The 7 Best Treadmills for Heavy People in 2023

If you’re of a heavier build, then you’ve probably found the hunt for a decent treadmill quite frustrating!

Many of the popular and affordable options are really only suitable for users up to 250 pounds, which pretty much rules out many bodybuilders, tall athletes, and people simply trying to lose a few pounds!

But there are some great treadmills for heavy people out there – and to make your life easier, we’ve put together a list of our favorites and the reasons we recommend them.

These are our favorite treadmills for heavy people:

Before we get to those, though, let’s take a look at the main features to look for when choosing a treadmill for a heavier user.

best treadmills for heavy people visual
 

Features to Look For in Treadmills for Heavy People

Treadmills for heavy people tend to be on the pricey side, because they are generally sturdier and more powerful than lightweight budget models.

Yes, it can be tempting to opt for something a little cheaper.

But this is likely to be a false economy, and you’ll probably end up having to replace your treadmill a lot sooner than you’d planned!

That’s because placing too much weight on a cheaper model can put stress on the motor and belt, causing significant damage to both.

Here are some features to look for in a good-quality treadmill designed for heavier users.

These features may push the costs a little higher, but they’ll guarantee you a machine that’s built to last and comfortable to use.

Bodybuilder on treadmill for heavy people
 

Weight Capacity

The weight capacity of a treadmill refers to the maximum weight that it can support.

That being said, we’d recommend choosing a model with a capacity of at least 50 lbs more than your actual weight (so if you weigh 300 lbs, look for a machine with a capacity of 350 lbs).

It’s not unheard of for manufacturers to overstate their weight limits, so by giving yourself this extra leeway, you can be sure you won’t be putting too much stress on the motor.

 

Belt Size

To determine the belt size you need, first consider whether you plan to use the treadmill for walking and light jogging, or if you plan to run.

On average, a belt around 50 inches long and between 18 to 20 inches wide will be fine for walking and jogging.

For running, you’ll need a larger surface area, ideally at least 55 inches long and between 20 to 22 inches wide.

Heavier treadmill users, however, may be taller than average.

If this applies to you, a treadmill with a belt at least 60 inches in length will be more suited to your longer stride.

plus size woman running on treadmill
 

Motor Strength

The strength of treadmill motors is either measured in horsepower (HP) – the amount of power it can generate at its peak – or continuous horsepower (CHP) – the amount of power it can generate continuously.

When choosing the best treadmill for heavy people, you need a motor with as much horsepower as possible, as it will work smoothly and efficiently up to its maximum weight capacity.

The very best models provide CHP measurements rather than HP, indicating they are more powerful.

But they are also a lot more expensive!

So we have included models with both HP and CHP measurements in this guide.

Bodybuilder on treadmill
 

Incline

Having an incline feature on a treadmill for heavy people isn’t a necessity, but adding an incline is a great way to strengthen muscles and turn a low-impact walk into a real calorie burner!

Some treadmills also come with a decline feature, which allows you to walk or run downhill.

Whilst this may sound like an easy option, it’s actually pretty good for strengthening your anterior muscles, too!

 

The 7 Best Treadmills for Heavy People

#1. Bowflex T10 Foldable Treadmill – Best For Ease of Use

Weight capacity: 400 lbs Belt Size: 60″ x 20″, Motor: CHP not specified – peak HP 3.0

Bowflex T10 Foldable Treadmill
ProsCons
Incline and decline optionsStill bulky when folded
SoftDrop technology for easy folding Very heavy to move
Free heart rate armbandTricky to assemble

With a top speed of 12 MPH, this sturdy treadmill for heavy people is very versatile, allowing you to walk, jog, or run in comfort.

The deck is comfortably cushioned to absorb impact and protect your joints from stress, whilst the automatic incline and decline give you the feeling of running outside.

It comes with an adjustable touchscreen to stream entertainment, although this is restricted to certain apps, and you’ll need a subscription to the JRNY Digital Fitness Platform to use them.

This also gives you access to adaptive workouts as your fitness progresses, and the chance to walk, jog, or sprint through more than 40 scenic destinations around the world!

 

#2. NordicTrack Commercial Series 1750 Treadmill – Best for Interactive Streamed Workouts

Weight capacity: 300 lbs Belt Size: 60″ x 22″, Motor: 3.5 CHP

NordicTrack Commercial Series 1750 Treadmill
ProsCons
Rotating 14-inch HD touchscreenLimited without an iFit subscription
Incline and decline optionsLarge footprint
ActivePulse and GoogleMaps technology

The Commercial Series 1750 is a solid treadmill built for everything from walking to running, with a spacious belt and -3% to 15% incline/decline.

We love the vibrant screen and the fact that it pivots is very handy, as you can follow streamed workouts whilst running or when you’re exercising off the treadmill.

It comes with a 30-Day iFIT family membership for interactive training and has built-in speakers and Bluetooth connectivity, so you can enjoy your favorite running playlist as you train!

But our favorite feature is the ActivePulse technology!

This adjusts your speed and incline automatically to keep you in your optimal heart rate zone (but you’ll need your own heart rate monitor to use this).

