The Precor TRM 425 Precision Series Treadmill combines advanced running deck technology with 17 degrees of incline / decline settings and up to 12mph belt speeds to position itself as a clear competitor to other running machines at this price point, such as the ProForm Power 1080i.
In this review we take a closer look at the running deck design, safety features, workout programs, assembly process, and user profile creation to help you determine if this is the best choice of treadmill for your own home workouts.
Running deck design and frame features
A popular modern trend for light commercial treadmills in home gyms is the addition of various decline running deck options, to supplement their current incline settings.
The Precor TRM 425 is one of the Precision Series treadmills that features decline positions of up to -2 degrees, which is one of the main improvements over treadmills such as the TRM 223 model in the Energy Series.
Aside from the 17 degrees of possible inclines, when we made further comparisons between these two running machines we were surprised to see that the TRM 425 actually features the shorter running area.
Although it does measure two inches wider than the TRM 223, you do lose an inch in the length, with the total running surface measuring 22 inches wide and 56 inches in length.
In reality this really shouldn’t make a huge difference to the quality of your workout, and we were much more impressed by the fact that the TRM 425 running deck is reversible, whereas the TRM 223 deck is not.
If you’re unfamiliar with reversible running decks, this essentially helps to increase the lifespan of your machine, as it allows you to flip the running deck over and ensure even usage.
To help keep the deck stable while you complete your workout, base levellers have also been added in the form of two small feet at the back of the base.
These are something we saw used as a way of distributing weight more evenly on the Precision ellipticals, and can be used as a way to compensate for any slight unevenness in the ground it needs to be placed on.
Advanced running deck technology
As well as the decline options and reversible running deck, Precor have implemented a system called Integrated Footplant Technology, which is designed to reduce the stress on your knee and hip joints by instantaneously adjusting the belt speed to match your running speed.
In addition, Ground Effects Impact Control is used to provide the perfect amount of cushioning through a series of precisely engineered shock absorbers being placed along the front of the deck. At the same time, the rear of the deck is more rigid to give you a stable surface for an easy push off and safe running for all types of exercisers.
In terms of the motor that powers the treadbelt and incline adjustments, the TRM 425’s powerful 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 make sudden adjustments to the belt speed.
Precor TRM 425 Precision – Features Summary
- Integrated Foot plant Technology reduces stress on knees, ankles and hips by adjusting the belt speed to match the natural movement of your feet
- Patented Ground Effects Impact Control technology uses precisely engineered shock absorbers to provide the perfect amount of cushioning
- 10 preset workouts help you stay challenged
- Built-in warm up and cool down periods
- Treadmill deck adjusts from +15% incline to -2% decline to simulate the ultimate in terrain variety
- Motor: 3.0 HP Continuous Duty
- Deck: Phenolic surface, 1 inch / 2.54 cm fiberboard, reversible
- Speed Range: 0.5 – 12.0 mph / 0.8 – 19.3 kph
- Running Surface: 22 inches W x 56 inches L
- Handrails: Full length SoftTouch
- Heart Rate Monitoring: Touch sensor and wireless with any Polar compatible chest strap transmitter (included)
- Number of Workout Metrics: 13
- User IDs: 2
- Console Display: 5-inch high contrast LCD
- Speed & Deck Elevation Controls: Tap style Dome Keys
Safety features and transport
If you’re familiar with Precor’s Energy Series of ellipticals, you’ll know that safety plays an important role in every piece of fitness equipment they develop.
The Precor TRM 425 is no different, with a range of subtle safety features included to help reduce the risk of injury, and ensure you are well protected should anything happen while you’re running.
One of the safety features we’ve learned to look for on all treadmills is the use of a safety key. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking to spend $300 or $3000 on a treadmill, if it doesn’t have a safety key, then there may be no protection against injury as a result of a fall.
Fortunately all Precor treadmills include a safety key, which essentially works by loosely connecting an item of your clothing to the display console.
