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The TrueForm Trainer Treadmill is a more budget-friendly version of the ever-popular TrueForm Runner non-motorized treadmill. After using the Trainer for a few months for sprints and long-distance runs, and comparing it side-by-side to others on the market, I believe it’s a better choice for most home gym owners over the Runner due to its superior price point, yet similar design.
However, the Trainer doesn’t have the bomb-proof construction that TrueForm is known for, hence the lower price.
I’ve had a TrueForm Runner Treadmill in my garage gym for nearly five years. I love it and I’m not ashamed to say so. I’ve never treated this treadmill lightly, yet it still performs like it did on Day One. The curved belt improved my running technique so I now run on the road with a more mid-foot strike, much more in line with the POSE Method of running.
The TrueForm Trainer that I’m reviewing today takes all of the design elements I like about the Runner and makes it much more affordable. Although I’ll always love my overbuilt, all-metal Runner, the Trainer is much more practical, and is a high-end curved manual treadmill that will last for a long time with home use.
Why You Should Trust Us
I’ve run well over 500 miles on some of the best manual treadmills, and I would gladly run 500 more just to be the one who gives you the most thorough, unbiased look at any piece of home gym equipment. I’ve tested and proclaimed my honest thoughts on the AssaultRunner Elite, Woodway Curve, Tru Grit Runner, and Xebex Runner Smart Connect.
While I love a good manual treadmill, I’ve tried out my fair share of electric treadmills as well and compiled my picks for the best treadmills for a home gym. Spoiler alert: the TrueForm Trainer was my pick for the best curved treadmill.
TRUEFORM Trainer is lighter weight and easier to use. The Trainer is an affordable, rugged, quality built solution for any commercial training facility or home gym. The included display keeps you informed on your pace, speed, distance, time. The display is compatible with Polar heart rate monitors. An optional Bluetooth display is available.TRUEFORM is the industry leading curved non-motorized treadmill. It's the least steep curve on the market, which promotes good form and allows you to easily control your speed. TRUEFORM is the most natural running surface when compared to running outdoors.The proprietary Responsive Belt Technology (RBT), reacts to every subtly in your movement; balance, posture, hip position, foot strike and more. The TRUEFORM requires no power. All the power comes from you, responding to your pace allowing you to go from a walk to a jog, to a sprint, to a stop. Instantly. You will feel when your body is not in the optimal position for running or walking. Long term use of the TRUEFORM will promote better movement patters improving overall health and wellness. TRUEFORM is proven to reduce impact stress which reduces the risk of injury.The simple design of this unique, non-motorized treadmill is also what makes it one of the most effective devices for developing proper running technique. Unlike standard electric treadmills, the TrueForm Runner from features an innovative curved deck that is controlled 100% by the movements and force of the user. There are no on/off switches or complex buttons and settings to worry about. It’s a manually operated treadmill that helps train and reward technically-sound posture, balance, and cadence. Set your own limits or push right past them.
A Quick Look at the TrueForm Trainer
The TrueForm Trainer is the latest non-motorized treadmill model from the curved treadmill brand TrueForm. We’ve reviewed multiple TrueForm treadmills in the past and with the Trainer, this is now the third model I have in my home gym.
Our review of the Trueform Runner has consistently been very positive, so I was both excited and a bit skeptical to get a more budget-friendly model in. Priced around 60% of the cost of the Runner, the Trainer is made from thick, hard plastic versus metal, yet uses the same overall design that’s made to improve running form.
This TrueForm Trainer is made in South Korea, unlike the previous Runner model from TrueForm that is made here in the USA. Although the Runner can be seen mostly in commercial facilities, CrossFit Gyms, and the like, the Trainer is really designed for home cardio fitness training, both for endurance running and sprint interval training.
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As always, we’ll give an in-depth and honest review of the TrueForm Trainer. Here are some of the good, the not-so-good, and who I recommend it for.
- Just like the TrueForm Runner, you can bring the total cost down by delaying shipping for a couple of weeks at checkout
- Also like the Runner, this manual treadmill works best with the POSE Method of running
- A lighter weight manual treadmill for runners of all skill levels
- The shallow curve reinforces proper gait and body position to make you a better runner
- You can go from walking to your fastest sprint, and back to walking in just a matter of steps.
- The LCD monitor, though better than the Runner, is still not as good as most treadmills
- There are no incline options
- You can’t customize the color or tread surface
Is the TrueForm Trainer Worth It?
