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How to Buy Fitness Equipment

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by , health and fitness expert

1) Find out what you like. If you know someone with home gym equipment, ask to try it out. Another option try out different machines at a health club with a short-term membership. Be sure to take your time and try a wide variety of products.

2) Know yourself. Have a specific workout plan in mind and be committed to accomplishing it. If possible, work with a trainer to develop an appropriate program and set realistic goals.

3) Analyze your space availability. The area should be spacious as well as pleasant, with good lighting and ventilation. If you prefer a stereo or television nearby during a workout, make sure you have enough room.

4) Identify other family members who may use the equipment. Remember, this is an investment. Consider whether other household members may also use the equipment and make sure it will accommodate them. Quality, as well as versatility are important issues if the product is going to be used by several members of the household with different goals.

5) Test the equipment first. Before you buy any equipment be sure to try it out at specialty retail fitness stores wearing your sweats and workout shoes. Don’t be afraid to attempt a serious workout on different models at different stores.

6) Consider the noise level of the unit. Many people enjoy listening to the radio or viewing television during a workout. Make sure the sound of the unit does not interfere with these entertainment habits — for yourself or other members of the family. To help minimize the noise level, we recommend using an equipment mat under your treadmill, stepper, etc. These mats will not only help minimize the sound, but will also help protect your carpeting and equipment.

7) Buy from a knowledgeable retailer. It is best to buy from a store/retailer that specializes in exercise equipment. There your chances are greater of finding trained salespeople who can assist you with your purchase, as well as advise you about your exercise program. Ask lots of questions about features and models from various manufacturers.

8) Research the manufacturer. Make sure the product has a warranty and that there is a customer service telephone number and a staff to answer any questions you may have. Also, compare warranties among companies...they are not all the same.

9) Expect the pay for quality. Consider you purchase a long-term investment. Consumers often experience sticker shock when they learn the price of high-quality equipment. Remember, you get what you pay for.

10) Use care when opening the equipment packaging. You want to be able to save the packaging material in case the product needs to be returned for servicing.

Some additional thoughts on fitness equipment

Many people buy new equipment, but then use the same old bad habits or routines. It's not the equipment that produces the results, it's your effort that does.

Some keys to superior results:

  • Be consistent. Don't skip workouts.
  • Be strict about diet. Eat foods that are nutrient-dense and calorie-sparse.
  • Eat on time. Skipping a meal causes hormonal fluctuations. Amazingly, many people skip three meals a day! Eat a protein about the size of your palm, every 2 to 3 hours. Along with this, eat proportional amounts of other food you need.
  • Train with the goal in mind. Aimlessly performing motions with weights or other equipment doesn't produce an adaptive response. You need to stress whatever muscle(s) you are working, so your body adapts by growing new muscular, vascular, and skeletal tissue.
  • Work intensely when you train. Short and brutal causes an adaptive response. Long and low intensity just makes you tired; long and medium intensity results in overtraining and a loss in muscle mass.
  • Learn and practice good form, so you don't get hurt. If you walk into the typical gym, you are unlikely to see ANYONE training with good form. Now you know why so many gym rats get torn rotator cuffs, hernias, and other types of injuries that are totally avoidable. Hire a certified trainer and/or visit a "hard core" gym.


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