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Life Fitness Review

Sunday, September 19th

2021 Treadmill Reviews

Life Fitness Review 2 Star Rating

Life Fitness

2 Star Rating
  • Cost: $2,749 to $9,449

If you've been to a fitness center, it's likely you've used a LifeFitness treadmill before. In business for nearly 50 years, the company is one of the mainstay names in the cardio equipment industry.

Equipment overview:

  • Treadmill Style: Folding and Non-Folding
  • Price Range: $2,749 to $9,449
  • Different Models: 6
  • Financing Available: No
  • Livestream Classes Included: Yes; may incur separate charges
  • Incline Range: Up to 5% or 15%, depending on the model, no models with decline settings
  • Speed Range: 0.5 mph to 10 mph or 12 mph, depending on the model
  • Return Policy: None
  • Warranty: Lifetime on frame and shock absorbers; lifetime or 10 years on drive motor; 5 or 10 years on parts; 3 years on console; 1 year on labor; all depending on the model
  • Shipping: Not included, could be as high as $400+

More expensive than most

When it comes to treadmills, LifeFitness is definitely at the more expensive end of the spectrum. Their entry-level machines, the F3 Folding and T3 (non-folding), start at $2,749 - while, with many of LifeFitness' competitors, you'd get the highest-end model available for that price!

Not impressed with the features

It was tough to find certain information about LifeFitness treadmills - and we weren't exactly impressed when we found it. Given how high-end the machines are, we expected top-of-the-line specs. But, on one of the lowest-priced machines, the F3 Folding Treadmill, we had to dig through the PDF of the owner's manual to discover that the highest incline setting is just 5.5%: the "high" setting. For any serious runner or incline walker, 5% is just a warm-up! Even the top-of-the-line Platinum Club Series Treadmill didn't have any decline settings like you'll see with most of LifeFitness' rivals' highest-end machines. (Do most people use decline settings? Probably not, but for a treadmill with a retail price of $9,449, we'd almost expect it to do the workout for us!)

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LifeFitness on demand - or not

We were also left wondering about LifeFitness On Demand, the brand's livestreaming workout platform. The product info page for the treadmills that are compatible with this feature had an enticing description of this service, with instructors that "teach at some of the top boutique studios in New York and Chicago'' and "on-demand classes at your fingertips, any time you want" . Unfortunately, there was no link provided when the description invited us to learn more, just text that said, "drive to landing page" . (Oops. They said the quiet part out loud") When we tried to find more details on our own, we could only find a site describing the platform for use in commercial settings - like fitness centers and gyms - and nothing about home use. The short version is this: you might be able to get live workouts through your LifeFitness treadmill, but you're not going to have an easy time getting it set up!

Big shipping fees, long wait for delivery

LifeFitness used to include free shipping with your treadmill purchase. However, during our most recent visit, we were disappointed to see that's no longer the case. Entering a sample state on the order page, LifeFitness quoted $399 for delivery and installation. Add that to some of the longest fulfillment timeframes we saw - anywhere from 6-12 weeks on every single treadmill they offer - and it's a no-brainer why LifeFitness isn't one of our highest-recommended retailers in this category.

Zero returns accepted

Want to know what else LifeFitness doesn't offer? A return policy. You can only send your treadmill back if it's defective, damaged in transit, or isn't the machine you ordered. You'd better hope that you love your LifeFitness treadmill, because there's no sending it back if you don't.

No financing available either

And, a third item on the list of "not included" is financing. That's surprising, given that many retailers with far less expensive treadmills offer payment plans - while LifeFitness, which carries some of the costliest models, does not. Maybe they figure if you're considering a treadmill for $10,000+ (once you add in shipping and taxes), you don't need their financing.

Good reputation but not much more

While we're happy to see that LifeFitness continues to maintain an "A+" rating with the Better Business Bureau, that's just not enough to "rescue" them in our rankings with all of the other negatives we found. If you want a top-notch treadmill, you'll get it much more quickly with many other retailers - and with better features, free shipping, and an actual return policy. For all of those reasons, LifeFitness doesn't earn our enthusiastic recommendation among online stores offering treadmills.

Where Can You Find the Best Treadmills?