This is via a short length of lanyard with a clip at one end and a magnet at the other. The magnet then attaches to the console, and the clip to an item of your clothing, usually near the waist.
In the unlikely event of a fall, the safety key is designed to detach from the console, which will slow the treadmill belt to a stop.
Password protected console
Another safety feature that’s more unique to Precor is the addition of a password to protect the operation of the console.
The Energy Series ellipticals actually allowed you to create your own button key sequence, and gave you a master code as backup in case you forgot it.
This is the same case with the Precor TRM 425, where you can choose to keep this feature enabled and set your own sequence, or choose to disable it entirely if you don’t think it will prove beneficial.
Whereas the safety key protects you when you’re running, this is more to protect anyone that might accidentally step on the belt and start operating the belt, such as young children.
There are also a couple of design features worth mentioning that may not be strictly for safety, but can certainly help provide some much needed support if you start to feel feint during a workout.
These are the hand rails and the platforms on either side of the treadbelt.
Unlike some machines that only provide horizontal rails, Precor actually provide both, with the rails on either side being extended to almost half the length of the running deck. This ensures they are always within easy reach of your natural running position on the running belt.
In terms of transport and storage, Precor aren’t a company that tends to create folding treadmills. Even if they did, when you consider that this is a machine that weighs over 350 lbs, folding the running deck probably wouldn’t be the easiest process.
This is why it’s important to ensure you have a permanent space you can dedicate to having this machine setup, even when it’s not in use.
Display console features
One of the reasons the safety code feature is so similar to the option found with others in the Energy and Precision Series’ is because they use an identical console, right down to the workout programs.
If you’re fortunate enough to be buying the TRM 425 as an addition to one of the Precor ellipticals from the Series’ we listed above, then this will certainly cut down on the learning curve of getting used to a new piece of equipment.
However, there are some minor differences.
These include only being able to configure a maximum running deck incline of 15 degrees, compared to the 40 degrees offered by some ellipticals.
But because CrossRamp also works around an incline system, Precor have even managed to use the same icon to identify the incline and resistance adjustment buttons on the console.
Workout feedback metrics:
Excluding the SmartRate heart rate scale and user ID selection, your workout feedback is split into clearly defined screens, making it much easier to keep track of what’s important.
Most of the feedback from the running belt itself is grouped together within the lower text display. This includes your distance, pace, and average speed.
Metrics that are influenced by your body composition and fitness level are grouped into a series of 4 small screens above the upper text display. Feedback such as calories burned, heart rate, and average number of calories burned per minute.
The upper text display itself (largest central screen) is reserved for showing a profile of your current workout program, or what Precor refers to as a ‘Progress Graph’.
While the Progress Graph on the Precor TRM 425 is limited to showing your current workout segment, this is a feature that really has some unique and extremely useful feedback when you take a look at the later TRM 445 model.
On the TRM 445, you can actually track the correlation between different metrics and your progress through the workout. For example, you could choose to track your heart rate against the workout profile, which would identify the belt speed and incline settings that worked best for keeping you within target heart rate range.
Preset workout programs
In keeping with the Precision series ellipticals, custom workout programs that can be allocated to specific user profiles aren’t available unless you buy the top treadmill in the series – the Precor TRM 445.
That being said, you’re certainly not short on workout inspiration, with 10 preset workout programs providing varying combinations of incline and resistance to create workouts suitable for all fitness levels.
By switching between these workouts on a regular basis, this helps to avoid the process known as muscle adaptation, where your body begins to get used to the exercise and your gains start to taper off as a result.
10 Preset programs:
- Interval 1-1 and 1-2 – One of the best features of the Precor TRM 425 is its ability to adapt to your preferred style of training.
Although you don’t have the same workout recommendation feature as the 445, you’re still able to customize the interval programs to create a workout that’s challenging enough to improve your fitness.
