How to build the ultimate home gym

Fitness Equipment

Exercise machine mats protect floors from damage that is caused by heavier equipment. While they may cost extra, they may prevent expensive floor repairs.

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Shop smart and build the best home gym

Thinking about building the home gym you’ve always dreamed of? Now is the time to do it.

After gyms closed for several months last year due to the pandemic, working out at home officially became a thing — and there are plenty of progress pictures and TikTok videos to prove it. It inspired a home gym revolution. Given the heightened demand for exercise equipment, there were widespread shortages and shipping delays that reverberated across the market. Now that demand has slowed down — at least for now — many people are using the opportunity to build the ultimate home gym.

Building a home gym that supports your fitness goals goes beyond putting a few mismatched pairs of free weights and an old treadmill in the basement or garage. Instead, invest in high-quality exercise equipment and machines that deliver immersive home working out experiences.

How to save big when building the ultimate home gym

Research exercise equipment

Home gym equipment starts at around $300 for entry-level pieces and peaks at nearly $3,000 for studio-quality or high-tech machines. Like any other large expenditure, when you’re building a home gym, it’s essential to research purchases to determine exactly what you get for the cost. 

There’s also the consideration of cost versus value. Many treadmills, for instance, appear to be rich with high-tech perks like touch screens and interactive programs. However, users may need to pay additional subscription fees to access certain programs. If the treadmill will be used only casually, it may not be worth spending extra on features that may be not fully utilized. Instead, simpler treadmills with basic features may emerge as more cost-effective options. 

Sign up for emails

It’s common for exercise equipment to go on sale, including around holidays. Depending on the sale, shoppers may get 10-50% off ticket prices during these events, including Black Friday and Cyber Monday. To take advantage of the deals, however, shoppers will need to stay informed by signing up for the retailer’s or manufacturer’s emails. 

When shoppers become email subscribers, they’re often the first to know about upcoming sales. Sometimes, they even receive special perks on top of sales, such as coupons, delivery promotions or gifts. The emails also share subscriber-exclusive events, such as flash sales featuring discounts on top products or site wide savings. 

BestReviews is another helpful resource for brushing up on sales on exercise equipment and other products. When shoppers sign up for the BestReviews email newsletter, they receive exclusive information about products and sales at leading retailers, including Amazon, Dick’s Sporting Goods, NordicTrack, Bowflex and more. 

Compare prices

Many exercise machines are sold by more than one retailer, which means shoppers can cross-reference prices to find the best deals. However, it’s not always as simple as going with the retailer or manufacturer with the lowest price. There are a few more factors that impact the final price of a product.

Shipping and delivery prices may vary quite a bit among retailers. In some cases, it’s more cost-effective to buy equipment at a higher price from a specific retailer that throws in free shipping and delivery. It may be worthwhile to buy equipment or machines directly from manufacturer websites because the price — which may not be much different from other retailers’ prices — could include extra perks like longer first-party warranties or free branded accessories. 

Add products to carts now

Shoppers who have decided to buy specific exercise machines or equipment should add them to their carts now. To boost their chances of getting these products, some shoppers add them to their carts at multiple retailers’ websites to catch the best deal among them. As soon as the machines and equipment go on sale, which may be Black Friday, Cyber Monday or sooner, it’s much easier to check out with the order already halfway completed. 

Leverage payment plans

Many home exercise machines are available for purchase through payment plans. It’s an affordable way to purchase more expensive equipment, especially when the plan includes several months of low or 0% interest. However, it’s not the best option for a shopper’s credit score, as the debt widens the debt-to-income ratio. In so many words, it’s an option for shoppers to consider, but it may not be the ideal one for everyone.

Consider older equipment

When new models of exercise machines hit the market, they cost more because they usually have design improvements or high-tech upgrades. To cost-conscious shoppers, their arrival often means a drop in price for older models, many of which remain worthwhile purchases. On average, equipment prices may be slashed by as much as a few hundred dollars. Buying these models, then, leaves more room in the home gym budget for other equipment. 

7 best products for the ultimate home gym

Indoor bike

Schwinn IC4 Indoor Cycling Bike

Schwinn IC4 Indoor Cycling Bike 

An affordable alternative to Peloton, this Schwinn bike is compatible with over 10 fitness apps, including cycling-specific ones like JRNY, Zwift and even Peloton.

Sold by Schwinn and Dick’s Sporting Goods

Treadmill

NordicTrack Commercial X22i Treadmill

NordicTrack Commercial X22i Treadmill 

This premium treadmill comes with a free year of iFIT, which offers a wealth of immersive and interactive running programs. It has a 22-inch HD smart touch screen for seamless navigation.

Sold by NordicTrack

Rowing machine

Hydrow

Hydrow 

Hydrow offers true-to-life rowing experiences through its all-access membership, which unlocks over 3,000 workouts led by an elite crew of instructors. The rower is a full-size model, though it’s designed to be stored upright.

Sold by Hydrow

Smart gym

Tempo Studio

Tempo Studio 

Tempo is an AI-powered interactive studio that offers personalized coaching and easy-to-follow programs featuring dynamic strength, cardio and mobility workouts. It comes with a standard barbell and 75 pounds of weight plates.

Sold by Tempo

Resistance training machine

NordicTrack Fusion CST Pro

NordicTrack Fusion CST Pro 

A gym-quality machine, this NordicTrack cable machine comes with a 10-inch tablet that streams high-intensity studio workouts with an iFIT membership. The cables have silent magnetic resistance from an inertia-enhanced flywheel.

Sold by NordicTrack

Adjustable kettlebell

Bowflex SelectTech 840 Kettlebell

Bowflex SelectTech 840 Kettlebell 

This adjustable kettlebell, made by a trusted home exercise brand, is space-efficient and offers quick-and-easy adjustments between 8-40 pounds.

Sold by Amazon, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Bowflex

Adjustable dumbbells

Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells

Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells 

The adjustable dumbbells, which go up to 52.5 pounds each, take the place of 15 sets of weights. Like the Bowflex kettlebell, it offers swift weight adjustments thanks to a convenient dial.

Sold by Amazon, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Bowflex

 

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Sian Babish writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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