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When you can’t go to the gym, it’s reassuring to have your own equipment at home. Commercial gyms and health clubs are breeding grounds for germ, so it’s time to think about a backup plan. Now might be the time to build that home gym you’ve been thinking of. We scoured the web looking for cheap home gym equipment and found an excellent selection. This product category is extremely active, but check back regularly if you don’t see something you want this week.
Today’s best home gym deals
NordicTrack – GX 4.7 R Exercise Bike– $379 ($120 off)
ProForm – Endurance 520 E Elliptical – $529 ($470 off)
Golds Gym – Stride Trainer Elliptical – $579 ($220 off)
ProForm – 965 CT Treadmill – $599, ($400 off)
ProForm – SMART Power 10.0 Exercise Bike – $899 ($100 off)
Bowflex Blaze Home Gym — $805 ($295 off)
ProForm – Pro 2000 Treadmill – $1,399 ($600 off)
NordicTrack Fusion CST Includes 1-Year iFit Membership – $1,999 ($1,000 off)
NordicTrack Fusion CST + Rower – $2699 ($700 off)
A beginner’s guide to home gyms
A total home gym is a great core piece of equipment for your home gym, but there is much more to consider. It’s fine to start with a single piece of equipment and add gradually. Don’t let initial expense or other obstacles convince you to join a commercial gym anyway, not while coronavirus is a threat. Consider all the reasons why people prefer home gyms.
Benefits of home gyms
Just as with people who pay for gym memberships but never go, building the perfect home gym won’t improve your fitness or your health if you don’t use it. Given that caveat that applies to any fitness equipment, here are some major benefits of home gyms.
Short commute — There’s no need to drive or take public transport to get to your home gym. Traffic won’t be an issue, and you won’t need to fit your schedule around a gym’s calendar and daily hours.
Wear what you want — The hassle of wearing one outfit to the gym, switching into exercise gear, and then changing again, maybe to a third outfit to go to the office? That bother is gone with a home gym. As long as you’re comfortable and safe, you can wear or not wear what you choose.
No waiting — The No. 1 aggravation in many gyms and clubs is waiting for other people to finish with equipment so you can have a turn. And then if you feel pressured by the next people waiting to use the same machine or weights, it can mess up your concentration and your workout.
No signups or time limits — Unless you need to negotiate with family members, you should be free and clear to hop on your home gym treadmill or bike whenever and for as long as you want. If you have ever had the frustrating experience of signing up to use a machine following someone who doesn’t show up in time, or at all, for their time slot, unlimited access to your home gym equipment is reason enough to dump the gym.
You choose the music — Working out to a playlist has many benefits, but that only works if you like the music. If you hate the music that blares through the gym, it’s hard to ignore.
No one hits on you — Many people go to the gym for social purposes, which is fine when others share the same agenda. Unwanted attention is all too common, however, for those who just want to stick to the business of exercise.
Avoid bacteria — You can keep your home gym equipment and area clean without concern for what germs may be lurking from loads of people you don’t know.
What you need
A total home gym is a great core piece of equipment for your home gym, but there’s much more to consider. You don’t have to buy everything at once, but over time it helps to build a set of complementary equipment. You can even break up your equipment wish list and plan to the stages of a good workout.
Warm-up — You might want to jump rope or march in place to start your workout, but you can also use any cardio equipment on low resistance settings. Five to 10 minutes on a bike or treadmill is all you need, just to get your heart pumping faster and to barely begin to sweat.
Stretch — The second most valuable time to stretch is when you’re warmed up and before you begin your hard workout. Stretching cold muscles hurts and can also lead to injury. Bands, yoga mats, and exercise balls of various types and sizes can all help with your stretch routine. This stretch is the second prep step before you begin to work out, so don’t go at it too hard or too long.
Strength training — Some days, you’ll work on strength, so free weights and total body gyms are what you’ll look for. Free weights vary from light to heavy dumbbells to full arrays of Olympic barbells and Smith machines or cages. If you’re using free weights, adjustable dumbbell sets may seem expensive, but they’re a bargain compared to a full set of 5- to 50-pound dumbbells. Adjustable dumbbells are also less likely to clutter up your workout area than individual weights. Some total gyms use your body weight for resistance, and other use iron (or sand or water-filled vinyl weights. Bowflex uses flexible resistance rods (hence the company name). A total gym can be your highest expense, so it’s a good idea to try before you buy to see if you like working with a specific style machine.
Cardiovascular workouts — Cardio is a crucial element to fitness. You can get your cardio on with regular bicycles, indoor bikes, recumbent bikes, spinning cycles, treadmills, elliptical machines, steppers, and rowing machines. It’s great if you can mix up your cardio, but most people start with one cardio machine, so pick the one you know you’ll use consistently.
Cooldown — The most common way to cool down after a hard workout is to continue with doing what you were just doing, but slower and with less force. If you can’t bear to lift another weight, 5 or 10 minutes on a bike riding slow with little resistance can work.
The final stretch — No only will a final stretch help with relaxing your muscles and maybe working out some kinks or tightness, the final stretch is when you can make your best gains in flexibility. Don’t be afraid to stretch a little further, a little harder, and for a little longer than during the initial warm-up stretch.
Environment factors — The setting and environment can mean the difference between you using a home gym just a few times or consistently. If you need temperature control, consider small fans, area heaters, or portable AC units. Music helps, so either an external sound system or portable player can be part of your gym equipment. Access to drinking water is essential, and you may want to invest in a juicer or blender for health shakes or smoothies.
You don’t have to spend a fortune
You can build a home gym around any budget, even starting first with found or used equipment. There are various price and quality levels in every category of home gym equipment. If you’re just beginning, there is no need to invest in professional or commercial-level equipment and machines. If you’re buying free weights, start with a few and add more later. Sometimes you can find good deals on used fitness equipment, but looking for manufacturer’s deals or refurbished equipment can also help you save a lot of money in your cheap home gym project.
Now you’ve got a gym sorted, why not check out our home office deals? There, you’ll find everything from discounted coffee mug warmers to cheap monitors.
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