Dimensions: 79.5” H x 66.6” L x 39.2” W (unfolded)
Weight: 360 pounds
Weight capacity: 300 pounds
Display: 22” Smart HD touchscreen
Audio: Bluetooth + dual speakers
Digital Resistance Levels: 12
Incline: -3% to 15%
Warranty: 10-year frame, 2-year parts, 1-year labor
The best treadmills on the market today are packed to the gills with futuristic fitness features, and the NordicTrack Commercial 2950 Treadmill is pacing itself to take your home gym to new heights. Don’t worry, the air’s not too thin up here.
As one of the larger iFit treadmills in NordicTrack’s current lineup of cardio machines, the Commercial 2950 demands ample floor space, but its foldable design makes the whole package more compact than you might expect, and thanks to iFit’s ever-growing library of live classes, marathon-training programs, and trainer-led challenges, this is the smartest treadmill I’ve tested to date.
Finding the best fitness machine for your home gym can be a daunting task, but we’re here to help. As a basis of comparison, I tested this treadmill side-by-side with the less expensive ProForm Pro 2000. Read on to see if the NordicTrack Commercial 2950 Treadmill is worth the upgrade.
NordicTrack Commercial 2950 Treadmill review: Price and availability
The NordicTrack Commercial 2950 Treadmill is available from the company’s website for $2,500. Free shipping and Threshold Delivery service are included in this price, which takes the setup process out of your hands. (Literally.)
NordicTrack currently offers four other models in their lineup of Commercial treadmills. The new-for-2022 Commercial 1750 ($1,900) and Commercial 2450 (also $2,500) are slightly more compact than the Commercial 2950, but feature Tilt & Pivot touch screens that let you view the iFit action from any angle — not just straight forward. The Commercial X22i ($3,000) and Commercial X32i ($4,000) are ideal for avid hikers since the incline goes all the way up to 40 percent.
Mind you, not every NordicTrack treadmill costs an arm and a leg; their EXP treadmills range between $1,100 and $1,600, which is much more reasonable for the average consumer. The $1,500 ProForm Pro 2000 treadmill is another affordable iFit-infused machine, and its ReBound Pro running deck is much easier on the joints than most treadmills I’ve used over the past two decades.
Be warned: the Commercial 2950 comes with a 30-day trial of iFit (normally $39), but you’ll need to renew that subscription every single month to take advantage of live classes, on-demand workouts, and other iFit extras. You can technically use the machine as a manual treadmill once this membership runs out, but that kind of defeats the purpose of the original investment. In short, if you’ve already decided to ditch your gym membership in favor of building or expanding your own home gym, an iFit membership might be just the thing to round out the usefulness of your other equipment.
NordicTrack Commercial 2950 Treadmill review: Setting up
Weighing a bulky 360 pounds, the NordicTrack Commercial 2950 Treadmill measures 79.5 x 66.6 x 39.2 inches when in use, and 70.7 x 41.9 x 39.2 inches when folded up. Once set up in my living room, I quickly realized this monstrous machine was far too wide to fit through any surrounding doorways — even if I fancied moving it. Moral of the story? Make sure you’ve taken the appropriate measurements before you buy, folks.
My review unit came with iFit’s Threshold Delivery service, which includes a professional setup. The delivery guys were prompt, COVID-responsible, and a relative pleasure to interact with as they assembled the machine; they even broke down the empty boxes and took the extra garbage out as they went. The whole affair took about 90 minutes from start to finish.
When you turn on the Commercial 2950 for the first time, you’re prompted to connect to WiFi and sign in to your preexisting iFit account, or create a new one. (As mentioned above, the treadmill comes with a 30-day trial membership.) Then it’s just a matter of checking for firmware updates, calibrating the incline system, strapping on your heart monitor, and stretching out those hammies for your first run.
During my virgin jog, I noticed the running belt shifting to the left a bit, but that was a simple fix: I adjusted the “idler roller screws” on either side until the belt maintained a snug fit when in motion. It took some trial and error, but I was able to solve the problem thanks to the manual’s handy-dandy troubleshooting section.
Note: Make sure the machine’s incline/decline system is calibrated correctly before taking off since those mechanisms directly impact the whole iFit experience. If you’re not sure whether or not the machine is calibrated properly, set the incline to 0 and take out a level to make sure you’re not inadvertently running at a slightly upward or downward angle during any given workout. If the incline/decline seems off, you can recalibrate it again in the system settings.
NordicTrack Commercial 2950 Treadmill review: Design and build
Running astride the top treadmills of yesteryear used to be boring as hell, but we live in the future now, where even our treadmills let us travel the world — if your pockets are deep enough, anyway. As mentioned above, the Commercial 2950 is equipped with an absolutely gorgeous 22-inch Smart HD touchscreen built right into the console, giving you access to iFit’s ever-growing library of live classes and prerecorded workouts, plus all your favorite stats and fitness challenges. (More on that below.) You can adjust the angle of the screen by holding both sides of the console and tilting it up or down to the desired position.
