Fitness Equipment Home Fitness Equipment Experts Blog
Posted by Chris A on January 27, 2009 under Fitness Equipment, Home Gym Be the First to Comment
So your thinking about getting some fitness equipment for your home? Maybe you’ve tried going to the gym in the past but didn’t like the experience or hassle. Or maybe you used to go to the gym regularly but “Life” got in the way and your work and home schedule was just too hectic to continue. You might have not even experienced either of those scenarios and are new to fitness and aren’t sure where you fit in? These are all common situations that are leading people to start working out from the comfort of their home.
Now comes the painful task of trying to figure out what you want for how much you want or think you need to spend to get some decent home fitness equipment. Well this is where the shock typically sets in, not only on prices but selection of Home fitness equipment. Unfortunately, because of what we are conditioned to expect on TV these days, we are brainwashed with “this diet or that diet”, “this supplement or that supplement” or “this machine or that machine” will solve my weight problem.
Well I’m going to let you in on a little secret of the Fitness Industry…ready…here it is; Everyone has a best selling book, potion, diet or piece of fitness equipment that took them over the top! It’s a 100 billion dollar industry for a reason people:) We abuse our bodies over the course of years thru bad habits from life style, nutrition, and sometimes inactivity. Then we expect to lose that accumulated weight virtually overnight with little to no effort or consistency.
If you have ever worked out in a health club before, then at least you have experienced what high quality fitness equipment feels like. But do you really think that the $599 treadmill at your local department store is gonna feel, perform, or last very long compared to the $5000 health club model? Your right, it’s not! In fact, the majority of the crap sold in most department stores is not even intended to be used! What? What do you mean? I mean that 75% of the New Year’s Resolutioners that buy them will have turned them into “Coat hangers” buy February 1st! Ouch! Painful I know, but true. Why is that? Well that’s another post, but read any of our “Habits” posts on that one.
The point is that although you don’t need to spend 5k on a home treadmill, your certainly not going to find much under the $1000 range that will last long (if you plan on using it). Which by the way I know you will! Now the first thing you need to realize in the world of Home Fitness Equipment is that there are different tiers of quality in home exercise equipment. As I previously mentioned, Department store exercise equipment is at the bottom of the food chain. The majority of the products found at this level are typically all made by the same manufacturer with different brand names slapped on them. The important thing to realize and I’m sure you will if you do your homework, is that these products are “designed” for the typical New Years Resolutioner who likely won’t use it for long or often enough to have it fall apart on them. Why do you think you see so many of them on trash day in your neighborhood that seem “like new”? It’s because the manufacturers know that statistically the majority of us won’t use it consistently enough to break them during that short 90 day warranty period. If you do have a problem during that time, they’ll probably just give you a new one; but once your past that warranty period, well good luck on getting parts or service! I’m sure many of you have experienced this scenario before?
So if you are serious about getting your health and fitness back to improve your everyday quality of Life, then you need to be aware that not all products are created equal and you do for the most part: “Get what you Pay for”. Although you don’t have to spend a fortune to find decent quality and affordable Home Fitness Equipment, you do have to make an investment if you expect it to last. And if you think of all the material things we waste money on, it’s really hard to say “I can’t afford it”, because if investing in your health and your family’s health isn’t worth it, what is? Our next post will focus on the next tier up in the Home Fitness Equipment market: Specialty Retail Fitness products.
Tags: exercise, exercise equipment, Fitness Equipment, Health, home fitness equipment
Deciding to buy Home Gym Equipment?
Posted by Guest on January 19, 2009 under Fitness Equipment, Fitness Habits, Home Gym Be the First to Comment
Are you getting sick of going to the gym and thinking about getting a Home Gym or piece of Cardio Equipment for the home? I know exactly how you feel. I used to go to local gyms on and off for several years, I’ve tried aerobics studios and others, but I never liked doing the “gym thing” with my hectic schedule. The last time that I got a gym membership, it did not work out. It was a pretty reputable gym, and they had some decent fitness exercise equipment, but I just could not convince myself to get over there regularly. Part of it was that I was self-conscious about my body and did not like to workout in front of other people, but that was not all of it. I think that I just did not like to have to get up, head out, and go somewhere to workout. That is why I decided that the best thing to do was to buy myself some home gym equipment.
There are many different kinds of home fitness equipment, I did not start out buying my gym equipment all at once. Instead, I thought that the best thing to do was to keep it simple and basic. First I bought a set of hand weights, a jump-rope, and some gym mats to work out on. I thought that that would give me just enough to do a basic workout, and it turned out that I was right. I could get my heart rate up, have a little bit of strength training with my lifting, and feel like I was getting one step closer to being the trim, fit person that I had always wanted to be. After a while, however, that gym equipment I had just wasn’t enough anymore. I did enjoy the hand weights, but I wanted to get a better workout.
So I went on down to the local Fitness Equipment Store and asked for some suggestions. They had a great selection of fitness equipment to choose from. The prices were higher than what I was used to seeing at the department stores, but clearly much better quality. There equipment ranged from mid-range to high quality home fitness products and offered good warranties. But I can say with experience, you get what you pay for with home fitness equipment. I’ve made the mistake of buying that $699 department store treadmill only to have endless service calls and a rather short life span.
This time, I decided to add a dumbbell bench and some Powerblock adjustable dumbells to allow for more workout variety. The next thing that I thought about getting was an elliptical machine to incorporate some cardiovascular training. I learned that I should choose my type of Cardiovascular product based on the activity that I enjoy using most, not what someone else says to get. After trying out some treadmills, bikes and ellipticals, I decided to purchase an Elliptical Trainer. I never enjoyed running too much as it often bothered my knees, but I really love the fully body workout that I get from my Cross Trainer. After doing my strength workout for 20-30 minutes, I’ll usually jump on my elliptical for a 15-20 minute interval workout and I’m done in less than an hour and boy do I feel great! Its really all about incorporating the time into your schedule until it becomes routine or a habit. After a short while you’ll feel much better, have more energy and see the results keep coming.
Once I got this gym equipment, it felt like my routine was really coming together. I have enough machines and exercises that I can choose from to keep my workout fun and fresh, and I can switch from the elliptical to jump rope for the cardiovascular exercises. All in all, it feels pretty good. Sometimes, it is still a little bit difficult for me to motivate myself to work out. You get home from work, you feel tired and lazy, and you just want to sit around in front of the TV. However, now that I set up my fitness equipment in a spare bedroom and have a TV set up I really enjoy listening to the music channel or watch a workout video.
Knowing that the gym equipment is in the comfort of your own house, however, makes things easier. You can roll out of bed and get it done first thing or after you get home from work and have a chance to relax first. You never have to get up and go anywhere to stay fit and look great. I look better than I have in years, and feel much healthier. And unlike having to drive in traffic to get to the gym before or after work, I can save the commute and gas. Plus the time I end up saving alone allows for me to workout before work and eat breakfast with my family and get them out the door for school.
Tags: cardio equipment, equipment store, Fitness Equipment, fitness exercise equipment, gym equipment, gym memberships, Home Gym, home gym equipment
Posted by Coach Blue on January 4, 2009 under Fitness Equipment, Fitness Habits, Workout Variety Be the First to Comment
I have a confession to make and hopefully I’m not the only one that has this problem. I suffer from seasonal fitness disorder. Some of you know exactly what I’m talking about but never had a name for it. What is seasonal fitness disorder? Seasonal fitness disorder is experienced by people who live in locations that get the true 4 seasons: the hot summers, the cool falls, the very cold and snowy winters, and the rainy springs. These people typically go to the gym or exercise outdoors to keep in shape. It usually sets in around mid December until early March. The weather is so cold and unpredictable and the days are so short that your energy and enthusiasm to exercise is hard to find. You know you should be going out to do your fitness routine but your motivation is zapped and it is just so damn cold. Sometimes you can go a week without doing anything. Then a week turns into 2 and so on and so on. Before you know it you look like you have one of those kids inner tubes around you waist.
Well I’m here to tell you I have found a solution that has been working well for me. A couple of years ago I set up a home gym in my basement. I bought a simple rack, some weights, a bench, and some cardio equipment. Over time I have added stuff to keep my workouts fresh such as kettlebells, pushup bars, gymnastic rings, and some plyo boxes. So now when the cold weather starts and I don’t feel like going outside to exercise or going to the gym, I go down to my basement and do my workouts. I have found that I won’t miss as many workouts if I don’t have to bundle up and drive to the gym in crappy and extremely cold weather. The other great thing about doing my workouts at home is I don’t have to wait for any equipment. I can do supersets or try out different routines that I wouldn’t normally be able to do in a commercial gym. I can also listen to whatever music I want or as loud as I want to. I still like to go to the gym occassionally just to see what is new and what people are and are not doing. Occassionally in the winter months I will miss the gym atmosphere. When that happens I have my wife come down to the basement and workout while I strut around and throw my manly glances at her. However, It usually ends with her telling me to get away from her and that I look ridiculous in my spandex Unitard. (Come on, it was a gift from my mom, you don’t expect me to let a perfectly good spandex outfit sit in my dresser draw and collect dust.)
So if you are like me and think you may suffer from seasonal fitness disorder, maybe it is time to setup a home gym. You can check out our fitness equipment reviews, and products we like at www.homefitnessequipmentexperts.com or you can check out some of our workouts @ www.homefitnesstrainingtips.com. For now, It is time for me to go down to my basement, crank up the Olivia Newton John and GET PHYSICAL!
