Monday, 20 May 2024


ProForm Pro 5000 Treadmill Review

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The ProForm Pro 5000 treadmill is an upgraded version of the bestselling Pro 2000 model, with a new design for 2016. But are the upgrades enough to justify the difference in price?

ProForm’s Pro series of treadmills offer professional-grade construction, high quality ProShox™ cushioning, and an impressive incline and decline range, that’s second only to their Boston Marathon treadmills.

So how do you know if the Pro 5000 is the best treadmill for you? Could the top-of-the-line Pro 9000 be a better option for your personal fitness goals?

In this review we take a close look at what is currently the mid-range machine in ProForm’s high-end Pro collection. Find out what’s been upgraded since the Pro 2000, what you’re missing out on by choosing this over the Pro 9000, and how it compares to some of the bestselling treadmills from NordicTrack’s Commercial series.

Design and safety features

ProForm Pro 5000 Treadmill

The ProForm Pro 5000 shares many of the same design features as the top-of-the-line Pro 9000 treadmill, such as the 22″W x 60″L running surface. This is the standard size for all Pro series treadmills, including the bestselling Pro 2000. The additional length compared to ProForm’s entry level treadmills (Premier 900, Sport 5.0, Power 795, etc. all have a 55-inch belt length), makes this a much better option for taller runners with a longer running stride.

In terms of what’s powering the belt motion, this is the only physical design feature that’s actually been upgraded from the Pro 2000. That’s because the 4.0 CHP Mach Z™ Commercial Pro Motor that’s used by the Pro 5000 is more powerful than the 3.5 CHP motor of the entry level bestseller. Being built with an internal cooling system also reduces wear on the high-grade components, and reduces the amount of vibration to create a quieter indoor running experience. The motor is also covered by a lifetime warranty and includes ProForm’s built-in efficiency booster to reduce the amount of electricity it uses during your workout.

So we know about the running are and motor power, but what about the roller size, belt speed, and incline? How do these compare to other ProForm treadmills?

The precision-machined, balanced rollers measure 2.5″ in diameter, and are larger than those found in treadmills like the ProForm 10.0 TT (1.9″ rollers), or Sport 7.5 (1.9″). This helps decrease tension on the tread belt, which works to maintain the smooth belt motion and reduces wear on the belt to minimize maintenance.

Despite having a larger motor than the Pro 2000, the Pro 5000 still offers the same 0-12 MPH belt speed, -3% to +15% incline range, and 350 lb capacity. But apart from their Boston Marathon series, this is the highest spec you’ll find on any ProForm treadmill, so it’s certainly nothing to be disappointed about. In fact, this is the same combination that you’ll find on Sole Fitness treadmills, such as the F65 and F80 (although these are missing the decline setting).

Having this extra decline option is an advantage over treadmills that only have incline and flat settings, as it creates a closer match with the variation in terrain that comes with running outdoors. It also allows you to shift the focus slightly between lower body muscle groups. The 15% maximum incline setting is useful for more experienced runners who are looking to increase the rate of calorie burn and make their workouts more challenging.

Taking a closer look at the running deck we find the same ProShox™ Cushioning system that was fitted to the top-of-the-line Pro 9000 treadmill, which helps limit the impact when your foot strikes the belt. This reduces the stress placed on your feet, ankles, and knee joints compared to road running.

Safety features
Whether you’re running or weightlifting, if you workout at home it’s important to create a safe environment in which to exercise, especially if you train without a partner or spotter.

ProForm’s Pro series treadmills are fitted with more safety features than we’re used to seeing at this price range. This includes a 4 digit child-safety passcode designed to prevent unauthorized access, and a safety screen timeout to automatically reset the display if the console isn’t used and belt doesn’t move for a set period of time.

You’ve also got all the safety features you would expect from any modern treadmill, such as the hand rails, safety plates on either side of the belt, and safety key slot built-into the console.

