Life Fitness Treadmill Review: Is It Worth the Price?

running classes to Life Fitness treadmills

Buying a treadmill is a big decision. You can settle for a lower-quality home treadmill and save money, or read a Life Fitness treadmill review and discover why these treadmills are so great. If you prefer quality and professional-level features in your products, a Life Fitness treadmill review can give you the information you need to decide if this is the right choice for you. These are commercial-grade treadmills usually found in fitness clubs.

To put it another way, if you want a club experience in the comfort of your own home, why not go for quality? According to one Life Fitness treadmill review after another, this is the number one brand of treadmills found in clubs across the U.S. and Canada. The company focuses primarily on commercial sales. These are sturdy, high-tech treadmills. Also, they are expensive. But is the price worth having one in your home?

Life Fitness Platinum Club Series Treadmill

What Sets Life Fitness Treadmills Apart?

When it comes to commercial-grade treadmills, there are a few critical factors at which we looked. First and foremost is the build quality. According to every Life Fitness treadmill review we looked at, they are sturdy, can carry weighty people, and they can take a beating. This is one of the primary reasons fitness clubs across the continent choose Life Fitness treadmills.

Additionally, Life Fitness treadmills come loaded with technology that many other treadmills lack. From full HD digital displays to touch-sensitive controls, Life Fitness treadmills enhance the user experience. Some models even have televisions, so you can watch the game while you work out. Keeping abreast of the latest advances in technology is an important feature we look for in these expensive, commercial-grade treadmills. For one thing, Life Fitness treadmills check this box.

How We Created Our Life Fitness Treadmill Review

To make this review of the Life Fitness treadmill lineup, we went to several experts in the field of fitness and product reviews. The first thing we did was learn about Life Fitness and find out what they had to say about their product. Then we went to FitRated and Treadmill Reviews to see what the experts thought of Life Fitness treadmills.

Finally, we read through Amazon customer reviews. Because we love to hear real-world experiences from real customers, we sifted through a lot of customer reviews. This gave us a good idea of how Life Fitness treadmills perform in people’s homes instead of in the gym.

After all that, we compared Life Fitness treadmills to some competitors’ commercial-grade treadmills to see how they stack up.

What Sets Life Fitness Treadmills Apart?

When it comes to commercial-grade treadmills, there are a few critical factors at which we looked. First and foremost is the build quality. According to every Life Fitness treadmill review we looked at, they are sturdy, can carry weighty people, and they can take a beating. This is one of the primary reasons fitness clubs across the continent choose Life Fitness treadmills.

Additionally, Life Fitness treadmills come loaded with technology that many other treadmills lack. From full HD digital displays to touch-sensitive controls, Life Fitness treadmills enhance the user experience. Some models even have televisions, so you can watch the game while you work out. Keeping abreast of the latest advances in technology is an important feature we look for in these expensive, commercial-grade treadmills. For one thing, Life Fitness treadmills check this box.

Girl wearing top and black shorts running in a life fitness treadmill

Specifications and Features

For starters, we wanted to learn more about the brand for our Life Fitness treadmill review. For this, we went to their company website. We learned that Life Fitness is an American company who have their headquarters in Chicago. They’ve been in the business for 45 years. Their first product was an electronic exercise bike, and today they produce more than 50 different fitness machines. That’s not to mention all the accessories which come along with them. Life Fitness supplies thousands of gyms, big and small, across North America.

When it comes to treadmills, Life Fitness has an extensive lineup. However, we broke those down into three main treadmills. These are the T3/T5 treadmills for home, the Smart treadmills, and the Club Series treadmills.

T3/T5 treadmills

  • T3 TREADMILLS
  • T5 TREADMILLS
Life Fitness LifeFitness T3 Treadmill with Track Connect Console

4.5 out of 5 stars

The first models we looked at for this Life Fitness treadmill review were the T3 treadmill and the T5 treadmill, which are for home use. These treadmills are a little smaller than the club-grade models. They are stylish and feature brushed aluminum and steel frames with gentle curves which are pleasing to the eye. They both have 19-inch by 122-inch wide treads, and both have the option to add an HD touchscreen display with built-in television and Wi-Fi enabled MP3 player. Also, both models include a “Flexdeck shock absorber” system. This is the secret to how Life Fitness treadmills can carry weights of up to 350-pounds.

Whereas both treadmills are almost identical in features, the T5 has one significant difference from the T3. The T5 treadmill can adjust the firmness of the terrain you want to run on, and you can increase the grade of the running platform. The T3 doesn’t have these features. Additionally, the T5 is more expensive than the T3. Life Fitness’ T3 and T5 are available on amazon.

