Horizon 7.4 AT Treadmill Review 2021

Kristen NelsonKristen Nelson

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Last Updated: March 2, 2021

The 7.4 AT is Horizon’s mid-level treadmill and one of their most popular with just the right combination of features and price. Horizon has two treadmill series: the Go Series, which is their entry-level lineup best suited for those who want to jump on for a walk or quick run. And the Studio Series, Horizon’s higher-end models that include the 7.0, 7.4, and 7.8AT treadmills. In this review we’ll take a look at the 7.4 AT treadmill in their Studio Series lineup and why it is consistently one of Horizon’s best selling machines.

Horizon 7.4 AT Treadmill Review 2021

The Horizon 7.4 AT offers a few key features that make it especially attractive. First, it has a respectable 3.5HP motor which means it will support walking, jogging and running. Second, it has a full 22” wide by 60” long deck, so it offers plenty of room. Third, it features Horizon’s 3-Zone cushioning system that provides a cushioned foot strike followed by a supportive mid zone and solid toe-off. The 7.4AT also has a Bluetooth enabled console so it will sync with some 3rd party apps. This means you can access other apps on the 7.4AT which opens this up for use with running apps such as Zwift, Peloton or STUDIO. Horizon also offers the Sprint 8 program which comes preloaded on the 7.4 for targeted HIIT training. The 7.4 AT doesn’t have a touchscreen, but it offers a tablet shelf so you can use your own device with the app of your choice. The ability to use your favorite running app on a cushioned treadmill at an affordable price makes the 7.4AT a favorite of runners and walkers alike.

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Who It’s For: Users who want quality, durability and the option of using 3rd party apps on a powerful, cushioned treadmill

The Horizon 7.4 AT is designed for those who:

  • Want to use 3rd party apps (Zwift, Peloton, STUDIO) on a personal device or phone
  • Want a full sized deck at 22” wide and 60” long
  • Need something that is Bluetooth enabled, but are fine using a tablet or phone since there is not a touchscreen
  • Are looking for a responsive treadmill that is good for HIIT training
  • Plan to walk, jog or run as the 7.4 AT will support all methods of training
  • Need a cushioned deck that folds up when not in use
  • Like the QuickDial controls that instantly change speed and incline
  • Want something durable and affordable
Pros
  • Large, quiet motor supports walking, jogging or running
  • Has a full 22” wide and 60” long running surface that folds up
  • Features blue QuickDials that allow you to roll up or down to quickly increase or decrease speed and incline
  • The 12 incline levels make it so you can walk on a low, medium or high incline
  • Syncs with compatible 3rd party apps (Zwift, Peloton, etc.)
  • 3-Zone Variable cushioning makes it so you can run for longer without discomfort or fatigue
  • Will support up to 350 pounds
Cons
  • Does not include a touchscreen
  • 3rd party app integration does not provide automated control – when using a 3rd party app you’ll have to adjust speed and incline manually

Horizon 7.4 AT Treadmill Review 2021


Horizon 7.4 AT Treadmill FeaturesTreadmill Specs
  • 3.5 Horsepower grade motor
    • The 7.4 AT is built on a solid frame that houses a 3.5 CHP motor. We recommend a minimum of 3.5 horsepower when looking for a treadmill to use for running. Motors below 3.5HP are suited for walking but don’t support high speed/long distances as well. The 7.4 AT provides enough power for your running sessions.
  • 3-Zone Variable Response Cushioning
    • This cushioning feature reduces foot strike impact by 30% compared to road running — which is a huge benefit! Joint impact and overuse injuries are common in runners as the downward force from each step can be more than double a runner’s weight. The cushioned feel on the 7.4 AT is impressive and noticeable. Gentle flexibility in the deck mitigates foot impact while a stable surface provides a solid toe-off for each step
  • Syncs with 3rd Party Apps
    • Unlike other treadmills which only support their own app, the Horizon 7.4 AT will sync via Bluetooth with other compatible apps. Using your own tablet or phone, you can load your favorite subscription app such as Peloton or Zwift and it will sync with the Horizon 7.4 AT to display metrics on your tablet.
  • 15% Incline
    • Seriously, the 15% incline provides plenty of grade to engage glutes and hamstrings as you hammer out steep hill training. The incline range also provides multiple training variables at different inclines so you don’t get bored training on a flat road.
  • QuickDial Controls on Stationary Handles
    • New on the 7.4 AT, the 2020 model now features the same roll dial controls that were previously found on the higher priced 7.8 AT. These rolling dial controls enhance your ability to quickly turn speed/incline up and down with a quick roll of your thumb. I find these dials more natural and responsive than a touch button (although the console has those as well).
  • 0.5 – 12 MPH Speed
    • 12mph is an impressive speed and probably faster than most of us need. However, a wide speed range matters when conquering hills, doing sprints, or running fast HIIT sessions. Both the QuickDial controls and manual speed adjustments are smooth so there’s no jerkiness when increasing or decreasing speed.
  • FeatherLight Folding
    • The 7.4 AT folds easily using a bar at the base of the deck. The deck will lock in place in a vertical position and stays locked when not in use. Unlocking is also easy using a foot-release on the underside of the deck. A hydraulic release system gently brings the deck back down to the floor so you don’t have to worry about it dropping too fast.
  • Bluetooth® Enabled and Chest Strap included
    • Bluetooth Audio allows you to pair your phone with the treadmill so you can listen to your music or podcast on the speakers. Horizon also includes a HR chest strap with the 7.4 so you can track your heart rate and/or do specific HR training.

