If you are a larger person - you are going to want a treadmill that will be 'extra' structurally sound to fully support your weight as well as to provide low impact for your joints -- even if you are intending to simply use it just for walking (and especially if you're planning jogs & sprints). You do have a good few options to choose from though - but the 'very best' are presented in the following showcase (all of which have been specifically designed for solidity & cushioning technology). Hopefully, you will find the right model that suits your fitness preferences from the selection below & at the very least will give you a better idea as to what you want in a treadmill.

The TR 1200i Foldable Treadmill by LifeSpan

Capacity: Up to 300 pounds |

This is a highly regarded & multi-award winning (e.g. Treadmill Doctor "Best Buy" - Best New Treadmill, Fitness Professor's "Head of the Class" for Treadmills under $1000 etc.) treadmill, which ticks all the 'what-a-treadmill-should-do' boxes & offers a lot of value for its price tag. The running deck (measures 20 by 56 inches) & has been fitted with a biomechanical suspension (with 6 elastomers) to support those weighing up to 300 lbs as well as reducing impact felt on your joints.

LifeSpan TR 1200i Folding Treadmill (2013 Model)
Amazon Price: $1,499.99 $699.00 Buy Now
(price as of Sep 29, 2013)

To give a quick overview: it features a 2.5 HP motor that allows a speed range from 0.5 to 11 mph, with an incline adjustment of 15 levels. The centre piece is the LCD console that displays all the important stats (e.g. calories burned, calories burned etc. & through the free membership of the LifeSpan Fitness club you get when buying the TR1200i it automatically records each work-out & you can see from the fitness log created how you have progressed over a given time) as well as an extensive range of fitness programmes (all have been designed by leading fitness professionals such as the heart rate zone, which has been particularly highlighted as a great workout for weight loss) you can access. Moreover, it offers sweet 'extras' too such as the jack in ports where you can plug in head phones & your MP3 to listen to music or an audio book whilst you work out.  In sum, a fantastic model that you should definitely take a look at.

The Power 995 Treadmill by ProForm

Capacity: Up to 325 pounds |

This treadmill can withstand a bit more weight than the LifeSpan TR1200i can (25 lbs more) along with being integrated with ProShox 2 cushioning to reduce the impact & strain that your are placing on your joints & body whilst working out as well as enhancing the recovery i.e the 'toe-off' spring which aids the release of  your foot for the next stride -- this in turn improves the endurance of your work out. It also features a more extensive running deck (20 x 60 inches) -- which will be obviously useful for those who are also on the taller side.

ProForm Power 995 Treadmill
Amazon Price: $1,999.00 $959.00 Buy Now
(price as of Sep 29, 2013)

As a treadmill this model is literally crammed with features -- to start, it offers a 3.0 HP motor that allows you to run (sprint) up to speeds as fast as 12 MPH on varied a 0 - 15 % incline level (allowing access to a whole range of cardio training e.g. long distance, sprint intervals etc.). The LED console offers 20 built-in work outs each targeting specific fitness areas such as weight loss, targeted physical performance (sprints, heart beat recovery - through use of the EKG heart rate monitor) etc. as well as your standard stats (calories burned etc). Particular aspects I like is the CoolAire workout fan to keep you refreshed (& more comfortable) as you work out and in particular the iFit live compatibility it has -- allowing you to 'virtually' train across the world with google maps & run around set courses (with the treadmill adjusting itself to the set terrain) and competing in races with other iFit members -- pretty darn cool.

The TR4000i Folding Treadmill by LifeSpan

Capacity: Up to 350 pounds |

This treadmill is sort of an upgrade to the TR1200i model just mentioned before -- it possesses a similar biomechanical structure except it now has 8 elastomers and an extra 1/4 inch deck thickness (& extended deck of 4 inches length) all in turn have provided more cushioning & support allowing a capacity of 350 lbs to use the the treadmill.

LifeSpan Fitness TR4000i Folding Treadmill
Amazon Price: $2,499.99 $1,699.00 Buy Now
(price as of Sep 29, 2013)

Again, like the TR1200i, the TR4000i carries over a lot of the same features but have simply improved on them such as a 3.25 HP motor that allows it to go up to 12 mph as well as a few additional accessories such as the chest strap (allowing you to monitor your heart rate without having to grip onto the sensors -- basically so you can run more freely). Basically, for those who really like the look of the TR1200i, however are looking for just a bit more t with regards to supporting their weight & cushioning for low impact on their joints.

The 9.33 Premium Series Treadmill by Precor

Capacity: Up to 400 pounds |

This really is a top of the line type treadmill (i.e it is considered a high quality even on a professional measure) that offers the absolute best in regards to protection of your joints (& reducing fatigue etc.) utilising several unique technologies (such as 'integrated foot plant technology' & 'ground effects impact technology') and easily supports users who weigh up to 400 lbs.

Precor 9.33 Premium Series Treadmill
Amazon Price: $4,899.00 $4,499.00 Buy Now
(price as of Sep 29, 2013)

Moreover, with regards to the features fitted with the 9.33 - they are pretty much state of the art - even with the little aspects such as the 'steel crowned drive' to keep noise to a bare minimum and the bio-feedback center with smart rate to give precise readings of your heart rate (really set it apart from your standard treadmill. The 9.33 is obviously very expensive, but in return you are getting a treadmill like no other (even with standard aspects such as the LCD console displaying accurate diagnostics - not estimates like with standard treadmills - on calories burned etc.), and it might be worth seriously considering if you are deeply concerned with getting fitter yet want your joints & weight supported as best they can. Besides, aren't you and your health worth it?

Which model will you choose & why?

If you have any questions, remarks or concerns regarding either the showcase article - the best treadmills for big people - or about any of the models mentioned above, then please be sure to make them in the comments section below and we will be sure to get back to you as soon as possible.

Don't Forget!

ProImpact Treadmill Mat
Amazon Price: Buy Now
(price as of Sep 29, 2013)
Make sure that you buy a protective mat to prevent damaging both the floor as well as the treadmill itself (prevents dust etc. from getting into the mechanics). I suggest you opt for the ProImpact (above) - as it has been proven time & time again. Also, it would be a good idea to get some treadmill deck lubricant to help with maintenance duties.