What I find a joke about Life Fitness is that they expect you to pay an extra $400 for BlueTooth version of the T5 monitor. The Life Fitness T5 Treadmill already costs close to $5k, so why are we paying an extra for $400 for a feature that you can find on most treadmills under $800? Still, that’s how it is with these guys. It’s my only real complaint about an otherwise impressive semi-commercial machine.

Life Fitness are All About The Build Quality

Life Fitness are a company specializing in treadmills for commercial gyms, and it’s only in the past decade they started to make treadmills for home use. They have taken all that experience of building heavy-duty commercial machines and put most of it straight into their home treadmills. Their home treadmills the T3 and T5 are still not quite commercial grade, but come very close. The T5 weighs over 340lb, it’s a beast, and that is what I love about it. It is a solid machine with no movement, exactly what we should expect in this price range.

woman running on Life Fitness T5 Treadmill

Peace of mind is what comes with a high price tag – Life Fitness Treadmill. You don’t have to worry about build quality. Life Fitness prides itself on this stuff, gicing long warranties, which is another sign of the confidence they have in their fitness gear.

Today we’ll take a close look at everything the T5 Treadmill offers, including any drawbacks. I’ll also compare it with the Sole F85 Treadmill to see how they match up. First, a quick look at the Life Fitness T5 product specs!

Product Specifications


Product dimensions – 79.5 in x 32 in x 61 in 


Weight – 341lb


Speed – 0.5 – 12mph


Max user height – 6’1″ for running and 6’3″ for jogging


Anti-shock system


Folds for storage


Motor – 3CHP with 6HP peak


Weight capacity – 400lb


Running belt size – 22” X 60″

Why Do We Like The Life Fitness T5 Treadmill?

What I like most about this treadmill is that you can use it for running. Yes, you really can. I’ve been reviewing treadmills for years, and you’d be surprised how small the choice is for treadmills that can actually be used for running.

The most important thing when choosing a treadmill for running is the build. You have to have a heavy-duty build. You can’t have a treadmill that moves around when running at pace; you need a sturdy machine, and at 340lb, the T5 is a heavy beast of a treadmill.

The weight of a treadmill will always give us a good clue to the overall quality of the machine, and we know a heavy treadmill will stay planted to the floor, but it’s not just the weight and build quality of a treadmill that allows us to run on the machine. You also need a large running belt. And the T5 doesn’t let you down here either.

Commercial Size Running Belt

The T5 treadmill comes with a 22″ x 60 running belt, which is a commercial size belt, its suitable for users up to 6’1″ for running and 6’3″ for jogging, so unless you’re especially tall, you shouldn’t have any issues running at pace on this treadmill.

Also, the belt is wide, which is essential if you want to prevent yourself from stepping off the side of the treadmill in the middle of a session. That extra width gives you all the space you need to run without feeling restricted.

Powerful 3CHP Motor With a 6HP Peak

And lastly, to run on a treadmill, you need a powerful motor.

The T5 treadmill comes with a 3CHP motor. That may not sound particularly powerful, but the CHP means it can give you continuous horsepower of 3HP for as long as you want, and when you need that extra HP for sprints, etc., it will give you an extra 3HP, meaning it has a peak of 6HP. This is enough for any runners out there.

And this is why I like the Life Fitness T5 because it delivers on all the essentials runners needs from a home treadmill.

How Good is The Incline?

If you’re into hill running, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with the incline feature on the Life Fitness T5 Treadmill. It adjusts in increments of 0.5%, which means you’ll get 30 levels of incline with a max of 15%, which is more than enough in my experience for most hill running.

Of course, there are treadmills out there with 30% – 40%  inclines, but most of the time, people never use the max on those machines. 15% is all you really need for max incline. And even at a 10% incline, you’re burning three times more calories than running on flat.

You can adjust the incline using the fast touch buttons. These buttons save time. You have fast touch buttons for speed and incline with the T5.

life fitness t5 treadmill monitor screen

Easy To Use Monitor But Lacks Features

There’s a choice of two monitors for the T5 treadmill, the GO monitor and the Track Connect 2.0. The Connect comes with BlueTooth and a few extra workout programs, and the GO is a simpler monitor, but it still has wireless heart rate monitoring and 13 workout programs.

I love that both of these monitors are simple and easy to use; there’s nothing complicated to work out, you can just jump on the treadmill and get going. And both include the quick start feature that can remember what speed and incline you chose in your last workout, which is cool; press a button, and you can start where you left off.

