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Life Fitness F3 Treadmill Review

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Good and recognizable brand

Life Fitness makes good treadmills from the T5.0 model and up. Sub par stability in the F1 and F3 models.

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Much like Precor treadmills, Life Fitness is known for their top-notch commercial fitness equipment built with superior parts and components. However, as with Precor, Life Fitness also plays heavily on the brand name they’ve established and they use this to market their residential lines. Unfortunately, their residential line is manufactured with lower quality parts and components and they offer a far lower level service and support.

Despite this, Life Fitness continues to charge high prices for their residential fitness equipment. Another unfortunate downside of Life Fitness products is that their innovations have slowed down over the past few years and as such, they’ve been passed by many other brands who charge lower prices for their treadmills.

Although we don’t have high hopes for any of the Life Fitness residential treadmills, we went ahead and did a thorough review of the advantages and disadvantages of the F3. Here’s what we found:

Life Fitness F3 Treadmill – PROS

  • Folding frame for easy storage and portability
  • 3.0 continuous horsepower motor
  • Hand grip and chest strap heart rate monitors
  • Reading rack, cup holders, and MP3 compatible
  • Shock absorbing running deck

Life Fitness F3 Treadmill – CONS

  • WAY OVERPRICED
  • Short 20” by 55” running belt
  • Maximum running speed of 10 mph
  • Maximum incline range of 12%
  • Stability issues
  • Lacking pre-programmed workouts
  • Less than stellar quality

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What We Think On Life Fitness F3 Treadmill

As expected, the Life Fitness F3 treadmill far underperformed for the price of the unit. Among its many disadvantages include the short 20” x 55” running belt. Whereas many treadmills at this price point have an average of 60” long running belts, the 55” found on the F3 will severely limit many taller runners and those with longer strides. As such, those individuals will find that they have to run at slower speeds to maintain shorter paces. Unfortunately, this will be easy given that the F3’s maximum running speed is 10 mph, well below the 12 mph maximum running speed found on almost every treadmill above the $2000 price point. Add to this the fact that the maximum incline range of this unit is 12% and users will quickly find that this treadmill lacks the ability to truly challenge even moderate runners. For a treadmill of this price, we were exceptionally disappointed in what the F3 has to offer hardware spec-wise. We suggest that your money would be much better spent by purchasing the True ES900 which comes equipped with a longer running deck, a greater decline to incline range, and a higher maximum running speed which will challenge even the most serious runners.

Although the folding function of the Life Fitness F3 treadmill can be beneficial for those looking for an easy way to store and move their unit, the folding function also lends itself to one key disadvantage. That is the instability we found at higher running speeds. Stability issues are found in many folding treadmills but for the price of the F3, we’d expect those issues to be handled a little better.

As mentioned in the introduction, Life Fitness has fallen well behind its competitors in terms of innovations and the pre-programmed workouts and features are one area this truly shows. Although it has an offering of 13 or 14 workout programs (depending on the console you choose) this is far below the average for a treadmill costing over $2000. For well under this price one could purchase the AFG 7.1AT which comes equipped with the latest in treadmill technology including virtual passport.

In conclusion, we recommend you stay as far away as possible from the Life Fitness F3. When looking at its hardware specs and features we can’t help but point out how overpriced this treadmill is. Indeed, even lower end treadmills far outperform the F3. Even the quality of the machine is well below what we’d expect from such a great brand. For those looking for the best treadmill on the market today we recommend the True ES900 which is manufactured using professional grade components and comes backed by some of the best service and support in the industry.

Life Fitness F3 Treadmill – Key Specs:

Frame Type: Standard
Drive Motor: 3.0 CHP
Speed Range: 0.5 – 12 mph
Incline Range: 0 – 15%
Running Area: 20×60
User Capacity: 350lbs
Warranty – Frame: Lifetime
Warranty – Motor: 10 Years
Warranty – Labor: 1 Years
Warranty – Parts: 5 Years

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