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Our Running Guru
Amanda Brooks
Amanda Brooks
Running Guru

Life Fitness Activate Series

Brian Boyce | Last Updated - Dec 8, 2020
Editor's Rating: 8 /10

This Treadmill Could Be For You If:

  • You want a well-built treadmill and are willing to pay for quality.
  • You value an attachable television add-on which increases entertainment options.
  • You value a manufacturer with multiple product lines and a history of support.
  • You want a spacious running deck.
  • Have room for a large treadmill.

Part of the Life Fitness family of treadmills, the Activate series brings commercial fitness center quality to the home. Priced at $4,999, it’s clear from the start the user expects durability. Built with an integrated reading rack, smartphone tray, and accessory tray, the unit also comes with an attachable television add-on in addition to the standard LED console.

What matters most to users of any level will be the 3-HP, AC motor with MagnaDrive™ motor controller driving the DX3™ and FlexDeck Shock Absorption System and Seigling E8 multi-ply polyester belt. The unit operates on 2.75-inch precision-crowned steel rollers, front and back. The running deck is industry standard 60 inches long by 20 inches wide, with 18-inch handrails, and an 8-inch step up height. For runners with a need for speed, the range spreads from 0.5 to 12 mph, with an incline potential of 15%. Speed and incline of course help determine the intensity of the workout for users of any level.

Colored Arctic Silver, the Activate treadmills also feature contact sensors on the handlebars for heart rate monitoring, as well as telemetry, and they are chest strap-compatible. Size-wise, the treadmill is a whopping 81 inches long by 32 inches wide and stands 57 inches high, a big unit relative to other home models. And it makes sense that the 325-pound machine can support a maximum user weight of 400 pounds, significantly more than its peers. With a 7-year frame warranty, the product also comes with 1-year guarantees on mechanical and labor. This makes for a real positive if the users are larger in terms of bodyweight, or if they intend to give the treadmill some hard running. However, if the homeowner is looking for a compact unit, this will not be seen in such a positive light.

Designed with the commercial fitness club in mind, the sheer size of the machine does promisesa high level of durability. Unlike other models though, the Activate treadmills don’t provide an integrated workout app, and it’s clearly it’s expected that the attached television unit would be the medium by which entertainment would be provided. The unit does offer heart rate monitoring by way of Polar® Telemetry, although an optional chest strap is required, and Lifepulse™ with DSP (Digital Signal Processing). That said, any tracking of the data would have to be done with a separate program. Considering the price of the model relative to other treadmills marketed for the home, it is a little surprising that an integrated app is not part of the package. Also missing from this machine is a headphone jack. And as with any machine this size, electrical hook-up is a consideration. The machine requires a dedicated 120 volt/20 amp circuit.

What We Like:

  • Durability: At 325 pounds, the treadmill supports up to 400 pounds in user weight.
  • Motor: Customer reviews agree the 3.0 HP motor makes for a smooth, quiet experience up to speeds of 12mph.
  • Entertainment: Attachable television add-on unlocks a number of possibilities for user enjoyment.
  • Smooth Use: With a FlexDeck Shock Absorption System and Siegling E8 multi-ply polyester belt, users can run fast with comfort.
  • Good Spacing: A running deck of 60″ x 20″ makes for plenty of room to stride out.
  • Good incline: With an incline potential of 15%, the treadmill affords increased intensity.
  • Heart rate monitoring: With contact sensors in the handlebars as well as chest strap compatibility, users can keep track of their cardio work.

Life Fitness Activate Series - Key Specs:

Star Rating:4-stars
Motor:3.0 HP
Incline:1-15%
Running Area:Seigling E8 multi-ply polyester belt
Folding:No
Top Speed:0-12 mph MPH
Weight Capacity:400 LBS
Dimensions:81"" L x 32"" W x 57" H
Built-In Programs:No

What We Didn’t Like:

  • No integrated workout package: Users bring their own workout apps.
  • No cooling fan: Most other home models afford this and given the price, it would be expected.
  • Size: Definitely a large model for the home.
  • Assembly: A unit this large would present challenges when self-assembling.
  • Shorter warranty: Most competitors offer lifetime guarantees on the frame, and longer terms on parts and labor.

Our Verdict:

The Life Fitness Activate Series definitely brings the commercial quality home, but for the price, there are a lot of bells and whistles missing. We’re also a little surprised at the relatively short warranty offered. The attached television add-on makes sense for folks used to a commercial gym atmosphere, but most of its rivals offer integrated tablets and programs. For $4,999, this unit seems quite pricey for the market and that’s why we’re rating it an 80/100.

Life Fitness Activate Series Treadmills

Does this treadmill require electricity?

Yes, a dedicated 120 Volts/20 Amp circuit is required.

Can I wear a weight vest while using this treadmill?

The weight capacity afforded by this unit is 400 pounds, so as long you don't exceed that, you're good to go.

How do I increase intensity while using a treadmill?

You can manipulate the incline and speed to increase intensity.