F1 Smart treadmill

life fitness treadmill  F1 Smart Treadmill

4.5 out of 5 stars

Next up for our Life Fitness treadmill review is the F1 Smart treadmill. This Life Fitness treadmill is the newest in the “F”-class of smart treadmills the company has produced. Although the F1 is designed primarily with home use in mind, many fitness clubs have added it to their equipment. As the name implies, the F1 treadmill comes with a bunch of smart technology built-in. Features such as iPhone and iPad charging connectors, and touch-ID logins that remember your personalized speed and grade preferences are what makes this machine “smart.”

Like the T5, the F1 includes a Flexdeck system and can adjust the firmness of the deck to recreate different terrains. This Life Fitness treadmill is available on amazon.

Club Series treadmills

  • Club Series
  • Platinum Club Series
life fitness treadmill

4.5 out of 5 stars

Then there are Life Fitness treadmills designed for fitness clubs. These include the Club Series, the Club Series Plus, and the Platinum Club Series treadmills. All Club Series treadmills are rugged and durable. They all have multiple pre-programmed fitness regimes and platforms that can be raised and lowered by touch. Also, every Club Series treadmill includes built-in heart rate monitors and calorie trackers.

Where they differ are in their features. The Club Series Plus includes remote speed controls, a 22-inch-wide running platform, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, NFC connectivity, and a full LCD panel where you can stream videos. The Platinum Club Series includes all the features of the Club Plus but has smart features on top. For instance, it will remember your last run and has a more powerful four-horsepower motor. It also has an HD display on which you can watch television.

Additionally, there is a wide variation in price between these models. The Club Series costs between $$$ and $$$, while the Club Series Plus costs between $$$ and $$$. Then there’s the most expensive Life Fitness treadmill, the Platinum Club Series.

Warranty Information

One thing we here at Treadmill Portal look for is a warranty. We tend only to trust companies who stand behind their products. This shows us that the company is confident in their product and protects our investment. Life Fitness treadmills come with a decent warranty.

The standard Life Fitness treadmill warranty is broken down into several categories. The frame and motor are backed by a seven-year warranty, while the electrical components have protection for two years. This warranty also covers one year of labor costs, so if your frame breaks after the third year, you won’t have to pay for parts or shipping, but you will need to pay for labor.

However, you can offset this with a Life Fitness extended warranty. Add three years of labor and parts on everything or go with five years of extended warranty. If you’re spending three thousand dollars or more on a Life Fitness treadmill, the extra warranty is definitely worth it.

How Reviewers and Customers Feel About Life Fitness Treadmills

Before we looked at the competition for our Life Fitness treadmill review, we first wanted to see what the experts thought of these treadmills. We went to Fit Rated and Treadmill Reviews to read their in-depth breakdown of these treadmills. These companies have fitness experts, as well as professional reviewers, spend time with the treadmills, and then tell us their findings.

Then we went to Amazon, where hundreds of customers left reviews of Life Fitness treadmills.

Fit Rated review

The Fit Rated Life Fitness treadmill review had good things to say about them. One thing every Life Fitness treadmill has in common is great cushioning and a sturdy, solid frame. They also liked that most of the treadmills, aside from the T3, had heart rate monitoring. One thing they didn’t like was the price for the barebones T3 treadmill. Fit Rated considered this treadmill to be on par with much cheaper treadmills and said it wasn’t worth the cost.

Treadmill Reviews

The other professional review site we looked at was Treadmill Reviews. Like Fit Rated, their Life Fitness treadmill review found that these treadmills get built with exceptional overall quality. The track cushioning was great, and they found the motors performed consistently under a variety of stresses. Two things they didn’t like were the prices, which they found too high for the value, and the sizes of the machines, which they thought were too big.

Amazon customer reviews

Finally, we looked at real customer reviews. Amazon customers rated them 2.0 out of 5 stars. Every reviewer said the track was comfortable and nicely-cushioned. Also, the frame is sturdy, and the machine runs well every time. Unfortunately, many people found that the touch-screen controls break easily, and one reviewer even commented that this is a problem he even found on the Life Fitness treadmills in his gym.

Woman wearing a green top and touching the edge of a life fitness treadmill

How They Stack Up to the Competition

If the Life Fitness treadmill line is well-built and comfortable, but overpriced, how does it stack up to other treadmills? Because we want to help you make an informed buying choice, especially if you’re spending such large amounts of money, we checked out three other brands in the same price range.

To do this, in our Life Fitness treadmill review we compare the treadmills from this brand to other commercial-grade treadmills you’re likely to find in a club. We read through Amazon customer reviews for each one. The treadmills we chose to use for comparison are True Performance treadmills, 3G Elite Runner treadmills, and Bowflex Results Series treadmills.

