So you want to lose weight, but you don’t want to pay hefty gym membership prices? Or maybe you just want to get fit, but you hate going to the gym. You maybe live in a small town, where the fitness options aren’t that great. You might work a lot and not be able to make it to the gym during normal hours. Or, hey, maybe you’d just prefer to sweat it out in the privacy of your own home, without schlepping out in the rain, snow or other weather just to fight over the best gym equipment with a dozen other people, who may or may not be judging you for your fitness level. Someone might’ve recommended a home gym, but the best home gym you’ve ever seen wasn’t that impressive at all.
If any of the above sounds like you, then you need to keep reading.
Believe it or not, you can put together the best home gym for your fitness goals without breaking the bank and without putting up with the out-dated, same-ol’ same-ol’ gym equipment you’re used to seeing. Forget about that old treadmill and stationary bike that your parents have. We’ve put together a list of the best home gym equipment so you can buy the state-of-the-art, best and latest tech in the home fitness industry.
Below, you’ll find the best types of home gym equipment based on your fitness goals and needs, whether you’re a beginner or an old pro, whether you like to stick with the classics (hey, there’s nothing wrong with running and biking, but there’s better equipment out there than the status quo) or you want to take advantage of the latest fitness trends.
Why Invest in the Home Gym Equipment?
So you think that maybe putting together the best home gym really is possible. Then…you look at the price tag and you experience a little bit of sticker shock. If you’re new to the world of home fitness equipment, this is hardly out of the ordinary, but it’s important to realize why it’s so vital to invest in the best home gym equipment for your goals and health.
Think about the gym memberships you’ve signed up for over your life. Why did you stop using them? One news survey found that nearly 70 percent of all gym memberships aren’t being used. So, why?
For one reason or another, you just didn’t like the experience. Maybe the gym itself wasn’t that nice or maybe the equipment wasn’t up to date or you didn’t like the staff. Maybe it was just a hassle to keep going every day after work, when really you just wanted to go home and relax. Maybe it was on the other side of town and, again, a pain to get to.
Whatever the reason, you stopped going because you didn’t like it.
Don’t let your home gym end up like this. If you create the best home gym for you, you’ll keep using it.
Now, that doesn’t mean that you have to take out a second mortgage in order to get the home gym experience you want — you just should really try to get the best home gym for the money, rather than trying to save a little cash here and there.
How to Recognize the Best Home Gym Equipment for You
Most gym and home gym equipment can be broken down into two categories — cardio and strength equipment. It’s important to choose the best home gym equipment for you, and in order to do so, you need to know which type of exercise you’ll be focusing on more, cardio or strength.
While a mixture of both is recommended, you’ll likely focus more on one or the other, based on your goals. Those who are looking to gain muscle often focus on strength training, while those looking to lose fat often focus on cardio.
As mentioned above, you also want to purchase the best home gym equipment for your enjoyment, so that you don’t lose interest and stop using your home gym equipment altogether. After all, you’re making an investment, so you want to get your money’s worth. If you stop enjoying the experience, you’ll stop using your home gym equipment. Think about the types of exercise you enjoy doing and take that into consideration when you purchase your home gym equipment.
Here are a few more specific types of home gym equipment available, options for each piece of equipment and reasons why you should consider them.
Treadmills are generally great for those who are looking to begin a home fitness routine. They come in a range of shapes and sizes, with all kinds of features, at all kinds of prices. They’re usually pretty easy to learn how to use and you can start out slow if you’ve yet to build up your endurance, but also up the ante if you’re more in shape.
The NordicTrack T 6.5 S takes your workout from merely walking, jogging or running to an entirely modern and aesthetically-appealing experience. The technology is state-of-the-art and the options and personalization really make it suitable for someone serious about using their home gym equipment daily.
