Life Fitness CST Club Series Treadmill Review

Life-Fitness-CST-TreadmillPrice: £4,095
Buy From: Fitness Superstore

Overall Rating: 5
Build Quality: 5
Ease of use: 5
Console Features: 5
Comfort: 5
Value for Money:5

 

For those who are looking for the health club experience at home and  for whom budget and space are not limited, the Life Fitness CST treadmill is the ultimate home use treadmill. Based on the commercial model, the CST provides a genuine health club quality workout.

The patented flexdeck absorption system works very efficiently as you would expect, reducing impact levels on the joints and muscles by up to 30% when compared with running outdoors.

The 4-HP AC Continuous Duty Motor with MagnaDrive™ propels users quietly and easily to the top speed of 12mph and it also feels responsive when required for some of the more vigorous interval training programs.

A 15% motorised incline is included and the overall product weight of 195kg ensures there is complete rigidity in the frame for even the heaviest runners as the maximum user capacity of 180kg would suggest.

Life-Fitness-CST-Treadmill-ConsoleThe control layout is the same as the health club model and incorporates the GoSystem Quick Start feature which remembers your preferred walk, jog and run speeds so you can launch your training sessions at the touch of a button.

The integrity display is a smart yellow on black LED readout advising program profiles coupled with separate display windows for times, speed, distance, calories and heart rate.  They have also incorporated an ipod connectivity system which allows your ipod to sit in a purpose built in dock on the console allowing you to control track changes and volume levels with the integrated controls.

PROS

  • Amazing stability, particularly when compared with folding treadmills but even when compared to other brands of non folding machines.
  • Incredibly comfortable to run on
  • Quiet, smooth and responsive motor performance regardless of speed and incline levels.
  • Easy to read display with good variation of programs and the inclusion of ipod connectivity and controls is a real bonus.

CONS

  • A little disappointing that no wireless chest strap is included considering the price of the treadmill however this is a small concern on an otherwise pretty faultless performance.

Summary

In summary then, if space and budget are no object then this is the treadmill to purchase. It performed brilliantly in testing and finding fault was nigh on impossible. The only trouble is that a price tag of over £4,000 and the fact that it is non-folding means it has a limited market place for UK customers.

The programs are varied, all the usual suspects are there with Fat Burn, Heart Rate Hill, Heart Rate Interval, Extreme Heart Rate, Random, Hill, 5K, 10K and speed interval training.  The Lifepulse™ digital heart rate monitoring hand sensors are conveniently placed on the easy-to-grip Ergo™ bar to provide walkers with precise heart rate monitoring, and Polar® telemetry provides runners with accurate, hands free heart rate monitoring although this method does require an optional chest strap.

Having used the full commercial model club series treadmill in various gyms on many occasions I have to say that I couldn’t find a difference in the running experience when testing the Life Fitness CST. The cushioning and stability felt identical and the console has a familiar feel to it. In essence, the only differences between this model and its commercial sibling are the unseen parts, the components used in construction due to the greatly increased usage a commercial model would have to endure.

Best Price: £4,095
Buy From: Fitness Superstore

NordicTrack T18.0 Treadmill Review

NordicTrack T18 TreadmillPrice: £899
Buy From: Fitness Superstore

Overall Rating: 4
Build Quality: 3.5
Ease of use: 4
Console Features: 5
Comfort: 4
Value for Money: 4

 

The T18.0 is a treadmill from the upper end of the NordicTrack range.  As a brand Nordic are well known for being innovators in the fitness industry, often the first to include the latest technology on their products.

Starting with the 3.0 CHP Durx TM  Commercial Pro motor, it is dynamically spin balanced which provides superior performance, claiming to reduce both vibration and noise. With a peak power output of 4.5HP, this motor is well capable of propelling users up to a maximum speed of 22km/h with a maximum incline of 15%. This puts it near the top of the pile in terms of out and out performance amongst the majority of folding treadmills. You would normally associate these sort of figures with non folding or even commercial machines.

The belt is large (51cm wide by 152cm long) and well capable of accommodating users of any height and the 160kg (25 stone) maximum weight capacity means the T18.0 really does cater for everyone.

The result of a treadmill this large and robust is that it takes up a fair amount of space at 210cm long by 97cm wide when in use.  The impact reduction control TM cushioning system is well sprung, reducing impact by 15-33% and incorporates a movable isolator to allow users to change the support from mimicking road running to providing a softer, joint friendlier workout.

The deck is foldable, using the patented Spacesaver design with Easylift TM assist and soft drop mechanism so that despite its substantial size, literally anyone can fold or unfold it very easily indeed.  The console is large, but then it does incorporate a lot of features.

NordicTrack T18 Treadmill ConsoleThere are 28 different preset workouts utilising speed, incline or both at the same time and calorie burn, all designed to get maximum results. The LED display shows all the feedback and program profiles clearly and brightly and there is a Polar heart rate sensor and included chest strap to go with the pulse grip sensors on the handles. These will only monitor heart rate however, as there are no heart rate control programs included.

If that isn’t enough variety for you then there is also the option of subscribing to iFit Live as reviewed in more detail on other Nordic Track models. A years subscription will cost £99.95 including the wireless module. An ipod compatible music port with speakers is the icing on the cake for this feature packed console.  As is often the case with NordicTrack products, specification is the first priority, sometimes at the detriment to build quality.

Not so here, this is a lot of treadmill for the money and with the standard 2 year parts and labour warranty with 10 years on the motor you do actually feel as though it would stand the test of time which is not something you can say about all of the Nordic range!  One annoying gripe I did have however, was that there is nowhere on the console to put a water bottle!

PROS

  • Massive amount of specification
  • Huge motor and belt size suitable for all user types
  • Easy to fold

CONS

  • Very large treadmill for the home market
  • No water bottle storage facility

In summary then, if you have the room for a big treadmill, want to spend less than £1000 and you want loads of program options, entertainment features, a soft adjustable running deck and the ability to run at very fast speeds in absolute stability then look no further.  Just remember you will have to get off every time you want a drink of water!

Price: £899
Buy From: Fitness Superstore