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Treadmill Desk Ultimate Review: Lifespan Fitness vs. Trek Desk vs. Exerpeutic vs. Signature 9000 vs Walkstation vs. DIY

Have you been hunting around for the right treadmill desk to buy, but having trouble deciding on which of the major treadmill desks is right for you? I had the same problem for the last year since there was no good treadmill desk reviews online, so I’ve decided to give back to the world a little bit and write my own thorough treadmill desk review here to share all of my hard earned knowledge.

Treadmill Desk Reviews: The Most Popular Models & Manufacturers

I carefully tested and reviewed each of the most popular models and manufacturers of treadmill desks before making my decision to purchase. Below I have listed each of the most popular treadmill desks:

Lifespan Fitness Treadmill Desk TR1200 DT-5 Review
$1,269 & 4.8 star Amazon review – Strong Choice

My Lifespan Fitness Treadmill Desk TR1200 DT-S. I love it!
My Lifespan Fitness Treadmill Desk TR1200 DT-S. I love it!

Ultimately, I selected to purchase the Lifespan Fitness Treadmill Desk DT-5. Lifespan Fitness has an excellent reputation as a manufacturer of commercial treadmills for gyms.  If you’ve ever used one of their commercial treadmills, you will easily recognize their Lifespan Fitness Treadmill Desk DT-5 which incorporates many of the key features that it’s commercial gym brothers and sisters have:

  • Solid steel frame that prevents any wobbliness or shaking.  Wobbliness and shaking were the primary downfalls of the other treadmill desks I reviewed.  You can’t type on your computer or write if the desk is wobbling.
  • Ultra silent treadmill motor.  At 1 mile per hour or lower the engine is absolutely silent.  Literally my central air conditioning is louder.  At 1-3  miles per hour the sound is still quieter than the air conditioning. It sounds about as loud as a quiet whisper.  At the max speed of 4 miles per hour (which is absolutely impossible to actually use when you work since you have to jog lol), the sound is equally as loud as my air conditioner.  Your footsteps will be much louder still.
  • Huge Walking Surface Area: The Lifespan Fitness Treadmill Desk TR1200 has an epic walking surface of 20″ x 56″.  That is enough space for you to actually run if you needed to and at the typical slow walk you will be using while utilizing a treadmill desk is an enormous amount of room.
  • Large Desk Surface: The desk is thick and rock solid.  The only problem with it is it is very heavy and difficult to adjust by yourself without a helper.  However, I am happy to make that trade-off so that my desk is absolutely rock solid.  I can fit two 17″ laptop computers, an external keyboard and mouse, a printer, and my notepad and phone all on the desk area pretty easily.
  • Cable Management System: The Lifespan Fitness Treadmill Desk TR1200 DT-S has obviously been very well thought out as it includes a cable management system to keep all the wires out of your way and from getting caught in the treadmill (a frightening experience that the other treadmills can cause!)
  • Well-placed Control Console:The control console is a nice small bar placed slightly underneath the desk for easy convenient access to change speeds or look at your stats. You can pause the treadmill and go do other things and thing come back and resume it so you can keep track of your total time & distance for the day. The control bar includes stats like:
    • Time
    • Steps
    • Distance
    • Calories
    • Speed
  • Ergonomic wrist/elbow rest: The guys over at Lifespan Fitness really thought of everything on this treadmill.  It’s obvious they must use the treadmill themselves while at work.  The Lifespan Fitness TR1200 Treadmill Desk has elbow/wrist rests so that while you are using the treadmill desk you don’t get any overuse injuries.
  • OVERALL ASSESSMENT: Easily the best option out there for both the dollar value you get and the features included.  I believe that this is easily the best treadmill desk on the market at this time and it is cheaper than some of the others too!


