How to Calibrate a Treadmill

People in the gym

Treadmill calibration allows you to accurately register the incline and speed feedback of your treadmill monitor. An increasingly common workout tool for exercisers who are trying to get their daily 30 minutes of brisk walking, treadmills can be found in a wide variety of models. While it is generally assumed that a treadmill calibration is necessary after installing a new controller, motor or console unit, treadmill owners are also advised to recalibrate any time you move or adjust your treadmill. With patience, determination and an attention to detail, nearly anyone can perform the steps required to accurately calibrate their treadmill.

Plug in your treadmill and hold down the “stop” and “increase speed” keys indicated on the pedometer, monitor or console. Insert the safety key or magnet device into the keyhole located on the monitor console and let go of the “stop” and “increase speed” keys.

Press the “stop” key once to access the level two automatic calibration setting and press the “increase speed” until the treadmill speed increases to roughly 80 to 85 percent of the motor usage as indicated on the monitor. Make sure you do not step on the treadmill belt at any point during the calibration process.

Locate the potentiometer or speed adjusting unit on your console; depending on the age of your model, the potentiometer may be a manual turn gauge or an automatic scale. Notice the maximum speed of your treadmill as indicated on the top of your potentiometer (often 10 to 12 miles per hour) and raise or lower the potentiometer so that the speed is set to 80 or 85 percent in order for it to match the motor speed. Press the “done” or “enter” buttons to finish calibration and return the treadmill to the off position.

Press and hold the two “incline buttons” on your control pad if your treadmill features an automatic calibration feature. Wait until the display reads “calibration” and press the “start” button. After five to eight minutes, the unit should automatically increase and decrease speed until the display reads “calibration successful.” Remove the activator key.


Always stay away from the treadmill belt when calibrating your unit: the speed often increases to levels that would be dangerous and could cause harm if you accidentally stepped on the belt. Access the control pad or monitor while stepping on the sides of the unit to make sure you have a safe foothold.