- Incline up to 10 percent to meet your fitness goals
- 20 built-in workouts
- Console sound system with plug for your MP3 device
- iFit compatibility, so you can access Google Maps training routes, stats tracking, competitions and more
- A 5-inch backlit display with your speed, time, distance, heart rate and calories burned
- FlexSelect cushioning to reduce joint impact
- CardioGrip heart rate sensor
- One-touch controls
Who Makes It
NordicTrack got its start in at-home ski machines, during an at-home fitness craze that started in the 70s and 80s. In the late 1990s, NordicTrack began to expand its offerings, and added incline trainers and treadmills to its catalogue. Now, it also sells strength machines, steppers, stationary bikes, apparel and more. Over time, the brand has become synonymous with training for outdoor adventurers.
At only $600, the NordicTrack T 6.5 S Treadmill offers a good combination of both value and perks. It’s easy to use, but still has capabilities to enhance your workout, making it suitable for both fitness newbies and long-time walkers, joggers and runners.
The ProForm Pro 2000 treadmill offers features that serious runners will love, without taking up a lot of space or taking a lot of money from your wallet. It’s designed to “burn more calories, improve real-road condition and boost cardio endurance.” Users like its features that are helpful for interval training (such as the instant change in speed), durability and smooth running experience.
- 32 workout apps
- -3% quick decline control, 15% quick incline control
- iFit Live technology compatible
- Wireless heart rate strap
- Mach Z Commercial motor (for a longer life and self-cooling feature)
- SpaceSaver technology with EasyLift Assist (for easy storage that doesn’t take up as much space in your home)
- ProShox Cushioning System (to absorb extra shock)
Who Makes It
ProForm has been a leading fitness equipment provider for more than three decades and, for 20 years, it’s led the industry in both units sold and dollars made. It owns hundreds of patents for its products and is one of the most recognized fitness brands among consumers. ProForm partners include the Boston Marathon and Le Tour de France.
ProForm is slightly pricier for beginners, but with that price tag comes great perks that serious runners will love. It’s also a good choice for HIIT junkies, who want to be able to switch from a leisurely pace to a more demanding one at the press of a button. It’s optimal for training if you plan to run outdoors (either cross-country or in a marathon-type setting) and the SpaceSave feature means it doesn’t take up as much valuable real estate in a small apartment or just a crowded family home.
A piece of cardio equipment that offers nearly a full-body workout all at once, rowers are demanding, but a good investment if you want something that can do it all and do it now. Rowing machines strengthen the arms, legs and back and can be difficult to get used to at first…but well worth the effort if you stick with it. Plus, if you’re short on space, rowers can often fold right up and fit away in a closet.
This rower is the best-selling in the world for more than 40 years and it’s popular as some of the best equipment for home gyms, but also for commercial gyms. It’s used by professional rowing teams, as well as home users, and is straightforward and easy to use. You can track your workout statistics, control the intensity of your workout and, when you’re done, fold it all up and store it.
- 14-inch seat height to fit most users
- 500-pound user capacity
- 5-year frame warranty
- LCD display with wireless Bluetooth and ANT+ compatibility
- Save workouts to a USB flash drive
- Minimal noise
- Easy to assemble
Who Makes It
Concept2 is best known for its rowers, which it’s been making since 1976. The brand was started by two brothers, one an Olympic rower and the other who trained as an Olympic rower. The brand is favored by Olympic athletes and a variety of other rowers, regardless of skill level.
The Bottom Line
The Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine may seem a tad pricey, but this is a good bet if you’re looking to build the best home gym for the money. Rowers are an efficient workout and can replace a lot of multiple pieces of home gym equipment. Additionally, this machine’s ease of use and compact space makes it desirable for those without a lot of room. Its high quality and professional use are also desirable, particularly since it’s at a lower price than other rowers.
