Stop! Are You Sure That's the Right Piece of Equipment for Your Gym?

in General 01 January 1999

Americans have a reputation around the globe for a number of character traits that endear them to the world, or turn the world off. Love them or hate them, Americans get people talking in every country around the world. One character flaw of Americans that is particularly well known is their increasingly sedentary lifestyle. Obesity rates have been soaring for decades and even American children are fighting the battle of the bulge.

This flaw in American society has given rise to a multi-billion dollar industry for health clubs and gym equipment in the United States. Fewer and fewer people lead active lives on a daily basis, like those of farmers or ranchers, and have found it necessary to turn to these health clubs and gyms to get the exercise they need.

Whether you are opening your own gym out of entrepreneurial spirit or looking to start your own small home gym, purchasing the right equipment is critical. Having the right equipment is going to mean the difference between wasted time and money, and effective exercise options that improve life quality.

Basic Tips

There are three simple tips that will help anyone in the market for gym equipment make the right decision. These arenít necessarily tips for which equipment is the best, but rather tips designed to help set accurate goals and expectations.

First off it is important to realize that the best gym equipment in the world isnít going to lead to success if it isnít used. Regular use of your home gym equipment is the only way to achieve results. If you arenít using the equipment, it doesnít matter how nice it is you wonít see results.

Secondly, any equipment you purchase needs to be used properly. Improper form while exercising not only negates gains, but it can lead to injuries that will sideline you temporarily or permanently.

Lastly, realize that exercise equipment comes in a variety of shapes, sizes, and intended use. There is cardio equipment, strength training, and resistance training equipment available, but unless you know what youíre looking for it will be difficult to choose. Make use of consumer review and rating sites to determine not only which equipment suits your goals, but which ones are the best for doing so.

Researching Equipment

Cardio equipment is ubiquitous in health clubs around the country and in the basements of millions of homes. Cardio equipment is popular because it offers a heart healthy workout that burns fat and calories, helping to improve overall health, strength, and flexibility. The first step in choosing the right piece of cardio equipment is familiarizing yourself with the options. The following are some of the most popular cardio machines:

- Treadmills: used to simulate running
- Elliptical Trainer: simulates running without the impact of treadmills
- Bike machines: simulates riding a bike, but in a stationary position
- Stair Steppers: offers an intensive cardio and lower body workout by simulating climbing long staircases
- Rowing Machines: simulates rowing a boat to offer a cardio and back workout

By far, the most popular pieces of cardio equipment are the treadmill and elliptical trainer.

These two pieces of equipment offer runners the chance to cover mile after mile of course, but inside where the elements are not a factor and there is the opportunity to watch TV or listen to the radio.

Elliptical machines have become increasingly popular because they offer the simulation of running, but without the impact. However, ellipticals come in a variety of models and it is wise to research elliptical reviews to find the model best suited for your needs and goals.
At the end of the day, the best piece of equipment is the one that matches your fitness goals as well as your skill level. It is foolish to buy equipment that cannot help your achieve your goals, or that is too advanced for your current abilities. Reading consumer reviews and researching equipment is the best way to determine which equipment is right for you.

Andrew King is a gym owner. He loves to help other gym others get their start by writing for fitness and health blogs.

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