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Last Updated: January 12, 2022
The Run CX Treadmill from Life Fitness feels like a treadmill you’d find at the gym, but for your own home. That’s because Life Fitness is one of the leading brands in commercial gym fitness equipment, and they’ve been around since 1968.
Not only does it feel similar to a gym treadmill, but it functions like one too. The interface on the console is fairly basic and doesn’t require a monthly subscription fee to access the content. In fact, you don’t even need an internet connection to use the Run CX. So, if you’re looking for a sturdy, straightforward home treadmill check out our full Life Fitness Run CX Treadmill review and see if it’s for you.
Why You Should Trust Our Review Of The Life Fitness Run CX Treadmill
We were anxious to try a home treadmill from Life Fitness since we’re more acquainted with them in gym settings. We were also excited to see how the Run CX compares to some of the best treadmills that we find to be staples in the home fitness industry.
We ran on the Sole F85, NordicTrack 2950, Peloton Tread, NordicTrack X22i, and Matrix TF30 treadmill to see how the Run CX compares. We focused on everything from the motor, running surface, construction, and console, to specs like footprint and price in order to present you with this comprehensive review.
Who The Life Fitness Run CX Treadmill Is For:
- Runners/walkers who don’t want to be tied into a monthly app subscription.
- Runners training for long-distance races who want a treadmill that will last beyond their countless miles.
- Gym enthusiasts who want a similar quality treadmill at home for a more affordable price than treadmills found at the gym.
- Households that need a treadmill to handle regular use from multiple users.
- Users who want a quiet, solid treadmill and don’t have to worry about moving it around their home.
- Athletes who want flexibility with how they use their treadmill.
Our Video Review of the Run CX
- 15 preloaded workouts and 12 custom workouts
- 4 user profiles to save stats and preferences
- Bluetooth enabled to connect to third-party apps like Life Fitness Connect, Zwift, and Strava
- The entertainment rack has a compression feature to hold your phone/tablet
- Included heart rate monitor chest strap
- FlexDeck Shock Absorption
- USB charging port
- Track Connect Console
- 3.0 HP (6.0 Peak) DC Motor with Magna Drive motor controller
- Treadmill Dimensions: 79.5”L x 32”W x 61”H
- Running Surface: 60” x 22”
- Weight Capacity: 400lbs
- Treadmill Weight: 341lbs
- 0.5 – 12 mph speed
- 0 – 15% incline
- 0.5% incline increments
- 2 front wheels for transport
- 2 cupholders
- Accessory Tray
- Pulse Grips
- Treadmill Specs
- Warranty: Lifetime on frame and shock absorbers, 10-year on the motor, 7-year for parts, 3-year for the console, and 1-year on labor
In-depth Review: Life Fitness Run CX Treadmill
Pre-loaded Workouts and Third-Party Apps
The Run CX has 15 onboard workouts and 12 custom workouts that are integrated into the console. There are 6 modes that comprise these preprogrammed workouts where the treadmill will adjust for you, or you can simply press start, jump right into manual mode, and do your own thing.
The Heart Rate Training mode requires you to use the heart rate monitor chest strap. Your current heart rate is also shown on the screen during all the workouts whether you use the chest strap or pulse grips.
The other modes include classic, advanced, goal, custom, and HIIT.
There are up to 4 user profiles where you can input your age, weight, and set a default workout duration. You’ll also be asked to input your walking, jogging, and running paces as well as inclines for those speeds. The multiple profiles let numerous people in your household save their stats when they use the Run CX, which is convenient.
Once you log into your profile, the information you input will be set as the default in the preprogrammed workouts, however you can change them as well.
I did find that inputting my stats to create a profile was a little challenging because of the basic design and limited buttons. Alas, I’ve become accustomed to the higher technology from using the touchscreen on my phone and touchscreens on several other home fitness equipment.
So, if you prefer a more updated interface or even just a touchscreen, this is something to consider. The Run CX has a large entertainment rack so you can use your phone or tablet as well. The rubber on both parts of the rack help keep the device in place.
I say if you have a tablet, it would probably work better than a phone on this rack though because it would be easier to see the screen. I didn’t like using my phone on the rack since the screen is small.
You can connect to the Life Fitness Run CX treadmill through Bluetooth easily, which lets you use apps like Zwift and the Life Fitness Connect App. Once connected, your workout data is reflected in these apps.
The Life Fitness Connect App will track and save your workouts. There is also a surprisingly large amount of coached workouts that you can take for just $6.99 per month. Although you can access a couple of audio workouts for free, know that the choices are limited without the premium subscription.
There are video and audio classes both on and off the treadmill, as well as for other Life Fitness equipment like rowers, ellipticals, and outdoor walks/runs. These workouts are prerecorded and are led by a trainer.
However, they aren’t as interactive and high-quality as a trainer-led class on iFit which is integrated on NordicTrack treadmills. So, if you’re looking for subscription content and studio classes to take on your treadmill, the Life Fitness Connect app and the Run CX treadmill might not be for you.
