Fitness Equipment Safety Tips

Vision Fitness is a company that strives to make products that are safe to use. See below for a list of guidelines that can help you use your cardio equipment safely. Remember you can always refer to your Owner’s Manual for specifications.

Treadmills

  • Safety Key – The safety key is a red (or rarely black) magnetic piece that has a cord with a clip at the end. Make sure you are wearing the clip from the safety key anytime you use the treadmill, and have the safety key in the correct spot on the console. In case you feel light-headed, nauseous or need to stop unexpectedly, place both hands on the side arm rests to hold yourself up, place your feet onto the side rails and pull the safety key to stop the treadmill running belt immediately.
  • Space – It’s important to have enough space around the unit for use. You can check your Owner’s Manual for specifics. Generally you should leave a clear zone behind the treadmill that is at least the width of the treadmill and at least 79” long. This zone must be clear of any obstruction and provide the user a clear exit path from the machine. For ease of access, there should be a space on each side of the treadmill that is equal to 36” (915 mm) to allow a user to approach the treadmill from either side.
  • Maintenance – Another small, but ever so important, step in keeping your unit safe is following the maintenance. Refer to your Owner’s Manual for specifics, but generally it will be tightening the assembly bolts once a month, wiping the machine down after each use, waxing the treadmill deck (IF NECESSARY), and vacuuming any dust and debris out from underneath the motor cover.

Ellipticals, Bikes, & Ascent Trainers

  • Space – There should be one foot of clearance in front of the elliptical for the power cord. For ease of access, there should be space on each side of the elliptical equal to 36” (915 mm) to allow a user to approach the machine from either side.
  • Maintenance – Refer to your Owner’s Manual for specifics, but you should be tightening the assembly bolts on your machine once a month, wiping down the machine after each use, and all for elliptical only, making sure the tracks and wheels are clean and clear of debris.

Check your Owner’s Manual for specific information, but keeping safety in mind will also help your machine run longer and stronger for you.

Treadmills – To lubricate or not to lubricate?

To ensure maximum life of your treadmill, proper maintenance is a must do! Please refer to your owner’s manual for any questions regarding maintenance. Depending on your model, you may sometimes have to lubricate the running deck with paraffin wax. The reason for applying wax to the running deck is so the running belt moves smoothly over the deck surface. The wax reduces the friction between the two, thus creating a longer life span for your running belt and deck.

Please note that if you have had your running belt and deck replaced in 2012 and after, it is possible you have a maintenance-free running belt and deck. If you are unsure, please call tech support at 800-335-4348 and we can assist you in figuring that out. If you have a maintenance-free running deck and belt, do not put any wax, or any type of lubricant on your treadmill. They are made so the running belt is infused with wax, and will run smoothly onto the deck, requiring no maintenance from you!

If your treadmill running deck does require wax, it is a fairly straight forward procedure. We recommend the use of a SLic-STik, which is a wand with wax on the end, and it makes it a fairly easy process.

  1. Start off by turning off and unplugging the treadmill.
  2. Loosen the rear roller bolts with an Allen wrench to allow the belt to be lifted up from the sides of the deck.
  3. Clean and clear the deck of foreign debris. Inspect the deck for signs of wear. If large deep scratches are present or the black coating has worn to wood color, the deck should be flipped to a good side or replaced.
  4. If surface is OK, lift the side of the belt and insert SLic-STik under the belt to wax the surface. Generously apply the SLic-STik to the deck from front to back using a back and forth movement concentrating on the center surface area of the deck.
  5. Remove the SLic-STik from under the belt and adjust the belt back to its proper tension. Plug the treadmill in and it is ready to use.

A Vision Fitness treadmill deck should be lightly waxed every 500 miles to insure maximum life of the treadmill components, but it is better to wax more often than to wait too long. However it is important to note that over-waxing can have a negative effect, such as belt thumping or excess wear of components.

To assure maximum life of the components without over-waxing, the following schedule may be followed:

lubrication frequency

Following these guidelines can help keep your treadmill in great working condition. If you want to purchase a wax stick, you can by calling tech support at 800-335-4348.

