Much like any other type of fitness equipment, treadmills can vary in terms of function and characteristics, with one among the largest differences between them being how heavy a certain brand or model can be.
While seemingly unimportant, the total weight of a treadmill can actually have a significant impact on quite a number of factors, both unrelated and directly connected to your physical fitness.
On average, a motorized treadmill will weigh anywhere between 200 and 300 pounds, though there are outliers and different kinds of treadmills that can weigh as little as 100 pounds, or as much as 400 pounds.
Though it may seem inconsequential, the weight of a treadmill can actually influence several factors unrelated to actually running on one - and may even be an indicator of the quality of your treadmill, depending on what sort of treadmill it is.
Perhaps the most immediately seen factor that is influenced by a treadmill’s weight is its shipping cost; heavier treadmills are more difficult to transport, even when in a disassembled condition.
This is nearly always factored into the total cost of the treadmill itself when marketed towards consumers, with heavier treadmills on average costing distinctly more than their lighter counterparts - and that’s not even counting the shipping fee, if you aren’t picking the treadmill up yourself.
For fitness enthusiasts on a budget, a lighter treadmill is likely the better choice.
Much like barbells and dumbbells, treadmills are also capable of damaging the floors and walls of their surrounding environment, potentially collapsing the floor of your home or otherwise ruining your property.
This is an especially important factor for individuals planning to place the treadmill on their second floor or other areas with a space beneath the ground, as a sufficiently heavy treadmill can contribute to a sagging floor in poorly constructed buildings.
Though weight is not always an indicator, heavier and more structurally-sound treadmills will often make use of denser materials and more complex machinery, meaning that treadmills of particularly high weight are potentially higher in quality than their lighter counterparts.
As a direct connection to this, treadmills of greater durability will often be heavier as a result of their construction, with lighter treadmills having a lighter maximum load and usually being easier to damage due to the weaker materials that they are made from.
Of course, these are simply loose indicators, and it is entirely possible for a treadmill to be of both high quality and strong durability without necessarily being heavy in comparison to other treadmills.
Manual treadmills are often lighter and more affordable than other types of treadmills, as they do not feature any internal motor automatically turning the belt of the treadmill itself.
Instead, the belt is turned by the runner’s own feet, requiring them to exert more effort so as to draw the belt beneath them as they exercise.
This will generally mean that runners will not be able to move at their maximum speed, due to the additional effort of turning the belt manually - though this is not necessarily a disadvantage, as greater caloric expenditure and a higher heart rate can be achieved without needing to run as fast as they ordinary would.
Motorized treadmills are the classic modern treadmill, usually featuring a digital control panel and an automatically-rotating belt, with the primary source of resistance being an adjustable incline instead of wind or the exerciser needing to draw the belt beneath them.
Motorized treadmills are often heavier than other types of treadmills due to the internal motors required to keep them functional, as well as the optional presence of computer parts and various safety features.
The usage of a motorized treadmill is often regarded as somewhat easier than other forms of running, as the automatically rotating nature of the belt means that the exerciser will need to exert less effort to propel themselves forward as they run.
This, in turn, equates to the exerciser moving faster than they would ordinarily be capable of in an outdoor setting, reducing their maximum caloric expenditure and placing greater wear on their joints due to the more rapid impact taking place.
Folding treadmills are a kind of treadmill specifically designed for home usage, as they feature a retractable walkway that saves space and allows for easier transport.
These types of treadmills are often manual in nature, but there are indeed some motorized folding treadmills that come at a premium cost.
In terms of weight, folding treadmills are designed for maximum convenience and efficiency, meaning that they will almost always be lighter than their fixed-walkway counterparts, regardless of whether they are manual or motorized.
When picking the correct type of treadmill to purchase, weight is a rather important factor.
Heavier treadmills are often loaded with more features and are more durable, but will cost more and may even damage your home gym.
In order to decide on whether to purchase a heavy or light treadmill, we must first identify your use case. This is simply the manner and frequency in which you plan to use the treadmill that you are purchasing.
Die-hard runners that plan to train on the treadmill multiple times a week and at higher intensities may wish to opt for the heavier motorized treadmills, ensuring that it does not break down and that they are able to optimize their training with every advantage the treadmill can offer.
Otherwise, individuals that don’t plan to be running a marathon every week can save money and space with lighter folding deck treadmills, as it is unlikely that they will require advanced features or particularly durable construction.
As important as the weight of a treadmill is, there are also other factors to consider when purchasing one, such as power consumption, maximum weight load, warranty length and even long-term maintenance requirements.
As such, we urge home-gym owners and running enthusiasts to consider the entire picture, with the weight of the treadmill itself only playing a fractional part in their purchase decision.