The ProForm Endurance M8i treadmill is the top-of-the-line machine from their Endurance series, and the only model to feature an iFit compatible console.
But with the onboard workouts entirely focused around weight loss, does iFit become a necessity for a varied exercise routine?
With most ProForm treadmills, even some of those in the Endurance collection, you find onboard workouts are tailored towards a variety of fitness goals. These range from weight loss to high intensity intervals (HIIT), and even heart rate controlled (HRC). The M8i is restricted to calorie burning, unless you pay for the iFit module and subscription.
So is the Endurance M8i still affordable, compared to treadmills in other ProForm collections?
In our treadmill review, we take a closer look at the workout options, cost of setting up iFit, design features, and entertainment options, to help you decide if this is the best choice of treadmill for your fitness goals and budget. We also make some important comparisons between the M8i and other treadmills in the Endurance series, including the S7, S7.5, and S9.
Note: The Endurance M8i is part of ProForm’s UK collection. The equivalent treadmill in their US collection would be the Sport 5.0 or Performance 400i, both of which have the same motor power, incline range, and running area dimensions as the Endurance M8i.
Design and safety features
When we review treadmills, particularly those that are part of a collection, we try to identify key differences that make one stand out as the best option for your own home workouts. But in the case of the ProForm Endurance series treadmills, most models have the same standard specification.
This means a 2.5 CHP Mach Z motor, 11 mph maximum belt speed, 10% maximum incline gradient, and a large 20″W x 55″L running area. At the time of writing this review, the only exception to this combination is the Endurance S9 treadmill, which has a slightly higher 12.4 mph belt speed.
ProForm have also opted for the same ProShox™ cushioning system that they used with other Endurance series treadmills, which is designed to absorb the impact of your foot striking the tread belt while you’re walking, jogging, or running. By reducing the impact and stress placed on your leg muscles, you’re able to recover quicker and therefore workout more frequently than if you were running on a firmer surface, particularly if you enjoy longer endurance workouts.
All we’re saying here is that the combination of physical design features doesn’t vary a great deal between treadmills in this collection. The workout programs and console design are much better areas for comparison (M8i being the only model that’s iFit compatible), and is something we’ll be looking at later in this review.
However, in comparing the Endurance M8i with ProForm treadmills outside of this collection, we can say it’s a clear upgrade over any model in their ZLT series, and falls slightly short across the board compared to the Performance 1450 treadmill from their Performance collection. The 1450 features a more powerful motor (2.75 CHP Mach Z), faster belt speed (12.4 mph), steeper incline (12%), higher weight capacity (300 lbs), and larger running area (20″W x 60″L).
When you workout at home, whether that’s lifting weights for resistance training or running on a treadmill for cardio, it’s important to create a safe environment that supports you pushing yourself to the limit of your ability. Although the Endurance M8i doesn’t have the more advanced safety features (passcode protected console, safety screen reset), it still provides all the basics you need.
The short set of hand rails is easily overlooked, but can be useful for assisting with balance when running. You’ve also got the safety key, where one end clips to your clothing and the other connects to the console. In the event of a fall, the clip would then detach, bringing the tread belt to a stop and preventing the risk of injury.
ProForm Endurance M8i – Features Summary
- 2.5 CHP Mach Z Motor
- 0 – 11.2 mph speed range with Quick Speed™
- 0 – 10% Quick Incline™
- Large 20″W x 55″L running area
- 16 Workout apps
- ProShox cushioning
- 6″ backlit LCD screen
- Weightloss workout centre, enabling you to quickly dial in your desired workout
- Dual-Grip EKG™ Heart Rate Monitor
- Integrated audio system
- iFit Compatible
- 275 lb Weight capacity
Display console design
At the time of writing this review, the ProForm M8i treadmill was the top-of-the-line model in their Endurance series, which can clearly be seen through the features of the console.
As the only treadmill in the Endurance series to include any degree of access to iFit (console is iFit compatible), the M8i includes the larger single 6″ backlit LCD screen that we saw on the Endurance S7. We definitely prefer this over the multi-LED system that was used on the S7.5 treadmill, and the compact screen used on the entry level M7 model.
Workout feedback includes speed, time, incline, distance, heart rate, and number of calories burned, with a 400m virtual running track also visible on-screen.
Quick controls have been included for faster transitions between preset speed and incline settings, allowing you to focus more on your workout performance and spend less time at the console.
A similar set of Quick controls have also been included for navigating the iFit workout categories, as well as the Weight Loss Workout Center programs. It’s not quite as clear and intuitive as a color touch screen, but given the price point it’s an acceptable compromise to ensure the Endurance M8i treadmill stays affordable.
