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The 7 Best Home Treadmills For Interval Training

Most of us probably have a love-hate relationship with intervals: we love the results we get when we do ’em, but we hate doing ’em.

You can do intervals on any type of cardio machine, but treadmills are always a popular choice because it doesn’t take long to get that heart rate up with running or walking against a steep incline.

That said, some treadmills are certainly better equipped for interval training than others.

And these are the treadmills we’re here to talk about right now.

In this guide, I’ll present my top picks for the year’s best treadmills when it comes to interval training.

And since there’s no reason for you to simply take my word for it, I’ll also discuss the specs and features I used to select the treadmills that made this list.

This way, if none of the treadmills on this list meet your needs, you’ll know what to look for when comparing other models.

Let’s get things started by going over what makes a treadmill good for interval training in the first place.

 Interval FeaturesMotorRunning SurfaceWarranty
#1 Horizon 7.8 ATCustom interval buttons
QuickDial controls
Quick touch buttons
4.0 HP22" x 60"Lifetime frame/motor
5 year parts
2 year labor
#2 Horizon 7.4 ATCustom interval buttons
QuickDial controls
Quick touch buttons
3.5 HP22" x 60"Lifetime frame/motor
5 year parts
2 year labor
#3 Sole F85Quick touch buttons
12 custom workouts
4.0 HP22" x 60"Lifetime frame/motor
5 year parts
2 year labor
#4 LifeSpan TR6000iQuick touch buttons
13.5 mph top speed
Ton of built-in workouts
3.5 HP AC22" x 60"10 year frame
2 year parts
1 year labor
#5 Life Fitness Run CX12 custom workouts3.0 HP22" x 60"Lifetime frame
10 year motor
7 year parts
1 year labor
#6 NordicTrack Commercial 2450Quick touch buttons
AutoAdjust feature
iFit
3.6 HP22" x 60"10 year frame
2 year parts
1 year labor
#7 Horizon 7.0 ATCustom interval buttons
QuickDial controls
Quick touch buttons
3.0 HP20" x 60"Lifetime frame/motor
3 year parts
1 year labor

What To Look For When Choosing A Treadmill For Interval Training

Intervals come in all shapes and sizes (HIIT, Tabata, etc), but something they all have in common is that they force you to work really hard for a period of time, followed by a recovery period at a lower intensity.

Different interval styles come with varying work/rest ratios, but they’re all quite efficient at kicking your butt.

Whether you’re looking to lose weight, burn fat, improve cardiovascular health, or simply get in a quick workout, intervals are never a bad idea.

As one of my favorite Peloton instructors (Robin) puts it, “intervals make athletes”.

They sure do.

Anyway, when looking for a treadmill to help you with your interval workouts, there are a few things worth looking for.

Interval Features

Most treadmills come with at least a few built-in workout programs and at least one of these is usually an interval profile.

These are ok I guess, but all treadmills come with these, so this alone doesn’t really make one model better or worse than another when it comes to interval training.

Instead, I suggest you look for treadmills that have more specific interval features, like custom interval options or “quick touch” interval buttons.

Features like these allow you to set your own intervals and create your own workouts, both of which can make it more convenient to swap between your personal work and rest speeds (and inclines).

Some treadmills also come with HIIT specific workouts too, which can be very convenient if this is what you’re looking for.

Motor Strength

Motor strength is something I encourage everyone to consider when looking for any type of treadmill, but it’s especially important when it comes to interval training.

Most home treadmills can reach the same top speed of 12 mph, more or less, but a stronger motor will allow you to reach faster speeds faster.

Which can come in really handy when doing interval training.

With a weaker motor, you might find yourself wasting several seconds from each work interval waiting for the treadmill to reach the desired speed.

Which is something folks serious about their intervals won’t appreciate.

How strong is strong enough?

Well, if you plan on running during your intervals, it’s good practice to go with a treadmill with at least a 3.0 CHP motor.

