With fall in full swing, many exercisers begin to take their running workouts indoors, making it a perfect time for commercial fitness facilities to upgrade their treadmills. Narrow your selection of top treadmills by choosing a treadmill with programs and fitness tests to keep your members and employees motivated and seeing fitness results.

Taking the Guesswork out of Cardio Training Intensity

Many of the top treadmills include training programs to answer, "How intense should my cardio workout be?" These programs automatically adjust according to the exerciser's heart rate.

The user's heart rate is tracked with a wireless heart rate transmitter that utilizes electrodes to measure the user's ECG signal, the measurement of electrical activity the heart produces as it contracts. The transmitters are designed to be worn around the torso for maximum and constant signal reception from the source, the heart. Hand held contact heart rate sensors are also built-in most treadmills for users to spot check heart rate, but will want to rely on a wireless transmitter for unrestricted upper body movement on a treadmill when using an interactive program.

Heart rate training programs are mainly divided into two sub goals, body fat/weight loss and cardio training. These programs are interactive and make adjustments to the incline in order to keep the user exercising within a specific heart rate training zone, such as seen on the SPIRIT Fitness CT850 Commercial Treadmill.

Spirit Fitness CT850 Treadmill LED Matrix Console

Weight loss heart rate controlled programs typically maintain user heart rates close to 60% of the exerciser's estimated maximum heart rate by automatically adjusting the treadmill incline. In this lower intensity-training zone, the body relies more on metabolizing body fat for the main fuel source.

Interactive heart rate controlled cardio programs will adjust the treadmill's incline to maintain an exerciser's heart rate closer to 80% of their estimated maximum heart rate. In this higher intensity training zone, a user's aerobic ability and endurance is typically the main training focus. Due to the higher respiratory rate and faster movements, the body metabolizes carbohydrates for faster breakdown as fuel.

Target Heart Rate Training Chart

Interactive heart rate training programs take the guess work out of how intensely the cardio training session should be, making automatic adjustments to cater to a specific goal.

What's My Fitness Level?

Gauging cardiovascular fitness levels are predicted with an athlete's VO2 max level. This numeric value represents the maximum amount of oxygen the exerciser is capable of utilizing in one minute. The greater the number, the greater the aerobic capacity is of the user and the better their fitness level.

The Gerkin Protocol Test, is one of the most popular fitness tests to gauge a user's VO2 max. The test is demanded by the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) and is also knows as the Fireman's Protocol Test. As firefighting is an aerobically demanding occupation with high physical demands in stressed situations, assessing cardo capacity of a potential or current firefighter becomes a critical necessity in gauging if fit for the job.

Built-in Gerkin Protocol Tests are a standard in many top treadmills such as the Landice L9 Club Treadmill with Executive Console. The protocol requires a 15% incline and 10 MPH speed for testing, along with wireless heart rate tracking technology.

Landice L9 Club Executive Commercial Treadmill

For those enlisting or currently serving in the US Military, as well as local law enforcement, a physical fitness test (PFT) is a requirement with running as one of the key pillars of assessment. Built in running tests for each branch of military service can also be found on the Landice L9 Club Treadmill with Executive Console.

The Military Fitness Protocols have a specified distance requirement:
Marine Corps - 3 Miles
Army - 2 Miles
Air Force and Navy - 1.5 Miles

Landice Executive Treadmill Console for Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Balke and Firefighter Physical Fitness Tests.

Selecting a built-in Military Fitness Protocol test allows a user to perform the running portion of a Physical Fitness Test (PFT) setting and adjusting the desired speed, with incline inactive and set to 0% . The goal for these protocols is to reach the fitness test distance in the shortest amount of time. Heart rate and VO2 max are not considered for the military protocol tests, but can be a good indicator on how well one will perform.

Top rated commercial treadmills are available at Ironcompany.com, available for GSA (GS-07F-0104M) and CMAS (4-12-78-0066A) contract, as well as commercial and residential purchase.

About the Author
Jayson Operio’s certifications include: NASM CPT - National Academy of Sports Medicine - Certified Personal Trainer, ACIM CPT - American College of Integrative Medicine - Certified Personal Fitness Trainer and PEX CPT - APEX Fitness Group - 24/5 Complete Personal Trainer. Jayson previously was a personal trainer with 24 Hour Fitness, guiding clients to achieve their fitness and sport performance goals. He has almost twenty years of combined fitness industry sales experience with previous companies Busy Body Home Fitness, Precor Home Fitness, Polar Electro, and currently IRON COMPANY. His passion for fitness was set as a foundation at an early age. With his father in the military, push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, and running a couple of miles were the norm. It was cross training for physical fitness. Fast forward, and now with over fifteen years in the fitness industry, he has gained experience and knowledge about various products and training techniques, and how they can be utilized to better one's fitness level and/or sport performance. His personal performance goals to run faster, jump higher, cycle longer, and press heavier have influenced his commitment to find fitness solutions. Knowing how the right equipment with proper technique can lead to results first hand, he’s here to share my knowledge with others to find the right products at a great price. Contact Jayson here.