Nordictrack X22i Treadmill Review

Nordictrack X22i Review

This review will cover everything you need to know about the Nordictrack X22i Treadmill by iFIT. The Nordictrack X22i is an incline treadmill that hosts a variety of iFIT workouts, including running, hiking, power-walking, and more. Is this treadmill the best fit for your home gym? Let us find out.

This Nordictrack X22i review will be broken down into three sections:

  • The first section will be my thoughts on the X22i design and hardware. This part of the review will always stay relevant unless iFIT comes out with a completely new version. 
  • The second section will be my thoughts on the software and connected fitness platform. This portion may become outdated over time as iFIT continues to update and improve its software. I will post any updates to this review, as well as others, when important changes are made.
     
  • The third section of this Nordictrack X22i review will be my overall thoughts on the treadmill and who I think it is a good fit for.

X22i design

We commonly refer to he X22i in my household as “The Beast” since it is such a large and heavy piece of equipment. It measures 70.2 inches long, 39.6 inches wide, 71.6 inches high, and weighs close to 400lbs.

When setting up your X22i, you will need to make sure you have a spot picked out with adequate room above and behind you. In case you fall off while doing some hill climbs at a 40-degree incline.

You also probably do not want to have to move this thing very often. We have moved it a couple of times, as there are wheels in the front. But it is still a “Beast.”

The Nordictrack X22i can reach up to 12 mph, incline up to 40 degrees, and decline to -6 degrees. This flexibility is really cool as it can automatically match any incline or decline you encounter while on scenic runs.

I know for many people, running can be tough. Having this incline option allows you to get a good workout in without all the impact of running. 

Speaking of impact, the X22i belt has what Nordictrack calls a “Reflex Cushioning System.” I found this to be excellent in providing an ideal amount of cushion to help minimize the impact on your ankles and knees.

Usually, my calves start aching pretty bad when I go for longer runs. Thankfully, that did not happen on the X22i. The cushioning system made a big difference for me and I really felt like I could run for so much longer. 

Screen

The Nordictrack X22i includes a large 22-inch HD touch screen. It looks great and does not smudge nearly as much as I typically see with other machines. The screen does a great job of not picking up fingerprints, but unfortunately, it never fully turns off.

It would be fine if the screen went completely dark after using it. But right now it only dims a bit. Even when the screen is dim, it can still be bright for some people. You will want to store it in a room that does not shine into a bedroom, or it will be annoying.

There is a power button under the treadmill that you can always use to turn off the screen, but it is somewhat difficult to reach. Like many other Nordictrack devices, the treadmill was not designed in a way to be turned off very much. 

Control center

Below the screen are fans to keep you cool while running and two 3-inch speakers. There is also a magnet key, which is included for safety, that the treadmill cannot be started without. A strap is connected to the key, so if you have it on correctly, the treadmill will stop should you fall off.

Surrounding the screen is a control center where you can adjust your incline, speed, and the fans. You can also somewhat control the sound from here too, but that can be a little clunky. When you use the music buttons to adjust the volume, it brings up the whole music screen. This is not a bad thing, but it can be sort of disruptive to the workout if you are only trying to increase the volume.

The overall structure of the control center, I feel, is just way bigger than necessary. They are so big that it makes using the phone or bottle holder difficult. And the bottle holder is already difficult to reach if you are short.

Nordictrack X22i treadmill belt

If you are very tall, there is something else you might want to consider when looking at the X22i. That is how they have designed the screen holder. You can see that the large screen holder is bolted into the treadmill a foot or so in and not at the very end.

This essentially cuts down the amount of useable tread on the 5-foot belt, making it closer to 4-feet. This is still long enough for tall people to run on, but it gives you less room for error if you accidentally slow down.

If you look at the upgraded version of the X22i, which is the X32i, you will see it is similar but has some different features. The X32i includes a 32-inch screen, and the belt is 5 inches longer. The screen holders are also bolted much closer to the edge of the treadmill, giving you even more room to run on. These are not huge deciding factors, but they are definitely worth considering if you are taller and would feel more comfortable with extra belt space to run on.

Treadmill grips

The X22i also has several bars you can hold onto from the side if needed. One is directly in front of you, and the two sled grips are a bit higher up. The X22i includes workouts specifically for the sled grips. The treadmill is essentially stopped, and you drive the tread with your feet while holding on to the sled grips. These are similar to doing sled pushes, only with using the treadmill belt.

These are not workouts I would do all of the time, but they are a great and useful training tool that I really have not seen on other treadmills. I just wish the sled grips were designed in a way that would not limit access to my phone and water bottle. 

iFIT software

The X22i software is essentially the iFIT program. Like most iFIT enabled equipment, the X22i comes with a free year of the iFIT family plan. This allows you to create five total accounts and is currently valued at $396.

