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Technogym Skillmill review: A high-intensity treadmill experience

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £11250
inc VAT

Hugely expensive for a piece of home gym equipment, but the workout is like little else out there


  • Builds strength, power, speed and stamina
  • Solid build quality
  • Extensive workout tracking and training


  • Very expensive
  • A hulking brute of a thing
  • Only for dedicated fitness enthusiasts

Thanks to the explosion in the Peloton brand, more and more people are welcoming treadmills into their homes. But even the best treadmills can be a little one dimensional, improving cardio and general running fitness, but little else.

This is where the Technogym Skillmill comes into play. It’s a resistance treadmill – often called a curved or non-motorised treadmill – that requires the user to overcome up to 11 levels of magnetic resistance in order to get the curved deck moving.

This works more muscles in the lower body than plodding along a regular motorised treadmill in the gym, activating and incorporating the glutes and hamstrings in every stride.

The lack of a motor also means the Skillmill is fantastic for high-intensity interval training (HIIT), where the user aims to get up to maximum speed – for short periods – as quick as possible. You can accelerate from zero to flat-out in seconds.

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Technogym Skillmill review: What do you get for your money?

Although a very niche market, the Technogym Skillmill arguably sits at the very top of the non-motorised treadmill world. But then so it should, considering it costs a staggering £11,250. It is possible to get something vaguely similar, such as the Assault Fitness Assault Runner Pro, for a lot less money, but it can’t match Technogym’s impeccable commercial build quality or the digital connectivity offering and app-based workouts.

Above all, your money goes towards solid build quality. The unit weighs 180kg, to give you some idea of its bulk, while its dimensions sit at 191 x 89 x 154cm, so it’s not something you’re going to be moving about once it’s in place.

There are two models to choose from. The Skillmill Console offers a self-powered, on-board display that flashes up vital training data such as speed, power output in wattage, workout time, distance and heart rate when external heart-rate monitors are detected.

The Skillmill Connect, however, is the one you want. It has a Wi-Fi-connected screen that syncs workouts to Technogym’s “mywellness” cloud for workout viewing and analysis, and lets you choose from a selection of different workouts.

Whichever one you buy, you get a variety of handlebars, which allow for high and low pushes with correct form and posture, as well as 11 powerful levels of resistance that are easily accessed via a chunky handle.

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Technogym Skillmill review: How easy is it to use?

Simplicity is key here, as users only have to step on the rubberised deck and start walking, jogging or running as they normally would – you don’t have to turn it on or even select a workout to get going.

It’s a slightly eerie feeling at first, as you have to incorporate more leg muscles to overcome the resistance and get the belt rolling, but it soon makes sense.

Lean forward or stride further towards the front of the belt and you’ll notice things speed up rapidly. Do the opposite and the belt slows down. You make the whole experience even harder by upping the resistance via a large handle.

It’s not really designed for long, slow runs, but instead acts as a savage interval training tool, where users walk, jog, sprint and much more over shorter periods of time.

An average workout might see you walking with hands on the rail for a couple of minutes, before sprinting flat out with mild resistance for 30 seconds, walking a bit more before cranking up the resistance, then grabbing hold of those low handles and forcibly pushing the deck, as if you were pushing a weighted sled. Repeat until thoroughly spent.

Designed to test professional athletes on their power, speed, stamina and agility, there are myriad workouts to choose from. These are available via a smartphone app that works with Skillmill Connect models and allows users to track performance, save workout data and monitor progress over time.

In terms of workout data, there’s the usual selection of data fields for distance travelled and time elapsed, but you also get an accurate power output figure, which is a more effective indication of the effort you’ve put into a workout. This is measured via sensors in the belt that determine how hard you’re pushing it and, as a result, the wattage you’re putting out.

Technogym Skillmill review: How effective is it?

As with many things in the fitness world, the Technogym Skillmill is as effective as you want to make it. Theoretically, there’s no maximum speed to the belt, so you can run as fast as your legs can take you, while the 11 levels of resistance mean you won’t be wanting for a tougher workout if you need it.

Once you’ve mastered the basics of Skillmill running, you can move on to power-improving workouts, pushing your way to a stronger lower body. On top of this, there are advanced agility workouts, where users side-step and shuffle their way to increased athletic performance.

Above all else, it’s amazing how much you can cram into a relatively short workout. Sessions on the Skillmill are rapid, sharp bursts of cardio and strength work that will have your heart rate peaking and your lower body burning. It’s absolutely rewarding, if that’s your thing.

However, if you simply want to pop on a podcast and plod out a 10K run, the Skillmill isn’t particularly friendly. For one, the curved running deck isn’t the most comfortable for endurance sessions, there’s no incline and decline simulation and, thanks to a lack of a motor, the unit itself only really gives back what the user puts in. If you’re not feeling up to a punishing HIIT session, it’s not really worth the effort.

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Technogym Skillmill review: Is there anything we don’t like?

It’s very difficult to look past the price, which might be easy to justify for premium gyms purchasing in bulk for group classes but is much harder for private owners to swallow, especially given that you can get a similar workout for much less in something like the Assault Fitness Assault Runner Pro.

I also found the “accessory kit”, which consists of a frame that attaches to the back of the Skillmill and two adjustable pulling straps, to be an unnecessary addition for home use. 

This series of straps (and waist belts, if you want to fork out more) is designed to help build a stronger upper and lower body by encouraging you to actively pull as you walk backward (like pulling a sled), but it proved quite difficult to use with correct form when on the Skillmill, and many of the exercises are more easily and effectively performed on a solid floor with dumbbells and other weights.

In addition to this, I find it a bit rich to ask users to pay extra for a heart-rate belt, which you’ll need if you really want to drill down to granular fitness data. You can pick up a Polar H10 for an additional £80, but that seems a bit mean when the price is so high to begin with.

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Technogym Skillmill review: Should you buy one?

The Technogym Skillmill looks, feels and is priced like a specialist piece of equipment, and for that reason, it won’t be for everyone. It’s not so great for long runs or plodding along as you would on a traditional treadmill, for instance, purely because it isn’t motorised.

For fans of high-intensity interval training, however, it’s fantastic, and its multiple uses – from strength to agility improvements – mean it’s a piece of kit that will have longevity in any training programme. It’s just a shame it’s so expensive that not many people will ever have access to one.

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