Matrix vs Life Fitness

If you are looking for a high-quality treadmill to fit into your little gym space at home, you are more than likely to come across brand names such as Matrix and Life Fitness. To pick one over the other, you must understand what really sets them apart. So, which one is more superior?

Caleb and I love to keep fit and we are constantly battling against each other about who has done the heaviest training. He owns a Matrix treadmill and I have forever loved the Life Fitness brand.

We’ve both trained on either equipment and there is some slight difference between them. Both brands are renowned and offer a variety of bikes, ellipticals, treadmills and cross trainers.

Looking into their features and benefits will help you make an informed choice. To get a standard rating on both brands, we focus on their treadmill models. Specifically, the Life Fitness F1 Smart and the Matrix TF30.

What are the differences between Matrix and Life Fitness?

 
Matrix TF30
Life Fitness F1 Smart
Running Decks
55”L x 20” W
55”L x 20” W
Motor
3.25 CHP
2.5 CHP
Top Speed
12.5 mph
10 mph
Incline
15%
12%
Display
Wide Blue LCD
Blue LCD
Max Weight Capacity
350 lbs
300 lbs
Price

Matrix vs Life Fitness – How do they compare?

Design

Both these brands do a great job creating a sturdy and strong equipment frame and providing the same size and type of foldable running decks that are both cushioned and durable.

Matrix features a 1” patented running deck that gives you better stability and softens the impact on your muscles and joints. Life Fitness has a FlexDeck patented cushioning that reduces body shock by up to 30% helping to minimize injuries.

The Matrix is capable of supporting 50 pounds more in weight compared to the Life Fitness treadmills. They give you three options of differently sized consoles to pick from to use on your equipment.

Two of the three consoles offered by Matrix have the in-built speakers and a wireless compatibility to connect to popular fitness app, social networks and entertainment channels.

Life Fitness provides no speakers on their consoles as compared to Matrix but both brands have wireless compatibility and great running decks.

Performance

These two treadmills offer great workout for people with short strides and they can be unfolded to reveal more running space. The speeds capable on Matrix are as high as 12.5 mph and those on Life fitness are at 10 mph.

The motors running the Matrix treadmill are stronger than Life Fitness motors featuring 3.25 CHP power compared to 2.5 CHP. Not much difference in numbers but the experience will be more challenging on the Matrix.

They both give powerful and quiet running training sessions that are great for use in any public or private space. Uphill runs can be simulated on both equipment with the Matrix giving 15% and 12% for the Life Fitness.

To monitor your heart rate, Life Fitness have included a wireless chest strap to their treadmill. For Matrix, on the other hand, they have heart rate sensors on the treadmills grip or handlebars but the equipment is also compatible with wireless heart rate monitors.

Using their ViaFit app which is included in all their models, Matrix tracks and reports your training statistics in terms of calories burned, distance ran among other metrics.

There are standard workout programs built into both treadmill brands. Matrix, through Virtual Active videos, features and supports eight-week fitness programs and offers you training around the world’s most scenic routes and paths.

Life Fitness has a list of 8 pre-installed treadmill workout programs to choose from and there is the option to download and customize your own programs.

Choose the Matrix if you love to virtually ride through scenic routes and the Life Fitness if you prefer to customize your workout program.

Matrix vs Life Fitness – A Comparison Overview

Matrix – Overview

They create most treadmills with a standard running deck measuring 55” L by 20” W and others with a longer deck measuring 60” long to accommodate those runners with bigger strides.

They offer a variety of consoles with three options to choose from between XR with a 6” touchscreen, XER at 10” touchscreen and XIR 9.5” backlit classic screen. They all have unique and preset workout options.

Keeping track of your daily performance is made easy with this brand because the consoles display your training record per session. The consoles are fitted with a wireless heart rate receiver and in-built speakers.

ViaFit also syncs with independent fitness apps and tracks your other workouts off the treadmill.

This treadmill will provide you 15% angle inclines but not declines are available. You may run as fast as 12.5 mph on this treadmill if you can which makes it perfect for pro athletes trying to keep their form.

Motors fitted in Matrix treadmills have a 3.25 horsepower and runs powerfully and smoothly with no noise. This makes it a great pick for your home gym.

Matrix considered the weight of the equipment and fitted some transport wheel for easy mobility and because it is foldable, it may occupy slightly less space than an otherwise non-foldable treadmill.

Pros

  • 25 motor
  • Folding capabilities
  • Transport wheels
  • Speeds up to 12.5 mph
  • In-built speakers
  • Wireless data tracking
  • Cushioned Running Deck
  • 15% incline
  • Customizable equipment

Cons

  • No decline available
  • Heavy weight at 282 pounds

View Price on Amazon

Life Fitness – Overview

Life Fitness F1 Smart Treadmill
  • Specifically designed for a home setting with features such as child safety lock and a quiet motor system
  • GoSystem Quick Start feature remembers your preferred walk, jog, and run speeds
  • Seamless compatibility for your iPod; controls for speed, incline, pause/resume, stop and iPod conveniently located on console
  • Patented FlexDeck Shock Absorption System reduces stress on joints by 30 percent when compared to running on non-cushioned surfaces
  • 300 pound capacity; 77 by 34 by 59 inches (L x W x H); weighs 29 pounds

Built into a strong and sturdy design, this brand has been around for a long time and features all the bells and whistles of a standard treadmill.

The running deck measures 55” L x 20” W and is cushioned using Flexdeck cushioning which provides up to 30% reduction in body shock which minimizes injuries. Motors on the Life Fitness treadmill are at 2.5 horsepower which is still strong and runs quietly in any space.

It gives you 15% incline but no decline function. To monitor your heart rate throughout your training, use the wireless chest strap provided with the bike and see the results on the console.

This console comes fitted with 8 pre-programmed workouts, a fitness test and the option to download and customize your preferred workout programs. It is also fitted with an accessory tray and a cup holder.

Maximum weight that can be supported on Life Fitness treadmills is 300 pounds and the highest speed you may attain on it is 10 mph.

The treadmills also feature smart motor and power technologies that detect when to cut off the supply of power or energy when you stop training. This will help keep your energy bill in check.

You also do not have to worry about children or pets accidentally setting the equipment on because a child safety lock has also been considerably built in to the Life Fitness treadmills.

Pros

  • 12% incline
  • Heart rate monitor
  • FlexDeck cushioning
  • Accessory tray and cup holder
  • Energy smart with child lock safety
  • Powerful and smooth-running motor

Cons

  • No decline option available

View Price on Amazon

Verdict: So, which is better, Matrix or Life Fitness?

While training on both treadmill brands is customizable, the Matrix is customizable in design as well. Providing three alternative and fully compatible consoles to chose from gives this brand a unique selling point.

With a motor as powerful as 3.25, a wireless compatible system, high speeds, in-built speakers and the automatic data tracking that’s possible with Matrix, it unanimously becomes the better brand compared to Life Fitness.