It is not really easy picking a well-designed gym treadmill that is purposely designed and built for the home. You really have to look at various design elements that will suit your needs and provide you with exceptional value for many years to come. Personally, I always look for a treadmill’s belt system as well as its cushioning. I really don’t want to be running on a workout surface that won’t be able to provide me comfort while I run.
Of course, a generous set of programs and digital features would really come in very handy. Thankfully, I got the chance to try out the Spirit CT800. Despite a few minor drawbacks which are, in my opinion, quite expected from this kind of equipment, the CT800 performed exceptionally well. Here, I am sharing with you my review of this gym equipment.
Overview of the Spirit CT800 Treadmill
The Spirit CT800 is a heavyweight by today’s standards. It comes with a very sturdy, albeit non-foldable base that is what many serious fitness buffs look for whether it is for running or for walking. It also comes with many of the useful features that you would want in a treadmill today to make your fitness routine more engaging and definitely more fun.
The console is quite a joy to operate especially with the inclusion of quick action keys right on the handlebar. This is one feature that I really find quite appealing since I don’t have to reach up front to make the necessary changes in my settings. Of course, the extra-large LED screen and highly accessible buttons all make the console quite a pleasant experience. And if that won’t give you the joy you need, then the integrated cargo and water bottle holders should.
The deck feels unusually comfortable on the feet, too; with each impact of my foot somehow being cushioned to provide me with a feel that is unlike most machines I have ever tried before. The deck system is also maintenance-free. Underneath the deck is a powerful 4.0 CHP motor that hums gently yet delivers a powerful punch that can propel your runs to greater heights.
Keeping the motor in optimum operation is a set of cooling technologies that are embedded into its design. At least, you won’t have to worry about the treadmill smoking under your feet.
The CT800 comes with a variety of programs which I find to be exceptionally well-thought off.
From the usual Manual, Interval, and Cardio settings, there are other programs that are designed for the more advanced users. It also features the Fit Test program, Hill functionality, a Fat Burn mode, and even a 5K Run mode. Of course, you can always go manual if you like; personally, I preferred using the different presets on the CT800. I find these to be already optimised for my needs. Of course, it won’t hurt to tinker with the settings once you’ve grown confident of its functionalities.
A Closer Look at the Features of the Spirit CT800
Stable and sturdy base
The Spirit CT800 is a heavy treadmill which makes it quite a reliable, sturdy, and durable equipment that should last for many years. It is designed for people who enjoy a casual walk right in the confines of their homes or even for those who would like to push themselves to the hilt but without having to go anywhere else.
It comes with a hefty base that you cannot really fold, unlike other treadmill systems available in the market today. For one thing, it can be quite a hassle since there really is no way you can move the CT800 if you want to reclaim the space that it has been placed in.
But the good thing is that you can always rely on the durability of the CT800 especially if you’re hell-bent on using it on an almost daily basis and for extended periods of time. The base is not the only thing that is beautiful about the CT800, though. Within the base is a stable cast motor mount which actually serves to provide for a more reliable belt mechanism. While I am really not sure how this will translate in the long run, I can only assume that it is to help minimise the risk of the drive belt loosening. This way you can bet that the CT800 will feel as sturdy and reliable as the very first day that you bought it.
Ingenious motor cooling mechanism
With a 4.0 CHP motor running under its chassis, it is not unusual for machines like the CT800 to be more prone to overheating than other products with lower power output. However, I find the Spirit CT800 to be exceptionally cool even after running it continuously for several hours. A quick look at the technical specifications reveals that this treadmill comes with a DC motor that is covered in Grade H insulation.
Adding to the unique motor-cooling features of the CT800 are a pair of cooling fans which further drive heat away from the more sensitive parts of the equipment such as the drive motor, the complex electronics, and even the elevation motor. Aluminum frames have also been used underneath the treadmill’s electronic bay further serving as a large heat sink. Other treadmills that I have tried so far typically generate substantial heat after several hours. Not the CT800 though.
With exceptionally bright LED screen that displays all of the relevant information that you need, all at the touch of a button, the Spirit CT800 comes in as a very user-friendly equipment that tops it off with a fully automated accumulated data that scrolls across its blue-backlit screen. I find this exceptionally useful since it gives you an idea of your performance for a particular session. Unlike other LED screens that you have to press the button to move between windows, the continuous scroll means you only have to press the button once.
However, what is really amazing about the CT800 is the integration of two different sets of Quick Keys on both handlebars. The left rail contains the buttons for adjusting the angle of elevation of the platform while the right handlebar contains the quick controls for the speed. This is one very unique feature that you won’t see in most treadmills today which is further proof of Spirit’s understanding of the needs of its customers; well, at least, that is what I am inclined to believe in.
Of course, if you don’t like accidentally hitting the buttons while you’re holding onto the rails, then you may want to deactivate the quick control keys altogether. I tried this once and, believe me, you’re a lot better off with the quick keys on since holding onto the rails making the necessary adjustments in either the speed or the elevation of the deck or even both a lot easier and safer, too.
Optimum fitness at your fingertips
The console of the CT800 displays a variety of feedback information including METs, pulse, pace, speed, time, distance, incline, and even calories. The heart rate is measured by contact sensors as well as using telemetric technology. A bar graph is fully integrated into the CT800’s console providing visual feedback on your progress in relation to your projected maximum cardiovascular capacity. I find this quite useful as I can modify my pace or even the strength of my power strokes to achieve the kind of fitness results that I am targeting.
Among the various programs available on the CT800, I find the Fit Test to be especially beneficial for those who are just starting out on such fitness programs. It utilises the Gerkin Protocol which gradually increases both the speed and incline of the treadmill until it reaches a certain preset time or as soon as you reach 85% of your projected maximum heart rate. The CT800 also comes with other useful presets such as the 5K, Fat Burn, Interval, Cardio, 2x Heart Rate, and the Hill mode.
Pro and Cons
The Spirit CT800 is a bulky and heavy treadmill which effectively limits its storability. However, it is these very same characteristics that make the CT800 quite an admirable product to begin with since you can depend on its durability and strength to last many years. The features don’t disappoint either making this as clearly one of my most recommended treadmills for anyone who would like to keep fit without going to the gym.