There is a rather large population (pun intended) out there that is looking for a good treadmill. This population wants to be in shape, not a shape— round. But they struggle to find a treadmill to run on that will not sound like it is going to fall apart with every stride.
They just want one that can handle their 300+ lbs. bodies.
This is a struggle I feel. It doesn’t hit close to home for me; it hits smack dab on top of my house. As a member of the 300+ lbs. population, I was more than happy to research treadmills that were conducive to people like me.
I can say with great pride that I have found a few options that I would buy. But since I am one of those folks that hate to spend money, I will present the LifeSpan TR 1200i Folding Treadmill as my top choice.
Money not so much an issue for you? Don’t worry. I’ll be presenting you with a few options before I’m done.
Table of Contents
- 1 Top Choice: The LifeSpan TR 1200i Folding Treadmill
- 2 Other Good Options
- 3 The Absolute Bottom Line
Top Choice: The LifeSpan TR 1200i Folding Treadmill
The average score from 510 reviews on one site gave the LifeSpan TR 1200i Folding Treadmill a score of 3.5 stars (out of five).
The two reviews for the LifeSpan TR 1200i Folding Treadmill left on the Dick’s Sporting Goods site average out to 3.0 stars (out of five).
- Shock absorbing surface: One of the biggest issues for large people on treadmills is the pounding the machine and their joints and knees take as they workout. To combat those issues, the LifeSpan TR 1200i Folding Treadmill comes with a cushioned, two-ply tread belt. The running deck also has six compression shocks included to absorb impact.
- Ability to upload data: Plug a USB into your LifeSpan TR 1200i Folding Treadmill, and you can record your data and upload to the company website after your workout. Why would you want to do that? When you are a larger person, it is hard to tell if your work is paying off. The weight comes off slowly. So, while people that haven’t seen you in a while will see the total fruits of your labor all at once, you miss out because you see the tiny improvements every day. But by uploading your data, you can track how much work you’ve put in and see what kind of progress you’ve made. You may not be able to see the physical changes you’ve been making. But the numbers don’t lie.
- The warranty: The LifeSpan TR 1200i Folding Treadmill is built to take a beating from large people walking/jogging/running on it. But it will break down like any other treadmill over time. Many treadmills will come with a lifetime frame for the frame. But this one comes with a lifetime warranty for the frame and motor. Parts are under warranty for three years and labor for one.
- Short tread belt: If you are just walking on your LifeSpan TR 1200i Folding Treadmill, you will likely never realize the tread belt is kind of short. But once you start jogging or running on it, it can become problematic.
- Assembly: The LifeSpan TR 1200i Folding Treadmill is not considered particularly difficult to set up, but it can easily take a couple hours even if you have someone helping.
- Speed issues: Multiple reviews commented on how their LifeSpan TR 1200i Folding Treadmill would randomly change speed without warning. It would accelerate to very fast and/or decelerate to a crawling speed. No one said it ever happened with any regularity. But a few did say it happened a few times.
The Bottom Line
It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles since it is considered the “affordable” machine, but it has most of what you need. However, it does have at least one very nice bell and whistle—it can fold up for easy storage!
It’s not a fantastic treadmill and it is only rated up to 300 lbs., but the LifeSpan TR 1200i Folding Treadmill is a good treadmill.
Other Good Options
If you’re slightly heavier than 300 lbs.: The ProForm Pro 2000 Treadmill
At the Dick’s Sporting Goods site, there were 116 reviews of the ProForm Pro 2000 Treadmill that averaged out to 4.4 stars (out of five).
At Walmart’ site, there were 210 reviews for the ProForm Pro 2000 Treadmill. They averaged out to 4.5 stars (out of five).
- Spacious belt: While 22 inches may not sound like much, for a treadmill’s width—it’s pretty big. However, the belt itself is only a one-ply tread. So, if you get a lot of use out of your ProForm Pro 2000 Treadmill, you’ll need to replace it sooner rather than later.
- Incline/decline capable: A great way to burn more calories is to walk on an incline and this one can go up to 15 degrees. If you want to train for a road course or something, the ProForm Pro 2000 Treadmill even has a decline option.
- Strong motor: Heavier people tax a treadmill’s motor a lot more than most people. Many treadmills will come with a 1.5 CHP horsepower motor, but the ProForm Pro 2000 Treadmill comes with a 3.5 CHP horsepower motor. It should have no trouble handling the workload a heavier person puts on it!
