ProForm 520 ZN Review

ProForm is a well-known brand from fitness retailer giant Icon Health and Fitness. Their 520 ZN is one of their most inexpensive treadmills, offered for less than $600 from retailers like Walmart. This model features the SpaceSaver folding frame, making it a good choice for users with small workout space.

This is clearly a budget-friendly model from the drive system to features a 2.5 CHP Mach Z Motor to the 300 pound weight capacity (just like the ProForm 6.0 RT, also one of ProForm’s most inexpensive models). However, the tread belt is slightly more spacious at 20 inches wide and 55 inches long. The shock-absorption system features the ProShox Cushioning support to keep the deck stable and comfortable. This model is also equipped with 1.9″ precision-machined and balanced non-flex rear roller to reduce friction and noisier operation.

This model features a power incline that ranges up to 10% and speed controls from 1 to 10 mph. Speed and incline changes can be made using the Quick Speed or Quick Incline keys as well as through the traditional up and down keys that are also located on the console. The console is also equipped with a 2-speed CoolAir cooling fan, two cup holders, and an Intermix Acoustics Sound System. You can choose from 18 built-in workout programs and to track heart rate there are dual-grip EKG sensors built into the handlebars. The backlit LCD display window offers basic workout readouts like time, distance, and calories burned. Nothing but the basics here.

The warranty on this model includes 1 year coverage on parts and labor and 25 years covered on the motor.

What We Like:

  • Folding Design: As with other inexpensive, lightweight, and compact treadmills by ProForm, the 520 ZN is equipped with a folding frame that uses the patented SpaceSaver design.
  • Price: ProForm typically offers treadmills that are pricier, so it’s nice to have an inexpensive model from a more well-known brand like ProForm. This model retails for well under $600, which is a steal for a treadmill from a reputable brand.
  • Program Variety: Despite the price, this model still offers a decent program variety of 18 workout programs. This feature makes it easy to add a little variety to your workout or achieve different fitness goals.

What We Don’t Like:

  • Display Screen: Obviously we would not expect a full color touch screen display or anything like that on a treadmill for this price, but the screen is still pretty small.
  • Speed and Incline: This machine tops out at 10 mph and offers incline up to 10%. That’s not bad if you are purchasing this model for solely walking, but it takes away from the overall versatility of the machine with such limited speed/incline options.
  • Weak Drive System: A 2.5 CHP motor drives this treadmill, which is pretty weak. ProForm tried to make this treadmill with a more spacious running area so it’s not as compact as the other models with 2.5 CHP motors, which makes it an even weaker drive system.

Our Verdict:

ProForm makes pretty good treadmills and their inexpensive line of machines isn’t too bad either. There are many other brands that offer treadmills at this price point, just not of this quality. That’ s not to say this is a high-quality treadmill, but for the price it’s not bad . If you are looking for an inexpensive treadmill purely for walking, the 520 ZN might be a good fit. However we do still recommend checking out our best treadmills for walkers page. For a little more money, you could have a vastly superior machine.

ProForm 520 Zni

ProForm® 520 ZNiTreadmill


Short Description:

Featuring ProShox™ cushioning, the ProForm® 520 ZNi Treadmill delivers a more comfortable running surface while reducing impact on your joints. Plus, with iFit® Bluetooth® Smart compatibility, an easy-to-read LCD display, 10 mph QuickSpeed®, and 10 percent Quick Incline™ controls, you can access Google Maps™ routes, stay on top of your workout stats, and manage your workout intensity all in the same place.

2.5 CHP Mach Z™ Motor

Choose the motor that will run with you from Chicago to Cape Town. Smooth. Powerful. Durable. Proven. The Mach Z™ Commercial Motor stays cool through the toughest workouts; creates high levels of inertia for a smooth, powerful feel; and promises a quiet in-home experience. Great for heavy use, this motor is built with high-grade components proven with our lifetime motor warranty.

Large LCD Window

We know when you’ve made up your mind about getting fit, you mean business. So we made sure your workout stats are right in front of you as you work out. That means you can watch your mileage, speed, calorie burn, heart rate, and time add up. It feels good to know you’re getting stronger each day.

iFit® Bluetooth® Smart Enabled

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to run in Barcelona? Just press start. Download a Google Maps™ route or create your own. This iFit® Bluetooth® Smart Enabled treadmill automatically adjusts the incline to recreate trails from Mongolia to Ecuador. Customize your training with unlimited workouts designed by certified personal trainers. This ever-growing workout library offers programs that progress with you from beginner to marathoner.

