Reebok ZR8 Treadmill Review
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There are plenty of different types and styles of treadmill available on today’s market. They serve a variety of uses.
You can use them to improve your cardiovascular fitness and endurance, to increase a caloric deficit when trying to lose weight, to improve lower body muscularity, and to gain all the diverse health benefits of living an active lifestyle.
Prices can vary, though some can set you back thousands of pounds, coming close to, or even beating, the kind of machine you might find in the gym. But we don’t all have that kind of money.
This is where something like Reebok’s ZR8 Treadmill comes into the picture. It’s one of Rebook’s mid-range running machines – it’s not cheap, but it works incredibly well for a very reasonable amount.
In fact, Reebok often sell out, so the ZR8 can be kind of hard to come by – a ringing endorsement if ever there was one. Find out if it is a good fit for your cardio routine right now with my full Reebok ZR8 Treadmill review.
First Impressions Of The Reebok ZR8 Treadmill
What do you get with the ZR8?
Well, put simply, a good quality, mid-level, motorized treadmill. You can tell immediately that it’s a definite step up from some of the more entry level models that you can get for a few hundred quid.
The running deck is better, with greater stability and quite obviously better workmanship. This goes for the whole frame. It’s solidly put together, with generous heft (which is always a good thing, unless you’re trying to move it around…), and it’s incredibly easy to set up out of the box.
It’s also quite good looking. The ZR8 won’t ever win any beauty contests, but it is sleek and neat – it is all utility, which I really admire. The manual is easy to get along with, so you can be using it just an hour or so after delivery.
Then the range of training options on offer should get you moving like nothing else.
Reebok ZR8 Specs
The Reebok ZR8 is powered by a 2.0HP motor, which gives it a top speed of 10 mph (around 16kph), which is a perfect range for this kind of machine. It will make it good for anything from power walks to fast runs, without quite getting you up to full Usain Bolt sprinting speed (for which treadmills are rarely the best bet, anyway).
You also get 12 levels of electronic incline with the ZR8, which means you can really ramp up the resistance. 10mph at full incline will have your quads burning and your lungs heaving in no time.
The ZR8 also comes with a unique ZigTech cushioning system for shock absorption – though pretty much every treadmill going for over a few hundred quid boasts a unique cushioning system.
This one disperses impact energy across the length of the running deck… Realistically, it’s just a very good version of what should come as standard in this kind of runner.
The treadmill console can deliver up to 24 varied fitness programmes, all designed by Reebok’s world class personal trainers to give you the best workout possible. They give you everything from a gentle jog to serious hill sprints.
Though all treadmills in the ZR8’s price bracket should come with these kinds of programmes, quality can vary. It’s great to see such fantastic, well-thought-out programmes as Reebok offer here.
The console also gives you all the usual metrics and data you would expect of it – speed, calories burned, distance run, time spent, and, thanks to the integrated hand sensors, heart rate (though this is a little awkward to use whilst running, and a little unreliable whilst sweating).
The ZR8 also allows you to plug your mobile phone into the integrated speakers to play your own media.
Though the whole frame isn’t the largest going, the ZR8 boasts an improbably impressive running area of 126cm x 4cm. This should be more than enough space for even the tallest runners with the longest gaits. It can take a maximum user weight of 120kg.
The ZR8 comes with a peace of mind Reebok 10-year motor, lifetime frame, and 2-year parts and labour warranty as standard.
Using The Reebok ZR8
The main thing I liked about using the ZR8 was the versatility and variability it brings to your workout.
Firstly, the range in speed is wide enough to allow you to elicit various energy systems and to work various aspects of your fitness. This is standard in this kind of machine, but nevertheless very welcome.
Then there are the inclines available, with a full ten split pretty evenly over 10 degrees. It’s all powered, so you can raise or lower it in use with no effort.
This is the norm in gym-standard treadmills, but mid-range ones often use manual adjustment which just doesn’t quite cut the mustard.
The console is very easily navigable and straightforward. Everything is laid out intuitively, so that you can access these speed and incline controls, and access any one of the 24 pre-set programmes. Here, again, variety is the order of the day, with things like interval and hill training, calorie burners, endurance workers and so forth.
It’s all gym standard fare in a model, and at a price, that makes it all fully available in your own home.
The electronics are fine. The speakers do a good job, though music buffs and those who like to really blast their tunes might need a decent set of headphones or auxiliary speakers going. I used my deck and amp in the end.
You shouldn’t have to, but there will always be sacrifices for the price you pay for something like the ZR8. I’d far rather it be the media than anything that affects performance.
And there really isn’t anything that lets down performance. The running deck is excellent quality, which is one of the most important things. It is big enough, at 126cm x 41cm, to cater to larger athletes – this is backed up by the solidity of the build itself allowing for an impressive 110kg (17 stone) upper user weight limit.
The ride is smooth and quiet, even at higher speeds and settings.
This is largely down to the quality of the motor, though the overall build quality is so good that everything works together perfectly. The motor is reasonable, at 2hp. This isn’t award-winning, and there are far faster treadmills out there, but it’s more about the mix of utility, quality, and value for money – it balances all three very deftly.
Finally, the manual was incredibly easy to get on with, which is very important for this kind of machine. It is simple and straightforward, brief, blunt, and to the point – clear illustrations show you what each of the buttons and features on the console does and how to get the most out of it all.
Really, the whole thing speaks of a level of quality that far outstrips the money you pay for it. The ZR8 is a genuine pleasure to use.
Alternative To Reebok ZR8
As above, treadmills can be very expensive – they can set you back thousands of pounds, coming close to, or even beating, the kind of machine you might find in the gym.
This is often worth it, as you get superlative designs and flawless, highly utilisable add-ons. It sometimes isn’t worth it, with style over substance being the order of the day.
Either way, we don’t all have that kind of money. Even the ZR8 can be a little daunting to some wallets.
This is where something like HFC’s Motorised Treadmill comes in. It will suit most budgets and will give you a lot of control over everything it does. The speed ranges from 1-10km per hour and is easily adjustable with the remote control included.
Though 10km per hour won’t win any records, it’s more than enough for a good quality, fast jog, which is the prime reason most people will want to invest in a cheap treadmill. It’s also quite a smooth 10km per hour, courtesy of a smooth and ultra-quiet 1.5HP motor and durable steel frame with noise reduction and shock absorption capabilities in the belt.
You won’t make much noise and your joints will be very happy as you run. Your back, hips, knees, and ankles will thank you!
It’s also safe, with a five-layer anti-slip, anti-static belt.
It’s pretty much everything fancier models are, minus the hefty price tag. It’s well worth a look.
I like any well-made, well-designed piece of gym equipment. It’s always nice to see a high level of craftsmanship and care going into anything. When it’s something that will lead to a great workout, all the better.
However, to see this level of detail and care in something that’s so reasonably priced is something else. It’s no minnow – we’re talking about Reebok, after all, who are one of the biggest fitness equipment and apparel producers on the planet. So it should be able to hold its own.
It does, and then some, at such a reasonable price that it’s truly heart-warming.
James is a full time personal trainer and an award winning writer with over 10 years of experience behind him. So far, he has helped hundreds of people with their health and fitness through his career.