The 1-1 represents the ratio of work to rest, with each number representing 2 minutes of time. So the 1-2 interval will be much more intense, due to each cycle being 2 minutes of rest followed by 4 minutes of work.
Adaptation comes from the treadmill’s ability to remember any changes you make to incline or speed during each cycle, which will be remembered for all upcoming cycles of the same workout.
- Weight Loss – Based loosely around the same interval style as the workouts we just mentioned, the Weight Loss program maintains a slightly lower intensity during the work segments.
This is with the goal to keep your heart rate between 50% and 70%, which is widely recognized as the most efficient heart rate range to burn fat.
- Basic Heart Rate Control – With a similar goal to the Weight Loss Program, this workout will automatically adjust the incline and belt speed to keep you towards the top end of the 50%-70% heart rate range.
This is the ideal program for if you’re looking to improve aerobic conditioning.
- Hill Climb – The first workout so far to start moving more away from aerobic cardio and more towards muscle toning and improving lower body strength.
Hill Climb builds quickly through to a challenging incline level for greater muscle recruitment.
- Cross Country – Despite following less of a conventional profile, this is another example of a workout designed to increase muscle activation and endurance.
More frequent changes in the incline and belt speed help to simulate the feeling of running outdoors over a more natural terrain.
You can also choose from manual, random, and aerobic, depending on your fitness goal.
User profiles and SmartRate heart rate tracking
Although having a clearer visual representation of your current heart rate is something we’ve seen before on some consoles, this is usually only represented by a series of LED lights.
While these can be useful for keeping track of your current heart rate percentage, unless you know what training at each level means, then you won’t be able to take advantage of the information.
What the Precor TRM 425 does is take this a step further. Rather than simply displaying the percentage, a feature called SmartRate categorizes the feedback into one of 4 groups, then displays it as part of a scale that’s much easier to understand.
YouTube video showing the Precor TRM 425 Treadmill in action:
The 4 categories that the heart rate percentage can be assigned to are Warm Up, Fat Burn (weight loss), Cardio, and High.
Is the heart rate feedback accurate?
In order to ensure this measurement is accurate as possible, Precor have provided heart rate hand sensors, as well as building a telemetry receiver into the console.
This means that you can wear a heart rate transmitter (included with the TRM 425) to ensure a constant connection to the receiver, without worrying about holding onto the hand sensors.
Ensuring your heart rate is at the correct level is an incredibly important part of your workout, for both health and performance reasons.
That’s why you always need to check whether or not you can input your age, as this is a key piece of information in the heart rate calculation.
Fortunately this is something that’s included with every treadmill in Precor’s Precision Series, as part of the user profile creation process.
This may seem like basic information, but your age and weight are actually what studies have found to be all that’s needed to calculate your heart rate and number of calories burned accurately.
Ease of assembly
Treadmills tend to have developed a reputation for being one type of cardio equipment that’s difficult to assemble, but that isn’t always the case.
Precor have actually put a lot of effort into ensuring the assembly process for the Energy Series and Elliptical Series treadmills requires the minimal amount of steps possible.
Being a non-folding machine certainly helps, with the running deck already being assembled with the treadbelt attached before it even leaves the factory.
Moving the running deck to the position where you want to perform your workouts is really the only part that requires any heavy lifting.
With the entire treadmill weighing over 350 lbs, this certainly makes up the bulk of the weight. Once this is in position the rest of the assembly is really very straightforward, and can be completed with just one person.
All that’s required is to attach the uprights, hand rail assembly, and console. The user manual actually has a few different steps for the console, such as connecting up the cables to the retainers and adding the dash buckets for MP3 player and water bottle storage.
But there’s really nothing particularly complicated, and the entire setup shouldn’t take longer than 40 minutes once you have the running deck in position and the various parts unpacked.
What’s covered by the warranty?
- Frame and welds: Lifetime
- Parts and wear items: 10 years
- Console: 3 years
- Labor: 1 year