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Smart Ways to Pump up Your Home Gym: Part I

Buying fitness equipment is not always the easiest task. Finding the right piece for your home gym often means heading into unchartered territory. Everyday Health offers some great tips on making smart fitness buys. Here are highlights:

  • Keep what you like to do in mind. If you hate taking the stairs, a stair-stepper isn't going to change your habits. A treadmill might be a better option.
  • Because many types of equipment require a sizable outlay of money, look for the one that offers the most complete workout. If you're setting up a home gym, a good strategy is to devote the bulk of your budget to a good quality cardiovascular machine. Supplement that with less expensive strength training pieces, such as dumbbells and resistance bands.
  • Measure the space where you plan to install the machine and carry the dimensions with you when you shop. Stair steppers, for example, are quite tall.

There are more tips so


  • Bring a healthy skepticism about performance claims with you when you consider equipment. For example, most aerobic equipment will burn 400–600 calories an hour, not the more than 1,300 calories that some manufacturers claim. And no device is going to produce "perfect abs" in just three minutes a day.
  • Keep in mind that it's impossible to burn fat from just one part of the body. Don't be swayed by emphatic testimonials or dramatic before-and-after pictures.
  • Take a test drive before you buy. This means spending some real time working out on the machine in proper exercise clothes and shoes. Don't make your decision on the basis of a few seconds of use while still in your street clothes. Also, reputable dealers will often allow you to try out the machine for 30 days and return it for a full refund if you're not satisfied.


Join The Conversation
underyourwaves underyourwaves 9 years
Don't make the same mistake I did-- I bought a treadmill, thinking that I'll learn to *like* running. Didn't happen. I'm rather fond of my stationary bike though.
raieven raieven 9 years
rowing machine ballet bar & little dance studio (lol) elliptical treadmill dumbbells = my dream home gym
jkat jkat 9 years
If I were to get a home gym, I would definitely put a Precor ellipical and a Lifefitness or Precor treadmill at the top of my list. I couldn't imagine using a different (or less expensive) type of cardio equipment after years of being spoiled at the gym. I agree that all I would probably need for the rest would be a dumbell set, bosu and swiss balls, resistance bands, and maybe a bench, so I could splurge on the cardio stuff.
sundaygreen sundaygreen 9 years
treadmill + elliptical + swiss balls + dumbbells + tv + dvd player = all i need.
true-angel true-angel 9 years
fatintothefire fatintothefire 9 years
Great tips! A home gym can be as simple as a mat and a few light pairs of dumbbells. The key is to get some equipment that you will most likely use. If you don't use it - it won't work for you. For me - I like a quick paced total body dumbbell workout when exercising at home. It doesn't take much time, and you get all the great muscle toning benefits of weight training.
Spectra Spectra 9 years
I have a home gym and it's nice because it saves me a ton of money over a gym membership and I make all the rules. I have an elliptical machine (I use it when I don't want to/can't run), a TV with a DVD player to do exercise DVDs, a stability ball, various dumbbells, and a mat so I can do Pilates. Another thing you should take into consideration when you buy a piece of cardio equipment is how often it will be used and how heavy the user is. If you're not going to use it much and/or are fairly light, you can probably get a less expensive machine. If you will be using it a lot and/or are a heavier person, invest in a more costly piece of equipment. Right now, I have a fairly cheap elliptical, but sometime in the future I'd like to buy a Precor. They aren't cheap, but I want one SO BAD! I'd totally use it all the time. And considering my husband bought himself a $5000 toolbox, I can use that as ammo for my cause, lol.
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