Thursday, 25 July 2024


ProForm Performance 600C Treadmill Review

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Another of the quality treadmills produced under the Icon Fitness banner is the ProForm Performance 600c Treadmill – one of the most affordable treadmills to offer iFit compatibility.

Priced towards the middle of their Performance series, we wanted to find out what the main differences were between this and the higher priced 1450 model, to help determine which represents the best value for money.

In this review, we take a look at the design features, workout programs, folding and storage options, as well as safety, assembly, and how it compares to other popular treadmills at the same price point.

Motor and running deck design

The 2.75 CHP Commercial motor is powerful enough to maintain the 12mph belt speeds at the full 10% incline

Positioned just ahead of the 400 model in their Performance series of treadmills, the 600c sees improvements across the board, partly due to the fact that this is their lowest priced treadmill to offer iFit compatibility.

Bearing in mind the results of our reviews on higher priced models, we weren’t surprised to see the 12% incline, which is only slightly down on the 15% offered by the higher priced 1450 model.

If you think the additional 3% incline would be beneficial to your training, ProForm’s own 590 T Treadmill is also available for the same price, although you will have to make a sacrifice in terms of the motor power.

However, outside of ProForm’s own collection you will struggle to find this same range of options, with the similarly priced T101-04 Treadmill from Horizon Fitness only offering a 10% incline, 10mph belt speed, and 2.25 HP motor.

In comparison, the ProForm Performance 600c uses a 2.75 CHP Commercial motor to ensure the tread belt maintains its high speeds once the running deck gets towards the top levels of incline.

Another important feature to mention is the size of the running area, which is key to ensuring you have enough space to build up to your full natural running stride.

Measuring 20 inches across and 60 inches in length, this again places it at the level of the 590 T model, and represents another area of improvement over the running area for Horizon’s T101-04.

As with most other treadmill models in the Performance range, the running deck features a more advanced and supportive cushioning system than we saw on the earlier 300 model.

This is mainly because the TreadSoft Cushioning (single cushion system) has now been replaced with the more advanced ProShox Cushioning System (two cushioned supports on each side).

Having the ProShox as a feature means you will be better supported during your run, reducing the risk of any strain on your knee and ankle joints – which is commonly caused by outdoor running.

ProForm Performance 600C Treadmill

ProForm Performance 600C – Features Summary

  • 12% Max. Incline
  • Top running belt speed of 12 mph
  • iFit compatibility
  • 2.75 CHP Commercial motor
  • Choose from a collection of 22 different workout apps designed to help you reach your goals in less time
  • 20″ x 60″ Tread belt
  • Spacesaver running deck with EasyLift assist
  • EKG heart rate hand sensors built into the handles
  • 6″ Backlit display screen
  • CoolAire workout fan
  • iPod compatible audio
  • ProShox cushioning system
  • Folding running deck design

Safety, transport, and storage

While the cushioning system built into the running deck goes some way towards reducing the risk of developing any problems in your knee and hip joints, there are a couple of other important safety features worth mentioning.

Unfortunately you don’t have the same pass code sequence security as we saw on the later 1450 model, whereby you can configure a key sequence to lock the console against accidental operation.

But there are still 3 other features ProForm have added to improve your safety and confidence when running at home.

Safety features:

  • Wider side platforms – for stepping off the running belt safely if you can’t wait for the belt to stop or feel faint at any point.
  • Hand rails – Can be used to help maintain your balance and assist in stepping off the belt
  • Safety key – A short cord that connects an item of your clothing to the console. In the event of a fall, the clip would disconnect from the console and the running belt would quickly come to a stop.

Despite the impressive size of the running area, you’re actually still able to fold the running deck away to a more vertical position when you finish your workout.

This not only helps to increase the amount of space you have available, but also makes it considerably easier to tilt the machine onto its wheels and pull it towards wherever it needs to be stored.

Being a similar size and design, it’s no surprise that the running deck weighs approximately 45 lbs, which is the same as for the later 1450 model.

Display console design

One of the most important console features to look for when buying a new treadmill is the heart rate measurement options it provides.

Typically this will consist of at least one set of heart rate hand sensors, and your current pulse displayed as workout feedback on the screen.

However, it’s also useful to find out some lesser known information, such as whether or not the console provides telemetry heart rate tracking (chest belt), if you can enter your age for use in the base calculation of heart rate, and where on the machine the hand sensors are positioned.

That last point is particularly easy to overlook. As a general rule, the heart rate hand sensors will be built into the main set of handles in front of you.

ProForm Performance 600C Treadmill
The 6 inch display screen features a blue backlight for enhanced feedback visibility

This is primarily for the ProForm and Precor treadmill collections, with LifeSpan Fitness and Sole Fitness instead opting for the side hand rail integration.

Both are equally as effective at measuring your heart rate, but it’s worth bearing in mind that you will need to hold onto them throughout your workout with ProForm’s 600c model, as it doesn’t have a receiver that’s compatible with heart rate chest straps.

Button functions and display screen feedback:

A popular feature amongst modern treadmills is the option to quickly switch between each of the various speed and incline settings at the touch of a button.

