Nov 3 2013
Equipping your home gym or commercial gym isn’t cheap but compared to the cost of years of gym membersiphs you can save a fortune! Once you own treadmill, step machine, elliptical trainer, rowing machine or exercise bike then you can expect years of use in the comfort of your own home.
We will look at some of the pitfalls and things to look out for when it comes to buying your home cardio equipment.
What to look for:
Length of the Stride
First and foremost, the most important aspect to consider is the length of the stride. This will establish how comfortable your elliptical will be. Simply if you are shorter, you should look at a shorter stride length. Taller users will benefit from a longer stride. Short strides are in the region of about 18″. Longer strides go up to about 24″. A good middle length is about 20″ such as the Schwinn 430 Elliptical. High end models such as the Precor 5.37 have an adjustable stride length of between 21″ – 24.4″
Easy to Use Console
The number of workout programs is another important thing to consider, as if there’s too little then you may get bored of using the machine and decide to give up on your exercise regime. Don’t fall into this trap! Buy an elliptical that comes with at least 5 programs, such as the Sole E35 or Best Buy elliptical from Proform 710E with its built in ipod dock, so to add variety to your workout.
Check out the following resource for Elliptical Reviews.
A recumbent bike, such as the schwinn 270 is a great option for a comfortable workout. You achieve the same comofortable workout as you would with an elliptical with out the saddle sore. Recumbant bikes are fitted with wide comfortable padded chairs great for a 30 minute workout.
An upright bike, such as the this one from Bladez or the popular LeMond Revmaster sport contains a seat that is similar to outdoor bicycles, therefore, you shouldn’t expect a very comfortable cycling experience.
This type of resistance is controlled by electromagnets and delivers a smooth, very quiet motion. You are also able to control the level of resistance, which is good news if you like to tailor your workout just as you like it. An excellent example – in fact, the most popular rower currently on the market – is the Concept2 Model D.
Running up hill
To ensure that you are getting the most from your workout, you should consider adding a slope. Most mid to high end treadmills have the option to add gradient to the workout. Some can even simulate running down hill! I would always look to buy a treadmill with a built in inclination. Look for ranges of 10-15% to ensure that its sufficient for your needs. Examples o of these include the It’s always a good idea to buy a treadmill that has a built-in inclination feature, such as the Livestrong Fitness LS10.0T-2 Treadmill with its 12% inclination.
Which ever treadmill you buy storage will need to be consider. Most are quite big (about the size of a small 2 seat sofa), however you can get some that fold. Great folding treadmills include the Lifespan tr4000i reviewed here
Whether you buy a folding treadmill, such as the this one from Horizon or Smooth Fitness or not is purely down to how much space you have in the room you’re planning on placing the treadmill in.
To keep track of your running stats you will need a good visible console. All treadmills these days come with them as standard. However they are not all created equally. Generally you will find Calories, Distance, Speed as standard. More advanced machines such as the precor 9.33 treadmill will have memories to save your past workouts, and large clear easy to use screens.
Modern high end equipment will link to an iPhone and can play music from your play lists.
You need a treadmill that can keep up with you. There are some dredful machines with low power outputs. These will break within months of use. A high power is essential for a reliable and safe workout. I would be circumspect of anything with less than 2-3 Hp. Less than this and they are only good for walking or light jogging. If you can run over 12Km/hr then you will need the power to match such as the Livestrong LS10.0T-2.
Check out the following resource for an extensive list of treadmill reviews: