The ProForm 505 CST Treadmill has been designed to provide a gym-quality running experience from the comfort of your own home. Combining incline and speed settings with a range of preset and iFit workout options to create a more enjoyable and effective workout.
This product review takes a look at the treadmill in more detail, including how easy it is to assemble, the workout options, customer reviews, and a look at what exactly iFit means for your training.
Running deck features
Despite the importance of finding a treadmill with a high quality running deck, many people still place built-in workout options as the most important thing they look for before buying.
The fact is that although the ProForm 505 CST certainly isn’t limited in its preset workout programs, the running deck is what really sets it apart from other treadmills in this price range.
Not only can you adjust the incline setting through a full 10% at the touch of a button, the 505 CST is also one of the ProForm models that offers ProShox cushioning.
To power the rotation of the running belt, ProForm have opted for a 2.25 CHP Mach Z Motor, which features a quiet, self-cooling drive system. Employing an axial fan, this motor reduces noise as it cools internal components and enhances your workout environment and extending the motor’s life.
Display console design
Another great benefit with the ProForm 505 CST is the layout of the display console. Although this doesn’t include the largest display screen, all your important workout information is still kept well organised and easy to read.
This includes the elapsed time, distance you have run or walked, a workout intensity bar, number of calories burned, heart rate, and walking belt speed.
Despite its smaller screen, the ProForm 505 CST display console still manages to show you a wide range of workout information through the clever use of tabs.
You can switch between the Incline Tab and Calorie Tab to change the information displayed in the central display matrix. There are even heart rate hand sensors built into the handles for keeping track of your pulse and helping you make sure you stay within a certain range.
As well as a focus on tracking and improving your workouts, ProForm have also taken a look at how to make your treadmill workouts more enjoyable.
This has led to the addition of 2 large recesses, one on either side of the button block. These give you plenty of space to hold water bottles, iPods, phones, and anything else that you might need to keep you motivated.
Other than the speakers which have been added to the front of the treadmill, one last feature worth mentioning is the safety key.
A simple design for improving the safety of your workouts, the safety key has a clip attached to each end. One is for attaching to the main display console, while the other is clipped onto clothing.
If one end detaches, the running belt will slow to a complete stop, helping to reduce the risk of any injury.
ProForm 505 CST Treadmill – Features Summary
- Space Saver design: folds vertically for storage
- iFit workout Apps Matrix
- ProShox cushioning; iPod compatible audio
- 6″ backlit LCD display screen
- ProShox Cushioning
- 2.25 CHP Mach Z Motor
- Quick Speed Select 0-10 mph
- Quick Incline 0-10%
- 15 Workout programs
- Intermix Acoustics 2.0 Sound System
- Dual-Grip EKG Heart Rate Monitor
- iFit WIFI Compatible
- iPod Compatible Audio
iFit Live technology
Although standard preset workout programs are great for adding variation to your workouts, there’s a lot of important information that usually just gets lost after you finish training.
This is where iFit Live comes in. Being compatible with the iFit technology means you can use the ProForm 505 CST Treadmill to sync your workout information directly to your computer.
This then builds up a history of your workouts, including useful information such as time and distance.
You can then use the data to clearly show the progress you are making, which can act as a great motivational boost to achieve your next goal.
As well as storing a history of your workouts, you can also use Google Maps to plan a virtual running route.
This cool feature provides exciting new opportunities for you to tour the world, run and train for races and compete with others, right from your own home.
It’s important to note though that the ProForm 505 CST is labelled as iFit Compatible, rather than being an iFit enabled treadmill.
Although this doesn’t make any difference to the features, it does mean you need to purchase an iFit Wireless Module and a membership to iFit before you can start using the program.
When you add the cost of the wireless module and 1 year membership together, you’re looking at an additional $198 on top of the price of the machine.
Of course, this isn’t compulsory and you still have access to a whole range of effective workout programs without iFit. It’s simply there to add an extra element of realism, some additional workout options, and workout tracking if you needed it.
As we mentioned earlier, workout programs are an important part of deciding which is the best treadmill for your own home workouts.
A wider range of workout programs and custom workout options don’t just help to make your training more interesting, but also more effective.
After a while of going through the motions with a particular program, whether it’s cardio or resistance training, your body will get used to the routine and start to adapt.
The same results you saw at the start suddenly start to taper off and become much more gradual.
Keeping your workouts varied doesn’t give your body as much chance to adapt, helping you improve your gains in cardiovascular fitness.
The ProForm 505 CST actually includes 15 of these preset programs; 5 calorie burn, 5 timed workouts, and 5 distance workouts.
Each of these programs will automatically adjust the incline of the treadmill to suit your chosen workout, keeping you on track to achieving your goal.
Ease of assembly
One of the most common reasons for customers leaving a bad review on any piece of fitness equipment is the quality of assembly.
There’s nothing more frustrating than having your new treadmill arrive, only to have instructions that are impossible to understand, or even no instructions at all.
The great thing about the ProForm 505 CST is that the majority of the assembly has been done for you, before you even start the unboxing.
The entire running deck comes already pre-assembled. This leaves just the base feet and end caps that need to be attached.
With the feet attached, the side supports can be setup in just a few minutes. The only part that can be a bit tricky is sliding the cable up through the right support from the base to the display console.
Having both side supports and everything attached to the base, the hand rails, crossbar, and display console are all that’s needed to complete the assembly.
Both the hand rails and the crossbar fit together easily thanks to their lightweight design, with the console held securely in place using a combination of screws and clamps.
Once the side supports and display console are attached, you only need to secure the storage latch to the bracket on the underside of the running belt.
This is what keeps the running belt in its upright storage position when you want to save space between workouts.
Although the threading of the display console cable through the side support can be a bit tricky, there’s nothing that requires too much heavy lifting.
All assembly steps are fully documented in more detail in the user manual supplied, complete with a textual explanation, part references, and exploded drawings.
Once you have the running deck and other parts out of the box, completing the assembly is possible in around 60 minutes.
- Quick incline and quick speed select settings
- Storage space and connectivity for your iPod
- Well cushioned running area (ProShox Lite 3)
- Dual speakers to listen to your favourite music while you workout
- Wide range of preset workout options to suit a variety of personal fitness goals
- Excellent customer service
- Strong and stable design
- Easy to use menu system for operating the different display console functions
- Extra running belt width compared to other non-commercial treadmills
- Extensive warranties on the motor and frame
- Folding design makes it easier to store when not in use
- The sound of the running belt gets louder the faster you run
- Heavy weight of the running deck makes it difficult to assemble the machine on your own (195 lb shipping weight)
- Smaller display screen than some higher priced machines
- Accuracy of the heart rate monitor has been known to fluctuate for some customers