Ultimately, the main attraction of the TrueForm Trainer is that it’s more than $2,000 cheaper than the Runner. This is mainly due to the material disparity but ultimately makes an enormous difference to the buyer’s budget – whereas the materials of the treadmills might not differ too much in practice, particularly for most home gym owners.
In testing, the Trainer feels very similar to the Runner. In fact, it would be hard for most people to tell which one they were running on if they closed their eyes. I can feel a bit of a stability difference, and the Runner feels heavier underfoot, but they’re very similar.
For home use, the Trainer is an awesome non-motorized treadmill that is a great value for the money and is likely to last a long time. It’s definitely the one I’d suggest for most home gym owners.
- Anyone who may be new to using manual treadmills
- People looking to improve their running form
- Anyone looking for a budget-friendly curved treadmill
Not recommended for:
- Anyone looking for a treadmill that will last for a lifetime (the plastic will inevitably crack)
- People who want dynamic programming options
- Runners interested in tracking calories burned
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Trainer vs Runner
TRUEFORM is the industry leading curved non-motorized treadmill. It's the least steep curve on the market, which promotes good walking, running, and sprinting form. The shallow curve also allows you to easily and safely control your speed. TRUEFORM is the most natural treadmill running surface when compared to running outdoors.The proprietary Responsive Belt Technology (RBT), reacts to every subtly in your movement; balance, posture, hip position, foot strike and more. The TRUEFORM requires no power. The TRUEFORM belt responds to your pace, allowing you to go from a walk to a jog, to a sprint, to a stop. Instantly. You will feel when your body is not in the optimal position for running or walking. Long term use of the TRUEFORM will promote better movement patterns improving overall health and wellness. TRUEFORM is proven to reduce impact stress which reduces the risk of running injury.TRUEFORM offers three models all with steel frame construction, a heavy-duty, impact absorbing slatted running surface, easy to move built in guide wheels and the best part, TRUEFORM requires NO MAINTENANCE!TRUEFORM Runner is overbuilt for a super smooth superior ride and engineered for a lifetime with solid steel construction inside and out. Each Runner is custom made and hand welded in the USA for unsurpassed elite quality. With the most subtle cure on the market TRUEFORM Runner is the most responsive treadmill available. Proven to Burn 44% more calories and reduce running injury and impact stress factors. Custom colors and tread surfaces are an available option for the TRUEFORM Runner. The standard display is bright LED which indicates pace, speed, distance, time. An optional Bluetooth display is also available.Available Options:Custom Color: RAL Powder CoatCustom Tread - Artificial Field Turf: Green, Black, Purple, YellowCustom Tread - Running Track: RedPerformance AdapterGear Specs:Length/Width/Height: 64" x 36" x 63"Weight: 350lbsRunning Surface: 17" WideDigital Display: Bright LEDPower: Rechargeable BatteryCustom Paint/Logos: OptionalFrame/Covers: Formed & Welded 7 Gauge SteelHandrails: Formed Steel TubingBelt: Polyurethane with Steel RadialTread Surface: Bonded Kraiburg ThermolastTread Lower: Fiberglass Reinforced Nylon Made by Smith and WessonBearings: 106 Sealed Steel Ball BearingsPulleys: Turned & Tooled Solid AluminumPaint: Zinc Plated Undercoat/TexturedPowder Coat Finish - Black StandardAvailable OptionsCustom Tread - Artificial Field Turf: Green, Black, Purple, YellowCustom Tread - Running Track: RedPerformance Adapter
Running Experience on the TrueForm Trainer
Let’s get down to business: what do we like about the TrueForm Trainer? Here’s our honest take on the positive attributes of TrueForm’s budget-friendly treadmill model.
Let’s start with the performance of this piece of equipment–after all, that’s why you want to buy a treadmill for your home or garage gym. The Trainer helps runners of all ability levels to improve their running performance, because frankly, it is very well designed. The TrueForm is, in my opinion, the best treadmill and one of the best cardio machines out there because it is designed to improve your form.
The shallow deck of the Trainer is designed to help you run in a mid-foot striking position. This reduces the risk of injuries and improves your form overall. The smooth-moving belt is light and balanced, and the rubber helps you to grip onto the running surface as you run. The top-quality deck and responsive belt technology are designed for both endurance and sprinting.
There are many other curved treadmills out there, but they’re not all the same. Most other curved treadmills use either a steeper angle on the deck, a heavier belt, or a flywheel to simulate faster running. This is fine if you just want to jump on a treadmill and go. However, if you not only want a good workout, but also to improve your road running so you’re less prone to injuries, than a TrueForm is the way to go.
