Though Proform Performance 300i is specially designed for walking and light jogging, does it worth buying for your in-home light workouts? And why is it very less suited for running?
This 300i model is an upgrade of the previous 300 model. In this review, we’re diving deeper into this model with all of its perks and flaws that will help you decide should you buy this if it matches with your certain workout needs or not.
Let’s uncover it….
Design, Construction & Core Features
Design and Appearance
The Proform Performance 300i is made up of steel and solid plastic. The steel parts are coated with paint to be protective against corrosion and help resist scratches. The color contract is black and grey which looks good.
With a weight capacity of up to 300 pounds which is relatively high, it measures 64.7 inches long, and 28.9 inches wide with a height of 55 inches having a folding design. That allows you to fold the deck in the upright vertical position for a clutter-free area. There’s no automated folding technology, so you’ll need to do it manually. And the front base of the frame has wheels to move it around easily.
So, it’s a good option for smaller homes and apartments which don’t have enough space for a large treadmill.
Proform Performance 300i is primarily designed for walking, so it has a 2.0 continuous horsepower motor that should be sufficient to handle your walking and jogging. It should be reliable, smooth, powerful and consistent for your light in-home workouts and should serve you for a couple of years when not used abusively. And it shouldn’t make high noise.
However, this motor power isn’t recommended for fast running especially not for regular use. So if you’re a hard core athlete or interested in intense running, you should look for a stronger motor power that will cost you more.
Running Area with Proshox Cushioning
The workout area that you get on this machine is 50 inches long and 16 inches wide. Which means being an average heighted person, you can easily walk and jog on this machine, but running on it might feel confined, especially if you’re a taller person (roughly more than 6 feet) and may struggle maintaining your natural stride length. But, you’d be able to walk and jog comfortably and safely.
That’s why we recommend this treadmill only for walking and jogging. So, this is a fairly generous area in this affordable category.
Moreover, the running surface is equipped with Proshox Cushioning, a shock absorbing technology that Proform has on most of its treadmills. What it does is, it absorbs the shock when your feet land on the belt. That leads to relieving stress from the back, hips, and joints such as knees and ankles.
In simple words, your joints are likely to sore less than if you were to workout on a hard outdoor surface. Though it’s not the best cushioning, having it on an entry-level treadmill is a plus point especially for aging adults or those having joint problems to enjoy workouts without hurting themselves.
Speed & Incline
The speed and incline on this treadmill is excellent, especially the fact that the incline is motorized or powered is amazing. The belt runs up to 10 miles per hours, whereas, the deck slopes up to 10%. This combination enables you to burn calories remarkably quickly just by waking at an inclined angle. Moreover, it also helps with muscle definition.
The best part is you have full control over your speed and incline. You can increase or decrease the speed and incline at whole integers using the Quick Control Buttons through 1 to 10 quickly with just one finger. The buttons are nicely placed in the middle of the console so you can easily access them.
The console also features +/- buttons for more specific and gradual speed adjustments allowing you to adjust the speed in 0.1 or 0.5 miles per hour. This is quite handy to find your perfect pace.
Console Features & Benefits
The Performance 300i’s console is very simple and basic, yet it provides you with all the essential bells and whistles that help you during your regime. They also play a vital role in avoiding boredom and motivate you when you’re regularly working at home.
Display Screen and Integrated Tablet Holder
To access, control, and get insights of your workouts or track your regime, the Proform Performance 300i has a 6 inch long LCD screen at the center of the console. It enables you to see your essential workout data such as the current speed and incline of the belt, approximate numbers of calorie burned, heart rate, distance covered in laps of ¼ miles (400m), and elapsed time working out, but not at the same time. So you’ll have to navigate to see your desired information.
The major downside is, it lacks backlight that can make seeing your stats in a dark room struggling. So, it’s one of the very basic and simple screens you’ll see on a treadmill.
Additionally, you get the opportunity to bring your smart device on the treadmill. Because there is an attached tablet holder. That allows you to place your smartphone or tablet securely and safely.
It’s wisely attached at the top of the console, so placing your device doesn’t block your screen and buttons. And you can watch your favorite show, enjoy music or movies without having to necessarily hold your device in your hands. It’s optional, so you can unscrew it if you want.
