The ProForm Pro 9000 treadmill is an upgraded version of the Pro 5000, featuring ProForm’s most advanced entertainment technology, and an incline range that’s second only to their Boston Marathon treadmills.
So what’s the difference between this model and their bestselling Pro 2000 treadmill? Are the upgrades designed to help you improve your fitness level, or simply entertainment to make your run more enjoyable?
In this review we compare the Pro 9000 to other home treadmills in ProForm’s Pro series, including the Pro 5000 and the now discontinued Pro 7500. We’ll also be taking a close look at the iFit training options, onboard workouts, design features, and console functions, to help you decide if this is really the best treadmill for your fitness goals and budget.
Design and safety features
The ProForm Pro 9000 is packed with features designed to make your cardio workouts more effective, such as their most powerful 4.25 CHP Mach Z Commercial Plus Motor. This is the same power as their Boston Marathon treadmills, but you don’t get quite the same range of incline and belt speed settings.
This large frame Commercial Pro motor has been constructed from high-grade components, and built with an internal cooling system to reduce wear on parts and minimize vibration, creating a quieter in-home running experience. When the motor is active, its dynamically spin-balanced assembly creates higher levels of inertia that make for effortless transitions between speed levels.
As an upgrade over the Pro 5000 and Pro 2000 treadmills, you might expect the Pro 9000 to have a much larger running area. Unfortunately this isn’t the case, but all 3 models feature a 22″W x 60″L running surface, which is one of the largest in the industry. Although this means a slightly larger footprint, you can enjoy greater freedom of movement during your workout, and it’s much better suited to the running stride of taller users (6ft+) compared to treadmills with a belt measuring 55″ or less in length.
Aside from NordicTrack’s Incline Trainers and some of the Yowza Fitness ellipticals, the 15% Incline to -3% Decline of the Pro 9000 is the widest gradient range of any home treadmill, allowing you to shift the focus between different lower body muscle groups. The steeper inclines place more of an emphasis on your hamstrings and glutes, while shallower gradients and the decline settings work more of your quads and calves. Training at a steep incline also has the benefit of increasing the rate of calorie burn compared to running on flat, when measured at the same belt speed.
The motor is capable of rotating the belt at speeds of up to 12 mph, which has been made possible thanks to a larger motor and faster flywheel gear ratio. You can also benefit from having an in-home efficiency booster, which reduces the amount of electricity used.
In terms of the deck suspension system, ProShox Cushioning has been fitted throughout to reduce the impact when your foot strikes the tread belt. This helps to reduce the stress placed on your feet, ankles, knees and hips compared to road running.
Between the belt and the running deck you also have a large set of 2.5″ precision-machined, balanced rollers, which are larger than the 1.9″ rollers we’re used to seeing on ProForm’s most affordable treadmills. This does an excellent job of reducing tension and wear on the belt, which also helps to grip the belt better and limit any sideways movement.
When reviewing ProForm’s Sport and ZT series treadmills, one safety feature we kept mentioning was the safety code. But the code was only mentioned to say that none of these treadmills had it as an option, as it tends to be reserved for their Pro series treadmills.
Fortunately the ProForm Pro 9000 does have a child-safety passcode, which disables access to console operations until you enter the correct 4-digit combination. Another unique safety feature for this treadmill is a safety screen timeout, which is where the console resets if it receives no interaction and the belt doesn’t move for an extended period of time.
Some of the more standard safety features are also available, such as the short set of hand rails, and the side rails on either side of the tread belt for assisting with your balance if needed. You also have a safety key, which connects to your clothing at one end, and the console at the other. This way, if you were to fall, the clip would detach from the console and the belt would come to a stop.
The combination of safety features seen on the Pro 9000 is better than most home treadmills we review, making it an excellent choice for family environments.
ProForm Pro 9000 Treadmill – Features Summary
- iFit Enabled
- 10″ web-enabled full-color touchscreen
- 4.25 CHP Mach Z Commercial Plus Motor
- 22″W x 60″L Tread belt
- 15% Incline, -3% Decline
- 0-12 MPH QuickSpeed Control
- 38 Workout apps
- Wireless heart rate monitor included
- 300 lb weight capacity
Display console design
As one of their top-of-the-line treadmills, the ProForm Pro 9000 features a 10″ web-enabled full-color touchscreen, which allows you to watch your favorite movies, catch up on TV shows, or check social media while you walk, jog, or run.
Having the touchscreen also makes it easy to switch between the entertainment options of the web browser and a summary view of your workout feedback. This includes speed, time, distance, heart rate, incline, and number of calories burned. You can also listen to your favorite workout music via the iPod/MP3 compatible Intermix Acoustics 3.0 audio system, with its pair of 3-inch speakers.
Although the Pro 2000 and Pro 5000 treadmills have a smaller display screen (7-inches) compared to the Pro 9000 (10-inches), they both offer the same combination of high-quality entertainment features. You also have the integrated tablet holder mounted to the top of the console, which keeps the tablet screen closer to eye level for improved visibility. This is a similar setup to the NordicTrack treadmills and Incline Trainers, which have a console-mounted tablet holder and web-enabled color touchscreen in sizes of 7-inches or 10-inches, depending on the model.
