Are there any treadmills with accessible companion iOS apps?

Hardware & Accessories

I am wondering if anyone could recommend an accessible treadmill. I am looking for something that would potentially sync through bluetooth with my iPhone SE or MacBook Pro so I could more accurately track distance/calories/average pace, etc. I am planning on purchasing a treadmill int he near future, but wanted to reach out to the Applevis community first. Also, if there is a specific application that works with the treadmill please let me know your recommendations and experiences. Thanks in advance.



Submitted by gailisaiah on Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Hi Chowder, I look forward to that answer too. I have a Nordictrack (forgive spelling) which I had to get tactually marked in order to use. It has a screen with miles walked, calories, etc, which I cannot read. So an app that may work with it would be nice.

Submitted by Simon on Wednesday, April 26, 2017

There is a fully accessible treadmill, i use it all the time. The only issue being it is quite expensive for a treadmill. The TechnoGym MYRUN, is controlled by an iOS app that works well with VoiceOVer. I can do everything from create custom workouts, to locking the speed o the treadmill to my heart rate, so it will increase or decrease the speed to keep my heart rate within a set zone. Can get real time distance, speed, pace etc too.

However, as well as the expense. It keeps all the data locked into its own app. This is the bit i really don't like as i cant export it into other training systems to track progress.

The great news? There is a cheaper and better solution. The treadmill you want is a NordicTrack, specifically any model with one touch speed and incline. This will allow you to use sticker bump ons or braille to tag the physical controls. So at the touch of one button you can change the speed of the treadmill to say 10kph and an incline of 3%.

This of course has one downfall, no real time data. There are a number of solutions to this and it depends how much money you want to throw at the problem.

The slickest and easiest is probably to buy a Garmin Footpod, buy this used off eBay. Then you will need an Ant+ to Bluetooth bridge. There are two choices for this, the 4iiii heart rate monitor or a dedicated Ant+ to Bluetooth smart bridge such as the CABLE.

I currently have the CABLE on order to fully test that setup.

ow you need an app on the iPhone called Wahoo Fitness. This will see the Garmin Footpod through either the CABLE or 4iiii. This will allow you to get real time distance, pace, calories and HR if you used the 4iiii. You can also add some other bluetooth sensors to collect even more data.

Wahoo Fitness works fantastically well with VoiceOver and has a very slick system for giving audio updates as you workout. It also allows you to export your data to many fitness apps as well as access the raw data to import into something like Golden Cheetah.

I have made a number of pieces of fitness equipment accessible, using combinations of bluetooth sensors and the Wahoo app. From spin bikes, to turbo's to the treadmill.

If you have any detailed questions happy to answer on here or on a call.

Submitted by Dave Matters on Wednesday, April 26, 2017

This is a good idea. Honestly, I assumed nothing like this really existed. I personally would be more interested in a stationary bike as opposed to a treadmill. Any thoughts?

Submitted by Justin on Wednesday, April 26, 2017

I've got the Lifespan TR1200I treadmill. No app control, but it's got physical buttons for changing settings, speed, incline, changing programs, etc. It's really nice, runs quiet, and honestly I don't really need an iOS app. I just get on, go for a little while, stop it or keep it paused and get on at a later time. So far, no issues from me.

Stationary bike, depends what stats you want and how much ou are willing to spend.

Cheap way - spin bike from amazon. Then you will need the Wahoo Speed and Cadence sensor. You duct tape the magnetic spoke element to the flywheel of the spin bike, then duct tape the receiver part to the front fork. Ensuring that the magnet passes through the correct part of the receiver. This will make sense when you have the device in hand or someone with sight to help you.

This will give you speed and distance. If you add a bluetooth heart rate strap to the mix you will get calorie and HR too.

THe app you will use is the Wahoo Fitness app, so again real time stats all through audio as well as post stats in whatever fitness app you like.

If you want to really splash out. Get a race bike that suits your size. Pop it into a Wahoo KICKR. This will give you more data than you know what to do with. Can do very high end stuff like training at power, simulate everything from wind resistance to slope and have the resistance automatically changed in real time. This basically gives you the most intense training. As you can never slack off, slow down pedalling? The resistance will increase.

I personally currently use the Wahoo KICKR to train. I use mostly Wahoo Fitness as the app on the phone as its very accessible. I also use an app called iMobileIntervals. That is for doing serious interval training mainly for if you take getting fit seriously.

Again super accessible, everything works with VoiceOver and there is constant audio feedback on current stats.

