Proform Pro 9000 Treadmill Reviewed and Rated
The Proform Pro 9000 treadmill is not the most expensive home model you can buy, but it is not cheap or poorly made, either. The Pro 9000 is definitely not compact, easy to move, or lightweight. It does come with some high-end features, like iFit–you get a year free subscription to the streaming virtual trainer app, with the option to renew for about the price of a gym membership.
That model, offering free iFit service, is common for many home cardio equipment makers. We have read reviews where users feel they are being manipulated into signing up for iFit. You can use the Proform Pro 9000 without the program, but paying for iFit makes the experience more immersive and makes it easier to track certain metrics.
We are about transparency here, so we will talk more about some of the criticisms we discovered. We did notice the wording of the product page–the free year of iFit gets a prominent slot, so it is one of the first things customers see. It is hard to imagine anyone being curious about iFit and not understanding that they will, indeed, have to pay for it after a certain amount of time.
4 CHP motor will go the distance and responds instantly to speed changes (no lag)
10-inch color touchscreen features all your data, progress, goals, and programmed workouts in one spot
The frame can fold, although moving and storing will not always be fast or easy
Incline from -3 to 15 percent, makes training for outdoor runs easier
Large running deck area and adjustable firmness let you simulate different terrains
The built-in sound system includes 3-inch adjustable speakers
Programming mode works well for multiple runners in the same household
Designed for serious runners and might be more heavy-duty than everyone needs (also more costly)
iFit display updates every few seconds, not in real-time, so not as immersive (when you use Google Maps Street View)
Money-back guarantee, but ProForm makes you responsible for shipping and restocking
Some customers reported difficulty getting replacement parts, service
Besides the on-demand training and integrated tracking, iFit lets you run virtually at nearly any location in the world. These workouts are trainer-led as well. iFit uses Google Maps technology for this feature. We found some reviews that said the iFit virtual runs do not update in real-time, and that you will get a still picture of your street view that changes every few minutes. But other reviews gave the treadmill outstanding reviews and did not mention this problem. We decided to settle the issue by chatting with a ProForm employee, which you can do from the ProForm website.
The still photos only happen when you use Google Street View with iFit. If you are using a platform-specific feature called Globetrek, or if you are doing a studio run, you get real-time HD videos on the color screen. Another thing we learned is that, with iFit on the ProForm 9000, you can drag across the screen and make your own route. This was not clear from looking at most of the reviews we found. With the features we outlined, iFit may be worth the subscription fee to you if you plan on using the ProForm 9000 instead of going to the gym. With the strength and resistance workouts iFit offers (also led by trainers), that would be an easy switch because you can get all the different dimensions of fitness without needing a gym facility.
The treadmill comes with a year of iFit service for free. To start using it, you must provide a credit card. After the year ends, iFit will auto-renew and start charging your card unless you cancel first. This is the same model used by Amazon Prime, Spotify, Hulu, or just about any streaming digital service you could sign up for. If you do not want to pay after the year ends, just make sure to go into your account and cancel before then.
ProForm offers preventive maintenance plans, which are like insurance for the treadmill. They range in price from 109 to 489 USD, depending on how much you pay for the treadmill and what level of service you want. You can get coverage for anywhere from a year to 5 years. We know that many of you will forgo the extra expense, but the service plans are still worth considering. This company also offers a warranty but may make you financially responsible for boxing and shipping the non-working unit in order to use the warranty.
The ProForm 9000 is not exactly compact, though still smaller than one of the massive units you find at the gym. The footprint is 6 feet 5 inches long by 3 feet 3 inches wide. The user weight capacity is 300 pounds. The touchscreen monitor is 10 inches, full color, HD, with 40 built-in programs to help you stay focused and motivated during your workout sessions. That does not include all the workouts available in iFit. The company does have an interest in signing you up for iFit, but that does not mean you cannot enjoy the treadmill without it.
That footprint includes the air-cushioned run deck, which is 22 by 60 inches. It will accommodate runners with long legs, heavy frames, and a wide gait. The cushioning and engineering help make the unit durable enough for outdoor distance runners to train on the treadmill. Again, those runners are the most likely market for the ProForm 9000, although the ease of use is enough that anyone can learn to use it.
The handle grips give you heart rate monitoring. But ProForm also gives you a chest strap that is compatible with this unit. The strap communicates via wireless with the treadmill and might be more accurate. ProForm does not say whether you can use the treadmill with your own strap from a different maker.
The ProForm 9000 treadmill does fold, ostensibly for easy space-saving storage. This is becoming a standard feature even on high-end treadmills. But the folding aspect is almost for the show since the treadmill will always weigh 300 pounds, making it difficult for one person to move and will probably not go easily into a closet or under a bed. Considering the footprint, and the extra air space the manual asks you to leave open around the treadmill, this is not suitable for an apartment or other tight spaces.
The motor. It is a 4 CHP motor, which adds a great deal to the expense of the unit. The extra expense pays off because the unit responds so quickly when you change speed or incline. That makes it easy for runners to simulate the terrain of their next race, and the iFit platform lets you plan out your route with a swipe of your finger. You could map out the course of any marathon with the ProForm 9000, if you wanted to, and practice until race day just seemed like another regular day. Of course, distance runners will need to practice outside, but the treadmill is a good alternative that helps you avoid overuse injuries, ground impact, and inclement weather.
The belt or running surface is large, and also features the air cushioning. While it is not meant to simulate rough terrains like gravel or mountain trails, the cushioning does save you from a lot of impact on your joints and extra wear and tear. This treadmill lets you push yourself but is also bone and joint-friendly, helping seasoned runners avoid injuries that could sideline them from the exact marathon that they may be training for.
Stick With It Factor
The Final Word
The ProForm 9000 folds to a fraction of its working size, but the weight of the unit keeps us from calling it either portable or compact. If you decide to go with the 9000, you will need to make sure you have the floor space for it, as it may be challenging to move from one place to another without the assistance of someone else.
Another factor to consider is that ProForm did not get outstanding reviews for customer service. The warranty may require you to ship the unit back, although you can avoid this by buying one of the maintenance plans. But when we had a quick question about the iFit display, we were able to reach customer service and get an answer immediately. The negative reviews we saw were not severe or consistent enough for us to recommend not doing business with ProForm. And many of the reviewers praised the treadmill, especially as a training tool for dedicated running athletes who can use it in training. So if you are looking for a treadmill that will push you to your limits and one that offers a whole array of programmed workouts, then this treadmill is the perfect fit for you!