Buying fitness equipment is no simple task and since good commercial grade machines cost in the hundreds, you should really take your time before purchasing. Once you’ve decided that you’re in the market for some high quality gym equipment, the next step is to decide what to buy. Before you start diving in and researching what brands and models are the best, there are a few questions you should ask yourself.
- What are my fitness goals?
There are many different types of machines on the market, many of which are highly specialized so it’s important to know what you’re trying to accomplish before buying a machine. The most common fitness goal is weight loss and fat burning. The other major one is to build strength or bulk up and get bigger. Many also train for a specific sport or an event such as a marathon or triathlon. There are an endless amount of fitness goals to reach but we’ll give you our suggestions for some of the most common ones.
The key to losing weight is getting your heart-rate up and burning calories. Although building muscle through strength machines will accelerate this process, this is best accomplished through the usage of cardio machines. We’ve previously written an article on which cardio machines are best for weight loss, but we will quickly summarize which machines you’ll want to research in order to lose weight.
Treadmills – They’re the easiest to use and burn the largest amount of calories if you run at a high enough speed. Treadmills use the natural movement of running so it is every effective for making everyday activities much easier. This is also a high impact cardio machine which means you’re bearing your entire bodyweight which increases how many calories you burn. For a more intense workout you can also increase the speed and incline.
Ellipticals – Elliptical crosstrainers are the most popular alternative to the treadmill because it is low impact and won’t put as much damage on your joints. Ellipticals can also be great for weight loss because some models have movable arms allowing for a full body workout.
Stepmills – Stepmills are not only great for burning calories, but also for toning your legs. If your treadmill does not have an incline feature, the stepmill is a great alternative and is also low impact. The stepmill forces you to support your entire bodyweight if you don’t use the handrails to assist you. We’ve also written a more detailed report of the benefits of a stepmill.
If you’re looking to build strength, besides a good diet, the main equipment you’ll be using are strength machines or free weights. There are advantages to using both if you’re looking to build strength.
Free Weights – Free weights are great for training functional movements. Functional movements are moves that you perform in everyday activities and athletics. Free weights are essential in sports training because not only does it build strength, it also improves your stability. The disadvantage of free weights is that you need knowledge of proper technique and exercises in order to receive maximum benefit and not injure yourself. Free weights also require a spotter if you are lifting large amounts of weight.
Weight Machines – Weight machines (or strength machines) can be used by anyone but are especially useful for beginners. They’re easy to learn and generally have pictures on them to demonstrate how to properly use the machine. Weight machines also isolate muscles for effectively which is important for body builders who are aiming for aesthetic. Weight machines also do not require you to have a spotter. For more specifics on which body parts each weight machine targets, visit our fitness equipment glossary.
- What brand should I go with?
In terms of commercial grade fitness, the two biggest names in the industry are Life Fitness and Precor. Their spot at the top is well deserved as both brands consistently deliver high quality and innovative fitness equipment. Brands in general though are up to preference. The most logical course of action would be to go to a gym and test out the machines to find which brand you prefer. In terms of cardio, Precor and Life Fitness are the most common and popular machines along with Star Trac and Technogym. Hammer Strength is easily the most popular brand for strength machines but due to their durability and high quality, they are hard to come by on the secondary market.
- What condition equipment should I buy?
If you are purchasing from Primo Fitness, our equipment comes in three conditions, working as-is, serviced and cleaned and remanufactured. Working as-is condition is how we receive the equipment from the gym. This could vary based on how heavily used it was at the club, but we always go through the machines to make sure that they are in good working condition. Note that these are commercial grade machines so they are built to be extremely durable. A single individual or a couple would be fine going with a working as-is condition unit and save a ton of cash doing so.
Serviced and cleaned and remanufactured are more for trainer who own fitness clubs or commercial gyms. Individuals can opt for serviced and cleaned though which entails some replacement of parts. For more information on the service and cleaning process and remanufacturing process click the links.
These are some of the questions that you definitely need to ask yourself before purchasing fitness equipment. Overall, the most important factor is to actually try out the machines and see if you enjoy them. Our warehouse is open to the public and we do allow you to test out our equipment, so stop on by and we can help you meet your fitness goals!