ProForm 505 CST Review

Editor's Rating: 7.9 /10
Best Buy Award(s):Cheap / BudgetUnder $1,000

The ProForm 505 CST is a budget-friendly, entry-level treadmill designed for durability and convenience. SpaceSaver design equips this model with the EasyLift folding mechanism, making it quick and easy to fold and store as needed. Thankfully, this compact model does not compromise convenience for comfort.

Designed with ProForm’s ProShox Cushioning, the 505 CST provides users with excellent cushioning throughout the entire running area to protect joints from impact. A 2.5 CHP motor drives the treadmill, offering users a motorized incline of up to 10% and speeds from 0 to 10 mph. However, the running area is fairly compact at 20 inches x 55 inches. This model also features smaller 1.9-inch balanced non-flex rollers that decrease tension and create a smoother run. Again, the small rollers are a result of the compact design.

The console area is pretty basic, equipped with audio functionality, a tablet holder, and water bottle holders. We do love that it is iFit-enabled. With a subscription to iFit Coach, one can connect your tablet to the 505 CST via Bluetooth and get to work iFit offers a virtually unlimited library of workout classes and Google Maps running trails across the globe. The iFit workout programming allows live trainers in remote locations to control the speed and incline of the machine while participating in either group or solo programs. In addition to the pre-designed classes and live-streaming, there is a wide range of exercise types available, from strength to yoga, as well nutrition counseling. For more information on the program, read our complete review of iFit for treadmills here.

One big new feature to the iFit program is the ActivePulse Heart Rate training feature. When users are connected to the Bluetooth-enabled heart rate monitor, the treadmill can automatically adjust the incline and speed based on personalized cardio levels. This is a huge update frankly recently introduced in the summer of 2021, meaning the smart machines and live trainers can take all of the guestimation out of training and simply let the runners run.

Users also have access to a 5-inch backlit screen which displays your mileage, speed, calorie burn, heart rate, and time. Designed with a built-in tablet-holder, most users will be bringing their own screen or perhaps park the treadmill in front of a smart television. The iFit app does travel onto multiple devices.  Eighteen built-in workout programs are also included, developed by certified personal trainers. Some of these programs use your heart rate to make automatic adjustments to the speed and incline as needed. To keep track of your heart rate, you can use the dual EKG grip pulse heart-rate sensors on the handlebars.

As for the warranty, the ProForm 505 CST treadmill is protected with a 10-year frame warranty, and a 1-year parts and labor warranty.

What We Like:

  • Price: This model comes with an impressive $999 price tag. Even for an entry-level treadmill, that’s a great price for a reputable brand.
  • iFit Ready: The ProForm 505 CST is iFit ready. Just connect your own tablet via Bluetooth and try an iFit class or Google Maps running trail across the globe. It’s like having a personal trainer that can automatically adjust the incline on your treadmill, matching the terrain you are watching. Keep in mind that a subscription is required for this, priced at $180 per year for individuals and $396 for families. The machine will work without iFit of course, and if one has another favorite program they can always use it on their tablet.
  • Folding Design: A SpaceSaver design, this model uses EasyLift folding technology to make it incredibly easy to fold and store the machine. The deck is also light and compact, so it’s a good choice for small spaces.
  • Program Variety: For an entry-level treadmill, the 18 built-in programs are a pretty robust offering. These workout programs offer something for everyone and are developed by certified personal trainers. The treadmill will adjust incline and speed in sync with these programs.
  • Audio Capabilities: Though this model lacks some entertainment flair, it does come equipped with dual 2-inch speakers and an audio auxiliary port for you to plug in your smartphone and listen to your favorite workout playlists.
  • Motor: The 2.5 CHP Mach Z™ Commercial Plus Motor is long-lasting and quiet when in operation. It’s not the most powerful motor, but 2.5 CHP isn’t bad.
  • Durability: With a solid 325-pound weight capacity, this machine is solid enough for the majority of folks.
  • Warranty: This machine comes with a good enough warranty for the price point. This includes a 10-year frame warranty, and a 1-year parts and labor warranty.

ProForm 505 CST Treadmill - Key Specs:

Star Rating:3.95-stars
Motor:2.5 HP
Incline:0 – 10%
Running Area:20" x 55"
Top Speed:10 MPH
Weight Capacity:325 LBS
Dimensions:73.5" L x 36.5" W x 61" H
Built-In Programs:18
What We Don’t Like:

  • Running Area: This treadmill has been designed to be compact. This means that the running area is fairly cramped at just 20 inches wide and 55 inches long. This will be an issue for taller users.
  • Speed Controls: 10 mph isn’t too bad, but we like to see speed offerings closer to 12 mph. A running speed topping out at 10 mph may pose a problem if you want to do sprint runs or interval training.
  • Entertainment Options: Aside from if you opt to use this treadmill with iFit (using your own tablet), there are no real entertainment offerings to speak of here. The display screen isn’t too flashy either. You get the basics with this model and not much else by way of fitness tracking or entertainment.
  • Service: Our experience with this model is it can be a bit noisy, and ProForm’s customer service department has received complaints in the past for being less than stellar.

This Treadmill Could Be For You If:

  • You’re price conscious and want a solid treadmill for the sub-$1,000 range.
  • You value the iFit Coach program and want automatic trainer control along with high-tech programming.
  • You have your own tablet or smart television and don’t mind the treadmill lacking a larger screen.
  • You’re interested in durability over bells and whistles.

Our Verdict:

Overall, this model is a pretty good entry-level treadmill for walking to light running, and comes from a reputable brand. Don’t expect to be wowed, but this is about as much as you can expect from a $999 treadmill. ProForm’s treadmills are known for being durable, reliable and easy to use. This machine is no exception. With a space-saving folding design, a durable shock-absorption system, and impressive preset workout program variety as well as iFit-readiness, the ProForm 505 CST is a good option for in-home use (especially if multiple people share the same machine). If you’re on a budget but still want a reliable treadmill, the ProForm 505 CST just might be the machine for you.

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ProForm 505 CST FAQs

Can you use the ProForm 505 CST with or without iFit?

The ProForm 505 CST functions both with and without an iFit subscription. Without iFit, you can still enjoy the 18 built-in workout programs on the machine. To use iFit on the machine, you will need to connect your own tablet via bluetooth. Also keep in mind that one can always use a different app with their own tablet. The only drawback is users won't have the automatic trainer control.

Is the ProForm 505 CST hard to assemble?

Some basic assembly is required with this machine, but it is not difficult and does not require a professional.

Is the ProForm 505 CST good for small spaces?

The ProForm 505 CST is excellent for small spaces. This treadmill is made to be compact with a running area of 20" x 55" and a folding function.