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While looking for a quality treadmill to be in your house both as a companion and a tool to get yourself and your family into better physical shapes: It’s a confusing struggle. Immediately after searching a single query on Google or Amazon on a treadmill, you would instantly have millions of suggestions, thousands of models, and hundreds of manufacturers to choose from.
And mind you, while at the same time, the quality and the true value of the treadmills you may find floating aimlessly around the Internet may not be as advertised.
That’s exactly why, in the name of saving you some precious time, this article existed. Here, you will find reviews for five treadmills – all particularly from a single manufacturer: ProForm. And all for a multitude of reasons that you’ll discover the more you read the article.
So go ahead!
Just like everything else, being physically fit is not something that you can do in a single morning, it’s a long, arduous process. There are many ways to ensure that your body is in its prime condition and with the shape you desire, and the assortment of tools that go along with it. For strengthening your upper body, you have weights of various kinds, and to have those muscular legs, and the kind of endurance of hardcore athletes – there’s seriously no better way than running.
But with the kind of society we’re living in today that is always on the move, busy, and maybe a little bit closed-off by, when we can offer it, to always stay in the house. What’s more, the idea of going outdoor can be unnerving, even scary to some people (Such as I). This leads us to the conclusion that not everyone can afford to run several laps around the block at any given point in time of the day.
This is where treadmills come in as the faithful and helpful partner that can help even the busiest businessmen and the most reticent of introverts to be healthy right in their personal spaces.
With over three decades of experience making from the best treadmills can buy, down to the most affordable ones that even the average Joe can easily pick up. ProForm satisfied at least partially the criterion of the “Trustworthy-Or-Else” challenge. Thirty years is a long milestone for any company – the majority, especially those in such a competitive market, never made it farther than one or two decades. All the more reason to believe in their claim on expertness in the field.
Finally, when you take into consideration a couple of dozens of different treadmills they have released over the years (I’ve counted more than two dozens in the process of writing the article, and there’s still more) all of which had good reviews from consumers. Well, they make it much easier to bet your money on them.
Now that you’ve had an idea – at least vaguely idea – of what’s going on, let’s get straight to the reviews and see for yourself what I was talking about.
Proform Power 995i Treadmill With 15 Power Incline
|Quality:||(4.1 / 5)|
|Value of money:||(4.3 / 5)|
|Ease of use:||(3.9 / 5)|
|Average:||(4.1 / 5)|
First on this list, right out, we have what’s probably among the most popular mid-high range treadmill that ProForm had to offer. The Power 995i receives an overwhelmingly positive reception across all sale mediums and review sites that it would be a sin not to put our own opinions into it as well.
Immediately out of the box, and even through the provided pictures, you can see that the Power 995i was designed on top of an extremely rigid-looking frame. And it is. If there’s anything ProForm is good at is to design the overall body of the machine itself, the specialty in which they often were outdone in all of their products. The reinforced steel frame can support a user’s weight of up to 330 lbs and can also last for a long time through intense punishment while you’re sprinting your time away on it.
A good sign of this is that ProForm has a lifetime warranty on the frame. Their confidence in their product’s engineering is yet another plus I have in their name.
The motor is an able one. With 3.0 continuous horsepower at its disposal, the motor can effortlessly provide speed, at most, 12 mph to appease even the fastidious athlete in the family. For general use, the motor can give the appropriate speed for any type of training imaginable: Endurance runs, walks, jogs,…
The track is 60 inches long and 20 inches wide, which is very spacious for a treadmill, and you would find yourself loving the new treadmill if you have a long stride. Besides the expansive track, the trademarked shock-absorbent system (ProShox) right beneath the deck would cushion and alleviate the strains and stress running might have on your joints. Especially the ankles.
All of the features above of the deck combined would give you a very pleasurable experience running on the Power 995i – a selling point. But besides feeling alone, the deck also has a function. It can tilt upward at most 15% with the push of a button, increasing the intensity of the training and would strain your body to flush and burn out the fat at a higher rate. The incline can also help to make the training a little bit more interesting to go through.
If you’re familiar with ProForm, you would know that the company sort of made it an unwritten commitment to getting their products as close to the modern age as possible through the integration of technologies. And this modus operandi is best seen when you take a glance at the central control console and the different techs that the treadmill packed in the entirety of its 200+ lbs glory.
The first thing worth mentioning is the heart rate sensors that are built into the grips. This feature is prevalent on all machines that are worth more than a hundred dollars and may not be that much, but the inclusion should be considered a plus.
The core of its technological attraction is its compatibility with iFit – a subscription-based fitness service that’s long been praised by almost everyone in the fitness world. The service allows you to access a library of almost unlimited training guidance, get customized fitness advice, chart a route through Google Maps for immersion, as well as logging records and training data with friends and family through the Internet. You can say that iFit is the thing that brings the Power 995i to its status as a 21st-century treadmill.
The subscription fee isn’t outrageous, either ($9/month). But if, for whatever personal reasons that you may have in not wanting to get iFit and prefer the machine in all of its vanilla glory. Fear not! The machine comes with thirty offline, free workout programs that are designed by professionals to give you the best workout experience there is. These programs will automatically adjust the speed, distance, resistance,… to give you what you need, and when you need it …
… just press the buttons on the console. Besides the buttons to set your training regime, you will also find quick action buttons to set the speed and the incline of the treadmill on the console. Every information and data gathered and processed by the computer will be displayed on the large LED screen right in the middle of the console – you won’t have trouble finding it.
On the more mundane side of things, there’s an iPod port for you to bring your playlist along, and maybe blast to the rest of the house through the 2” speakers that come with the treadmill.
- A quality construction.
- Capable motor – fit for even intensive training.
- Sizeable track and high-angle rotatable deck.
- All of the finer techs are available, including iFit.
- Audio I/O is available.
- Instead of being useful, the assembly manuals turned out to be quite puzzling to some users.
- You have 30 programs installed – you just have no idea what each of them does. There’s absolutely no indication whatsoever on what each of them entailed and how they’re going to help.
For the price tag under $1,000, the Power 955i is a steal. This is among the best treadmills you can get, not only it can cater to basic users such as average members of a family, it can serve even the stauncher athletes. If you have the budget to take care of it, make sure the name’s on your list for consideration!
ProForm ZT8 Treadmill
|Quality:||(4.5 / 5)|
|Value of money:||(4.6 / 5)|
|Ease of use:||(4.4 / 5)|
|Average:||(4.5 / 5)|
If you walk into retailers anywhere in the United States and some countries abroad, you probably would be able to find the ZT8 at the higher-priced section of the store. It is quite a popular treadmill, and not without a reason: It gives off everything you could reasonably expect from a machine that goes for around $700-$900.
The frame, as always, is made from high-quality steel that works and weaves together to form a hardened body that could take a weight up to 300 lbs. For the $200 reduction in price compared to the former Power 955i, it is to be expected that the durability of the machine would be reduced to conform. But since the maximum weight just falls into line with the average bearing of treadmills of the same price range, ProForm has somewhat done a pretty good job of balancing between price and quality.
At the core of its being, the ZT8 has a 2.75 continuous horsepower motor – a capable drive for the price, not outstanding nor too deplorable for such a treadmill. It can do the heavy work of pulling the belt to 12 mph just fine, which is everything an average runner need for even an intensive workout plan.
The belt is one of the highlights of the machine, 60 inches in length and 20 inches wide, it has a roomy deck. Moreso, the belt is extremely resilient and can last for a long time due to its 2-ply architecture, so you don’t have to spend as much or as frequently for maintenance toward the ZT8’s belt as to the majority of treadmills out there. The ZT8 design is focused heavily on the thought of an affordable and long-living machine, and ProForm had succeeded in their pursuit as far as I can see with this nice addition.
The deck can be inclined to up to 15%, giving you the extra gravity for the bonus challenge that you might set out for yourself once running once nice, the flat ground becomes a bore.
For the price that it’s at, there are no expectations for the technological side of things to be tremendously exciting. The built-in grip EKG heart-rate sensors are still there, as always, and the presence of iFit. For a modern treadmill, iFit kind of makes the majority of the differences and is the catalyst that would highlight the treadmill’s abilities the most, so the iFit compatibility is handy to have around – especially if you’re a subscribed user.
Being thoughtful as always, ProForm still left a path for those who have no interests in iFit to walk on in the form of 24 different pre-set workout programs. It’s quite short compared to the library that iFit has, but for a machine that’s written an 800 on the price tag, the native programs are plentiful.
The disappointment and the tell-tale sign of a budget machine kicked in once you take another look at the central console. The row of quick-action buttons is fine, they’re arranged neatly on the console for you to quickly and accurately set your desired settings. But the true problem is the display. The ZT8 features 6 inches, backlit display. Granted, backlit displays have never been known to be the most visually appealing screens, however, this one would give your eyes some trouble trying to make out what’s trying to say.
- Built for affordability and longevity.
- Nice, lightweight construction but still acceptably strong.
- Capable motor for the size.
- Spacious and high-grade running belt.
- Compatible with iFit.
- 24 pre-set programs for when you’re on a budget.
- The display is somewhat disappointing.
It’s the perfect average-person treadmill and perfect for those who don’t need a lot (When you just need something that can run) and you don’t have a lot in your balance to spare on a big, elaborate one, either. The ZT8 can solve and can solve well the most basic needs of a runner. But for the better and more luxurious things, of course, you’re going to have to open your pocket may be a bit wider to get them, because you won’t find them on this treadmill.
ProForm Power 1495 Treadmill
|Quality:||(4.2 / 5)|
|Value of money:||(4.2 / 5)|
|Ease of use:||(4.2 / 5)|
|Average:||(4.2 / 5)|
The Power 1495 can be considered quite of a machine of conflict: Some love it, some don’t. This is a dangerous situation it has gotten itself in, especially for such an expensive machine, however, we should see for ourselves the arguments before we hastily jump to conclusion that this is a bad machine, shall we?
There are few complaints about the build quality, as always, the construction is solid and the design had succeeded in bolstering places that should be paid attention to create a tough machine. As a result, the Power 1495 can take up a weight up to 350 lbs – a much higher number than the majority of treadmills out there, which made quite a statement on its core strength.
The motor is an extremely powerful 3.5 continuous horsepower drivetrain, there’s no question on its efficiency and the effortlessness it shows pulling the belt at a sustained speed of 12 mph.
As for the belt, following the same trend as the ZT8, the Power 1495 utilizes a 2-ply construction that would prolong the life expectancy of the belt by years, with some users reporting that they last for close to a decade. The size of the belt is also a nice touch: An expansive 20 inches wide and 60 inches long belt that would make you feel less restricted during the long-running session. Adding into your overall comfort would be the ProShox cushioning system that obviously cannot be missed for a machine of this price range, your joints would find at least a little bit of relief from the brutal workout.
The deck, of course, is rotatable and can be inclined up to 15%. But that’s not the highlight of the Power 1495, no, a lot of treadmills on the market have incline control. What is most special about this treadmill is that not only it can incline, it can also decline. The deck can be controlled to dip forward 5% to create a downward slope that would bring an entirely new experience to your training. Incline control is surely popular, but decline control has yet to be implemented widely enough for it to be a regular sight. So this stands the Power 1495 even further.
Now we get to the dangerous water I’ve told you about at the beginning of the review: The techs. Most, if not all of the complaints that customers had made of the Power 1495 are all, in some shape or form, relating to the techs that the treadmill carries.
There’s not much to be said about the EKG heart rate grips – which has now become a fixture for all ProForm machines. But the accuracy and the efficiency of the machine in monitoring your heart rate are considerably improved with the heart-rate strap that comes also with the machine. For this department, there are no problems thus far.
The main problem with the Power 1495 lies in the computer: The 10” full-color touch screen is quite a luxurious thing for a treadmill when we’re so used to the dull, backlit, or LCD screens that only show us the critical functions of the treadmill. Granted, it’s what they’re supposed to do, but for 2017, that’s still a little bit behind in time. ProForm has done the thing they do best and incorporates what’s comparable to a tablet as the centerpiece of the Power 1495. And honestly, the design is good, but the execution is next to horrible with the only saving grace being that it … works.
The thing is that the user experience on the main screen is wholly inadequate: The browser is sluggish and cannot play a decent video to save its life, and it is known to often go into a software loop. There’s also the problem of the users not being able to (Or cannot possibly find out a way) download apps from Google Store, which is quite ludicrous since the computer itself is powered by Android. All in all, you would have an overall better experience hooking a cheap tablet to the machine than using the computer that came with the treadmill itself.
This is no doubt a disgraceful plop ProForm, which has long prided on its seamless integration between technology and an average treadmill. Probably the same reason why the Power 1495 has been discontinued for quite some time, but you can still find them at steep discounts somewhere.
- As always, good construction makes the entire machine technically indestructible if you assembled everything nicely with everything in the right place.
- Powerful motor.
- Spacious running area and a very high-quality belt.
- Incline as well as decline control.
- Complete heart monitoring suite.
- Compatible with iFit.
- The main computer is a crying disappointment.
Although it carries the title of being part of the higher ending machines, the Pro 1495 is generally shunned for its disappointing performance in the technological department that sets its value down considerably for the price tag that it’s demanding. However, since the discontinuation of the treadmill quite some time ago, you may be able to find some deals that would be worth your time looking over – after all, it’s not that bad of a machine beside the problem with the computer.
ProForm 520 ZN Treadmill
|Quality:||(4.2 / 5)|
|Value of money:||(4.3 / 5)|
|Ease of use:||(4.1 / 5)|
|Average:||(4.2 / 5)|
Coming down from the top to the more inexpensive machines, we have the 520 ZN. Just like the ZT8, the 520 ZN is built with affordability and function in mind rather than having the frivolous add-ons of more expensive machines. It is one of the most inexpensive models that ProForm had to offer, but for what’s said about it: It is no less of a good treadmill than many more models of its same price range.
The first, unofficial company motto on a rigid framework of the treadmill is still yet to be comprised: The frame is a good piece of work with the caliber ProForm had always been notorious for.
Here’s when the signs of a budget-friendly treadmill manifest themselves, first begin with the motor. The 2.5 continuous horsepower motor is quite inept and a mistake for the nature of the design itself. The weak engine’s performance clashes with the deck design they’re going for: To make the 520 ZN more spacious, it looks like ProForm had tried to make the treadmill bites more than it can swallow by giving it a large 20 inches wide, 55 inches long belt. The extra mass the motor has to pull makes it ever weaker and underpowered than it already is.
Besides that, at least the deck still comes with the ProShox cushioning system to pacify your joints. And there’s also the 10% incline control – it’s not a lot, but for the price, it’s at, well, you can’t ask for more now, can you?
Under $600, it is to be expected that the technological side of things is a bit lackluster. There’s no iFit (Would be great for those who don’t even look to get iFit in the first place) but the EKG heart-rate sensor grips are still as persistent in their survival as ever. In iFit’s place, there are more mundane features such as cup holders (Quite important for summers), cooling fans, and a sound system that you can use to set off your playlist from a peripheral port.
The display is not exceptional – in fact, it can be downright a losing point for the 520 ZN. The display isn’t backlit, unlike the advertisement, and can be dim enough that if you put the machine in a relatively dark place, you won’t be able to see anything at all. If you overlook that one obstacle, the screen fulfills the basics of what a treadmill screen should be.
One of the best – if not the best – things about the 520 ZN is the wide selection of training programs it offers. Up to 18 workout programs for the price tag is an impressive number, which is something to be appreciated since there are expensive machines that offer less.
- Very affordable: Perfect for basic users.
- Nicely designed frame, the rest depends on you so nicely put it together.
- A great variety of workout programs.
- Has all of the basic utilities and some mundane features.
- Home to the bad couple: Too big a deck, too weak a drive.
- The display is a shake of the head.
Underpowered and not the best design that ProForm has ever come up with, but the 520 ZN makes it up by being a great basic machine just for the ordinary runners. At somewhat lower than $600, it is an acceptable treadmill for the general household.
ProForm Pro 4500 Treadmill
|Quality:||(3.5 / 5)|
|Value of money:||(3.6 / 5)|
|Ease of use:||(3.4 / 5)|
|Average:||(3.5 / 5)|
Now, this is the true definition of an argument, if you’ve read carefully all of the fuss on the Power 1495, this is where things are truly heated. The Pro 4500 is good on theory design, but once it was executed by ProForm, it sparks an overwhelming amount of conflicting reviews that make the entire debate on the machine comparable to the arguments in the hallway of a High School. The entire debacle intensified to the point that … well, yes, the Pro 4500 was discontinued.
But for the sake of things, let’s see this through.
Staying true to its title, the Pro 4500 comes out at first rather gracefully with a beautifully crafted design. It looks strong, it is strong with a maximum weight capacity of up to 400 lbs, while at the same time maintaining a look of sleekness and sophistication of an expensive product. The motor is 4.2 continuous horsepower strong to fit with the oversized deck and you bet it can pull the entire thing into motion with a fluent efficiency that can be seen very seldom on other treadmills.
