The Precor TRM 223 Treadmill joins the TRM 211 and TRM 243 models in forming part of their Energy Series of fitness equipment.
In this review we make some important comparisons between these three machines, as well as similarly priced treadmills from other manufacturers, such as True and Landice.
By taking an in-depth look at the features of the TRM 223 and making these comparisons, we hope to provide you with a clear idea of which model will be best for your own home workouts.
Running deck design and motor power
If you’re considering buying a new treadmill, whether it’s for running, jogging, or walking workouts, there are a number of important features to bear in mind when it comes to the running deck.
The first is whether or not it is reversible. Being reversible means you can change the location of your foot fall, which helps distribute any wear more evenly and prolong the life of the tread belt and deck itself.
While each of the treadmills in Precor’s Precision Series offers this feature, it isn’t something that’s available with any of the machines in the Energy Series (TRM 223).
Another feature to look for is the size of the running area. This is particularly important if you’re a taller user and looking to run at the higher belt speeds during your workout.
As a general guide, treadmills with a running surface longer than 58 inches are the best choice for taller users over 6 ft in height. With a running surface measuring 57″ (L) x 20″ (W), we would recommend the TRM 223 for users of up to around 6 ft tall.
If you’re in any doubt and regularly use a treadmill at your local commercial gym, it can be useful to measure the length of the running area on their machines to see how much space your running stride actually requires.
In terms of motor power, this is something that doesn’t actually change a great deal between Precor’s treadmills. Despite a difference in list price of around $3000, the TRM 223 and TRM 445 (top model in the Precision Series) are both fitted with 3.0 HP continuous duty motors. It’s not until you start looking at their TRM 811 and TRM 835 models that this increases to 4 HP AC, although by this point you should be prepared to spend over $7000.
The 3 HP continuous duty motor runs cool and quiet providing plenty of power and torque when you want it – such as during interval training when you need to speed up and slow down in a hurry.
Precor TRM 223 – Features Summary
- Energy Stride Technology reduces stress on joints by providing optimal deck cushioning and rigidity underfoot
- Non-folding design provides a structurally sound and stable platform
- 100% no-maintenance design eliminates periodic service calls
- 10 preset workouts help you stay challenged
- Built-in warm up and cool down periods
- Powerful 3 HP continuous duty motor runs cool and quiet providing plenty of power and torque for interval training
- Deck: Phenolic surface, 1 inch / 2.54 cm fiberboard
- Deck Elevation Range: 0% – 15% Incline
- Speed Range: 0.5 – 12.0 mph / 0.8 – 19.3 kph
- Running Surface: 20 inches W x 57 inches L
- Handrails: Full length
- Heart Rate Monitoring: Touch sensor and wireless with any Polar compatible chest strap transmitter
- Number of Workout Metrics: 13
- User IDs: 2
- Console Display: 5-inch high contrast LCD
- Speed & Deck Elevation Controls: Tap style Dome Keys
Display console design
The streamlined and aesthetic attractive design of the TRM 223 console has been designed to provide a large amount of workout feedback in a format that’s easy to read, while still providing storage and support for water bottles, MP3 players, smartphones, and tablets.
The console itself splits your workout feedback into four main sections:
- 1. Time and physical information
- 2. Workout progress graph (center screen)
- 3. SmartRate scale
- 4. Distance and speed
Together, the 8 screens and SmartRate scale let you keep track of important workout metrics such as Time Remaining, Heart Rate, Incline, Speed, Calories Burned, and Pace.
If you want to listen to your favourite music or watch a movie from your tablet while you workout, there’s an access cover in the back of the console that lets you connect to your device via a 3.5mm connecting cable. Precor’s patented SmartGrip™ holder will then hold your tablet securely throughout your workout, even at higher incline and belt speeds.
Later in our review we also take a look at the safety code password feature, which can prevent the tread belt from moving until a specific key sequence is entered. But there are also many other settings that the TRM 223 lets you customize.
Where most treadmills only let you adjust the unit of measure used in the on-screen feedback, this particular console also lets you set a default workout time, maximum belt speed, maximum workout time, and maximum running deck incline amongst others.
Preset workout programs
Whether it’s their RBK range of recumbent bikes, their EFX crosstrainers, or the treadmills in their Energy Series, Precor have recognised the importance of workout variation in achieving your fitness and health goals.
