When it comes to gym equipment for the home, NordicTrack and ProForm are some of the biggest brands in the business.
With one pitched as a high end, high tech fitness company, and the other a more affordable but equally as technical alternative, it can be difficult to know which offers the best bang for your buck, especially when you find out they’re both owned by ICON Health & Fitness, their parent company.
Remember, this isn’t an everyday purchase. Spending hundreds or thousands of dollars in one go is not something to take lightly, especially on something you’re going to be using on a regular basis.
Read this thorough breakdown of both companies and what they have to offer before you make your decision, to ensure you are totally satisfied with your new fitness regime and can get to work boosting your endorphins already!
At A Glance – Quick Comparison Chart
|Items available||Treadmills, ellipticals, exercise bikes, rowers, Vault interactive home gym, weights and more||Treadmills, bikes, ellipticals, Fitness Mirror, HIIT trainers, strength weights and more|
|Most popular products||Commercial S22i Studio Cycle, Commercial X22i, RW900, Commercial 14.9||Pro9000, Carbon T10, Studio Bike Pro, Carbon HIIT H7, Pro R10 Rower|
|Max treadmill speed||14 miles per hour||15 miles per hour|
|Warranty?||Yes – length depends on the product||Yes – length depends on the product|
ProForm – The Affordable Fitness Option?
Equipment – What Do They Sell?
Unlike NordicTrack, ProForm doesn’t attribute its success to the release of a cult favorite product. Rather, it’s their status as a more affordable, portable option for the at-home gym goer that has secured them a place as one of the best brands around.
That being said, they’ve still been around for at least three decades, and as we mentioned earlier, both Nordic and Pro are owned by ICON, the same parent company. As such, you can expect the same great quality from both groups.
Where treadmills are concerned, ProForm has three ranges: Pro, Carbon and City, each offering something a little different for the average runner. For one thing, absolutely ALL of the models they sell can be folded down to decrease their footprint and make storage a breeze.
When you’re not lucky enough to have an entire room to devote to your gym, and you’d also like to put the equipment away for the most part, this is a fantastic option, saving you some space in the home as well as a good couple of hundred bucks. Compared to shopping at NordicTrack, at least!
Perhaps one place ProForm shines that NordicTrack doesn’t is their provision of HIIT training machines to use from the comfort of your own home. It’s a compact version, nothing like the behemoth you’d find at a gym, but they’re just as intense to work out on.
They also have what they call a Hybrid Trainer, a machine that pairs an elliptical and a recumbent bike to make a unique yet highly effective machine that offers an incredibly powerful workout, wherever you are.
Specifications – Are They Any Good?
First off let’s talk about the workout apps! Every single ProForm fitness machine is stuffed full of routines designed by a certified personal trainer; beginning at 18 and finishing off with 38, you can choose your preferred workout every single day.
Customizable in terms of performance, intended weight loss, intensity, incline, calorie-burning, speed and interval, get ready to challenge yourself and put your endurance to the test.
Not only that, but throughout your workout, the resistance, incline and decline are constantly adjusted automatically, allowing you to keep working out where others have to mess around changing settings to increase or decrease difficulty.
When it comes to the power behind the motors of ProForm equipment, they don’t cut corners, with a continuous duty horsepower or CHP measurement of between 2.25 and 4.25 CHP, which if you’re not sure, is pretty darn powerful.
Thanks to the iFit technology – for which you need a subscription – you’ll instantly be connected to an array of online features, allowing you to plan workouts, track your current fitness goals and edit things to make more progress.
Plus, you get to join a millions-strong community of fitness enthusiasts, including partners like celebrity trainer Jillian Michaels and even training programs brought to you by the folks behind the Tour de France.
You’ll notice that their fan systems, the CoolAire and AutoBreeze respectively, are built into the majority of ProForm’s treadmills, both designed to give you a low, medium or high blast of air, right when you need it the most.
Every single treadmill has also been equipped with one of their many shock-absorbing cushion systems, the best one being their Runners Flex design, allowing you to choose what level of suspension you want – road-esque simulation, perhaps, or something a little stronger?
You also have many display options, including their full-color touchscreens and on some equipment, a specialist RaceTrack display that allows you to open multiple windows at once, so you can always have those important stats on screen to keep track.
NordicTrack – High Tech Exercise At A Price?
Equipment – What Do They Sell?
