Buying and using a treadmill is a great way to burn through extra calories. Buying and using a good, used treadmill is a great way to burn through extra calories without burning through extra cash. However, just like buying a used car, the important thing to remember is to check out any used treadmill equipment thoroughly and to buy smart.
The best way to begin searching for good, used treadmills is by going online with a simple search engine entry to sift through the thousands of treadmills available. Because of the plethora of fitness equipment ads, the potential buyer should search the web for the specific type of treadmill needed, even if it is new, to decide on features that should be included. It might be most effective to start by looking at three of the leading brands as examples, like Nordic Track, Sole and Bowflex. These three manufacturers produce some of the leading fitness machines in the world. Whether the Sole F80, the Nordic Track 7X Incline Trainer or the Bowflex Treadclimber, each are designed to burn calories fast while building lean muscle.
The Nordic Track 7X Incline model can, indeed, incline its treadmill up to 40%. This can result in the user burning calories five times faster than when walking on a flat treadmill. This model can also access the Google Trails Workouts via the Internet. This feature allows the user to see and experience some of the most famous trails around the world on the 7” color touch screen display. Each trail, from Hawaii’s Diamond Head to the Grand Canyon to North Carolina’s Looking Glass Trail, is downloaded and programmed into the unit to replicate the inclines, declines and abrupt changes the hiker would experience in reality.
An iPod input also allows the user to listen to their favorite MP3 selections through the onboard speakers mounted in the unit, while the unit’s reflex cushioning system reduces shock to the joints by 42%.
Reducing shock to the joints is also a major selling point for the Bowflex Treadclimber. Separate treadles allow the treadmill to mimic a stair climber fitness machine while softening the blow to the leg joints with each step. Owners have often compared it to a walk in soft, deep sand on the beach, a good workout with low impact. The only real drawback to the Blowflex model is the fact that the treadles are not designed for running, but more for stepping. The Nordic Track unit has a much longer traditional treadmill belt and a faster motor to keep up with the most aggressive runner.
The Sole F80 treadmill models may be the closet to commercial grade that is available to the consumer. In fact, though the F80 is a consumer rated model, both the Omni and the Hilton hotels have the Sole F80 in their health clubs.
Each of these units can be purchased new for as little as $1,300 to $1,500, depending on the features included and most offer free shipping. It all comes down to exactly what the user wants.
Many people want a simple treadmill to walk off the pounds while they watch TV or listen to music. Others want a model that can be programmed to offer varying degrees of endurance, such as the Google Trails Workouts via the Internet. Still others want a treadmill that comes with all of the accessories available and are willing to pay for them, such as a small TV optional feature that allows the user to watch their favorite movies on DVD. Small twin fans are also a very popular accessory now. They can keep the walker or runner much cooler during the work out, resulting in a more aggressive session.
A heart rate monitor is another feature that is very popular with both commercial and consumer models. However, the truth is that heart rate monitors often do not working properly and when they do work they are usually not very accurate. This particular feature should not necessarily be a high priority option. The old fashion method of monitoring one’s pulse for six seconds, then multiplying the number of heartbeats in that time span by a factor of ten will provide an adequate measure of the user’s heart rate per minute. It is exactly the way that many doctors and nurses take a quick heart rate on their patients.
Another very common feature of the higher end units has much more to do with a safety factor than with anything else. These units come with a small safety key that will plug into the unit and then be attached to the user. If the user should lose his or her balance and start to fall, the key is disengaged from the unit and stops the treadmill immediately. This helps the user avoid painful injuries associated with falling down on the moving treadmill. There is one very important caveat to keep in mind if the safety key feature is incorporated into the unit; be sure that the unit does, indeed, have the key when it is purchased from the reseller. If the previous owner lost the key then the unit simple will not work. Unfortunately, replacing the key, even through the original manufacturer, can be a time consuming headache.
Once the decision has been made regarding the features required on the treadmill, search for the same or similar models from a reputable reseller. This can be done by looking through local newspapers or the Internet for someone selling previously owned consumer treadmills or even used commercial treadmills. A reseller could be an individual looking to get rid of a fitness machine that they realize they will never use. Equally, a reseller may be a company that specifically buys used fitness equipment that is in great shape requiring very little, if any, restoration, then resells the equipment. A quick way to find a reseller is to enter the phrase used treadmills for sale into an Internet search engine. A variety of listings will appear, everything from retail resellers in the area to individuals seeking to sell their used treadmills just to make more room in their home.
One benefit to the retail reseller versus the individual reseller is the customer service most retailers provide. An individual is simply going to list their used treadmill for sale, then sell their treadmill with no guarantees and no customer service after the sale. Depending on the retailer, there may be a limited warranty and there could possibly be someone available to install the equipment and provide any equipment service that may become necessary. Another benefit to locating retail resellers on the Internet first is having the luxury of looking at the equipment they sell without the pressure to buy. Perusing the reseller’s website will also give the buyer an idea of pricing and any warranties and customer service provided without the hassle of trying to shop in a regular store with potentially a high-pressure sale person constantly pushing for the sale, and not necessarily for the sale of a treadmill that is most suitable to you.
Since customer service after the sale can be very important, consider the type and quality of customer service, particularly over the phone. Many large have outsourced the vast majority of telephone customer service these days. This can mean ending up in a frustrating conversation with someone who speaks English only as a second language. If the questions are very technical in nature, adding a customer service representative with a heavy foreign accent and only a passable command of the English language, may only add to the problem. It is important to find out who handles customer services calls and how experienced they are in verbally communicating resolutions to any problems that could arise with a treadmill.
It is also important to understand that many treadmills, especially used commercial treadmills, have a shorter life expectancy than many people realize. Manufacturers design them for about 2 to 3 years of constant usage in a gym or health club before they need to be replaced. However, a treadmill that has been properly maintained, even one that has logged thousands of hard miles in the gym, can give an individual great service and exhilarating workouts for many years. Certainly though, and where possible, one should find out the history of any used treadmills on sale to try to figure out exactly what kind of mileage it has been subject to.
As far a buying a unit from an individual reseller is concerned, do not disregarded that option. People often buy a fitness machine with every intention of working out on a regular basis, only to become discouraged or distracted. This might mean that those previously owned treadmills could be a great bargain because they are in nearly perfect condition but cost only a fraction of the price of a new one. Not only that; the owner might even have the original paperwork and user guide. These could come in handy should a question arise concerning the treadmill or should the unit need a repair. While the warranty may have expired or even terminated with the resale of the unit, an easy reference to simple repairs or the customer service number to the manufacturer could make a simple repair or question very easy to resolve.
Looking through a local newspaper’s classified ads or even a penny saver style shopper’s guide may turn up some very good prospects too. Some individuals are willing to sell their equipment for less than half the original price, and in many cases, even lower.
If the research has already been done as to the specific features required as well as the original cost a buyer could save a significant amount of money. Consumer reviews on specific models can also arm the buyer with things to look at, or even watch out for, when going to purchase a used treadmill.