When it comes to exercise, cardio is generally more popular than strength training, especially for home workouts. That makes a lot of sense because, for weight loss, fat burning, and health, cardio is tough to beat. Also, there are lots of cardio machines that are ideal for home workouts. Popular choices include rowers, ellipticals, treadmills, and various types of exercise bikes.
Unfortunately, good-quality home workout machines tend to be expensive, so most people have to choose between all the different machines available. Should you get a treadmill? Or would an elliptical be a better option?
Of course, all types of cardio can be effective, so your decision should be based on what type of workout you think you’re going to enjoy the most. After all, the best workout machine is the one you will use frequently. If you dread your next workout, even the best machine could soon end up gathering dust or doubling as a clothes airer!
With the Bowflex TreadClimber, you no longer have to pick just one type of machine, as this unique machine is a cross between a treadmill AND an elliptical. In this article, we’re going to review the Bowflex TreadClimber TC5000 so you can decide if this machine deserves a place in your home gym.
Bowflex TreadClimber TC5000 Review
The Bowflex TreadClimber TC5000 is a state-of-the-art home and light commercial workout machine. Looking (and working) a lot like a treadmill/elliptical hybrid, this high-tech machine is packed with useful features. The main features of the Bowflex TreadClimber TC5000 are:
- Heavy-duty motor
- 0.7 – 4.0 mph speed range
- 12 resistance settings
- Twin treadle belts
- Front and side handles for balance
- Hydraulic shock absorbers for a lower impact workout
- Incline, flat, and decline settings
- Large multi-function control panel/console
- Media shelf with charging ports for smart devices
- Wireless Polar heart rate strap and Bluetooth receiver
- Built-in transport wheels
Dimensions and Specifications
The Bowflex TreadClimber TC5000 is a large, heavy machine, so make sure you’ve got space for it in your home gym. That said, it’s considerably shorter than a traditional treadmill, so it could be a good choice if you want something a little more compact than a full-sized running machine.
- Length – 46 inches
- Width – 30 inches
- Height – 55.25 inches
- Weight – 185lbs
- Weight capacity – 300lbs
The Bowflex TreadClimber TC5000 combines the benefits of walking on a treadmill with the calorie-burning power of an elliptical. There are two separate treadles, and they’re both suspended on hydraulic cylinders to increase shock absorbency and deliver a very low-impact workout.
Most treadmills have flexible, shock-absorbing running decks, but this design takes cushioning to a whole new level.
As you walk on the TreadClimber, the treadles come up to meet your feet, so there really isn’t much in the way of impact. This feature takes a lot of stress off your joints, making the Bowflex TreadClimber TC5000 very safe for overweight and elderly exercisers and anyone prone to lower limb injuries.
As an added benefit, the hydraulic system makes this machine very quiet to use; your housemates and neighbors will probably appreciate this feature! Built to last, the Bowflex TreadClimber TC5000 is a very robust machine with lots of high-tech features designed to make your workout as safe, comfortable, and effective as possible.
With 12 intensity settings and a speed range from 0.7 to 4.0 mph, it will cater to beginner, intermediate, and advanced exercisers. Despite appearances to the contrary, the Bowflex TreadClimber TC5000 is very easy to use, and the quick start feature means you can hop and get to work almost instantly.
As you’d expect for a high-tech workout machine, the Bowflex TreadClimber TC5000 has a multifunction workout display console.
It’s a large LCD touch screen unit that’s intuitive and easy to use.
The display functions include:
- Total steps
- Calories per minute
- Total calories
- Climb indicator
- Heart rate (chest strap included)
Unfortunately, the Bowflex TreadClimber TC5000 does not have any pre-loaded treadmill workouts to follow. It’s up to the user to come up with their own programs.
Ease of Use
Despite being a treadmill/elliptical hybrid, the Bowflex TreadClimber TC5000 is actually very easy to use. Simply step onto the treadles, hit start, and start walking. Once you get used to the hydraulic shock absorbers working their magic, you’ll feel like you are walking on air. Your speed is easy to adjust using the touchscreen display.
At first, you may feel that you need to hold on to the front or side handles to maintain your balance. However, you’ll soon discover that you don’t really need to hang on for dear life and can walk normally.
Using the Bowflex TreadClimber TC5000 is very intuitive, and all the controls are clearly labeled. However, this machine is also supplied with a detailed user’s manual, and there are online resources and support too.
The Bowflex TreadClimber TC5000 is a very joint-friendly, low-impact workout designed for beginner, intermediate, and advanced exercisers. It’s easy to use and very robust, so it should provide many years of faithful, enjoyable service.
However, there are a few drawbacks to consider before buying this workout machine:
Weight – at 185lbs, this is not an easy machine to install or move. It’s probably best kept in a downstairs room or garage gym.
Not meant for running – with a top speed of four miles per hour, this machine is not suitable for runners. Instead, it’s a walking machine. Anyone wishing to run or walk faster than 4mph should look elsewhere.
Manual resistance – while the speed is controlled by the LCD touchscreen, the resistance levels are changed by adjusting the hydraulic cylinders. This means you can’t really change the resistance mid-workout.
No multiple user profiles – calorie-burning estimates are based on your weight, which you have to enter each time you use your Bowflex TreadClimber TC5000. There is no facility to store different user profiles, so you’ll have to re-enter your details each time you work out.
Price – the Bowflex TreadClimber TC5000 is quite expensive. It’s a solid workout machine, but some people may find the hefty price tag off-putting. After all, you CAN go out and walk for free.
The Bowflex TreadClimber TC5000 requires some assembly when it arrives. Full instructions are provided. However, because of the size and weight of some of the components, assembly is not really a one-person job. Users report taking 1-2 hours to put this machine together.
If you don’t want to assemble your Bowflex TreadClimber TC5000 yourself, you can have a Bowflex technician do it for you, but this is in addition to the cost of your purchase.
Bowflex is a world-renowned fitness equipment company, making everything from strength training machines to steppers to bikes to treadmills.
Their products are highly rated, and they’re known for their high build quality, product reliability, and excellent customer service. As you’d expect, the Bowflex TreadClimber TC5000 is backed by a comprehensive warranty package:
- Motor – 5 years
- Parts – 3 years
- Electronics – 3 years
- Hydraulics – 2 years
Like most Bowflex products, the TreadClimber is also backed by their 100% satisfaction guarantee, so, after buying, if you are unhappy with your product, you can return it within 30 days of purchase for a full refund.
If you cannot decide between a treadmill and an elliptical, the Bowflex TreadClimber TC5000 could be just what you are looking for. While you can’t run on it, this machine takes the stress out of walking while delivering a very effective workout suitable for beginner, intermediate, and advanced exercisers.
Built to last, the Bowflex TreadClimber TC5000 is a big, robust machine, so you’ll need to double-check your workout area to make sure you have space for it. But the good news is, once installed, a TreadClimber is much quieter to use than a treadmill, so it’s ideal for home gyms.
Easy to use and backed by very comprehensive warranties, the Bowflex TreadClimber TC5000 is a great machine for fitness walkers.