With a motor this powerful, you can rest assured the motor will be able to keep up with your demands.

When it comes to motors, I like to compare roller sizes too and having bigger rollers is always a good thing.

The rollers are what allow the belt to glide across the deck and larger rollers make for smoother operation, as well as being more structurally sound.

High-quality treadmills usually come with rollers that are at least 2″, although some go as large as 3″.

Running Surface

The running surface tells you how much room you have to work with during use and I’ve never heard anyone complain that their treadmill was too spacious.

But if your treadmill’s running surface is too small, you could find yourself literally running out of room when trying to sprint at faster speeds.

Walkers usually don’t have to worry about this spec as much as runners, but again – having more room is always a good thing when it comes to comfort.

Your exact space requirements depend greatly on your height and leg length, but most folks are safe with a treadmill with a running surface of 20″ x 60″.

As you’ll see below, many treadmills come with running surfaces a little larger than this too.

Incline Levels

Most home treadmills these days come with some adjustable incline levels, but not all do.

If you plan on using the incline levels during your interval workouts, this is something you’ll want to keep an eye on; if you don’t plan on using inclines, not so much.

Most quality treadmills come with power adjustable incline settings that top out around 15%.

If you plan on using inclines, opting for a treadmill with quick touch incline adjustments is a good idea.

Warranty

You should really consider the warranty for any treadmill you’re considering, not just for interval training – but it’s important, so I figured I might as well include this info here.

The quality of a treadmill’s warranty is a high priority for me because it tells you a lot about the treadmill and brand providing it.

Generally speaking, nicer treadmills come with longer warranties (and vice versa).

Treadmill warranties are usually divided into a few different sections:

  • Frame
  • Motor
  • Parts
  • Labor

The frame and motor warranties should be the longest and top models will offer “lifetime” for both.

The parts warranty will be significantly shorter, with most brands maxing out at 5 years (although Spirit offers 10 year parts warranties).

The labor guarantee is always the shortest, with the vast majority of brands only offering 1 year for labor.

Ok, now that we know what we’re looking for (and what info I used to select the below treadmills, I promise there is a method to my madness), let’s get to the good stuff already.

The 7 Best Home Treadmills For Interval Training

#1 Horizon 7.8 AT Treadmill

When it comes to interval training, I’m not aware of any home treadmill brands that make it more convenient than Horizon.

It doesn’t hurt that their treadmills are powerful, easy to use, and backed by great warranties either.

These days, Horizon offers several treadmills to choose from and the 7.8 AT is their most advanced model of the bunch.

The 7.8 AT comes with impressive performance specs, like a 22″ x 60″ running surface and a 4.0 HP motor, but it’s the small details that really make this a great interval treadmill.

More specifically, I’m talking about the custom interval buttons located on the handles.

With the 7.8 AT, you can save your custom work and rest interval settings (including speed and incline), so that with a push of a button, the treadmill instantly goes to that setting.

You can also instantly adjust back to whatever recovery settings you want to, with the push of another button.

It’s brilliant.

If this wasn’t enough, this treadmill also comes with quick dial controls for both the speed and incline, making it really easy to rapidly adjust both.

There’s also quick touch speed and incline buttons allowing you to jump to a given speed/incline without having to mess with the dials.

Horizon gives you several different ways to adjust your treadmill’s settings during workouts and they’re all conducive to interval training.

Oh, there’s also a built-in 20 min HIIT workout that sets the intervals for ya – you know, for those days you just want to hop on and do what you’re told.

The 7.8 AT is also backed by a great warranty (lifetime frame/motor, 5 year parts, 2 year labor).

Add all this together and you’ve got the makings for one of the best interval training treadmills around; I’d even go as far as saying this is one of the best home treadmills period. See full review.

(I currently have the 7.8 AT in my personal home gym and love it).

#2 Horizon 7.4 AT Treadmill

No, you aren’t seeing doubles, the 7.4 AT is another Horizon treadmill that’s also very good for interval training.