By varying your workout program this not only increases your motivation, but also protects against muscle adaptation, whereby your muscles would get used to the same routine and eventually result in a slowdown in progress.
The TRM 223 actually features 10 preset workouts, helping you tailor your exercise towards specific fitness goals. There are also built-in warm up and cool down periods to prevent the risk of injury, with your progress through each workout trackable via the display matrix in the center of the console.
So what results can you expect from these workouts?
9 preset training profiles
- Interval (1-1 and 1-2) – Two variations of interval program are available, with the 1-1 representing two minutes of high intensity followed by two minutes of recovery.
The 1-2 program is even more challenging, with two minutes of recovery followed by four minutes of work. The belt speed and incline can be changed at any point during your workout, and the machine will remember your new settings for each subsequent interval.
- Weight Loss – Although each of the workouts will assist with weight loss to some degree, this program combines the effectiveness of interval training with an intensity that’s designed to keep your heart rate between 50% and 70% of its maximum, helping you see faster results.
- Aerobic – If you’ve ever used a ‘Rolling Hills’ program, then Aerobic will feel very familiar. The profile is designed to improve cardiovascular conditioning, and allows you to specify the incline, speed, and duration of your workout.
- Basic HRC – Optimized for aerobic conditioning, the Basic HRC program will automatically adjust the incline of the running deck to keep you within your target heart rate range.
- Hill Climb – This is similar to the Aerobic program, but instead of reaching multiple peaks in intensity, you gradually build up to a single peak across the duration of your workout.
It’s this continuous increase of the incline that will help you to build and maintain lower body strength more than the Basic HRC or Weight Loss programs.
- Cross Country – This workout is second only to Random in terms of the variation offered by its profile. By frequently adjusting the incline, Cross Country is designed to simulate the feeling of running outdoors over dynamic terrain.
Although the profile already maximises muscle engagement, you can also adjust the belt speed throughout the program to keep your heart rate within the 50% to 70% weight loss zone for maximum benefit.
- Random – The complete opposite of the Manual program, Random will generate a different profile each time it’s selected. Although the TRM 223 doesn’t offer custom workouts, you can still customize the incline for each of the one minute segments in the profile for added variation.
- Manual – Following no set pattern of speed or incline settings, Manual is your best option if you’re simply looking to start a workout quickly, and are happy to make adjustments yourself throughout the workout.
Is it suitable for family environments?
If you’re looking for a treadmill that the whole family can use, it can be useful to find a machine that lets you store user profiles. Often listed as User IDs in the specifications, the TRM 223 console has two of these to choose from.
Although this is less than the 4 provided with the TRM 243 and 445 treadmills, you can still store basic personal information, such as age and weight, for more accurate feedback of your heart rate and number of calories burned.
However, unlike the 243 and 445 models, you’re unable to create and associate any custom workouts with these user profiles.
Aside from user profiles and custom workouts, if you’re buying a treadmill for a family environment, safety features could play a major role in deciding which model to buy.
Safety and transport features
The Precor TRM 223 has a number of features designed specifically for your safety, including the extended handrails, large straddle covers on either side of the tread belt, and a safety clip to stop the belt in the event of a fall.
But one feature that you may not have come across before is the password protection available on the console.
This is ideal for if you have younger children in the home that you don’t want accidentally starting the belt motion. While it’s recommended that you turn off the treadmill and unplug it when not in use, this adds a useful extra layer of security to the treadmill that we haven’t come across when reviewing treadmills from other manufacturers.
What this means is that until you press certain keys on the console in a specific order, the tread belt won’t move and you can’t gain access to the other console functions.
Storage and transport
Before buying any treadmill from Precor, it’s important to ensure you have the space to dedicate to it year round. That’s because, unlike some of the treadmills from companies like Sole Fitness, Precor treadmills don’t have any kind of folding mechanism.
Precor also have guidelines for the space required around the treadmill, in order to ensure user safety and allow for easy maintenance. If you’re wondering whether you have the space for the TRM 223 in your home, it might be worthwhile trying Precor’s Space Planner tool from Icovia.
