High-intensity running can cause joint pain due to the repeated effect of the heel striking the ground or the treadmill. Also, running might cause more cardiovascular stress than is healthy.
The Bowflex TreadClimber is an innovative new product that allows a tremendous aerobic workout at a low perceived level of exertion.
About the Bowflex TreadClimber
The Bowflex TreadClimber is a hybrid treadmill/stepper that combines the best features of two different exercise machines. The unit features two independent treadmills that alternately rise like a stepper.
The user simply has to walk using the guard rail for balance while checking the easy-to-read display to monitor their workout. The rising and lowering treadmills create the effect of walking uphill, and the result is a high calorie burn exercise that feels much easier than running on a treadmill or working out on a traditional stepper.
The Bowflex TreadClimber TC200 is in the mid-tier of Bowflex’s line of quality TreadClimbers. The machine is compact enough to fit in a small apartment or house with limited space to dedicate to exercise equipment.
The unit measures 55 inches long by 331.5 inches wide and has a height of 62.5 inches. The absolute minimum ceiling height for this machine is the user height plus an additional 17 inches. For the sake of comfort, Bowflex recommends that you add an inch or two above that.
The unit comes with transport wheels for easy movement after assembly and has a weight of 202 pounds. The maximum user weight is 300 pounds. The display includes 5 different workout programs.
The unit is available on Amazon or on the Bowflex web page. The unit is also available at select local retailers that offer sports and fitness equipment.
How It Compares
We tested the Bowflex TreadClimber TC200 on various factors. These factors included price, features, workout programs, assembly time, and warranty. We also compared the TreadClimber to several other exercise machines that are available. These included:
- Bowflex Max Trainer M5
- Life Fitness T3
- ProForm Pro 2000
[amazon box=”B01M0L0D90″ template=”horizontal”]
The Bowflex TreadClimber TC200 requires a significant investment. This is a complicated machine that has the mechanisms of both a treadmill and a stepper. The Bowflex unit is a quality product, and the price is comparable to similar products.
The best feature of the Bowflex TreadClimber TC2000 is a high-calorie burn workout at a low perceived level of exertion. This machine allows people who dislike running to lose weight and get in shape in a way that is comfortable and enjoyable.
The machine has a speed range from .5 to 4.5 miles per hour which is too slow for running. There is a heart rate monitor feature that uses integrated contact strips or an included heart strap. The machine can also share your fitness data via Bluetooth to your preferred fitness app.
The display offers the following programs: just walk, calorie goal, time goal, distance goal, and interval. We liked the goal-oriented design of these programs as they provided a clear picture of workout duration. The unit has an easy-to-read display, and the interface is intuitive and easy to operate.
The main weight-bearing components come preassembled. Home assembly mainly involves attaching the display and the handrails. Some pieces are large and we recommend 2 people for assembly. Our team took about 2 hours to put the unit together.
The Bowflex TreadClimber comes with a 5-year warranty that covers the entire machine.
- High calorie burn workout at low perceived level of exertion.
- Operates at a walking pace
- Good, effective programming
- Good warranty
- High initial cost
- Maximum treadmill speed of 4.5 miles per hour
Bowflex Max Trainer M5
[amazon box=”B085N9LTWF” template=”horizontal”]
The Bowflex Max Trainer M5 is another innovative, hybrid piece of exercise equipment from Bowflex. Where the Bowflex TreadClimber combines a stepper and a treadmill, the Max Trainer M5 combines a stepper and an elliptical.
The result is a low impact machine that offers a high intensity, high calorie burn workout. The unit also features articulated arm bars for activating upper body muscle groups.
The unit measures 46.1 inches long by 25 inches wide and stands at a height of 62.9 inches. The minimum ceiling height for the Bowflex Max Trainer M5 is the user height plus 15 inches, with a few inches added at the user’s preference for comfort.
The assembled machine weighs 143 pounds and includes integrated transport rollers to make it convenient to move after assembly. The maximum user weight for this machine is 300 pounds.
The Bowflex Max Trainer M5 is an efficient, compact piece of exercise equipment that fits in a small home or apartment.
The Bowflex Max Trainer M5 is available on Amazon or the Bowflex web page. The unit is also available at select local retailers that feature sports and fitness equipment.
The articulated arm bars mean that this is an ideal unit for achieving a complete, full-body workout. The action is pleasant and the overall effort is like cross-country skiing.
The Bowflex Max Trainer M5 offers a higher intensity workout than the Bowflex TreadClimber TC200. The unit includes an easy to operate back-lit display, and users may sync their data to their preferred app on a smartphone or other device.
The machine also includes a heart rate monitor that works through a chest strap or the integrated contact strips.
The Bowflex Max Trainer M5 offers 8 different programs which include max interval, smart max interval, calorie burn, fat burn, calorie goal, stairs, steady state, a fitness test, and manual mode.
The programs are great at motivating the user. The interval workout allows for a complete, full-body workout in only around 14 minutes.
This machine has more moving parts than the Bowflex TreadClimber TC200 and was more difficult to assemble. Most of the weight-bearing components come pre-assembled, but the user must attach the bars and display.
