One of the distinguishing aspects of exercise machines is their weight capacity. Some models of treadmills, for example, can take heavier loads. But is knowing the treadmill weight limit crucial?
Most treadmills have a 113kg to 159kg user weight limit. A more heavy-duty treadmill has a higher weight capacity of up to 181kg, though.
But what happens if heavier users use a treadmill with a lower weight capacity?
Why Does Treadmill Weight Limit Vary?
Treadmills differ in weight capacities mainly to cater to different user build. Also, the wide range of load limits allows runners to have a machine that matches their workout intent.
Specifically, commercial treadmills in gyms tend to have higher load limits than those for domestic use.
Naturally, this tendency also affects price, where machines with higher weight capacities typically cost more.
To give you an idea of how load limits vary, here are some of the top treadmills in the market and their respective capacities:
|Sardine Sport C2 Walking Pad
|Lifespan Fitness Reformer
|NordicTrack X32i Incline Trainer
|ProForm Pro 2000
|Everfit Titan45 Running Machine
|Adidas T-19X Treadmill
|NordicTrack X22i Incline Trainer
|Assault AirRunner Treadmill
|Endurance Athlete Treadmill
|Endurance Spirit Treadmill
|BH Fitness Pro-Action Series Treadmill
Why Does Treadmill Weight Limit Matter?
We now know that weight limits vary. But is it necessary to consider this specification when buying a treadmill? Yes, it is and here are the reasons why.
1. Machine Damage
The main reason for checking the treadmill weight limit with the user’s weight is to reduce the risk of damage.
Considering that a treadmill is an investment, we want to lessen its chances of breaking down sooner than expected.
But how can you damage your machine by going beyond its weight capacity? Treadmills generally have weak points that are more prone to damage like:
- Belt and Deck. The belt will stick to the deck when the treadmill cannot support the user’s weight. Too much pressure on these two parts can tear the belt or prevent the deck from running smoothly.
- Incline Function. Putting too much load on the deck inhibits the incline feature from working. Some suggest adjusting the incline before stepping on the deck, but this might be too risky.
- Feet and Frame. The treadmill feet take most of the pressure from the user’s weight. And so, this part is likely to tilt, potentially damaging the frame. In worst cases, affecting the feet can cause the machine to run poorly or stop working.
Keep in mind that any of these can cause the user to go off balance or get injured.
So, to avoid hurting yourself during your workout, a sufficient treadmill weight limit is a must.
2. Premature Wear
The motor, belt, bearing, rollers and other moving parts go through stress while exercising on the treadmill. Over time, it will cause wear and tear.
However, pushing the machine over the limit through overloading will wear out the parts faster than expected.
For instance, a heavy-weight runner will strain the treadmill more, causing the motor to work extra and burn out sooner.
And considering that a treadmill motor is expensive, your repair or replacement needs will add to the cost.
3. Voiding the Warranty
Warranty conditions for treadmills go by the recommended use of the machine. And if it becomes faulty despite following proper use, the manufacturer will fix it.
That’s not the case when you damage the machine due to misuse or neglect, like going beyond the treadmill weight limit.
This problem can be costly to fix when no longer covered by a warranty. So, check the product specs first and follow your manual.
Spending on treadmill accessories is better than paying for repairs or replacement parts.
4. Type of Workout
At times, overloading is not the only issue at hand. Pairing it with more intense runs or jogs adds further tension to your machine.
For instance, the more you use your machine for HIIT, the more prone it becomes to damage or malfunction.
And so, for large users into intense workouts, a well-built treadmill with high weight capacity is best.
How Will I Know the Weight Capacity of a Treadmill?
All treadmill manufacturers test their machines to determine their weight limits. However, the location of this product detail varies and depends on the brand or model.
You’ll most likely find it underneath the machine or on the side of the frame. You can also look for it on the instruction manual or the brand website.
You can also contact the manufacturer if you’re getting a second-hand treadmill without the manual or packaging.
For your safety, it’s best to skip a machine option without any treadmill weight limit detail.
Should I Get a Treadmill with a Higher Weight Limit?
My short answer is yes because a treadmill with a higher weight limit has more benefits.
Typically, machines that support more load have robust materials and higher quality control.
That means these treadmills are likely more long-lasting. Still, there are potential downsides to buying a machine with a higher treadmill weight limit.
One is the price. Heavy-duty treadmill components and high-quality control typically cost more. Quality construction can make a treadmill heavy, too.
You need to consider drawbacks if you are looking for budget options or moving your treadmill upstairs.
A better way to settle your dilemma is to go for a happy medium. Pick a good quality treadmill with ample weight capacity at the best price.
How accurate are treadmill weight capacities? They are a manufacturer’s reasonable estimate of what the machine can support.
And manufacturers put their machines on a series of tests to determine this. So, it’s safe to say treadmill weight limits are accurate.
Treadmill users can then use this as a basis for buying a machine.
Check out my treadmill reviews and guide to learn more about other things to consider.
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