Proform 505 CST Treadmill Review

In 2016, Proform 505 CST was resigned with an alluring sleek design with slight inclusions to the preceding model. It is considered as one of the most favored home treadmills with a fair price tag, yet durable, sturdy and convenient for home use as Proform is a renowned brand and set behind its products.

It’s a beginner level treadmill exclusively manufactured for walkers to mild runners to shed extra pounds of weight, to maintain or to improve their cardiovascular health, however, it’s not for intense exercisers or marathon racers.

Furthermore, it has terrific features like 12 workout programs that inspire you to challenge yourself and beat your desired goals whether its perfect body shape or muscle toning, vigorous heart, building stamina, or working out as a starter for more intense workouts. The space-saver optimized folding design and the broad range of preset workout programs make it a leading choice for home use.

In this review, I’ve wrapped all the aspects of Proform 505 CST including its stand out features and benefits that make it the finest fit for home use for the beginner to intermediate users. Some limitations and weaknesses are also there, but they are minor and not a dealbreaker for good reasons.

Let’s delve in ……

ProForm PFTL60916 505 CST (2016 Model)

Proform 505 CST Treadmill Features and Benefits


The 2.5 CHP motor which runs the machine is smooth, powerful and long-lasting. What makes it stand out is its self-cooling drive system which grants you to perform prolonged workout sessions at fairly high intensities without heating up the motor and eventually extending the life of the motor. It can quickly adapt the speed and incline changes within a few seconds.

Being fairly quiet when in operation, it doesn’t annoy your ears and you’ll be able to enjoy your music, TV show without much struggle. However, you’ll have to consider your weight and exercise regime that might make a little buzz.

In short, it may not be the most powerful motor, but for a starter treadmill for home use, it’s satisfactory and 25 years of warranty on it gives you enough confidence to rely on it even in a long span.


The track rushes at a peak speed of 10 miles per hour (6 minutes mile) which is challenging for most users like beginners and senior exercisers. However, this speed seems not so effective for serious runners.

The speed buttons are spread out logically and you can transition the speed effortlessly that match your specific fitness objective by pressing Quick Digital Buttons – 1 to 10. As a result, you can continue your walk/run without breaking your stride.

However, if you require slight increments rather than one complete mile, you can leverage the arrows keys to make 0.1 or 0.5 mile changes (say 5.2 or 6.5). Even though it’s a little feature to say, most people will probably find it remarkably helpful.

Incline Percent

The deck goes up to a maximum of 10% incline. Adding a little incline turns a boring session into a challenging experience and promotes faster calories burn and improves muscle toning.

The incline is automated and just like speed, it can also be adjusted either by Quick Incline Control Buttons from 1 to 10 or arrow keys. You can try different combinations of speed and incline to make your own workout programs, however, within your heart rate zone.

Running Area and Dimensions

The running area is one of the highly discussed features of a treadmill. Even though Proform 505 CST is constructed for space-restricted training areas, it has a satisfactory running area 55” x 20” (L x W) to walk or run on it. It seems people under 6 feet will have a satisfying roomy area to make enjoyable long strides without the fear of falling off the belt even while running.

However, taller people (more than 6 feet) may feel a little confined while running on it. But, walking should be convenient for them too.

When this treadmill is fully assembled, its measure 61” height x 36.5” width x 73.5” length making it a best fit for home use.

User Weight Capacity

It holds up to 325 pounds of user weight which is on the higher end of home treadmills. Plus, this heavyweight support is a clear sign of the quality of the treadmill itself.

Folding Design

Its foldable design upholds the fact that it’s designed for home use. The deck is a little heavy to lift it up but you could do it by yourself quickly and easily. The track folds upward and the length reduces to almost half keeping the width same obviously. However, the deck stands a few inches above the dashboard.

Moreover, it has transport wheels to move it out of the way for a clutter-free space. However, its recommended to place it where you wouldn’t require to fold it frequently.

Workout Programs

Most people find walking or running on the treadmill quite boring, maybe because they don’t have a daily goal to accomplish and probably you have the same feelings. Proform considered this fact and did a great job of adding 18 built-in workout programs that are developed by certified personal trainers. The programs are divided into four basic categories which are

  • Calorie Burn
  • Intensity
  • Incline
  • Speed

So, this collection of workout programs provides a diversity of challenges to anyone who is serious about physical fitness and health. Also, it’s a great idea to do your exercise regime, when you have a target in front of your eyes.

