Our Rating: 4.2/5
A commercial treadmill that’s made the pivot into the home fitness realm, the Activate Series treadmill from Life Fitness is the exact treadmill you’ll find in commercial gyms across the world.
That being said, while this treadmill is entirely adequate, we’d recommend another home treadmill offering from Life Fitness, such as the T5, as it’s cheaper than the Activate Series model and offers more by way of functionality and technology.
For many, the Life Fitness brand is synonymous in thought with a high end gym experience. Whether it be those tough athletic training centers, small chain studios, worldwide health clubs or shiny hotel gyms you wander into when on vacation, Life Fitness can be found anywhere exercise is to be expected.
Relationships alone could not have given Life Fitness widespread acclaim in gyms across the world. Rather, it’s the strong build of their renowned treadmills that have proven their longevity through endless hours of intricate testing Life Fitness completes. Their rigid construction process standards ensure only the most durable treadmills hit the market. While Life Fitness has a commercially-focused line-up of treadmills for fitness facilities, they believe personal home gyms are just as important, which has led to a specified home line.
One of the treadmills that has gained popularity in the commercial world is the sturdy Activate treadmill. Realizing the lasting build and simplified accessibility the Activate treadmill offers is what made Life Fitness believe it can easily translate into a home setting just as well. This is what makes the Activate treadmill so special when compared to the other home treadmills Life Fitness has made available, as it’s the only one that is also considered a true commercial treadmill.
With the Activate treadmill, you can have the exact Life Fitness treadmill many use at their favorite gyms. Making this treadmill viable to a commercial setting is a 3.0 HP (6.0 HP peak) DC motor with MagnaDrive Controller. What makes the Activate treadmill easily translatable to your home is the fact that it is built with a direct current motor, not an alternating current motor that most commercial treadmills offer. With a direct current motor comes a stride lower in vibration and with less operational noise. Life Fitness then paired the Activate treadmill’s DC motor with a MagnaDrive Controller, which works to further reduce noise, increase steady power, and minimize motor strain, all resulting in longer run times and overall boosted treadmill longevity.
Also increasing lasting ability are the large 2.75” precision crowned steel rollers placed in both the front and back of the Activate treadmill. The greater the treadmill roller size, the less strain on the motor. The DX3 FlexDeck Shock Absorption caters to your joints by minimizing body impact. This FlexDeck shock absorption system curtails joint stress up to 30% while you move.
A speed range of 0.5-12 mph paired with an up to 15% incline will be sure to get you sweating out those toxins. The multi-ply polyester belt abolishes stretching while providing a 20” x 60” running surface to move on. An 8” step up height solidifies that expensive gym feeling while a 325 pound weight capacity reinforces stability. If having the same exact treadmill fitness centers rely on entices you, the Life Fitness Activate treadmill is a great option.
If you’re looking for complicated technology that comes with a learning curve, the Activate treadmill is not for you. If a straightforward console that gives you clear readouts and easy navigation piques your interest, the Life Fitness Activate treadmill is an ideal fit. A standard, yet incredibly vibrant colored LED console instinctively functions to guide you through your workouts and provides you with the most accurate workout summaries that allows you to reflect upon the hard work you just poured into your health.
Nine treadmill workout programs are provided; while great for those looking for a basic burn and heart busting challenge, they aren’t as extensive as those of other treadmills. To be clear, the Activate treadmill is a straightforward treadmill best suited for those who easily motivate themselves and don’t require the intensely controlling guidance of others to get the job done on behalf of their body. If you’d rather a treadmill provide complete dominance over your exercise routine and are willing to sacrifice on that gym feel and roller size, we recommend you look into the NordicTrack Commercial 1750 treadmill.
The Life Fitness Activate treadmill assures the most accurate heart rate readout with chest strap compatible Polar telemetry and Lifepulse with Digital Signal Processing contact sensors conveniently located on the ErgoBar. Unfortunately, the Activate treadmill does not have a built in cooling fan, so you’ll have to B.Y.O.F. (bring your own fan) to the workout should you enjoy the presence of one.
When it comes to the feeling futuristic, the Activate treadmill fails miserably. Yet, if you’re interested in upping your tech game without ceding your favorite gym treadmill, Life Fitness offers an optional attachable TV add-on. However, if you don’t relish in advanced technological hubbub and just want to get your treadmill workout on without distraction, the sturdy Life Fitness Activate treadmill, without the TV add on, is a solid contender.
