The treadmill is one of the most popular home gym equipment. While its function is pretty straightforward, treadmills vary in terms of features and characteristics. Like any other fitness machine, it comes in different sizes and weight that can help determine the capacity and durability of the unit depending on the brand.
Although it may seem unimportant, the weight of a treadmill can influence a lot of factors, particularly the build quality, assembly requirements, and the cost of purchasing the treadmill. The weight greatly depends on the type and size of the treadmill. The average treadmill weight is 200 to 300 pounds. The compact, foldable models can weigh as little as 100 pounds, whereas larger commercial treadmills weigh as much as 400 pounds.
If you have limited space in your home gym or are concerned about the potential damage of a heavy treadmill to your flooring, then you should definitely check the weight and dimensions before making a purchase.
Why Does the Weight of a Treadmill Matter?
It may not seem like a big deal for most people, but the weight of a treadmill can have a significant influence on several factors that could determine the particular model’s quality and durability as well as your individual experience with the treadmill.
Costs of Shipping and Assembly
It sounds only natural for a bigger treadmill to cost more than a smaller unit, at least within the same brand. Many of the most compact treadmills are also relatively cheaper than average. Additionally, the treadmill’s weight can influence its shipping cost, if you aren’t picking up the unit from store yourself.
A heavier treadmill may come in a bigger package that is more difficult to transport, even when disassembled. Note that the assembled weight is different from the package weight. The shipping fee typically ranges from $100 to $200 depending on the store and shipping company. Treadmills usually arrive disassembled and expert assembly will cost an additional $100.
Build Quality and Durability
Although weight may not be the best indicator of quality, a heavier and more solid construction in a treadmill often means it’s made of denser, more durable materials, specifically a more heavy-duty motor. It’s safe to say that a heavier treadmill potentially has greater durability, and in consequence, has a higher weight limit for users. This means it can accommodate a wider range of users and withstand more intense use compared to treadmills made from lighter and weaker materials.
Potential Damage to Flooring
Similar to other heavy fitness equipment such as barbells, dumbbells, and weight plates, a treadmill can also cause damage to the floors and walls of its surrounding. If you’re planning to place the treadmill in your home gym on an upper level of your house, such heavy equipment can lead to sagging and even collapsing of the floor in a poorly constructed or particularly old property. It can also cause scuffing on hardwood and vinyl if placed directly on the floor. Make sure to place a rubber mat underneath your treadmill to avoid this.
Types of Treadmills
The weight of the treadmill largely depends on its type. There are two main types of treadmills, motorized and manual. The main difference is that motorized treadmills work on electricity. Furthermore, treadmills can also be classified by the size. In particular, foldable treadmills are lighter and more compact for home use, while larger, heavier models are typically only seen at commercial gyms or fitness centers.
Motorized or electric treadmills are more common nowadays. They are generally larger and sturdier but the sizes and features still vary greatly depending on the brand and model. The main characteristic is there is a motor that moves the belt at a set speed.
While motorized treadmills are usually heavier, noisier, and more expensive, they have the advantage of automatically setting the speed and adjusting it with a simple push of a button while you are walking or running. An electric treadmill also features a digital display where you can monitor your running metrics like the speed, time, distance run, and calories burned. Some allow you to increase the intensity of your workout by changing either manually or digitally. More advanced models even connect via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to track your workouts and record your progress.
However, the potential disadvantage to motorized treadmills is the large, heavy construction. You also need to place the treadmill near an electrical outlet. Also, since the belt moves on its own, there is greater risk of falling or stumbling.
Manual treadmills, on the other hand, apply the user’s action to move the running deck. Instead of using a motor to continuously rotate the belt, it requires the user to exert more effort to control the speed. Without a motor, manual treadmills are much lighter and cheaper, while also reducing the risk of getting hurt.
Manual treadmills usually come with a tiny LCD monitor that displays basic running stats like the speed, time, and distance. Since they don’t need electricity and are usually very portable, you can use them any time you like. Some may even come without handrails so you can fold them up and slip under furniture for convenient storage.
Compared to motorized treadmills, the main disadvantage to the manual type is you can’t set a specific speed. You’ll expend more energy just trying to maintain constant speed, and if you want to change it, you must exert more effort physically. The incline is also fixed at one angle.
What Factors Determine a Treadmill Weight?
For this section, we will focus on the motorized type of treadmill. The following are the main factors that will determine how much a treadmill weighs.
The treadmill motor is one of the main parts that impact its total weight, which is exactly why manual treadmills are much lighter. The motor’s size is measured in horsepower (HP), and a higher power allows the motor to provide a wider range of speed. Note that your treadmill needs at least 1.5HP for walking and 2.5HP for casual running. For runners and sprinters, look for 3.0 to 4.0HP motor powered treadmill. The average weight of a manual treadmill is 60 to 100 pounds, and the treadmill’s motor typically adds around 40 to 50 pounds.
The belt is the most importart part in any treadmill as this is where you will run or walk continuously. It is also another factor that determines the total weight of the treadmill. The size of the treadmill deck ranges from 14 to 22 inches wide and 40 to 60 inches long. This is especially important if you’re tall or you have a limited floor space. More advanced treadmills with automatically adjustable incline levels usually add more weight of around 30 pounds.
The frame on your treadmill also influences its weight. Heavy-duty treadmills are built with a high-quality frame to provide stable support no matter the intensity of your training. Many treadmill frames are made from stainless steel or aluminum and other metals. In fact, the heavier the treadmill, the more likely it can withstand the stress of intense workouts. Folding deck treadmills usually have a lighter frame that allows you to fold up the equipment and store it away easily when not in use.
Summary — Picking the Right Treadmill For You
To choose the best treadmill for you, you must also consider the right weight. In general, heavier treadmills come with greater durability and weight capacity as well as a whole lot of features, which will also cost more. However, not everyone needs the largest, most advanced treadmill out there. Depending on your intended purpose, the intensity, frequency, and duration you plan to use your treadmill, you must choose the most suitable model for you.
If you have a small space, getting a treadmill that’s too big and heavy can even damage your home gym. More experienced runners or those who plan to train hard on the treadmill several times a week may opt for motorized treadmills with a heavier, more durable construction. Otherwise, you can find a lighter, more compact, and even foldable treadmill for a cheaper price. Chek out this guide to find the best treadmills below $500.