Cost - the sensors for spin bike is well under $100.
Wahoo KICKR - this is going to be around $1500, as you need to buy a race bike as well as the Wahoo KICKR.

Submitted by HaiTech on Wednesday, April 26, 2017

In reply to by Simon

Hi Simon:
The TechnoGym MyRun treadmill sounds like a great piece of exercise tech, however it does not look like there is a US distributor. I would love to be proven wrong on this and would appreciate any leads from anyone who knows differently. I just received delivery of a NordicTrack Commercial 1750 which appears to be sporting an Android tablet for the brains of the console. Based on research in the various forums, this Android tablet has been pretty stripped down to the basics, however folks have managed to install various apps for consuming media via ADB and Dropbox shared links.
I have not gotten a chance to fully investigate the various settings to determine whether Talkback has been removed and would be amazed if NordicTrack kept it installed. My hope is to run this treadmill through various paces before attempting to install Talkback on the console. All this to say that the Commercial 1750 and similar models have potential to be very accessible if additional efforts are made to reach out to NordicTrack.
Aside from the brains of the console, the buttons are slightly raised, however additional work can be done to make them more tactile. My plan is to label controls in Braille for ease of access. Another plus for this unit are the dedicated controls for various speed and incline/decline levels which should make overall navigation much easier.
As for the data component, I am currently comparing the UI of an Apple Watch Series Ii and a Fitbit Charge II, realizing that both devices are meant for casual data gathering.

Submitted by peter on Wednesday, April 26, 2017

I have an exercise bike and a treadmill, both with touch sensors. I put braille labels on both and control them that way. I have a talking watch that times me and I count cycles per minute using the watch while riding the bike.

Yes, it would be nice if there were talking solutions for exercise equipment, but it is certainly possible to work out with some simple modifications.

After exercising I enter my workouts manually on the iPhone.


Submitted by Deborah Armstrong on Thursday, July 20, 2017

So I wonder if there is a case for saying a gym is not ADA compliant unless it gets some of these sensors? I work for a college and I do wish our gym would have some accessible equipment. Instead of bugging the poor folks who run the gym though, I wonder if manufacturers could be persuaded to make their equipment more accessible to market ADA compliance?

Submitted by Feliciano Godoy on Monday, April 29, 2019

I’m an active user on the Apple Watch. I track my workouts on there using fitness apps. Considering a treadmill, what are you guys using that are accessible or have made accessible?was

Submitted by HaiTech on Monday, April 29, 2019

In reply to by Feliciano Godoy

Although GymKit was released back in 2017, I’ve not heard anything promising from manufacturers of exercise equipment. There was a news cycle that lasted around six months or so in late 2017 and ran through the first part of early 2018 wherein tech bloggers wrote about the promise of GymKit as being the next big thing for exercise tracking with Apple watch, however the only manufacturer that I know of that has implemented the APIs is Technogym.

Submitted by Roxann Pollard on Monday, April 29, 2019

While reading this post on accessible treadmills this morning, One thing lead to another and I found the stationary bike listed above. Apparently, this type of bike simulates the ride outside, whether on a flat road or any level of terrain. It forces you to utilize your core muscles, just as you would if riding outdoors. I'm wondering whether or not anyone has any familiarity with this bike and if the display is accessible via an iPhone app.

Submitted by Simon on Monday, April 29, 2019

To update this thread:


This is now simpler. You can purchase a MileStonePod, which, is a Bluetooth foot pod. This will give you realtime audio pace and distance while on the treadmill. Use the Wahoo Fitness app to configure and use. Costs around $30.

For an actual treadmill, anything with physical buttons that you can use bumpons.

Indoor bike:

The Wahoo Kickr is still the best. You will need to supply your own road bike to attach to the system. But 100% accessible. Realtime audio pace, distance, power, cadence everything you could even imagine needing.

Apple Watch:

I do use this on the treadmill, not as accurate as the MileStonePod, but relatively ok.

Submitted by Roxann Pollard on Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Hello Simon. Thanks for updating your current hardware recommendations for us.

It should be noted that, when I wen to to look up the MileStonePod, it was priced at $119.00 and not the $30.00 previously mentioned. Upon further investigation, I discovered that MileStonePod was bought by Zwift, back in November, 2018. The new version is now called Zwift RunPod and is sold on for $30.00.


Submitted by Roxann Pollard on Thursday, August 29, 2019

I realize this thread is related to treadmills, but I thought I'd post my experiences with the Bowflex Max Trainer, in case someone is interested.