Though they had a very successful start back in the 1970’s offering a single product – the cross-country skier – NordicTrack has subsequently increased its repertoire of equipment by a great deal.
They now offer a wide range of exercise machinery from bikes to weights, each promising to be a technologically advanced improvement on the workout you’d have at your local hometown gym.
First things first, let’s talk about treadmills: they have two ranges, the Commercial and T-Series respectively, as well as a set of more expensive incline training ‘mills.
Commercials are fancier and on the more extravagant side, where the T-Series treadmills are intended for the buyer on a budget.
You’ll also notice their range of exercise bikes, from the Recumbent Series to the Commercial Studio Cycles, are of a similar high-end quality; their Commercial S22i for instance is very often compared to the best Peloton cycle.
Speaking of comparisons to other products, their best and brightest new rowing machine, the RW900, is often battling it out with The Hydrow, one of the most popular exercise machines on the at-home gym market.
One of their most recent releases is Vault, the totally connected at-home gym in the form of a life-size mirror that’s also a huge touchscreen, offering crystal clear visuals in 61.5 inches of shiny glass technology.
Either as a standalone unit or chock full of extra goodies, this incredible smart device intends to replicate the complete personal training experience, without having to go outside or invite someone into your home.
Using this device, you’ll be able to follow along live with the pros as they show you exactly how to conduct your workout, all led by qualified iFit trainers. From yoga, strength training, cross training, sculpting and even mindfulness, have somebody guide you through from warm up to cool down.
Specifications – Are They Any Good?
As far as exercise equipment goes, NordicTrack is on the average side of the high end workout industry.
The Continuous Duty Horsepower measurements for all of their treadmills fall at between 3.0 and 4.0 CHP, a decent enough amount of power behind their motors and more than capable of withstanding regular use.
Likewise, weight limits are on the friendly side, usually running at between 300 and 350 lbs depending on the unit in question; these are the expected measurements for industry standard equipment being used primarily in home settings.
Thanks to their integration with iFit, every NordicTrack product is full of thousands of workouts – with more available to download regularly – allowing you to access a variety of trails, paths or runs, essentially… you can go for a walk ANYWHERE in the world, direct from the comfort of your home.
If your machine is one of the fancier ones and supports Bluetooth, you’ll also have live images of your chosen walking, jogging or running spot, in spite of the fact you’re halfway across the world! Run in Canada, India, Australia, the UK… wherever!
Plus, with their Flexselect technology, you can modify how cushioned the treadmill you go for is, allowing for a different running experience depending on your preference. Choose from moderate or firm – it’s totally up to you.
Not only that, but their very latest products are all equipped with speakers, an internet connection and a tablet for instant connections to your favorite music, movies, TV shows and more. You’ve never had a workout quite like this before.
Other funky additions on certain products include integrated fans that automatically adjust to the intensity of your workout, heart rate monitors, resistance bands and more.
Conclusion – Which Is Best For You?
As we have now thoroughly explored, both NordicTrack and ProForm offer a similarly immersive and technologically driven workout experience. Choosing between them is tricky, because they both have some great features.
When it comes to budget, ProForm is definitely the most affordable brand of the two, without necessarily compromising on quality. In fact, I’d go as far as to argue that in spite of their price differences, their products are just as good as each other.
This is primarily because they are owned by the same parent company, ICON, which would suggest a similar level of care, attention and financial investment for both businesses.
Both companies offer equipment compatible with the highly popular and very much praised iFit interactive workout regimes, but it’s worth noting that you have to pay an additional subscription fee every month in order to access those.
If your goal is to find the treadmill with the highest possible speed setting from both brands, then you want the Boston Marathon Treadmill from ProForm, which boasts a gigantic 15 mph maximum speed setting for all of you fitness freaks out there.
However, it would be remiss if we didn’t mention the customer service controversy both brands have experienced, given the providers of said customer service is the same for each of them.
Many customer reviews indicate that replacement parts and repairs can be arduous to obtain, as well as finding it difficult to get a response from customer service in the first place.
Once the problems have been identified and resolved, most customers have no issues with their products, but you should go into your purchase aware of the fact that if something goes wrong, you might find it difficult to get that rectified.
In summary, if you’ve got less money to spend, stick to ProForm, but if cost is no object, then spend some time exploring the products both brands offer and decide which one sounds right for you. Sorry if that isn’t a huge help! They’re just as good as each other, unfortunately.