So, you want to buy a treadmill but are unsure if you should buy a motorized or manual treadmill? It’s a good question. Not only is there a considerable price differential between them; a manual machine is lighter, smaller and easier to store. But, will it give you the workout you want?
A good quality motorized machine starts at $1,500 but you can buy a top of the range manual machine for only $600, with some cheap manual models starting at around $100. Many people are on a low budget or are unsure if they can justify spending thousands on a piece of exercise equipment and because one can buy a cheap manual treadmill these machines seem like an attractive proposition – at least to many who have never owned a treadmill before.
But it isn’t just the price of a manual machine that is attractive. There are also much lighter than their motorized counterparts, as there’s no motor. They also tend to be smaller and easier to fold and store away. So, for those with little room, they would seem to be the ideal solution.
Finally, there is one more advantage that a manual machine has over a motorized one and that is maintenance. More things can, and do, go wrong with motorized machines. However, the best manual treadmills should last for years and years with minimal maintenance, saving time and money. You should never forget about ongoing maintenance when buying any appliance and how much it’s going to cost to maintain.
So, should you buy a manual treadmill?
If you’re already in reasonable shape, are looking for a treadmill for walking and not running, and are perhaps looking to take a little weight off around the hips, then a manual machine is probably right for you.
Many health and fitness experts concur that manual machines are actually better for taking off extra pounds around your hips than motorized machines. The effort your legs put in to moving the treadbelt seems to be the secret.
However, manual models aren’t as good at burning off calories as motorized ones. This is because a person drives the treadmill; thereby determining the speed. Unless you’re really motivated what tends to happen is that you walk at a slower speed than would effectively burn off calories. With a motorized treadmill, the walker is driven by the machine. This means you run faster and for longer, thereby burning of the calories.
If you’re looking for serious weight reduction, you’re better off buying an electric treadmill.
Another disadvantage with manual treadmills is that you don’t get many of the features you do on an electric treadmill. You don’t get things like iFit compatible models that are manual. Also, you won’t get other things like built-in workout programs and information rich consoles. These features are great as they can really motivate the person using the treadmill.
In conclusion, if you want a treadmill for walking only, are not looking to lose a lot of weight, don’t need the ‘motivational’ stuff, want easy storage, and want a cheap treadmill, then a manual machine is the way to go.