When I first saw this machine, I thought it was some new form of elliptical. It has two rising platforms somewhat similar to foot pads of an elliptical, yet when someone got on it and began to exercise, it looked more like they were stair climbing. The gym owner explained to me that this new machine was a treadclimber. Treadclimbers combine three types of cardio exercising: stair climbing, elliptical, and a treadmill. I guess you can say it is three machines in one.
Bowflex Treadclimber TC5300 is large and heavy, weighing 350 pounds. This makes for a sturdy machine, but I did feel a little unstable at first when I tried it; I guess it is just because of the moving platforms, they take some getting used to. As to the exercise itself, it was like walking stepping up at the same time. Compared to a traditional stair climber, I would say that this treadclimber is smoother and much easier on the joints, although it still gives you a good workout.
The machine has 12 resistance levels and the speed range of 0.5 to 4.5 mph. One thing I did not like was that the resistance cannot be changed by pressing a button on the console as you exercise; you have stop and to get off in order to do that. I thought that was rather inconvenient, besides, it prevents you from doing interval training where you change the intensity of your workout.
The screen on the console shows your progress, displaying time, speed, distance, floors climbed, step count, and calories burned. I like checking these out as I exercise, it gives me the feeling of having something accomplished and adds motivation.
Overall, it would have been a great machine if it wasn’t for the resistance change drawback.