A sample floor plan using the Precor Space Planner tool, showing the TRM 223 treadmill
This is the same tool we used to create the floor plans in our guide to the Energy Series treadmills, and lets you recreate rooms complete with furniture in a matter of minutes.
When you’re using this tool, Precor also recommend leaving an area one meter wide by two meters long behind the treadmill, and one meter of free space at the front and on either side.
With an equipment weight of 238 lbs, this isn’t their heaviest treadmill, but it’s worth bearing in mind that you don’t have any transport wheels, meaning assembly should be carried out as close to its final location as possible.
Precor TRM 223 vs. True PS100 vs. Landice L7
Comparisons play an important part of any in-depth product review, and our assessment of the TRM 223 is no different. Based on feedback we’ve received, two of the most popular treadmills that feature in the same price range as the 223 are the True PS100 and Landice L7.
Something you’ll notice about the PS100 is that the warranty coverage is very similar to that of the Precor model, with the exception of the motor having its own category. This means that Precor will likely be grouping the motor in with their ‘Parts and wear items’ coverage, so the PS100 already has the benefit of 25 years additional coverage on the motor.
In terms of the main specs, you’ll find many similarities between the two machines. The drive motor power, speed range, elevation range, and compatibility with the Polar® heart rate chest straps are all things that the two treadmills have in common. However, there are also a number of important differences.
The step-up height for the True PS100 is more than 1 inch lower than the TRM 223, with a larger running surface and the console lets you download your workout data to a USB.
The TRM 223 has its advantages too, with added safety features like password protection on the console, Android and iPhone compatibility, SmartGrip tablet holder, and user IDs for storing information that’s crucial for the accuracy of the workout feedback.
Comparison table: Precor TRM 223 vs. True PS100
|Model||Precor TRM 223||True PS100|
|Motor Power||3 HP DC||3 HP DC|
|Incline Range||0% to 15%||0% to 15%|
|Running Surface||57"L x 20"W||60"L x 22"W|
|Heart Rate Monitoring||Touch and telemetry||Touch and telemetry|
|Maximum User Weight||350 lbs||350 lbs|
|USB Workout Download||No||Yes|
We also wanted to make some quick comparisons with the Landice L7, which Landice claim is the world’s number 1 rated treadmill.
If you’re ordering via their website, price is something that can differ quite widely from that of Precor’s TRM 223. This is because you can actually configure your own L7, selecting the model and control panel. When we used the tool for this review, prices varied between $3695 and $6030, depending on your choice of console, shock absorption, entertainment options, and whether or not you required medical handrails.
Although it’s important to bear in mind that this represents a $700 increase in list price over the TRM 223, even for the basic configuration. But because it’s such a popular choice, we felt it would be useful to know the differences.
Looking at the specs, the L7 feels like a combination of the True PS100 and TRM 223, and even has some attractive upgrades on a number of key features.
While the elevation and speed ranges are identical to our other two treadmills, the 1000 lbs of lift thrust is 300 lbs more than the Precor model, and running deck is reversible (both features offered by models in Precor’s Precision series). The motor is also slightly more powerful at 4 CHP.
Because there are several different types of console available, we found it difficult to make accurate comparisons between the TRM 223 and the Landice L7. The closest console in terms of price was the Pro Trainer option, which offered fewer workout programs and less feedback statistics than the Precor model.
If you’re happy to pay the extra $1400 for the Executive Panel, then there are of course advantages, including a wider range of preset and custom workout programs, more comprehensive workout feedback, and a variety of fitness tests.
Comparison table: Precor TRM 223 vs. Landice L7
|Model||Precor TRM 223||Landice L7|
|Motor Power||3 HP DC||4 HP DC|
|Incline Range||0% to 15%||0% to 15%|
|Running Surface||57"L x 20"W||58"L x 20"W|
|Heart Rate Monitoring||Touch and telemetry||Touch and telemetry|
|Maximum User Weight||350 lbs||400 lbs|
|Workout Programs||9||7-20+ (Console dependent)|
|USB Workout Download||No||No|
|Elevation Motor||700 lbs||1000 lbs|
|iPod, iPhone, iPad Connectivity||Yes||Yes|
What’s covered by the warranty?
- Frame and welds: Lifetime
- Parts and wear items: 5 years
- Console: 3 years
- Labor: 1 year