The Precor TRM 445 Precision Series Treadmill represents what many people have been waiting for in terms of combining high quality build design with effective preset and customised workout programs.
This review takes a closer look at these workout programs, as well as the Preva fitness tracking app integration, patented running deck technology, compatibility with Apple products, and display console functions (including its ability to suggest your next workout based on fitness goal) to help you decide if this is the best choice of treadmill for your own home workouts.
Reduced impact running deck design
There are many benefits to running on a treadmill. Having a running machine like the Precor TRM 445 at home means you can benefit from variations in terrain that may not be available locally, as well as a way to supplement your outdoor routine when the weather turns colder.
Being the top treadmill in Precor’s Precision range has resulted in a wide range of features that are designed to provide stride support, cushion your foot fall, and even increase the lifespan of the machine.
Even the top treadmill in their Energy Series doesn’t offer the same reversible running deck feature that the TRM 445 does, which effectively doubles its life by distributing any wear on the belt more evenly.
The power behind the incline system has also been increased since the Energy Series treadmills, now with an impressive 1000 lbs of thrust built into all models in the Precision TRM range. This is compared to the 700 lbs offered by the TRM 243 model.
Having this added power helps with adjusting the incline of the running deck during your workout, as well as through the 2% decline that’s also only available with Precor’s Precision running machines.
Motor power and incline settings
In terms of the motor that powers the running belt, this is one of the few things that hasn’t changed between the two series’, and is still classed as 3.0 HP continuous duty.
But with the added incline options and thrust power, doesn’t the power of the motor need to increase as well?
Not necessarily. This is because the size of the running area doesn’t actually change a great deal between the different machines. Aside from becoming slightly shorter and wider when you upgrade to the TRM 445, the motor doesn’t need to do much extra movement.
Apart from the 2% decline we mentioned earlier, there also isn’t a big difference in the speed and incline settings, with 15% still being the maximum incline, and 12mph as the top belt speed.
The only slight downside is that Precor don’t appear to be too fond of entering the foldable running deck market. This means that you will have to find enough space to have the TRM 445 at its full size throughout the year, without having too much of a need to move it.
Once you find a suitable position, you’ll notice that Precor’s trend of using base levellers continues, allowing you to quickly and easily adjust the height of the levellers at the back of the running deck.
These help to compensate for any slightly uneven ground that you may need to rest the machine on.
There has also been a lot of thought put into ways its design can assist with reducing muscle fatigue over the course of longer workouts. This has led to the implementation of a series of impact reducing, shock absorbing, and pace assistance systems.
Precor TRM 445 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
- Customizable capacitive touch display shows the data most important to you
- 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: 27
- Preset Workouts: 23 + 16 exerciser created
- User IDs: 4
- Console Display: 7-inch color LCD graphic display
- Speed & Deck Elevation Controls: Lever style Motion Controls
Advanced Footplant and Ground Effects technology
A common problem that many treadmill manufacturers face is finding the right distribution of impact cushioning within the running deck.
Most tend to be a cross between something that’s too soft and bouncy, and a deck that doesn’t reduce the impact on your knee and hip joints as you run.
This can have a negative impact on both your running performance and safety, which is why Precor have developed their patented Ground Effects Impact Control technology.
What this means is that the engineers at Precor have included precisely engineered shock absorbers along the front half of the deck, to help reduce the pressure on your knees as you bring your foot down.
As your feet then move backwards with the movement of the treadbelt and natural running stride, the deck starts to feel much more rigid, giving you a stable platform from which to push off of when your foot nears the back of the belt.
It’s subtle factors like these that can easily be missed when comparing similarly priced treadmills, as all of the innovation has been kept out of sight, inside the actual running deck.
Reducing injuries and prolonging muscle fatigue
But that’s not to say it isn’t important. In fact, in years past, studies have found that the average runner suffers with 2.5 to 12.1 injuries per 1000 hours of running.
If you then consider that most of these injuries are around the knee joint, and that up to 90% of them can lead to a reduction in training for either a short or long period of time, then any method of lowering the impact of your foot fall is certainly a feature worth looking for.
As well as the lower impact cushioning systems, the actual running area you have on a treadmill also has a major influence, as this is what allows you to build up to your full running stride.
Recent research has shown us that the reason most runners don’t get knee osteoarthritis is because the relatively short duration of ground contact, and relatively long length of strides softens the effect of high peak joint loads.
This is another of the reasons why the Precor TRM 445 can be hugely beneficial for your running, as its 56″ (L) x 22″ (W) running area is large enough to accommodate full running strides for anyone up to around 6 feet in height.
The TRM 445 also features Precor’s patented Integrated Footplant Technology. Similar to Ground Effects, this has been designed to reduce stress on your knees, ankles and hips, by instantaneously adjusting the belt speed to match the naturally slowing and accelerating movement of your foot as you run or walk.
In addition to protecting your knee and hip joints, Precor have also developed a few interesting safety features that are ideally suited to family environments.
Safety features and transport
If you’ve already started to do some research into treadmill design, one feature you’ve probably already seen mentioned is the use of a safety key.
Despite its simplicity, the fact that it appears so frequently on treadmills at all price ranges shows just how reliable and effective it is for protecting you against injury while running.
The key itself is essentially a short lanyard with one end that clips onto an item of clothing, and the other end to the display console of the machine.