Construction:

  • 3.5 CHP RapidSync Drive System
  • 1.6mm Silicone belt
  • 0.8” Deck thickness
  • 9” Step up height
  • 318 lb total treadmill weight
  • 350 lb max user weight
  • Footprint: 76” L x 37” W x 63” H
  • Folded Footprint: 42” L x 37” W x 71” H

Console:

  • 8.25” LCD Screen
  • Alphanumeric digital
  • Programs for: Calories, Custom, Custom HR, Distance, Fat Burn, Heart Rate, Hill Climb,
  • Manual, Sprint 8
  • Tablet holder
  • Contact hand grips
  • Bluetooth 4.0 compatible
  • QuickDial controls on upright handles
  • Quick touch buttons
  • Bluetooth chest strap included

Functionality:

  • +15% Incline
  • 12 MPH Speed
  • Heart Rate Sensor Grip
  • Bluetooth enabled
  • USB Port to charge your device while in use
  • Folding deck locks into place
  • Preloaded programs
  • Integrates with 3rd party apps

Warranty:

  • Lifetime warranty on frame and motor
  • 5 Year warranty on parts
  • 2 Year warranty on labor

In-depth Review of Horizon 7.4 AT Treadmill


Functionality

The Horizon 7.4 AT Treadmill is quieter and has updated controls on the 2021 model.

Horizon 7.4 AT Treadmill is good for running

Horizon 7.0 AT Running

For those who want to run indoors, the 7.4 AT is a good option. The 3-Variable Response cushioning makes running longer distances more comfortable and the 3.0 HP motor and the 20” wide by 60” long deck provide plenty of power and space.

Excellent for walking

The 7.4 AT is also well-suited for walkers since the added cushioning makes it a good option for those with joint issues or mobility limitations. Walking indoors on a cushioned surface can help improve overall mobility and range of motion.

Strengthens the Cardiovascular system

When you run, jog or walk your muscles have a greater need for oxygen and other nutrients. As a consequence, your heart has to pump more oxygen-rich blood throughout your body, but especially to the large powerhouse muscles in your legs. The harder you work, the higher the oxygen demand. As a result, both your heart rate and your breathing increase during exercise. This heart-lung engagement is called “cardio” (heart) “vascular” (circulation) training. Cardio training is an important part of overall fitness. The more you engage and train this system, the more efficient it becomes at providing oxygen. Like any muscle, your heart is strengthened with use so it can pump more blood with each beat (stroke volume). Similarly, your lungs can inhale more oxygen with each breath (tidal volume). Those who regularly train the cardiovascular system are able to walk upstairs without getting winded and can engage in challenging exercise for longer without becoming fatigued. Cardiovascular training underscores all other elements of fitness and is an important component in staying healthy throughout your life.

Helps strengthen muscles in your legs

In addition to strengthening the cardiovascular system, working out on a treadmill also strengthens the working muscles in the legs, core and arms. Muscular development occurs as you swing your arms, stay upright and balance with your core, and walk forward with your legs. While this type of training does not create hypertrophy similar to strength training, it is a good way to gently strengthen those muscles used in daily activities. The large muscles in the legs such as the quadriceps and hamstrings require significant nutrients and oxygen. As you strengthen these muscles, you will increase your daily caloric need which stimulates a higher metabolism.

Horizon 7.4 AT Treadmill is good for weight loss

Since using a treadmill increases cardiovascular conditioning and gently strengthens working muscles, it also increases your body’s daily need for oxygen and other nutrients. This increases your need for calories as fuel. Everyone knows that working out burns calories, which is why we do it! This is why treadmills are a good option for those who want to lose weight. Simply by increasing your daily activity, you can facilitate weight loss. Too often people think that they have to work out harder, longer and more intensely to achieve weight loss. However, simple, easy activities like brisk walking, hiking, and light jogging will also promote weight loss as long as you maintain a calorie deficit (burn more than you eat). So whether you are a fit marathoner training for your next event or a busy mom who wants to drop a few pounds, the Horizon 7.4 AT treadmill is a great tool for achieving your desired weight loss.

