The ProForm 790 T treadmill was released in 2010 as an upgrade to the 590 T model, featuring a large 20″W x 55″L running surface and advanced ProTech™ adjustable deck cushioning.
But although the belt speed and incline have increased (+2 mph speed, +2% incline), there’s been no change to the workout programs on offer. You’re still limited to ‘Calorie Burn’ programs unless you want to pay extra for the iFit Workout Cards.
So as one of the mid-range treadmills in ProForm’s Technical series, are you really getting a superior workout experience by upgrading from the 590 T, or should you be looking the top-of-the-line 1050 T treadmill?
In this treadmill review, we’ll make some important comparisons between all 3 models to help you decide which (if any) of the Technical series treadmills is best suited to your budget and personal fitness goals. This includes taking an in-depth look at the workout programs, console functions, design features, and assembly options.
Note: The ProForm 790 T has now been discontinued. To find out more about the latest bestselling treadmills from ProForm, it’s worth taking a look at our complete buyer’s guide.
Design and safety features
ProForm’s T series treadmills are a step up from the LT series in terms of design features, providing a steeper incline gradient, faster belt speed, and larger running area. For example, one of the top treadmills in their LT series (ProForm 700 LT) has a belt speed of 10 mph, incline of 10%, and 20″W x 55″L running area. This is compared to the 12 mph belt speed, 12% maximum incline setting, and 20″W x 55″L running area of the ProForm 790 T.
Another slight upgrade is the weight capacity, which increases to 325 lbs from the 300 lbs of the 790 T. The vast majority of ProForm treadmills have a weight capacity of 350 lbs or less (Boston Marathon collection being the exception, with a 400 lb limit), so this is certainly one of their stronger designs, which is emphasized by the lifetime warranty on the frame and motor.
In terms of running deck cushioning, ProForm have opted for a slightly different system to ProShox™ Lite, which is the version that’s available with treadmills in their LT series. For the ProForm 790 T they’ve included ProTech™, which is one of the only times we’ve seen an adjustable cushioning system on a ProForm treadmill.
ProTech™ can’t be disabled and enabled in quite the same way as the Runners Flex™ system on the Boston Marathon 4.0 treadmill, but it can be adjusted between impact reduction settings of 20% to 33%. This is made possible via a simple slider system, which is positioned at the side of the running deck. By reducing the impact of your foot striking the tread belt, it’s designed to reduce the stress place on your feet, ankles, knees, and hips compared to outdoor running.
We mentioned earlier how the T series treadmills were a slight upgrade over the LT series. Unfortunately this doesn’t extend to the safety features, and the ProForm 790 T has the same basic combination as the 700 LT. This includes a short set of hand rails for balance assistance, and a safety key that disconnects from the console and stops the tread belt in the event of a fall.
This means you’re missing ProForm’s more advanced safety features, such as the 4-digit child-safety passcode and safety screen timeout, which is an excellent combination for improving the safety of the treadmill around young children. This is a feature set that’s only available on their top-of-the-line treadmills, such as the Performance 1850, or any treadmill in their Pro, Premier, and Boston Marathon collections.
ProForm 790 T Treadmill – Features Summary
- ProShox Elite 2 Cushioning, delivering comfortable running surface
- 2.5 CHP Mach Z™ commercial motor
- 20″W x 55″L Running area
- ProShox Elite Cushioning
- Quick Speed 0-12mph
- Quick Incline 0-12%
- iFit® workout card technology
- 16 calorie burning workouts
- iPod Compatible Audio
- 325 lb Weight capacity
Display console design
When we review treadmills in a collection, we’re typically looking for feature upgrades as we progress through the different models. For console, design, this can be anything from a larger screen through to a complete redesign of the button layout and wider choice of workouts.
Unfortunately the ProForm 790 T doesn’t seem like much of an upgrade over the 590 T, at least in terms of console features. That’s because you have the same button layout, iFit workout card access, and an identical selection of Calorie Burn workouts.
The entertainment options are also identical, with the 790 T featuring an iPod and MP3 compatible music port, which lets you connect to the built-in Intermix Acoustics™ 2.0 EQ sound system and listen to your favorite workout music.
