Bowflex TreadClimber TC100 Review
The Bowflex TC100 is the most popular model, because it has a great feature set for the lowest price. Many people we’ve talked to were skeptical of how many calories it can burn at walking speeds, myself included, so the question is:
Does it really work? In all our research and talking with hundreds of customers over the past five years, here’s what we’ve found: It definitely works.
The TC100’s 3-in-1 motion burns more calories than walking or jogging, while making you feel less tired, which makes it easier to achieve your fitness goals. Learn more in our Bowflex TreadClimber TC100 review below.
Video overview of the TC100 TreadClimber by Bowflex (formerly called the TC10):
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|Speed||0.5 - 4.0 mph|
|Max Weight||300 lbs|
|Warranty||2 Years, Full-Coverage|
Rating: 90.2/100. Editor’s choice based on overall rating, customer satisfaction, and balance of value for price, the TC100 is a great investment. Doesn’t have as many bells and whistles as the TC200, but it’s very compact, low on joint impact, tracks your progress, and burns a ton of calories.
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– Sturdy frame with 300 lbs. max user weight
– Goal Setting feature (progress tracker)
– Good resistance variation with 4 functions
– Premium LCD display & and accessory tray
– Quick controls to quickly shift levels
– 3-in-1 workout design burns lots of calories
– Full coverage 2-year warranty is adequate
– No iPod/MP3 player connection/speakers
– Some user reviews say it’s noisy at higher speeds
“Why run when you can walk?”
Bowflex has managed to create the same effect of a treadmill, while adding the aspects that so many people love about stairclimbers and ellipticals. So, instead of jogging or running, you can burn a lot more calories by walking.
The TreadClimber’s dual platforms rise separately for a low-impact workout that burns more calories in 30 minutes than the same exercise on a treadmill.
That’s the idea behind the 3-in-1 design, but after reviewing fitness equipment for over half a decade, I was definitely skeptical when I first heard about this.
In the past five years, we’ve talked with hundreds of customers and compiled data from 1,000’s of user & expert reviews to produce a simple rating out of 100 with our rating algorithm, and while nothing is perfect (we’ve never seen a 100% rating), the TC100, formerly called the TC10, scores very well.
Why? Because they actually burn a lot of calories in a short time, which makes it easier to stick with it. We’ve heard countless stories of people getting excited about buying a treadmill, hoping to lose 20, 30, 50 lbs or more, and burning out after a few weeks because running on a treadmill is harder than walking.
The goal is to get something that you’ll enjoy using, that makes you feel strong and lean, so what makes this different from treadmills and ellipticals? Keep reading to find out…
How the TreadClimber TC100 is Different
So what’s the difference between a TreadClimber and any other cardio equipment? It’s simple: The 3-in-1 motion burns more calories, in less time, without making you feel so tired. More on that in a sec.
The fact that you just walk means you’ll actually use it over time, and that’s how goals are achieved: Consistent progress.
Don’t get me wrong: Running is awesome, but I know lots of people that have tried running and they hate it, so they stop. And that doesn’t help anyone. But many of them like to go on walks, which is much better than not exercising.
The problem? Just walking around the block isn’t going to burn enough calories to make a big impact, unless you spend a LOT of time walking.
The key is that the TreadClimber is designed to lower the barrier to entry to make it accessible. If you can walk up a flight of stairs, you can do this. The best part? You’ll keep getting better results because of the resistance levels.
I can imagine some engineers sitting around thinking of an idea to increase the odds someone will use their design over the long haul so they can get results like the people in their commercials, and a lightbulb going off…”What if they could just walk?!”
“But wait, how are they going to burn more calories?”, someone replies. “Couldn’t they just go to the mall or walk around the block? How will this help them burn more calories in less time? That’s what everyone wants.”
So, they came up with two major differences with this design:
1. Motion: The 3-in-1 motion they talk about is you can’t do just taking a stroll through the park. It makes your muscles work in different ways than they’re used to, burning more calories.
2. Resistance: You’ll be able to start out at a low resistance level to stay motivated. Then, as you see results, you can gradually increase the resistance to make more and more progress.
The combination of these two powerful features means a better workout than a brisk walk, even at an incline. But, one of the coolest parts is that after exercising you won’t feel as tired and worn out.
