I often get asked what is a better machine for getting in shape and burning calories, a Bowflex Treadclimber or a NordicTrack Incline Trainer. Both machines are hyped through infomercials and it is necessary to separate the hype from the facts.
The pros of the Bowflex Treadclimber is that the design allows you to have a lower impact workout. The “treadles” move up and down and meet your foot. So there is less impact than a treadmill. Bowflex claims that it burns calories more efficiently. There make be some truth to that, but their comparison is to a treadmill that has the deck leveled, not inclined. So the claims of burning considerably more calories is not the case. The other pro is the Treadclimber is more compact and does not take up as much space as a treadmill.
The cons is that Bowflex Treadclimbers are rather expensive for what you get. They also have minimal programming in comparison to NordicTradck Incline Trainers, and they are primarily designed for walking.
Let’s compare the NordicTrack X9i Incline Trainer to the Bowflex TC 200 Treadclimber. The NordicTrack X9i cost about $800 less after discounts. It inclines up to 40% and declines, allowing you to simulate going up and down hills. Although the Incline Trainer is primarily designed for walking, you can also run on the 60″ long deck. The treadbelt is also an extra wide 22″.
In addition, you get speakers, the ability to plug in your MP3 player and a built-in fan. There are a generous selection of programs to choose from. You get a 10″ Google Android full color browser that allows you to track your progress, and access the Internet.
Finally, you get iFit Live, which gives you the ability to get customized workout programs downloaded onto your NordicTrack X9i. They consist of eight weeks of workouts that include audio coaching. After each workout your stats are downloaded onto you iFit.com account so you can track your progress, which can motivate you to achieve your fitness goals.
In addition, you can track routes on Google Maps and the NordicTrack X9i Incline Trainer will simulate the terrain with the incline and decline feature. You can visualize your progress with either a street, satellite or earth view with the Android Browser. With this feature you can virtually simulate running anywhere in the world.
One last thought. I feel the NordicTrack Incline Trainers are more durable machines in comparison to the Bowflex Treadclimbers, which is reflected in the warranty. Although Treadclimbers have improved their quality and durability over the last several years.
Based on the cost differences, durability and the available features, I would have to give the edge to the NordicTrack Incline Trainers. I do believe that the Treadclimbers offer a better low impact workout, but Incline Trainers do a better job of motivating you to achieve your fitness goals and it gives you the versatility of either walking or running.