I own the Bowflex Max Trainer M7 model. When I was making my purchase, there were the M3, M5, and M7 models, with the M7 being the top of the line at the time.

The bowflex Max Trainer app for iOS works very well with the unit. The trainer's display has tactile buttons on it that can sort of be used by the blind to control some things. I had sighted assistance in setting up the display for the first time, but upon reflection, I don't think it would have been necessary.

there are several programs in the display that can be used. With some counting, you can get to the desired program. Personally, I just use the Max button, located in the top row of buttons, middle button, to start the typical 14 minute workout, which has 8 intervals. When the button is first pressed, this is your first interval. What I do is warm up on the floor first, then mount the unit and take several steps on the trainer, without starting the Max Trainer session. When I'm ready, I hit the Max Trainer button and begin my first sprint interval.

Note: since I can't see the display, what I have done is to use thick elastic hair bands on the top portion of the arm. Since there are 8 intervals, I added 8 hair ties. when an interval is complete, which is indicated by a bell, then I slide a hair band to the bottof of the bar to keep track of where I am. The rocker handle bars on the unit pivot at the mid point. When sliding the hair band downward, it will only go so far so it will not fall off.

I use my apple watch workout app to track my heart rate. I start an Other workout for a Max Trainer session.

The unit comes with a Bluetooth heart rate chest strap. I don't use this as I feel it wouldn't be very effective on me as a woman. Instead, I use the cardio grips on the unit after each sprint interval is complete so that the app has heart rate data to show. Ultimately, however, I use the highest heart rate data from my Apple watch to plug into my Excel spread sheet that I created to keep track of my stats. You can track your stats in the Journal tab of the app but I prefer a spread sheet view instead.

Since purchasing the M7 model, they have released the M8 now. This unit has a redesigned display that will now talk to you and works with Bluetooth headsets during a workout. This display requires an annual subscription to maximize the learning of the computer as you go; however, there are some programs within the unit that can be used without the subscription. Your purchase of the M8 comes with a one year subscription included. The annual subscription is $149.99. If you own the M7 model, the display can be upgraded for $299.99, which includes the first year subscription in the purchase.

I have watched a Youtube demo of the M8 display in action and the voice included is very good. I haven't upgraded but if finances allow, I will be doing so.

If you made it this far, I commend you for reading my long post. I can tell you that, despite the limitations of the M7 model, I believe that it is still completely useable for a totally blind person. If you want a copy of my Excel spreadsheet for your own use, I'd be happy to share. If you have more questions, I'll help the best I am able.

Update: 08/29/2019.

Bowflex has now released the Bowflex Max Trainer Total. This unit is an improvement over the M8 model, in that, two roller wheels are used on each side for movement of the pedals. They also use a Samsung Tablet for consoul interactions. I spoke with a rep, who was kind enough to open up her version of the tablet. She checked the accessibility features and confirmed that there are voice and low vision features available. My thoughts are that, thisd would be the best of both worlds, for two reasons. First, you have the most stats being tracked, including cardio and strength. Previous models didn't track strength, just cardio. But with the new addition of another location to place your hands, they now track how hard you push/pull with your arms, which turns into greater caloric burn metrics. Finally, because they are using a Samsung tablet with voice features, we should be able to interact with the programs, as well as receive the verbal feedback of the Max Intelligence voice, to know just how hard we are working. Currently, on my M7 model, all I have is the bell to work for. All other metrics are tracked by my watch and the Max Trainer app, which has no voice.

I so want to upgrade my unit.

Submitted by gailisaiah on Tuesday, April 30, 2019

I make sure my phone is in my shorts' pocket before starting my thirty minutes on the treadmill. I check the Health app for distance. It's usually about 2.2 miles.

Submitted by Falco on Thursday, August 29, 2019


My girlfriend wants to buy a treadmill. Are there treadmills with bluetooth connection that are accessible with your iPhone to read the information and to make running programs directly via the app on your iPhone. I saw a treadmill that make it possible to create your own traject with google maps.....:


Submitted by Blackadder on Thursday, October 10, 2019

For about a year now I am using a treadmill from China called X-FIT 118. It works great with my iPhone 8. There is an application called FitShow Lite and it works fine. The servers had a problem many months ago to register your log in (if you wanted to save your stats online) but otherwise it worked fine. You can do all the classical stuff you would expect plus different programs. At the end of the workout, it gives you a summary of distance, time, calories, max speed, average speed and pace and maybe one or two more which I cannot remember.