 

#3. 3G Cardio Elite Runner Treadmill – Best for Shock Absorption

Weight capacity: 400 lbs Belt Size: 62″ x 22″, Motor: CHP not specified – peak HP 4.0

3G Cardio Elite Runner Treadmill
ProsCons
Excellent suspensionNo Bluetooth connectivity
Runs very quietlyNo decline feature
15% incline

At 62 inches, this treadmill from Arizona-based 3G Cardio has the longest belt in our guide and can easily accommodate the tallest users!

It uses an effective Ortho Flex Shock™ Belt Suspension System to soften the impact of each step, making for a comfortable run and ideal for anyone with knee pain.

This is not the treadmill for you if you’re looking for sophisticated tech and the console is pretty basic.

Instead, it has been designed with quality and durability in mind, performing smoothly and about as close to a commercial gym treadmill as you can get at this price point.

 

#4. Life Fitness Club Series Plus Treadmill – Best Quality

Weight capacity: 400 lbs Belt Size: 60″ x 22″, Motor: CHP 4.0 – peak HP 8.0

Life Fitness Club Series Plus Treadmill
ProsCons
20.5″ premium LED displayVery expensive
22 built-in workouts No decline option
Bluetooth, Polar, and ANT+ Heart Rate compatible

If you’re prepared for a considerable investment, this is one of the best treadmills around, made with the durability and design expertise for which the brand is famous.

It feels exceptionally sturdy, with the aluminum kick-resistant end caps and reinforced upright design ensuring it will easily stand the test of time.

The FlexDeck Shock Absorption System is kind to your joints and the open space near the console allows you to move your arms freely and comfortably.

We especially love the large and intuitive touchscreen which is a dream to use and connects with a wide range of apps for an immersive workout.

 

#5. Horizon Fitness 7.4 AT Studio Series Smart Treadmill – Best for Smaller Spaces

Weight capacity: 350 lbs Belt Size: 60″ x 22″, Motor: CHP not specified – peak HP 3.5

Horizon Fitness 7.4 AT Studio Series Smart Treadmill
ProsCons
Folds for storageNo touchscreen
Rapid speed/incline changesHeavy to move
Syncs with a wide range of apps

The problem with treadmills for heavy people is that they take up a lot of room.

This model from Horizon, however, folds into a vertical position and uses a FeatherLight hydraulic folding system to make it easy.

It feels sturdy and stable as you use it – even if running at the maximum speed of 12 MPH – and there are 10 pre-programmed workouts to try.

The 3-Zone Variable cushioning is excellent, yielding with impact to soften each step but firm enough for a strong toe-off.

 

#6. XTERRA Fitness TRX3500 Folding Treadmill – Most Affordable Option

Weight capacity: 350 lbs Belt Size: 60″ x 20″, Motor: CHP not specified – peak HP 3.0

XTERRA Fitness TRX3500 Folding Treadmill
ProsCons
Works with 3rd party appsNo decline option
Lots of built-in programsNo touchscreen
Folds for storage

When it comes to treadmills for heavy people you’re never going to see the knockdown prices of lightweight models, but the TRX3500 is still pretty affordable without compromising on features.

The blue backlit LCD display is basic but gives you all the metrics you’ll need and the connectivity to apps like Zwift and Kinomap makes it easy to track your performance.

The deck is as spacious as far pricier models and uses XTRASoft deck cushioning for comfort, whilst you’ll find speed and incline controls mounted on the handlebars for ease of use.

As with all treadmills in this range, the TRX3500 doesn’t fold down flat, but the Lift Assist, Safe Drop, and transport wheels make it easy to move out of the way at the end of your session.

 

#7. SOLE TT8 Commercial Treadmill – Best All-Round Treadmill for Heavy People

Weight capacity: 400 lbs Belt Size: 60″ x 22″, Motor: 4.0 CHP

SOLE TT8 Commercial Treadmill
ProsCons
Great value for moneyLimited tech features
Highly durableShort power cord
Excellent warranty

This treadmill for heavy people will give you the closest feeling possible to running up and down hills outdoors, with a big incline range of -6% to 15%!

It has one of the highest weight capacities in our guide and promises a solid performance, with a perma-waxed reversible deck, 2-ply belt, and 3″ crowned rollers to see you through many miles.

The well-cushioned flex deck is smooth and quiet – just what you need if you like to exercise when others are sleeping – and the commercial grade 10 lb flywheel delivers consistent power.

The display is very basic – no interactive workouts here! — but there’s a USB port and Bluetooth connectivity, so you can stream workouts from your phone or tablet.

 

The Best Treadmill for Heavy People: Key Takeaways

Buying a good quality treadmill for heavy people can be quite an investment, but a robust machine built for stability and durability will see you through many miles and be a pleasure to use.

We hope you have found this guide useful in choosing the right treadmill to help you meet your exercise goals at home.

Feet closeup on treadmill
 
Photo of author
Christine Albury is a dedicated runner and fitness nerd: when she's not working out she is studying the latest fitness science publications, and testing out the latest running gear!

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