CROMWELL, Conn. — Many people are finding ways to set up a home gym as a way to stay in shape without coming into contact with others and maybe even stay within their newly resolved budget. But, in some cases, the equipment can be costly. BBB has some tips on what to know when considering gym equipment and staying within budget.
How to Choose and Purchase Home Gym Equipment
- Consider your physical needs. Any equipment you buy should match up with your objectives and interests – otherwise, you may not use the equipment after the initial excitement wears off. If you have any existing health conditions, such as heart disease, arthritis, or a back injury, check with your doctor about what kind of exercises and equipment are safe to use.
- Set a budget and know the true cost. Review your budget on how much you can afford to spend on home gym equipment and compare it to the money saved if you terminated an existing gym membership. Calculate the true cost of the new piece of equipment and any subscription fees required to use it.
- Measure your space. Another consideration that will affect your purchasing decision is how much space you have to dedicate to your home gym. Measure the work out space carefully to see if specific pieces of equipment will fit. More importantly, measure any entryways the equipment must fit through to reach your home gym space as well.
- Beware of “get fit quick” solutions. Don’t give in to the temptation to buy equipment that promises miraculous results. Maintaining physical health is a long-term endeavor that will require effort. If a seller says their equipment will get you in shape with little to no effort, a healthy dose of skepticism is advised.
- Understand in-store financing before you agree to it. If a store offers you in-house financing for larger equipment purchases, read the financing plan carefully. Find out how long the financing lasts, how much interest you will pay, and whether there is a fee to pay the balance in full early.
- If possible, test equipment before you buy. Many brick and mortar stores have display equipment you can try before you make a purchase. Make sure you can operate and feel comfortable using any equipment you plan on adding to your home gym.
- Understand delivery options. When purchasing large home gym equipment like bicycles or weight machines, find out how you will get the equipment from the store to your home. Read carefully or talk directly to a sales representative to find out how much shipping costs, what delivery fees you can expect to pay, and whether or not the delivery person will set up the equipment for you.
- Read consumer reviews. Read multiple reviews from several retailers and pay close attention to any comments about the quality of the equipment and the experience with the retailer. Reference these comments when making a final purchasing decision.
- Compare prices. Since exercise equipment is often sold by multiple retailers, compare prices between sporting goods stores and manufacturers. You may be able to find the same product for a lower price at a different store. You can also consider purchasing used equipment, but proceed with caution. Most second-hand equipment is purchased “as-is,” and sales are often final with no option to return.