Treadclimbers Vs. Treadmills – Which Is Better?

By Tanya McIntosh

Many people still find it difficult to distinguish between a treadclimber and a treadmill. The two machines aid the burning of calories, and they share more than a handful of other similarities. However, they are distinctly their own in other ways. Today, we shall try and put a fair spin on the age-old debate of treadclimbers Vs. treadmills. Hopefully, by the end of this article, you will be able to finally reach a conclusion about which of these two machines is better suited for you – in case you have been struggling with making that decision.

Treadclimbers Vs.Treadmills – An Ongoing Debate

Treadclimbers Vs.Treadmills – An Ongoing Debate

In the simplest of terms, treadmills are exercise equipment that use a belt that is powered either electronically or manually. Treadclimbers offer this same effect and throw in additional stairclimber and elliptical operations.

Treadmills are pretty popular when compared to treadclimbers, but the latter is slowly gaining traction among people. Given the basic make-up of both these equipment, it is evident that treadclimbers lead the race in terms of the number of ‘functions’ they allow. Studies prove that you’re likely to burn twice the amount of calories when working out on treadclimbers than on treadmills. This conclusion spans a time frame of 30 minutes.

Treadclimbers Help Burn More Calories than Treadmills

Both these equipment are equally effective when it comes to providing a platform for exercising excess weight off. However, because treadclimbers come with dual treads, they utilize a higher incline. This incline requires the use of larger leg muscles, thereby resulting in higher levels of calorie burn. So if you’re looking to go hard on yourself about the weight loss, treadclimbers may be just what you need.

This is not to say that treadmills don’t prove their worth here. They do. You can adjust the settings on your treadmill, depending on whether you want an easy or a tough workout session. Try running slowly but for a long time to burn off those calories more effectively.

Treadclimbers Have a Lower Impact than Treadmills

In treadclimbers, the treads rise to meet your feet, allowing you to enjoy a low-impact workout. On the other hand, treadmills are known to have an enhanced impact.

Put in simple terms, treadclimbers give you the feeling of walking uphill, except here, there is a moving deck involved. Here, the impact is small because all you are doing is walking. The impact of walking on a treadclimber is even smaller than walking on regular flat surfaces. It is because of this reason that treadclimbers are friendly even for slightly injured or older adults.

In the case of treadmills, you have the comfort of running on a bouncy deck, but your joints still feel the pressure of working out.

Treadclimbers Are for Walkers and Treadmills for Runners

Treadclimbers typically have a maximum speed of about 4.5 km/h. These machines are more suited for walkers and are designed to help you achieve weight loss goals fast. In treadmills, their speed can go up to 10 MPH. If you want the experience of running indoors or if marathons are something you enjoy, opt for treadmills.

Both Treadclimbers & Treadmills Are Ideal for Working Out Your Lower Body

These machines are best suited for weight loss workouts and aerobic exercises. With treadmills, you can put your body through different types of exercises – walking, jogging, sprinting, or running. However, in treadclimbers, you can just walk because their maximum speed does not allow running or jogging. At the end of the day, both machines cater to people who want to work out their lower body.

Treadmills May Be Noisier than Treadclimbers

Even a brand new treadmill from a renowned brand is likely to make some noise when in use. So if you are opting for a treadmill, you may want to put some thought into scouting a good location for it in your apartment. We don’t want your roommates or neighbors hearing every time you get on the treadmill.

With treadclimbers, their foot isn’t lifted too far away from the deck. It is because of this that they tend to be less noisy than treadmills.

Treadmills Require Lesser Maintenance than Treadclimbers

The deck in treadmills requires lubrication every three months or so. Without this, your treadmill can become noisy and eventually break down. Don’t worry though, because lubricating your treadmill is easy to do and does not cost much. With proper care, a treadmill can run smoothly for up to 10 years.

Treadclimbers involve two decks, which means you have two decks to maintain. Other than that, they require the same lubrication needs as treadmills.

