Choosing the Best Treadmill to Optimize Your Fitness Goals

A quality treadmill is one of the best investments you can make for your home gym. Treadmills allow you to get in cardio workouts conveniently at home regardless of weather. With options spanning prices and features, choosing a treadmill suited for your fitness goals and training needs deserves careful consideration.

This comprehensive guide covers the top-rated treadmills for fitness along with smart criteria to select the ideal model to help you meet your workout objectives.

Reviews of Top Fitness Treadmills

The latest fitness treadmills provide adjustable speed and incline settings, cushioning for joint protection, built-in performance tracking, and sturdy frames to support your workouts safely. Here are four top picks:

NordicTrack Commercial 2450

This premium NordicTrack model has a 4.0 CHP motor, -3 to 15% incline range, FlexSelect deck cushioning, 10” display, and iFit training integration – ideal for serious fitness goals.

Key Features:

  • 4.0 CHP DurX Commercial Motor
  • 12 MPH top speed
  • -3% to 15% incline range
  • FlexSelect cushioning
  • 10” HD touchscreen display
  • Google Maps integration via iFit

ProForm SMART Pro 9000

This adjustable ProForm treadmill has a 3.5 CHP motor, -3 to 15% decline range, ProShox cushioning, 7” touchscreen, and Bluetooth connectivity for abundant training versatility.

Key Features:

  • 3.5 CHP Mach Z Commercial Motor
  • 12 MPH top speed
  • -3% to 15% decline/incline range
  • ProShox cushioning
  • 7” HD touchscreen with Bluetooth
  • Compatible with iFit training

Bowflex Treadmill 22

Offering 24 trainer-led programs, Comfort Tech deck cushioning, Bluetooth connectivity, and Max Intelligence technology, the Bowflex 22 optimizes training at a great mid-range price point.

Key Features:

  • 2.75 CHP motor
  • 12 MPH top speed
  • -5% to 15% incline range
  • Comfort Tech deck cushioning
  • Bluetooth connectivity and control via apps
  • Foldable with SoftDrop lowering

Schwinn 870 Treadmill

This budget-friendly Schwinn model still delivers essential fitness tracker features like goal tracking, data export via USB, dual LCD screens, and 16 ox supply heart rate grips for maximizing your cardio training capabilities.

Key Features:

  • 2.75 CHP drive system
  • 10 MPH top speed
  • 10% max incline
  • Multi-ply Habasit belt
  • Dual LCD displays with goal tracking
  • Integrated heart rate grips
  • Media shelf and speakers

Key Buying Considerations for Fitness Treadmills

Once you’ve explored top fitness treadmill options, keep these key criteria in mind while selecting one tailored for your training needs and goals:

Intended Fitness Goals

Consider your target training types, intensity levels, any running/walking goals, weight loss aims, etc. to ensure the treadmill can support your needs.

Motor Power

Choose motors with adequate CHP for your speed and incline requirements – at least 2.5 CHP for running, 3.0+ CHP for intense training.


Proper deck cushioning prevents joint pain and injuries. Seek at least 1.5” thick cushioning like FlexSelect or ProShox.

Belt Size

Larger belt surfaces around 20” x 60” provide more versatility for walking, running, intervals, or performance training needs.

Adjustable Speed and Incline

Speeds up to at least 10 MPH accommodate advanced training. Incline ranges up to 15% mimic hill climbing. Declines add further options.

Integrated Fitness Tracking

Treadmills that track metrics like distance, pace, heart rate, calories and sync data with fitness apps optimize progress monitoring.

Heart Rate Monitoring

Look for compatible heart rate grips and wireless chest straps or Bluetooth connectivity for wearables to precisely monitor workout intensity.

Easy-to-Use Controls

Convenient controls via buttons, toggles, or touchscreens located at handrails simplify adjusting settings mid-workout.

Compact Size

Measure your space for smaller treadmills. Folding and wheels maximize repositioning convenience in tight home gyms.

Warranty Coverage

More running demands more warranty protection. Look for strong motor coverage (lifetime ideal) and minimum 1-3 years on parts.

Frequently Asked Questions About Fitness Treadmills

What motor power is best?

2.5+ CHP for jogging and intervals, 3.0+ CHP for running. Serious runners and athletes need 3.5-4.0+ CHP for intense, sustained speeds.

What speeds and inclines are needed?

Aim for 1-12 MPH speed range and -3% to 15% inclines, ideally -3% decline capability for added training versatility.

How thick should the deck cushioning be?

At minimum, look for 1-1.5” thick cushioning. Top brands offer 2-3” decks with FlexSelect, ProShox or Comfort Tech.

What belt size is recommended?

55-60”+ length and 20-22” width provides ample training space for walking, running, HIIT, and sports training drills.

What fitness tracking features are useful?

Distance, speed, pace, heart rate, calories burned, program profiles. Syncing data via Bluetooth, WiFi, or USB to fitness apps tracks progress.

What heart rate monitoring options work best?

Chest straps detect most accurately. Quality grip sensors or Bluetooth connectivity to wearables also suffice for basic heart rate tracking needs.

How durable are folding treadmills?

Quality folding models are very durable but may have lower weight capacities and smaller belt sizes than non-folding treadmills.

How accurate is calorie burn tracking?

Treadmill estimations provide a reasonable guide but consider additionally wearing a fitness tracker for improved calorie burn accuracy.

How can I reduce noise on my treadmill?

Look for motors rated under 65 decibels. Quality parts, proper lubrication and cushioning also minimize operational noise.

Final Takeaway for Choosing a Fitness Treadmill

Adding a high performance treadmill to your home gym is one of the most effective investments for optimizing your cardio training and meeting fitness goals. Based on this review, the NordicTrack Commercial 2450 stands out as a top fitness treadmill choice for its robust motor, declining capability, cushioning, and interactive training integration.

Be sure to carefully evaluate your goals, training needs and space constraints to select a fitness treadmill that fits you best. Investing in a quality machine designed for performance will elevate your training capabilities for years to come.