Furthermore, there are direct keys on the console for each category and the treadmill adjusts its speed and incline level automatically for the selected workout program without you to set them manually. Though you can do that if you have your own priorities or medical recommendations.

iFit Live Compatible

Besides 18 preset programs, this treadmill is also compatible with iFit – an advance digital training program. It connects you to the online world and gives you an unlimited variety of choices to work on.

It is the only way to manage your profile online and keeping a record of your daily progress. Speed and incline adjust automatically to mimic the real landscape. However, to use this feature, you’ll need to create an iFit account (charges apply).

If you’re not interested in iFit and want to use the machine as a simple treadmill, you can bypass the iFit activation by pressing the ifit button for a few seconds (30 seconds probably).

Improved Display Screen

To keep an eye on your progress during your workout sessions, there is an improved 5 inch backlit screen, which displays all the necessary information including time, current speed, distance traveled, incline level, vertical distance, calories burned and heart rate. It is wide enough and bright to see the stats effortlessly.

Heart Rate Monitoring

For your heart rate monitoring, there are EKG grip pulse heart rate sensors built into the transversal bars. To track your heart rate in real-time, you’ll have to grasp the sensors for a few seconds and reading will be shown on the screen immediately.

This feature enables you to stay in your best training zone for accomplishing your fitness and weight loss goals. It’s a great feature for heart patients or people facing any heart conditions.

Proshox Cushioning

Constructed with Proform’s Proshox Cushioning, the 505 CST makes your landings softer and smoother on the deck area as compared to outdoor hard surfaces.

So, you feel less pressure on your joints such as knees, ankles, feet and back. This low impact empowers you to perform longer sessions with faster recovery time.

Balanced Rollers

Two 1.9” non-flex balanced rollers move the tread belt back and forth. They decrease tension and provide smoother running on the belt. So, you don’t tremble or feel unnecessary vibrations with minimum wear and tear.

Audio Compatibility

To make your workouts a little entertaining, Proform 505 CST has a built-in sound system consisting of two 2” Intermix Acoustics speakers. The audio system is compatible with your iPod or MP3 players via the audio auxiliary port.

So, you can enjoy your favorite tunes without worrying about tangled earphone wires or earbuds that fall out of your ears. Though the sound quality doesn’t beat any dedicated sound system, its louder than smartphones/Mp3.

Integrated Tablet Holder

If you love to watch TV shows, seasons a lot, you would like to keep your tablet or smartphone right in front of you. A tablet holder comes with this model, so you can enjoy your exercise and entertainment simultaneously.

Water bottle Holders and Storage Cubbies

Proform 505 CST has two rightly placed water bottle holders to hold your bottles and cups, so you don’t need to get off the track to grab your drink or water. Moreover, there are storage cubbies to put your phone, extras and face cloth.

Stop Button and Safety Key

Just like other treadmills, Proform 505 CST has a STOP button to pause your workout. And, for safety purpose, it has a magnetic key for a quick stop just in case you start feeling dizziness or falling. This feature comes handy for older citizens.


Talking about maintenance, it comes pre-lubricated and doesn’t require any lubrication for at least a few months. However, just in case, you feel it’s not working smoothly, it is advised to lubricate it using only good quality lubricants for the belt. Moreover, you should keep it clean and remove dust to get into its interior to make it last longer.


One best thing about Proform 505 CST is that it comes with a lifetime frame warranty, 25-year motor warranty and 1-year parts and labor warranty. It is remarkable to see such warranty package by a reputable brand at this price especially the lifetime warranty on frame is a deal maker.


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Some Limitations or Flaws

Assembly Can Take Time

The reason to place assembly under this heading is that it can take up to 2 hours to assemble it completely. However, the instructions with clear pictures in the manual are straightforward to follow and if you‘re great at tightening bolts and nuts, it is possible to reduce time near to 1 hour. Moreover, it’s better to get the help of another person if it looks heavy to you.