Functional Movements we all should be using
Posted by Chris A on December 24, 2008 under Fitness, Fitness Equipment, Fitness Habits, Strength Training, Workout Variety Be the First to Comment
Has it ever dawned on you that the exercises that the “top fitness coaches” continuously recommend are never the latest Hi-Tech machines? Why is it then that equipment manufacturers and commercial gyms are constantly bombarding us with their latest creations of reinventing the wheel? You know, like the new cybertron calf or glute toner machine guaranteed to tone or shape those hardgainer bodyparts with its patented spring technology! It’s because there is a lot more profit in a complex $5000 piece of equipment than there is in a dumbbell, barbell, kettlebell, or god forbid your own body weight. Not that machines don’t have their place, but come on enough already. If you can’t master body weight movements, do you think you really should be using leverage machines to make your exercise easier or more convenient?
Anyway, sorry about the rant. I’ll save that debate for later… Back to the topic at hand. Functional Movements that we all should be doing! Now the following list isn’t cutting edge, in fact you’ve probably been told to use these exercises in the past, but glanced over them thinking “I’m not a beginner” or “I use them”. But do you? And even if you do use them, do you vary the methods and countless variations of them in your routine to keep it fresh?
Squatting bodyweight, free weights, kettlebell, bands
Deadlifting free weights, bands, kettlebells, sandbags
Horizontal Pressing bench press, pushup, bands, cables
Horizontal Pulling cable rows, bands, free weights
Vertical Pressing military presses w/free weights, bands, KB’s
Vertical Pulling chins, pulldowns, bands, cables
Dragging/Pushing sled drags/sled pushing
These functional movements should make up the core of your training program. As you can see there are plenty of variations and methods to use with them (and these are only a few). This is where an experienced strength coach can help you implement them into your training based on your goals. The main reason you should be incorporating these functional exercises into your fitness routine is that, well their “functional exercises”. This basically means that they will transfer to your every day life in terms of benefit or value. You see, focusing on isolation exercises or machine exercises where leverage assists you takes away the balance and stability necessary to perform real world movements. Functional exercise movements use many muscle groups at once both to move the body and stabilize and balance all at the same time. Clearly a much better return on investment than performing a bicep isolation curl. So if your still doing the same Circuit machine routine from the 80’s, maybe you should try incorporating these movements into your routine and start getting some real results. I promise you’ll see a huge difference in your efforts!
Posted by Chris A on October 13, 2008 under Fitness Equipment, Fitness Habits, Lifestyle Habits Be the First to Comment
The use of strength training equipment is like riding bikes. When you shop for equipment or go into the gym it can be confusing if you are new to working out. There are machines, dumbbells, and barbells. Which one do you choose? If you think of your strength training approach in terms of riding bikes it might make your decision easier. When you first learned to ride a bike you started with training wheels because you needed to learn the pattern of movement and technique before you could balance and stabilize the bike so it didn’t tip over. The bike with training wheels is like the machines you use for strength training. Machines can be great for beginners or if you are recovering from an injury because they teach you the movement and technique without having to worry about balance and control. Once you mastered the technique of riding the bike, your parents would take the training wheels off. At first this was scary because you were afraid of falling or losing control. If you were like me you probably fell off several times and maybe even crashed into a bush or a mailbox. Ouch! Over time you mastered the bike and you no longer focused on the balance and control and just enjoyed the ride. Riding a bike without training wheels is like using barbells and dumbbells in your workout because they now involve not only knowing the movement but also controlling the barbell or dumbbell so it doesn’t whack you in the face. A unicycle is another style of bike that requires extreme balance and control. This requires coordination and a greater degree of difficultly than a bicycle. A unicycle would be equilivent to performing a exercise on one leg or with one arm at a time. If you have never tried this, you are in for a treat. The benefit of this style of training is it will quickly address your strengths and weaknesses and help you improve any imbalances you may have between your left and right side of your body. If you want to progress in your exercise program you need to take the training wheels off of your bike at some point or maybe even try riding a unicycle. Many people who have been working out for a while still have their training wheels on their bike. This doesn’t mean that machines should only be used by beginners or that anyone who’s been training for some time should only use free weights. However, manufacturers would have you believe that a $3500 bicep machine will yield better results than a $40 curl bar. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that there’s more profit for the manufacturers in marketing the hype behind their fancy new machines than there is in a dumbell or barbell. We’ll tackle that debate in a future post, but for now I’ll leave you with one of my favorite ADD jokes as it relates to people’s attention spans with sticking with the basic fundamentals of exercise selection:
How many people with ADD does it take to change a light bulb? Wanna ride bikes?
Deciding to buy Home Gym Equipment?
Functional Movements we all should be using
Using the Home Fitness Video DVD
Six fitness tips to get your Health back on track!
Fruit and Vegetables and why you need them daily!
© 2009 Home Fitness Equipment Experts BlogBalance of Blue