FitnessHomeHQ Logo 2

Am I Too Heavy For A Treadmill? Some Alternative Work Outs!

Published by Kieran
Last Updated on November 3, 2021

Do I Weigh Too Much For My Treadmill?

Most treadmills will come with a stated weight limit on their specifications, this weight range should be above your current weight so as you will able to use the treadmill without any injuries or breaking the machine.

Typically, a lower-end treadmill should be able to hold around 200-250 pounds of weight, however, sturdier higher-end models might even be able to hold up to 300 pounds. This weight capacity should not be exceeded as it can cause damage to your machine. 

So as you can figure out what treadmill is right for your weight, and if there are alternatives to treadmills for heavier people, we have put together a short article below that will give you the information you need.

Are The Weight Limits Accurate On a Treadmill?

Well, yes, but only to a degree, for example, if you weigh 300lbs and you stand on a 250lb capacity treadmill, all will likely be fine, however when you run on it you might start to see some issues such as the belt slipping or the treadmill being excessively noisy.

On the other spectrum, if your treadmill has a stated weight capacity of 200lbs to 300lbs and you use it weighing at 290, you might find your machine breaks down after several months of use. This is because when these treadmills are weight tested it is often only for a small duration of time by a heavy user, it does not take in to account how the treadmill will hold up after repeated use from a heavier user.

So, if you weigh near the stated weight limit of a treadmill, its best to look for a higher-end model which has a larger weight range so as you can save money in the long run and feel more comfortable knowing that your machine will support you when exercising.

Factors Determining The Weight Capacity Of a Treadmill

Rather than focus on the weight capacity of the treadmill which is often very inaccurate, we recommend looking at several other factors as well as this capacity to determine if your treadmill is or is not designed for heavier people in mind.

  • The thickness of the treadmill deck - Go for a heavier 1-inch deck treadmill that will have double lamination, this protects you from having to buy another deck if it gets worn down from use, it will also hold up better to a heavier weight.
  • Horsepower & flywheel - Your treadmill should have enough power to keep the belt revolving, the power of your treadmills motor matters as it will keep the speed consistent every time the belt gets hit with the weight of your footstep.
  • Motor torque - As we mentioned above, your motor should have a high torque power so it can keep the belt spinning no matter the friction between the belt and the deck of the machine.

How To Lose Weight On a Treadmill

If you are of heavier weight then you are likely looking to get fitter by using a treadmill or maybe shed a few pounds if you have found a high-quality treadmill with the right weight capacity for you.

Follow our tips below to lose some weight with your new treadmill.

  • Start slow - As tempting as it can be, going too hard on your treadmill as a beginner can cause you to overexert yourself and tire out too quickly.
  • Try intervals - Intervals can be a great way to spice up your treadmill workout and lose more belly fat, for example, if you are used to walking for 30 minutes on your treadmill, you could try walking for two then running for one.
  • Track your progress - Write down how much faster you are going or the greater distance you are covering, as well as how much weight you are losing every week so as you can stay motivated and positive knowing you are on the right track.
  • Combine with other exercises - Try integrating a daily walk along with your treadmill exercise, this is a great way to stretch any tense muscles and burn extra calories.
  • Eat a healthy diet - Make sure you are eating a healthy and balanced diet with a calorie deficit to burn fat from your body, getting your protein and carbs in is essential for maintaining energy during a treadmill workout.
  • Stay hydrated - When using a treadmill its very important to keep hydrated as you will be losing body sweat while you workout and will need to replace the water lost from your body, this will also help you perform better.
  • Be patient - Losing weight does not happen overnight and it can take some time to see results in your body, especially once the first couple of pounds have dropped off, stick with your routine and healthy diet to see results and treat your exercise as a lifestyle choice.

Alternative Workouts For Heavier People

If you can't find a treadmill that is right for you, then you might want to consider trying some alternative workouts which can support your weight, we have listed the best exercises to do below.

Try Swimming

Swimming is a great workout for heavier people as it is not weight-bearing like walking or running, it also works your lower body as well as your upper body.

Having 80% less weight in the water also helps you experience less pain when working out and helps stretch your muscles for better flexibility.

Tips To Lose Weight With Swimming

If you are looking to lose weight with swimming you will need to incorporate it into your daily routine three times a week to start with then eventually five times a week when you have built up some more strength.

We have listed out some other tips below to consider if you are looking to lose weight with swimming.

  • Try interval swimming for a greater cardio burn.
  • Use pool resistance equipment.
  • Warm-up first to avoid feeling stiff.
  • Workout for 60 minutes at a time or start with 30-minute sessions.

Use a Recumbent Bike

If you are a heavier person and you don't like swimming, then a recumbent bike is also a form of non-weight bearing exercise you can try which will help you burn some calories while feeling supported.