If you were to lose your footing, the safety key would quickly pull away from the console, resulting in the treadmill quickly slowing to a stop.
But there is one slight downside that comes as a result of choosing the TRM 445 model over the earlier TRM 425, which is the loss of the password protection feature.
Strangely, it tends to be the case that the earlier models of elliptical and treadmill in Precor’s Energy and Precision Series’ offer a much wider range of custom settings.
We first saw this when reviewing the EFX 221 Elliptical, where not only could you configure your own key sequence as a safety code, but you could also program in lower values for the maximum resistance and incline settings than were listed on the console.
As long as they still fell within the maximum limits, these would then override the options you have on the console.
Although the number of these custom settings is vastly reduced with the later models, they haven’t disappeared entirely.
In fact, as long as you’ve setup a user profile, the maximum speed of the running belt and default workout duration for the Precor TRM 445 are both fully customizable.
There are also a few more subtle improvements over Precor’s Energy Series of treadmills, which includes replacing the handlebars with their premium full length design.
Having the extra length in the support rails means you don’t have to run as close to the motor cover, which reduces the risk of stepping on it and causing damage to yourself or the machine while you run.
Preset workout programs
The increase in workout programs – both preset and user created – is definitely one of our top two favourite things about this treadmill.
Not only is the jump from 10 workouts to having 40+ a huge benefit for your training, but it also brings a level of variation that’s been missing from so many of the treadmills that we’ve reviewed in the past.
We’ve actually already provided a fairly comprehensive guide to the workout programs in our review of the EFX 245 elliptical. However, there were a few that we only touched on briefly, and the profiles weren’t in relation to treadmill settings, so we’ll be covering these in a bit more detail below.
The 23 preset workout programs have actually been split into 5 carefully compiled categories, which have been designed to help you achieve a variety of challenging fitness goals.
5 Preset workout categories:
- Be Fit (6 workouts) – With the exception of the 2 hill climb programs, and 1 heart rate tracking program, the incline and belt speed will both adjust automatically.
This will provide the biggest benefit if you choose one of the 3 interval programs, meaning that you don’t have to worry about following the time to know when to switch between different workout intensities.
The 3 interval programs vary in terms of their level of difficulty, ensuring they cater for all levels of personal fitness. This includes programs with a 1-1, 2-1, and 4-1 ratio of intense exercise to rest.
- Lose Weight (5 workouts) – Generally speaking these workouts are lower intensity than those found in the Be Fit category, with the 4-3 interval program working on cycles that feature 4 minutes of work and 3 minutes of rest.
As the name suggests, these workouts have been optimized to burn the most calories in the shortest time.
- Push Performance (3 workouts) – Another of the categories to offer interval programs, Push Performance tends to be the better option for anyone that’s relatively new to fitness, or looking for a lower intensity workout.
Rest segments of interval cycles are also longer, with up to 4 minutes of ‘rest’ for every 1 minute of intense exercise.
- Get Toned (4 workouts) – This is where we start to see the switch between improving your cardiovascular fitness and increasing lower body muscle tone.
These 4 workouts include 2 for targetting your glutes, and 2 for your legs, each of which maintains higher incline settings and steeper profile variation.
- Go the Distance (3 workouts) – Whether you’re in training for a particular event, or simply want a more convenient way to track your distance, these will be the ideal workouts for you.
In terms of the actual distances, you can choose from 1 Mile, 5km, and 10km.
In addition to the preset workout programs, Precor have also included a built-in fitness test option, which works by measuring a combination of aerobic capacity and heart rate.
This takes the preset workout program tally to 22, with the standard ‘Manual’ program making up the full collection.
Ease of assembly / Maintenance required
As with the TRM 245 model, the user manual recommends that you have an extra person available before you start the installation. This could have something to do with the 350 lb+ weight of the machine, although this is mostly carried in the running deck.
Packed along with the main running treadmill frame and console, you also have a hardware kit that contains the few bolts and washers you need, as well as a series of hex wrenches.
The running deck itself has already been assembled by trained technicians before you even open the box, with just a few short steps being all it takes before you have a treadmill that’s ready for your next workout.
If you can find someone to help move the packaged machine to where you eventually want to perform your workouts, then the rest of the setup is really very simple.
It can take some time to set the base levellers to their correct setting and get the display console loaded with your user profile and workout preferences.
But in terms of getting the actual machine up and running, this shouldn’t take much longer than 30 to 45 minutes.
Classed as a low maintenance running machine
When you’re buying a high quality piece of fitness equipment, despite the fact that this particular treadmill has such strong warranty coverage, it’s still important to keep all the parts in good condition.
But if you’re running on a regular basis, you’re not going to want to take time out of each week purely to service the machine.
Typical maintenance tasks include lubricating and aligning the treadbelt, cleaning down the machine, and checking all the bolts for any looseness or damage.
Fortunately, Precor have designed their TRM 445 treadmill with minimal ongoing maintenance in mind. This includes an all-encompassing hood cover design to protect the internal motor parts, conveniently placed adjustment bolts for centering the running belt, and dry silicone treadbelt lubrication.
It’s also recommended that the treadmill is cleaned before each workout. With such a clean, minimalist design, this doesn’t take more than a minute with a damp cloth.
What’s covered by the warranty?
- Frame and welds: Lifetime
- Parts and wear items: 10 years
- Console: 3 years
- Labor: 1 year