ProForm Pro 5000 Treadmill

ProForm Pro 5000 Treadmill – Features Summary

  • 4.0 CHP Mach Z™ Commercial Pro Motor
  • 22″W x 60″L Running surface
  • 0-12 MPH QuickSpeed® Control
  • 15% Incline, -3% Decline
  • 38 Workout apps
  • 7″ full-color web-enabled touchscreen
  • 350 lb weight capacity

Display console design

The Pro 5000 treadmill console features a 7-inch full-color web-enabled touchscreen

If you’re looking for a treadmill that combines top-of-the-line design features with industry-leading entertainment features, the ProForm Pro 5000 should certainly make your shortlist. Putting a couple of minor differences aside (screen is 3-inches smaller), this is the same console design that you’ll find on the upgraded Pro 9000, with a 7″ full-color web-enabled touchscreen that allows you to watch your favourite movies, catch up on the latest TV shows, and even post to social media during your workout.

If you would rather use the console screen for workout feedback or following a real-world running route via the iFit Maps programs, you can always use the integrated tablet holder instead. Alternatively, if you don’t own a tablet, the touchscreen makes it easy to swipe between the entertainment options and a summary of your workout performance. Feedback from the console includes speed, time, distance, incline, heart rate, and number of calories burned.

As with all ProForm treadmills, the Pro 5000 also includes a built-in iPod® compatible audio port. This lets you play music through their top-of-the-line Intermix Acoustics 3.0 sound system, which includes two 3-inch speakers. Volume controls are also available through the console, which means you don’t have to worry about interrupting your workout or restricting your movement by having to wear headphones.

QuickSpeed® and QuickIncline® buttons allow you to quickly switch between the different incline gradients and belt speed settings. A similar set of quick select controls have also been added for accessing the onboard and iFit workout programs. This is much quicker than having to press a single generic ‘workouts’ button up to 16 times to find your chosen workout, like you would do with the ProForm 530 ZLT treadmill.

One final console feature worth mentioning is the set of multi-speed CoolAire™ workout fans, which offer a level of climate control that’s only possible through indoor running. When combined with the water bottle storage, this helps to create a more comfortable workout environment that’s conducive to high-performance training, where you can increase your endurance through staying cool and hydrated.

Heart rate monitoring
The Pro 5000 is one of the few ProForm treadmills to support telemetry heart rate monitoring. This means you can choose between using the EKG™ touch sensors built into the handles, and wearing a wireless heart rate chest strap (included) so that you can focus more on your workout with greater freedom of motion in your upper body.

Workout programs and user profiles

The release of the ProForm Pro 5000 marked a change in console design from the Pro 4500 treadmill, with a more intuitive button layout that ensures the incline and speed controls are always within easy reach.

But aside from the console design, the Pro 5000 also showcases an entirely new category of onboard workouts, which is something we didn’t find when reviewing ProForm Endurance, Power, or ZLT treadmills.

In addition to the Calorie, Speed, Incline, and Intensity program categories, you can now select ‘Random’, which automatically generates a random combination of speed and incline settings. This can be a great way to quickly create a fresh and challenging workout routine, even without activating iFit.

So what other workout upgrades have ProForm added since the Pro 1450, and how does the Pro 5000 compare to ProForm’s top-of-the-line Pro series treadmills?

Workout program categories

  • ManualProForm treadmills include one of two types of manual program; one that uses a tab system to display profile information, and one that doesn’t.Because of the insight it gives you into your workout performance while you’re still running, we prefer treadmills where the tab system is included. Unfortunately this isn’t a feature of the Pro 5000, but it can be found on machines like the ProForm Power 795.

    The tab system is usually only found on ProForm treadmills that have a touchscreen console. This allows you to switch between a number of different tabs, where one displayed your incline profile, another your speed profile, and a third tab highlighted the number of calories burned during each segment of your workout.

    In contrast, the ProForm Pro 5000 simply allows you to view your progress around a 1/4 mile running track. You don’t follow any preset profile, which means any change in workout intensity is entirely under your control.

