- NordicTrack’s Commercial 2950 treadmill is a top-tier treadmill with more built-in workouts than you’ll ever be able to complete.
- Perfect for both casual walks and hardcore sprints and hikes, there’s a wide variety of workouts to dabble in.
- The iFit software tracks everything, making it easy to get a picture of your overall fitness and progress toward your goals.
I could see the steep hill in front of me and instantly knew it wasn’t going to be easy. Still, the fact that I was in my own makeshift home gym instead of in the Scottish Highlands made me think that maybe, just maybe, it wouldn’t be as difficult as it looked.
I was wrong.
For the next 40-or-so minutes I followed my guide, Graham McTavish, as we scaled an impressive peak. Every time the trail got tougher, the Nordictrack Commercial 2950 treadmill I was testing made the walk that much more difficult, increasing the incline of the treadmill platform until my thighs burned and I almost tapped out. Almost.
The NordicTrack Commercial 2950 treadmill that I received is the top-of-the-line model not just for NordicTrack, but across the industry of incline-capable, foldable treadmills. It has just about everything:
- An oversized 22-inch by 60-inch belt surface
- Built-in fans
- Integrated speakers with Bluetooth connectivity
- A range of 15% incline to 3% decline
- Top speed of 12 miles per hour
- One-touch controls for incline and speed for manual workouts
And that’s to say nothing of the bells and whistles of iFit and the 22-inch widescreen display that sits front and center and guides your entire workout experience.
I assembled the machine myself, which took about an hour and a half. I’m not going to say it was the easiest assembly in the world but it comes with pretty much all the tools you need already, and the other hardware you need are very basic tools. The one thing you’ll definitely benefit from is the help of a second person, as some things — like mounting the display and control unit, requires an extra set of hands. Of course, you can always opt for in-home assembly, which probably isn’t a bad idea.
You can choose from many different ways to work out using the 2950. You can boot it up, set your speed an incline, and run until you’re tired. You can use the built-in Google Street View functionality to plot a route pretty much anywhere on Earth and then run or walk that route while taking in all the sights. Or you can dive into the curated workouts which come in many intensities and lengths.
The iFit subscription gives you access to the best of the best, including guided workouts like the hike in Scotland that kicked my butt, but that’s just one of literally thousands of options. You can take a leisurely stroll through the streets of Ireland or a spirited run along a beach. There’s a huge library of these kinds of guided workouts, and they all look gorgeous.
The treadmill matches the speed of the action on the screen, so if your guide starts running, the treadmill will speed up along with them. If you’re hiking, the incline of the treadmill will change based on the terrain. You can, of course, manually control your speed and incline even during these sessions if you wish, but it’s much more immersive to let the machine take you on the journey and do your best to make it through. If I were to list all the possible places you can virtually work out, I’d be here all day, so just suffice it to say that there are a ton of options here.
On top of that, there are live workouts that are scheduled daily, with professional trainers guiding you through workouts ranging from low-intensity beginner stuff to bust-your-butt full-on running. There is also a large selection of workouts that include other workout gear like dumbells or resistance bands if you happen to have those handy.
This probably goes without saying, but all of the working out you do is tracked down to the second by the iFit software. Every step you take, every calorie your burn, and every workout you complete is tallied and cataloged to give you a very clear picture of your fitness efforts. It’s both somewhat intimidating and very motivational, as you’ll want to keep streaks going as long as possible, and beating your best times and calorie counts is always a nice feeling.
The iFit app for iOS/Android is a nice bonus, and it allows you to both browse your past workouts to check your progress and check out new workouts that you can do even when you’re not on your connected treadmill, bike, or another piece of iFit-compatible hardware.
The Commercial 2950 is a beast and, if you can absorb the $2,999 price tag, it’s got everything you’ll need to do a variety of workouts at whatever intensity you desire, with more new content coming at a steady pace.
Of course, it’s not perfect (nothing is, really), and there are a couple of things that could be tweaked to make the hardware and software even better. One thing I noticed early on is that the fans stop as soon as you stop a workout, even if you’re still browsing or viewing your stats. I found my sweaty self manually turning the fans back on several times because, I mean, I don’t stop sweating as soon as the workout is over and I don’t think I’m alone in that.
My only other gripe is with the display hardware, which is basically a 22-inch Android tablet. It looks great, and guided workouts are awesome on it, but it’s not the most responsive touchscreen in the world. Sometimes you have to wait a second for touch inputs to register, which could be remedied by an upgrade to the tablet’s internals. Luckily, NordicTrack tells me that the tablet is indeed getting an upgrade very soon, so if you pick one up there’s a good chance you’ll score the new model with a more responsive screen.
Those very minor complaints aside, I can’t think of much I would change about the NordicTrack 2950. It’s a big, powerful machine with more bells and whistles than you can imagine. Guided workouts are incredibly immersive and keep you engaged. Even when your body is telling you to stop halfway through and retreat to your couch, you’ll be compelled to continue. As someone who finds it difficult to find motivation when working out indoors, it tickled the part of my brain that said “keep going,” which is something I didn’t think was possible.