- The belt: It may be nice and wide, but it is also only a one-ply belt so it is going to wear down sooner rather than later. You may need to keep a spare on hand to make sure your exercise routine doesn’t have to stop because your belt does.
- Tons of bells and whistles: Most people would consider that a good thing. But chances are good that if you are in need of a heavy-duty treadmill like the ProForm Pro 2000 Treadmill, you are not too familiar with them. If that is indeed the case, all the bells and whistles can be a little confusing. Someone not accustomed to exercising will look for any reason not to—like the treadmill is too confusing to use.
- Space eater: The ProForm Pro 2000 Treadmill doesn’t really fold up much, so it is going to take up a lot of space.
The Bottom Line
It’s wide, just like the type of runner that is going to be interested in using it and rated to handle people up to 350 lbs. It can handle the workload and will not be too harsh on the joints and knees. If you get bored with just flat out running on your ProForm Pro 2000 Treadmill, it has a library of programs you can use to change things up.
You will not be upset if you decide to go with the ProForm Pro 2000 Treadmill for your exercise needs.
Best Walking Option: Exerpeutic TF1000 Walk to Fitness Electric Treadmill
From the 480 reviews left for it at Walmart.com, the Exerpeutic TF1000 Walk to Fitness Electric Treadmill earned an average rating of 4.3 stars (out of five).
Another 343 people reviewed the Exerpeutic TF1000 Walk to Fitness Electric Treadmill at another site and gave it an average rating of 3.9 stars.
- Handrails: Trainers will tell you not to lean and put any weight on the rails but come on—sometimes you need to. This is especially true if you are a larger than average size person. Not only are these longer than most but they are also wider as well on the Exerpeutic TF1000 Walk to Fitness Electric Treadmill.
- The motor: It isn’t that strong, but since the Exerpeutic TF1000 Walk to Fitness Electric Treadmillis designed for walking, it doesn’t need to be any stronger than it is (1.5 HP). It is strong enough to work up to a brisk 4 MPH walk should you choose to push it a little bit. Oh—and it’s quiet! So, if you want to walk while watching a show at home, you will not need to blast the volume on your television
- Affordable: Often times this means that a treadmill is made poorly but that is not the case here. Where they manage to cut cost is by building it for a 400 lbs. person to walk— not run. It was built for someone that heavy to walk. It would need a much stronger motor, shock absorbers, and an even sturdier frame for a 400 lbs. person to jog on it.
- Only for walking: If you think that you may be interested in jogging or running after you drop some weight, don’t get the Exerpeutic TF1000 Walk to Fitness Electric Treadmill. It is not built for it and will not work how you want. The motor will only let it reach 4 MPH.
- The belt: It is 20 inches wide which is fine, but only 40 inches long which is short. Many users say that they have had no problems with it. But several have mentioned needing to adjust it and tighten it up periodically.
- Customer service: The most common problem people had with the Exerpeutic TF1000 Walk to Fitness Electric Treadmill. For some reason, the company would send out used treadmills as new ones—and they did not buy one labeled ‘refurbished.’ Returning it was difficult as was getting replacement parts, with and without the warranty.
The Bottom Line
Let’s be honest. If you need a treadmill that can handle someone up to 400 lbs. chances are you don’t want to run. You may be willing to start, but once your knees start to ache—and they will – you will find it really easy to quit. The ten pounds you lost will come back on in a heartbeat.
It is probably more reasonable to assume that you are more likely to keep up with some kind of walking program. If that is indeed the case, then the Exerpeutic TF1000 Walk to Fitness Electric Treadmill is the one for you.
The Absolute Bottom Line
When you way over 300 lbs. you know that you need to exercise. You may even want to exercise. But when you go to the gym, get on a treadmill, start to run, and it sounds like thunder with each stride, you get discouraged.
You walk in thinking everyone’s looking at you because of your size. When you start to make all that noise on a treadmill, they stare even more. You don’t like that, your knees hurt, so you leave and don’t come back. But your exercise dreams do not have to end there. Luckily, there are options available for people 300lbs and up.
Most of them are pretty good. Whether you pick the LifeSpan TR 1200i Folding Treadmill, ProForm Pro 2000 Treadmill, or Exerpeutic TF1000 Walk to Fitness Electric Treadmill, you’ll probably be happy with your purchase.