Sign Up for a Race for More Workout Motivation

Are you in a fitness rut? Telling yourself you’ll get back on the workout wagon next week? You’re not alone. Even those of us that work in the fitness industry have lapses in workout motivation.

For years I followed the roller coaster that is typical of many people. I’d get in a workout groove and follow my plan religiously for a few weeks and sometimes for months until something popped up that made it inconvenient. A few missed days turned into weeks and then I’d end up losing all the gains and starting over months later. Sound familiar?

Have you been slobbering along through your workouts or just given up on them entirely? Register for a race or even a fundraising ride or run. You’ll be amazed what a little competition will do to get you off the couch. Having that goal to strive towards will make you workout longer, more intensely and more consistently than you can imagine. These days there are more options than ever. Consider 5K runs, Duathalons, Triathlons, Road races, Off-road MTB and Trail running races. A popular trend lately is obstacle course challenges such as a Warrior dash or Tough Mudder. Many of these types of events can also be done with a partner or as a team.

Here are six tips to get you heading in the right direction to completing your event and regaining your workout motivation.

  1. Go online and search for an event in an activity of your choosing, whether it is running, biking, swimming or otherwise. A good source for many events across the country is Active.com.
  2. Register. Sometimes forking over the money in advance is all the motivation you need to train and prepare for the event.
  3. Search for a training plan. Some websites will offer free training plans for 5K’s, sprint triathlons, marathons etc. Coach Jenny has a bunch of free running training plans for a variety of distances (http://www.jennyhadfield.com/training-plans/).
  4. Find a training partner. Accountability can be a great motivator to get out of the house and complete your workouts. You can motivate one another and maybe even have a friendly little competition. If you’re training solo, share your goals and plans with a social community. Friends and family online can also be very encouraging.
  5. Have a plan for bumps in the road. What will you do if you get to the gym and forget shoes? Pack the night before? Make a checklist? Prepare for potential missed workouts by scheduling them in advance, putting them on your calendar and sticking to them. Or, have an alternative time available. You won’t miss out on a training day if you plan for the worst.
  6. Mentally prepare for race day. Begin visualizing the race as soon as you sign up for it. When you go to bed at night, imagine waking up on race day and go through your motions – what will you eat, what will you wear, how will you warm up? Visualizations can help you feel more ready physically because it will be as if you had completed the race already. If possible, complete the race route at least once in one of your training sessions prior to the event.

After embarrassing myself in a partner-based triathlon event I vowed the next year to do better. The event motivated me to work out harder and more consistently than I had since being forced to as an athlete in school. Since that time, I’ve used that event as motivation every year. Over the years I’ve begun adding additional events to further spur the motivation…1/2 marathon, Turkey Trot, Mountain bike races. Although there is no chance that I will ever win any of these races, the motivation to do better each year, or in some cases even to finish the race, drives me to put in the extra time or intensity leading up to race day.

Find an event and get a friend to sign up with you. Come race day, you’ll be healthier and in better shape than you have been in years. Good luck!

How to Eliminate Elliptical Noise

The only noise you want to hear when working out on your elliptical is your music, or the sound of those calories burning up! Unfortunately, this isn’t a perfect world and noise can occur over time from using your elliptical. Not necessarily caused by worn parts, noises can occur with use of your machine as bolts loosen. Here are some helpful tips to help keep your elliptical in tip-top shape!

Elliptical Maintenance

First thing to check is your owner’s manual for the maintenance that needs to be done (this can vary per model). Generally that starts with making sure the machine is level. There are adjustable levelers at the bottom of the elliptical frame, which you can raise or lower (one or both) to level the elliptical. Using a carpenter’s level to assist with leveling is recommended. Once you have the unit leveled, lock the levelers in placed by tightening the nuts against the frame.

Elliptical levelers *NOTE: Some ellipticals do not have levelers.  

Assembly Joints

After verifying that the Elliptical is level, you can look through the assembly steps and verify that the unit is assembled properly (all the washers in place and in the correct spot). While checking the assembly joints it is important to go through and tighten them. Tightening the assembly hardware is something that should be being done monthly. Please reference the pictures below to check hardware and joints.

Link Arm / Handlebar Connection*:

Elliptical link arm

*Verify hardware in Manual is present. Shake the joint in all directions to see if any noise is created. If noise is present, tighten hardware and/or add additional washers to eliminate any gaps.

Pedal Arm / Crank Arm Connection**:

Elliptical pedal arm

**Verify hardware in Manual is present. Shake the joint to see if the crank arm is loose. If the end of the pedal arm has a plastic cover, check to see if the seam of the cover is catching or separated.

Link Arm / Pedal Arm Connection***:

Elliptical link arm connection

***Please make sure that every washer shown on the Assembly Step is present. Tighten hardware as needed.

These are two very important troubleshooting steps that take care of the noise issues. However if you are still experiencing noise after trying the above steps, please check our YouTube channel for additional tips and information. Otherwise, contact the local dealer where you purchased your machine, as they should be able to help you out further.

Turning Energy Saver™ Mode On and Off

Our Classic, Elegant and Touch consoles include an environmentally friendly feature called Energy Saver™ mode. When the feature is activated, the console will go to sleep after 15 minutes of inactivity to save power. A small green LED will light on the display alerting you that the machine is in Energy Saver™ mode.

For technical reasons, the Energy Saver mode is set to OFF as a default when the machine leaves the factory. Here’s how to change the Energy Saver setting from OFF to ON.

Treadmill Classic console

  1. Start by plugging in and turning on the treadmill.
  2. Step on the side rails and insert the safety key.
  3. Simultaneously press and hold the INCLINE UP and SPEED DOWN arrow buttons for 3-5 seconds. The console will beep and begin to scroll SELECT ENG MODE. At this point you can release the buttons.
  4. For the Energy Saver mode (ESM), press the INCLINE UP arrow button to take you to ENG3.
  5. Press the ENTER button.
  6. Now press the INCLINE UP button, and the display will change between ON and OFF.
  7. Once it is displaying the desired output, press and hold the STOP button for 3-5 seconds to exit. The console will beep and begin to scroll SELECT ENG MODE. At this point you can release the button.
  8. Finally, press and hold the STOP button again to exit Engineering Mode. The console will beep and return to the main screen. At this point you can release the button.

Treadmill Elegant console

  1. Start by plugging in and turning on the treadmill.
  2. Step on the side rails and insert the safety key.
  3. Simultaneously press and hold the INCLINE UP and SPEED DOWN arrow buttons for 3-5 seconds. The console will beep and enter Engineering Mode. At this point you can release the buttons.
  4. Now press the top left ATM-style button to select Settings.
  5. Once in Settings, press the top right ATM-style button to select Continue.
  6. Using the two middle-left ATM-style buttons select ON or OFF.
  7. Once it is displaying the desired output, press the bottom left ATM-style button to select Finished.
  8. Finally, press the STOP button to return to the main screen.

Treadmill Touch console

  1. Start by plugging in and turning on the treadmill.
  2. Step on the side rails and insert the safety key.
  3. Simultaneously press and hold the INCLINE UP and SPEED DOWN arrow buttons for 3-5 seconds. The console will beep and enter Engineering Mode. At this point you can release the buttons.
  4. Using the touchscreen, press the selection for Settings on the left side of the screen.
  5. Once in Settings, press the word “Energy Saver,” then make your selection for ON or OFF with the buttons that appear in the top right side of the screen.
  6. Once the desired output is selected, press the HOME button on the top-right side of the screen to exit Engineering Mode.

Bike/Elliptical Classic console

  1. Start by plugging in the bike or elliptical.
  2. Simultaneously press and hold the RESISTANCE UP and RESISTANCE DOWN arrow buttons for 3-5 seconds. The console will beep and begin to scroll SELECT ENG MODE. At this point you can release the buttons.
  3. For Energy Saver mode (ESM) press the RESISTANCE UP arrow button to take you to ENG2.
  4. Press the ENTER button.
  5. Now press the RESISTANCE UP button, the display will change between ON and OFF.
  6. Once it is displaying the desired output, press and hold the STOP button for 3-5 seconds to exit. The console will beep and begin to scroll SELECT ENG MODE. At this point you can release the button.
  7. Finally, press and hold the STOP button again to exit Engineering Mode. The console will beep and return to the main screen. At this point you can release the button.