Despite the sheer size of the damn thing, the Commercial 2950 is a pretty sleek-looking machine, and while it certainly does take up some valuable real estate in my modest New York City apartment, I’d hardly call it an eyesore. When folded, the 70.7 x 41.9 x 39.2-inch footprint takes up roughly the same space as an armoire, which is manageable enough from my perspective.
The control panel is a cinch to navigate. On either side of the touchscreen, you’ll find numbered buttons to instantly adjust your speed (0 to 12 mph) or incline (-3 to 15 percent) on the fly. Beneath that, you’ll find the built-in fan, the Bluetooth pairing button, and manual controls for speed, incline/decline, speaker volume, and starting/stopping the treadmill belt.
There’s also a safety key that clips to your clothing and pauses your workout automatically when removed. This might seem trivial, but if you bump the speed and/or incline all the way up, you might change your mind. (Safety first: don’t try running at speeds your body isn’t used to.) Like the ProForm Pro 2000 and Peloton Tread, the Commercial 2950 can support users up to 300 pounds.
At 60 x 22 inches, the NordicTrack running belt is two inches wider than the ProForm Pro 2000’s belt. Two inches might seem trite for the faint of height, but if your limbs happen to be as orangutan-y as mine, you’ll notice every extra inch of tread space on every single treadmill you step on. I know I did.
Once I found a home in my home for the NordicTrack Commercial 2950, it was time to get to work.
NordicTrack Commercial 2950 Treadmill review: Performance
I tested out the NordicTrack Commercial 2950 Treadmill for a few months as a supplement to my outdoor trail running. The timing couldn’t have been better. As the colder weather (and the winter blues) started chasing me inside, I really started to appreciate iFit’s around-the-world cardio workouts. I was initially impressed with the ProForm Pro 2000’s 14-inch touchscreen, after all, so you can only imagine how excited I was to absorb all the beautiful outdoor scenery of iFit’s mountain treks in all its 22-inch HD glory.
For the outdoor workouts that are filmed all over the world, it truly felt like I was jogging alongside my trainers of choice as the treadmill automatically adjusted to the surrounding terrain. (When it comes to distance training, Tommy Rivers Puzey is my favorite trail-running companion to date; I dig his energy, and we have similar body types.)
The built-in fan was great for keeping cool as I plodded along, and the dual three-inch speakers are loud enough for most indoor environments.There’s also a 3.5mm headphone jack to the left of the screen; you can also pair your phone directly to the treadmill via Bluetooth. In my testing, all of the audio options worked like a charm, though when it comes to listening to music as I run, I much prefer my Bluetooth headphones over the Commercial 2950’s tinny speakers.
A little context for my fitness journey: I’m a 37-year-old man with a dodgy knee, so until very recently, running has never been my favorite thing. That being said, I underwent a 70-pound weight-loss transformation in 2011, and I got there by doing HIIT running workouts in Central Park at night. I currently weigh 180 pounds and am 6-foot-3-inches tall, so my lanky body has finally evolved into a runner’s frame. Now I genuinely enjoy the sport! In fact, I’m training for my very first trail-running marathon as we speak, and this particular treadmill is the perfect tool to help me go the distance indoors when the weather outside isn’t cooperating.
The NordicTrack Commercial 2950 kinda-sorta has the edge over ProForm and Peloton; the former has a max incline of 12% and max speed of 12 mph, whereas the latter offers 12.5% incline and 12.5 mph max speed. The Commercial 2950 similarly maxes out at 12 mph, but it’s better than either competitor when it comes to simulating varied terrain, since you get a 15% incline and -3% decline to hike on. Looking for even steeper climbs? The Commercial X32i and X22i models boast an insane 40% incline, which I can’t wait to test at a later date.
NordicTrack’s running deck on the Commercial 2950 features a self-cooling motor with reduced vibration and Reflex Cushioning to absorb the shock from each stride. Nevertheless, it’s impossible to be quiet on this thing as you run, especially if you’re using it in an enclosed space — such as my apartment. In a side-by-side comparison, I found the ProForm Pro 2000’s “ReBound Pro” running track to offer slightly springier, bouncier feedback; the platform also felt more stable than NordicTrack’s, and the machine’s inner mechanisms sounded marginally quieter when engaged. At the end of the day, treadmills are noisy machines, and there’s only so much manufacturers can do to relegate those extra decibels.
The Commercial 2950 is designed for dedicated runners of all ages, sizes, and skill levels, and I’d say NordicTrack hit the mark for that (admittedly broad) demographic. I could definitely notice the extra inch of space on either side of my feet as I ran, and the accessory tray beneath the console is a nice place to stow my cell phone and sweat towel. Should iFit’s team of trainers ever become long in the tooth, the ledge above the speakers is also the perfect size to prop up a magazine for a good ol’ read-and-stride session. In short, it's a gym-quality treadmill that’s worth the investment for avid runners, and when it comes to my current cardio curriculum, boredom is no longer on the menu.
The Commercial 2950 is compatible with any smart heart monitor, and iFit bundled in a chest strap-style monitor with my review unit. I've never consistently trained with a heart monitor until this past year, but doing so really changes the game when it comes to pacing myself for endurance runs.
