All of NordicTrack’s machines offer a 40% incline, with some offering a slight decline to shift more of the work onto your quads and calves.
They also use much of the same technology as their Commercial series treadmills, such as a powerful DurX™ CHP motor, 12 mph maximum belt speed, and a whole host of important functions at the console.
Although these will vary between machines, you’ll always get the OneTouch controls for the power incline and belt speed settings, and a number of useful icons for quicker selection of your desired workout program.
We put together this guide to help you decide which incline trainer is best for your own home fitness routine.
Below you’ll find an in-depth review for each incline trainer in the current collection. We’ll be checking with NordicTrack on a regular basis to make sure this list remains up-to-date, and highlight any new or discontinued models.
Incline Trainer vs. Treadmill
There’s really just one main difference between the two machines, which is that the incline trainers offer a steep gradient than treadmills.
Even NordicTrack’s top-of-the-line Commercial treadmills are limited to a gradient of 15%, whereas incline trainers will usually offer closer to 40%.
Because both types of equipment use a power incline, you can often switch between preset levels using controls on the console. This avoids the interruption to your workout that can come with a manual incline.
Suitable for different fitness goals
Whether an incline trainer or treadmill would be best for your own home workouts depends on your fitness goals. If you’re looking to supplement your current outdoor running routine, then the 15% gradient of a treadmill will be sufficient.
The shallower angle also lets you build up to higher running speeds without worrying too much about foot placement, particularly if the running area is 60″ (L) x 20″ (W) or larger.
Due to the steeper gradient, the same can’t be said of incline trainers. You won’t be able to achieve and maintain the same run and sprint speeds as you would on a treadmill.
However, the increased workload placed on your lower body muscles makes it a much better option for burning more calories in a shorter time. Doing something a bit different to your usual outdoor run can also be a great way to vary your workouts.
For NordicTrack’s machines, entertainment options are virtually identical to their treadmills, as is the build quality, warranty coverage, and ability to use iFit.
So if you’re looking to burn the most calories and lose weight with improved workout variation, the incline trainer will be your best option. If you’re training for a running race or distance event, or looking to emulate your outdoor running routine, the treadmill is your best option.
It’s important to mention that some incline trainer’s have a shorter running area than others, in much the same way as treadmills. The 60″ length offered by NordicTrack’s machines is the longest we’ve seen, making them a better option for taller users than trainers like the ProForm XT 70 (18″ x 55″ running area), which has now been discontinued.
Both types of machine are incredibly effective at improving your physical fitness, and are usually fitted with a variety of safety features to make them suitable for family environments.
Find out more about NordicTrack’s treadmills:
NordicTrack X7i Incline Trainer
As the entry level model in the collection, the X7i uses a backlit display instead of the web-enabled color screen of the X9i and X11i machines.
You still get all of the same workout stats shown as feedback, but you’re missing a lot of the more unique iFit technology that helps to create more immersive workouts.
This means no Google Maps, no Street View, and no browsing the internet while you walk, jog, or run. However, there are also a number of crucial similarities between the X7i and NordicTrack’s top-of-the-line incline trainer.
The 40% incline gradient, 12 mph belt speed, size of the screen, and iPod connectivity are all identical, as well as the OneTouch incline and speed controls. Motor power is a little down on the later X11i model (4.25 CHP), but this is reflected in the lower weight capacity.
- Workout Apps: 38
- Tread Belt: 22″ x 60″
- Cushioning: Reflex Cushioning
- Incline: 40%
- Decline: No
- Console: 10″ Backlit display
- Speed: 12 mph
- Weight capacity: 325 lbs
- iFit: Enabled
- Motor: 2.75 CHP DurX™
- Roller: 2.5″
- 15″ HDTV Screen: No
You can find more information relating to the workout programs, console functions, heart rate monitoring, and warranty coverage in our in-depth review.Read the full reviewCheck price