Thursday, 23 May 2024


ProForm 730 ZLT Treadmill Review

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The ProForm 730 ZLT treadmill offers a significant number of upgrades over the 5.0 ZLT treadmill of the same collection, including Polar heart rate chest strap compatibility and the added 8-week weight-loss program. But is it the best treadmill for home running workouts?

Although you don’t have any iFit support (Workout Cards, iFit enabled console, etc.), you do have a mid-range treadmill that includes an impressive number of professionally designed onboard workout programs.

In this review, we take an in-depth look at the workout programs, heart rate monitoring, design features, warranty coverage, and console functions, to help you decide if this is the best treadmill for your budget and fitness goals.

Note: The 730 ZLT is one of ProForm’s UK treadmills. The equivalent model from their US collection would be the Performance 400i, which has the added benefit of an iFit enabled console and modern Round Watts LED display.

Design and safety features

ProForm 730 ZLT Treadmill

The ProForm 730 ZLT is an upgrade to the 530 ZLT, and at the time of writing this review is the top-of-the-line model in one of ProForm’s most affordable treadmill collections.

Although the 2.25 CHP DurX™ motor isn’t quite as powerful as the treadmills in their Endurance series, it’s an increase of 0.25 CHP over the 530 ZLT model, and one of the reasons you can enjoy a higher maximum belt speed (11 mph). The motor itself is also constructed from high-grade components, with an internal cooling system to reduce vibration as well as wear on parts, creating a quieter indoor running environment. It also has an in-home efficiency booster, which reduces the amount of electricity needed to power the tread belt.

The only downside is that the motor is only covered for 5 years under warranty, compared to the lifetime coverage that’s available on some of their high-end treadmills (Pro series, Premier series, Boston Marathon series, etc.). But a 5 year motor warranty is fairly standard for treadmills at this price point, and you’re offered the same on treadmills in the ProForm Endurance and Performance series.

As for the running surface, this measures 20″W x 55″L, which is larger than the 18″W x 50″L running surface provided by the 530 ZLT treadmill. This is the same size as the treadmills in ProForm’s Endurance series, which perhaps isn’t surprising given how close they are in terms of price.

The ProForm 730 ZLT also has a number of motorized incline settings up to a maximum gradient of 10%. To put this in perspective, their high-end Boston Marathon treadmills have an incline of 20%, Pro series treadmills are capped at 15%, and Sport series treadmills have a limit of 12% (Sport 7.5 model). This incline allows you to increase the rate of calorie burn, and create a more challenging running workout compared to running on a flat terrain.

One final feature worth mentioning before we take a look at safety is the ProShox™ Cushioning system. This is an impact absorption system that ProForm have built into many of their most popular home treadmills (including the bestselling Pro 2000), and runs throughout the treadmill deck. Having this cushion reduces the impact of your foot striking the tread belt, which limits the stress placed on your feet and joints. It also places less stress on your leg muscles, which can lead to faster recovery times and more frequent running workouts as a result.

Safety features
After reviewing a large number of ProForm treadmills, there’s a clear difference between the collections in terms of safety features. There are really just 2 combinations:

  • Combination 1: Safety key, hand rails
  • Combination 2: Safety key, hand rails, child-safety passcode, safety screen timeout

The more affordable treadmills, such as those in the ZLT and Endurance collections, are fitted with combination 1. The high-end collections, such as the Pro series, Premier series, and Boston Marathon series, are all fitted with combination 2.

If you’ve never used a safety key before, it’s a short lanyard with a clip at each end. One clip attaches to your clothing, and the other to a slot in the console. This way, if you were to fall while running, the clip detaches from the console and the tread belt quickly comes to a stop, preventing injury.

ProForm 730 ZLT Treadmill

ProForm 730 ZLT – Features Summary

  • 2.25 CHP DurX™ motor
  • ProShox cushioning
  • 10% Quick Incline™
  • 11 mph Quick Speed™
  • 20″W x 55″L Running surface
  • 20 Workout apps
  • Intermix Acoustics 2.0 sound system
  • 300 lbs weight capacity

Display console design

The 730 ZLT treadmill console features convenient Quick Select controls for accessing the onboard workouts

The ProForm 730 ZLT console marks a significant upgrade over earlier treadmills in the series, such as the 5.0 ZLT and 530 ZLT. But when you consider there’s still no iFit compatibility and the display screen is LCD rather than full color, it’s still a long way from the top-of-the-line ProForm 1350 ZLT model.

That being said it’s the upgrades that we want to focus on, which in our opinion make this one of the more competitive treadmills at this price point.

Compared to the 530 ZLT, you now have OneTouch controls for the onboard workouts, as well as the speed and incline settings. Because the workouts have now been split into categories (Speed, Incline, Intensity, and Calorie) this reduces the time it takes to select the best workout for your fitness goal.

The button layout has also been completely redesigned to create more space for the 8-week weight-loss program navigation, as well as a larger 6″ backlit LCD display. This keeps you updated with important workout feedback, such as time, distance, speed, incline level, heart rate, and number of calories burned.

This has also created enough space to add custom controls for adjusting the multi-speed CoolAire™ workout fan, which is designed to keep you cool during longer workouts. As part of the built-in sound system, there’s even controls for adjusting the volume of music you’re listening to.

As with ProForm’s ZT series and LT series treadmills, the 730 ZLT features an iPod and MP3 compatible console port, which connects your device to a built-in Intermix Acoustics 2.0 sound system. This allows you to listen to your favorite motivational workout music via the two built-in speakers.

Heart rate monitoring
One of the biggest upgrades that the 730 ZLT has over entry level models in the collection is that the console can receive a pulse signal from wireless chest straps.
Although you’ve still got the dual-grip EKG™ touch sensors built into the handles, having compatibility with chest straps like the Polar™ T34 means you can now enjoy more accurate heart rate feedback.

There’s also no need to hold the touch sensors, which increases upper body movement through enabling a more natural running motion, which can lead to higher performance workouts and more calories burned in less time.

Workout programs and user profiles

After reviewing the two entry level treadmills in the ZLT collection (5.0 ZLT and 530 ZLT), the ProForm 730 ZLT finally includes some more unique workout options, such as the 8-week weight0loss program (but there’s still no iFit).

At the time of writing this review, the 730 ZLT was still available via the ProForm website, at a significant discount that put it close to the 530 ZLT. This also placed it at the same price point as the ProForm Endurance S7, which also includes the 8-week weight-loss program.

But if you’re looking for a ProForm treadmill that also includes iFit compatibility, you’ll have to look beyond their ZLT and Endurance collections, as the models that were iFit compatible (1350 ZLT) have now been discontinued.

So without iFit compatibility, does the combination of the Manual program, onboard workouts, and weight-loss program provide enough variation for you to create an effective fitness routine?

Workout program categories

  • ManualThis is a single program that the treadmill defaults to when the safety key is inserted into the console. The belt speed and incline follow no preset profile, and there are no segments to follow, leaving you in complete control of when the intensity changes during your workout.
  • Onboard WorkoutsBeing split into 4 categories; Speed, Incline, Intensity, and Calorie, makes it easier to select the onboard workout that’s most effective for helping you achieve your personal fitness goals.As with other treadmills in ProForm’s ZLT series, you can only view the profile of each workout program as you press the category button, when it scrolls across the screen.

    Unfortunately there’s no quick reference guide accompanying the treadmill which shows you a summary of each workout profile, which is something we found on the high-end Energy Series treadmills from Precor. Having 18 onboard workouts means it’s something you’ll probably be able to memorize after a few weeks of use, but the profile scrolls across the screen quite quickly, so it shouldn’t take too much time away from your workout.

    Each of the preset programs is made up of segments, each of which stores the incline and speed setting for that stage of the workout. Although you can’t create any custom programs, you can make adjustments to the speed and incline of the current segment during a workout if you want to adjust the intensity.

  • 8-Week Weight-Loss ProgramIf weight-loss is the main reason you’re thinking about buying a treadmill, this unique multi-week training program can give you an advantage over similarly priced treadmills.Each of the onboard workouts offers a degree of structure, where the changes in speed and incline have been carefully created by a certified personal trainer. The 8-week weight-loss program takes this a step further, with a complete day-to-day fitness routine to help walk you through the most effective combination of workouts for weight-loss.

    A fitness program has been created for different days of each week, which can be selected by choosing the week and day using controls on the console. You can also enter your body weight to increase the accuracy of the number of calories burned shown on the console.

  • iFit WorkoutsThe ProForm 730 ZLT is one of 3 treadmills in the ZLT that doesn’t offer iFit compatibility (5.0 ZLT and 530 ZLT being the other two). However, if having access to the iFit service, with its downloadable workouts and online performance tracking is important to you, the ProForm 1350 ZLT and 1450 ZLT are both iFit compatible.

Ease of assembly and maintenance

The ProForm 730 ZLT user manual includes step-by-step assembly instructions

ProForm continue to be one of the best fitness companies in the industry for designing cardio equipment that’s quick to assemble, with clear setup instructions that are easy to follow. Although it’s probably not something you want to base your buying decision around, knowing what to expect from the assembly process can help you get started with your new fitness routine as soon as possible.

Fortunately, the ProForm 730 ZLT user manual includes clear step-by-step written instructions, accompanied by exploded diagrams with parts references to show how each part fits together. ProForm even include most of the tools you need, including a hex key that can adjust the walking belt.

It’s important to bear in mind that ProForm recommends two people for this assembly. That’s because having most of the treadmill pre-assembled cuts down on the setup time, but does mean you’re moving heavier parts around, such as the running deck.

If this isn’t possible, an alternative to self-assembly is the ProForm professional assembly service.

Professional assembly services
Many modern fitness companies now offer an in-home assembly service, performed by a trained technician, which is often a more convenient option than assembling the equipment yourself.

ProForm only guarantee curbside delivery, but as part of the initial purchase they do offer an in-home assembly service, depending on your location. As an alternative, Amazon have also started offering their own home assembly service for treadmills.

With Amazon, your options very much depend on your location, but it’s an excellent way to find highly rated local companies that can setup the treadmill for an affordable price. Moving the treadmill to a new room isn’t included, so you’ll need to have the boxes in the location you plan on using the machine. If Amazon don’t have service providers in your area, you can sign up to be emailed when they become available.

Transport and maintenance
As with most of their treadmills, the ProForm 730 ZLT is fitted with transport wheels, which make it easier to move between rooms if needed. You can also benefit from the folding SpaceSaver® design, which is fitted with a powerful shock (EasyLift Assist) for reducing the effort needed to raise the deck to its vertical storage position, creating a compact footprint.

For maintenance, the user manual is packed with useful information to keep the treadmill running smoothly. This includes how to:

  • Listen to audio books via the console
  • Recalibrate the incline system

  • Align the tread belt
  • Troubleshoot basic issues

ProForm Treadmill Guide

What’s covered by the warranty?

  • Frame: Lifetime
  • Motor: 5 years

  • Parts: 2 years
  • Labor: 2 years

Review Overview

Overall Review Rating

4 / 5

When we reviewed the ProForm 5.0 ZLT and 530 ZLT treadmills, we mentioned our preference for the Endurance M7. This was based on its higher weight capacity, faster belt speed, wider choice of workout programs, and more powerful motor, for what was essentially the same price (based on ProForm UK website prices at time of writing).

So how does the ProForm 730 ZLT measure up? Is this design better than the M7, or are we going to give the same advice we gave when reviewing the earlier ZLT series treadmills?

The larger backlit screen is certainly useful, but we just can’t ignore the cluttered layout of the console buttons, especially when compared to the modern, clean, and intuitive layout of the M7 console.

In terms of features, the 730 ZLT has a couple more workout programs, but it’s still not enough for us to choose it over the M7. That’s because they share the same belt speed, incline range, running area size, sound system, heart rate monitoring options (touch sensors and chest belt), and cushioning system.

The 730 ZLT also has a slightly higher weight capacity than the M7 (+22 lbs), but the M7 has a more powerful motor. So our personal recommendation remains with the Endurance M7 treadmill. There simply aren’t enough feature upgrades to make the 730 ZLT an attractive option, especially considering the M7 is usually available at a slightly lower price.

Product dimensions: 35"W x 72"L x 58.7"H Product dimensions (folded): 35"W x 40.1"L x 68.5"H Product weight: 210 lbs Weight capacity: 300 lbs

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