We test and review fitness products based on an independent, multi-point methodology. If you use our links to purchase something, we may earn a commission. Read our disclosures.

Editor’s Note: The ProForm 520 ZN Treadmill is no longer in production. We suggest viewing the ProForm Carbon T14 Treadmill as the best alternative, or view our Best Treadmill Under $1,500 roundup for more options.

When most people think about ProForm treadmills, they envision durable, feature-rich cardio machines made for a home gym. As a brand, ProForm has earned a reputation for itself as producing great treadmills that provide outstanding performance and capabilities. However, as you might imagine, great treadmills come at a higher price. 

However, the budget-friendly ProForm 520 ZN treadmill had a price tag under $600 when it was sold; it’s now discontinued. In this ProForm 520 ZN treadmill review, we’ll uncover if this budget-friendly treadmill still meets the ProForm standard. 

Indeed, We Can Run It, Run It

I might be showing my age here, but a very catchy lyric from the early 2000s said, “I got friends, and you got friends, they hop out, and you hop in.” And while that seems very random in the context of a treadmill review, it’s still a little applicable, right?  

Our group of expert testers has hopped on and off many treadmills so they can tell their friends (and you) how they stack up. The personal trainers, gym owners, exercise specialists, and more at Garage Gym Reviews definitely know how to run it and what to run on for the best workout experience. 

We’ve had the opportunity to check out several ProForm treadmills, so we can really speak to how well they function. Our testers have been able to assess how their cushioning system is, evaluate how iFIT works (and how to bypass it), and they’ve tried out their many workout app programs. They’ve even been able to experience how the Mach Z motor responds to quick incline and speed changes. 

So, when you need REAL information about a ProForm treadmill, we’ve got your back. 

Looking for an Alternative to ProForm 520 ZN Treadmill?

Since the ProForm 520 ZN might be a bit hard to find, we’d recommend the ProForm Carbon T14. This treadmill might also be a better choice if you desire a touchscreen display and a slightly better incline range. 

This treadmill is fancied up with a 14-inch smart HD touchscreen and is iFIT-compatible, so you’ll feel like you’re running around the world with your favorite iFIT personal trainer by your side. And since they have interactive training sessions, your iFIT trainer will be able to control your treadmill’s speed and incline levels. 

The ProForm Carbon T14 comes with a 20-inch-by-55-inch walking belt, which will work for walkers, joggers, and runners. However, this machine might feel a bit restricting to you if you’re on the taller side or have a longer stride. We’d recommend a 60-inch-long walking belt for runners over six-feet tall. 

If you’re limited on space, you’ll be glad to know that this treadmill is foldable. ProForm’s patented SpaceSaver design makes it easy for you to free up space and stow it elsewhere when you’re not using it. 

In terms of the workout experience, this treadmill gives you some variety with a 0 to 12% incline range and a max speed of 10 miles per hour. In addition, it can support individuals up to 300 pounds and has ISO Flex cushioning to support your joints. One potential downside, though, is the 2.75 CHP motor, which doesn’t give this treadmill the best drive system. So if you plan on running seriously, this might not be your best choice.  

Best Alternative to ProForm 520 ZN Treadmill

ProForm Carbon T14 Treadmill

GGR Score: 3.83 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • 14” HD touchscreen 
  • 0-12% incline 
  • 0-10 MPH 
  • iFit compatible

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Free shipping
  • 30-day return policy
  • 300 lbs user weight capacity
  • 0-12 degrees incline
  • Folds up with EasyLift assist to store after workout
  • iFit compatible with trainer controls

Cons

  • Top speed of 10 MPH is lower than similarly priced competitors
  • 2.75 CHP motor
  • Screen does not rotate for off treadmill workouts
  • 55” long tread belt may be too short for taller users
  • No user reviews available at time of publishing

Bottom Line

The Carbon T14 is a treadmill at a higher price-point that doesn’t have all the features of similarly priced treadmills. Unless you are set on purchasing a treadmill with iFit capabilities there is probably a better treadmill for you. Additionally, without any customer reviews we aren’t comfortable recommending it.