◊Access your iFit® account from your tablet or smartphone. Requires membership, sold separately. The Bluetooth® word mark and logos are registered trademarks owned by Bluetooth SIG, Inc. and any use of such marks by ICON Health & Fitness is under license.

18 Workout Apps

After years of hard work and innovation, we figured out how to make your fitness experience convenient and simple. When you step on the deck of a ProForm treadmill, you get instant access to professional training programs fully loaded and ready to go. Now you can enjoy a challenging workout focused in on your goals. Just press “Start” and you’re off.

0 – 10 MPH QuickSpeed®

Not everybody likes to run at 10 miles per hour. But it’s nice to know this treadmill can totally handle it. Thanks to a bigger motor size and faster flywheel gear ratio, we are pretty proud of the 520 ZNi’s 10 mph top speed. Our in-home efficiency booster means you can run every day without using excessive amounts of electricity. And the convenient QuickSpeed® buttons let you adjust your intensity instantly, so you can stay focused through every step of your workout.

0 – 10% Quick Incline™

We consider incline training the treadmill game changer—you can realistically prepare your body for those challenging uphill routes. The 520 ZNi offers powered, automatic incline adjustability. When you train with incline, you know you’re giving your legs the best workout possible on a treadmill.

20” x 55” Tread Belt

Because your in-home workout experience should be a comfortable one, ProForm designed a roomy deck so you won’t feel confined as you walk, jog, and run. The 55-inch length gives your legs plenty of room to get moving. And the 20-inch width allows your upper-body comfortable elbowroom. To ensure our treadmills are top quality, we test each belt for one million cycles at double the user weight before release.

ProShox™ Cushioning

Our No. 1 goal is to provide a comfortable run—and a comfortable walk. Every treadmill we release is equipped with cushioning throughout the deck area. So as you walk, jog, or run, your joints will be thanking you. With less stress on your feet, ankles, knees, and hips, you’ll be able to enjoy a longer workout and faster recovery time. It’s one reason why people love their treadmills.

SpaceSaver® Design

We know you like your house to be clutter-free. So we invented a treadmill that folds up and out of the way when you’re done with your workout. It totally rocked the fitness industry; but honestly, we’re just glad you don’t have to sacrifice your living space for your fitness habit anymore.

1.9” Balanced Rollers

We know that a quality product is all about the details. That’s why we’ve built the 520 ZNi with 1.9-inch precision-machined, balanced, non-flex rollers. These medium-sized rollers decrease tension, which keeps wear and tear to a minimum. You’ll also notice less noise and better grip. So, just in case you were wondering, we care about the little things, too.

iPod® Compatible Audio

Once you create your raving workout playlist, just plug your iPod®* or MP3 player into our built-in sound system. Built with two 2-inch speakers, you can turn up the tunes and turn up the tempo. Experts have learned that we actually increase or decrease our pace to match the tempo of our tunes. Music has also been proven to lower perceived exertion. That’s great news.

*iPod® is a trademark of Apple, Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. iPod® not included.

CoolAire™ Workout Fan

Our built-in CoolAire™ fan keeps your workout comfortable from the moment you step onto the deck to the moment you step off. Choose from two speed settings for instant control—because one of the joys of indoor workouts is climate control. Even if it’s raining outside, foggy, blazing hot, or bad air quality—it’s no big deal.

EKG™ Grip Pulse

Grab hold of in-the-moment heart rate monitoring. These two hand-grip sensors are conveniently built in to the handlebars. In a couple seconds, you’ll be able to see your heart rate at any point in your training.

Weight Capacity

Built with the whole family in mind, the 520 ZNi treadmill accommodates up to 300 pounds per user.


We want to help you protect your investment. That’s why we try to go above and beyond with our product warranties. The 520 ZNi is protected with a Lifetime Frame Warranty, 25-Year Motor Warranty, and 1-Year Parts & Labor Warranty. Please note: Lifetime Warranty pertains to the lifetime of the original purchaser.