Bike/Elliptical Elegant console

  1. Start by plugging in the bike or elliptical.
  2. Simultaneously press and hold the RESISTANCE UP and RESISTANCE DOWN arrow buttons for 3-5 seconds. The console will beep and enter Engineering Mode. At this point you can release the buttons.
  3. Now press the top left ATM-style button to select Settings
  4. Once in Settings, press the top right ATM-style button to select Continue.
  5. Using the two middle-left ATM-style buttons select ON or OFF.
  6. Once it is displaying the desired output, press the bottom-left ATM-style button to select Finished.
  7. Finally, press the STOP button to return to the main screen.

Bike/Elliptical Touch console

  1. Start by plugging in the bike or elliptical.
  2. Simultaneously press and hold the RESISTANCE UP and RESISTANCE DOWN arrow buttons for 3-5 seconds. The console will beep and enter Engineering Mode. At this point you can release the buttons.
  3. Using the touchscreen, press the selection for Settings on the left side of the screen.
  4. Once in Settings, press the word “Energy Saver,” then make your selection for ON or OFF with the buttons that appear in the top-right side of the screen.
  5. Once the desired output is selected, press the HOME button in the top-right side of the screen to exit Engineering Mode.

How to Align and Tension Your Treadmill Running Belt

Having trouble with keeping your running belt straight and centered? The running belt may stretch with use, causing it to fall out of alignment, shifting too far to the left or the right. This can also create unnecessary noise and wear on the running belt. Most commonly, the running belt may come out of alignment after lubrication procedures, if needed*, or when adjusting the tension if the running belt seems too loose. The loose feeling would be described as the belt feeling like it is slipping under the user’s feet, or if the running belt stops as soon as weight is applied to the belt to walk.

Don’t be intimidated by this issue. It can be resolved quickly and easily! Below, we are sharing our tips and instructions on how to center, align and tension your running belt.

First, make sure your machine and the surface the machine is on are level. If the surface is not level, try moving to a level spot on the floor, or think about purchasing a treadmill mat to help with this issue. If the floor is level but the machine is not, you may need to adjust the levelers at the bottom of the treadmill. Please refer to your owner’s manual for additional guidance with that procedure.

If all leveling checks out, then the next step would be to adjust the running belt itself. There are 2 tools that you will need. First, a Phillips head screwdriver is necessary to remove the screws that hold the rear end caps on if you want a clearer view of the bolts that adjust the running belt tension. The second required tool is an Allen wrench, preferably the blue-handled T-Wrench that came with the machine. The size of the T-wrench may vary, but generally it is a 6mm or 8mm.

Start by turning on the machine and pressing “Start.”  Adjust the speed to the lowest setting. Let the belt rotate a few times. If the running belt starts to shift toward one side, loosen the rear roller bolt on the opposite side ¼ turn clockwise. For example, if the running belt begins to shift to the left, loosen (turn counter clockwise) the right roller bolt a ¼ of a turn. The key to this is patience as you must wait five revolutions of the running belt between each adjustment. That will ensure you do not over correct the belt.

Continue this step, making ¼ turn adjustments after five revolutions until the belt no longer shifts to one side.

If the belt is still not centering after constant adjustment, then it is possible the front roller has become misaligned. Remove the front motor cover by extracting the Phillips screws attaching it to the frame. Once the treadmill roller bracketcover is removed, check the front roller bolt bracket. On the right hand side, (if standing on the machine), you should see a bolt suspended in a bracket that holds the front roller. Verify that bolt is centered in the bracket. If the bolt is too far forward or backward, adjust the bolt so that it is located right in the center of the bracket.

Next, test the tension by walking on the belt. Run the belt at a comfortable walking speed. Then, walk on the belt while holding the handlebars and step down firmly with your lead foot, trying to stop the belt with each step. If the belt still hesitates, tighten each rear roller bolt another ¼ turn per side. Once it stops hesitating, stop tensioning the belt. Over tightening can cause unnecessary stress on the rollers and belt.

Remember – a clockwise turn will tighten and counter-clockwise will loosen.

Hopefully these tips will have your treadmill belt running straight and working in peak condition. Remember to be patient as the small adjustments will work, they just take a little time.

*Note: Not all units require lubrication. Please refer to your Owner’s Manual for guidance.