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Best Ellipticals With a 400+ lb Weight Wapacity

It's hard enough to work out when you're overweight. It's made even harder by fitness equipment that doesn't cater to your body type. With the right treadmill, you can work out in the comfort of your own home and meet your fitness and health goals.

When people think of exercise, fitness equipment like treadmills are a sure-fire go to, but for people who are overweight this can present a challenge that no one likes to talk about. Exercise for people who are overweight is already difficult but with proper motivation, like owning a piece of fitness equipment, life changes can happen. 

Unfortunately this is made almost impossible as the most popular and affordable fitness machines are rated for a maximum weight of 250 pounds or less. The average American male weighs in at around 200 pounds (Fryar CD, Gu Q, Ogden CL, Flegal KM. Anthropometric reference data for children and adults: United States, 2011–2014. National Center for Health Statistics. Vital Health Stat 3(39). 2016.). Finding treadmills that are rated for 300 pounds is hard enough, not to mention 400 pounds or more. 

What should I expect from a treadmill with a 400 lb weight limit?

The reality of high-weight-capacity machines can be harsh. They are often more expensive, due to the high-grade materials and intensive manufacturing process that goes into making them as sturdy and as rugged as possible. The cheaper the model, the cheaper the materials, which means that if weight capacities are exceeded on budget models they will likely fall into disrepair quickly, and you’ll be out a bunch of money and time. 

Additionally, certain models rated for 400-lbs only max out at 4 mph, a brisk walk. These models are far more affordable than models that can go up to 12 mph, but are not useful after you have reached a certain point in your training. 

The reality of high-weight-capacity machines can be harsh. They are often more expensive, due to the high-grade materials and intensive manufacturing process that goes into making them as sturdy and as rugged as possible

Another issue you will want to consider is the warranty options available. For individuals who reach the upper limits of these high-capacity machines the unfortunate reality is that they will wear out their equipment sooner than for others, and its important that their treadmill be backed by a good warranty that covers the machine’s parts as well as the labor required to service it.

In this list we have compiled 10 of the best models rated for 400 pounds, so that making the changes you want to see in your life can become a reality.

1) Bowflex BXT216 available for $1799 on Amazon

Key features
  • 4.0 horsepower motor
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • RunSocial App with 19 locations
  • 9" LCD display

The Bowflex BXT216 is Bowflex’s premier high-capacity treadmill. Bowflex is a household name in the fitness industry, delivering quality equipment to home gyms for years. The BXT216 is a commercial-grade treadmill at a fairly reasonable price, comparative to other products on this list. It is still going to cost you just shy of 2 grand, but as far as high-capacity, high-quality cardio equipment goes that’s actually not bad.

Image Source: Amazon

What's good about it?

The BXT216 is a treadmill for the modern age. It has an impressive and accessible consol, capable of syncing information with the Bowflex Results app available to Apple and Android phones. It is capable of running up to 12 mph, and can incline up to 15 degrees. The warranty for the BXT216 is, in years, 15/15/5/5/2 for the Frame/Drive Motor/Mechanical Parts/Electronics/Labor respectively. For a reasonable price you can upgrade the labour to 5 years.

What's not so good about it?

Customers have complained about a number of redundancies and useless gimmick features on this piece. Customers have also complained that the machine is not very user friendly. There have also been complaints about how noisy the machine is when being used, which could indicate that it has poor shock absorption, something that is very important to consider in order to maintain joint health.

Pros:
  • Bowflex Results app for tracking metrics
  • Capable of 12 mph
  • Good warranty for frame and drive motor
Cons:
  • Gimmick features
  • Noisy, possible indicating poor shock absorbtion
  • Fairly short warranty for mechanical parts and electronics

2) Sole Fitness F85 available for $1999 on Amazon

Key features
  • Cooling fans
  • Pulse grip and chest strap for heart rate monitoring
  • 9" LCD workout display
  • 0.5-12 MPH speed

Sole Fitness manufactures equipment for hotel gyms, primarily, which means that their products are built for all shapes and sizes, and they last a long time. The F85 is their main-line foldable treadmill, built to withstand punishment for years to come. For the quality, it's just 2 grand with a decent warranty, and the extended protection plan isn't much more, putting the price within range of the Bowflex.

