AC motor:  Refers to a type of motor used inside treadmills.  This stands for alternating current. AC motors operate with a power source where the voltage alternates in magnitude and direction 60 times per second.   The rate of change is expressed as 60 Hz.   In some countries the motor changes 50 times per second and is expressed as a 50 Hz motor.

Anodized metal:  This is a type of metal that has been coated with a protective oxide.   Which strengthens the metal and makes it more resistant to damage.  This type of anodized aluminum is used most gym quality components.

Box Channel frame design:   Describes a type of frame construction that closes on all four sides. This is a superior form of construction used in top quality fitness equipment.  Channel frame describes the frame designs that with a cross section view looks like a square.   The open side part of the frame allows it to float. This type of design in less expensive and is a cheaper version than a box frame design used in lower quality fitness equipment.

CE. (Conformance European):  This is required by the European Union.   This CE label confirms that the product holding the label meets or exceeds the requirements under the European low voltage directive and electromagnetic compatibility directive.

Chopped DC power: This refers to a special kind of DC power which stands for direct current, which is used for motor speed controls in treadmills.   This is created by rapidly interrupting a DC power source.   To control the amount of power delivered to a component to moderate the amount of power from 0-100%.   This takes place so rapidly that the motor maintains at an almost constant speed during use.   Treadmills use either a DC motor or an AC motor.

Continuous duty horsepower:   This describes the maximum horsepower a treadmill motor can produce continuously.   This continuous rating is based on motor temperature limitations.

Crowned Rollers: This describes the type of rollers used on some treadmills. These rollers have thick centers and taper down on the ends.   This shape makes the running belt self tracking.   Which means the running belt is able to keep centered on the treadmill without the use of centering guides.  Which can damage the end of the treadmill running belt.

Current-limiting: An electronic feature that restricts electrical current flowing through a treadmill to minimize the chances of tripping off the circuit breaker.

Direct current (DC) motor:  Refers to a treadmill motor with a power source that is constant in voltage and whose electrical current travels in only one direction. The best example is an automobile battery which is the most common form of DC power.

Drive train:   This describes the mechanical system on a treadmill that transmits the power or the work from one place to another.   The drive train includes the running belt, the motor drive belt, rollers and the motor.   An example would be a cars transmission is part of the drive train because it transfers engine power to the car’s wheels.   The belt and pulley of the treadmill are part of the drive train because they transfer the motor power to the running belt.

Duty cycle:   This is used with chopped DC power, it’s the amount of time the electrical current flows.   Compared to the total cycle time that is if the chopped DC power supply is on for 20 microseconds and then off for 80 microseconds the duty cycle would be 20%.

ETL (Edison Testing Lab): Is a nationally recognized testing lab accredited under title 29 of the code of federal regulations.  ETL means that the products  meet or exceed the applicable safety requirements under the applicable safety standards.   You want to make sure that your treadmills and electrical fitness equipment has this ETL rating.

Eddie current:  This is a type of resistance technology used in top quality fitness equipment that works electromagnetically with a precision balanced aluminum disk that spins freely between the variable magnetic fields. Because it has fewer moving parts and no friction eddy current resistant technology is extremely reliable and durable. Requires little maintenance, and allows systems to employ the technology to operate smoothly and quietly.

Ergonomics:   This refers to the science of designing fitness equipment to better fit the human body.

FCC:   Stands for Federal communications commission.   This is mandated under title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations. FCC means the fitness equipment has been documented that the product meets or exceeds the limits for both conducted and radiated electromagnetic emissions in accordance with part 15B of title 47.

Fall rate:   This relates to stair climber fitness equipment and the consistency at which  footplates move downward while in use.

Fall-rate center: This refers to the electronic feature on the stair-climbing machine that guarantees that the actual climbing really matches the user’s program desired climbing rate. This feature works by constantly adjusting the magnet current up or down. Which in turn increases or decreases the eddy current until the actual disk speed matches the desired speed.

Footprint:  This refers to the amount of floor space a fitness machine requires inside the fitness center.

Ground effects impact control system:   This is a trademarked term by the Precor Company used on low impact treadmills. This minimizes shock that can lead to stress on the body parts of the user of the treadmill. The treadmill running deck floats on specially formulated rubber inserts that cushion the impact and control uncomfortable lateral motion.  This ground effects system is designed to absorb impact without recoil and responds similarly to any user whether the person is running or walking.

Heart rate monitor:  This calculates the number of times the heart beats inside the user on the fitness equipment.

Horsepower:   This is a measure of power calculated by multiplying the torque times the speed and dividing that by a constant based on the unit of measure used.   At the same torque, or pull on the running belt on the treadmill, a reduction of speed results in a proportional reduction in horsepower.

Intermittent duty horsepower rating: This refers to the maximum horsepower on a treadmill that the motor can produce for a short time. But cannot be held continuously due to temperature limitations.

Lifetime warranty: By definition this means the fitness machine has a warranty forever.   By definition whoever promises a lifetime warranty is a liar and is using lies to persuade a buyer to buy an inferior product by using a good sales pitch.

Load: This refers to the amount of electricity or mechanical power that is required to operate a fitness machine.   Usually the power required to hold you op while climbing or to move you on a treadmill while running.   This refers to the load.

Phenolic:   This refers to a plastic resin used on some treadmill running decks that permeates the wood of the running deck making waxing unnecessary.

Power: The amount of energy a fitness machine uses per second. Power is calculated by multiplying current times the electrical voltage.

Remanufacture:  Remanufacturing is repairing, and restoring equipment to meet or exceed original Equipment Manufacturer’s (OEM).

Refurbish:  To clean and beautify.

Recumbent: This describes the position of a user on an exercise cycle.   The user is sitting with legs extended in the front.  Recumbent cycling works all the muscles of the legs thighs and the buttocks. It is an excellent exercise for people with high blood pressure since the elevated leg position helps blood circulation and reduces cardiovascular stress.

Target heart rate zone:   This refers to the heart rate of the fitness user while exercising.  This target range is determined by the American College of sports Medicine to be optimal for improving aerobic fitness. The formula for obtaining a target heart rate is equal to 220 minus the users age times 60% to 85%.  Depending on the fitness users physical condition.

Torque: This refers to the twisting force at the motor shaft that drives the rollers on a treadmill and pulls the running belt.  The amount of torque is one of the variables used to calculate the amount of horsepower required. Low torque motors are used on home treadmills. High torque motors are used on expensive health club treadmills.

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