February 2, 2016
Last year, I posted an article entitled “How To Turn Your Desk Into A Calorie Decimating Workstation“, and created the video “How Should You Stand At A Standing Desk?”
See, when I set about to modify my standing workstation into a treadmill desk, I ran into a two big problems, namely…
1. Treadmills Have Motors.
Treadmills with motors – the kind you’d normally need for running, and the kind typically used at treadmill workstations – are not only big and bulky, but produce enormous amounts of electromagnetic fields (EMF) and “dirty electricity”, which has been linked to brain fog, altered cellular metabolism, cancer risk, and much more.
In addition, a treadmill belt that runs on a motor allows you to walk and run while leaning slightly backwards and engaging in a full-on heel strike, which alters your running and walking gait, destroys your biomechanics and can actually turn you into a worse runner or a sloppy walker.
2. Manual Treadmills Are Too Slow For Running.
So a non-motorized treadmill (also known as a manual treadmill) is a good solution compared to a motorized treadmill. But the problem is that most manual treadmills only reach a maximum speed of 3.5-4.0 miles per hour, and this means that you can never use a manual treadmill for running. Since I wanted to intersperse short fitness and metabolism boosting sprints into my walking workday, (e.g. stopping every hour to do a brief 2 minute sprint, or doing a bit of jogging in between consults and phone calls) this means I’d have to buy and find space for two separate treadmills – one for walking and one for running!
So over several months, I searched high and low for a treadmill that is A) a manual treadmill without a motor; B) compact enough to fit under my standing desk; and C) didn’t produce electrical pollution and D) could operate at both casual walking paces, light jogs and high running speeds.
The solution that I eventually found is something called a “TrueForm treadmill” made by Samsara Fitness. The unique looking TrueForm has several extremely unique characteristics that set it apart from any treadmill on the face of the planet, and is unlike any treadmill you’ve ever tried.
First, there is no motor and there are no buttons. The treadmill is entirely manual and is powered by you, which means that you are not only exposing yourself to zero electrical pollution and saving 100% on electrical costs, but also moving far more naturally due to the non-motorized belt design.
When you walk on a TrueForm treadmill, you burn more calories, get better balance (especially if you don’t use the rails) and build stronger leg and core muscles, since you’re doing the work instead of a treadmill motor. And the faster you move, the faster the treadmill goes, just like when you walk, jog or sprint outside.
But it gets even better, because the TrueForm treadmill is the first and only treadmill to actually teach you the skill of running. This is because the only way to really get the belt moving is to lean slightly forward, strike with your mid to front-forefoot, and maintain a high cadence, which means your body learns to run exactly like the most elite runners on the face of the planet run. This honestly took me a little bit of getting used to, because I’m used to being able to “lean back” and be lazy on a treadmill, and frankly, this treadmill instead forces you to move with pristine form.
Finally, the rails are removable. And although TrueForm is legally required to send you the treadmill with the rails attached, you can take them off for the ultimate balance-enhancing experience as you walk, jog and run.
So that's great and all, but can this thing really teach you how to run with proper biomechanics? On today's audio podcast, I get Jeff Vernon the owner of Samsara Fitness on the show and we address this question and much more.
-How the Trueform actually works, and why it is shaped the way it is…
-How to use a manual treadmill properly…
-Specific drills you can do on a manual treadmill to enhance your running form…
-What a standard running treadmill won't work on a stand-up desk…
-The difference between the different Trueform models (the low-rider, the enduro and the performance)…
-Why the Trueform is different than other manual treadmills, and why it's “built like a tank”…
-And much more!
Do you have questions, comments or feedback for Jeff or me? Leave your thoughts below and one of us will reply!