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The Bowflex Treadclimber: How Well Does It Work?

An expensive exercise machine called the Treadclimber is advertised as burning more calories than a treadmill. Is it worth the money?

You may have seen infomercials for an exercise machine by Bowflex called the Treadclimber. A Treadclimber is a machine that’s a treadmill, stair climber, and an elliptical machine – all rolled into one. To use it, you walk – similar to a treadmill – but each time you take a step a treadle rises that lifts your foot up – creating a motion like an elliptical machine and a stair stepper combined. To make the workout more challenging, you can adjust the resistance to one of twelve levels as well as modify the speed.

What’s so great about this heavily hyped piece of exercise equipment? According to the Bowflex infomercial, you can burn twice the calories on a Treadclimber as you can on a regular treadmill and all you have to do is walk. Does the Treadclimber really give a better workout than the treadmill and is it worth the price?

The Advantages of a Treadclimber

Walking on a Treadclimber will burn more calories than walking at the same speed on level ground outdoors or on a treadmill because the platform rises as you walk which adds additional resistance. If walking is what you normally do, working out on a Treadclimber will add more challenge and burn more calories.

It’s also a low impact workout that’s less likely to injure your joints than jogging or running on a hard pavement outdoors. When walking on this machine, the core muscles have to work so you’re getting some strengthening of the back and abdominal muscles – although it won’t take the place of focused abdominal exercises.

The Disadvantages of a Treadclimber

If you’re accustomed to running rather than walking, a Treadclimber may not be the machine for you. If you run on a treadmill at a speed of six miles per hour or more at an incline of ten percent, you’ll burn more calories than walking for the same length of time at the highest resistance on the Treadclimber. Plus, many runners enjoy the feeling of being light on their feet when they run outdoors or on a treadmill. The Treadclimber may feel cumbersome to people who are accustomed to running.

The Biggest Disadvantage of a Treadclimber

The biggest problem most people will have with the Treadclimber is price. Their top of the line model costs a hefty $3,299. You can get a basic model with twelve intensity settings for $2,099 – but even this isn’t chump change for most people. Plus, it’s a heavy piece of equipment – weighing almost 185 pounds.

The Bottom Line?

A Treadclimber is a good workout machine for a walker – with lots of money to spare – who wants to challenge themselves a little more, burn more calories, and add a little variety. For a runner, this machine will probably not offer as good of a workout as running at a fast pace on the treadmill or running outdoors.

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  1. We just spent almost three hours trying to assemble our new, expensive Bowflex Treadclimber, only to almost get it finished, but not quite. The hydraulic is stuck on one of the “treadles.” No one can help walk you through a problem when they can’t see what you see. No customer service at night. Their best suggestion is spending $250.00 and having some technician come over and assemble it for you–this after they make a big selling point as to how easy it is to assemble. It’s very, very heavy and I’m a guy. Also, you have to push the belt drive down with one hand and force it along the pulleys. I have no idea how a woman or a smaller, less muscled individual could even lift this monstrosity. We will be out our shipping twice–once when they shipped it to us, and again when we ship this expensive piece of junk back again. We’re out almost $500.00 in shipping and this company doesn’t care. We specifically asked them about the ease or difficulty of assembly. They said it was super easy. That’s a complete lie!

  2. I’m female, 140 lbs, 5′ 4″ tall and I assembled my machine by myself in about 50 minutes. No trouble at all. It works great. In about 10 minutes I’m sweating, and in 30, I’m dripping sweat.

  3. I\’m female, 140 lbs, 5\’ 4\” tall and I assembled my machine by myself in about 50 minutes. No trouble at all. It works great. In about 10 minutes I\’m sweating, and in 30, I\’m dripping sweat.

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