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Big Guy - Big Treadmill

Running on a treadmill is one of the best ways to lose weight. For those who want to lose weight without going to a gym, home treadmills have become very popular. However, as with many ways to exercise, those people who need them most are typically the least likely to use them. This may be why equipment manufacturers produce machines for an average-sized fit person. Keep reading for some things a heavier person should consider in choosing a treadmill.

Treadmills in gyms are considered "commercial" treadmills. That means that they are built to endure heavy use for a good part of the day. As a result, these machines come with warranties that cover such tough use. Because these machines are heavily built, they can tolerate use by people weighing over 275 lbs. These machines cost a minimum of $4,000.

Treadmills designed for the home cost less, from $500 - 2,000, but they generally are intended for people weighing under 275 pounds. The motors on these machines are smaller, the treads are narrower, and they are generally are not as solid. That is good for most people, but are not likely to tolerate regular use from a heavier user.

Treadmills for The Big Boys

As with most things, you get what you pay for. However, heavier people do not need to pay a lot more than smaller people if they know what to look for. An easy way to simplify the choices is to determine the user weight capacity for a particular treadmill. Heavy duty home machines often have limits of 300 to 500 lbs. It is not obvious how these capacities are determined, but the manufacturers likely don’t have a room full of people running on treadmills until they break! However, their estimates are probably based on their desire to avoid warranty liability so they are likely good guides for buyers too.

Those estimates often boil down to stronger motors (probably at least 3.5 chp). "Chp" is an abbreviation for continuous horsepower, the power that the motor can produce over an extended times, as opposed to a particular moment. The treadmill itself will also weigh more (at least 250 pounds), because of a stronger frame. The tread belt will also likely be at least 20 inches wide in order to accommodate a wider person. Side handrails can also make it easier for the bigger person to get on and and off the treadmills. They also provide support while using the treadmill.

 
For a good example, of an affordable treadmill with a 375 lb. weight capacity, see the ProForm 4500 PRO.
 

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