Treadmills Are Cheaper than Treadclimbers

Currently, a good-quality treadmill costs about the same as an entry-level treadclimber. The price tag of machines in both groups varies from model to model, but on average, treadmills are cheaper than treadclimbers.

To get a hard feel of the above-mentioned attributes/similarities/ differences between treadclimbers and treadmills, we have picked out two machines (one from each group) for a comparative analysis. Let’s dive right into things:

The Bowflex TC20 Treadclimber

This powerful three-in-one cardio machine combines the characteristics of a stair climber, an elliptical, and a treadmill. Working out on this machine is easy on the joints. A dedicated workout session on this treadmill is likely to result in 3.5 times more calorie burn than other cardio workout machines.

To keep you motivated, this treadclimber comes fitted with a backlit LCD that shows details such as time, distance covered, calories burned, and speed. With these facts presented right in front of you, you have the luxury of monitoring your workout and making adjustments if necessary.

Some features which distinguish this Bowflex treadclimber from other machines is that it is the complete package – it includes a heart rate monitor, boasts a higher weight capacity, has longer treadles, and comes with additional programming to help keep you motivated.

Pros

  • This machine ranks high on the list of the best incline treadclimbers
  • Working out on it doubles the rate at which body fat is burned
  • You can enjoy a physically grueling and fulfilling workout on it without stressing out your joints
  • The advanced Goal Oriented technology on it lets you set personalized fitness goals
  • It consecutively allows the data entry of two users
  • Its console has room for reading material and a water bottle
  • It comes with wheels for easy transportation

Cons

  • This treadmill may seem expensive, given that it does not have as many programs or multimedia extras
  • It is not meant for running
  • The workouts on this treadmill are mostly basic and can even feel redundant for some people
  • It comes with a short warranty package

The NordicTrack T Series Treadmills

This series of NordicTrack treadmills includes the 6.5S, 6.5Si, 7.5S, 8.5S, and 9.5S models. With these treadmills, you not only get a reliable workout machine, but also interactive sessions. Access and stream content from personal trainers – they live control your machine’s speed, incline, and decline in real-time. This way, you are guaranteed to have a rigorous but beneficial workout session every time.

These treadmills feature the FlexSelect cushioning technology, which helps soften the impact of strenuous workouts on your joints. This technology also ensures that you enjoy a road-running experience that feels real and natural.

The T Series of NordicTrack treadmills is also notable for its extra-wide tracks, which gives you plenty of room to run comfortably. If you prefer running in an uphill movement, you can adjust your treadmill’s incline to become steeper to mimic such terrain.

Pros

  • The treadmills in this series are great for jogging and walking, but may not be as good for running as other models from this brand
  • They don’t disappoint if you’re looking for treadmills with varied built-in applications
  • The premium-level treadmills in this series offer a power incline that goes up to 12 percent
  • The commercial-level treadmills in this series offer a great range with their incline and decline settings (-3 to 15 percent)
  • They come with an extended warranty package

Cons

  • NordicTrack treadmills may not be the easiest to assemble

The Bottom Line

The primary target of both treadclimbers and treadmills are people looking for machines that will help burn those extra calories. Treadclimbers mimic the activity of climbing an uphill terrain. These machines are welcoming of both physically healthy people looking to get fit, and also people who may be slightly ‘handicapped’ (suffering from an injury or aged people).

Treadmills, on the other hand, are best suited for joggers, runners, and sprinters. At the moment, these machines tend to have more applications and programming than treadclimbers.

The target group of both these machines may be the same, but take a closer look and you realize that they cater to different sets of people. Given this finding, it is unfair to say that one is superior to the other. It is up to you to figure out which style of exercise suits your stamina, and then make a choice between a treadclimber or a treadmill.

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AUTHOR
Tanya McIntosh

After years of coaching, I can safely say that I'm ready to help anyone who is in need of my expertise. My goal is to help you start your lifelong journey to health and fitness. With a handful of handy guides, which can help make your workout easier, whether it’s in a gym or at home.