FacebookTweetPinLinkedInShares4 Price: $987.00

The ProForm 520 ZN Treadmill is one of the good mid-range models available on the market right now. It offers many excellent features coupled with solid built-quality and reliable warranty. The treadmill features a powerful 2.5 CHP Mach Z Motor and comparatively wider running surface. The tread belt is 20 inches wide and 55 inches long to support variety of user heights. All the key features such as incline and speed can be controlled from the large backlit display. You can also make use of up and down buttons located on the treadmill to physically adjust speed and incline levels. The maximum speed limit is 10 MPH while you can automatically incline and decline from 0 to 10%. What we really love about the 520 ZN Treadmill is its shock absorption system. It features the ProShox Cushioning System to absorb most of the rough impact during each run.

The 520 ZN is easy to fold and store when not in use. Thanks to the much-needed SpaceSaver Design that does not carry a massive foot print. We found the treadmill operation super-quiet and comfortable. Since, it is a 1.9″ Precision-Machined, you will not experience noise and friction due to Balanced Non-Flex Rear Roller. The 520 Treadmill also keeps you entertained during long workouts. You can now connect your smartphones, iPods or MP3 devices with compatible slot on the treadmill to playback your favorite music.

The ProForm 520 ZN is nicely equipped with 18 Workout Apps to get maximum exposure out of each exercise session. You can quickly customize or utilize pre-programmed workouts for best fat burn and muscle toning. If you are someone who likes to monitor heartrate, the treadmill definitely offers your EKG Heart Rate Monitor connected with handlebars. It also features the CoolAire Workout Fan to keep you active and refreshed during intense workouts.

The ZN Treadmill supports up to 300 lbs of max user weight. At the current price point, we were surprised to see the solid lifetime warranty on frame, 25 years coverage on motor and one year on parts and labor. Overall, this is an awesome treadmill for home-use and provides excellent value for your money.

Technical Info

The ProForm 520 is a midrange option as far as treadmills go. That means it’s going to have enough horsepower and console options to satisfy the needs of most runners.

  • Length : 73.3 inches
  • Width : 35.74 inches
  • Height : 68.11 inches
  • Running Surface: 20 x 55 inches

The 55 inches of tread belt is good enough for most runners. If you are very tall, however, or have longer strides, this may not be enough running surface for you.


When searching for a top-rated treadmill, you want to compare your priorities for your specific budget range. For an affordable option like the ProForm 520, you need to consider all the important features.

  • 2.5 CHP Mach Z motor: The 2.5 CHP rating means that it is powerful enough to support all your running needs, but this horsepower is still lower when compared to higher-end treadmills on the market.
  • 0-10 mph speed: The QuickSpeed option enables you to change your pace fast with just one touch on the console.
  • 0-10% incline: The adjustable incline can add good intensity to your workout.
  • ProShox Cushioning: ProForm has trademarked their ProShox cushioning system, which is designed to absorb the impact of walking or running on your body.
  • Grip Pulse EKG heart rate monitor: It contains sensors to help you check your heart rate and stay in the right zone for your activity.
  • 1.9″ Precision Machined and Balanced Non-Flex Rear Roller: The rear roller is designed in the best way to reduce friction on the tread belt.
  • SpaceSaver design: The 520 ZN is a pretty big treadmill, but the brand utilizes a SpaceSaver design that allows you to fold the treadmill out of the way in one easy movement.
  • CoolAire fan: The CoolAire fan allows you to stay cool during your workout, and it features a one-touch adjustment button on the console.
  • Max weight capacity: The manufacturer rates this treadmill as having a weight limit of 300 lbs.

Computer Features

  • Backlit display: The treadmill features a large backlit display. This gives you the ability to stay motivated and on top of your workout as you track your statistics.
  • iPod Compatible: The iPod music port and sound system allow you to listen to your favorite music or podcasts during your workout.
  • 18 workout apps for variety: The variety of pre-programmed workout apps enable you to change your exercise activity as often as you’d like.
  • Workout Data: While some of the cheaper treadmills do not keep track of your workout data, the 520 ZN will display your distance, calories burned, time spent and workout speed.


The warranty is pretty standard. The frame has a lifetime warranty, but the motor is only covered for 25 years. There is a one-year warranty for parts and labor.

Shipping and Assembly Details

The shipping cost can vary based on your provided location and chosen type of delivery. We recommend you to check for online retailers that offer free shipping to help save some money.

Although, the ProForm 520 is one of the basic ProForm models but it can still take some time to put together. Because of the heavier built, you may need some extra help to get its parts out of the box. Before starting, you will need few tools such as adjustable wrench, Phillips Screwdriver, needlenose pliers and hex keys. BTW, the hex keys are already inside package when you open it. In order to quickly assemble the treadmill, you need to follow the well-illustrated guidelines provided in the user manual. It will take around 2 to 3 hours to fully assemble the ZN Treadmill.