True Performance treadmills

life fitness treadmill  True Performance 300-series treadmill

First up in the comparison is the True Performance treadmill. We looked at the 300-series because this is the model you’re most likely to find in a fitness club. It compares with both the Life Fitness Smart treadmill and the Club Series treadmills. True Performance treadmills are part of the True Fitness line of cardio equipment. True Fitness is an American company founded by an entrepreneur named Frank Trulaske back in 1981. Everything they produce gets manufactured in the United States.

The True Performance 300-series treadmill is all heavy-gauge steel and foam-flared handlebars. This treadmill has one of the largest running surfaces in the industry, at 60-inches by 21-inches. Also, it comes with an eight-inch LCD screen for touch controls and television viewing. The MSRP on this machine includes an incredible 30-year warranty.

Customers on Amazon rated it 4.7 out of 5 stars, making it a fan-favorite. Almost everyone said that the overall quality of this treadmill far exceeds any others they tried. It’s very sturdy and durable and can handle over 350-pounds of weight running on it. Several people complained that the electronics are not consistent, and the touchscreen controls break often. More than three complained that the company’s customer service is horrible.

3G Elite Runner treadmills

life fitness treadmill  3G Elite Runner Treadmills

The next commercial-grade treadmill that compares to the Life Fitness treadmill is the 3G Elite Runner. The 3G is a pro treadmill from 3G Cardio, headquartered in Phoenix, AZ. We weren’t able to find out where the machines get produced, which is usually an indicator of offshore manufacturing.

The 3G Elite Runner has a nice, wide 22-inch tread supported by a trademarked “Ortho Flex Shock” suspension system. This means your legs and knees can run longer as they absorb less of the shock from every foot impact. The console comes with several pre-programmed workouts while forward-firing speakers connect to your favorite music device via Bluetooth. There’s even a small fan to keep you cool while you run. When it comes with a lifetime warranty on the motor and frame, and a 10-year warranty on parts. This is the best warranty we’ve ever seen on a treadmill.

Finally, customers on Amazon gave it 4.4 out of 5 stars. Almost everyone praised how flawlessly the four-horsepower motor runs. It’s quiet and smooth and everyone said it was comfortable to run on. Despite this, it suffered the same electronics problems as all the other treadmills, with the Bluetooth often dropping and the touchscreen display sometimes not working.

Bowflex Results Series treadmills

Shirtless man in red shorts running in a Bowflex treadmill

Lastly, we looked at the Bowflex Results Series treadmills, from Bowflex Corporation in Washington state. This iconic company began in 1986 and has been selling millions of innovative fitness machines ever since. Because Chuck Norris spent over a decade as the official spokesman for Bowflex, it's forgivable to think he is Bowflex. You can often find Bowflex weight machines and treadmills in fitness clubs.

These Results Series treadmills feature a 20-inch running tread powered by a three-horsepower motor. Patented “ComfortTech” design absorbs impact, so your knees don’t have to. Also, there’s an eight-inch LCD monitor with intelligent controls and Bluetooth connectivity. You can stream 18 different running courses on the monitor with the Bowflex app, and the platform will adjust accordingly. It comes with a five-year limited warranty. Additionally, there’s a six-week 100-percent satisfaction guarantee where you can return it for a full refund.

Despite the bells and whistles, customers on Amazon only gave it 3.4 out of 5 stars. Almost everyone loved the preset workouts, which are well-designed. The treadmill is also solid and doesn’t vibrate or rattle when people are running on it. Unfortunately, many customers had problems with the Bluetooth connectivity. Quite a few people complained that the incline doesn’t go steep enough as well.

Woman wearing a white top and black leggings and running on a treadmill near a lot of treadmills

Life Fitness Treadmill Pros and Cons

If customers didn’t appreciate the Life Fitness treadmill despite the rave reviews from experts, that’s because they were expecting perfection. For this price point, so do we. Unfortunately, all Life Fitness treadmills come with their share of cons in addition to their pros.

Pros

  • Exceptional quality
  • Sturdy and strong frame
  • Super-comfortable running platform
  • Good technology
  • Decent warranty

Cons

  • Too expensive, especially the T3
  • Warranty doesn’t cover enough for the price
  • Problems with the electronics
  • Touchscreen displays frequently break down

Should You Buy?

All in all, when writing our Life Fitness treadmill review, we found that this line would be a superb addition to any serious home gym. Because expert reviewers raved about these treadmills, and because commercial fitness clubs buy these things like candy, you can’t go wrong.

That said, we would strongly recommend avoiding both the T3 and T5 models. You won’t get your money’s worth from these machines. The Club Series Plus and the Platinum Club Series are worth what you will pay for them, so long as you buy an extended warranty as well.

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