A Quick Look at the ProForm 520 ZN Treadmill 

One thing we understand is that not everyone has the same wants and needs, especially when it comes to treadmills. At the most basic level, treadmills exist so we don’t have to walk, jog, or run outside. Therefore, if we’re looking at the sole purpose of a treadmill, the ProForm 520 ZN definitely checks that box and then some. 

Admittedly, it’s probably not the best choice for more advanced runners. However, it’s a great treadmill for those new to fitness and/or individuals wanting a budget-friendly machine. Sure, this piece of fitness equipment isn’t coming with the typical features found on currently produced ProForm treadmills, but it’s still durable and can help you meet your fitness goals.   

Pros:

  • Folding treadmill with spacesaver design
  • 18 workout apps 
  • Grip pulse EKG heart rate monitor 
  • Intermix Acoustics sound system
  • ProShox cushioning 
  • QuickSpeed and Quick Incline controls

Cons:

  • Small and basic backlit display
  • 2.5 CHP Mach Z motor
  • A shorter running deck at 55″ 

ProForm 520 ZN Treadmill Specs

Footprint‎73.3 x 35.7 x 68.1 inches
Weight189 lbs
Weight capacity300 lbs
Motor2.5 CHP Mach Z™ Motor
Speed range0-10 MPH
Incline options0-10% 
Belt size20″ W x 55″ L
DisplayBacklit LCD Monitor
FoldableYes

Key Features of the ProForm 520 ZN Treadmill 

One of the most attractive features of this treadmill is its price. Workout enthusiasts can snag a brand-name treadmill for less than $600, which is often unheard of. 

In addition, you’re getting a decently sized tread belt. The running belt on this machine is a bit longer than what you’d find on other machines at its price point. It’s 55 inches long, which is great for individuals under six-feet tall with shorter strides. 

An image of the ProForm 520 ZN treadmill deck

The speed on this treadmill tops out at 10 miles per hour, and you can train up to a 10-percent incline. I’d say this is good for walkers and slightly less satisfactory for joggers. The QuickSpeed and Quick Incline controls are neat features, though, that allow you to click one button and make adjustments easily. 

The ProForm 520 ZN does have a 300-pound user weight capacity, which is standard for an affordable treadmill. However, the 2.5 CHP motor isn’t ideal, and it’d have a challenging time accommodating that weight capacity. In addition, considering how large the deck size is and the small motor attached to it, you’ll be looking at an overall weak drive system. 

Footprint, Portability, and Durability

If you live in an apartment or don’t have a lot of room to work with, you can rejoice! This treadmill has a SpaceSaver folding frame, so you can neatly fold it up to achieve more floor space. But do note that you would need to lift and lower it yourself, as it doesn’t do this automatically like some other treadmills. 

In terms of portability, this treadmill does have wheels so that you can move it around. One person probably could move it around fine, but they still recommend two people to be on the safe side. 

When it comes to ProForm, you can expect durability. Surprisingly, they didn’t skimp on that feature here, even considering that this was one of their lower-priced treadmills. You’re still getting a sturdy frame, well-built handrails, and an excellent-quality tread belt. They even equipped this treadmill with a 1.9-inch precision-machined and balanced non-flex rear roller. Rollers are essential because they reduce heat and wear and tear, so your treadmill hopefully lasts longer.  

Ergonomics

You probably want to know, will walking on this machine make you feel like you’re working out on the pavement? The answer is no. ProForm equipped this affordable treadmill with its amazing ProShox cushioning. So, you’re getting the same cushioning you’d find on the ProForm Carbon T7 and other ProForm models.

Technology Benefits and Conveniences

Look—if you need tech features on a treadmill, this won’t be the one for you. The backlit LCD is small and underwhelming, but it’s what you’d expect based on the price. In addition, some customer reviews of the machine say that you can barely read what’s on the display, so you’d be oblivious to your speed or incline. 