On to the Opinions

  • We really like the overall build quality and innovative design.
  • Although the onboard computer doesn’t have as many fancy options like expensive models do, it does contain some pretty solid 18 pre-programmed workout apps.
  • The speed and incline options are good enough to satisfy needs of majority users. Even the best treadmills only offer slightly better speed than this model.
  • It is very quiet and offers noise-free operation.
  • The tread belt ran pretty smooth and ProShox Cushioning system did a good job to minimize the deck impact on ankles, knees, hips and joints.
  • The assembly process was very straightforward.

What We Disliked

  • The display is dim and not always easy to read in middle of your workout.

Wrap Up

The ProForm 520 ZN Treadmill is one of the most affordable options currently available on the market. It’s a mid-range option from a trusted and reputable brand that makes high-quality treadmills at modest prices. When compared to other brands at similar prices, it offers better features and solid warranty. The only downside is slightly dull display which needs to lit up.


Proform 520 ZN Treadmill Review

If you’re looking for a treadmill that’s sleek and easy-to-store after use, then the Proform 520 ZN is the right model for you. It’s easy-to-store and it brings you comfort while you try your best to stay fit. This treadmill also includes some innovative features that might actually step up your workout routine. The Proform 520 ZN Treadmill is also very easy to control because it has both automatic and manual keys to make sure you keep up with your own pace. It could be a great household item for yourself and the whole family which you can set up anywhere, such as inside your home or even outside! Whether you’re an athlete or just someone who wants to be fit without having the need to visit and pay for the gym, this treadmill is a wise investment for you.

How we rated Proform 520 ZN Treadmill

Performance Speed Storage Design Technology Price
4/5 5/5 5/5 4/5 3/5 4/5


  • Durable steel frame
  • Space saving design; foldable frame
  • Strong deck, having the capacity to hold up to 300 lbs;
  • Automatic incline and speed controls
  • 2.5 CHP Mach Z Motor that accelerates to a maximum of 10 MPH
  • 18 workout apps
  • Smooth and quiet during operation

Key Features

If you have a lot of tasks to deal with everyday, you may have probably overlooked how much exercise is important in keeping our bodies healthy. ProForm are a company that have been making fitness accessible for those who can’t regularly go to the gym. They have been around for over 30 years which means you’re guaranteed quality products that are both affordable and effective.

This specific model is one of Proforms foldable treadmills which is both easy to store and easy to assemble. The ProForm 520 ZN stands out from other treadmills because of its innovative functions and well-designed steel frame. Aside from that, its ProShox Cushioning system makes running and walking more comfortable compared to other treadmills in a similar price range. It also monitors your heart rate to help keep you aware of how your body is coping during your workout. According to most reviews, ProForm treadmills rarely get broken, and if they do, you’re covered with a lifetime frame warranty, 25-year on motor, and 1 year on parts and labor, meaning you’ll definitely be getting your money’s worth.

Product Review


Proform 520 ZN highlights a space saver design which can be folded and stored away so that you can enjoy all the space in your room. It includes a 2.5 CHP Mach Z Motor, which could be used by anyone weighing up to 300 lbs. Its frame is made of steel and it features the ProShox Cushioning system which alleviates joint impact when running or walking, therefore making it more comfortable for the user. This model is furnished with 1.9″ Precision-Machined and balances non-flex rear rollers that decreases noise and friction during movement.


The Proform 520 ZN treadmill includes Quick Incline Control which is an automatic inclination system up to a maximum of 10%. With its QuickSpeed Control, you can adjust the speed of this model from 1- 10 mph depending on your desired pace. However, the up and down keys are still available on the console if you want to manually change these settings. When you feel like you need some air, you can turn on its built-in CoolAire workout fan to help cool you down or if you wish to feel a little breeze simulation. It’s loaded with a wide range of features to step up your workout routine.


It has a large backlit display where you can clearly read the digits on the screen which includes the time, settings, heart rate and more. You’ll also have fun while sweating out with this treadmill because it has a compatible music port for an iPod allowing you to play your favorite workout playlist. This treadmill also has 18 Workout Apps which you can choose from depending on your fitness goal.


