The Bowflex Treadclimber burst on the scene about 6 years ago and was a completely new take on the traditional treadmill.
Instead of one large belt, it used two smaller treadbelts that rose to meet your feet as you walked.
This not only reduced impact on your joints but, according to Bowflex, also helped you burn up to 2.5 more calories than a treadmill.
This is one of the main reasons the Treadclimber continues to sell year after year, instead of being relegated to the dust pile of fitness equipment fads (we're looking at you ab lounge). It actually works.
So then if the Treadclimber works - and the treadmill is a fitness equipment staple, which one should you choose?
This post will break down some of the main differences that you need to know.
Note that we'll be comparing the Bowflex Treadclimber to the Bowflex Treadmills just for the purposes of clarity and graphic comparisons. However these comparisons can also apply to most mid-range treadmills on the market today.
Bowflex Treadclimber vs Treadmill - Calories Burned
The Treadclimber clearly has the advantage here. According to a University of Wisconsin Study (and another study at Adelphi University), Treadclimber users burned up to 2.5 times the calories of a treadmill at the same speed and intensity.
It's not hard to see why. Because the treadles rise to meet your feet, you're basically walking uphill - which engages more lower body muscles.
And the more lower body muscles you engage, the more calories you burn since your leg muscles are basically calorie-hogs.
So the Treadclimber wins out in the calories-burned area as long as you're comparing walking at the same speeds.
You can of course burn more calories on a treadmill - but you'll have to workout harder (aka run vs walk) or walk uphill a lot and build in high intensity intervals.
So a Treadclimber is kind of the "cheap and easy" way to burn more calories since all you have to do is walk - no running involved.
Bowflex Treadclimber vs Treadmill - Walking Vs Running
Depending on how you look at it, you could say that the treadmill has the advantage here - or the Treadclimber. Here's what I mean.
On the treadmill you can walk - or run. But on the Treadclimber you're pretty much limited to walking (you could try to run but with the moving treadles, it could be dangerous - and is not recommended).
Of course, according to Bowflex, you don't NEED to run if you use the Treadclimber because you'll be burning massive calories just by walking.
But then again, some people like to run. It gives them a stress release or they just enjoy it. So if you're looking run, then the treadmill is the better choice.
Bowflex Treadclimber vs Treadmill - Low Impact
The Treadclimber takes the prize here over the treadmill since it gives you a much lower impact workout.
Because the treadles rise to meet your feet, you're not pounding down on the belt yourself - and constantly subjecting your joints to as much impact as treadmill workouts.
If you're prone to shin splints or knees injuries, this is a great advantage with the Treadclimber.
Some people say it feels like walking in sand, it's so gentle on the joints. So this is a big point in favor of the Treadclimber.
Bowflex Treadclimber vs Treadmill - Price
This again, really depends on your perspective. The Bowflex Treadclimber is about the same price as a mid-range, quality treadmill, maybe a few hundred more.
However if you're looking for a starter treadmill with less-than-quality construction, you can find a treadmill much cheaper around $1000.
So if budget is a factor for you, then a treadmill might be worth considering.
For example the Bowflex Treadmill BXT116 is around $1499 and it's still a solid, stable machine with excellent cushioning, a lot of room to move and lots of extra toys.
Compare this with the cheapest Treadclimber at around $2000 and obviously the treadmill comes out ahead.
Bowflex Treadclimber vs Treadmill - Space Considerations
The Treadclimber is a bit more compact than most treadmills - so if you're short on space, then the Treadclimber is a better option. For example TC100 Treadclimber measures about 57" L x 31.5" W.
Compare this to the Bowflex BXT116 Treadmill which measures about 84.6" L x 36.3" W and you'll see that the treadmill is quite a bit longer.
So if you're looking for something more compact, then the Treadclimber is the better option.
As you can see there are benefits to both the Treadclimber and the treadmill.
The Treadclimber can definitely help you burn more calories and see faster weight loss results. There are a ton of weight loss success stories on the website to prove that.
It's also more compact and causes less of an impact on your joints.
However on the other hand, the treadmill can be more affordable and also gives you the option of running. So it really comes down to what you want.
Regardless of what you choose to do, remember to take your time, listen to your body and only do what you can. Your fitness level will improve with time and as long as you keep going, you will reach your goal!
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