You may recognize this water rower, as the brand was used in the Netflix show, House of Cards. This rower is particularly special because of its water flywheel, that replicates the actual rowing feel. You get a smooth, quiet workout, in an attractive piece of equipment. The solid ash and honey oak wooden parts aren’t just aesthetically appealing, though. They also absorb sound and vibration. At nearly 120 pounds (when it’s filled with water) and not exactly easy to assemble, though, it’s usually a better bet for the more hardcore rowers.
- Less mechanical feel than other rowers
- Quiet piece of machinery
- Aesthetic appeal
- 1-year frame and components warranty
- Monitor displays workout intensity, stroke rate, heart rate, zone bar, duration and distance
- Heart rate chest strap and receiver
Who Makes It
WaterRower was founded in 1988 and produces products that honor the environment, while also honoring the lifestyle of you, the consumer. The wooden rowing machines are made in the United States using hardwood sourced sustainably.
The Bottom Line
If you’re in the market for a rower and you’ve been rowing for years, this is a great addition as you’re building your home gym. It caters to those who know the natural rowing feel and want something that mimics that as closely as possible. Some additionally feel the aesthetic quality means they don’t feel as if they need to hide the piece of equipment away from the social spaces in their home.
As cycling and spin classes grow in popularity, stationary bikes are a great option for those who want to cycle…but don’t want to pay the often exorbitant amount for a spin class. You can now buy stationary bikes that have a wide array of features, but in addition to the new technology, stationary bikes are often favored for their small size, ease of use and transportation and typically affordable cost.
This bike is designed with all the basics you need to start building a home gym, but without all the fancy frills or serious perks that you might want if you’re really into cycling. The x-frame folding design and rolling wheels mean you can use it anywhere in your home, and store it away when you’re done. A large console displays the info you need, while an adjustable knob lets you adjust the stationary bike to fit your endurance levels.
- Console displays speed, distance, time, calories and pulse
- Heart rate pulse grips
- Quiet use
- Adjustable seat height
- Oversized cushion
- Eight resistance levels
- Lifetime warranty
Who Makes It
XTERRA specializes in equipment that will last and exceed your expectations in the meantime. The brand has been around for more than three decades and produces not only exercise bikes, but also treadmills, ellipticals, rowers and steppers. Each piece comes with a lifetime warranty.
The Bottom Line
If you’re looking for a great beginner piece to add to your home gym, look no further. Affordable, easy to use, with a small footprint, this is a good place to start.
Of course, you may be looking for the best compact home gym out there, and even a small stationary bike seems like too much room for you. If that’s the case, the BodyBoss Home Gym 2.0 could be exactly what you’re looking for.
- Totally portable equipment
- All the equipment needed for a full-body workout
- Base mat included (if you’re worried about the best flooring for home gym equipment)
- Also includes a bar, 2-4 bands, sweat-resistant straps, handles to simulate dumbbells and a door anchor
- Enjoy just about any strength-training exercise that you would do at the gym
Who Makes It
BodyBoss sells fitness regimens and workout guides first, equipment later. While this may mean that you’re getting equipment that isn’t as high-quality as you could elsewhere, it does mean you’re getting equipment built to work within a tried and tested fitness regimen that works.
The Bottom Line
If you’re looking to do any kind of strength training and you don’t want to go all out and purchase a full weight set, this kit is for you. It’s compact, works out every part of your body and is easy to use. As soon as it arrives, just unpack and start working out. Plus, it’s hard to beat the price. This is definitely one way to get the best home gym for the money.
At the End of the Day…
At the end of the day, building the best home gym for you and choosing the best home gym equipment for your needs is easy, but you’ll want to do your research and really think about why you’re building a home gym in the first place, and what your fitness goals are.
Not doing so could lead to purchasing equipment that isn’t suitable for you. However, the equipment listed above is a great place to start, whether you need a compact home gym or are willing to spend the cash to get some high-quality, aesthetically-appealing equipment designed for serious athletes.
What do you think? What piece of vital home gym equipment would you have added to our list? Did we miss your favorite, whether a favorite brand, equipment type or something else? Let us know!