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Last Updated: January 3, 2023
You’ve probably seen Life Fitness equipment in your local gym. The brand is known for making commercial fitness equipment, however, they do offer home equipment as well. In our testing of the Life Fitness Run CX treadmill, we found it to feel like you’re running on a treadmill at the gym even though it’s rated for home use. We are so impressed with how durable and stable it is, that we’ve named it the best non-folding treadmill on our list of best treadmills for home use. So, I’m excited to check out a folding treadmill from the popular brand. In this review of the Life Fitness F3 Treadmill, I’ll give you our team’s insight into what to expect and how it compares to the Life Fitness Run CX.
Why You Should Trust Our Review Of The Life Fitness F3 Treadmill
We spend a lot of time testing treadmills of all shapes and sizes. When we see a list of features and specs for a treadmill we usually can estimate how it will perform and function. Plus, if the treadmill is from a brand that we’ve tested other treadmills from, like Life Fitness Treadmills we are often able to draw comparisons and an overall analysis of the treadmill. In our spec review of the Life Fitness F3 Folding Treadmill, you can trust that our team knows what we’re talking about because of our extensive history of using and reviewing treadmills of all shapes and sizes.
- It doesn’t require a subscription to use and has three different console options at purchase.
- The motor is adaptable to handle higher speeds and heavier use.
- No matter which console you choose, there are multiple profiles to accommodate multi-user households.
- The deck is wide and long enough to handle walking and jogging for most users, and some running for users with shorter strides.
- The deck folds up when not in use to save space.
- The 55” long deck might not be long enough for some users to run on.
- The console is missing a fan.
- Comes with 3 different console options
- Preprogrammed Workouts
- Heart Rate Connectivity
- Multiple User Profiles
- Tablet Holder (with Track Connect and Track Connect 2.0)
- Bluetooth Enabled (on Track Connect and Track Connect 2.0)
- Pulse Grips
- 2 Cupholders
- Folding Deck
- 4 Transportation Wheels
- Footprint: 78.5” L x 34.5” W x 58.5” H
- Weight Capacity: 350 lbs
- Treadmill Weight: 264 lbs
- Motor: 3.0 HP DC Motor with Magna Drive Motor Controller (6 HP peak)
- Running Surface: 55” x 20”
- FlexDeck Shock Absorption
- Speed: 0.5-10mph
- Incline: 0-12%
- Warranty: Lifetime for frame and LifeSpring shock absorbers, 10-year for motor, 5-year for parts, 3-year for console, and 1-year for labor
In-depth Review of Life Fitness F3 Treadmill
With the surge of attached touch screens on treadmills, it’s nice to still see quality treadmills without them. This means that the treadmill doesn’t require subscription content to have full access to the screen. The Life Fitness F3 Treadmill instead offers preprogrammed workouts that don’t require an additional monthly price to use. Depending on the console that you choose (there are 3 to choose from at purchase), you’ll get 13-15 onboard workouts as well as custom workouts.
Onboard workouts are preloaded workouts that include preselected speeds and inclines to follow along with while you use the treadmill. We are more familiar with the programs on the Track Connect and Track Connect 2.0 consoles because we’ve used the Track Connect console. The onboard workouts are divided into 6 different modes such as classic, heart rate training, advanced, goal, custom, and HIIT. Under each mode, you’ll find a series of preselected workouts that fall within that category. For custom mode, you can create your own workouts with set speed and incline levels.
The Go Console offers slightly fewer options to choose from than the other consoles, but it still has 13 preprogrammed workouts and different modes like goal workouts and race mode.
If you are looking for optional subscription content then you can check out Aaptiv. There are thousands of workouts that you can follow along for the treadmill and even other types of training like indoor cycling and strength training.
When purchasing the Life Fitness F3 Treadmill, you can choose between the Go Console, Track Connect, and Track Connect 2.0 consoles. The least expensive is the Go Console, while the Track Connect 2.0 is the most expensive and comes with the most capabilities.
All of the consoles will display your workout metrics and treadmill settings on the LCD display. They all offer heart rate tracking and have multiple user profiles. This is great if you have a few people in your house that want to use the treadmill. When you create a profile, the treadmill will remember your individual settings.
In our experience with the Track Connect console on the Life Fitness Run CX, it is a little clunky to navigate because it has limited buttons, however, it is fairly straightforward to use. There is a cupholder on either side of the display for your water bottle. The Track Connect and Track Connect 2.0 consoles come with compression tablet holders that have a grippy texture to hold your device. There also appears to be a small storage tray below the console to potentially hold your phone or keys.
In between the front handles are more control buttons to adjust your speed/incline and start/stop the deck. These should be well within reach. This console doesn’t have a fan, so you will need to plug in a separate fan to cool off.
Construction Quality / Durability
The Life Fitness F3 Folding Treadmill does precisely that. The deck folds up to almost 90 degrees in order to save space in your home when you’re not using it. When folded, there are 4 transportation wheels so you can simply push the F3 where you need it to go. This is much easier than folding treadmills with 2 transport wheels because they require being tilted and then pushed to engage the wheels. There are also gas-assisted springs to slowly lower the deck when it’s unfolded as well.
A few factors to look out for when considering the build of a treadmill are the weight capacity and weight of the treadmill. The Life Fitness F3 has a 350 lb capacity to handle users up to that size. This is a pretty generous limit, considering just 50 lbs more is usually the max capacity we see on home treadmills.
The F3 weighs 264 lbs so it’s heavy but much lighter than the non-folding Run CX. The frame is similarly designed to the Run CX, so we’re assuming the treadmill is stable and hearty. The side handles appear to be very similar to s the Run CX, so they should be long enough to provide support. The two front handles have pulse grips to check your heart rate when you’re holding them.
Another factor that reminds us of the Run CX, is the Life Fitness F3’s motor. It is a 3.0 HP DC motor that has a 6.0 peak. This means that the motor is capable of increasing its horsepower for short bursts to help the treadmill run more efficiently at higher speeds. Since the motor is adaptable, it should be able to handle heavier use. This motor size should be great for walking, jogging, and running. The motor goes up to 10 mph, which should be plenty for most users. The incline goes up to 12% to offer variety with your training, too. It doesn’t decline.
The deck is 55” x 20” inches making it suitable for walking and some jogging. Users with a shorter running stride could possibly run faster on this deck. In our testing, 60” long-running surfaces are ideal for all levels of training. So, something to keep in mind is that even though the treadmill can handle operating at higher speeds, this treadmill might not be the best for you to run on because of the deck length.
Warranty & Customer Service
Life Fitness includes an impressive lifetime warranty for the frame and shock absorbers, a 10-year warranty for the motor, a 5-year warranty for parts, 3-year for the console, and a 1-year warranty for labor.
Bottom Line Review: Life Fitness F3 Treadmill
Life Fitness is known for making solid fitness equipment for public and private use. With all of its similarities to the Life Fitness Run CX, found on our best treadmills list, we expect the F3 to be another solid option. The Life Fitness F3 does fold up though, so it’s better for users who have limited space and need a storable treadmill. It is a little more compact with its 20” x 55” running surface, so it might not be suitable for runners with longer stride lengths, however, most users should be able to walk and jog comfortably. We like that it doesn’t require a subscription to use and that there are 3 different consoles to choose from depending on your preference and budget. We anticipate that the Life Fitness F3 Treadmill will work for most users and should handle a lot of use because of its adaptable motor. For users wanting a solid folding treadmill with nice features and a lifetime warranty, this one is one to consider.