The 7.4 AT is just a little lighter-duty than the 7.8 AT, coming with a less powerful motor and a lower weight capacity, although this treadmill’s specs are still impressive in their own right.

More specifically, this treadmill comes with a 3.5 HP motor, but it still comes with the same spacious 22″ x 60″ running surface.

It’s weight limit is a bit lower too (350 lb vs 375 lb), but this is still more than high enough to handle most users out there.

Otherwise, this treadmill is pretty identical to the 7.8 AT mentioned above.

It comes with the same custom interval buttons, the same quick dial controls, and the same quick touch interval settings for speed and incline.

I didn’t mention this above, but both treadmills also come with extra goodies, like bluetooth speakers, compatibility with fitness apps, and an included chest strap heart rate monitor.

The 7.4 AT also comes with the same great home warranty mentioned above.

So, if you like the 7.8 AT and are ok with a smaller motor, you can save about $400 and go with the 7.4 AT. See full review.

#3 Sole F85 Treadmill

sole f85

Image courtesy of Sole Fitness

Sole’s a great brand and I think their cardio machines are easily amongst the best options in their respective price ranges.

For me, it’s because their machines are heavier-duty and backed by better warranties than pretty much any other brand in their price range.

And their F85 is no different.

When it comes interval features, the F85 doesn’t come with the handy custom interval buttons found on the Horizon models above, but it does come with quick touch speed/incline settings and the ability to save up to 12 different custom workouts.

Meaning you could make your own interval workouts and save ’em for future use.

But when it comes to performance, the F85 can hold its own with any treadmill in its class.

With a 4.0 HP motor, a 22″ x 60″ running surface, and 2.75″/2.36″ rollers, this treadmill is built to handle home gymers of all fitness levels.

It also comes with a ridiculously heavy-duty frame – with an assembled weight of 308 lb, this bad boy can safely accommodate folks up to 400 lb.

The F85 also comes with a touchscreen, Android powered console that’s pre-loaded with entertainment apps like Netflix and YouTube.

And when it comes to the warranty, Sole doesn’t disappoint: lifetime frame/motor, 5 year parts, 2 year labor.

All things considered, the F85 would make a great option for interval training or pretty much anything else you’d want to do on a treadmill. See full review.

#4 LifeSpan TR6000i Light-Commercial Treadmill

LifeSpan is one of those brands that probably doesn’t get the attention they should – maybe because their lineup is a little smaller and they aren’t quite as flashy as some other brands.

But when you stop and look at their treadmills, it’s clear to see that they’ve got some great options to choose from.

When it comes to interval training though, it’s their TR6000i that caught my attention.

This treadmill comes with a 22″ x 60″ running surface, allowing folks of all heights the ability to stretch out comfortably.

It’s also packing a 3.5 HP AC motor that can reach a top speed of 13.5 mph.

This is interesting because most home treadmills max out at 12 mph; also, because most home treadmills come with a DC motor.

Long story short, AC motors are usually found on commercial treadmills because they can handle hours of use more efficiently than DC motors.

The TR6000i is one of the most affordable treadmills I’ve come across that comes with an AC motor.

This model also comes with a ton of workout programs, quick touch speed/incline buttons, and even includes some of the more popular fitness tests.

LifeSpan’s warranty isn’t quite as generous as the other brands already mentioned, but still not bad: 10 year frame, 2 year parts, 1 year labor.

Overall, if you’re looking for a treadmill that can handle some serious sprinting, the TR6000i is a great choice. See full review.

 

#5 Life Fitness Run CX Treadmill

run cx treadmill

Image courtesy of Life Fitness

Here’s a brand that needs no introduction – if you’ve worked out in any commercial gym in the US, odds are you’ve come across their work.

Well, they’ve got an impressive lineup of products for residential use too.

The Run CX is one of their newer treadmills and I have a feeling it’ll become one of their most popular.

This treadmill comes with a 22″ x 60″ running surface, a 3 HP motor, and an adjustable incline up to 15%, allowing it to challenge even the most gifted walkers/runners out there.