Our team likes that the Life Fitness Run CX treadmill can be used without a monthly subscription and it doesn’t connect to wifi, since there are plenty of treadmills that do require these on the market.
Overall, the console is straightforward and it’s easy to see and reach all the features. I did have some problems initially with navigating the console which made it feel a little clunky to use.
All of the buttons are clearly labeled and make sense, but there’s a limited amount of buttons. This makes the overall functionality suffer, in our team’s opinion.
We really enjoy the overall feel of this console, however. There’s also plenty of storage for items like your phone, wallet, keys, and water bottle.
The pulse grips and additional buttons on the lower part of the console stick out in front of the interface a bit, which makes them convenient to reach, but it shifts you back slightly on the running surface.
There are 6 buttons that allow you to jump from preselected higher and lower speeds/inclines. These make it more convenient to hop from high to low inclines, and slower to faster paced than holding down the silver up/down buttons. These buttons adjust the speed by 0.1 increments and incline by 0.5% increments which lets you find specific incline and speed levels to workout at.
The design is more compact than the Sole F85 treadmill and NordicTrack 2950, but this is also due to the lack of an interactive screen, fan, and additional buttons for adjusting your speed/incline.
Construction Quality / Durability
Although we haven’t had this treadmill for long and it’s our first treadmill from Life Fitness, we can’t explicitly say it will last a long time, but it certainly feels like it could.
When our team assembled it, we noticed that there’s additional steel components under the hood that are built into the frame, as well as the console than what we’ve seen in other treadmills. This makes the Run CX feel extremely solid and also explains why it’s so heavy at 341 lbs.
There isn’t a metal crossbar under the handles like on the NordicTrack 2950 and Sole F85 which helps keep those consoles still. The Run CX, however, doesn’t need a crossbar because it’s already solid and still the way it is.
The handles are sleek and have a nice coating, which doesn’t feel sticky or slippery as you start sweating.
The Life Fitness Run CX has a 3.0 HP DC motor. DC motors are commonly found in home treadmills because they require less electricity than AC motors which are typically found in gym treadmills.
Although DC motors start and stop more slowly than AC motors, they are quieter. The Run CX motor is the same size but quieter than the Peloton Tread. The incline motor is a touch louder, but still pretty quiet.
The motor has a 6.0 HP peak which means it can increase its horsepower to this for short periods. So when you’re running and sprinting at high speeds, the motor will adjust to handle it. This makes the Run CX treadmill feel like a really solid, yet quiet workhorse.
When running and skipping we noticed that the food noise is very low. We heard more foot noise when we ran on the Sole F85, NordicTrack 2950, as well as the Peloton Tread.
The Run CX also has a pretty low step-up height, especially compared to the NordicTrack 2950, so this is something to consider if you have lower ceilings.
The running surface is 22” x 60” which is a nice size and standard on treadmills of this quality. However, compared to the deck on the Matrix TF30 treadmill, the Run CX is a bit longer and wider.
As for cushioning, it isn’t as soft as treadmills from NordicTrack, but it is sufficient enough to help minimize the impact on the joints.
We think that the cushioning could be suitable for long-distance runners who want a firm surface to run on but more shock absorption than running on concrete.
Performance & Functionality
The Run CX treadmill from Life Fitness functions well and can handle up to 400 lb users. We had our largest reviewer who is 6’5” 230 lbs run on this treadmill at 11 mph, and it handled his weight well with very minimal movement of the console. We did notice a little bit of rattling in the deck when he was running at high speed, but it wasn’t too noticeable.
Although I’m not currently training for a race, if I was, I would pick this treadmill to train on because it feels like it can handle extended use well.
I’m not a huge fan of the console. Our team thought that the limited buttons made it a little less functional than other treadmills. However, it’s nice to not have to connect to the internet and be tied into a subscription workout app, which is becoming increasingly popular with home treadmills.
I also like the amount of preloaded and custom workouts that allow me to zone out and let the treadmill adjust the speed and incline for me.
The quick touch buttons let you jump from low, medium, and high speeds/inclines are nice, but we wish they came with more options like treadmills from Sole and NordicTrack.
One thing to keep in mind with the Run CX is that it doesn’t fold up like many home treadmills. It has 2 wheels on the front of the frame, but it’s heavy which makes moving it difficult. I wouldn’t recommend this treadmill if you don’t have a specific spot for it to stay in your home.
The Life Fitness Run CX treadmill was delivered to us just like a regular customer. Two of our team members, including myself, assembled it. Assembly was pretty straightforward and similar to other treadmills that we’ve put together. We do recommend that at least 2 people set it up.
The warranty is pretty extensive. Life Fitness offers a lifetime warranty on the frame and shock absorbers, a 10-year warranty on the drive motor, a 7-year warranty on parts, a 3-year warranty on the console, and a 1-year warranty on labor.
This warranty is similar to what Matrix offers on the TF30. Both of these brands have lifetime warranties for certain components, which is nice.