Trek Desk Treadmill Desk– Unstable & No Treadmill – $479

TrekDesk Treadmill Desk Review
TrekDesk Treadmill Desk – Big Joke

The TrekDesk Treadmill Desk is just a desk – it doesn’t come with a treadmill! You pay $479 for a big plastic wraparound desk that wobbles pretty badly. I tried this one out and it was a joke.  I also read other reviews other people posted online and they talk about stability problems as well. Basically the idea is that you buy this desk and set it over the top of your existing treadmill.  You will end up paying $2,000 for a regular walking treadmill that will be pretty loud + $479 for this junky wobbly desk.  Totally not worth it in my opinion. When you compare the TrekDesk Treadmill desk versus Lifespan Fitness Treadmill Desk TR1200, the Trek Desk comes up severely lacking. Features include:

  • Cupholders – these are necessary because the desk itself is so wobbly you will spill your morning cup of coffee all of your laptop.
  • Desk space – the desk space is actually larger than the Lifespan Fitness Treadmill desk which is nice.  I like to keep lots of stuff on my desk while I work; books, cords, two monitors, sometimes two laptops, paperwork, pens, etc.
  • Desk only supports 55 pounds – Basically don’t lean on it too heavily or it will break.  Weak sauce.
  • No wire management – The Trek Desk’s lack of a proper wire management system plus the fact it doesn’t come with its own treadmill means you are likely to see your wires get sucked into the treadmill belt and electrocute you.
  • 4 level file tray – I guess this is a benefit….

Exerpeutic 990 Workstation Treadmill Desk – $699

Exerpeutic Treadmill Desk Workstation
Exerpeutic Treadmill Desk Workstation

The Exerpeutic 990 Workstation Treadmill Desk is the low end entry in the treadmill desk world.  It is primarily sold in Wal-Mart stores for $789 which makes it about $400 cheaper than the Lifespan Fitness Treadmill desk.  The cheap price is about all that recommends it though.  I walked on this wobbly tiny piece of crap for three minutes before I decided that I absolutely hated it.  The desk area is tiny, the walk space is tiny, the whole thing wobbles like an earthquake, and it feels like it will last about three months after you buy it.  To be completely fair though, let me talk about some of its features:

  • 1.5 hp motor: this is actually a good motor compared to most treadmill desks and is pretty cool
  • Treadmill belt is 40″ x 20″ – too small!  I kept sticking my feet on the sides or front or almost falling off the back. Maybe that’s just my clumsy self though.
  • Weight capacity 400 lbs: Perfect for 80% of Wal-Mart’s customers!  The other, heavier, 20% are going to need a better treadmill.  Low blow!
  • LCD Display window for time, distance, calories, speed and heart rate.  This is a pretty sweet feature, though the LCD can be slightly distracting to have flashing by your head.
  • 2 cup holders – perfect for holding your coffee while the whole contraption shakes back and forth several inches at the top as you walk.

Signature Treadmill Desk 9000 – Overpriced – $2,645

Signature Treadmill Desk 9000 Review
Signature Treadmill Desk 9000 Review
The Signature Treadmill Desk 9000 is pretty ridiculously overpriced at $2,645.  The maple top is probably the best feature, but other than that it is not any better than the LifeSpan Fitness Treadmill Desk shown above.  The structure is about equally solid, the treadmill used is the Gold’s Gym Trainer 480 which has multiple bad reviews online.  It frequently requires a professional to come out and make adjustments to tighten the belt and fix other issues that can arise.  Here are the features of the Signature Treadmill Desk 9000:
  • Powerful motor: The motor is a 2.25 hp treadmill motor which is a nice feature but it is also really noisy.
  • Inclines: Unlike most treadmill desks this one actually has different levels of incline which is a great feature.
  • Well Built: Reasonably solid structure for the whole thing
  • Overpriced: The price is more than double than the Lifespan Fitness Treadmill Desk and is triple the Exerpeutic Treadmill Desk

