In this day and age everyone is under pressure to be healthy and work out. It isn't easy however to find the time to go to the gym while trying to cope with family life, work and social activities. As the saying goes "there are never enough hours in the day." Joining a gym is also expensive, whether paid monthly or annually and the exercise classes (yoga, pilates, cross-fit) are usually not included. A better option for many would be to build a gym at home, whether that is a single machine and a couple of dumb bells or a dedicated room filled with the latest equipment. Quality exercise equipment is available nowadays at low prices making it easier than ever before to exercise at home. The home gym is growing in popularity and this short guide is designed to help you choose the right equipment and find the best prices in the market.
Exercise Equipment Types
There are a huge range of different types of exercise equipment in the market so it's important to decide what you want to achieve before buying any equipment. For example, cardio machines such as treadmills are designed to improve your fitness while weight based equipment like multi-gyms are designed to build strength and muscle.
Cardio Exercise Machines
Cardio machines will increase your fitness levels and lung capacity while strengthening your cardiovascular (heart) muscles. Thus making you fitter, less stressed, healthier and helping you enjoy increased energy levels in your day to day life. Cardio workouts burn fat and tone the muscles being exercised.
Cardio machines include running machines (treadmills), exercise bikes, step and rowing machines and elliptical trainers. These machines often take up the most space in your home and are generally the most expensive gym equipment. A high-quality machine starts at a few hundred pounds although top of the range machines, the types you often see in gyms can cost thousands.
Free Weights Equipment
One of the most traditional forms of exercise and a staple of any home gym are free weights. Lifting weights will build and strengthen specific muscle groups. Free weights allow you to work on specific areas of your body and increase muscle size. Free weights do not increase fitness levels in the same way cardio exercise does but if combined with cardiovascular exercise, weight training will help you lose weight, tone your body and burn fat.
Resistance Training Machines
Multi gyms are the most common form of resistance training and are a modern alternative to free weights and will increase muscle mass and definition. Resistance machines are often viewed as being safer than using free weights and is often used to help people recover from injury by rebuilding muscle and strenthening joints. Multi gyms are quite large but they allow you to perform dozens of different exercises and work out the whole body. Resistance work, like free weights, is designed to build muscle, not to increase cardiovascular fitness. It should be used in combination with a cardio workout to help you increase fitness, tone your body and lose weight.
Things To Consider Before Buying
First and foremost it is important to consider your personal goals when buying gym equipment. Do you want to increase muscle size and definition or do you want to burn fat and lose weight? An ideal home gym would be a mix of cardiovascular training equipment and free weights/resistance machines but not everyone can afford to buy all of this equipment or has the space to store it. If you buy the right piece of equipment or combination of machines it is more likely to be used rather than sitting in the corner gathering dust.
It can be expensive to buy gym equipment if you haven't done your research. Buyers can use the internet to find the best deals available or buy second-hand equipment at a fraction of the cost. You should also consider whether machines are required at all. Small pieces of equipment like free weights and resistance bands can provide you with a good workout that will help you achieve the same objectives. Do you really need a running machine when you can open your front door and run around the park?
We strongly recommend measuring the available space before purchasing any gym equipment. You'll be surprised how much space a cross trainer or multi-gym needs so you don't end up taking chunks out of your wall or furniture. If you do not have a great deal of space available you will find an exercise bike is likely to take up the least amount of room. There are also lightweight running machines and cross trainers available (Try Asda) but while these are cheaper, lighter and take up less space you'll generally find them to be less durable and of a lower quality.
Choose gym equipment you will use, otherwise it's going to end up gathering dust and you won't meet your personal objectives. If you find running difficult, try a cross trainer instead. If you hate cycling, don't buy a static bike. If you are not into free weights try a multi-gym or resistance machine. Exercise should be hard work but fun if you're going to stick with it. You should also mix up your routine - try running in the park a few times a week instead of using the treadmill all the time.
How To Save Money When Buying Gym Equipment
Second Hand Is Good
Exercise equipment is one of the most commonly found items on websites like Gumtree and Ebay. Quite simply, a lot of people buy equipment with good intentions and never use it. Others move home and find they no longer have room for their home gym. You'll find great deals for second-hand equipment and don't be surprised to find savings of over 50% on large pieces of equipment.
There is always room for bargaining when it comes to expensive gym equipment, especially if you buy more than one piece of equipment in a single store. You can save as much as £100 or more if you haggle well, or pay in cash. If they cannot adjust the price, look for free delivery and installation services, or free extended warranties.
Wait For The Sales
If you can wait, hold off until Black Friday or Cyber Monday to shop for gym equipment online. Manufacturers also release new models in September and October so you can get lower prices on older models at this time of year. Some gym equipment stores also hold annual sales or quarterly sales so check their websites or stores for updates.
Look For Imperfections
Ex-display models or machines with slight flaws and scratches are subject to a lot of discounts, from 10% to up to 50%.
Compare Prices Online
Many gym equipment retailers will offer price-match services, so if you have a particular model or brand in mind, you can compare the prices among local and online retailers. They can also give you a refund if they do price drops within a period of time after your purchase.