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Treadmill Characteristics, What To Pay Attention To?

Treadmill Characteristics, What To Pay Attention To?

, by Joris Lans, 7 min reading time

When buying a treadmill, there's a number of characteristics to keep in mind.

The length and width of the running surface

The required length and width of the running surface depends on how you want to train. If you're only going to use the treadmill for walking a running surface of L 55" x W 19.6" will suffice. You can also jog or run on this surface. However, you make larger strides and a longer and wider walking surface can be more comfortable, for example L 59" x W 19.6". When buying a treadmill, consider the height of the tallest user. This ensures all users can walk, jog and run comfortably.

The thickness of the belt

Chances are you're going to use your treadmill to train intensively which means the belt has to endure a lot. Wear will strike in no time so you best choose a treadmill with a thick and sturdy belt. This ensures the belt will wear less quickly and extends the life. In time a thin belt can go folding or tearing so you better pick a treadmill with a 2- or 3-ply belt because it's thick, has better cushioning and wears less quickly. At Lifespan, both treadmills with a 2-ply and a 3-ply belt are available.

The power of the drive motor

The power of the drive motor plays and important part in your training. If you're going to train long-term and intenstively you best pick a treadmill with a 2 HP Continuous Duty motor or even a higher continuous power rating. With a minimum of 2 HP your training keeps challenging and effective, even if you improve your level of training extensively and you can be sure the drive motor can handle the high intensity and will not get overheat. The heavier and pricier the treadmill and the more horsepower, the quieter the drive motor will run during your training.

We recommend you refrain from running the drive motor at more than 80% of its maximum power. This will extend the life of the drive motor and the treadmill significantly. So when buying a treadmill keep in mind to adjust the power of the drive motor to your intended use, and that there's a very real chance you'll improve your level of training, which means you will be able to run at higher speed levels. This subsequently means you're going to need a treadmill with a higher HP Continious Duty drive motor.

The type of engine, continuous Duty AC or DC

There are two different types of engines, the Continuous Duty DC motor and the Continuous Duty AC motor. DC stands for 'direct current'. DC motors use a current exchanger and carbon brushes, which wear out quite quickly and need to be replaced regularly. During the casting process, friction arises between the exchanger and the carbon brushes, which causes DC motors to produce a lot of noise. DC motors have a limited maximum speed. AC stands for alternating current. AC motors only have one part that's moving, the rotor.

This ensures AC motors are less susceptible to wear and tear and makes them almost completely silent during training. AC motors have a more extended life than DC motors and are more durable. They also have a higher maximum speed. In general, the less expensive treadmills are equipped with a DC motor and the more expensive models have a AC motor. The TR6000iT, TR7000iT, TR7000iC and the TR8000iT are equipped with a AC motor.

The angle of inclination

The angle of inclination helps you to achieve certain training goals. For example, if you want to improve your fitness, slim down and train your abdominal muscles, glutes, hamstrings, lower back, front thigh muscles, calves and arm muscles, you need to train with a high angle of inclination. Obviously with a higher angle of inclination your training gets more intense.

Using an angle of inclination enables you to simulate uphill running and makes your training more realistic and challenging. It is important to decide for yourself what you're training goals are going to be. This way you can choose the right angle of inclination to effectively reach your training goals. We offer treadmills with and angle of inclination as high as 15%.

Incline and decline training

With incline training you can set an angle of inclination to increase the training resistance. With a high angle of inclination your training takes more strength and gets more effective. In addition to incline training some treadmills offer decline training as well. With decline training you can set a negative angle of inclination of less than 0%.

Training both incline and decline offers you a very realistic and challenging up and down hill run. And decline training offers you many other benefits as well. It's less straining to your joints, trains your calf muscles and hamstrings, lowers your blood sugar, which reduces the risk of Diabetes Type II, and leads to a low LDL cholesterol level reducing the risk of artery disease.

The maximum speed

Do you want to walk, jog or run? What do you want to achieve with your training? You should ask yourself these questions before you decide about the maximum speed your treadmill should have. If you want to improve your fitness and burn calories to lose weight you best choose a treadmill with a high maximum speed.

If you have to train to recover from an injury you'll benefit from a treadmill with a low initial speed. Make sure though that the maximum speed of the treadmill is high enough so you can adequatly improve your level of training. Here too you should adjust the initial and maximum speed of the treadmill to your training needs and goals.

The functions of the training computer

Do you like to set your own terms of training or do you prefer targeted training with a specific training program? If you prefer to set your own terms of training you best choose a treadmill with customazible user programs so you can set the training parameters yourself. If you want a targeted training to, for example, improve your fitness and slim down a treadmill with heart rate and interval programs is a good option. If training your muscles is important to you, your best bet is a treadmill which offers incline and decline training.

Lifespan treadmills are equipped with a variety of training programs, including customazible user programs, heart rate programs and speed-based training programs with the treadmill automatically increasing or decreasing the angle of inclination and the amount of intervals. The TR2000iT is conveniently equipped with Quick Draw Technology. You can use this innovative technology to determine the speed and angle of inclination you want to train with by dragging your fingers accross the screen and draw your custom speed and incline program. This way you'll have your training completely under control.

The maximum user weight

The treadmill's maximum user weight to be able to train comfortably and safely and without overheating and ultimately destroying the engine, depends on your own body weight and the intensity you want to train with. If you just want to walk at a slow pace you can go for a treadmill with a low maximum user weight. Intensive jogging and running obviously requires a treadmill with a high maximum user weight. As a rule of thumb it's best to choose a treadmill with a maximum user weight 33 to 44 pounds on top of your own body weight.


The price of your new treadmill depends on your inteded use. We distinguish between treadmills for home fitness, semi-professional and professional use. We've have made an overview of our treadmills. This way you can determine which treadmill best suits your needs.
Have fun with your LifeSpan treadmill!


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