NordicTrack Treadmill

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  • #21352

    Hello everyone!

    I live in the UK, and am lacking easy access to hills or tall buildings.

    I am aware of the usefulness of the box stepping exercise, and the apparent pitfalls of the stair master. However, there seems to be less discussion around treadmills with incline.

    I was wondering whether people feel a NordicTrack Treadmill like the X7i is useful – what are the pros & cons?

    Thank you for any help.


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    Anonymous on #21358

    The pros are what you can imagine: immediate access to a convenient way to get lots of gain.

    The biggest con with the incline trainers is that as the grade increases so does the real speed relative to the displayed speed. My x11i adds about 16% at grades of ~25%. (So if 5 kmh is displayed, the treadmill will actually be running at 5.8 kmh.) Scott J.’s incline trainer runs about +12%.

    This is less of an issue if you’re not targeting specific speeds or climb rates. When trying to be specific, it’ll take some calibration and conversion calculations to figure out exactly what speed you need to set the treadmill at to get the desired speed.

    jamesfrome on #21359

    Thank you Scott for that. I hadn’t even considered something like this.

    It is encouraging that you have chosen to get one of these machines …

    Anonymous on #21360

    I have one for sale! 🙂

    Treadmill training has a lot of advantages if you can tolerate or, better yet, enjoy it. I don’t use it for steady state workouts, but for high-intensity intervals, it has a lot of advantages. I enjoy the precision.

    Because of the variations in speed, I’m looking to sell my NordicTrack and get something more reliable. Ideally, I’d buy something like a Woodway. Some of them go as steep as 25%, but they’re quite expensive.

    dwpyle on #21702

    Scott – how did you determine the speed variation?

    I’ve had an X11i for about a month and am generally happy with it. I choose the speed based on effort and heart rate so exact speed isn’t that important to me, but would be nice to know. Also, I’m assuming it affects the distance and elevation gain.

    Anonymous on #21718

    Okay, ready for some super duper geekery?

    * First, make a big, obvious mark on the treadmill belt. I used a hardware store paint marker;
    * Next, set the treadmill to a speed and a grade that you can easily maintain while thinking about other things;
    * Next, start walking on the treadmill with a stopwatch, focusing on the part of the belt that you put the mark on;
    * When the spot first appears, start the stopwatch;
    * Continue walking on the belt, counting how many times you see the mark;
    * Stop the stopwatch after 100 revolutions.

    Does it have to be 100 revolutions? No, but the more revolutions you use, the more accurate the calibration will be.

    Do you have to walk on the treadmill? No, but if you don’t trust your treadmill, then I would make it as “real life” as possible.

    If you have an x11i, then I’m pretty sure the belt is 128″ long. 100 revolutions is 0.2020202 miles. To get miles per minute, divide the time for 100 revolutions by the duration. Then multiple the result by 60 to get miles per hour.

    For example, if it took 5:20 for 100 revolutions, then:

    128″ * 100 = 12,800″ = 0.2020202 miles
    0.2020202 / 5.3333′ = 0.3787879 miles/min
    0.3787878 * 60 = 2.27 mph

    If you’re using kmh, then use 0.32512 instead of 0.2020202.

    Lastly, divide the result by the displayed speed of your treadmill. If your treadmill is set to 2 mph for the above, then it’s running 13.5% too fast:

    2.27 / 2 = 1.135
    1.135 – 1 = 0.135
    0.135 * 100 = 13.5%

    Hopefully that makes sense. If not, or if I made any mistakes, please let me know.

    If you’re training by heart rate, the speed of the treadmill won’t matter at all. But if you want to train by pace (either horizontal or vertical), then I recommend knowing the speed. I was being very specific with high intensities, varying them by only a few percentage points when at or above AnT, so I wanted to make sure that I was doing what I intended. (Going too hard unintentionally would have been a disaster.)

    (As an aside, I first discovered this by going to a gym with a better treadmill. I set the speed for my usual warm up and it was super easy. I was confused for a while until i figured out what was going on.)

    With mine in particular, the steeper I set the trainer, the faster it runs above the displayed speed.

    dwpyle on #21793

    Great – thanks. I may try that this weekend.

    Have you done the calculations at 0% incline to see how accurate the speed setting is there?

    Anonymous on #21803

    Yes, at level grades, my x11i is within less than 1% of the displayed speed. The steeper I set the grade, the more the relative difference increases.

    Steve House on #21847

    Wow. @scottsemple, that is some impressive geeking!

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