If you enjoy the high intensity workouts that a stepper can bring but have trouble finding the time to workout on both the stepper and treadmill, the Bowflex Treadclimber TC5000 represents a great space-saving combination of the two.
In this review we take a closer look at some of the design features in more detail, together with explaining the workout benefits of using a Treadclimber, and a quick summary of the customer reviews.
NOTE: The Bowflex TreadClimber TC5000 has now been discontinued. Our TreadClimber buyer’s guide can help you find the best deals on the latest TC100 and TC200 models, and contains in-depth reviews of all the latest models for 2016.
What exactly is a Treadclimber?
Not as common in commercial gyms as your standard treadmill or exercise bike, Treadclimbers have quickly become a popular alternative for those looking to gain the benefits of several exercises from the one machine.
With a display console, frame size, and hand rail design that might be more at home on a vibration plate trainer, each Treadclimber is designed to be much more compact than treadmills or ellipticals.
At the base of the machine you will notice two side support platforms, one attached to opposite sides of the two independent running belts.
Depending on your choice of workout, these running belts (treadles) can either be locked in place, or left to move independently.
With the treadles locked in place, your workout more closely resembles the effect of running on a treadmill, while having the treadles unlocked feels much more like a ‘stair-stepper’ style of training.
The speed of these belts does vary between the different Treadclimber machines, but the TC5000 has the benefit of offering the widest range of options, from 1.1 kmh up to a top speed of 6.4kmh.
Combining the benefits of a treadmill, stepper, and elliptical in a single product, Bowflex Treadclimbers are designed to increase the amount of calories burned and get a more effective workout.
Is the Bowflex Treadclimber better than an elliptical?
Although there isn’t the same wide range of motion that you get with an elliptical trainer, or the variable stride lengths, Treadclimbers do an excellent job of creating a similar elliptical movement.
The nature of the exercise remains low impact, which is ideal for anyone suffering from joint pain and those looking to protect their knee and hip joints from future injury.
If you are looking for a machine that lets you supplement lower body workouts with some upper body training, then a good quality elliptical is going to be hard to beat.
But if you need a low impact form of training that delivers many of the same exercise benefits of an elliptical, together with the option of a treadmill workout, then the Bowflex Treadclimber will save you a considerable amount of money and space over buying the two machines separately.
Bowflex Treadclimber TC5000 – Features Summary
- Made in USA
- Speed range is 0.7-4.0 miles per hour; twelve resistance levels
- Integrated wireless heart rate monitor provides feedback as you exercise and push your workout to the next level
- Electronic functions include speed, distance, total steps, time, calories per minute, total calories, climb indicator, and heart rate
- Warranty: motor – 5 years, electronics and other parts – 3 years, hydraulics – 2 years
- Measures 46 inches long by 30 inches wide by 55.25 inches tall; weighs 185 pounds
How the TC 5000 Treadclimber improves your fitness
With so many design features setting the Bowflex Treadclimber apart from other cardio equipment, it’s easy to overlook the unique design of the hydraulic cylinders.
Positioned at the front of the machine and joining the treadles to the frame, these cylinders help to absorb the pressure from your steps as you workout.
This not only reduces the impact on your joints, but can also reduce overall muscle fatigue which allows you to workout for longer.
Each cylinder is fitted with a dial which affects the range of movement for the treadles, with 12 settings to choose from.
This represents a whole new way to vary your workout intensity.
By setting the resistance dials to their maximum range setting of 12 you will start to take deeper steps, increasing the amount of muscle activation in your abs, glutes, quads, and lower back.
Using a combination of treadle displacement and belt speed you can quickly find the ideal workout level for challenging your current level of fitness.
Intuitive display console design
One of the great benefits to owning any piece of Bowflex fitness equipment is their focus on creating display consoles that are easy to use.
Despite providing so many different workout options, the Bowflex Treadclimber console has been kept simple.
The TC5000 provides an accurate feedback of your heart rate, calories burned, time, miles/total steps, and speed. There’s even a section dedicated to displaying the total height of your workout up to 1000ft, known as the ‘Climb Indicator’.
With such a visual indication of the elevation, this makes it simple to create a measurable fitness goal that can be improved week after week. For example, if you only managed 500ft this workout, then you can record this measurement and aim for 600ft the next week.
This same method of goal setting can be used with a combination of distance and time, calories burned, increasing your total steps, and many more.
Workout from home in complete safety
If you’re more used to running on a treadmill than working out on a Treadclimber, you’ve probably come across a feature known as a ‘safety key’.
The safety key is essentially a cord with a connector at each end; one that slots into the display console on the machine, and one that clips onto an item of clothing.
The idea behind the key is that if you were to move too far away from the display console, such as in the event of a trip or fall, then the movement of the machine would quickly come to a stop.
In addition to the safety key, the Bowflex TC5000 Treadclimber also features the extended hand rails, which are often essential for helping you maintain your balance during more intense workouts.
- Provides low impact workouts which are ideal for reducing the possibility of injury or for anyone that’s had to stop running due to knee problems
- Requires much less floor space than a treadmill or elliptical
- Easy to assemble
- Detailed instruction manual and user guide helps you setup effective workouts
- Excellent customer service
- Unique collection of workout options
- 12 treadle motion settings combine with variable belt speeds to suit a range of fitness levels
- Built-in heart rate monitor
- When you change the workout dial setting attached to the cylinders, you need to manually input that change to the display console to maintain an accurate feedback of calories burned
- 185 lb weight can make it difficult to move around if you need to after assembly
- Doesn’t provide the same ‘quick-select’ user profiles as many high quality treadmills now do
- Resistance has to be manually adjusted on each cylinder individually