Image Source: Amazon

What's good about it?

The F85 advertises advanced shock absorption, 40% more than asphalt. It is capable of 12 mph and can support up to 400 pounds. Health metrics can be tracked on the Sole fitness app or compatible fitness app. They offer a fairly standard warranty with an extra protection plan for a decent little chunk of money.

What's not so good about it?

Unfortunately, there are a few problems. Despite the strong steel frame, the plastic peripheral parts are quite flimsy. Several customers have complained about the loud noise this treadmill makes when it runs, as well. The customer service isn't great, either, according to some customers, so be prepared to spend some time on the phone if you have any warranty or return questions.

Pros:
  • Good shock absorption
  • Capable of 12 mph
  • Good warranty
Cons:
  • Flimsy plastic peripheral parts
  • Loud
  • Poor customer service

3) Sole Fitness TT8 available for $3179 on Amazon

Key features
  • 3"" rollers
  • Cooling fans
  • Audio system
  • Integrated message board

Another product by Sole Fitness, the TT8 shares some similarities and has some differences to the F85. The primary difference between the two is that the TT8 is far closer in quality to true commercial-grade, which is reflected in the price. The TT8 is significantly more expensive than the F85, including its extended protection plan, making it well over 2 grand. For a piece that advertises commercial use, however, that’s not bad.

Image Source: Amazon

What's good about it?

In comparison to the F85, many of the features are the same. The TT8 is capable of 12 mph, shock absorbing, and can support up to 400-lbs, like the F85. However, the TT8 comes with a chest-strap heart monitor, which is the most effective way to measure heart rate (much more accurate than handlebars or wristbands). The higher price means even more sturdy construction for longer, harder use. The real kicker is the standard warranty, which is lifetime for the frame, motor, and deck. It also comes with a 5 year warranty on the electronics. The labor warranty is 2 years, fairly standard in the industry.

What's not so good about it?

For the price, there doesn’t seem to be any functional difference between this model and the F85, only a better warranty and the claim of better construction. Finding criticism on this piece was harder, but the same problems with Sole Fitness customer service still stand. Some have complained that it is very difficult to set up, so find a friend or two to help you put it together.

Pros:
  • Very sturdy, commercial-grade design
  • Chest-strap heart monitor
  • Great warranty
Cons:
  • Not functionally different from the cheaper F85
  • Poor customer service
  • Difficult to set up

4) Landice L7

Key features
  • 4 horsepower motor
  • Cushioned 4-ply treadbelt
  • Aircraft quality
  • 500lbs user capacity

Landice is a company that started out designing equipment for home use in 1967, and their products are so popular and well designed that they are purchased by gyms for commercial use. The L7 is one of their very best models, in quality, features and capacity. For this high praise, however, there is a high cost. This model is more than twice as expensive as the Bowflex.

Image Source: Amazon

What's good about it?

The L7 can reach 12 mph and has a 400-lb weight capacity, and that's just to get started. It’s quiet, and made from aircraft-grade aluminum meaning its substantially lighter than its steel counterparts while still being extremely strong. The L7 has excellent shock absorption, a wide number of display options including a 19 inch TV, and a number of optional features that make this model truly accessible. To top it off, it has an excellent lifetime warranty for the frame, motor, deck, and even parts. It also has a 5 year warranty on electronics.

What's not so good about it?

The price is the big falldown for this piece. You’ll have to pay almost commercial price for the L7, but to be fair, you’ll never need another treadmill. Some have complained of a slight delay in function, and the health metrics don't always sync to your Landice account. The hand grip and wireless heart monitor functions underestimate heart rate from some users.

Pros:
  • Aircraft-grade aluminum construction
  • Lots and lots of features and extras
  • Excellent warranty
Cons:
  • Heavy price tag
  • Missing features related to health metrics
  • Potentially inaccurate heart monitoring capabilities

5) Exerpeutic TF1000 available for $379 on Amazon

Key features
  • Folding frame
  • 20" wide treadmill belt
  • Adjustable speed up to 4MPH
  • Heart pulse pads

The Exerpeutic TF1000 is sold under the Paradigm Health and Wellness brand. Paradigm offers a huge range of equipment from commercial-grade to budget home-use, of which treadmills are a small part. The TF1000 is designed principally for light exercise for those who are not able to exert themselves intensely. This piece is significantly less expensive, by about 3+ times, compared to other high weight capacity models.