Ikea Treadmill Desk (DIY) -Varying Costs

For those of you who are adventurous you can create a do it yourself treadmill desk by hacking an Ikea desk up and installing it over the top of an existing treadmill. I saw a number of different pictures from people who did Do-It-Yourself Ikea Treadmill desks and most looked pretty scary to build to me.  Plus I don’t understand why you would spend a ton of money to buy a used treadmill and hunt around on Craigslist for a used Ikea desk.  Basically you will spend $900 on a used treadmill and $200 on a used Ikea desk, basically amounting to the same cost as the Lifespan Fitness desk above, then you still have to try and piece everything together.  No thanks.  It will take you 10 hours of Craigslist hunting and searching and driving around to assemble the pieces and then another 4-5 hours trying to get it all to work together.  Finally you end up with a hacked up amalgamation like the pictures below… who wants that ugly monster in a professional office?
DIY Treadmill Workstation
DIY Treadmill Workstation- Retarded
Do It Yourself Workstation Treadmill
Think you can have this in a professional office?!
Treadmill Desk Hack
Treadmill Desk Hack – What would your boss say?
Treadmill Desk Sawhorse
Treadmill Desk Sawhorse
Treadmill Desk DIY - Do it Yourself - NOT!
Treadmill Desk DIY – Do it Yourself – NOT!

A Decade Later: Advice for New College Freshmen

I am dedicating this blog post for my youngest brother, Josh. He’s going to start college in a few days at Washington & Lee over on the East Coast. One of my first friends at UW actually had a really amazing scrapbook his father had put together for him before he left for college giving him advice in a fun way on what he should and shouldn’t do while on his own for the first time. We both really thought it was cool back then and I’ve remembered it since then, so now I will try to pass the favor on to the next generation with my advice here.

Alcohol

College is the first time in your life you are on your own without close adult supervision. This means that you and your friends will go wild and do all sorts of fun, dumb activities.  One of these activities will be partying.  Partying can be a lot of fun, but it is also very risky to your grades and health. Alcohol has a huge myriad of downsides health-wise, but people like to drink because it lowers inhibitions and makes you feel good temporarily (though you feel bad the next day). Here are some great rules of thumb for partying safer:

  1. Never drink on school nights
  2. Learn to drink safely:
    • Stick to beer and wine as much as possible and limit yourself to two or less drinks… just drink them slowly so you always have a can in your hand and people don’t give you as much crap
    • Do not drink mixed drinks in your first semester for the reason listed in the next bullet point
    • Do not take shots in your first year of college unless you want to black out and get alcohol poisoning. You don’t have the experience to monitor how you feel yet and it is extremely unsafe to take shots or drink hard alcohol with other people who don’t know what they’re doing (and not even seniors in college usually have this figured out even if they claim to lol)
    • Resist the urge to stay out past 1am. If you haven’t found a girl at that point, you definitely won’t that night. Don’t put any more nails in your coffin- the only thing to do late is drink more and that’s when people get alcohol poisoning and hangovers
  3. 1 regular beer can/ bottle = 1 glass of wine = 1 shot = 0.5 mixed drink (roughly)

Class

Guess what? No one is there to wake you up and make you go to class. You could go the entire semester and never attend one class!  Sounds nice right? Wrong.  You should make an extremely strict rule for yourself: never miss a class, not once.  Professors and teacher’s assistant’s loathe students who miss class or come in late.  By promising yourself firmly never to be late or miss class, you ensure that you will always be on hand to at least passively absorb the information if not actively participate.  90% of winning in life is just showing up.  Make sure you show up for class every day regardless of if you are hungover or tired or sick or broke your arm.  Go every single time.

Do grades matter in college?  Absolutely yes.  I use college GPA’s to help me assess the work habits of potential employees every time.  If you want to get an MBA or JD or another advanced degree down the road it is crucial to have had good grades.  Your college grades will follow you for the rest of your life, don’t screw them up.

Sex

Wrap it up every single time, no matter what she says.  If she says no or is wasted, walk away.

New Friends

You are going to make tons of new friends in college.  You will have a blast hanging out with them and going on adventures.  Girls, parties, sports, studies, and little trips are going to bond you to these friends.  Keep in mind though that in a decade you will still only be in regular contact with 1/50 of them.   Don’t let them influence you to do stupid things, party too much, miss class or fail in other ways.

Drugs

I recommend avoiding drugs altogether. I know that in today’s world that is not feasible so if I was you I would make a firm promise to myself that I would only use alcohol and no other drugs.  You must make this decision ahead of time or it will not stick in the situations you will find yourself in. Below is my assessment of different drugs:

Alcohol – hard to avoid.  It’s okay if you can control how often you drink and how much you drink.
Cigarettes & cigars & chew – retarded. Primarily for white trash people and idiot frat guys.
Marijuana – fairly safe except for your lungs and work ethic. Not my thing, but if you do try this don’t smoke on weekdays.
Adderall & prescription study drugs – makes you feel like you are studying harder, but doesn’t actually improve performance long term. Avoid.
Vicodin & Oxycontin & other downers – Not much fun and when mixed with alcohol will kill you.
Mushrooms – hallucinogen – I’ve never done it but do you want to lose control over yourself and your reality? Some people don’t come back the same person.
LSD – Another hallucinogen but much more powerful. Another one I have never done.  A single use can result in psychosis or flashbacks for the rest of your life.
Cocaine – Scary upper. Bad for your heart (can cause heart attacks in young people without heart disease), bad for your brain (can cause seizures and bizarre/violent behavior), bad for your kidneys (can cause rhabdomyolysis – massive kidney failure). I’ve done this one and can tell you from personal experience that the twenty minute high you get is not worth the slow depression over the next day. After your first twenty minute high you want another and and another and another. Then you will be really depressed after.  The up is not worth the down. Stay far away from this and it’s retarded cousin crack.
Heroin – really bad news. Very bad for your body and very easy to overdose on and die.  Never come near this.
Meth – One of the worst drugs there is.  Leaves holes in your brain and your body falls apart.  It’s a massive upper that lasts for a long period of time and when you come down there is nothing you want more than to do it again. Many a rich and successful man has been brought down by this drug.  It is completely uncontrollable and over a period of years will destroy your life.  Avoid at all costs.

Risky Adventures

These are going to be a lot of fun. You and your friends are young, strong and feel invincible.  I am lucky to be alive today considering all the risky activities my friends and I participated in.  I also knew a lot of guys who broke bones and even a couple who died.  One guy died when he was drunk and fell out the window of a frat house. The other guy overdosed.  The guys who broke bones broke them jet skiing, longboarding, jumping from rooftop to rooftop, getting in fights, etc.  I encourage you to have fun, but use your head.  No one is there to say “No Josh, don’t do that, its dangerous”.  Your friends don’t care and want to be entertained and will encourage you to do retarded things. Flip it back on them instead.

Also avoid fights.  There is few things that will take the wind out of your sails like having your jaw wired shut for a year and having to withdraw from school from a semester.  You are a grown man in body (if not in mind haha) and you are surrounded by boys in mens bodies who don’t know their power yet.  One unlucky punch is all it takes to give you brain damage, shatter your jaw, break your nose or collapse your windpipe.  I had a friend in college who looked fairly normal – slightly larger and bulkier than average but it was hard to tell.  He was the four time national heavyweight karate champion and he loved to get in fights at even small provocations. You never know who you will come across at a bar or party and what their training/experience has been.  A lot of the people will probably not even attend your college and will hate college guys.  Be careful.

Applied Learning / Education

Do your best even as a freshman to work in applied sciences, engineering and business.  Do whatever you can to get good internships and work directly under professors on their projects.  You will learn more in a good internship or interesting project for a professor than you ever will in class.  You will also have a ton of fun and make the best connections by doing these things.

Jeremy & Joel Tuesday Idea Meetings

Jeremy and I have been doing what for lack of a better term, I will call “Idea Meetings” every Tuesday.

The concept is this: we meet on Tuesday evenings at 8pm and pick a topic off our list to discuss in depth.  We spend two hours doing so.  Here is a sampling of our list of our topics:

Accessible longterm structured freetime top 10 freetime ideas, fun social constructive activities
Research how we can eat & live to increase brain power
Discipline to execute (talk about strategies to do this
Discover a list of new, challenging activities for us to participate in
Skills we would want to learn (adwords, speaking, basketball, etc)
Come up with product ideas (tech or nontech)
Build client retention management service
Keyboard shortcuts
Technologies that can boost productivity
Find good potential networking meet ups (including book clubs)
Research the people we want to be… confidence, style, swagger, abilities, skills, lifestyle
Build something useful
Use dual n back in recruiting programmers/anybody
Shopping in stores… find business ideas, marketing strategies (mall)
Personal life improvements
Great blog posts for each of our blogs
Figure out recruiting strategies
Create something interesting with google apps scripts or in marketplace
Analyze personal history to understand weaknesses and apply to present
Share computer knowledge & efficiencies
Find ways to reinforce behavior in employees

 

Foundation Trilogy Review

I recently began reading the Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Asimov. It is well known as one of the original sci-fi series written way back in 1951.  The series is actually mind-blowingly good… it’s far better than the Lord of the Rings series published at the same time.  You can also tell that the Dune series written in 1965 by Frank Herbert was very heavily influenced by this series.

