man running on a gold gym 420 treadmill

Gold Gym 420 Treadmill Review

For those runners among us, winter can be extremely frustrating. Depending on who you are as an athlete, having the ability to train year-round is absolutely vital.

I know for a fact that High School or Collegiate cross country or track athletes cannot go a whole season without training. Other athletes as well, from triathletes to people who compete in seasonal sports but need to stay in shape during the cold months, must all find a way to run when it is cold out.

And even if you don’t fall into any of these prestigious categories, year-round cardio is incredibly beneficial. 

If you are a seasonal-cardio athlete, I’m sure you are well-familiar with the frustration that comes at the beginning of every season. As a seasonal cardio athlete myself, I know the feeling well. The moment it begins to warm up I’ll be lacing up my shoes, throwing on a sweatshirt, and running.

But the first two-four weeks of every spring season are incredibly frustrating – you are not as quick as you were at the end of last season, your endurance has gone down, your heart rate is much higher than normal, and you feel more fatigued.

It takes time to get back into the flow of running, and to then bring your body back up to speed – to get close to the level of athleticism you were at when your season ended takes time.

And that time that you spend getting back to where you were, means less time to improve and get stronger. 

What can I Do about It?

a woman pulling her winter hat on her eyes

Luckily, there are a bunch of options for those athletes that want solid and consistent improvement, rather than stagnancy or degradation.

If you are an athlete that is in any way competitive or even semi-professional, this kind of consistent improvement is absolutely vital to your performance.

And even if all you want to do is stay in shape and keep the weight off, consistent, year-round cardio training is vital to your health. 

In terms of options, the most obvious, (though least attractive) option is to get a bunch of heavy winter gear and extend your outdoor season as long as possible. This means sweatshirts, gloves, thick socks, sweatpants, hats, etc. etc.

And while this could work, depending on the year, maybe into November (depending on where you live), it is deeply uncomfortable and simply cannot last forever. At a certain point, temperatures will drop too low to be outside and be safe.

That brings me to another option – running on indoor tracks. While an indoor track is certainly nothing like your beautiful woodsy trails, it gets the job done. The only problem is finding these indoor tracks.

Depending on where you live, look into large Rec centers or local colleges – just about every college (even the community colleges) have indoor tracks that are available for public use, sometimes at no charge.

Before you give up and throw your shoes in the closet, do your research – find out what options are close. There is yet another option, and unless you would consider jogging in circles around your living room, this is your last winter running option. The dreaded treadmill.

As a runner myself, I dislike treadmills – they provide an unnatural experience. Even the best treadmills are still not even slightly comparable to running outside.

Although, I will admit that I have used treadmills in the past and I will use them again. Similar to using a trainer for your bike, a treadmill is best classified as a necessary evil.

Would I rather be outside? Of course. But when it is below twenty degrees out, being outside is not feasible. So when you have to run inside, treadmills are certainly the easiest available option.

Whether you find one to use at your gym, or you purchase one to set up in your own home (preferably in front of a big window), they are relatively compact and provide an ample answer to your basic running needs.

Often, the biggest problem with most treadmills is price. 

Gold’s Gym Trainer 420 Treadmill

If you are looking for a ‘good’ treadmill, you have to be prepared to encounter a very heavy price tag. Amazon’s ‘Best’ treadmill comes in at a cost that is greater than $2,000.

And that provides a pretty general price range. Good treadmills are going to be between $1,600 and $3,000.

Of course, there are some models that will go well above that number, but a lot of that is likely due to the brand name that is slapped on the side. With these averagely good treadmills that cost at or near $2,000, you are certainly getting what you pay for.

Not only are these treadmills going to be the most sturdy and longest-lasting treadmills, but they will also come equipped with a bunch of gimmicks, for lack of a better word.

These aforementioned gimmicks include varied elevation, preset programs or ‘tracks’ to follow, as well as screens and monitors galore.

Now, if you’re thinking that you don’t really need all those extra techy gadgets, you are not wrong (although sometimes, they are nice to have). 

If you can live without the gimmicks, and if all you want is very simplistic and highly straightforward – an automatic tread that you can run on – then you might come across Gold’s Gym Trainer 420 Treadmill. 

Price and Specs

This treadmill is a little difficult to find, as it is currently unavailable at Amazon, but if you do find it, expect it to cost around $400.

In comparison to the other prices of some of the best treadmills that I listed earlier, this is significantly lower in cost. This is both good and bad.

