The time it takes to pack a bag, drive to the gym, wait on equipment, shower and drive back home makes creating a home gym pretty enticing. But how to best equip one?
All of the usual suspects are at the party — treadmills, exercise bikes, home weight gyms, rowing machines, etc. More and more are coming with the latest smart technology to incorporate class and personal instruction, made by companies like Peloton and Mirror.
Here’s what you need to be looking for in your home fitness equipment:
To bring your daily walk or run inside and make it endlessly customizable, buy a treadmill. Don’t be afraid to put some real money into your treadmill for durability and features. A 3.0 continuous-duty horsepower (CHP) motor or higher will stand up to frequent runs by multiple users like a pro, with high maximum speeds for versatility. The standard belt length for a walking treadmill is 55 inches and 58 to 60 inches for runners. The belt should be at least 18 inches wide and come as wide as 22 inches.
Large touchscreen monitors with integrated TV for interactive classes are awesome, but make sure they’re easy to read and use. Maximum weight ratings are an indication of how durable they are, as well as how they will function for heavier users. Automatic inclines now go up to 40% on trainer treadmills, which intensifies the workout dramatically for walkers as well as runners.
These are a great choice for a low-impact workout that will have a high fitness impact on your entire body. Again, you get what you pay for so don’t be afraid to invest. Most models use water, air or magnets to provide resistance, which provide different experiences in terms of feel and noise but don’t necessarily affect the kind of workout you get.
More important factors include a comfortable seat you won’t need to readjust yourself on and isn’t so low to the ground that it’s difficult to get on and off; durable foot straps that adjust to fit your shoes well; and adjustable resistance levels, particularly if you have a specific goal to reach. Most include a display for basic body stats, while advanced options like outlets for Bluetooth devices, pre-programmed and streaming workouts, and syncing to third-party apps make workouts that much more appealing.
If you take your strength training seriously, you might as well buy a set that will train all your muscle groups to their zenith! You can buy a home gym machine with a well-rounded lineup of weights, racks and devices to kick-start your circuit or find individual components customized to your needs.
Whatever your goals are, must-have basic home gym pieces for strength training include multiple sets of dumbbells, a pullup bar, medicine ball, barbells and a dependable bench. When shopping for a home multigym machine, keep sturdy construction at top of mind, and look for products that can deliver hundreds of different exercises.