Often the most sought out information of a large purchase such as a treadmill is how much said treadmill will set you back price-wise. Unfortunately, speaking to one of the greatest cons of high-quality name brands is their higher cost, of which the Life Fitness Activate treadmill proves this adage holds true. As commercially graded products are made to withstand time, use and multiple users, this strength requirement will not come cheap to have within your home.
If you desire to stay under the Life Fitness umbrella and would prefer greater technology and the same high quality build, we definitely recommend the T5 treadmill with the Track Connect Console. Shockingly, despite its lower cost, the Life Fitness T5 treadmill with Track Connect Console shines in comparison to the Activate treadmill as it holds the same 3.0 DC with MagnaDrive Motor Controller, 0.5-12 mph speed range and 15% incline. Additionally, it provides bluetooth ability, and an adjustable FlexDeck settings that grant the opportunity to select between three different shock firmnesses to emulate altering terrain.
Adding to this, the T5 treadmill with Track Connect Console also provides a 2-inch larger running surface than the Activate treadmill. You’ll be missing the vibrant colors from the Activate treadmill’s LED display, but you’d be swapping that out for greater interactive capability with bluetooth. If you aren’t married to the Activate treadmill due to comfort of using it in a gym setting, we advise you save yourself some bucks and invest in the Life Fitness T5 with Track Connect Console instead.
Pros and Cons
Short, sweet, and to the point is how we’d like to navigate you through this research process. Being straightforward, the Activate treadmill is costly and not a savvy buy when considering you can swap it out for the Life Fitness T5 with the Track Connect Console, which in our opinion is a better alternative. If you’re interested in a comparison of the two, crawl your peepers upward to read the Price Point section above.
If you’re sold on a Life Fitness home treadmill and can’t afford the luxury and fiercely advanced Platinum Club Series treadmill, we’d place our best bets on the T5 with Track Connect Console as a more wallet-friendly home option. Making an additional ding in its Trusted Treadmill recommendation is the lack of a built-in cooling fan and overall technology, such as bluetooth that provides updated comfort and greater overall tracking.
That being said, we want to note that Life Fitness as a brand, we’re all in on. Life Fitness has been creating fitness equipment since 1968 and has gained worldwide notoriety, as it has positioned itself as the top pick of professional training centers and expensive health clubs everywhere. When crafting their home treadmill line, they saw a special opportunity to give you the ability to purchase your go-to fitness center treadmill for the home.
The Activate Series treadmill translates to the home space as it’s direct current motor paired with MagnaDrive Controller makes it quiet enough for your home setting, but strong enough to stand the test of time, regardless of how many of your loved ones want to get in on the treadmill action. You can rest assured the Life Fitness Activate treadmill will accommodate multiple users, as it was originally made to be in a commercial gym setting.
Life Fitness Activate Series Treadmill Specs
|Weight Capacity||325 pounds|
|Running Surface||20″ x 60″|
|Dimensions||81″ x 32″ x 57″|
Warranty and Guarantee
Life Fitness itself as a brand is a guarantee of a trustworthy treadmill that has long-lasting ability. Yet, with such high-quality build, we were expecting more warranty coverage than the Activate treadmill provides. A 7-year warranty on frame makes the NordicTrack Commercial 2950 treadmill look more enticing with its 10-year frame warranty.
However, Life Fitness ups the ante to play a hand NordicTrack cannot compete with as it offers a 7-year motor warranty, while NordicTrack offers no motor warranty whatsoever. Furthering the Life Fitness warranty game is the 7-year warranty on Lifespring shock absorbers, which Nordic Track also doesn’t have.
Meanwhile, a 1-year warranty on both mechanical components and labor provided by the Activate treadmill make the fight more of a fair one. If you’re looking for lifetime coverage, you’ll have to further open that wallet of yours in order to reach the unmatched warranty of the Platinum Club Series treadmill.
Summing Up This Review
For the sake of simplifying things, the Life Fitness Activate treadmill is set apart as it’s the only treadmill offered both commercially—and very popular in that space we might add—and residentially.
In essence, the Activate Series treadmill is a great option for those who truly want a commercial treadmill feel in their own home. However, as we’ve stated throughout this article, we’d recommend the T5 over this model, as you’ll get more bang for your buck.