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  • Best Heavy Duty Treadmill for Overweight Beginners (Updated Jan 2021)

If you’re overweight, you may find yourself in a dilemma when it comes to running. Most obese or heavy people are motivated to run but often get tripped up by common issues and fears such as:

  • Feeling judged or laughed at while running outside
  • Poor weather – too cold
  • Personal safety concerns especially at night and early mornings
  • The need to buy the 'right' workout clothes to wear
  • Time pressures from life, kids, and friends, and work demands.

This makes a daily run the first thing to go when the pressures mount up. The truth of the matter is that you will not make any progress until you deal with these issues and limitations.

That’s why for many beginners it’s either a choice of getting a treadmill or end up feeling worse about yourself, getting lazy, and piling on even more weight.

Comparison Table (Quick View)

Photo
Sportstech F10 treadmill model 2020 - German Quality Brand +Video Events & Multiplayer App - NEW console - | 1HP to 10 km/h | running machine with 13 programs + foldable
JLL S300 Digital Folding Treadmill, 2021 New Generation Digital Control 4.5HP Motor, 20 Incline Levels, 0.3km/h - 16km/h, 15 Professional Programs, 2-Year Parts & Labour, 5-Year Motor Cover
Branx Fitness Foldable 'Elite Runner Pro' Soft Drop System Treadmill - 6.5HP Motor 0-22 Level Auto Incline - 'Dual Shock 10-Point Absorption System
Reebok ZR8 Treadmill
Max. Speed
Max. Speed: 10 km/h
Max. Speed: 16 km/h
Max. Speed: 23 km/h
Max Speed: 16 km/h
Max. Weight
Max. Weight: 120 kg
Max. Weight: 120 kg
Max. Weight: 160 kg
Max Weight: 110 kg
Running Area
124 x 63.5 cm
Deck Size: 123 x 41 cm
Deck Size: 140 x 52 cm
Deck Size: 100 x 34 cm
Our Rating
(4/5)
(4.5/5)
(5/5)
(4/5)
Value Model (our review)
Photo
Sportstech F10 treadmill model 2020 - German Quality Brand +Video Events & Multiplayer App - NEW console - | 1HP to 10 km/h | running machine with 13 programs + foldable
Max. Speed
Max. Speed: 10 km/h
Max. Weight
Max. Weight: 120 kg
Running Area
124 x 63.5 cm
Our Rating
(4/5)
Value Model (our review)
Photo
JLL S300 Digital Folding Treadmill, 2021 New Generation Digital Control 4.5HP Motor, 20 Incline Levels, 0.3km/h - 16km/h, 15 Professional Programs, 2-Year Parts & Labour, 5-Year Motor Cover
Max. Speed
Max. Speed: 16 km/h
Max. Weight
Max. Weight: 120 kg
Running Area
Deck Size: 123 x 41 cm
Our Rating
(4.5/5)
My Top Overall Pick
Photo
Branx Fitness Foldable 'Elite Runner Pro' Soft Drop System Treadmill - 6.5HP Motor 0-22 Level Auto Incline - 'Dual Shock 10-Point Absorption System
Max. Speed
Max. Speed: 23 km/h
Max. Weight
Max. Weight: 160 kg
Running Area
Deck Size: 140 x 52 cm
Our Rating
(5/5)
Value Model (our review)
Photo
Reebok ZR8 Treadmill
Max. Speed
Max Speed: 16 km/h
Max. Weight
Max Weight: 110 kg
Running Area
Deck Size: 100 x 34 cm
Our Rating
(4/5)

Benefits of using a Treadmill

One of the many benefits of a treadmill is that, once you start shedding the extra weight gradually, you will be motivated to increase your treadmill sessions, giving you the confidence in time to add a few outdoor sessions slowly.

Most treadmills for heavy people are motorised and come with computer functions meaning it is easy and motivating to help you track how far you have gone and stay motivated and achieve your long term weight loss goals. A treadmill also provides other benefits such as:

  • Statistics & Reporting: Comes with features that help you measure time, distance, speed, calories burnt, and even heart rate
  • Financial: It’s cheaper to get a heavy duty treadmill than register for the membership of a gym. Usually with a payback in less than 2 years
  • Convenience Factor: It’s easier to make a habit out of using of a treadmill for fat person, because it's more convenient than going out to the gym, and saves on travel time
  • Flexibility: You can be flexible with workout times, grabbing 20-30 minute intervals during the day when you have the time
  • Comfort Factor: You can stay warm and comfortable while using the treadmill at home, and no fancy workout clothes required!
  • Multitasking Possible: You can read a book, watch TV or even interact with your family members while you are on a treadmill rather than out running. The treadmill is a family device, that can be used by your spouse, kids, spouse and even relatives and friends when they visit. This is great if you want to get the whole family fit.

