of separation are gradual, so you can increase by a little each week, that there’s a key-fob panic switch (so you can pull it out if you’re scared you set it too fast), and that you have a comfortable stride length. I personally didn’t care for whether it folded up or not, because out of sight, out of mind.

    Make sure to go for a brand that has replaceable parts, and one who has been in business for a while. If you need a replacement part, it should be relatively easy to find. When purchasing off CL, don’t settle. There’s lots of crappy machines posted, and it’ll seem tempting at a cheap price. Don’t be cheap. Go for quality. If you end up not using it, you could always re-sell it, but don’t feel like you’ve settled.

    Happy running!

  43. Dr. J says:

    The only thing I can think of is that the two of you try out the treadmill you like before you buy it. Also some have a softer feel and I would get one that has more cushion to it.

  44. askROCCO says:

    The best treadmills for the money are TRUE Treadmills from TRUE Fitness. Excellent quality, take a beating and cost half of the big guys. I only buy them now. http://www.truefitness.com/products/residential/treadmills.html

  45. Matilda444 says:

    I have a Woodway. I love it! I’ll admit I don’t use it in the summer months - I’m outside on the trails whenever the Minnesota weather allows. The Woodway was expensive, but worth it. We are going on 25 years!

  46. charlotte says:

    My sister swears by Sears. For reals. Apparently they’re very reasonably priced and have a great warranty policy (which you will probably end up needing at some point). As for me, I just say ixnay on the anual-mays:)

  47. Jen says:

    My two cents… make sure you like the look of it. I’m not being shallow here, it’s just that it does take up a LOT of room in your house so you will be seeing an awful log of it every day and you don’t want it to be an eye-sore (unless you plan to have it in a garage or outside, in which case ignore this point).

    Also I recently found out that it’s not a good idea to rely on the pulse/heartbeat, etc indicators as the majority are inaccurate (they don’t take into consideration your weight/height/other body specs) so don’t be too misled by sales pitches on this one… better off getting something the right size, that feels good (as you should have a test run) and that is something you’d like to have around the house. And maybe get yourself a pulse watch if you need that sort of info.

    Good luck!

  48. Ron says:

    I bought a Nordic Track from Sears, It has been a good one.

  49. Sanda Rodemeyer says:

    You are the best and site too :)

  50. FatFighterTV says:

    Love the letter from you to you - I need to write myself more often. :)

    Me - I always check Consumer Reports before I make a big purchase.

  51. Hanlie says:

    I know nothing about treadmills, so I’ll refrain from giving advice… Just wanted to let you know that I loved, loved, loved the video!

  52. Treadmills Australia says:

    Couple things for your head up. Think about your budget, fitness goal, the frequency you are using the treadmill and features that treadmill owns. Compare different brands, modes and warranty, you would find the one for you.

  53. Treadmills says:

    That’s a great information, great work and I agree.

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