When I talked about the oversized deck, I do mean that it is among one of the treadmills with the most expansive running area under ProForm’s name. The belt is 60 inches long and 22 inches wide, while the standards along the price range are at 20 inches. You may not look at it as a lot of improvement, after all, it’s just the width of an adult’s feet of an improvement, however, when you step on the track, every inch is another morsel of comfort when you weave around during the run. And all of that space moving at 12 mph is pretty impressive, if you ask me.
The deck can both incline and decline, 15% and 5% respectively. The multi-angle control is a welcomed feature when it improves the experience, the amusement, and the actual efficiency of the run. And when declination is yet to be popularly supported by a lot of treadmills on the market, all the more reason to appreciate the addition.
Technologically, however, the Pro 4500 fell into the same pit that the Power 1495 crashed face-first down under at the bottom. And this is where all of the hate for the machine all originated from, and so bad that it tanked the rating for an entire 2 stars down to a mere 3 for such a nicely designed and expensive treadmill.
Prolonging the inevitable, let’s talk about the nicer things first. The complete heart rate monitoring suite is available here and the treadmill comes integrated with the EKG heart-rate sensor grips as well as an additional wireless heart rate strap. The only thing that’s better than this entire complement is an entire medical heart rate monitor in itself.
There’s also the availability of iFit, which can be foregone completely if you’re not into paying $99 annually. But just like always, it won’t hurt that bad to invest in it, either. This doesn’t just apply to the Pro 4500, it goes for all of the treadmills that you might have a lingering glance at in the future that’s compatible with the service. But besides that, there’s also the peripheral port for you to hook an iPod or a tablet in to get the full digital experience that you would probably want as a person from the 21st Century.
Getting to the boiling hot part of the argument: The computer and the screen.
If you’re getting deja vu, we’ve gone through this once just a few dozens of paragraphs ago in the Power 1495’s section.
The screen is a stunning 10″ full-color touch screen that elevated its position as an elite running machine. You can browse the web with it, access iFit with it, and yes, it also takes up the job of displaying all of the stats and information of your run in the process as well. At the first cursory look, it is a great setup. I mean … who can deny a touchscreen-equipped treadmill?
That’s when it goes bad. The computer is a shameful design in the name of adding technologies into the treadmill. The computer runs Android, which is no problem, Android is a popular operating system, it also provides a beautiful user interface. But one of its best selling points is Google’s Play Store, which is filled with millions of apps. And here’s the thing: You can’t download anything on the Pro 4500’s computer.
Seriously, it’s taken out the entire point of building a computer into the treadmill that a lot of consumers felt like they were cheated and misled. And I can’t blame them for thinking so, even I feel cheated. Another concern includes the inadequacy of the wireless card in the computer: It has trouble picking up on WiFi signal and if you want to go up the Internet on your treadmill, you may want to move it somewhere close to the source.
Another notable downfall is that the controls are said to be insensitive, so insensitive to the point that they become a bother. These are all avoidable and shameful mistakes for such an expensive machine, thus, explained quite well its prompt discontinuation following the many arguments and debates surrounding it.
A smaller problem associated with the Pro 4500 is the assembly. For most treadmills, even those of the same Pro line-up of ProForm, assembly only takes at most an hour and a half. The assembly process for the Pro 4500 is said to be so confusing, infuriating, and time-consuming that it’s taken a lot of users up to 2 hours and extra, with some ready to give up altogether.
- Beautifully and greatly designed.
- A powerful motor.
- Extra-expansive deck.
- Flexible angle control.
- Has all of the basic techs down, such as the heart rate monitoring feature,…
- Even with its flaws, the touch screen is still a great feature.
- … and as great a feature it is, the same thing is the poison that killed off the treadmill. ProForm has good intentions and a nice idea in mind, but their execution is so bad that it derails the entire treadmill from production.
- Confusing assembly instructions and complex assembly processes.
A controversial machine that was sentenced to death just because of an error of hastiness from the manufacturer. There’s still no denying that it is a good treadmill at heart, however, with all the frustrations and the furious debates surrounding it, it is no doubt the black sheep of elite treadmills. You may be able to find one at discount, though, so there’s that.
After we’ve been moving up and down along one of the most expensive to one of the most affordable treadmills of ProForm, probably you’ve learned a few things – both to avoid and to consider, and maybe you’ve got a treadmill from the article down into a list for consideration somewhere. If it helped, we’re happy to be of service!
Running is a great hobby to get into, and finding the right tool to help you with the chase is vital to have the best experience the sport can give. And whatever is your choice, just remember to keep running.