Impressive Reviews and Ratings
I was recently in Salt Lake City and visited the LifeSpan headquarters. LifeSpan treadmills have been getting some impressive reviews and ratings. And that appears to be driving their sales, as it should.
LifeSpan is an up and coming player that is carving out a niche for itself among established brands. Their machines seem to find a nice balance between quality construction, appealing design and attractive features. And their market share will probably expand at the expense of manufacturers that are resting on past laurels.
One of the most notable features I observed on Lifespan Treadmills are their full color interactive display screens. Most other manufacturers also offer display screens, but the screen quality is one of the better displays available in the industry; especially for the price point.
Now I haven’t tried all their models, there are 9, but the ones I did test seem to have a solid feel and ran very smoothly and quietly. In addition, the feedback I’ve gotten suggests the machines are very durable. Another trusted resource, a popular consumer magazine, recently gave one of their machines a “Best Buy” rating and an “Excellent” rating in the categories of Ergonomics, Construction, Ease of Use, and Exercise Range.
Their models start with a small compact treadmill, and progress to commercial grade models for the home. Depending on their current promotions, their treadmill prices generally range from $999 – $3,500. Few companies in the industry have such a wide selection available. Within their line-up are some gems and some rough cuts. In particular, the LifeSpan TR4000i is the model that seem to be getting most of the press.
A feature in particular that LifeSpan offers on their treadmills that is extremely rare to find in the fitness industry today is pre-installed workouts. Now, most brands will offer some type of guided workout or fitness program, but for an additional fee. LifeSpan offers pre-installed workout programs that are geared for specific fitness goals like weight loss, healthy living, sports training, and even customizable options. These programs are designed by exercise physiologists. This is a great selection for those that don’t want to pay additional costs to have fitness training available on their treadmill machine.
According to their president, Peter Schenk, “We are dedicated to being a leader in this behavioral shift driving the integration of fitness equipment with the internet and developing features that make our equipment more effective, engaging and entertaining.”
In the last couple of years treadmill desks have become very popular. They allow you to walk on a treadmill while you conduct work on an attached desk. LifeSpan, by far, builds the best treadmill desks in the industry. They offer both complete treadmills with desks and also just the base where you provide your own desk. Check out the LifeSpan TR1200-DT5 review.
In addition they sell a variety of treadmill desk configurations. So you can either buy a treadmill desk like the image above, or you can purchase a deck and add one of several desk layouts. For example, you can get a dual desk where one side sits on top of the treadmill deck and the other can be used as a typical sitdown desk.
Regarding the various best buy ratings LifeSpan boasts. A couple come from some credible sources, including one from Health Magazine. Health Magazine rated the LifeSpan TR4000i treadmill a “Recommended Buy”. What they appear to like the most was the Interactive Fitness Club Feature. Although they were also impressed with the quality of the machine.
Another “Best Buy” comes from Consumer Guide. This rating is questionable since they often do not test the products. Also the LifeSpan TR1200i and TR2000 received some very average ratings from a leading consumer magazine, whose name I cannot mention. In particular, the LifeSpan TR1200i received “Very Good” ratings in all categories.
It should be noted that the customer ratings on Amazon are between 4.5 and 5 stars, which is impressive.
LifeSpan has the potential to be a serious player in the $1,000 – $2,000 price range. Their equipment appears to be durable, there’s some thought behind the designs, and features like the Fitness Club could be very appealing. This is exactly what many users to need to get the motivation to actually use their treadmills.
I like the compact design of the TR2000, it has good cushioning and was fairly quiet. The TR3000i seems to be a great option for those who want guidance in their fitness journey, as it comes with a whopping 38 programs on the machine; which is pretty unheard of these days. The “commercial grade” residential models seem to be a bit pricey for what you get.