America First Meets NordicTrack
In the early 1990s the NordicTrack name broke into American consciousness with a long, slightly goofy commercial. It featured senior citizens exercising on a stationary cross-country ski machine with the voiceover saying, "Get on track - with NordicTrack!" and touting it's "patented fly-wheel design".
The commercial was considered a little silly but it ran frequently for a long time and in the end America came to know the name NordicTrack.
Birth of the Nordic Track Treadmill
Eventually NordicTrack expanded their product line and introduced the Nordic Track Treadmill to take advantage of the ongoing home fitness craze.
Today, Nordic Track treadmills come in five different product categories ranging from entry level for occasional use to serious training equipment suitable for use in health clubs or for training professional athletes. In between these ends are a wide variety of models with various features and options to satisfy an array of preferences.
Among the options on Nordic Track treadmills are the size and durability of the components such as motors, treads and rollers, the number and type of software such as preprogrammed workouts and fitness-tracking software to assist with developing a workout routine and range or incline or decline options to intensify cardiovascular training.
Health Advantages of Home Fitness Equipment
Access to fitness training equipment at home is beneficial for everyone from the beginning exerciser to the serious athletic trainer. A machine in the home means no more excuses for not going to the gym. And because the equipment is so close at hand a quick workout can be done even when there are only a few minutes available.
More frequent workouts mean health advantages like keeping off or losing excess weight and building strength and endurance, reduction of stress. And access to a machine like a treadmill in the home allows easier access to a workout for people who live in areas with bad weather making them unable to exercise outside or less likely to go out and drive to a gym.
Nordic Track Treadmill Options
When shopping for a treadmill, factors to consider are available comfort-related features such as sound system, shock absorbing running deck and size and sophistication and readability of the graphics display and machine controls, to training features like incline settings, preprogrammed workouts and fitness tracking software, and finally the capacity and durability of the equipment such as motor size, tread length and weight capacity. Price and budget is also a factor when looking at the available options.
Training Selection Criteria
To start the process of elimination in picking a treadmill, it's helpful to consider how frequently it will be used. Knowing how many people are likely to use the machine for how long and how often will determine the capacity of equipment that will be needed to satisfy demands. For less frequent use average tread construction, standard rollers and a lower-rated motor capacity is probably sufficient.
Another consideration to help pick category and model is the level of serious training help wanted. At the extreme end are machines that use the sophisticated iFit Live fitness training software which tracks workouts online, offers dozens of running courses, including the use Google Maps Street View to give users the point of view and elevation of actually running in a particular city, and includes motivational reviews by trainer Jillian Michaels.
The iFit Live software uploads and tracks workouts to their website using a wireless internet connection (requires wifi connection and set up).
All Nordic Track Treadmill models come with at least a handful of pre-set workouts giving runners a quick start options with pre-set variations in speed and elevation.
Incline settings range in models from 0% to 15% elevation on moderate machines to -6% (decline) to 40% incline for serious training needs.
Comfort Related Features
Running and walking can be hard on joints and bones and Nordic Track has two deck cushioning systems to reduce the impact of upright aerobic exercise on the body. The basic Comfort Shox system softens deck landings by providing a cushion in a gap between the treadmill deck and a lower deck to provide some flexibility at impact.
The more advanced QuadFlex Cushioning puts four shock-absorbing stanchions on each side of the running platform for extensive padding along the full length of the treadmill deck.
Machine Capacity Considerations
When it comes to hardware, the abilities of the motor are probably most important, followed by tread and rollers. On the high capacity end is a 4.0 CHP (continuous duty horsepower) motor, which is constructed to work under heavy use conditions. A range of lower CHP options is available for those wishing to trade component capacity for other considerations.
Related to the motor is the size of the rollers that turn the tread. The largest diameter 3" rollers reduce friction and rotation and are best for long lasting operation and frequent use. Standard rollers are also an option on some machines. Like motor and rollers the tread construction is related to anticipated use. The strongest tread is a 2-ply construction and for less intense needs and to provide trade-off s for users with other priorities models are available with more modestly constructed treads.
The Five Nordic Track Treadmill Model Categories
A summary of the five Nordic Track Treadmill Models follows.
Elite Series - The Elite series models are have the iFit Live workout training software built in to the console which also includes a 10" color display and Android powered web browser. The motor and tread are among the strongest offered and they decline settings for downhill workouts.
Fit Series (formerly the A Series) - The entry level model 16 has preprogrammed workouts and moderate components to save on price. Perfect for the new or less frequent user.
Incline - With options like incline up to 40% and decline to -6% this line is for heavy calorie burning workouts. Google Maps workouts and Reflex Cushioning add comfort to the calorie burn.
Commercial - With 60" tread lengths and 3+ CHP motors and the most models to chose from, these machines will withstand hearty home use as well as health club environments.
C Series - The middle of the road category, the C series has the QuadFlex Cushioning for running comfort, mid-level hardware capacities and iFit Live fitness software capabilities.