But for a near $4k machine, they’re asking you to pay an extra $400 for the 2.0 connect version of the monitor, which is basically 400 bucks more for BlueTooth, this is just laughable. On principle, I would never pay an extra $400 for BlueTooth. I’d choose the GO monitor all day long. Plus, I’m pretty sure you still have the 1/4 mile track feature with the GO console,

t5 treadmill deck cushioning system

Adjustable Deck Cushioning

Okay, the monitor is a bit of a letdown, but the deck cushioning is where this company shines. They use an impressive system called the FlexDeck Select Shock; it’s been around a while, and it’s a system that works well.

What is impressive about this system is that you can adjust it. You can choose between soft and firm. The reason this is such a good idea is that runners who want to replicate road conditions can select the firm option, something I’ve only seen on the NordicTrack Commercial treadmills.

Sometimes when you run on a treadmill, it can be too bouncy and off-putting; having an adjustable system allows you to get rid of some of that bounce. It’s a handy option, and Im really happy to see these guys feature it.

Do I think The T5 Treadmill is Too Pricey?

When this treadmill was first released, it was closer to $6k than $5k, so its come down in price lately, which is a good thing because at $6k, it was overpriced.

Now for just under $4k, you have a treadmill that includes a heavy-duty build and can be used safely for running.

You’re paying for the build quality and the warranty, you have a seven years parts warranty with this machine which is excellent, so you know, at the very least, it’s going to last you seven years.

Yes, if you’re serious about your cardio and you want something resembling a gym-quality treadmill, this machine is worth the money. For people who only need a treadmill for light cardio and weight loss, the T5 is overkill. You’re better off choosing one of Sole fitness’s mid-level machines, like the F65 or F80.

No Folding System

There’s no folding system with the T5 treadmill. You’ll need to make sure you have a lot of space to store it as it is a large machine.

Opt For Profession Assembly?

Life Fitness offers a professional assembly for all their treadmills, usually with delivery. If you choose to buy the treadmill from another company, you will have to assemble it yourself or pay for someone to assemble it.

The actual assembly is pretty easy. You only need to attach the upright to the running deck and attach the monitor. The difficult part is unboxing and getting the treadmill in place. This is a heavy machine, so you’ll need a friend or family member to give you a hand.

For maintenance: Make sure to keep the belt lubricated. Also, keep the treadmill belt clean, as this will prevent debris from getting into the motor. Full instructions will be in the manual.

The Good

Heavy duty, semi-commercial build

Commercial size running belt

Impressive 15% 30 level power incline

Quick touch buttons for speed and incline

Wireless heart rate monitoring – HR chest strap included

Adjustable deck cushioning

3CPH motor with 6HP peak

400lb weight capacity

Decent warranty -Lifetime on frame and shock system,  7-year parts, 3 year monitor, and 1-year labor

Comes with free treadmill mat, 10lb kettlebell, and foam roller

The Bad

$400 extra for BlueTooth version of monitor

Doesn’t fold

Lacks a decline


sole f85 commercial treadmill

Sole F85 Treadmill

The Sole 85 Treadmill has been a favorite of mine for a long time. It’s one of the only treadmills you’ll find for under $2k that can be used for running.

Like Life Fitness, Sole Fitness concentrates on the essentials like the build quality and belt size rather than the tech. Which means the monitor on the Sole F85 may seem lacking compared to its competition, but all the essentials are there for runners.

The Sole F85 boasts a 308lb unboxed build. This is a heavy treadmill, so it will feel solid. It’s built well, maybe not quite to the standard of the Life Fitness T5, but it’s still a semi-commercial machine.

It also has the commercial-size belt, the 15% power incline, and a pretty good deck cushioning system. However, it’s not adjustable.

The monitoppr is basic, but it’s been updated lately and now has a 10″ color screen with seven built-in apps like YouTube, Netflix, news channels, etc. You also have the 1/4-mile track feature and the wireless heart rate monitoring with the HR strap, so it’s a slightly more impressive monitor than the Life Fitness machine.

Sole Fitness also includes long warranties with their treadmills. You get 5-year parts and 2-year labor which is excellent for a treadmill costing just under $2k.

You get a lot of bang for your buck with the F85 treadmill. 


To Sum Up

The Life Fitness Treadmill is about as much as I’d pay for a home treadmill. This is as heavy-duty as you’ll need for running at home. It has everything, the belt size, the power, and the build quality, and I love that seven year parts warranty; this should give you the peace of mind you need when spending this type of money on fitness equipment.

There wasn’t too much I could find fault with the T5. Having the two monitors to choose from and paying extra for the BlueTooth one is a bit silly and a mistake from these guys, but apart from that minor drawback, the T5 is a solid treadmill from Life Fitness and worth it if you’re serious about your running.