Image Source: Amazon

What's good about it?

For many individuals facing the health-related challenges of being overweight, intense exercise like running is not an option. With that in mind, the TF1000 maxes out at 4 mph, a brisk walk sure to get your heart rate up safely. It comes with a number of extra safety features as well. This model is also compact, and very easy to assemble.

What's not so good about it?

This model has a 1/3rd shorter track length than standard treadmills, adding to compact size but decreasing the amount of space on the track. It wouldn’t be long enough to run on properly and is designed for a brisk walk only. It has no included programs or incline. It also has a less-than-great warranty, 5 years on the motor, 3 on the frame, and 90 days plus 5 years on the parts if you buy in on their website.

Pros:
  • Affordable
  • Easy to assemble
  • Extra safety features
Cons:
  • Short belt, meaning that it can’t be used for running
  • No advanced functionality - no programs, no software
  • Short warranty period

6) ProGear HCXL 4000 Ultimate available for $399 on Amazon

Key features
  • Up t 4 MPH speed
  • 2 level manual incline
  • Foldable and Transportable
  • Heart pulse sensors

ProGear, like Exerpeutic, is under Paradigm Health and Wellness umbrella and can be found on their website under brands. The HCXL 4000 Ultimate is a high-capacity walking treadmill, like the Exerpeutic, at an even lower price.

Image Source: Amazon

What's good about it?

This machine shares of a lot of similarities with the Exerpeutic, being a low-intensity piece of equipment designed for frequent exercise. It is also as light and compact. Unlike the Exerpeutic, the HCXL 4000 Ultimate has 2 incline settings, offering extra challenge and variety to your workouts.

What's not so good about it?

The primary customer issues with this machine are also similar to the Exerpeutic. It has a  short belt and has an unsatisfactory warranty period. An additional problem, and one which is well documented by customers, is a near complete lack of customer service on the part of ProGear. This becomes an even bigger issue because some customers have received units that didn't work, which happens sometimes, but the poor customer service made it hard to even return the broken units.

Pros:
  • Great for low-intensity exercise requirements
  • Light and compact for small apartments
  • Two incline settings for more intensity and variety in your workouts
Cons:
  • Poor warranty
  • Short, lengthwise
  • Really bad customer service

7) FreeMotion 890 available for $1999 on Amazon

Key features
  • 15" high definition TV
  • 0-12MPH speed
  • Workout fan
  • Dual-grip heart rate monitor

FreeMotion is an innovation-centric company under ICON Health and Fitness, a household name in the fitness equipment industry. The Freemotion 890 is FreMotion’s higher end home treadmill, capable of supporting 400-lbs and reaching 12 mph. Price wise, it is very similar to the Bowflex BXT216.

Image Source: Amazon

What's good about it?

The 890 is capable of 12 mph (which is fast enough for even very experienced runners) and up to 15 percent incline, so it is more than capable of offering its users a challenge. It has a state-of-the-art suspension system for shock absorption and comes with a chest-strap heartrate monitor. It also comes with a lifetime frame and motor warranty, a 5 year parts warranty, and a 2 year labour warranty with a number of extra warranty options for better coverage at an increased cost.

What's not so good about it?

Some customers have complained about inconsistent quality and loud noise, which seems to be an issue with a lot of treadmills across the board. Some customers have experienced problems, and even machine failures, that customer service did not help them with. 

Pros:
  • Good suspension system
  • Good warranty
  • Comes with a chest-strap monitor
Cons:
  • Inconsistent quality
  • Poor customer service

8) FreeMotion i11.9 Incline Trainer

Key features
  • Cushioned deck
  • iFit Live
  • 10" color touchscreen display
  • Up to 30% incline

Here we have another piece of equipment from FreeMotion. The FreeMotion i11.9 Incline Trainer is a unique option on this list because it is capable of supporting 400-lbs while also being an incline trainer, and is still capable of 12 mph. For these features, and more, you will need to shell out about 3 grand, making it cheaper than the most expensive option on this list, but it’s still much more expensive than most treadmills by a long run.