The ProForm 520 ZN Treadmill is worth investing in and will help you stay fit without the need to get on your training clothes and drive to the gym should you decide to purchase one for home use. Unlike other treadmills, this model offers more innovative technologies still at an affordable cost.

How does it compare?

Ziema G10 Folding Treadmill

Ziema G10 Folding Treadmill is an affordable treadmill that may be a good choice for beginners. It includes a USB port that will keep you motivated and entertained during your workout. This treadmill also includes 8 personal trainer workouts which is considerably less when compared to ProForm 520 ZN’s 18 workout apps. The screen of this treadmill is LCD which means it has clearer display compared to the ProForm 520 ZN. This treadmill has a wider speed range of up to 10.5 mph, compared to the ProForm 520 ZN which can only accelerate from 0-10 mph. This model might be a better option for those who are capable of running up to its maximum speed. However, you may be concerned about the labels on the console of this model because they are written in Chinese characters. We have yet to find out if they have available stock with English labels on them to help make the treadmill more avaliable to a wider audience.

Ziema manufactures other equipment and products aside from treadmills which are sold at reasonable price points.

Learn More

Reebok Jet 100 Folding Treadmill

Reebok is a well-known brand that produces not only workout equipment but footwear and apparel also. The Reebok Jet 100 folding treadmill belongs in Reebok’s Jet series, it utilises the air motion technology in its cushion, which ensures smooth landing and eliminates harsh effects on the joints. With its integrated transport wheels, the Reebok Jet 100 Folding Treadmill made storing the treadmill easier than storing the ProForm 520 ZN Treadmill. It is also more convenient to get this treadmill to places around the house without exerting too much effort. It’s useful for those who don’t want to seek help from others when assembling and keeping the item in storage. It has 12 levels of inclination while the ProForm 520 ZN only has 10, it’s great for those who want to challenge themselves. It has a more modern design that features red linings as compared to the ProForm 520 ZN which is plain as far as the design is concerned.

With the prices of the two models compared, Reebok Jet 100 Folding Treadmill is more affordable and its price is reasonable considering its features. It comes with 24 workout programs, which is almost double the number of those seen in the ProForm 520 ZN Treadmill. The Reebok Jet 100 Folding Treadmill also has a 3.5 LCD display which clearly displays the digits as well as including an MP3 compatible port which can also provide motivation similar to the ProForm 500 ZN.

Learn More

Ancheer S6200 Folding Electric Treadmill

This treadmill is packed with innovative features that are perfect for those who are tech-savvy runners. The Ancheer S6200 Folding Electric Treadmill has a built-in colored and Smart touch 10.1 inch screen that can be connected to the WiFi so you can watch online HD videos whilst being fit! And because of its smart touch display, even the buttons and accelerator keys are controlled with just a press on the screen. This gives the user a greater experience which will make it easier to adjust to their desired pace whilst still being entertained. However, the only thing that lacks with this treadmill is that it has no inclination levels so it’s a fair choice for those who are not interested for more intense training.

Just like the ProForm 520 ZN, this treadmill works with minimal noise and claims that it consumes less power. It also has integrated rolling wheels for easier transport and storage when not in use. It should also be noted that the Ancheer S6200 Folding Electric Treadmill should be use gently and carefully since it has a Smart touch screen that is fragile and sensitive.

Learn More

IUBU Fitness Folding Treadmill

This treadmill has its own take on technology and it will step up your working out game. It boasts a rotatable 10.1 inch touch screen that can play HD videos with better quality than an LCD screen. It uses TFT technology which enhances the quality of images and videos displayed. It provides a more entertaining experience while you workout which could make you feel motivated.

Whilst running, you’re secured with its anti slip and wide running platform to make sure you can exercise smoothly without any sudden stops. Similar to the ProFrom 520 ZN, the treadmill also has a range of built-in custom programs you can choose from based on your fitness level. This treadmill takes exercising to a whole new level where full entertainment is provided whilst staying fit at the same time.

Learn More


Although the ProForm 520 ZN doesn’t utilise as many features when compared to the other models, it is no doubt that this treadmill is easy to use and is in the middle of a conventional and innovative type. It’s durable, easy to assemble, and most especially, it’s foldable which lets you save space for playtime with your kids and the family. Regardless what your fitness goals are, this treadmill will surely fit into your standards and is proven by reviewers to last a long time.

Why not compare this treadmill to other treadmill reviews?
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Proform 520 zni treadmill

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