The ProForm Premier 1300 treadmill has excellent support for a variety of user heights and fitness levels, with a 20″W x 60″L running surface, 3.5 CHP Mach Z™ motor, and iFit enabled console. But how does this compare to the entry level Premier 900 model?
In this review we’ll be comparing both treadmills in the ProForm Premier series, to determine which model represents the best combination of affordability and features, while still helping you achieve your fitness goals.
We’ll also be comparing the Premier 1300 to top-of-the-line treadmills in ProForm’s other collections, such as the Sport series and Pro series. This means taking a closer look at the design features, console functions, entertainment options, and workout programs, to help you decide if a Premier series treadmill is the best option for your own home gym.
Design and safety features
Whether we consider the ProForm Premier 1300 to be good value for money really comes down to whether or not it’s on sale when you come to buy. At the time of writing this review it was available via the ProForm website for its list price of $2,499. Although the features are certainly impressive, at this price it was more expensive than the Pro 9000, which is the top-of-the-line treadmill in their Pro series.
The features themselves actually feel like the best parts have been taken from the Pro 2000, Pro 5000, and Pro 9000 treadmills, then combined into a single high-end home treadmill. It’s the 10-inch full color web-enabled touch screen that really sets it apart from other ProForm treadmills, as it’s something that’s currently only available on 4 models; Pro 9000, Premier 1300, Boston Marathon 3.0, and Boston Marathon 4.0.
In terms of running area, you’re also looking at one of the largest in the industry, and a clear upgrade from the mid-sized running surface of the Premier 900. The 20″W x 60″L belt caters for a wide range of user heights, through to 6ft+. This allows you to build up to your full natural running stride without worrying so much about foot placement.
Powering this tread belt is a 3.5 CHP Mach Z™ Commercial Plus Motor, which is a large frame motor constructed with high-grade components and an internal cooling system. This is designed to reduce vibration inside the motor, thereby creating a quieter in-home running experience that also reduces the wear on parts. (Motor still covered by a lifetime warranty)
But there’s at least one important difference between the Premier 1300 and the Pro series treadmills. The decline is only capped at +12%, whereas treadmills like the Pro 2000 have an incline/decline range of -3% to +15%. The 12% incline is probably enough for most people, as it’s still an effective way to increase the number of calories burned during your workout. But if you’re looking for a home treadmill that closely emulates an outdoor running experience, few do it better than the Pro series treadmills paired with an iFit Map workout.
Taking a look under the belt you have ProForm’s standard ProShox™ Cushioning system. This serves to absorb a lot of the force that’s caused by your foot striking the tread belt, thereby limiting the stress placed on your feet, knees, and ankle joints. This is particularly useful once you reach higher belt speeds (the Premier 1300 is capped at 12 mph, even under the full 350 lb limit).
Something else the ProForm Premier 1300 shares with the Pro series treadmills is its safety features. Going beyond the standard hand rails and foot plates, you can use the console to set a 4-digit child-safety passcode, which disables the button functions (belt speed, incline, etc.) until the correct combination is entered.
Another innovative design feature is the safety screen timeout. This is something we first noticed when reviewing the Pro 2000 treadmill, but it’s something that’s available on all Pro and Premier series treadmills, together with the safety passcode. This feature simply resets the console if no buttons are pressed and the belt remains stationary for a set amount of time.
Although it’s available on most motorized treadmills, the safety key is also worth a qick mention. It’s a short length of cord with a clip at each end, where one end attaches to the console and the other to your clothing. This way, if you were to fall while running, the clip detaches from the console and the belt quickly comes to a stop.
ProForm Premier 1300 – Features Summary
- 3.5 CHP Mach Z™ Commercial Plus Motor
- 0 – 12% Incline
- 0 – 12 MPH QuickSpeed® Control
- 20″W x 60″L Running area
- 34 Workout apps
- 10″ full-color web enabled touchscreen display
- 350 lb weight capacity
Display console design
The Premier 1300 console is packed with features designed to make your workouts more enjoyable, including a 10″ full-color web enabled touchscreen display. This is larger than the 7-inch display on the Premier 900, and is one of the largest available for home treadmills. The only consoles we’ve found to have a larger display are on commercial models where you have a Personal Viewing System (PVS), such as Precor’s industry-leading 880 Line (15-inch screen).
This larger screen was first seen on ProForm’s TrailRunner 4.0 treadmill, where the tablet was also powered by an Android™ browser. But although this is a web enabled console, it’s important to highlight the limitations.
We just mentioned Precor’s 880 Line consoles, which can provide the complete media viewing package, including watching TV channels. Unfortunately the ProForm Premier 1300 doesn’t offer the same broad range of viewing options, which is understandable given the price difference. But despite the fact this console is classed as ‘web enabled’, you don’t have access to sites like Netflix, and will struggle to watch your favorite movies.
The web side of the console was only ever designed for you to watch the news, sports highlights, keep up with friends on Facebook & Twitter, and send emails. You’re also unable to download apps to the console directly. But as a compromise, ProForm have integrated a tablet holder into the top of the console, which effectively creates a second screen closer to eye level where you can watch your favorite movie and catch up on TV shows (tablet required).
Having the built-in touchscreen makes it easy to switch between the web/entertainment features, and your workout feedback. This includes your speed, time, distance, incline, heart rate, and number of calories burned.
Another entertainment feature worth mentioning is the Intermix Acoustics™ 3.0 Sound System with MP3 and iPod® compatible music port. Most ProForm treadmills feature a scaled down version of this, called Intermix Acoustics™ 2.0. The main difference between the two systems is the speaker size, with the 2.0 version offering two 2-inch speakers, and the 3.0 version having two 3-inch speakers. This allows you to listen to your favorite workout music directly via the console, without the need for headphones.
If you want to stay cool and hydrated during your workout, ProForm have included a multi-speed CoolAire™ Workout Fan and two large storage areas capable of holding water bottles. Research has shown how dehydration can have a negative impact on your running performance, and even increase your heart rate compared to staying hydrated.
Heart rate monitoring
Heart rate monitoring is available on every ProForm treadmill to some degree. But treadmills that are compatible with wireless chest straps are still in the minority.
Fortunately the ProForm Premier 1300 features EKG™ touch sensors built into the handles, and can receive the signal from Bluetooth® wireless chest straps. This means you don’t have to restrict your upper body movement for extended periods of time by holding onto the handles. You can simply wear a chest strap and have the signal transmit to the console, with improved accuracy due to the sensors always being in contact with your skin.
Workout programs and user profiles
If you decide to buy the ProForm Premier 1300 over the Premier 900 you get all the usual upgrades, such as a larger console screen and a number of additional onboard workout apps (34 vs. 30).
But considering the difference in price, how much of an impact will this really have on your workout experience, and does the Premier 900 actually represent better value for money?
Workout program categories
This is the default program that activates as soon as you insert the safety key into the console and select a speed setting. There’s no preset profile of speed and incline settings to follow, but you can monitor your progress via the 1/4 mile virtual running track that’s displayed on-screen.
As your workout progresses you can watch your position on the track change, with a lap counter acting as a useful motivational tool for achieving greater distances than you might otherwise have planned for.
- Onboard Workouts
We know of only a handful of treadmills that offer 40 onboard workouts or more, so the 34 that are included with the Premier 1300 is getting close to the most you can expect.
As with the Premier 900, these programs have been split across 4 categories; Incline, Speed, Intensity, and Calorie, which is a shift from their Endurance series, where most treadmills were very much setup to support weight loss.
Each of these programs follows a preset profile of speed and incline settings, which have been carefully selected by a certified personal trainer to help you achieve a variety of fitness goals.
Unfortunately you don’t have the option to create and store custom user workouts the same way you do with Sole Fitness treadmills, but you can modify the current workout segment by adjusting the incline or belt speed using controls on the console.
- Set-A-Goal Workouts
The range of goal-oriented programs hasn’t changed at all compared to the Premier 900 treadmill, but that’s because you already had access to all of the options we’ve seen from this style of workout.
This means you’re able to set a target for the workout duration, distance, number of calories burned, and even pace. The pace goal is a lot more difficult to find on home treadmills, and is typically reserved for top-of-the-line collections, like the machines in ProForm’s Boston Marathon series.
- Pulse Workout
This heart rate controlled program is available in 2 variations; Performance and Endurance. After making your selection at the console and ensuring that your wireless chest strap is paired with the console, you can set a target for your heart rate.
This is similar to the Set-A-Goal programs, but rather than simply working towards a static number, the treadmill automatically adapts to keep you close to your target level. This can include raising and lowering the running deck, and adjusting the speed of the tread belt.
- iFit® Workouts
The Premier 1300 is one of ProForm’s iFit enabled treadmills, which means there’s no need to purchase the wireless module separately, like you do with an iFit compatible treadmill. This saves you around $99 on the initial cost, but you still need to pay for an iFit subscription.
After setting up your account you’re able to download a large collection of iFit® workouts straight to the console, which are suitable for all fitness levels, from beginner to experienced marathon runner. This includes real-world running trails via the large full color screen and Google Maps™ technology. As with the onboard workouts, this will automatically adjust the incline to recreate the terrain featured in your virtual running route.
iFit® can be accessed from your computer, smart phone, tablet, or treadmill console. You can also buy a personal fitness tracker that syncs workout data to your online account even when you step off the treadmill.
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 Premier 1300 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 ProForm Premier 1300 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:
- Update the console firmware
- Calibrate the incline system
- Enable a child-safety passcode
- Troubleshoot basic issues
What’s covered by the warranty?
- Frame: Lifetime
- Motor: Lifetime
- Parts: 5 years
- Labor: 2 years