I am halfway through the second book right now and I am very impressed with it.  I am shocked it was written in 1951, as it is as strongly written as any sci fi or fantasy series written after it.

The Foundation Trilogy does not follow a set of characters, but rather a chain of historical events.   It is set some 20,000 years in the future when humanity has spread out across the Milky Way and is governed by the all-powerful Galactic Empire.  A “psycho-historian” – basically a scientist who uses mathematical models for human behavior the same way a physicist models atomic behavior – named Hari Seldon realizes that the Galactic Empire is collapsing and that there will be a 30,000 year long dark age before the rise of the Second Galactic Empire.  Hari cannot do anything to prevent the collapse, but he does see that he can influence events in such a way to shorten the Dark Age to only 1,000 years.  He sets up two planets at opposite ends of the galaxy to do so and the series follows one of the planets and the people on it, called the “Foundation”.

Really great series, I strongly recommend it!

Kingkiller Chronicles: The Name of the Wind Review

I just finished reading the first two books in the Kingkiller Chronicles trilogy:

  1. The Name of the Wind
  2. The Wise Man’s Fear

I really enjoyed both of them.  They were two of the strongest fantasy books I’ve read in quite some time and I can’t wait for the 3rd one to come out next year.  The series is written as a metafictional story with in a story – basically it’s the hero of the story telling his story to a scribe.  The story itself is sort of an adult version of Harry Potter (talented wizard child goes to wizard university and grows into manhood doing heroic feats).  The story’s themes and plot are much darker and more adult though and include child abuse, murder, rape, and a deep analysis of what it actually means to be a hero.

I recommend it!

The New Industrial Revolution

Once the majority of humanity labored in agricultural jobs. Now only 2% do. Basic factory labor is now being replaced in the same way by robots.

http://mobile.nytimes.com/article?a=962022&f=19

What happens next?

The Irish Curse: Great Play About Men With Small Penises

Tonight I went to the Odyssey theater in Los Angeles to see a play called “The Irish Curse”.  “The Irish Curse” is a 90 minute play set in the basement of a Catholic Church in Brooklyn.  The play features five men who attend a regular support group for men with small penises, ie the Irish curse.  There is a priest, a cop, a lawyer, a sportsman and a confused young boy about to get married.  All of them have had severe insecurities over their… stature.  The play is actually quite good and not just a one-joke ride.  The actors do a great job (except for the guy who plays the sportsman – he overdoes it), especially the priest.  The priest has all the mannerisms of a priest down perfectly, I was impressed.  Check it out here if you want to see it.

Unemployment

If you refuse to accept a job you consider “beneath” you, you are not truly unemployed and should receive 0 benefits.

I worked for one full year with 0 pay when starting my business. I had hopes, but also a lot of risks and no guarantees.

I am sick of my tax dollars supporting people who believe they should be mid level managers making $80,000 and so refuse to accept a job at Lowe’s paying $12/ hour. If no one will hire you, it means you are unqualified. Do a different job.

Job Posts, Recruiting, Interviewing, Hiring

For the last couple of weeks, I have been doing a ton of job postings, interviews and hiring.  Some of it can be fun, but most of it is drudgery.

Basically people are trying to put on their best front for me and I have to look at their email, their previous work and their resume and try to find problems.  If I can’t find any problems there I will schedule an interview.  Throughout the interview I will try to find weaknesses or potential problems with having this person join my team.  You would be very surprised at how high a percentage of people there are who have glaring problems.

What are some of the top mistakes I see that lead me to discard someone from my list of candidates?

  • Poor writing skills. Mistakes in their email to me or on their resume. A professional nowadays must be a good writer.
  • Requesting a ridiculous amount of money.
  • Poor previous work (design or development)