If you’re a beginner, you get 16 workout programs on the Proform Performance 300i console for training and practice. Of which 8 are for losing weight that helps you burn fat actively and effectively, and the other 8 are dedicated to performance to strengthen your cardiovascular system. To access them, you have dedicated buttons.
All these programs are designed by professional trainers that rest assured that you’re on the track and can effectively achieve the intended fitness goal.
The best part is, the treadmill adjusts its speed and incline automatically according to the selected workout, so you don’t have to.
The downside is, there is no way to figure out what’s the program’s setting beforehand, other than trying each workout itself.
You also get a manual mode allowing you to configure speed and incline by yourself that best matches your desired goal.
In addition to the preset programs, if you want to vary your training, even more, you get the opportunity to connect your treadmill to iFit through Bluetooth using a separate device.
iFit primarily is a fitness digital app or service that gives you unlimited workout options to help you achieve your weight loss, cardio health, or other fitness goals. You can sync your workout data, track your fitness progress from time to time, compete with friends for motivation or roan around the world using Google Maps without leaving your home and much more.
But iFit is a paid subscription service and you’ll need to pay separately for this. So, if interactive training helps you, you can give it a try. Worth mentioning, it’s totally optional, you don’t need iFit to use your machine.
Heart Rate Tracking
Another noteworthy technology feature of this machine is Grip Pulse EKG. You get the ability to track your heart rate through the contact sensors integrated in the transversal handlebars at the bottom of the console. When you hold the sensors for a few seconds, the reading displays on the screen.
But, according to some users, the readings are not reliable and accurate in this method and it can be inconvenient, sometimes. So you may want to use some other tool such as wireless heart rate chest strap to monitor your heart rate when you’re highly concerned about your cardio reading. Luckily you can do this on this machine and it’s one of its perks over its competitors.
For this, you’ll need to buy a compatible heart rate chest strap that you can connect to the machine via Bluetooth. This method will give you more accurate readings.
If you love listening to your favorite music while working out, but don’t want wires around you, the Proform Performance 300i has a sound system built into the console consisting of two speakers and an audio auxiliary port. But, there are no volume keys. So, the volume can only be adjusted from your device.
You can connect your smartphone or mp3 players with the treadmill via an audio cable and beat your favorite music or listen to podcasts or whatsoever through the console speakers. So, it’s a good feature for a more entertaining experience.
The console also features a magnetic safety key. So when you feel you are losing balance, you can pull it for a sudden stop. Or, you can connect it with your clothing before starting your regime, so when you tend to fall, the key will automatically withdraw and the running belt will come to stop immediately. A handy feature for beginners and senior users.
Assembly and Warranty
The assembly of the Proform Performance 300i is quite simple and easy. The deck comes pre-assembled with motor, belt and rollers in place and is attached to the frame already. So, you’ll need to connect the wires, the upright poles and the console. For this you can refer to the Proform Performance 300i User Manual that explains each step in detail both in written and pictorial forms with a total of 12 steps.
During the assembly process, you’ll need hex keys that come with the purchase, and phillips screwdriver, and needle nose pliers. As of cautions, you should avoid power tools.
Talking about the time, you should expect anywhere between 1 hour to up to 2 hours. But, having a helper not only saves you time, but will also make the process easier.
Talking about the warranty, the frame and motor are covered with a pretty good 5 years warranty, but the parts and labor warranty is quite short, 90 days only which could be longer.
- Budget-friendly with decent built
- Better value for walking and light-jogging
- Full control over speed and incline
- 16 workout programs bring variety to your regime
- Motorized incline up to 10% is a big plus
- Compact design with space-saver folding frame
- Support users weighing up to 300 pounds
- Bluetooth and iFit connectivity
- Media friendly; speakers and device holder
- Fairly easy to assemble
- Running area can be narrow and short for giant and taller users
- The screen doesn’t have a backlight
- Parts and labor warranty could be longer
- No cooling fan
- HR chest strap not included
The Bottom Line
So, if you’re looking for a treadmill for your walking and jogging with a compact and folding design to fit in your small home or apartment, and some other workout options to start with if you’re a beginner, but don’t want to pay through your nose, then Proform Performance 300i would be a great option.
However, it’s motor and running area is not suited for intense running and taller users, and it’s a common thing at this price and if its concerns you, you’ll need to spend more to have a treadmill with a large motor and running area otherwise, it’s great exercise equipment for walkers and joggers to shed weight, tone up muscles, and build stamina making it a great value for the price.
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