ProForm 1350 ZLT Treadmill Review

Proform hails from the world’s largest fitness equipment manufacturer ‘Icon Health and Fitness’. In the early years Proform’s reputation began to suffer when concerns were raised over the build quality and lack of motor power found on some of Proform’s entry level machines, however that was then…this is now…and the 1350 ZLT is a very different animal! These days Proform machines continues to improve and impress and this particular one certainly shows no weakness in power or durability!

The 2.75 continuous horsepower motor is capable of an impressive top speed of 20 km/h. Due to only having 1 ¾” diameter rollers, it is not the quietest machine when you reach the higher speeds but it certainly has the power to move mountains (or at least users over 23 stone!) Past concerns over durability should also be put to rest as there is a 5 year warranty on the motor, and a lifetime guarantee on the frame for total peace of mind!

One slight concern from a safety aspect is the instant start. Most treadmills give you a few seconds warning that the belt is about to start moving by a series of beeps or a 3 second countdown. Not so with the 1350 ZLT! Press the start button and the belt will start moving fairly instantaneously. It begins at 2km/h so there’s little danger of being catapulted(!) although from a parental standpoint it does pose an element of potential panic if accidentally started by an inquisitive child!

However, what is more relevant to everyday scenarios, is who and what the 1350 ZLT is designed for. It’d certainly suite users of all different sizes and shapes. As we’ve established, this treadmill has a very generous maximum user weight plus the running area is spacious enough for most users to enjoy an nonrestrictive workout. What distinctly separates this machine from many others is it’s unique cushioning system. It really is SO unique that it may cause a clear divide in opinions among those that try it (as it did with our review team!)

The system is called the ‘Pro Shox Plus 2 Cushioning’ and in the simplest of terms it equates to 4 springs! There are 2 of each, spaced apart under each side of the deck. Inside each spring is a soft spongy foam column but in reality it’s the springs that do the bulk of the work in absorbing (and releasing!) energy. Obviously, the idea behind the spring and foam columns is that they compress under weight and impact….but as the old phrase “like a coiled spring..” suggests, that energy has to go somewhere… and it does – upwards! Once again, as we said about the instant start, the effect will NOT catapult you uncontrollably, but it does give you a noticeable ‘spring in your step!’ This probably won’t appeal to serious runners whose timings would suffer from too much ‘bounce’, but for heavier users, joggers, or if your knees and joints could do with some tlc – THIS IS A GOD-SEND!

Up to the console now and the layout is very clearly presented. As well as having the usual + and – buttons for speed and up and down for incline, there is also a huge selection of quick keys for instant ‘one touch’ adjustment. Running down the left hand edge of the console are 12 buttons from 0 up to it’s maximum gradient of 12%. The speed quick keys also give 12 gradual increments going up from 2km/h to the top speed at 20. In summary, these buttons give the user complete control; making adjustments in intensity, quick, safe and effortless.

The layout and clear labeling of all of the functions make setting up programs a doddle. Our only criticism is that once set up and on your way, the LCD display showing your progress is far less clear or intuitive. Normal data such as elapsed time, distance, speed etc is visible enough but we feel that Proform may have over-complicated the matrix with several display tabs.

For starters, the incline tab will show a profile of the incline setting and a new segment will appear at the end of each minute….(With us so far?!)… The same idea is used when you click the calorie tab except the height of each segment represents the approximate amount of calories burned during that segment…(Yes it’s about that clear in practice too!)… There are certainly lots of segments but it’s sadly not altogether apparent what they represent in terms of progress during the workout and it’s often not helped by the display looking so busy. Perhaps with some time and patience, you can become familiar with ‘which does what’, but it’s certainly not obvious at a glance, especially when trying to run!

Also there is an intensity level bar which indicates the ‘approximate’ intensity level you are exercising at. It all seemed rather too ‘approximate’ and lacked any real clarity or point.

The ‘My Trail’ tab is a lot more motivational in showing a ¼ mile track filling up with white segments as you progress and displaying the number of laps you’ve completed.

Speaking of motivation there are plenty of program options to keep things interesting. You get 24 pre-programmed workouts that include 6 calorie goal, 6 incline, 6 speed and 6 intensity workouts. Depending on what button you opt for, workout durations typically start out at 20 minute sessions all the way up to 60 minute workouts.

No matter what your fitness goals are, it probably best to try and utilize any and all of the course profiles as they are really rather generic. At times the speed programs focus a bit more on pace, the incline selection does give plenty of hills and ‘intensity’ is based a bit more around interval-type training, but overall the courses simply represent ‘variety’ rather than being particularly customized for the ‘goal’ in mind. However, that shouldn’t detract from their overall usefulness in providing loads of challenges.

As the title suggests, Calorie goal allows you to select from a batch of 6 sessions each having an overall target of the number of calories to be burned, from 200 over 20 minutes up to 600 calories in a 40 minute session. Unfortunately, there is no means of inputting personal data such as user’s weight and gender so any and all calorie consumption figures are likely to be highly inaccurate albeit rather fun!

As well as having no user-defined programs, it’s a shame that the machine is without any heart rate controlled programs too. However, it’s hard to feel to cheated being as Proform have kindly included a free Polar™ T34 chest belt in the deal! So there are no HRC programs but at least the inclusion of the transmitter ensures you get highly accurate pulse readings that you can’t expect from the pulse grip sensors on the handlebars.

The 1350 ZLT offers iFit live compatibility so you’re unlikely to ever get bored with the same old routine! To access and control it’s many functions are 7 buttons in the middle of the console and some of these have demo workouts already inbuilt. Sessions like ‘Central Park 2’ or ‘Death Canyon Part 1’ give you a taster of what you can expect if you subscribe to iFit Live and download new workouts from a massive choice of over 1000 unique programs!

One feature we particularly loved about this amazing app is its ability to allow you to plot your own courses anywhere in the world! Being powered by Google maps, mean you can literally chart a course around your own local streets or any country you choose with incredible accuracy. Plus whatever progress you make in iFit live is automatically stored on the iFit website. The possibilities seem almost endless – You can see the distance you’ve covered during certain periods, re-run a course and try and better your times and even set specific fitness and weighloss goals to keep you on track!

It must be said that iFit live is not a no-brainer ‘plug and play’ system – it does require time and a bit of concentration to get the best from it but the potential rewards from your time and effort is almost as limitless as the software itself!

Aside from iFit compatibility, the 1350 ZLT has some other welcome features. There is a 3.5mm jack so you can play your favourite music or audio books through the integrated stereo sound system and when we plugged in an MP3 player we were suitably impressed with the sound quality. There is also lots of storage space in the 2 accessory bins to keep your iPod, keys, water bottle or perhaps the TV remote!

Another little ‘extra’ worthy of special mention is the cooling fan. You have the choice of 3 settings, low and high are fairly self-explanatory but we were really impressed by the ‘auto’ setting which gives you a steady stream of cool air just when you need it and turns off when the treadmill is at a standstill. Sure these things aren’t “make or break” features but they all add to giving you a pleasant workout experience.

When your workout is over, the deck is nice and light to lift thanks to the hydraulically assisted mechanism which reduces the weight to approximately 20 kilos. Also, there are 2 transport wheels to allow for maneuvering once the folded treadmill is tilted back. To unfold, there is a pull-release latch within easy reach and the deck safely lowers to the ground.

 

Best Price

The ProForm 1350 ZLT is not currently available from any retailers we're aware of in the UK.
It may be worth looking for a used machine on ebay

Review Summary - In Brief

The 1350 ZLT has plenty to appeal to a certain type of user. If you’re looking for a performance workhorse for serious running sessions then we’d probably point you elsewhere (especially in view of the springy cushioning system!). However, this machine would be ideal if you’re after a treadmill that’s kind on your joints, easy on the pocket and packs a load of fun features to keep your motivation from waning!

ProForm 1350 ZLT Specifications

  • 2.75chp Mach Z motor
  • 0-20km/h (0-12.4mph) speed range (Quick Speed™ controls)
  • 0-12% incline (Quick Incline™ controls)
  • Running Area: 147cm (57.8”) x 51cm (20”) with DualFlex™ cushioning
  • Console: backlit LCD display showing  speed, time, incline, distance, calories and heart rate
  • 24 programmed workouts including 6 calorie goal, 6 incline, 6 speed and 6 intensity workouts
  • Product weight: 110kg (242.5lbs)
  • Pulse measurement via grip sensors and Polar™ T34 chest belt which is included
  • Assembled treadmill size (L x W x H): 193cm (76”) x  90cm (35.4”) x 150cm (59”)
  • Folded treadmill size (L x W x H):  99cm (39”) x  90cm (35.4”) x 174cm (68.5”)
  • Maximum user weight: 150kg (330.7lbs)
  • 2 years warranty for parts and labour (if you register within 4 weeks), 5 years for the motor and a lifetime frame warranty
  • Conveniencies: CoolAire™ workout fan, transport wheels, iPod/mp3 compatibility, audio system, iFit live compatibility

ProForm 1350 ZLT - Console / Display Unit

ProForm 1350 ZLT - User Reviews

The Pros

  • Ideal for heavier users (up to 150kg)
  • The cushioning is ultra-safe and low impact
  • Free Polar™ T34 chest belt included
  • iFit Live compatible

The Cons

  • Springy cushioning is not ideal for serious runners
  • No user defined program for more accurate calorie consumption figures
  • No Heart Rate Controlled programs
ProForm 1350 ZLT Reviewer Ratings

Power - 8
Appearance - 8
Running Area - 8.5
Comfort - 8
Reliability - 7.5
Noise - 7
Ease Of Use - 6.5
Controls - 8
Warranty - 8.5
Value for Money - 8
Best Price

The ProForm 1350 ZLT is not currently available from any retailers we're aware of in the UK.
It may be worth looking for a used machine on ebay

Also see our Treadmill Comparison Table

Whilst every effort is made to give you accurate information we cannot guarantee the technical specification. Models change on a regular basis and may differ slightly from the above review. We recommend you contact the retailer if you have a question regarding technical data. Please read our Legal Disclaimer

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