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Nautilus Sport Series T518 LC Treadmill

The Ultimate Runner's Treadmill

About.com Rating 5 Star Rating

By

Updated November 25, 2009

Nautilus Sport Series T518 LC Treadmill
Nautilus is known for making high quality exercise equipment and the Sport Series is no exception. What makes this unique is that it's fully customizable...you can choose the type of treadmill platform (for walking or running), display features and add-on software. It's also one of the best running treadmills I've tried--sturdy, quiet, high-powered, great cushioning and with an excellent warranty. The price might make you wince ($2,899 - $3,199) but it's worth every penny.

Features of the T518 LC

As mentioned above, the Sport Series is customizable, allowing you to choose your platform, display and whether you want add-on software. My review covers the T518 LC, which includes the following features and specs:
  • High-resolution LCD display that even displays motivational messages to keep you going
  • Keypad to enter personal information
  • 12 preset workouts, 3 custom workouts and 2 heart rate workouts
  • Polar® chest strap for wireless heart rate information
  • Nautilus® Fitness Cartridges. These are add-ons that provide more options for how you exercise such as My Nautilus™ Fitness Diary (monitors and records workouts), Heart Strong™ Trainer (provides fitness assessments and step, speed, and grade heart-rate based training programs) and My Nautilus™ LX (with fitness diary software).

Specs

  • 3.0 hp Hyper Drive® DC continuous duty motor
  • Incline range from 0-15%
  • Speed from .5 to 12 mph
  • Running surface of 20" x 60"
  • REACT® technology which responds to the weight and step of each individual user
  • SuperSoft® running belt provides added shock absorbency and high durability
  • Remote Operations Control (ROC™) bar for fingertip controls & hand grip heart rate monitor

Programs

For me, nothing is more important than variety, especially when working out all by your lonesome in your basement. One of my favorite things about the Sport Series T518 is the preset programs which provide a huge variety of workouts.

  • Time-based programs. These include walking workouts, many of which take you through gradual incline changes.
  • Distance-based programs. These programs are pretty cool. you can choose a Fun Run 5K, the Bolder Boulder 10K and even a half-marathon or a full marathon, if you're so inclined.
  • Interval programs. For these, you can choose speed or hill intervals and there's also a hill repeat workout.
  • Heart-rate based programs. These programs use the standard heart rate calculation to keep you within 65-80% of your max heart rate, adjusting the incline to keep you in your range.

My favorite feature is the ability to change your program at any time while still saving all the information from the workout. I also enjoyed creating custom workouts which was easier than it looked.

Overall, the programs offer great variety and, because the T518 offers user profiles, you can keep track of your individual workouts and keep up with total mileage, calories-burned and more.

The Pros and Cons

Pros
  1. Very powerful motor can handle top speeds with ease
  2. Quiet enough that you don't have to blare your TV to hear your favorite show
  3. Sturdy frame won't shake, even when you run
  4. Incline is smooth
  5. The ROC Bar with Hand grip (and built in heart rate monitor) make it easy to change speed and incline
  6. Vast array of programs as well as customizable programs will keep you motivated
  7. Size of deck will fit most runners
  8. Holders on either side easily hold water and your favorite portable music device
  9. The scrolling display tells you everything about your workout including calories burned, METS, Watts, vertical feet, pace and even calories burned per minute. You can practically feel the calories melting off your body.

Cons

The only real drawback is the price. At $2,899 - $3,199, this is one of the pricier treadmills out there but, I have to say, it's well worth the price. It has the feel of a commercial treadmill (which would be even more expensive) and something that will last a lot longer than most gym memberships.

Conclusion

Overall, this is one of the best home treadmills I've tried. Though pricey, it's well worth it for the sheer quality, quietness and power. Even my cats didn't freak out when I turned it on (and they freak out at a loud sneeze). In fact, it was so quiet, one cat actually jumped on the moving belt thinking it wasn't moving (he's fine and has learned the lesson you all should follow--keep pets and kids away from things with moving belts). I also liked the ROC bar though, at first, I worried it would get in my way. Instead, it made adjusting my speed and incline a breeze. The programs are excellent and the belt is cushioned and provides great shock absorption. Even my husband, a heavy-footed runner, found it to be a smooth, sturdy run.

I would highly recommend this treadmill if you're a serious runner/walker or if there will be several people using the treadmill. It's also perfect for people who enjoy racing, with the variety of programs designed to take you through a 5K, 10K, half-marathon and a full marathon. This treadmill gets an A+!

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