This JTX Club Max review takes a look at one of the most premium models in the JTX Fitness range. Keep reading to see how it stacks up.
Running is one of the best, most accessible forms of exercise going. It builds lower body strength and endurance, cardiovascular capacity, fitness and health, and can be an incredibly cathartic release from a stressful life (we’ve all experienced a ‘runner’s high’, right?).
However, it’s also tough going at times. This only gets worse the more we do it and the more we age. It involves a lot of impact into the ankles, knees, and hips – my physiotherapist has an ultramarathon runner of whom she despairs, as he is slowly (actually, not that slowly) eroding his body.
It isn’t always convenient, either. It’s lovely of a warm, summer’s evening when the weather is good and there is plenty of light. However, grim, wintry, dark evenings are less appealing. They can be outright dangerous, too, as rain slicked or icy pavements upset your footing and strangers lurk in the shadows.
This is why we have treadmills, of course. They are fantastic. A treadmill’s belt will generally be built with shock absorbent technology. Your joints will therefore thank you for using them either from time to time or for the majority of your training.
You can also use them at your leisure, in the comfort of your own home, whilst watching TV in the warmth.
What isn’t to love?
Though there are many affordable treadmills out there (and I’ll run through a decent one below), there is a time and a place to spend the money if you have it. This is where the JTX Club Max comes into it. Knocking on six grand, it’s the kind of machine that I would generally expect to see in a high-end gym. However, if you’re serious about running, and have the budget and space to spare, it’s worth every penny (and then some). I would recommend it to anyone.
First Impressions Of The JTX Club Max
Honestly, my first impression is that the Club Max is expensive! It costs around six grand, or, in other words, about a quarter of the average person’s annual (pre-tax!) salary. This gave me two immediate feelings: one of disbelief, that a humble seeming treadmill could cost so much; one of excitement, that I got to try it out.
And trust me, there is nothing humble about the Club Max. It lives up to its name – it really is the kind of machine you would expect to get in a leisure centre, gym, or sports club. It’s one of the sleekest, tech-heavy, ultra-speccy machines I’ve ever had the pleasure of looking at.
It also looks gorgeous, which is always a plus in something you’ll likely be keeping in your home.
JTX Club Max Specs And Features
JTX themselves bill the Club Max as an ‘ultimate performance commercial treadmill’. They certainly price it that way. Therefore, we need to know that it does what it says on the tin – it needs to be an ultimate performance model, able to deliver on its hefty price tag through some outstanding specs and features.
Luckily, it does.
Let’s start with the interface. The Club Max gives you a very clear cut 10” LCD monitor, on which all the stats you will want for your training will be displayed – time spent training, pulse, speed, incline, distance, calories burned, and so forth.
This is particularly useful for heart rate training, a form of exercise at which the Club Max seems particularly to exceed. It has a particularly accurate monitor which will help
you to keep in the zone you need (more on this below), whilst their 24 pre-set training programmes, all developed by top-class personal trainers, give you maximum cardio benefits. You also get the option of three custom programmes, which is a touch that I always admire – you can set the speed and incline however you need it.
The Club Max is also incredibly heavy weight – it’s very durable, with a heavy duty steel frame and an impressive maximum user weight of 180kg (twice my weight, and I’m chunky!). This means that even the heaviest of athletes will be able to use it – I reckon Eddie Hall or Brian Shaw would be fine on it – whilst lighter weight athletes will benefit from a completely grounded running experience.
The running belt is also impressive. It’s a 3.2mm thick commercial super-grip belt, measuring an impressive 154 x 58 cm, backed up by a reinforced 6 HP motor, with fantastic shock absorption (again, more on this below). The whole thing measures 212 (l) x 93 (w) x 150 cm (h).
It’s not all heft, however. Performance is superb. It can hit up to 25km per hour, which is more than anyone will ever need, with a fully automated incline of up to 15%.