Of course, a key feature of the Pro 9000 console is the fact that it’s iFit enabled. This is something we look at in much more detail later in our review, but in short, this grants you access to a downloadable workout library far larger than companies like Sole Fitness and Schwinn. You can also upload your results to an online profile for tracking improvements in your fitness level over time.
Aesthetically the console looks very sharp and feels intuitive to use, with clearly labelled Quick Select buttons for the workout program categories, belt speed, incline, iFit programs, and even adjusting the power of the multi-speed CoolAire Workout Fans. These work well in combination with the large storage areas (water bottle storage) for keeping you cool and hydrated during a workout, which can lead to improved endurance as a result.
Heart rate monitoring
Being able to accurately monitor your heart rate during strenuous physical exercise, such as running, can be hugely important. Fortunately, many modern treadmills at least feature touch sensors so you can hold the handles and transmit a reading to the console. But this isn’t always practical if you want to monitor your heart rate for the duration of the workout.
That’s why the ProForm Pro 9000 features the dual EKG touch sensors, and supports wireless chest straps. These straps are widely recognized as providing more accurate feedback of your pulse to the console. (wireless chest strap included) That’s because you don’t need to maintain a fixed grip on the static handles, which can hinder your natural running stride and impact your overall performance.
Workout programs and user profiles
The ProForm Pro 9000 combines many of the best features from the now discontinued Pro 7000 and Pro 7500 treadmills, including the excellent workout variation and iFit® Enabled console.
At the time of writing this review, the Pro 9000 is the top-of-the-line model in a series that also includes the Pro 5000, but in terms of workout programs there’s virtually no difference between the two machines.
Both are listed with 38 onboard workout apps, and offer the full range of goal setting options as part of the Set-A-Goal workouts (Calorie, Time, Distance, and Pace).
As we’ve already mentioned, the ProForm Pro 9000 certainly has its upgrades over the Pro 5000 model, including a more powerful motor and larger console screen. But is there any difference between the two treadmills in terms of workout options, and how does the Pro 9000 compare to the bestselling Pro 2000?
Workout program categories
This is your standard workout that’s available on most motorized treadmills, including the complete ProForm collection.
Instead of following a profile of incline and speed settings like you do with the onboard and iFit workouts, you’re given complete control over when the speed and incline changes. There’s also no fixed duration, and you don’t need to set a target like with the Set-A-Goal programs.
Throughout the manual program you can choose from several display modes on the console screen, one of which allows you to monitor your progress around a 1/4mile virtual running track.
The Manual program is a great option if you want to get started with a workout quickly and don’t have time to configure something custom in iFit. It’s also one of the best options if you’re looking for some steady state cardio, or simply want a walking or jogging session.
- Onboard Workouts
Because the ProForm 9000 is part of their Pro collection, you’re given access to all 5 categories of onboard workouts. This includes Calorie, Speed, Incline, Intensity, and Random.
The ability to create random workouts isn’t something that’s available on all ProForm treadmills, but can prove incredibly useful as a way of keeping your body guessing and preventing plateaus.
Repeatedly pressing any of these category buttons will quickly take you through the various programs that are available, with the profile displayed on-screen to indicate the intensity of the workout.
Each profile is split into a number of segments, with each segment being used to store one incline level and one speed level. As the workout progresses, the treadmill automatically adjusts to meet these target levels.
A certain level of customization is possible in the sense that you can change the incline or speed for the current segment mid-workout, but if you want to create a truly custom running experience your best option is the iFit Workout Builder.
- Set-A-Goal Workouts
Goals can be a motivational way to stay consistent with a fitness routine, both in the short term and long term. That’s why ProForm include Set-A-Goal workouts with many of their home treadmills, allowing you to set a target for the distance, time, pace, or number of calories burned during the current session.
The Pace goal in particular is something of a rarity amongst indoor treadmills, and something you only really find on ProForm’s most advanced collections, such as the Pro series and Boston Marathon series.
But the options that can be accessed via the console are only one side of the story, and you can actually analyze historical workout data to plan your longer term goals using iFit. This also allows you to schedule the complete series of workout programs that will help you achieve this goal, but does require an active iFit subscription.
- iFit Workouts
The Pro 9000 treadmill console is classed as iFit enabled, which means you have full access to the service, but only after signing up for a paid subscription and connecting to a Wi-Fi network. The advantage of being enabled rather than compatible is that you don’t need to buy the iFit wireless module.
If you have an active account and can connect to the internet, you can use any of the workout category buttons to download new programs straight to the console. This includes Map, Train, Track, Set A Goal, and Lose Weight.
Their extensive online library is full of professionally designed workout programs, which have been created by certified personal trainers and cater for a variety of fitness levels, from beginner through to seasoned marathon runner.
iFit also allows you to create custom workouts with their Workout Builder tool, as well as real-world running routes through Google Maps and Street View technology.
Most ProForm and NordicTrack treadmills now include iFit access to some degree, but the iFit enabled console, extra large 10” full color screen, and integrated tablet holder of the ProForm Pro 9000 showcase its features in the best light.
If you’re away from the treadmill, you can even access your iFit account from your computer, smart phone, or tablet device.
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 Pro 9000 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 Pro 9000 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
- Create an iFit account
- Troubleshoot basic issues
What’s covered by the warranty?
- Frame: Lifetime
- Motor: Lifetime
- Parts: 5 years
- Labor: 2 years