There are a lot of cool things out there that make us wonder — do they really work? In our I Tried It series, we set out to use them in the real world and have determined that, in fact, they really do.
On Trial: NordicTrack Commercial 2950 Treadmill
Tester: Erica Murphy, a runner who's been desperate to get back into a gym for treadmill workouts
The Brief: I've done every possible workout I can do in my tiny New York City apartment. I've done yoga, HIIT classes, pilates, Board30 workouts, boxing, rowing, dumbbell workouts, kettlebell swings, and recovery techniques like foam rolling and stretching, too. While it's been fun trying out new things, I've been craving a tough, sweaty, workout that makes me breathless — and I get that kind of high on a treadmill.
Over the course of my 15 or so years of running on treadmills, I've tried many different kinds — from budget Amazon brands to trendy offerings from the likes of Peloton and Rumble. For the past month, I've been running on NordicTrack's Commercial 2950 Treadmill, and it's the product that's given me the closest experience to running outdoors.
The Specs: 22" HD Smart Screen | Bluetooth connectivity | Built-in fans | Quiet Drive Incline Tech | Live incline and speed control
If you're new to treadmill running, you may think a treadmill is just a treadmill. What could each brand possibly offer that's different from the rest? Well, there are a ton of different specs that could help you pick one treadmill over another: The size of the tread, levels of speed and incline, and overall stability are just a few. Also, some treadmills now come with screens, so the screen size and the programs offered on them are also factors to consider.
Here's what I like about the Commercial 2950:
It comes with a 1-year iFit membership which allows you to experience running around the world
The treadmill's incline ranges from -3% all the way up to 15%, and the speed ranges from 0-12 mph
Its HD screen is super clear and makes the outdoor experiences on it feel very real
For a lot of people, running on a treadmill can get boring, which is why NordicTrack's partnership with iFit is so important. As far as running programs, iFit offers everything you could possibly need to keep you entertained. There are travel-focused programs that feel like you're jogging all over the world (this week alone I ran in Slovenia, Japan, and Bolivia), and many of these options are designed for beginners.
For those with specific fitness goals in mind, you can also follow various trainer-led programs that feature 12 weeks of workouts, taking you from couch to 5K or preparing you to run your first half-marathon. The classes are often labeled by week and by workout number, so it's easy to hop in right where you left off.
What I love most about running around the world is that the Commercial 2950 treadmill does everything for me — the speed and incline automatically adjust based on what the trainer is doing on location. It takes all the guesswork out of it and makes your treadmill workout that much more interesting. The other benefit is that if you need to increase or decrease your speed based on your particular fitness level, the incline will still adjust. Plus, the treadmill's ability to decline means you get to experience downhill, too. Who doesn't want that?
However, there were a few things that I didn't like about the Commercial 2950:
The treadmill feels like it's designed for taller people — I'm 5-foot-5 and I have trouble with the fixed angle of the screen. I wish I could angle it down to see the screen better, but it is not movable
The touchscreen is a little finicky and requires a couple of tries to select what you want
The studio treadmill classes aren't as good as Peloton or Rumble
Here's the deal: If you're someone looking for the boutique studio experience on a treadmill, the Commercial 2950 probably isn't for you. iFit just doesn't offer the same caliber of classes as Peloton. It’s really about the on-location experience for iFit and NordicTrack, which I’m ok with. The “outdoor” experience is what sets their products apart from the rest.
I also wouldn't recommend this treadmill for people who are on the shorter side. It's big and sturdy, which is a plus, but you will have trouble seeing the screen properly.
The other factor that needs mentioning is the price. It is one of NordicTrack's more expensive treadmills that they offer, but it's a high-quality product that feels way more stable than some cheaper options. If you run regularly, it’s worth investing in a treadmill that can handle that kind of use.
Let’s break this down over the course of a year: If you run three times a week for one year, you’ll be paying around $19 per “class.” On average, that’s about $10 cheaper than an Orange Theory class, a Peloton class, a Mile High class, a Rumble class — you get the idea.
Closing Argument: Not only have I missed my hard treadmill workouts, but I've missed traveling, too. NordicTrack's Commercial 2950 has given me back both of those experiences. Plus, there are hundreds and hundreds of classes to choose from (as well as other cross-training programs like yoga and weightlifting), so runners of all levels and abilities will be able to find a program for them. Now you'll just have to fight with your household over who gets to use it first.
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