Image Source: Amazon

What's good about it?

The immediate draw for this models is the incline. It can incline up to 30%, 3 times more most treadmills are capable of, and can even decline -3% to work different muscles. This machine can still run up to 12 mph, and can support up to 400 lbs.  The i11.9 Incline Trainer also has great shock absorption, so it will cushion your joints even at steep inclines. A bonus feature is that it can be hooked to a TV for entertainment purposes while in use.

What's not so good about it?

The price is quite high, even for the added incline capacity. It is also quite large, about 7 feet long, and heavy, about 750-lbs. The real issue is the warranty, which is just 7 years for the motor and frame, 2 for the parts, and 1 for the electronics and labor. As a small but strangely excluded feature is that this treadmill is not bluetooth capable, which one would expect at this price point.

Pros:
  • Steep incline and decline function for more rigorous workouts
  • Good shock absorption
  • Extra entertainment options
Cons:
  • Price
  • Size
  • Poor warranty

9) Life Fitness 95TI

Key features
  • 0.5-12MPH speed
  • 0-15% incline
  • 4 horsepower motor
  • Digital heart rate monitoring systems

While the Life Fitness 95TI model has been discontinued by Life Fitness and replaced by the more expensive Life Fitness Club Series Treadmill, remanufactured and premium quality used 95TIs can be found online. The Life Fitness 95TI is a commercial-grade treadmill for the home gym customer, and has a long of the best features of more expensive models at an affordable price, at about the same cost as the Sole Fitness F85.

Image Source: Amazon

What's good about it?

The 95TI is capable of running up to 14 mph, which nearly a full sprint, at up to 15% incline. This is a machine that can be used by even very dedicated and experienced runners for a challenge. It has a high quality shock absorption system, as well. The 95TI also has 28 pre-programmed workouts, far and away more than the others on this list. An optional LCD TV can be purchased at an additional cost and hooked up to the machine for entertainment purposes.

What's not so good about it?

When purchasing this model used, there is always the possibility of it arriving damaged or not functioning properly. Additionally, because it is no longer manufactured by Life Fitness it does not come with a standard warranty. The model also doesn't have some specific features (like Bluetooth) that newer models come standard with.

Pros:
  • 14 mph, 15% incline high-capacity treadmill
  • 28 pre-programmed workouts
  • Good shock absorption
Cons:
  • Less quality assurance on used models
  • No warranty
  • Dated models

10) Precor TRM 835 available for $8755 on Amazon

Key features
  • Up to 16MPH speed
  • Chest strap for heart rate monitoring
  • 25 preset workouts
  • Heart rate monitoring handlebars

Precor is at the forefront of fitness technology, focusing on the best balance of commercial features and home use for its customers. The TRM 835 is one of their highest quality, most popular treadmills. You can buy it for about as much as a Sole Fitness TT8, which is still a decent sum, but if you buy it used it won’t come with warranty. If you buy it new, you can pick this machine up for over 8 grand, if you are so inclined.

Image Source: Amazon

What's good about it?

The TRM 835 is about as sturdy and well built as it gets. It has top-of-the-line suspension and health metrics systems. It has 27 pre-programmed workouts, only 1 less than the Life Fitness 96TI. It can also go up to 16 mph and up to 15% incline, and support up to 400-lbs. This machine means business!

What's not so good about it?

With all those impressive capabilities comes a serious price. The giant price tag is unfortunate enough, and for all the money you’ll have to drop on this one there is no sound system or media compatibility of any kind. Then there is the warranty, which is solid as far as high-capacity machines go, but is not great when you look at the cost of this machine.

Pros:
  • Very sturdy
  • 27 pre-programed workouts
  • 16 mph at up to 15% incline
Cons:
  • Very expensive
  • Lack of entertainment features
  • Poor warranty (for the price)

In conclusion...

Ultimately, it all comes down to you. If you’re honest with yourself, and honest about your desire to see positive changes in your life, you can make those happen with any of these machines. If you’re determined, and if you’re using the machine, results will come eventually. The name of the game is patience, and if you’ve been waiting for the right machine to come along, we hope this list has helped you to start down the road to the life you want to live.