Buying home fitness equipment
Step 1: Understand your goals
What do you ultimately want to accomplish with your new home fitness equipment? Do you want to lose weight, tone up, rehab from an injury, or just look great for that special occasion?
Whatever your reason for investing in home fitness equipment, get clear about your personal fitness goal – and the amount of time you have to achieve it. Clarity will serve you well as you begin your shopping experience.
Step 2: Consider all possibilities
It’s important to consider all possibilities before making a purchase decision. Here’s why:
Perhaps (today) your fitness goal is to walk 30 minutes a day, so you decide to buy an entry-level treadmill that’s been specifically designed for walkers … great! But what if you lose weight, gain energy, and decide to raise the bar? Perhaps (tomorrow) you set your sights on running your first 5K. You certainly don’t want that to be the moment you learn the machine you just bought isn’t suited for your new goal.
Step 3: Consider other users
If your new home fitness center is going to be shared with your family members, ask them a few questions before you start shopping:
• Do you want to focus on cardio or strength training?
• How frequently will you use the machines?
• Is interactive technology important to keep you motivated?
Be sure to jot down everyone’s height and weight before you start shopping. This information will help determine which machines are best suited to you and your family.
Step 4: Do your research
If you already know what you want to buy, you may be tempted to simply jump online and make a purchase, but don’t. You must first do your research – that includes reading reviews and talking to an expert before you invest your hard-earned dollars. You need to know:
• What is the reputation of the brand?
• What the machine’s level of quality, durability, and reliability?
• Are others raving about this machine?
• What technology features does it have that will keep you motivated and help you achieve your goals?
• Is the machine backed by a parts and labor warranty?
• If it breaks down, can you order service and get parts?
• Are you buying from an authorized dealer?
• Will they guarantee your satisfaction?
• Will they take your trade in when you’re ready to upgrade?
• Will they service it themselves or farm it out?
Step 5: Demo the products
Plan to hop on a variety of different brands and model numbers to get a sense of what each machine can (and can’t) do. You should also figure out how each machine “feels” and “fits” your body. After all, the equipment can only help you if you actually use it.
Step 6: Trust the experts
Your local speciality retailer should be staffed with fitness industry veterans that are certified fitness equipment experts and certified personal trainers. These people are uniquely qualified to help you select the machines that are right for you and then put you on a path to success.
Step 7: Get moving and get results
If you can’t afford the home fitness center of your dreams, be sure to ask about free financing plans. You may find that your new home gym is more affordable than you think!