I love high-tech motorised treadmills, but their programming simply limits what my body can do. That is why for individuals who really want to free themselves from the shackles of full automation, you’d definitely go for a manual treadmill.
When it comes to non-motorised, fully manual treadmills, one of the most talked-about in advanced fitness circles is the AirRunner from Assault Fitness. And here’s my honest review of this manual treadmill and why I think it is one of the top 6 treadmills to buy in Australia.
Overview of the Assault AirRunner Treadmill
Some say that the Assault AirRunner lets you run like you’re actually speeding on air. However, the fact of the matter is that the AirRunner is going to burn your bottom as you will be using every group of muscles in your legs, thighs, and feet to propel this portable behemoth. I know it’s a contradiction, but, it’s basically for lack of better description.
The AirRunner is especially engineered to redefine our notion of the manual treadmill. True, it doesn’t come with the most powerful motor known to man. However, it sure can be powered by the most efficient, powerful set of muscles that have ever walked the surface of the Earth: you.
This is what manual treadmills are all about. You want it to go faster? Then you have to work those leg muscles. The speed of the treadmill relies on the power generated by your legs.
This is pretty much the main reason why seasoned pros and super-advanced fitness buffs never go for fully automatic, motorised treadmills. It is just like driving your car.
You want convenience and comfort? Then go with automatic transmissions. But if you really want to push your driving skills, your reflexes between the clutch and the gas pedals, then you have to go with the manual.
This is not to say that the AirRunner is devoid of anything that even resembles 21st century technology. Being able to propel the track of the AirRunner, while still giving the sensation of running on air, is an engineering marvel in itself. It does come with 2 programmes embedded into its nifty console: cardio and HIIT.
I found the AirRunner to be an entirely different animal, a beast if you may. That is what the AirRunner really is. The question now is how confident are you in taming this beast?
The AirRunner is specifically designed for folks who would like to master the science of high intensity interval training without having to rely on pre-programmed settings that do everything except allow you to push yourself beyond your limits.
That’s the whole idea about HIIT. As a matter of fact, you’d be burning 30% more calories on the AirRunner than on conventional motorised, fully automated treadmills. These machines may come with customisations, but these only limit your true potential.
Its superior steel construction, unlimited functionality, surprising stability, and exceptional energy-efficiency in a compact, lightweight, and streamlined design make the AirRunner a true frontrunner of high-end manual treadmills.
My only wish is for Assault Fitness to integrate a power generator in the AirRunner to convert mechanical energy into electricity. It could be powering up my favourite mobile devices for a more personalised exercise experience. But, that’s just me.
A Closer Look at the Features of the AirRunner Treadmill
Non-motorised, eco-friendly engineering
There are no noisy motors, no gears, and definitely no complicated mechanisms to worry about in the AirRunner. The best part is, there’s no worrying about your next month’s electric bill either.
And since it doesn’t run on electricity, there’s even a chance that you can bring it to the beach, to the campsite, or even to your favourite nook high up in the mountains. Well, that is merely to emphasise the eco-friendliness of the AirRunner, of course.
The whole point is that, since it operates basically on the energy that is provided by your leg muscles, you don’t have to fret about contributing to the depletion of the ozone. You won’t be using electricity that is mostly generated from the combustion of fossil fuels. Its low carbon footprint should also appeal to those who want to go green in their lives.
Curved running surface
Most conventional running platforms have a rather flat surface. Well, this is not really an issue since the platform itself is run by a motor. The running surface of the AirRunner is precision-curved to allow for the more efficient transfer of the energy from your feet onto the extra-strong grip of the running platform.
Each downstroke of your foot meets the curved running surface, effectively transmitting the energy to push the overlapping panels in an elegant arc. This increases the length of time your foot is actually in contact with the running surface.
The longer the contact, the more energy that is eventually transmitted to the running surface. The more energy transmitted, the greater the energy that must be generated by your muscles.
I’ve run on various treadmills ever since I started on my quest to lead a healthier, fitter lifestyle. Believe you me, the AirRunner simply burns the h**l out of your muscles. I can see why Assault says the AirRunner can actually help you burn up to 30% more calories than motorised running machines.
The problem with conventional treadmills is that you need to follow the machine’s HIIT programming. So, even if you feel like you still want to push yourself if the machine’s predetermined settings have already been reached, then you’re throttled back down to your resting state.
That’s not happening with the AirRunner. You decide how you want to push yourself and when exactly to change speeds. You are in total control of what you want to achieve and how you want to achieve it.
Unlike motorised treadmills that have a cap on speed, the AirRunner will only go fast as your legs can go. If you dare to reach 50 MPH, then that’s for you to find out if you can. The machine won’t stop you from achieving your goals.
Lightweight, compact, and durable design
The AirRunner isn’t exactly as portable as other machines that you can easily fold and store in an upright position. However, it does come with wheels allowing you to easily move it around. And at only 280 pounds, the AirRunner is surprisingly light. But don’t think that it is as flimsy as budget treadmills.
Its steel frame is powder-coated so you’ll still have the premium feel and look of a high-end machine. It’s exceptionally sturdy, too, fully capable of holding runners weighing up to 158 kg. Its footprint is quite small, too, requiring only about 70 inches by 33 inches of floor space.
The Assault AirRunner isn’t exactly tops when it comes to high-tech features, but it sure can provide you with modest visual feedback on how you’re progressing. Its LCD display comes with high-contrast resolution for easier readability.
It also comes with its own Computer Mode, Bluetooth connectivity, and an array of LEDs just to give you hint of 21st century gadgetry. Just don’t expect the AirRunner’s console to be feature-rich. This, in my belief, will substantially defeat the purpose of a fully manual treadmill.
Pros and Cons
- Unlimited speed, limited only by the power generated by your legs
- Exceptional for high intensity interval training, providing up to 30% more calorie burn than conventional motorised treadmills
- Energy-efficient design, great for the environment, and definitely best for your pocket in terms of savings from not using electricity to run the machine
- Curved running platform optimised for better energy transmission from legs to the running surface
- Compact, lightweight, and movable design
- Comes with 3-year warranty on non-wear parts and 1-year warranty on labour
- Pricey; may not be ideal for those who are heavily budget-conscious
- It doesn’t come with settings to help you change the level of incline of the running platform
- Not a good selling point for those requiring high-tech digital features
- Doesn’t come with a power generator that can tap the energy produced by the legs into electrical energy
You can say I am a bit biased with the Assault AirRunner. But one cannot really argue the merits of using manual treadmills if your primary goal is to push yourself beyond what you think your body is fully capable of.
Its sturdy, compact, and lightweight design coupled with the remarkable engineering of its curved running platform make the Assault AirRunner a very enticing proposition. Especially, if you don’t fancy predetermined fitness programmes.
The Assault AirRunner lets you take full control of how fit you want to be. If you would like to buy this treadmill, especially if you are in Australia, please click the link below to find out about the best price.