Features

+ 15% Incline

The Horizon 7.4 AT inclines and declines so you don’t have to just walk on a flat road.

Horizon 7.0 Treadmill incline

  • The 0-15 Incline options support varied training. If you are training for a hilly marathon course, you need a treadmill that can help you train in real-world conditions. The 7.4 AT does this nicely with smooth adjustments and lots of variability.
  • There are several benefits to a wide incline/decline range. Varying the height of the track allows runners to engage different muscle groups. When working on an incline, you engage glute and hamstring muscles to offset quad dominance. More balanced musculature between the anterior (front) and posterior (back) leg muscles helps prevent issues such as a tight IT band, inflamed piriformis, sore hips and knees, etc.
  • Positioning: Be aware, when level at 0%, the treadmill deck sits 9” off the ground. When fully inclined at 15%, the top of the deck pivots to 14” off the ground. You will need an extra two-feet of overhead space to provide room for yourself while running on an incline. If you plan to put your treadmill in a small room or garage, make sure you have enough ceiling clearance.

3-Zone Variable Response Cushioning

Horizon 7.4 AT 3-Zone cushioning

  • Horizon’s 3-Zone Variable Response cushioning is designed to provide a soft foot strike (Impact Zone) with more support through the stride (Transition Zone) and a solid toe-off (Push Off Zone). This helps runners develop and maintain a proper midfoot running stride where you can get as much power as possible out of each step while minimizing impact at the same time.
  • 7.4 AT is Bluetooth Compatible with 3rd Party Apps

    Horizon 7.0 AT third party apps

    Horizon wants users to be able to get the best training out of their treadmill. As a result, they have enabled Horizon treadmills to sync with various third party apps. A third party app is one that is not manufactured directly by Horizon but can be used in conjunction with the existing treadmill features. For example, you can use the Peloton digital app while on the Horizon 7.4 AT. Using your personal tablet or phone, you can load the app and watch it while on the treadmill. Some of the app metrics will sync with the Horizon treadmill so you can keep track of your workout stats in the app and on the treadmill.

  • Zwift Running App: Horizon specifically syncs with the popular Zwift app. Using this app you can interact with other runners while competing in a virtual run. The interactive live community makes your runs more engaging and more fun. Zwift is only supported by a few treadmill manufacturers and Horizon is one of the few.
  • Peloton, STUDIO, Map my Run, ViaFit and several others are compatible with the Horizon 7.4 AT treadmill.
  • Preloaded workouts

    • 5k, Calorie, Custom, Custom HR, Distance, Fat Burn, Heart Rate, Hill Climb, Manual, Sprint 8
      • Each program provides a different workout that you can just touch and go. Quickly select any of the pre-programmed workouts if you want something that is simple and easy to use.
    • Workout Feedback
      • Metrics include: Calories, Distance, Heart Rate, Incline, Speed and Time

    Construction of the Horizon 7.4 AT

    In addition to some impressive features and functionality, the Horizon 7.4 AT has a solid frame and sturdy construction.

    Frame

  • The 7.4 AT is built on an all-steel frame. It tips the scales at 318 pounds, so be aware, this is a heavy treadmill. However, the sturdiness of the treadmill supports up to 350 pounds and feels stable even at high speeds. Horizon covers all their treadmills, the 7.4AT included, with a full lifetime warranty on the motor and frame.
  • QuickDial Controls

    Horizon 7.4AT Quick Dials

  • The Horizon 7.4 AT now includes the blue QuickDial controls on the upright handles that attach to the console. These textured dials quickly adjust the speed and incline up or down with a flick of your thumb. These dials were previously only found on the 7.8 AT treadmill and we are happy to see them on the updated 7.0 and 7.4 treadmills.
  • Sturdy Deck

    • Deck Size: One reason the 7.4 AT is so popular is the 22” wide x 60” long running surface. This provides plenty of space for walking or running and will support the stride to pretty much any user. Combined with the 3-zone cushioning, this larger deck is roomy and comfortable. Side rails provide a solid step-off surface and the deck itself is only 9” off the floor.
    • Balanced Rollers: Treadmill rollers pull the belt along the deck surface and then underneath. When roller diameter is large, less belt tension is necessary because there is additional surface area to grab the belt and move it along. In machines with smaller rollers, the belt must be strung very tight which wears out the belt and increases foot drag. The 7.4 AT has good sized rollers that reduce tension on the belt and provide a smooth gliding feel underfoot.