And with the ability to save up to 12 custom workouts, the Run CX allows folks to save as many interval programs as they’d like.

It also comes with 15 standard workout profiles as well.

And with an assembled weight of 341 lb and a weight capacity of 400 lb, you won’t have to worry about this treadmill feeling anything less than rock solid during use.

It’s also backed by a fabulous home warranty: lifetime frame, 10 year motor, 7 year parts, 1 year labor.

If you’re looking to add one of the most celebrated fitness brands of all time to your home gym, the Run CX is a great way to do so without breaking the bank. See full review.

 

#6 NordicTrack Commercial 2450 Treadmill

Here’s another brand I’m sure we’re all familiar with. And even though notoriety doesn’t always mean quality, in NordicTrack’s case, it kinda does.

NordicTrack is one of the most popular brands year in and year out because their products hold up and come with some great features.

In the 2450’s case, the most notable feature is that huge 22″ HD touchscreen console used for streaming iFit workouts – but it’s got some impressive performance specs too.

Like a 22″ x 60″ running surface, a 3.6 HP motor, and the ability to reach a -3 – 15% incline.

Yup, this treadmill can decline too.

I’m not sure how much you’ll use decline settings for interval training, but hey, after a tough interval workout you might want to do some downhill walking to cool down.

When it comes to intervals, the 2450 scores highly with convenient quick-touch buttons and the fact that you get access to basically unlimited workout options through iFit.

I also like that this treadmill comes with 2.5″ rollers and a heavy-duty frame.

Oh, if you use iFit, you can also take advantage of their AutoAdjust feature that adjusts the speed and incline automatically to match what the instructors are instructing – pretty cool.

NordicTrack’s warranties aren’t as long as some of the other brands mentioned here (10 year frame, 2 year parts, 1 year labor), but if you’re looking for a streaming treadmill with some serious capabilities, the 2450 is a nice option. See full review.

 

#7 Horizon 7.0 AT Treadmill

We started this list off with a Horizon treadmill, so we might as well end on one too.

I told ya Horizon was the boss when it comes to interval training – and here’s another prime example to prove my point.

The 7.0 AT is a smaller, less powerful version of the 7.4 and 7.8 AT mentioned earlier, but it’s still got a lot to offer – especially for folks dealing with a smaller budget.

This treadmill comes with a 20″ x 60″ running surface and a 3.0 HP motor, so a little smaller on both accounts.

But it can still reach a top speed of 12 mph and a top incline of 15%.

And even though it’s a little smaller and lighter, it can still handle users weighing up to 325 lb – not bad for a treadmill in the $1k range.

And when it comes to intervals, the 7.0 AT comes with the same quick dial controls and custom interval keys found on the more expensive 7.4 and 7.8 AT.

It also comes with the same quick touch speed/incline buttons too.

The warranty on this model isn’t quite as generous, but with a lifetime frame/motor, 3 year parts, and 1 year labor guarantee, it still comes with more coverage than most.

Overall, the 7.0 AT offers folks a more affordable option to take advantage of Horizon’s awesome interval features. See full review.

 

Final Thoughts

There ya have it.

That all makes sense right?

When coming up with these guides and choosing the machines to include, I sometimes struggle with rankings or with trying to present my decision making process in a concise manner.

But in this case, I feel like it all came together pretty well.

When looking for an interval treadmill, it makes sense you’d want to search for convenient interval features like built-in workout programs or the ability to save your own custom intervals.

It also makes sense that if you’re going to be doing a lot of running intervals, you’d want a treadmill that’s large enough and powerful enough to support regular running.

And with all treadmills, it always makes sense to look for the best warranties.

Ok, I feel like that it all came together pretty nicely, but if you have any questions or comments, or know of any awesome interval training treadmills that I didn’t mention, please leave a message below and I’ll get right back to ya.

Peace out and good luck with those intervals!

Will

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