04 April 2009

How to Find the Right Exercise Equipment

Picture of a cat giving a massage to another cat Okay, you have decided to take the plunge and stick with this exercise thing, but you want to buy exercise equipment that will last past the 90 guarantee. We have all been there: you’re rocking-out to your tunes and pedaling away on your stationary bike, only to see yourself flying over the top of the bike and landing on the floor with a handle in your hand. What happened? Well, it was day 91 and the screw worked itself out from the handle. Your $99.00 Stationary Bike just became a weight lifting machine for the garbage men. Don’t worry, there is a way to avoid this scene. Not all exercise machines are built the same. Once you find out HOW you want to use the equipment, it will make it easier for you to choose the right one.

Probably the first question we all have is: why do they build machines that will fall apart so fast in the first place? It is very simple: Economics. They know that a majority of the people who go out and buy exercise equipment are not going to be using it after about six weeks. By this time the newness will have worn off and more likely than not, the machine will end up spending its remaining days as a clothes hanger. They count on the fact that most people will grow tired and bored with the whole routine. They know that the consumer has already seen a significant weight loss (close to 10 pounds, most of it water with 2-4 pounds in fat), and now that their body has adjusted to the routine, the weight will come off a little slower. Discouraged, the consumer will just quit and go on to the next item on their To-Do list.

To avoid these machines you will need to do two things: Research and Research. Yes, I said it twice because it is the most important thing you can do. If you are going to spend several hundred dollars on a QUALITY exercise machine, you need to know that it will be the right machine for you. Ask yourself some questions: What do I want to do with it? Do you want a treadmill, an elliptical Bike, a stationary Bike, a Weight machine, or a combination of several? Find out what type of workout you want to do. This is the first step.

Secondly, after you have decided on the machine or machines you want, go to places like Amazon and read the customer reviews on the equipment. This is a very important step, because these people are actually USING the product you want to buy. Learn from their experiences. Don’t get focused on just one name brand. Look at them all. Chances are the best one will come out on top.

Thirdly, after you have read customer reviews, checkout what the experts say about them. They will have the technical insight, which you will find very informative. They will give you information regarding the stability, construction, and comfort of the equipment. Look for items such as steel vs. aluminum construction. If you are searching for a treadmill, make sure that the motor is powerful enough for your intended use. A good 3.0 CHP (Continuous Horse Power, yes there is a difference) motor is a good baseline. Make sure that the deck is wide enough and long enough for you to have a comfortable stride (a good base line here is 20 inches wide by 55 inches long).

After you have read all the reviews from both consumers and experts, you should have a pretty good idea as to which piece of exercise equipment you want to purchase; However, there is one more step you should take: go to a store which sells the model you wish to purchase or a gym and try it out (again, if it is a treadmill, something else you might want to do is ask the Cardiologists in your area which type they use for stress tests). Take a look at it and actually try it out. If you like what you see and feel, then you are ready to make your purchase.

Again, we are back at the internet. Now that you know the make and model, search for the most inexpensive price. As you search, be sure to make note of the warranty information. Make sure that it is the same one from the manufacturer Also, check for shipping costs. Some companies will include the shipping cost in the price of the machine. Check those that offer it separately and compare the two. Sometimes you may be getting free shipping, but paying more in the end. I hope that this has given you a few ideas as to where to start your search for quality exercise equipment. If you have additional questions, let me know and I will be more than happy to help you in your quest.

Now, if you just want to work your upper body, then here is something that I have been using for the past several months. It's called the
Iron GymIron Gym Total Upper Body Workout Bar - Extreme Edition.

As you might be able to tell from the photo, it fits in your doorway and you use if to do pull-ups and chin-ups (you can also get a great ab workout using it). Just be sure to measure your doorway, to make sure that it will fit. As I said, I have been using it for several months, along with the Total Gym, and the results have been fantastic.

Related articles:

Tips on How to choose a Treadmill

My Total Gym and Me




  1. Haha, I love that attached picture! :)

  2. Lux: Thanks, it's an old one I found last year;)

  3. Lol I love the picture. That's the life. If only it was so easy.

  4. Chronic Chick Talk: I know exactly what you mean:)


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