An image of the ProForm 520 Zn treadmill console

Although the display is lacking, it conveniently has a grip pulse EKG heart rate monitor on the handrails. This treadmill also has a compatible music port for your iPod so that you can play your favorite tunes. You’ll hear your music coming from their built-in Intermix Acoustics sound system, which is nice to have. 

Other conveniences you’ll find on the ProForm 520 ZN treadmill include cup holders on each side and a built-in CoolAire cooling fan. Some budget-friendly treadmills don’t have these features, so it’s nice that ProForm added these when they created this machine. 

Final Verdict of Our ProForm 520 ZN Treadmill Review

If you don’t care about having a techy treadmill and want to focus solely on working out, this could be the one for you. It’s affordable, comes from a good brand, and should serve you well if walking or light jogging is your plan.  

ProForm 520 ZN Treadmill Rating

ProForm 520 ZN Treadmill

If you’re interested in an alternative to the ProForm 520 ZN treadmill, check out the ProForm Carbon T14 treadmill.

Product Currency: $

Product Price: 599

Product In-Stock: InStock

Editor's Rating:
3.18

ProForm 520 ZN Treadmill

Footprint & Portability – 3

Durability – 3.5

Customizations – 4

Adjustability – 4

Tech Capabilities – 2

Conveniences – 4

Dynamic Programming – 1

Value – 4

ProForm 520 ZN Treadmill Review FAQs

Is a ProForm Treadmill Worth It?

Yes, ProForm is well-known in the fitness equipment space, especially when it comes to treadmills. Most of their treadmills come with a 10-year frame, 2-year parts, & 1-year labor warranty, which tells me they believe in their products. They also offer ellipticals, rowers, bikes, and more to help you reach your fitness goals. 

What Is The Best ProForm treadmill?

The best ProForm treadmill for you might not be the best one for me. It depends on what you’re looking for. Check out some of our best-of lists, and you’ll see ProForm show up for different categories.

Best Treadmills at Best Buy
Best Treadmills for Seniors
Best Treadmills for Tall Runners
Best Treadmills With Fans

Can You Run On A ProForm Treadmill?

Absolutely, but some of their treadmills are better for running than others. The ProForm 520 ZN treadmill might not be the best running treadmill. However, you’d be in for a treat with the ProForm Pro 9000 or ProForm Pro 2000

Where Are ProForm Treadmills Made?

ProForm treadmills are manufactured by iFIT, formerly ICON Health and Fitness, which has its headquarters in Utah. 

Further reading

Barbell Shrugged Diesel Dad Training Program Review Cover Image
Barbell Shrugged Diesel Dad Training Program Review

Diesel Dadis a training program created by Barbell Shrugged designed for busy dads that want to make the most of their time in the garage gym. I’ve been testing the program over the past month as a busy father myself. The focused-approach that gets you in and out of the gym while still getting results is a great combo and a program we would recommend for those short on time. Read more

The Best Better Body Equipment Coupon Code (2023) Cover Image
The Best Better Body Equipment Coupon Code (2023)

Use our exclusive Better Body Equipment coupon code to save money on your next purchase. Read more

The Best Weighted Vest for 2023: Plate Carriers and More to Add Weight to Your Workouts Cover Image
The Best Weighted Vest for 2023: Plate Carriers and More to Add Weight to Your Workouts

Weighted Vests are one of the best value pieces of equipment you can add to your home gym. They’re relatively affordable compared to barbells, racks, and plates yet can be used for a wide variety of movements. After researching more than 50 weight vests and evaluating 19, we believe the Rogue Plate Carrier is the best weight vest for most people. It’s a minimalist vest that does everything you want right and leaves out the rest. If you want to go heavier than 40 LB, our runner-up the Kensui EZ Vest may suit you better. Read more

Average Marathon Times: What Is a Good Finish? Cover Image
Average Marathon Times: What Is a Good Finish?

Looking for average marathon times? We have the answers. Read more