Why? That sluggish feeling you get after exercising is caused by the Blood Lactate (mmol) level, or the amount of lactic acid buildup, caused by the workout.
Here’s where it gets interesting: In a study, participants’ lactic acid levels were about 12% lower with a TreadClimber compared to using a treadmill, and about 38% lower than with an elliptical, which means less of that “I don’t wanna work out” feeling, a big part of the reason people can stay motivated and keep making progress.
Speaking of progress, it comes with a pretty cool feature called G.O. Coach (Goal-Oriented Coach) to set goals and track your progress over time, a nice touch for making it like a game to keep reaching new levels.
The TC10 allows you to tailor your workout specifically to your fitness and comfort level — from beginner to elite athlete — with 12 resistance levels.
All your exercise data is posted on the LED display system with readouts including: Speed, Time, Distance and Calories Burned.
Plus, the goal tracking feature is a cool way to stay motivated and keep making progress.
This model offers a full-coverage warranty that covers the entire machine for two years.
They also offer a 6 week money back guarantee. If it’s not for you, just ship it back and get a refund of the purchase price. Note: In over five years of talking with hundreds of customers, we’ve heard of very few people doing this, which is why the customer satisfaction rating is so high.
The whole idea of the TreadClimber is to get three workouts in one.
So, this unique design gets you the walking forward aspect of the treadmill, two independent “Dual-Treadles” for the upward stairclimber motion, and the smooth, low-impact motion of the elliptical.
Along with the 3-in-1 workout design, this model includes four workout functions to track:
There are 4 separate readouts to see if these functions at the same time, and the Goal Coach feature allows you to mix it up with different programs and keep track of how you’re improving over time.
The key to the TC design is the patented 3-in-1 motion they talk about in the commercials. So, does it work?
It’s been proven that doing cardio exercise at an incline is more efficient in terms of burning calories (using just a 1% incline mimics the effects of exercising outside while you’re in your cool house with no weather to worry about; a nice perk).
To take that a step further, Bowflex combined incline with elliptical and treadmill motions, which burns more calories than using walking or jogging at the same speed. The short answer: Yes, it works.
The coolest part is that this unique motion creates less lactic acid buildup, which reduces the pain in your ribs after working out. That’s one reason people are able to stick with it over time, which is essential for making progress and reaching goals.
Here are answers to some of the most common questions we hear:
Q: How tall does my ceiling have to be?
A: The maximum treadle distance from the floor is 14″. To make sure your ceiling is tall enough, give yourself a few inches for headroom by adding 17 inches to your height.
Q: Is the assembly difficult?
A: They have an in-home assembly option if you’d rather have a professional install and set it up for you, but if you’d like to do it yourself they have a nice manual and videos to walk you through it. It’s a complex machine, but if you’re pretty good with putting things together it’s not too difficult to assemble since the walkthroughs are well-designed.
Q: What’s the return policy?
A: They’re pretty cool about this. Basically, you have 6 weeks to try it out, and if you don’t think it’s worth the investment, you just contact them to get a return number, ship it back, and get a full refund of the purchase price. One of the reasons we created this website was to reduce the odds of you having to pay to ship it back, and in over five years of talking with customers I’ve heard of very few returning it, which is one reason for the high rating.
Q: Does it really work?
A: In short, yes. Walking is a great form of exercise, and lots of people prefer it to running, especially outside. Both work well, though running can be a lot harder on your knees and back. The most important part of any exercise routine is consistency, and that’s the strength of the TreadClimber. It lowers the barrier to working out, making it more convenient and less strenuous on your body, which makes it easier to stick with it and consistently make progress.
Q: Are there any sales going on to save money?
A: To see if there are any discounts available, check this page.
I hope this review has helped you! So, is it right for you? If you’re looking for something that burns more calories in less time, that you’ll be able to stick with and get results that last, the TC100 is a great investment in your health.
Of all the hundreds of machines we’ve reviewed in the past five years, the TC100 is one of my favorites because it makes it so much easier to consistently burn a lot of calories at home.
The goal of fitness equipment is to help you achieve your fitness goals, and the TreadClimber does just that.
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