This design by TrueForm is the same on the Runner as it is on the Trainer, which makes sense as it’s their biggest competitive advantage over the rest of the manual treadmill market.
The monitor of the Trainer is easy to read and logically designed. The Trainer monitor uses AA batteries that make it easy to replace them when they run out –– it’s a super simple process, especially compared to the Runner that uses a large rechargeable battery under the deck.
The monitor is still too simple, perhaps even behind-the-times, compared to other treadmills, but it does what it is made to do. You can measure distance and speed, and if you have a bluetooth device for heart rate, you can sync it and monitor it as you run. You can’t track calories burned, though.
Durability and Portability
Although the TrueForm Trainer is less durable than the Runner, due to it being made from plastic and manufactured overseas, this treadmill is still made to last. For commercial gyms, the Runner is the ideal machine–but in a home gym setting, the Trainer will prove to be durable and well made. It’s a balanced machine with a shallow deck that provides stability, even for heavier runners.
Similarly, the portability of this treadmill is good overall. Although the wheels aren’t as sturdy as that of the Runner, they don’t need to be–the Trainer isn’t nearly as heavy!
This allows you to easily maneuver the Trainer around your home gym setting if you need to rearrange. The wheels on the Trainer are hard plastic, but have supports that should allow them to last a while.
If you have a home gym full of equipment, the size, color, and overall design of the Trainer will fit right into your garage gym. It isn’t anything magnificent to behold, but the Trainer has a nice design that is aesthetically pleasing.
The choice for a black frame with a powder coat is a good one as it matches most equipment, like that from Rogue Fitness. I definitely prefer the Runner’s metal frame, but the cost savings of the plastic are hard to be upset by.
Unlike the Runner, you can’t customize the color or running surface of the TrueForm Trainer but it still looks really nice.
Technology Benefits and Conveniences
When it comes to the TrueForm Trainer, what you see is what you get –– and that’s a runner’s treadmill. As I’ve previously mentioned, the monitor is weak and has limited capabilities. There’s not even a cup or phone holder, just handrails for you to hold onto while you’re running.
Ordering and Assembling the TrueForm Trainer
Ordering the TrueForm Trainer is simple, and if you delay shipping for a few weeks you can save up to $2,000. The standard delivery only gets the box to your curb, but you can pay more to have it delivered into your home or up a flight of stairs. For $500, you can have it delivered inside your home, installed, and have the packaging hauled away.
I chose to install it myself. It came disassembled in a cardboard box, and all the equipment inside was clean. Assembly didn’t take very long at all because all the parts were neatly lined up, as expected.
What’s the Difference Between the TrueForm Trainer and TrueForm Runner?
There are many intimate details to both these machines that will be explored in this review. Let’s take a look at the four key differences between the TrueForm Runner model, and the TrueForm Trainer Treadmill.
The biggest difference between these curved treadmills is the materials from which the machines are constructed. The older model, the TrueForm Runner, is made in the US from heavy-duty solid steel. This makes the Runner feel much more stable underfoot, giving it ideal specs for commercial or highly regular use. The shell is welded, the frame beneath is metal, as are the arms.
The TrueForm Trainer, on the other hand, is made from hard plastic. Made in South Korea and shipped here to the US, the Trainer is lighter and more easily damaged. Although the plastic is great quality and well made, there is a difference in feeling between these two materials and although the Trainer hasn’t been out long enough to give a true durability test, it likely won’t last as long.
Due to the big difference in materials, these treadmills are varying in their durability. The Runner is a beast of a machine, totally sturdy, long-lasting and hardy. I’ve had a TrueForm Runner at my personal training studio where clients from all walks of life use it every day and have for the past five years. Despite this, it’s never required a single minute of maintenance. There isn’t a single motorized treadmill in the world that could make that claim.
The Trainer is still a good quality machine, but in all likelihood, it will not last as long as the Runner due to less durable parts. That said, for a home gym, all-metal construction isn’t necessary.
The TrueForm Runner monitors performance with a pretty standard monitoring device at the front of the treadmill. This treadmill also doesn’t have heart rate monitoring. In all honesty, the monitor on the TrueForm is one of its worst features and something I’ve been begging them to improve for years.
The Trainer has an updated version of this – still a simple design, but uses smaller batteries, includes a very basic heart rate monitor tracking, and a less polished design. Basically, the monitors are the same, with the Runner being more robust in its construction.
The Runner is retail priced at $6,795, whereas the newer Trainer model stands at $4,795 – a big difference in price points. However, this price can be reduced dramatically by choosing a later ship date.
TrueForm Trainer Treadmill vs. Assault Air Runner
The Assault Air Runner is the other budget-friendly curved treadmill most similar to the TrueForm Trainer. The Assault Air Runner took over from TrueForm in being used at the CrossFit Games a few years ago. There’s been speculation as to why, but one reason is that many of the top athletes preferred running on the Assault Runner.
Here’s the thing: the TrueForm is the best “practice” treadmill on the market, in my opinion. It’s undoubtedly harder to run on. However, that’s because it requires you to pull the belt and run with a more POSE Method of running.
The Assault Runner has a heavier belt, which causes it to move faster and therefore requires less effort from the runner in terms of focusing on their form.
The Assault Runner is plastic, much like the Trainer, though I prefer the monitor on the Assault model.
The Assault Model is also larger and feels pretty stable underfoot.
Honestly, they’re both pretty similar. I would recommend the Assault Runner if you want a curved treadmill that doesn’t require you to change your form to go longer distances.
However, if you’re trying to get both a good workout and to improve the way you run, then the TrueForm is superior.
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TrueForm Trainer Specs
|Footprint||64″ L x 31″ W x 63″ H|
|Weight capacity||400 lbs.|
|Materials||Steel frame wrapped in covered in single-formed reinforced polymer plastic|
|Tread Surface||Molded Thermoplastic Elastomer|
|Bearings||112 Sealed Steel Ball Bearings|
|Pulleys||Injection Molded Polymer|
|Warranty||Five years; one for labor|
|Made in USA||No|
TrueForm can be contacted via an online form, phone, email, or live chat through their website.
The TrueForm Trainer’s frame, tread, monitor, and other parts are covered by a five-year warranty, and labor is covered for one year.
The TrueForm Trainer can be returned for a full refund, minus shipping and handling and any return shipping charges, up to 30 days from the delivery date. It must be returned on the original pallet and in new condition. Failure to follow these rules will result in a 20% restocking fee.
The TrueForm Trainer has rave reviews from customers, with the vast majority of them giving it 5 stars. There were a few 4 star reviews, and one 3 star, with most of the complaints being about the noise of the machine during heavier runs. A few people took off points due to the lack of a cup or phone holder.
Final Verdict of Our TrueForm Trainer Review
If you want a treadmill that is designed for home use and will improve your running performance, the Trainer would be our pick for most. Although not as tough as the Runner, for a home gym, the Trainer is a high-quality, reliable non-motorized treadmill that will last a while. The Trainer is the better treadmill for home gym owners who only need the machine for personal use. The Trainer also has improved value for the money for a solo user of this treadmill.
Nevertheless, the Runner model is an awesome treadmill that, if you can afford it, provides stability and quality of materials that anyone will be impressed by. The Runner is ideal for multiple users or even in a commercial gym setting.
I personally try to avoid plastic for gym equipment wherever possible, but the internal frame on the Trainer is metal which experiences the most wear and therefore I’m confident in recommending it.
If you want a treadmill that is designed for home use and will improve your running performance, the Trainer would be our pick for most. Although not as tough as the Runner, for a home gym, the Trainer is a high-quality, reliable non-motorized treadmill that will last a while.
Product Brand: TrueForm
Product Currency: $
Product Price: 2995
Product In-Stock: InStock
TrueForm Trainer FAQs
Here are some of the questions people on the internet are asking about the TrueForm Trainer:
Is the TrueForm Trainer worth it?
The TrueForm Trainer, while not as durable or heavy-duty as the TrueForm Runner, is a great budget-friendly manual treadmill for most home gym owners and running enthusiasts.
What’s the difference between a TrueForm Runner and a Trainer?
The TrueForm Runner is made in the United States and with high-quality materials like 7-gauge steel tubing and steel ball bearings. The TrueForm Trainer is made with cheaper materials and is imported, and while it’s still a quality product it’s not as heavy duty as the runner, but that’s what makes it more affordable.
What is running TrueForm?
TrueForm believes in the POSE Method of running, which involves a midfoot strike and pulling your heel up toward your butt. This is in contrast to a heel strike style of running.
Can you walk on a TrueForm Trainer?
Yes! In fact, because the TrueForm Trainer is meant to mimic ground running you can go from walking to sprinting, and back to walking, in just a matter of steps, unlike with an electric treadmill that requires you to press buttons to change your speed.
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