SOURCE: ICON Health & Fitness

November 26, 2007 12:34 ET

New Reflex Deck™ Cuts the Pounding and Trauma of Running

Revolutionary Cushioning Technology Puts Spring in Each Step

LOGAN, UT--(Marketwire - November 26, 2007) - NordicTrack's revolutionary new Reflex Deck™ technology puts an end to running-induced lower-body pain. The latest treadmill features a flexible, sophisticated deck that absorbs impact and actually transmits that energy back into your run.

Most treadmills have cushioning material between the deck and frame to absorb shock. But the NordicTrack Apex™ 8500 and 6500 Treadmills are different because the deck itself absorbs impact and gives back energy. In an industry test, people running on Icon-cushioned treadmills feel up to 36 percent less impact than those running on other cushioned treadmills. The NordicTrack Reflex Deck™ treadmills pad your run in a totally unique way, so you can run harder, faster and longer than ever before.

The real secret is the deck, which arcs up slightly when at rest. When an exerciser touches down on it, the arc gives and flattens, cushioning the step. When the step lets up, the curved deck bounces back into shape, propelling that energy into the next stride. The deck uses the same technology as a custom wood-core snowboard -- a special method of layering and pressing wood so that it's both durable and flexible.

"This is a phenomenal treadmill for anyone with injury or pain from the trunk down, because it provides the best cushioning in the fitness equipment market," says Heather Guymon, a certified personal trainer who helped test the product. "This helps the average person experience jogging or running and the calorie burn that comes with it in a very low-impact fashion."

As many runners can attest, the pounding action of jogging or running can lead to joint pain and even long-term damage. In fact, Medicine and Science in Sport and Exercise found that 56 percent of older runners and 37 percent of younger runners report running injuries including stress fractures, sore joints, and muscle strain from overuse. The same study found that older runners lose much of their bodies' shock-absorbing capacity through the natural aging process.

The NordicTrack Reflex Deck™ puts the enjoyment back in running, bucking the stereotype that treadmills are hard on the knees. Comfortable, cushioned runs will allow you to use your treadmill more frequently and for longer periods of time, so you can burn calories, strengthen your heart and get fitter faster.

"It feels like you're running on a firm trampoline," Guymon says. "It really springs back and can even help you run faster."

To create the patented Reflex Deck, NordicTrack's research and development team experimented with and tested several different materials, material combinations and lamination techniques. Researchers adjusted the thickness of each ply, the number of layers and the orientation of each ply to achieve maximum strength, flex and rebound. The result: a 12-ply custom-laminated layered wood deck, created by heating and pressing the deck into its distinctive arc shape. The deck was tested for stability and endurance with one million steps from a 700-pound mechanical walker (clocking in at more than twice the deck's 325-lb. user weight limit), guaranteeing a product that will last for years.

The NordicTrack Apex series treadmills also turn your workout into a concert-like experience with the Intermix Acoustics™ Premium Sound System and an MP3 Music Port. Simply plug in your MP3 player and let your favorite tunes engulf you -- sans sweaty earbuds, tangled wires or falling iPods. The combination of high-end speakers and subwoofer components gives you crystal-clear sound quality, even if you crank the music up loud.

Exclusive iFit® Workout Card Technology allows you to plug your own personal trainer right into the console. Each card is designed by a certified personal trainer and automatically adjusts your speed and incline for an amazing, results-specific workout. The voice of the personal trainer talks to you through the speakers, guiding you through your workout.

Other features on the NordicTrack Apex 8500:

3.5 DurX™ CHP Commercial-Drive Motor: allows you to exercise for longer periods of time, while maintaining smooth, consistent operation. Employing an internal fan, this extra-powerful motor reduces noise as it cools internal components and extends the motor's life. (The NordicTrack Apex 6500 model has a 3.0 CHP motor)

0-12 MPH 1-Touch™ Speed: lets you instantly change the speed of the treadmill between 0 and 12 MPH with the single touch of a button. No more tediously scrolling through options!

0-12% 1-Touch™ Incline: allows you to immediately and conveniently change the incline of your run.

20" x 60" 2-ply Commercial-Grade Treadbelt: operates more smoothly and quietly than a traditional treadmill belt. Roomy, two-ply construction makes for a more comfortable run. (The NordicTrack Apex 6500 model has a 20" x 55" treadbelt)

350-lb. Weight Capacity: supports the toughest workouts for many years of use. (The NordicTrack Apex 6500 model has a 325-lb. weight capacity)

Club-Design CardioGrip™ Heart Rate Monitor: conveniently and accurately monitors your heart rate with sensors built right into the handlebars. Meet your fitness goals by ensuring you're always in the right training zone!

Lifetime Motor Warranty: guarantees the treadmill motor for the lifetime of the machine. Warranty also includes one year of parts and labor coverage.

Grafixx™ High-Res Display: utilizes motion-captured models to let you watch yourself walk, jog or run. The large, easy-to-read screen also monitors your speed, time, pace, distance, incline, calories burned, carbs burned and pulse.

Odometer with MyMiles™ plus Profile Memory: counts the total number of miles traveled over time while tracking your current workout distance. Sharing your treadmill? The Apex 6500 allows you to set up two profiles on the same machine.

AutoBreeze™ Fan(s): quietly keeps you cool with four fan settings to choose from: low, medium, high or AutoBreeze™, which automatically changes the airflow to match your running speed.

SpaceSaver® Design: makes storage a breeze. Simply raise the spring-loaded deck and lock it into place, using built-in wheels to stow the treadmill in a closet or storage area.

The NordicTrack Apex™ 8500 Treadmill is available at www.nordictrack.com for $1,999. The Reflex Deck™ technology is also available in the Apex™ 6500 for $1,599.

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