The size of the backlit LCD screen hasn’t changed at all, and the workout feedback includes speed, time, distance, heart rate, and number of calories burned. There’s also a RaceTrack feature that lets you monitor your progress around a virtual running track, but again this is only using a simple matrix and not to the quality of the ProForm Premier or Pro series treadmills.
Quick controls are a useful feature for switching between the incline and speed settings, but something we’ve seen on every ProForm treadmill.
Considering how similar the 590 T and 790 T are, it’s no surprise that the 590 T is the model that’s received the highest overall review rating on sites such as Amazon.
Heart rate monitoring
As the mid-level treadmill in one of ProForm’s more affordable collections, it’s no surprise there’s no support for telemetry heart rate monitoring (chest strap). Your only option is to use the dual EKG touch sensors, which have been built into the handles.
Workout programs and user profiles
Despite being an upgrade of the ProForm 590 T, the workouts don’t offer much more variation, with just a few additional programs for the lower calorie goals (200 cals, 250 cals, 300 cals, and 350 cals).
You still have access to the iFit workout cards, but you don’t have access to ProForm’s 8-week weight-loss program (available on the Endurance S7.5 and S7 treadmills, amongst others), and you’re missing the onboard workouts from their Intensity, Speed, and Incline categories (found on the Endurance S9 and 730 ZLT treadmills).
So with this fairly minor upgrade, can the ProForm 790 T really provide a superior workout experience to the 590 T?
Workout program categories
This is the default program that’s found on every ProForm treadmill, and becomes active when you insert the safety key in the console and set the tread belt in motion.
Unlike the iFit Workout Card programs and the Calorie Burn workouts, you have no preset profile of speed and incline settings to follow, leaving you in complete control of the training intensity.
Fortunately the ProForm 790 T console is fitted with a larger single screen, which creates enough space for a virtual 1/4 mile track to be displayed in the matrix. You can then view your progress around each lap as the workout progresses. This is an upgrade over treadmills like the Endurance S7.5, which featured 3 smaller screens which were only really large enough for displaying workout stats.
- Quick Calorie Burn Workouts
With the upgraded 790 T treadmill you’re getting 16 Calorie Burn workouts compared to the 12 that were available on the entry level 590 T.
Each program is split into segments, with each segment used to store an incline setting for the running deck and speed setting for the tread belt. As you complete each segment and move onto the next, the treadmill will automatically adjust to match the new settings.
Having these Calorie programs allows a certain level of goal setting, but it’s not as motivational or challenging as ProForm’s Endurance M8i treadmill, where you can also set yourself a limited amount of time in which to burn these calories. You also don’t have access to any Incline, Speed, or Intensity programs, but you do have the ability to use Workout Cards.
- iFit® Workout Cards
ProForm have developed 3 types of iFit consoles; iFit compatible, iFit enabled, and those which accept iFit Workout Cards. These HD cards fit into a slot in the console, and include workout programs designed by certified personal trainers.
The iFit® Workout Cards offer a major advantage over other ProForm treadmills, like the Endurance S7.5, where you have the 8-week weight-loss program built in but no access to iFit.
That’s because with the Workout Cards you’re able to switch between different types of workout, and aren’t limited to training for weight loss.
Although Weight Loss cards are available in 3 different levels, you can also buy cards that contain 8-week programs for Performance, Wellness, and Body Shaping. These are designed to help you run faster, increase mobility, and combine high intensity cardio with muscle toning strength exercise for a more complete fitness experience.
The cost of the Workout Cards varies depending on if you buy one or a pack, but you’re generally looking at just under $30 for a single card, and just under $60 for a pack of 3 levels.
Ease of assembly and maintenance
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 790 T 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 790 T 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
- Center the tread belt
- Troubleshoot basic issues
The walking belt has already been pre-coated with a high-performance lubricant. This is why ProForm advise not to apply silicone spray or other substances, as they could lead to a deterioration in quality.
What’s covered by the warranty?
- Frame: Lifetime
- Motor: Lifetime
- Parts: 2 years
- Labor: 1 year