This is something that ProForm have also included with their Performance 600c model, with quick-select buttons for the speed and incline that increment just one percent/mile per hour at a time.

You also have access to controls that adjust the power of the cooling fan, as well as the volume of the music you listen to thanks to its compatibility with the iPod.

ProForm Performance 600C Treadmill
Quick-select incline and speed buttons allow you to spend more time focussing on your workout

The display screen has even been backlit to help you keep track of important workout information even in low light conditions (ideal for people who enjoy morning/evening runs).

Having this extra contrast between the background and the feedback makes it easier to track your time spent on the machine, distance, number of calories burned, vertical feet climbed, heart rate, and belt speed.

ProForm have even included a workout intensity bar. Not much is mentioned about the calculations behind this, but it can certainly be a useful source of motivation when you want to increase or maintain a higher incline and belt speed.

The remaining buttons have been added purely for navigating the various menu options and speed up the process of selecting your desired iFit workout. There’s also an option to scroll through the 22 onboard workout programs if you can’t establish a Wi-Fi connection for accessing iFit.

Your first iFit workout

iFit requires the purchase of an additional module, as well as Wi-Fi connectivity

If you’re unfamiliar with iFit, it’s essentially an online training resource that allows you to download additional workouts via the Wi-Fi connectivity, store a history of your workouts for performance and goal tracking, and even sync your data with the iFit Live app.

The ProForm Performance 600c is actually classed as iFit compatible, rather than iFit enabled.

This means that you need to purchase a separate module for inserting into the console, which usually retails for around $99.

In addition to the console, you will usually need to pay for monthly or yearly membership, but if you’re buying the console then you get the first year for free.

A one year membership usually costs about the same as the console, but offers are available if you purchase more than one year at a time.

You can then connect the module to your computer via a simple USB cable, which can be used to download workouts before transferring them onto the treadmill console.

A select few treadmills in the ProForm range will actually have this technology already built in, with a full colour touch screen allowing you to take full advantage of Google Maps running route creation and Street View.

22 Preset workout apps

ProForm Performance 600C Treadmill

If you’re unable to find a Wi-Fi connection, or are short on time and want to get started with a workout as quickly as possible, you also have the Manual program and 22 onboard workouts to choose from.

4 Onboard workout categories:

  • 1. Speed workouts (6 programs)
  • 2. Incline workouts (5 programs)
  • 3. Intensity workouts (5 programs)
  • 4. Calorie workouts (6 programs)

While the Manual program simply allows you to vary the incline and belt speed settings as your workout progresses, the 22 workout apps follow pre-determined profiles, custom designed to help you achieve a variety of specific fitness goals.

Each of the preset workout programs is divided into a series of segments and shown in an area of the console screen we haven’t yet mentioned – the matrix.

This gives you a clear idea of what to expect from what remains of your workout, as well as giving a clear indication of your current progress by having the segment that you’re currently following flash on and off.

Each of these segments represents a specific incline and speed combination, but they aren’t set in stone. If you want to change either of these settings during a particular segment then this is something you can do quickly and easily using the quick-select buttons.

Setting workout goals:

As well as the downloadable iFit workouts and preset onboard training programs, the ProForm Performance 1450 treadmill also includes a series of basic goal setting workouts.

These require you to define a set number for a particular item of console feedback, then continuing your workout until you reach your target number.

This can be either a set amount of calories that you want to burn, the target duration for your workout, or a particular distance that you want to cover.

The ‘Units’ menu screen even enables you to switch between having your distance goal displayed in miles or kilometers, depending on your preference.

Ease of assembly

The user manual contains detailed assembly instructions and parts references

When it comes to putting the ProForm Performance 1450 together, unfortunately it’s far from being a quick and simple process.

Whilst the bulk of the running deck assembly has already been done for you, you still have to attach the uprights, covers, hand rails, and console.

This may not sound like a lot, but the threading of the wires and moving around of parts that eventually create a running machine weighing in excess of 200 lbs can be a time consuming process.

That being said, the time it takes to follow the steps is really all you need to worry about, as the assembly instructions in the user manual are completely comprehensive.

Each part is clearly labelled in an identification chart, and ProForm even offer a service whereby a trained technician can come to your home to get everything setup and working for you if you don’t have the time to do it yourself.

What’s covered by the warranty?

  • Frame: Lifetime
  • Motor: Lifetime
  • Parts: 2 years
  • Labor: 1 year

Review Overview

Overall Review Rating

2.5 / 5

So to summarise the difference between the 600c and the higher priced 1450, you're essentially sacrificing around 10 preset training programs, the pass code security feature, 4 inches on the screen size, and 0.5 CHP on the power of the motor.

You're also dropping about 25 lbs on the weight limit and 3% on the incline, but the warranty coverage, running area, and iFit compatibility all still remain.

Yet this still represents an improvement in all aspects of design and warranty coverage compared to similarly priced models, like the Horizon Fitness T101-04 we mentioned earlier.

Overall, despite the mixed reviews on some e-commerce sites, the actual features and quality of the warranty back up what is really a great mid-range treadmill for home workouts.

Product dimensions: 200cm (L) x 92cm (W) x 148cm (H ) Product weight: 225 lbs Weight limit: 325 lbs

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