On the one hand, lower-cost means it is affordable – if budget is a big issue for you, this is a good, cheap option. And on the other hand, it is a good, cheap option – you get what you pay for here.

In terms of some product specs, let’s start with the motor. This treadmill utilizes a 2.5 CHP motor. (The CHP stands for Continuous Horse Power).

The fact that it uses CHP and not simply HP is definitely a good thing, as if it was only Horse Power, the treadmill would likely not be able to sustain peak motor performance. 

The running area (the tread) is 18 inches wide by 50 inches long. If you have a long stride or a larger frame, this could definitely prove to be a problem – your chances of stepping off the tread and onto the frame of the treadmill are high.

18 inches is equivalent to a foot and a half – depending on your frame, simply standing with your feet shoulder-width apart could be wider than 18 inches. This is something you should look into before purchasing. 

It has a listed weight capacity of 300 pounds. But the actual weight capacity is likely lower – if you are anywhere between 250 and 300 pounds, you should look into a stronger treadmill, this one might not hold your weight. 

One of the best things about this treadmill is how compact it is. By simply pulling a pin, you can fold it in half when it is not in use – this makes it much easier to get out of the way.

Especially if you’re in a cramped environment, this folding aspect becomes incredibly useful. With that, the actual measurements of the 420 treadmill is as follows: 33 inches wide, 70 inches long, and 53 inches high.

So again, it is certainly not very large and so can fit easily into highly compact spaces. 

In terms of speed and incline, the max speed of this treadmill is 10 mph, although odds are high that the treadmill may not be sturdy enough to handle sustained use of the higher speeds.

It does incline, up to 10%, which is significant enough to make a regular workout really tough. Just keep in mind, with the speed as well as with the incline, this was not a treadmill that was designed for runners – it is not as sturdy or as fast as runner-designated treadmills are. 

Techy Specs

It might be extremely rudimentary, but it is not without its techy gadgetry. The 420 treadmill includes a total of 16 pre-programmed workouts – eight for weight loss, eight for performance boosting.

The inclusion of these programs is another of the few definitive ‘pros’ of this treadmill. The treadmill also includes a small, black and white LCD screen.

This screen features a racetrack display that allows you to track your time, speed, distance, heart rate, and calories burned. And that brings me to the heart rate monitors.

This treadmill does include a heart rate monitor through the use of dual grip handlebars. The issue with these is that they are simply not consistently accurate. Don’t rely on them.

This treadmill also includes two built-in speakers and an audio jack, so that you can blast your music directly from your phone or iPod while working out. This is a good addition, however, the sound quality is not amazing. It does not include a USB port. 

While this treadmill does not include any built-in fans, it does include a device holder as well as a set of water bottle cubbies.

The quality of the frame is also generally regarded as relatively, if not exceptionally poor – this is not a solid or sturdy machine. 

Who is it for?

You may think that after this entire, and relatively scathing review, this section would be completely unnecessary. Well, that is not entirely the case.

I would certainly not recommend this treadmill to any ‘runner,’ that much is pretty evident. But I would, however, recommend it to a few different kinds of people.

For starters, anyone who is extremely budget-conscious should at least consider this treadmill or something similar to it. With that, if you are also extremely space-conscious, it would benefit you to consider this treadmill as well – it is both compact, foldable, and cheap.

If you meet that criteria, and also do not consider yourself to be a ‘runner,’ that is the perfect storm in a potential customer for the 420 treadmills.

What I mean by this is if you are looking for a good treadmill to perform exclusively walking-workouts, or if you run very occasionally at a pretty consistently low pace, this treadmill should meet your needs.

The problems begin to occur if you use this treadmill the way a ‘runner’ would – high intensity and high speed. Because it is a cheaply built treadmill, that kind of treatment might not be safe.

Although it is worth mentioning that everyone has different personal experiences – there is a chance, however slim, that you might begin using this treadmill as a quasi-runner, and find that it is sturdy and long-lasting. (Just don’t bank on that hope).

Conclusion

If you are looking for a good way to keep up the running throughout the year, a treadmill is a good option. Just not this treadmill.

Depending on your needs, of course, you want a sturdy treadmill that is built to last and will allow you to exercise and train to the full scope of your abilities.

In this, sometimes you just have to spend more money to get a better product. 

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Article by:

Daniel DeMoss

I’m a personal trainer based in Denver (Matrix Gym) and a true fitness nerd. If I’m not training clients or working out at my home gym, I’m probably skiing, cycling or hiking with my dog Rufus.  

Get in touch: [email protected]