These bikes in particular are great for people who are a little bit bigger as they have a backrest and a large seat, you can find some heavy-duty versions of these machines that can support a weight of up to 400lbs.

Tips To Lose Weight With a Recumbent Bike

Losing weight with a recumbent bike might be a little bit harder as the bike doesn't burn as many calories as other pieces of fitness equipment do, we have listed out some tips below to help you out.

  • Bike with intervals.
  • Try using dumbbells while you pedal to workout your upper body.
  • Adjust your seat so as you can cycle comfortably for long periods.
  • Find a resistance that pushes you but isn't too hard to keep up with.

Do Some Yoga

Another great low impact exercise to try is yoga, this form of exercise is much less strenuous than others and is a great way to ease yourself back into exercise if you haven't worked out in a long time. There is no weight limit for yoga and anyone can give it their best shot if you are a beginner.

As we said, yoga is not the best exercise to choose for burning calories but can be a great way to ease you back into moving your body and reduce stress.

Tips To Lose Weight With Yoga

If you have decided you want to try and lose some weight with yoga then we have listed out a couple of our best tricks below to help you get the most out of your sessions.

  • Use an extra thick mat for better support on your joints.
  • Start slowly and don't beat yourself up if you can't do all the positions.
  • Keep your own pace and rest when needed.
  • Stop if you feel any pain during the movements.

Use a Heavy Duty Cross Trainer

Heavy-duty cross trainers are designed to provide a low impact cardio alternative for heavier people and can typically support a weight of up to 400lbs.

These cross trainers are easy on your joints and can burn more calories than yoga or walking would, making it a good option if you have the money to invest in one and want to push yourself.

Tips To Lose Weight With a Heavy Duty Cross-Trainer

Losing weight with a cross trainer is very achievable and can nearly burn as many calories as a treadmill can while giving you a full-body workout, as your arms with be working with handles too as you pedal on the machine.

  • Make sure you cross-train 3-5 times a week with 30-60 minute sessions.
  • Do HIIT workouts on your trainer.
  • Eat healthy to keep the weight off and provide energy.
  • Split your 60-minute workouts into smaller sessions.

Try Resistance Training

Lifting weights is a very underrated way of training your muscles and burning extra calories if you are looking to lose weight, many people assume you can only do cardio to burn calories, however weight lifting is great too.

Tips To Lose Weight With Weight Lifting

  • Be consistent with your weight training.
  • Up your weights for progression once they feel easy.
  • Repair your muscles with protein after a session.
  • Take rest days for your muscles to repair.

Jump On a Trampoline

That's right if you are looking for another low-impact way to get your body moving then why not try some trampolining. Most trampolines can support a 300lb - 500lb weight range.

Not only is this exercise quite easy, but also super fun and a great way to sneak cardio into your daily life without having to feel as if you are doing it!

Tips To Lose Weight With Trampolining

  • Start with slow jumping.
  • Use YouTube workouts for inspiration.
  • Incorporate it daily.

Walk, Walk & Walk!

Our last alternative workout which is free, doesn't have a weight capacity and is easy, is walking! Try walking for an hour each day outside and you will see the benefits in your body quickly.

Walking isn't too stressful on your body too and can be done by anyone of any size.

Tips For Losing Weight With Walking

  • Do power walking to raise the intensity of your walk.
  • Listen to music to pass time.
  • Wear the right shoes for added support.
  • Add hills into your route for some incline.

Frequently Asked Questions About Weight & Treadmills

Why are professional exercise machines better for heavier people?

Professional gym machines will have a sturdier build with a larger weight capacity as they are designed to be used by a wider variety of people and need to be strong.

What is the average weight capacity of a treadmill?

The average weight capacity of a treadmill tends to be 300lbs for consumer models.

How can I make my treadmill last longer?

Perform the proper maintenance, make sure that your treadmill is of the right size and use it correctly, always buy a treadmill with a warranty too.

Final Words

To conclude, if you find you are too heavy for a treadmill, try looking at professional ones as they have a more generous weight range, you can also try some of our alternative exercise options below if you are looking to lose weight.

About the author
Published by Kieran
A star athlete during his school days, Kieran quickly excelled at sports and in particular; football. Kieran's true passion lies in home exercise equipment, and so was was built as a source for all of Kieran's thoughts to be put down on a medium. Here he guides you through various nuances of working out at home, tips, guides, reviews and more.The only other thing Kieran enjoys more than working out, is writing about it.
View All Posts
You may also like
Fitness Home HQ is an independent website. We provide reviews about fitness macines, workouts, and supplements to help you reach your fitness goals. Fitness Home HQ does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
Copyright © 2022 by FitnessHomeHQ.
chevron-rightchevron-right-circle linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram