How To Choose The Best Fitness Training Equipment For Your Home Gym
I recently bought some fitness training equipment for my home gym. I bought a brand-spanking-new shiny olympic barbell.
I'll admit, it wasn't easy making the decision to buy the one I did. There's so many different varieties, brands and purposes that it's difficult to know what's best.
But in the end, I was incredibly happy with my purchase. Why?
Because I did my homework, and I got exactly what I wanted!
And in this article, you'll learn how to get exactly what you want too! I'll teach you...
- The 5 critical things you must do before buying any piece of equipment.
- Shaye and my top picks for the best home fitness training equipment.
5 Critical Questions To Ask Before Buying Your Equipment
To get the best home exercise equipment for your particular situation it's worth thinking about it before you buy. Ask yourself...
1. What are you trying to achieve?
Different equipment serves different purposes. For example, if you want...
- Huge muscles - Some heavy free-weights or a multi gym would be perfect.
- Aerobic fitness - A stationary bicycle or even just a pair of running shoes will suffice.
You'll make smarter buying decisions if you know exactly what you want!
This should give you an idea about what equipment you should be looking at in the first place.
After you've got an idea of the equipment you should be looking at, you can begin to evaluate it using the following criteria.
2. Does the equipment grow as I do?
I once bought a single resistance band. When I first used it, it gave me a really tough, sweaty workout. But after a few weeks of regular use, it got too easy. I had grown stronger and the workouts had grown stale.
They were boring because they weren't a challenge anymore. I promptly stopped using it.
If I had invested a bit more money on bodylastics resistance bands I would have been able to increase the difficulty of the workouts and I would probably still be using the bands.
3. How large is the equipment?
My home fitness room is in the upstairs of my garage. It's a reasonably large area so I could probably fit quite a large home gym in it. BUT, it would become quite cramped.
But if I had a smaller room, I would be even more cautious about what I put in there...
I can just imagine ordering a brand new home gym...and when it arrives, it doesn't even fit! That would be a huge disappointment.
Do yourself a favor and check the dimensions of the equipment before you make that decision to buy.
4. How many exercises can I do on it?
The ab roller is one of my favorite abdominal machines. It requires a lot of strength to use and builds strength quickly. But it does have a serious limitation.
There's only one movement you can do with it!
Now compare that to dumbbells which have hundreds of different exercises you can do with them. Which one do you think will challenge your body more and keep things interesting?
5. What do the reviews say?
With fitness training equipment, you normally get what you pay for. Expensive equipment is usually...
- easier to use
- lasts longer
- has more exercises available
But that's not always the case.
- Expensive equipment can be absolute rubbish
- Cheap equipment can be fantastic.
Reading reviews is one of the best ways to find a diamond in the rough. People are normally very willing to share their opinion of their equipment.
The best home exercise equipment
Shaye and I have used a fair amount of home fitness training equipment. It's our job :) Below are our picks of what we think are the best equipment for different purposes.
If we haven't tried it, we'll still make a pick based on reviews that other people have written.
Just Getting Started With Home Training?
From our experience, the best place to start with fitness training equipment, is free-weights (dumbbells and barbells). They cover so many bases. They...
- Easy to use - anyone can lift a dumbbell!
- Vary their resistance - just add or subtract weight.
- Trains your entire body - There's hundreds of exercises available.
- Far cheaper than machines.
- Fit into a small space
Our favorite brand of dumbbells for home training are the bowflex dumbbells. You can read our review of them here and find out why we think they are so good for training at home.
Our pick of barbells is the olympic brand. The reason I like these is because they will never need to be upgraded. You won't ever outgrow them. But if you're not up for spending that type of money you can get a cap barbell for a lot less. You'll want to get at least 65kg on it to allow you to get some reasonable strength.
You best ab machine
Pull up bar.
People who travel
If you travel then the TRX is a good option. It can be setup anywhere you go.
The resistance bands are also a good option.
Boxing gloves & bag
All round equipment
Other pieces of equipment we recommend are a pull up bar. There are a whole raft of upper body and core exercises you can do on these. Either read about the different door pull up bar available for purchase or build your own one.
Homemade gym equipment.
- Resistance bands
- Exercise bike
- Exercise balls / Swiss balls
- Medicine balls
- Ab bench
Building your home gym doesn't have to be expensive
Most of the fitness training equipment we own costs less than $40 per part. In fact some of the most useful equipment was made from old boards, milk bottles and a little bit of gravel.
Also take note that we didn't just go out and buy all of our equipment at once. It was a slow collection process over the years which finally resulted in one highly useful home gym.
Exercise Equipment Reviews
We have reviewed some of the fitness training equipment that we have in our home gym.
In our reviews we try to be as objective as possible. We tell you...
- What the strengths and weaknesses of the equipment are.
- Whether or not we thought it was worth what you pay for it.
- Ways of using the equipment in your own home fitness training.
- Sizing, so you can see if it fits in your home gym.
- Anything else that we think might be helpful to you.
We also invite the FTAH community to share their views on equipment. This gives a more well rounded knowledge base so that you can make better buying decisions. We'd rather support makers of high quality equipment rather than con-artists who are out to make a quick buck.
It does take a bit of hard thinking to find a good piece of equipment. But once you're done, you can benefit from it for years...Even a lifetime if you buy well.
Remember, you don't have to do it all now. Just buy equipment slowly over time. You'll eventually end up with a workout room, well stocked with quality equipment. It will actually be a pleasure to go in there and make positive changes to your health and fitness.
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