Features to Consider in Selecting a Treadmill

There are several specific factors to consider before choosing a treadmill for heavy people. These include the following;

  • Build Quality: Lower end models are typically light-weight and use cheaper materials. An excellent way to tell is to look for the assembled weight. A poor quality treadmill for obese will weight less than 25 kg. A good quality and heavy duty treadmill will be closer to 100 kg in assembled weight.
  • Storable: Some people have enough space to be able to leave their treadmill set up in a spare room. If not you'll want a foldable treadmill that can be easily moved and stored when not in use.
  • User Weight Limit: The runner weight limit is closely tied to build quality. User weight limits typically range from 100kg (15.7 Stone) to 160kg (25 Stone). If you're only going to walk initially you can use a treadmill with a user weight of up to 200 kgs.
  • Running Area Size: The bigger the running deck surface area the better. This is often where manufacturers try to save cost so make sure the running track is both wide and long enough to fit your stride. Running areas can be as little as 80cm x 28cm - too small for most tall or overweight runners. Better options are 100cm x 40cm or more.
  • Shock Absorption: This is a feature that ensures that the treadmill absorbs much of the impact of your foot striking the ‘ground’. A good suspension system will not only reduces the forces on your joints but also helps reduce treadmill noise.
  • Motor Size/ Running Speed – This is another area manufacturers skimp on with their low-cost models. Some have no motors at all – referred to as ‘manual’ or ‘magnetic’ treadmills. These are almost always the very low-end cheap models that are not suitable for overweight runners. Look for a with at least 2 HP motors and 10 km/hr+ speeds (more if you want to do sprint intervals).
  • Extra Features: Extra features such reset programs, a large LCD screen, heart rate function, built-in speakers, incline settings and the ability to fold away the heavy weight treadmill may be important to you based on your preferences.

Recommendation

So, if you feel it’s time to invest in yourself, below I’ve recommended three heavy duty treadmills - one in each price bracket. I’ve picked these best treadmills for heavy person based on the above key features and my personal testing of all three models:

Entry-level (Budget)

Sportstech F10 treadmill model 2020 - German Quality Brand + Video Events & Multiplayer App - NEW console - | 1HP to 10 km/h | running machine with 13 programs, incline + foldable

Overview

Suitable for users up to 120kg (19 Stone). Top speed of 10 km/h. Entry-level models are always a trade-off but if this is all your budget can stretch to this model is the best of the bottom end. 

Upper-range (Premium)

JLL S300 Digital Folding Treadmill, 2021 New Generation Digital Control 4.5HP Motor, 20 Incline Levels, 0.3km/h - 16km/h, 15 Professional Programs, 2-Year Parts & Labour, 5-Year Motor Cover

Overview

Supports a maximum weight of 120kg, top speed of 16 kph, and a reasonable running deck size of 158 x 70 cm. This is the same weight limit as the Sportstech but you get an improved build quality. If you're 120-150kg range for user weight and plan to just walk initially you could choose this model. Read my review. You should go to the commercial-grade treadmill for overweight if you want to walk and you're in the 160kg to 200kg weight limit range.

Commercial-Grade

Branx Fitness Foldable 'Elite Runner Pro' Soft Drop System Treadmill - 6.5HP Motor 0-22 Level Auto Incline - 'Dual Shock 10-Point Absorption System

Overview

Maximum weight limit of 160 kg, top speed of 23 km/h, and too many commercial-grade features to list – this is a great heavy duty treadmill. If you can afford the investment. you won’t regret it. Read my review.

Bonus Pick (Premium)

Reebok ZR8 Treadmill

Overview

I've included this as a bonus pick because Reebok have had inventory/stock issues in recent months (it's really popular). Maximum weight limit of 110 kg, top speed of 18 km/h. Read my review.

Choose the model that’s right for your user weight and budget and make 2021 the year you want it to be for your health and fitness!

Last update on 2021-05-04 / Amazon Product Advertising API

About the author

I'm Jamie and I test out new models in sports retailers, or buy and sell them new or second hand so I can review a wide range of models and put together the best advise on which treadmill is right for you. So if you are looking for a cheap treadmill for walking, a gym quality treadmill to run sprints, or something in-between I can point you in the right direction.