The Horizon 7.8 AT treadmill is one of the latest addition to the brand’s lineup, and overall it is proving to be a very strong contender in the under $2,000 price segment. Where the NordicTrack Commercial 1750 treadmill is our favorite pick for those wanting to get started with being more active at home—walkers, joggers, and beginner runners, this treadmill really shines for those who already live an active lifestyle and are looking to supplement their fitness plan at home.
The 7.8 AT treadmill is loaded with smart features, including a number of key details geared towards the ever-popular trend of interval training. Powered by a new 4.0 continuous-duty horsepower motor, Horizon has tested the 7.8 AT against a number of its competitors, and states that their motor is quite a bit quicker when it comes to acceleration and deceleration. This makes a huge difference when training in sprints, and having seen the treadmill first-hand when launched in late 2019, we can say with certainty that the difference in performance is noteworthy.
Having the ability to change pacing in a hurry is great, but without the appropriately intuitive controls, all of this would be moot. Thankfully Horizon thought of this, and added a pair of roller-style controllers on its hand grips, making speed and incline adjustments effortless. Once you get the hang of the setup, you don’t even really have to look down—simply roll the control forward or back to increase or decrease your speed or incline.
As with most brands, interactivity and connectivity is an important element of all Horizon treadmills. Unlike some of the competition Horizon did not fit a giant touchscreen display on the 7.8 AT treadmill, opting to invest more in the overall quality of the machine. That said, Horizon decided to make the 7.8 AT compatible with over a half dozen interactive training apps, which means you’ve got a wide range of options to select from rather than being pigeonholed into a specific training regimen—as is the case with much of its competition.
Though lacking a HD video touchscreen, the Horizon 7.8 AT treadmill’s 9.3-inch LCD screen displays all of the necessary info and metrics in a clean and clear fashion. Given that the treadmill’s design focus is interval training, Horizon’s Sprint8 interval training is the highlight of the treadmill’s built-in programming—an intense interval workout touted for its fat burning capability. In total the unit has 10 built-in programs, which is a little on the light side, but depending on your needs and interests I wouldn’t count this as a dealbreaker.
Lastly it’s worth noting that the 7.8 AT treadmill comes in at a relative bargain. Priced only a few hundred dollars above the 7.4 AT treadmill, the addition of a higher power motor, quick-set controls, and longer warranty more than justify the difference. The unit sells for $1,749.
|Speed||0.5 - 12 mph|
|Deck||22" x 60"|
|Belt||3-Zone Variable Response|
|Max. Weight||350 lbs|
|Heart Rate||Contact Grips and BT 4.0 ready|
|Dimensions||76" x 37" x 64"|
|Display||9.3" High Contrast Color TFT Screen|
Parts: 5 Year
Labor: 2 Year
Pros & Cons
- Larger than standard running surface (22″ x 60″)
- SpaceSaver frame that is foldable and has wheels
- 4.0 CHP motor
- Rapid speed and incline adjustment
- 350 lb weight capacity
- Pairs with several different interactive workout apps
- Bluetooth for heart rate monitoring and audio
- 3-zone variable response cushioning
- Impressive warranty for price
- Lack of on-board programming (10 workouts built-in)
- No HD touchscreen
- Still requires tablet or other device to use 3rd party workout apps
As we noted above, we were quite impressed when we first got to demo the new Horizon 7.8 AT treadmill in the fall of 2019. The market is in an interesting place, with many fitness brands focusing on building out their own interactive training programming. Horizon Fitness has known for some time that their strengths are in build quality and value, so rather than diversifying and investing heavily in personal trainers and studio recording time, the idea here is to let the established brands do what they do best, and rather focus on building a great treadmill that’s compatible with a range of training apps. After all, not everyone likes the same type of training, so after a few different free trials with the different available options, we have no doubt that one (or several) of the training options will fit the bill. That said, this treadmill is no slouch on its own, so running on it as-is is certainly a viable option as well.
Although the volume of programming built into the Horizon 7.8 AT treadmill is a bit on the lighter side of things, the included programs manage to cover the necessary bases for users to be able to use the unit effectively without requiring an outside connection. The list of programs includes the following: 5k, custom, custom HR, calorie burn, distance, fat burn, heart rate, hill climb, manual, and Sprint8. While the other programs are more or less ‘industry standard’, so to speak, the Sprint 8 program is a unique offering in the market, and one that Horizon spent a fair bit of time and effort developing.
Sprint 8, as you would imagine, is a sprint-based interval training workout. In total the workout is a brief 20 minutes overall, starting with a 3-minute warm-up and a 2.5-minute cool-down period. From there runners will sprint in bursts, 30-seconds at a time, with 90-second active recovery intervals in between. This workout takes full advantage of the treadmill’s rapid speed adjustment capability, as most other treadmills cannot adjust quickly enough to make a 30-second sprint worthwhile. Horizon seems to have a bit of science behind the efficacy of the Sprint 8 program—read the full details here—but at a basic level, the all-out sprint and active recovery approach is meant to both help burn fat, as well as act as a catalyst to help your body release human growth hormone.
The running deck on the Horizon 7.8 AT treadmill measures 22 inches x 60 inches, which is perfect for high-speed sprinting (20 x 55 is generally considered ‘standard’). The tread belt is sturdy, and the deck has a proprietary 3-zone cushioning system to help reduce impact strain on joints while running. Unlike NordicTrack’s system, the cushioning on the 7.8 AT treadmill is not adjustable. The maximum speed of the treadmill is 12 mph, and its incline range is 0 to 15 percent.
Bluetooth connectivity allows users to pair their fitness trackers and heart rate monitors to the treadmill, as well as link up their smartphones in order to play music through its speaker system. While no treadmill will have sound output that will blow you away, the sound quality from the speakers of the 7.8 AT treadmill is more than adequate to back you up on a good run.
Warranty & Guarantee
The Horizon 7.8 AT treadmill warranty includes:
– Frame: Lifetime
– Motor: Lifetime
– Parts & Electronics: 5 years
– Labor: 2 years