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So You Want to Buy a Treadmill?


Updated April 16, 2014

Smooth 9.25 HR Treadmill

Smooth 9.25 HR Treadmill

Smooth Fitness
Why are you thinking about buying a treadmill? Have you used one in the past? Do you walk regularly or have you done so in the past? The reason that treadmills are so popular and have always been the number one selling fitness machine is because of two reasons:
#1 They work!
#2 It is a natural motion that most of us have done since we were 1 year old.

That is why fitness fads come and go but the treadmill is always around and always sells well. One fitness store owner we know has said that he would have to close his doors within 30 days if treadmills stopped selling. That’s how important they are to the fitness business. That’s also why treadmill shoppers are usually treated very well in specialty fitness stores, or at least they should be!

Let’s go back to our original thoughts. Why are you buying a treadmill? Is it to lose weight, tone up, stay in shape, rehabilitate? The answer to this question, along with a few other factors will help you determine how much to spend. If you haven’t put much thought into it yet, you may want to take the questionnaire located on our website at treadmilldoctor.com.

How Much to Spend

You should never, ever begin seriously shopping for a treadmill without determining how much to spend, unless you want to pay too much. This may seem obvious but when some of us were salespeople in fitness stores, over 90% of shoppers had no idea how much treadmills cost. They also were totally oblivious in regard to the amount they wanted to spend. We’re going to help you figure this out step by step.
  • Step #1: Financial limitations: Your budget will determine this one. If you can’t afford a $3,000 treadmill, let’s not even consider it. A person on a limited budget may window shop for a Mercedes but when it comes to serious car buying time, they will go to the Chevy dealer. Determine the maximum amount you can spend. You may need a better treadmill, but only spend what you can afford.
  • Step #2: Have you used a treadmill in the past? If you have, and you used it simply for walking, does it make sense to buy one that’s built for a marathon runner? You can limit your choices at this point. A good basic model may be all you need or you may need one with full programmability and heart rate control (HRC) features.
  • Step #3: Do you walk regularly or have you done so in the past? If you have, we recommend that you buy a better treadmill than if you haven’t. The reason is that if you have a pattern of consistent exercise and you are like most people, you will not buy a treadmill that will meet your needs. You will see the $599 specials and then try to use it 1 hour per day, every day of the year and then wonder why it completely breaks down within the first 6 months of use. If you have a track record of consistent use, buy accordingly.
  • Step #4: determine your needs and select the options you want before you go shopping. It’s like buying a car, appliances, a new home, or other large purchases. If the seller can get you emotional about things you don’t need, he or she has a good chance of selling them to you. You don’t want to get home and regret your purchase. Simply find the features that you want and if the dealer brings up an option that sounds great, give yourself some time to think about it. You don’t have to buy it immediately.

Decide Who, Where, & How You Will Use the Treadmill

  • WHO: Decide who will be using it. This is important because a single user that weighs 110 lbs. will need a much different treadmill than a family of 4 that has 2 people over 200 lbs. For each person, over 2 people, that is using the treadmill on a regular basis, which is 3 times per week, we recommend stepping up 1 level in quality (we will talk about quality levels in a sec).
  • WHERE: If you have a tiny space to place it in, you won’t be able to buy a large commercial unit, even if you can afford it. You want to make sure you see the treadmill every day. Remember, out of sight, out of mind. Space may necessitate a treadmill that can fold up or you may need to limit the weight of a unit if it will rest upstairs in an older home. Think through all of these factors before you purchase.
  • HOW: How it will be used is the most important consideration. An older 95 lb. lady that wants to use it 10 minutes a day, 3 days per week is going to need a much different treadmill than a competitive athlete. Normal use would be considered using it up to 30 minutes per day, every day of the week. Past this, you should step up 1 level in quality for every 30 minutes per day extra that it will be used.
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