If you want a good-quality, hard-wearing home cardio machine, NordicTrack are the place to go. Their products are all built to the highest of standards and, whilst often being pricey, they earn their large price tags almost effortlessly.
The NordicTrack Commercial 2950 is a case in point. It is one of my favourite treadmills, period. That’s not just out of all the home-workout treadmills going – it beats many actual commercial machines, those that you would find in any good leisure centre. It’s not just out of the mid-range machines on the market – it knocks the snot out of six grand machines.
I was therefore very excited to try one out and to let you know how I got on with it.
The NordicTrack Commercial 2950 sort of does what it says on the tin. It’s a large, commercial looking machine, with a full-size running track, powered incline and a quite impressive, in-built console in the form of a 22”, full colour screen. It really wouldn’t look at all out of place in any commercial setting, be it a low-rent gym or upscale, posh leisure centre.
It also looks substantial – and feels substantial, though I already sort of figured this before I’d stepped foot on the machine – and comes with all the gadgets and techie perks you could ever want (more on this below).
This is all good. It’s a bit of a relief, actually, when you look at the price. Clocking in, in the mid-2000 pound mark, it should look like a commercial treadmill – many of them will cost around this amount from a wholesale gym outfitters!
Nevertheless, if you pay peanuts, expect monkeys, as my dad used to say. Pay top-dollar and you get high-end – which is exactly how I would describe the 2950. It is super slick looking, large, sturdy, with everything a commercial treadmill would offer.
NordicTrack 2950 Specs
It can be hard to find a treadmill, either for a home gym or commercial use, that offers both a decent incline and a decent decline. They are very rare. I was delighted, therefore, to see that the 2950 ranges from -3% to +15%, which is superb. This is all fully powered and adjustable using OneTouch controls on the main console.
This will honestly make you feel like you’re running up and down the side of a mountain.
The incline and decline are sort of demonstrative of the build quality as a whole. NordicTrack are known for it, and they don’t disappoint with the 2950. The frame is built as much to a commercial standard as any model I’ve ever used. It’s large, at 55cm x 152cm, and incredibly solidly put together, with a top user weight of 300lbs (135kg).
The motor follows the same pattern. It’s a bit of a tank, putting out 4.25 CHP. I was worried when I first saw the hefty driving belt and knew that it would need to power up a significant incline, but such a powerful motor makes easy work of it, giving you a top speed of 14mph, which is easily comparable with any gym’s treadmill.
All this heft and power drives pretty easily, too. It’s all controlled from the main console, which is pretty well laid out and relatively intuitive. The screen, as mentioned above, is 22”, with full HD clarity and all the controls and gauges you need to make your workout effective and fun. You get all the usual data – speed, calorie counter, time spent running, distance run and so forth – and a set of heart rate sensors will help you track your pulse.
You should be able to stay pretty comfortable as you train with the 2950. Two Autobreeze workout fans will keep you nice and cool, whilst ‘WhisperQuiet’ sound dampening technology will stop your housemates from wanting to strangle you every time you go for a run (never underestimate the power of a quiet home cardio machine!)
The sound system is also good, with a couple of really decent speakers. These connect to your phone or any Apple product for media.
As with pretty much all NordicTrack machines, the 2950 comes with iFit capability built into it. I should note that iFit is pricey, usually around a hundred-odd quid per person per year, depending on what deals you can get. If you don’t want to be tied into this, you don’t have to be – the 2950 would function perfectly well without it. However, if you want in-built programmes that don’t incur recurring costs, another model might be for you.
iFit is a blast. Developed and run by NordicTrack, it is a live fitness program that delivers studio-quality, trainer run workouts directly into your home, streamed whenever you need them. They live-stream classes every day, in a variety of training formats, and also provide a back catalogue of thousands of past workouts. There should be something for everybody here.
All of this is backed up by a NordicTrack’s standard, very welcome, warranty, with 5 years on parts, 2 on labour, and a lifetime on the frame and motor.
Using The NordicTrack Commercial 2950 Treadmill
If you want the best out of your home-gym experience, and want to make running a cornerstone of your workout regime, and you have the money to spend, you should go with NordicTrack. They are genuinely one of the best manufacturers out there, with some of the best products. The sense of stability, quality and control you get out of every workout is fantastic. The variability of each workout and the pleasure of every run makes sticking to a routine and pushing yourself harder session by session an absolute joy.
This is what I expected of the 2950, and it’s what the 2950 delivered. No more, no less.
It’s big and luxurious. Do check dimensions before buying. If you’re in a tighter spot, a folding treadmill may be better. If you have the space, go for this kind of freestanding permanent machine.
As an experienced athlete and keen runner, I got on very well with each session with the 2950. I found myself able to really pound along, using a decent incline (always my preferred method) in comfort, with a full range of programmes from which to choose (all top-quality, as I have come to expect from iFit).
I was also in a calorie deficit, looking to lose weight, when I tried the 2950. I only ran on it a couple of days per week, but I used it every day. With the incline available, and the media entertainment on hand, I found that I could get a perfect calorie burning walk going, low impact and high yield. I simply set the pace slow and the incline high, then set to it. Using a crude calorie tracking system, I found that I could burn 4-5 times the number of calories minute by minute than I usually can on a normal walk.
Newbies will also do well with the 2950. It scales really nicely, in speed, incline and class difficulty levels. Begin at the beginning, with a light jog, on a low incline, perhaps trying out a beginner session or two on iFit to learn the ropes. Then work up in small, smooth increments, with expert guidance at every step (pun not intended!).
The weight, the build quality, and the added extras all come together perfectly to give a genuinely lovely workout, no matter your level or the use to which you’re putting the 2950. It is, essentially, just a treadmill. However, it also feels like so much more.
It is top of the range. It pulls out all the stops, giving you everything that any treadmill would give you, and then just a little bit more. It doesn’t just give you a nod towards incline, it gives you an impressive amount, plus decline options. It doesn’t just give you an adequate motor, it gives you enough to take a heavy belt, on a heavy incline, up to 14mph. It isn’t just a well-made machine, it is a hefty, hard wearing, confidence inducing frame sporting an equally good-quality, hard wearing running belt and some world-class software.
It is expensive, of course. It will set you back more than a couple of grand. It will also then charge you anything from one to three hundred pounds per year for an iFit subscription, depending on the bundle you go with and the number of people using it.
It will also take up a lot of floor space, with very little scope for storing it neatly away.
My advice is to learn to live with these downsides. The upsides are too good to be ignored or sidestepped. I would recommend the 2950 to anybody.