I was really pleased with what iFIT offers on the X22i. You can choose from thousands of classes with great coaches that take you all over the globe. I have run all around Costa Rica and have almost completed an 18-part hiking series that takes you through the trek to Everest Base Camp.

X22i workout selection

The workouts are very thoroughly developed and provide a good variety of progressions that mix up recovery runs with interval training. There are also classes to prepare you for a 5K, a 10K, and beyond.

The scenic runs, which is the vast majority of the classes and programs, are top-notch. They are easily a whole level better than any other scenic run classes I have tried from any other company. 

They also offer studio-type running classes and live running classes, but I do not think these are nearly as good. I think a big part of what makes a studio class good is the music. Although iFIT has improved their music a lot in the past few months, you still only pick a radio station of the genre you like. Which is fine and works out well, but it is nothing really amazing or exciting.

The live classes are definitely more interesting. The coaches do a great job of engaging with live runners and asking them to text and answer questions during the class. This is sort of hard to do while running on a treadmill, but I appreciate they are trying to engage with everyone.

Smart Adjust 

When you take a class, the treadmill will automatically speed up and slow down the incline and decline based on the terrain you are running on. This is great, but it can also be a bit problematic if you are a better or worse runner than what the workout is designed for.

With Smart Adjust on, you can adjust the difficulty as you take the class until you find the perfect spot. Then iFIT will remember this and automatically adjust all of your future workouts as it learns more about your preferred settings. 

Active Pulse

The Active Pulse, when on, uses your heart rate data to increase and decrease difficulty. So if a portion of a workout is designed for a set heart rate zone, it will see how your heart rate is trending and adjust accordingly to ensure you stay in the correct zone.

Both of these features work exceptionally well. If you have both Active Pulse and Smart Adjust on, I believe Active Pulse is what takes over. So make sure that it is off if you are trying to use Smart Adjust. Personally, I find Smart Adjust to work better for me on the interval workouts as the adjustments seem better.

Active Pulse sometimes does not work well for me on shorter intervals because it will see my heart rate too low and jack up the speed. Then my heart rate will be too high, and it will jump back down. It is just hard to base training off of heart rate when you are doing short intervals, so I definitely prefer Smart Adjust for those workouts.

For longer, more steady-state recovery runs, I definitely really like the Active Pulse. I think it is just great that both options are available, and I am not forced to pick one or the other. I can really figure out what works best for me, and it really makes every class more enjoyable. 

Google Map routes

There is also a Google map feature that allows you to create your own custom routes. As you run, it will take you through Google images of your route and adjust your X22i to the actual elevation. This feature is cool, but it is not something I think I would do unless I wanted to prepare for a specific run or route. Then, this feature is awesome because you can learn a course and the true elevation really well.

It is great you can view your stats after each run. Unfortunately, they do not have a great stat or badge collection on the X22i that allows you to sort through everything. They sort of have one online, but it is not great. I believe they will hopefully be improving it soon.  

The iFIT membership includes access to all of the iFIT workouts. You can take the workouts via the app, your phone, tv, and other iFIT enabled devices. You can also jump into hundreds of strength, yoga, and other programs off of the treadmill.

My thoughts

Overall, I think the Nordictrack X22i is a great treadmill. I think there is a lot here that almost everyone would really like: from the cushioning on the belt that helps decrease the impact on your joints to the huge incline range so that people who are not runners but would like a tough hike can still get a great workout in; from the huge amount of classes to choose from, to features like Active Pulse and Smart Adjust that make the workouts perfect for your fitness level. 

The only concern I have about the Nordictrack X22i that I think needs to be considered is how large and heavy it is. If you do not have much room or need something you can move easily, it might not be the best fit for you. I also think that if you are tall, you might really appreciate having a longer belt, which the more expensive X32i provides. Given that the Nordictrack X32i is longer and the screen is much bigger, it definitely is worth considering as this is a big investment. I think for many, the X32i would be a better option if you can afford it. 

The other thing to consider is iFIT is not the best yet at live studio classes or having great music playlists. So if that is a priority to you, it might not be the best option. On the other hand, if you like outdoor or scenic rides, you cannot get any better than this. 

Conclusion

With all that being said, I am loving the X22i, and I really enjoy using it. I have both the Nordictrack S22i Bike and the Nordictrack Vault, and the Nordictrack X22i is by far my favorite. If you are looking for a treadmill, this is definitely one of the best options available. I think it will continue to get better from here as iFIT continues to make improvements, especially around stat tracking, their UI, and layout. But even if no improvements came, I would still be happy because what is currently here is excellent. 

As I mentioned, my review on the X22i hardware probably will not change. But the software for devices like these is always getting big updates, and sometimes they are big enough to change my thoughts.

I will continue checking on the Nordictrack X22i regularly and post links to articles and/or video updates when big enough changes are made.

Buy Nordictrack X22i Treadmill here.


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