You can choose the standard, 3 year in home warranty, or have JTX create you a bespoke commercial warranty.
Using The JTX Club Max
I want to start off talking about the heart rate training.
As above, it’s great. I love heart rate training in general (mostly because I’m a bit of a geek for stats, but also because it’s incredibly effective). The Club Max features the latest heart rate training technology. You can connect to the Club Max via a heart rate chest strap, and then the treadmill will automatically adjust speed and incline to keep you training in your desired heart rate zone. The computer keeps track of everything.
Heart rate training has rarely been simpler.
You can always use the inbuilt sensors, which seemed surprisingly accurate (these kinds of sensors aren’t always too reliable). However, I would invest in a Polar Chest Strap, which is entirely compatible with the Club Max via its built in Polar Receiver. A chest strap will allow you more freedom of movement, which is of course important in any workout.
Then there is the treadmill build itself. Every element has been ergonomically designed. It is also full of the kind of small tweaks and additions whose absence you may not notice in lesser machines, but whose presence really make the Club Max.
For instance, you can move the treadmill without lifting the full frame, which is vital in any home gym set up. the quick speed and incline buttons will streamline training efforts, requiring minimum movement and focus when adjusting. The monitor has been placed perfectly to stay within your eyeline no matter how hard you train, making it easy to track your stats without breaking form at all.
The belt was also incredibly comfortable, making the Club Max ideal for anyone looking to stay gentle on the joints (which we should all be doing, really). It has an eight-point commercial quality shock system and variable-durometer elastomer cushions. This is a pretty fancy way of saying that it is about the best shock absorption system I’ve come across in any home treadmill.
Though I’m on the shorter side, I always look for a belt to be spacious, too. I know plenty of taller athletes who struggle to get a proper stride going on lesser models. The Club Max is good, here. The deck is on the larger size and the frame’s ergonomic design gives a real sense of space.
I have rarely been so comfortable on a treadmill. I have rarely, if ever, found it so easy to accurately manipulate my heartrate whilst training.
JTX Club Max Alternative – The Confidence Ultra 200
If you have a budget that you want to stick to, and you still want a treadmill, don’t worry. Given how good many cheaper treadmills are, you will always be able to get a decent one to suit you. Many treadmills are inexpensive without being cheap, actually costing you very little yet giving you an awful a lot.
You get quite a lot with the Confidence Ultra 200. It is a decent electric treadmill that you could use happily at home or in the office. It also has a really slick touch sensitive screen, showing speed, distance, time, calories, and heart rate – thanks to a set of surprisingly accurate pulse sensors. There are some really high quality speakers built into it, so that you can listen to your favourite media as you get a good sweat going.
You also get 3 levels of incline with it – 2°, 3.5° and 5 °. These are all manually adjusted, not automatic, but this is one of the areas you will need to compromise for the money.
The Confidence Ultra 200 comes with 12 pre-set programmes across a range of styles, which will help to challenge you and keep you engaged. You can also go manual, choosing speed from a range of 1 to 10km per hour. Though this is far from the speediest treadmill you will ever find, it will allow you to keep a solid, fast jog going.
The machine itself is also well-designed, with an eye to saving you space. It folds up for easy storage, with front wheels for ease of movement. It measures in at 70 x 61 x 127cm when folded up, and 130 x 61 x 116cm when in use.
It’s pretty light, at 27kg, but can take a hefty maximum user weight of 110kg, with a runway size of 100 x 36cm, meaning that even the largest of us can give it a good go, whilst the smallest of us will be able to move it around without much bother.
Check out the Confidence Ultra 200 here.
Honestly, this is not an expensive model. Or rather, it will set you back a pretty penny, but it will deliver on its price tag and then some. It is one of the best at-home treadmills I’ve ever used – in fact, it’s one of the best treadmills I’ve ever used anywhere, full stop.
If you’ve got the funds, this is the one for you. Enjoy it.