With so many people dropping their gym memberships and turning to home fitness, it's no surprise that these popular cardio machines have seen a dramatic rise in popularity. You may have even tried to shop for one, only to find that they're out of stock - indefinitely! Fortunately, there are several online retailers that have managed to keep up with demand on all types of treadmills, from budget models with the most basic features to the high-tech equipment with all the bells and whistles.

If you're buying a treadmill for the first time, you might feel a little lost as to what to look for. Your first consideration might be your budget, so keep in mind that you can get decent, entry-level treadmills for under $750. If money is no object, decide which features matter the most to you. For example, do you want the biggest variety of workouts? In that case, look for treadmills that have a wide range of incline settings: most machines with an incline will give you up to 15%, but some go as high as 40%!

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Treadmill FAQ

As one of the most commonly-used pieces of gym equipment, treadmills are usually the first machine people think of when setting up a workout space at home. Whatever your level of fitness, a treadmill can help you make progress: from low-intensity walking to running intervals on an incline, the possibilities are endless (and they don't depend on the weather!)
It depends on the model you choose. Some machines allow you to fold the tread surface up towards the console, similar to a Murphy bed. But, with the higher-end machines that come with plenty of features like live-coached workouts or sky-high incline capabilities, you're likely to need a reasonable amount of floor space. Check the dimensions of any treadmills you're considering and compare them against the places you're thinking of keeping your machine.
You might be surprised to learn that you can get a basic treadmill for under $600. On the other end of the spectrum, you'll see prices in the $9,000 and up range for models exactly like what you'd use at a fitness center or gym. Fortunately, there are plenty of mid-range options that give you good features, top-notch tech and durability without breaking your budget.
Yes. Coverage varies, and most manufacturers have different timeframes of warranty protection for the frame, electronics, and any labor costs. You may also be able to add an extended warranty and/or maintenance plan, to keep your treadmill in good shape for longer.
How does "free" sound? Many retailers of treadmills give you no-cost delivery. Just be aware that if you return your treadmill, you're likely to be on the hook for the shipment costs to get it back to the store (and your refund may have their original shipping costs deducted from it!).
Check the retailer's policies. Many offer return periods of 30-60 days, but some provide none at all. You may have to pay restocking fees of up to 25% too, in addition to the return shipping costs (which could get expensive on such a heavy piece of equipment).
Yes, though not all retailers offer it as an add-on service with your treadmill purchase. Look for that option during the checkout process. Otherwise, the company might be able to recommend an installer in your area. If all else fails, it might be worth it to call a fitness center or sporting goods store near you to get the name of a professional they trust.
There's no better way to get the world's widest selection of treadmills - at the best prices. Shopping online makes it easy and even fun to check out all of the latest features and see what customers say about the machines once they're in home use. And, there's no need to rent a truck or try to fit your treadmill in the back of your car with so many retailers offering free delivery right to your doorstep.
Compare the Best Reviews

Continued from above...

One of today's most sought-after features in the home fitness world is the ability to access live workouts. This is a fantastic substitute for expensive boutique gym classes or even your average fitness center workout: take classes with top trainers from around the world, compete with other people on a live leaderboard, or access pre-recorded workouts (not just for the treadmill, but also for strength, yoga, and much more). Not every treadmill has that capability built in: you might have to prop up your tablet or smartphone on the machine's console and use a third-party app to get it done.

As you decide which type of treadmill you want and where to buy it, here are several additional factors to keep in mind:

  • Availability. Does the retailer have treadmills in stock for immediate shipment? If not, how long is the wait time to get your machine delivered?
  • Treadmill Features. If you need a machine with specific capabilities, like decline settings or Bluetooth connectivity, does the store offer something that works? Be sure to consider other features like folding vs. non-folding models, user weight capacity, room space requirements (especially if you're choosing a treadmill with a high incline setting), and so on.
  • Price. Can you get a treadmill that fits your budget? Don't forget to factor in any required delivery fees: some retailers include shipping in the cost, but others may charge up to $400 for shipping and set-up!
  • Reputation. What do customers say about the durability and overall performance of the treadmill? Are there any complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau? Does the company get high marks for customer service?
  • Warranty. What kind of coverage does your treadmill have if something breaks down? Most treadmills come with a lifetime warranty on the frame and welds and more limited terms on the motor, belt and electronics - but some only cover those components for a year or less!

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best online retailers of treadmills available today. We hope this information helps you find the right fitness equipment for your home - at the best price!

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