We recommend having two people available to help with assembly. The instructions were clear, and assembly took us less than 3 hours.
The unit comes with a 2-year warranty.
- Hybrid stepper/elliptical
- Arm bars allow the user to activate muscle groups in the arms, chest, and core
- High-intensity workouts
- Good features and workout programs
- Economically priced
- Much higher intensity than the Bowflex TreadClimber TC200
- Limited warranty coverage
Life Fitness T3
[amazon box=”B0089W54V6″ template=”horizontal”]
The Life Fitness T3 treadmill is a sleek, standard treadmill with a large, easy-to-read display. There are two handles mounted on the front of the unit for static, upper body strength exercises while running.
The treadmill has a speed range from .5 to 12 miles per hour. The unit is 79.5 inches long by 34.5 inches wide and stands at a height of 57.5 inches tall. The running surface size is 60 inches by 20 inches. The assembled machine weighs 243 pounds with a maximum user weight of 350 pounds.
The unit is available on the manufacturer’s web page and at local retailers that feature sports and fitness equipment.
This is a straight treadmill, and all the featured workouts are a variation of walking or running. The display allows you to track your fitness. The unit also features contact heart rate sensors and a wireless heart rate monitoring system.
The easy-to-read display is intuitive to operate and features 13 workout programs. It includes the program “Hill” along with other classic programs, two advanced programs, and three goal-oriented programs. There are also five HeartSync programs.
The assembly was complex and took over 4 hours. We found the instruction manual to be unclear and difficult to follow.
The unit has a lifetime warranty on the frame, a 10-year warranty on the drive motor, a 5-year warranty on parts, a 3-year warranty on the console and a 1-year warranty on labor.
- Nice treadmill with a smooth action
- Good variety of programs
- Good warranty
- Only operates as a treadmill, has no hybrid functionality
- Heel strikes are jarring when running
ProForm Pro 2000
[amazon box=”B08N3NL32C” template=”horizontal”]
The ProForm Pro 2000 is a standard treadmill. The unit has a footprint of 39.5 inches wide by 77.2 inches long and stands at 70 inches tall. The assembled machine weighs 320 pounds and has a 350-pound user weight capacity.
There is a 7 inch back-lit LCD display which is iFit and iPod compatible. There are also two 3-inch speakers with digital volume control.
The unit is available on Amazon and from the manufacturer. It is also available at select local retailers that feature sports and fitness equipment.
This is an entry-level treadmill, but we liked it better than the Life Fitness T3. The running deck is 60 inches long by 22 inches wide which is larger than the running deck on the Life Fitness T3.
There is also a grip heart rate monitor and a wireless chest strap. The unit also folds up when not in use and has an incline feature.
The unit comes with 32 programs and is also iFit coach ready.
This was easier to assemble than the Life Fitness T3 and took our team about 3 hours.
The frame and motor have a lifetime warranty, parts have a 5-year warranty, and labor has a 2-year warranty.
- Incline feature
- Folds when not in use
- Good workout programs with iFit compatibility
- Good warranty
- No hybrid workout capacity
- Minimal upper body activation
With the increasing demands of modern living, pursuing fitness goals at home is becoming a more attractive option. A fitness program can boost self-confidence, fend off depression, and lead to greater productivity.
Aerobic exercises are an efficient way to lose weight and gain strength. However, many people suffer joint pains due to the heel striking that comes with running.
Also, treadmills can be very large and take up a lot of space in the home. A good piece of workout equipment must be compact, durable, and provide an effective workout.
The Bowflex TreadClimber TC200 is the ideal workout machine for individuals who wish to improve their aerobic capacity and lose weight and avoid the joint pain of running.
The Bowflex TreadClimber TC200 is an innovative hybrid machine that takes the best components of a treadmill and combines them with a stepper.
Users can do their workout at a walking pace that reduces joint stress, but the stepper action of the treadmill creates a high-calorie burn. This is an ideal unit for a perceived low exertion workout that gets good results.
The Bowflex Max Trainer M5 is a hybrid elliptical/stepper designed for higher intensity workouts. Like the Bowflex TreadClimber TC200, the Max Trainer is an innovative piece of equipment.
We found the workout on the Max Trainer to be effective, but much more intense than the TreadClimber. We felt the TreadClimber workout had a greater potential for daily use because the workout seemed so easy.
We also tested the Life Fitness T3 treadmill and the ProForm Pro 2000 treadmill. These machines required a fast running pace to achieve the high-calorie burn potential of the Bowflex TreadClimber TC200.
The fast pace resulted in joint soreness from the repeated heel strikes. We also did not like the programming or the displays of either treadmill as much as we liked the interface on the Bowflex TreadClimber TC200.
The Bowflex TreadClimber TC200 allows for a remarkable workout at a low perceived exertion level. This is a great choice for individuals who wish to pursue a fitness program in just a few minutes a day.
The easy workout means that users of this machine will not suffer burn out, and their prolonged use will help to ensure positive results.
For a high-quality machine that provides an effective workout and durable construction, we strongly recommend the Bowflex TreadClimber TC200.