  • Onboard Workouts
    This is the collection of built-in workout programs where you’ll find the ‘Random’ workout category we mentioned earlier. The 4 other categories have been a regular feature of ProForm treadmills for a while, and include Calorie, Speed, Incline, and Intensity.Each of the 38 onboard workouts follows a preset combination of speed and incline settings, which has been stored inside of the segments. As the workout progresses, the profile will adjust the incline and belt speed to match the settings stored against the segment. You’re able to override these profile settings at any point using the controls on the console, which can be useful if you like the workout program, but need are looking for more of a challenge.
  • Set-A-Goal WorkoutsThe ProForm Pro 5000 supports all 4 goal options; Calories, Time, Distance, and Pace.It’s becoming increasingly difficult to find a home treadmill that supports any level of goal setting, and it’s a feature we only see on a regular basis if we’re reviewing ProForm or NordicTrack. But even with ProForm it’s not unusual to see just 3 goal options; Calories, Time, and Distance.

    The Pace goal is only available on ProForm’s high-spec machines, including their Boston Marathon treadmills and the Pro 1495.

  • iFit WorkoutsProForm treadmills usually offer one of 3 iFit options; iFit enabled, iFit compatible, or iFit workout cards. The Pro 5000 is iFit enabled, which is the only one of the three to not require an additional expense (except for the iFit subscription). iFit compatible would mean you need to buy the wireless module, and Workout Cards would mean you need to buy either single or multi-pack workout cards to get the most from the treadmill.As long as you have an iFit subscription and a WiFi connection, you can access their extensive collection of workouts designed by certified personal trainers. This includes real-world routes created using Google Maps™ and Street View.

    You can also track your workout performance and upload the results straight to your iFit account (each account supports up to 4 users), where they can be combined with your exercise off the treadmill for a complete overview of your fitness routine. Your account can then be accessed from a number of devices, including the ProForm Pro 5000 console, your computer, tablet, or smart phone.

Ease of assembly and maintenance

The ProForm Pro 5000 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 Pro 5000 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.

Treadmill Assembly
Start by confirming your service location

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 Pro 5000 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.

ProForm Treadmill Guide

What’s covered by the warranty?

  • Frame: Lifetime
  • Motor: Lifetime

  • Parts: 5 years
  • Labor: 2 years

Review Overview

Overall Review Rating

4.5 / 5

So is the ProForm Pro 5000 the best treadmill for your fitness goals, or does the upgraded Pro 9000 represent better value for money? Also, can NordicTrack offer anything in the way of competition?

After reviewing all aspects of this treadmill, including the physical design features, entertainment options, and workout programs, it’s clear there’s very little difference between this and ProForm’s top-of-the-line Pro 9000.

An increase in screen size and a slightly more powerful motor are the only noticeable upgrades, with no change in the number of onboard workouts, maximum belt speed, incline, audio system, or warranty. Considering the Pro 9000 was twice the price of the Pro 5000 at time of writing this review, there’s no doubt which treadmill offers better value for money.

Also, we feel that the difference in price between the Pro 2000 and Pro 5000 is justified, as you’re getting a significant upgrade in the console (full color web-enabled touchscreen in place of a backlit display). You’re also getting a slight increase (+0.5 CHP) in motor power, and 6 more onboard workouts.

NordicTrack’s Commercial series treadmills have been upgraded for 2016, with improvements made to the incline pivots and cushioning for better durability and a quieter workout. The closest match to the Pro 5000 in this case would be the Nordictrack 1750 model, which shares almost all of the same features, except for having a lower (300 lb) weight capacity.

Of course, the main difference is the cushioning. ProForm use ProShox™ throughout the deck, while NordicTrack use RunnersFlex™. RunnersFlex™ is actually the same advanced system that ProForm use on their Boston Marathon treadmills (both companies owned by ICON), which allows you to enable or disable the impact absorption.

Because of this, and the durability upgrades, we have to recommend the NordicTrack 1750 over the ProForm Pro 5000. Fundamentally they have many of the same features (incline, speed, running area size, 7” web-enabled touchscreen), but this cushioning system makes it a better choice for runners looking to emulate their road running experience.

If the 300 lb weight capacity is too low, the ProForm Pro 5000 is still an excellent option. These recommendations are based on the two treadmills being the same price (around $1,499) which was true at time of writing.

Product dimensions: 39.5"W x 63"H x 80"L Weight capacity: 350 lbs

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