If it’s still not acceptable, you can hire the expert assembly to do all the hassles if it is offered in your region. But, paying extra is little unhappy when you’re already paying for the machine.

Manufacturer Defects

It’s very common to see manufacturer defects for almost all treadmills for this price range. Sometimes, parts arrive broken. So, warranty plays a heavy role in making your final choice. And Proform 505 CST has an impressive warranty package at this price level.

Moreover, the customer service falls into gray area because some buyers got instant fixes while others complain of long wait times. Again, it’s a common problem with most treadmills, and should only affect a fraction of buyers.

No User Profile

Sadly, it doesn’t allow its users to create their profile or creating custom programs by putting their height, weight and age. However, this feature doesn’t work accurately even on those treadmills that do have it. So, it’s not a solid deal-breaker. Also, there is no way to export your workout data except the iFit which creates an online profile.


A few other things that you should know, however, they are not flaws, are worth mentioning just in case you want to buy Proform 505 CST, are

  • There is no cooling fan.
  • It doesn’t come with a wireless strap for heart rate monitoring. But, according to user manual, it has the ability to get connected to a wireless chest heart rate monitor if you buy one separately.
  • The deck only goes upward, there is no negative incline.
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At a Glance

  • Motor: 2.5 CHP
  • Speed: 0 – 10 mph
  • Incline: 0 – 10%
  • Running Area: 55″ L x 20″ W
  • Dimensions: 73.5″ L x 36.5 W x 61″ H
  • Weight limit: 325 lbs
  • Machine weight: 203 lbs
  • Workout Programs: 18 build-in
  • Warranty: Lifetime on frame, 25 years on motor, 1 year on parts and labor
  • Foldable
  • iFit compatible


  • Best value for the price
  • A great treadmill for beginners and intermediate users
  • Durable, reliable and easy to use
  • Quick digital incline and speed control are handy
  • Weight support is pretty high – 325 lbs
  • The machine is equipped with helpful additional features such as 18 built-in workout programs, heart rate monitoring and cushioning.
  • iFit compatibility and tablet holder are an extra pluses
  • Compact and folding design allows you to save space
  • Impressive warranty package especially lifetime on frame and 25 years on motor
  • Easy and straightforward assembly


  • Running area might be a problem for taller and giant user (more than 6 feet)
  • No wireless heart monitoring and cooling fan
  • Might be little noisy
  • Little heavy to assemble and may require 2 people to assembly taking up to 2 hours
  • You can’t save or input user information like age, weight, height etc.
  • Customer service is reported to be slow to respond

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The Bottom Line

In a nutshell, the Proform 505 CST has all the features that most people look for in a treadmill, yet affordable. The track runs at a maximum speed of 10 miles per hour, inclines up to 10 percent and has a 2.5 CHP motor that can easily adjust settings within a few seconds.

The machine comes equipped with 18 interval programs and buttons on the console are clearly laid out. The console has two conventionally placed water bottle holders and media shelves to hold your drinks and magazines/books respectively to make it easy to read while your workout. An additional tablet holder is attached to the top of the console to enable you to enjoy your favorite Netflix season or TV show say Ellen show.

The 55 long track belt and 325 pounds weight capacity accommodates most walkers and runners, however, not so good for over 6 feet taller runners. The warranty is probably the best for treadmills in its price range – a lifetime frame warranty, a 25-years motor warranty, and 1-year parts and labor warranty. Like other quality treadmills, the belt or deck folds up to save space when not in use giving you some extra room.

Moreover, the absence of scrolling and the ability to change settings effortlessly in mid-stride means there is no break in the total workout experience. It is something that both an amateur athlete and a serious road runner will find as just the thing for a comprehensive running workout. The durability of the motor simply adds to the other benefits.


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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Does it require iFit subscription to start the treadmill?

In simple words, “NO”. You don’t need to subscribe to iFit to turn on or to use the treadmill. For the first time use, just hold the iFit button for 20 to 30 seconds and wait for the beep, the machine will be activated.

2. How loud is it?

As compared to other treadmills, not so loud, but relatively close to quiet treadmills. Actually, it’s the belt that makes little noise due to friction, but the motor is fairly quiet. However, it doesn’t hurt your ears or irritates other family members when you run on it.

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