For example, based on my general physiology and data collected from my heart rate sensor, iFit has my resting heart rate pegged at 63 beats per minute (bpm), and my max heart rate at 183 bpm. That means I’ll want to stay in Zone 2: Endurance for my longer runs, keeping my heart rate between 136 bpm and 147 bpm throughout. Adding this math to my cardio adds a whole new layer of information to my overall training and a new perspective to running as a competitive sport.
NordicTrack Commercial 2950 Treadmill review: Stay fit with iFit
Speaking of which. To put the NordicTrack Commercial 2950 through its paces, I fired up my iFit account, pulled on some sports shorts, and put my game face on. NordicTrack and iFit have been bedfellows for a while now, and this unique personal training ecosystem is growing more dynamic every month. Your iFit subscription is a virtual gateway to dozens of world-class personal trainers, accessible right from your smart TV, smartphone, or any iFit-equipped piece of gym equipment.
You can use your connected tech of choice to access top-notch fitness classes and unique outdoor experiences from around the world. iFit does a superb job of onboarding some genuinely awesome talent, and they employ dozens of trainers for their elliptical, running, rowing, and cycling classes. The iFit platform is changing all the time, but as of this writing, here are some of the features I like best:
Automatic Trainer Control: This is what makes the iFit experience unique. It lets your machine adjust the incline, decline, and resistance automatically in real-time, based on the terrain, type of workout you’re doing, and trainer you’re working with. It really does help create an immersive experience that adapts to what you’re seeing on screen, especially with that huge -3% to 15% incline/decline range. When you’re running in the woods, these adjustments really make you feel like the terrain is changing as you go.
Live Classes: New iFit classes are added every day, and each instructor brings their own flavor to the mix. A few minutes before each class, a barcode appears for you to scan with your smartphone; you can text your trainer throughout the class, and they respond in real-time once things get moving. It’s definitely a cool layer of interactivity, and I appreciated Jesse Corbin’s shout-outs as I dropped in on one of his jogging classes. For anyone who has a tough time getting motivated to exercise, these classes are a great way to garner extra energy through osmosis.
Note: Treadmill and elliptical owners have access to the same live classes, though most of these classes seem to be tailored for runners. Elliptical owners may lean on prerecorded classes that are filmed outdoors.
Ted Talks: As I explored the many iFit menus, I was delighted to find you can sweat it out to a growing library of Ted Talks. (As of this writing, there are about 75 in total.) I have a tough time working out in the morning, but since I’m always absorbing podcasts, taking a walk to a Ted Talk is the perfect way to get my day started. Whoever’s idea this was, give that person a raise.
Mindful Workouts: On a related note, iFit has a whole subcategory of relaxing workouts hosted by a diverse crew of certified mental health and fitness professionals. Basically, you do the walking, they do the talking. By the end of each workout, you’ll have lost a few calories and gained new perspectives on such topics as releasing self-doubt, learning to listen, relieving stress, managing anxiety, and many others.
Hiking, Walking Tours, and Outdoor Series: Ever feel like trekking through the Alps, Mount Fuji, Egypt, or the Grand Canyon? The Commercial 2950 is perfect for simulating outdoor hikes in high-res, and it’s a great way to travel the world without ever leaving your garage. Honestly, these hikes are the best solution I’ve found so far for combating the occasional cabin fever.
Challenges: These cardio sessions are grouped together with a common theme. For example, the Coast-to-Coast Elliptical Challenge consists of 15 interconnected workouts led by 11 different trainers, filmed in picturesque locations across the United States. It’s a brand-new way to gamify your fitness goals.
Marathon and Half-Marathon Training: As I mentioned above, I’m training for my first marathon, and there are myriad marathon-training programs to be found across iFit’s platform. For example, Tommy Rivs Puzey’s has a two-part Half Marathon Training Series (48 workouts over a span of eight weeks) that will send you packing across Bolivia and Japan
Non-Cardio Workouts: The Commercial 2950 was obviously built for running workouts, but you can also use that huge touchscreen to access other strength-training programs and yoga classes. In my testing, though, it’s pretty impossible to see the screen when you’re laying on the floor attempting to do crunches in sync with the trainer. You might be better off doing such workouts from your smart TV.
NordicTrack Commercial 2950 Treadmill review: Verdict
After taking the NordicTrack Commercial 2950 for a comprehensive test drive around the world — virtually, that is — my city-based cardio routine has already become more robust, and athletes like Tommy Rivs Puzey and Casey Field Gilbert have taught me how to develop better pacing and breathing techniques as my running journey continues.
Having a 22-inch HD touchscreen also adds a welcome touch of escapism to an already solid product, but the bigger the screen, the bigger the machine, and the NordicTrack Commercial 2950 is one behemoth of a treadmill. If you have the space for it, though, the extra real estate for your feet is hardly a bad thing, and if you’re already an avid runner, you’re sure to get your money’s worth from this bad boy in no time at all.
Long-story-long: it’s a hefty investment for sure, but if you’re an avid runner who lives in a place with unpredictable weather, your home gym will be better off with the NordicTrack Commercial 2950 in it.