In terms of the entertainment options, although this is the top model in the Endurance series, you still don’t have access to any built-in TV or web browser. Instead, a 3.5mm line in jack lets you connect your iPod or MP3 player to the built-in sound system. You can then listen to your favorite workout music via the two 2-inch Intermix Acoustics 2.0 speakers.
Heart rate monitoring
With most modern cardio equipment you have 2 types of heart rate monitoring; touch, and telemetry. Only having access to touch sensors is usually fine for recumbent bikes, but for a treadmill where you want the freedom to run without maintaining contact with the handles, it’s not always practical.
That’s why it’s important that the ProForm Endurance M8i supports both types, with dual EKG™ touch sensors built into the handles, and a console that can pair with a Bluetooth chest strap for tracking your heart rate wirelessly.
Workout programs and user profiles
As one of the top treadmills in the ProForm Endurance series, the M8i offers a range of unique workout experiences that aren’t available on earlier models. This includes iFit compatibility and a Weight Loss Workout Center, where you can select the number of calories you want to burn within a certain timeframe.
Unfortunately you don’t have access to the Speed, Incline, and Intensity workout categories that you did on the Endurance S9 and S7 treadmills. If your fitness goal isn’t to lose weight, then you’re fairly limited in your workout options unless you turn to iFit.
But the Endurance M8i is classed as iFit compatible, not iFit enabled, meaning that you would then have to purchase the iFit wireless module to plug into the top of the console if you wanted access to the workouts. You would also need to sign up for a paid subscription.
Even if you enabled iFit, is the ProForm Endurance M8i the best choice of treadmill for a complete fitness routine, or are there more affordable options that offer a more varied workout experience?
Workout program categories
This is the default program that’s supplied with all ProForm treadmills, and unlike the weight loss workouts, follows no preset profile of speed and incline settings.
In many cases it will be more convenient to choose one of the preset workouts, or even one of the iFit programs if you enable the console. But it’s still a useful option to have if you want to remain in complete control of the workout intensity, or are looking for more of a walking or jogging workout.
- Onboard Workouts
With the Endurance S7.5 you had access to 15 Performance workouts, while the S7 and M7 treadmills included 18 onboard workout apps spread across 4 categories; Calorie, Intensity, Speed, and Incline.
Because the M8i is very much focussed on supporting weight loss goals, you don’t have access to any of these programs. Instead you only have the different combinations of calorie burning programs, unless you activate the iFit service.
- Weight Loss Workout Center
It’s important to mention that the Weight-Loss Center is completely different to ProForm’s 8-Week Weight-Loss program, which can be found on earlier models in the Endurance collection, including the S7.5.
But the S7.5 does have its similarities, as it allowed you to choose from a series of onboard quick calorie workouts, where you could set a target for the number of calories you wanted to burn.
With the Endurance M8i you can still set this as your goal, but now you can also select the amount of time you would like to reach this target by. So after selecting your workout duration (between 20 mins and 90 mins), and the target number of calories to burn (between 200 and 700) you can begin your workout.
Time options: 20 mins, 25 mins, 30 mins, 40 mins, 45 mins, 60 mins, 75 mins, 90 mins.
Calorie Burn Options: 200 cals, 250 cals, 300 cals, 350 cals, 400 cals, 500 cals, 600 cals, and 700 cals.
ProForm make it clear that not every combination is possible, such as 700 calories in 20 minutes. It’s difficult to provide an exact guide to what’s possible, as the rate of calorie burn depends very much on your body type. But gradually you’ll get used to setting a realistic target that can be achieved in the given time.
- iFit Workouts
As the only treadmill in the Endurance series to offer iFit compatibility, the M8i is capable of providing a more varied and challenging workout experience, with the added benefit of tracking your performance.
Because the console is iFit compatible instead of iFit enabled, you will need to buy the iFit module and pay for a subscription to the service. But once this is setup you have access to their complete online workout library, with programs that can be downloaded straight to the console.
Workout categories include Set-A-Goal, Track, Train, and Map, where you can follow real-world routes via Google Maps technology. There’s even a ‘compete’ option, where you can race against other iFit users from around the world.
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 Endurance M8i 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, 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 Endurance M8i 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 align the tread belt, recalibrate the incline system, and troubleshoot basic issues.
What’s covered by the warranty?
- Frame: Lifetime
- Motor: 5 years
- Parts: 2 years
- Labor: 2 years