    3.5 HP RapidSync Drive System

  • We love that the 7.4 AT has an impressive 3.5 HP motor. We recommend a minimum of a 3.0 HP motor if you plan to run regularly. This 3.5 HP drive system enables the machine to achieve and maintain a smooth pace with even incline adjustments. The upgraded RapidSync drive system controls both speed and incline for faster response time. The motor performed well when I challenged it with several quick changes. I didn’t lag during speed segments or slow down when adjusting incline.
  • FeatherLight Folding System

    Horizon 7.0 AT Folded

    • The 7.4 AT folds up vertically and locks into place. You have to press your foot against the release bar to get the deck to unlatch, so this treadmill is secure when folded. It won’t come unlatched and drop onto children or pets.
    • Folding it is simple: Just grab the bar at the base of the deck and lift. Once locked in place, the treadmill is stable so it won’t easily tip over and shouldn’t accidentally come unlatched.
    • How to unlock: The locking bar on the underside of the deck has to be pressed with some force to get it to unlatch, so children or pets should not be able to accidentally unlock it or knock it over. Unlocking it is easy, just grab the bar at the base of the deck, press the release bar with your foot, and it will gently unfold on its own using a built-in hydraulic system.

    Console/Controls

    8.25” LCD Screen

  • There are two displays on the Horizon 7.4 AT. The upper LCD screen provides a graph display of workout metrics. As you progress through the workout, this screen displays your time, calories, distance, wattage, etc.
  • Horizon 7.0 AT Quick touch buttons

    Alphanumeric Boxes display workout metrics

  • A lower set of boxes displays the same metrics as on the main LCD screen, but these are simply digital numbers that are easy to see at a quick glance. If you use a tablet on the shelf just in front of the upper screen, it will block the larger LCD screen. The lower digital boxes make it so you can still see your metrics while using a tablet.
  • Console Layout

    • I love pretty much everything about the Horizon 7.4 AT but the console took a minute to get used to. I wasn’t sure at first why there are two display areas. The upper screen provides essentially the same information as the lower digital boxes. My assumption is that if you use a tablet on the upper shelf it will block the LCD screen, which means you’ll only be able to see your metrics via the lower boxes. A console redesign would eliminate the need for two display panels, but it works fine.
    • Also, the buttons for the different program options are not labeled; there’s just an icon. For example, for the Calorie Burn program it is a picture of a plate. Distance is a squiggly line and Heart Rate has a heart.
    • The quick touch buttons for speed and incline flank the lower panel along both edges and the QuickDial controls on the upright handles are an easy reach. Navigating the console isn’t difficult once you figure out where everything is and what it does.
    • Horizon 7.0 AT Console

    • Start/Stop/Select buttons sit below this along with the buttons for fan and volume.
    • The safety key is a red square at the base of the console.

    Fans

  • A single fan is located on the base of the console. The fan only has one power mode, it’s either on or off. The fan directs air flow towards the user’s chest, it is too low to hit your face, but still provides a cooling effect.
  • Storage Capacity

  • Two large storage pockets are found on either side of the console. These will hold a phone, keys, water bottle or other item needed within reach.
  • Overall Performance of the Horizon 7.4 AT

    Quiet in use

    The Horizon 7.4 AT is very quiet on it’s own. When you walk or run on it the belt generates a bit more noise, but we ran it in the background without anyone on it and it hardly made any noise. Obviously, larger users generate more noise while lighter users are quieter. Walking produces less impact noise than running. We didn’t notice a difference in noise output when the deck was inclined.

    Good for people of all fitness levels

    As we’ve mentioned, the 7.4 AT is good for runners, walkers, hikers or anyone who wants to improve their training and fitness. This machine is a viable option for users of all fitness levels and abilities.

    Excellent for Interval Training

    Horizon treadmills excel at interval training. Adding the QuickDials on the upright handles enables users to quickly roll up or down with just a flick of their thumb. A preset program option also allows users to set their own interval speeds that you can quickly toggle between for easy interval training. If you are looking for a treadmill that supports HIIT training and/or other interval systems, the Horizon 7.4 AT is impressive in this regard.

    Horizon 7.4 AT Treadmill Review 2021

    Bottom Line: Horizon 7.4 AT Treadmill

    We love the upgraded 2021 Horizon 7.4 AT treadmill. The 3.5 HP motor is both powerful and quiet. The expansive 22” wide by 60” long running deck provides plenty of room. And the Bluetooth functionality makes this treadmill usable with various running apps. It took me a minute to get used to the console; the design is not as intuitive as others I’ve used. But it works and there is a nice shelf for your tablet with the lower digital boxes providing workout metrics as you go along. (The upper screen also provides exceptional metrics, but it can be blocked by a tablet if you use the shelf.)

    I’m impressed by the extensive preloaded programs and the new QuickDial controls on the upright handles. This combination of features along with the fact that the Horizon 7.4 AT will sync with third party apps makes this a great treadmill for intense training and/or gentle walking. You can use your favorite app in conjunction with the 7.4 AT for any type of training. This provides a perfect span between the Horizon 7.0 and top-notch 7.8 AT. You get the best of all worlds on the Horizon 7.4 AT.

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