Buying fitness equipment involves more than just financial risk. It also has an emotional risk attached to it. I often feel that the disappointment of finding out that you’ve bought an exercise machine that doesn’t work for you is more “expensive” than the money you spent on it. It is very easy to drown in a feeling of despair as if nothing can ever work for you.
To help you reduce the risk of this kind of disappointment and to also save you quite a bit of money, I am writing this guide on how to buy exercise equipment for your home.
Resist the Urge
Quite often, the buying decision of a fitness product is made out of impulse. You see an infomercial on TV and you suddenly feel like you simply have to buy a certain product. This is how successful products like the Ab Circle Pro and the Shake Weight For Men have sold tens of thousands of items.
I won’t go into the way fitness infomercials work and how clever marketers know exactly which buttons to push to trigger the buying impulse. All I want from you is to be aware that this may be happening to you and to exercise due diligence before you make a purchase. Your shopping shouldn’t be done on impulse. Take your time and think before you buy. Don’t get pressured. It is possible that whatever “limited time deal” you’re being offered at the moment will be repeated the next time you see the ad.
Price Does NOT Signify Quality
People naturally assume that if a product is expensive that it’s of higher quality. This is an illusion. For one thing, people will charge whatever they will think customers will be willing to pay. For another, just because a fitness product is big or has lots of parts does not mean that it is effective. You can buy great fitness equipment for very low prices and achieve fantastic results with them.
Read the Fine Print
If you order online and even when watching infomercials, make sure to read the fine print or, if you call to order a product, get the full details of the transaction.
There are a few things you need to know:
- In case of a trial offer, what are the following billing dates and charges? How much will you have to pay in total?
- Often, the price quoted does not include shipping and handling costs. Know what they are as this is a part of your price.
- Know exactly what the refund terms state. Can you return the product, how long is this option available, do you get the shipping charges back if you return the item, when does the refund period begin, etc.
This is all part of making an informed decision. This is something that you owe to yourself to know. Otherwise, you may be setting yourself up for a big disappointment.
Space Is Key
You have to know the dimensions of any fitness product you buy. However, this is often not enough. Take for instance, the Body Vision PT600 Power Tower. To use this tower you also need enough space to do push ups and knee raises. This means that it has to stand in a clear area.
Space is not just measured by feet and inches. It also has to be a pleasant part of your home, a place where you will be comfortable working out regularly. If your basement gets stifling hot in the summer, it can be as spacious as you like but it would still not be a good room for your workouts.
Many fitness products can be folded for easy storage. This is great, but remember that what is out of sight is also out of mind. If you don’t see your fitness gear in front of you as a constant reminder, you’re less likely to use it. Ideally, you want to be able to get started with your workouts immediately, without having to unfold or assemble anything.
Don’t Buy Magic
Have you ever noticed how many fitness products have the word Magic in their name? This is fitness, not a Harry Potter movie!
I’m not saying that anything with the word magic in it should be discounted. All I’m saying is to not buy magic. Do not believe that you are buying the latest, greatest, most innovative, never before seen, piece of fat burning and muscle toning machinery every invented in the entire universe.
You’re just getting a fitness product. Nothing more. It doesn’t have to be complicated, or have a never heard of before way of burning body fat, and it most certainly can’t perform magic. Not even Houdini could burn fat by magic. No one can.
Don’t Focus On One Body Part
There are certain products which focus on a single body part. They work your thighs, or arms, or they’re designed to tone your butt.
As I explained in a previous post, spot fat reduction is a myth. You can’t burn fat from just one body part. You need to have a full body approach to fitness.
What’s the point of buying a product if all it does is target a single muscle group? This isn’t the way to get in shape. You need to buy equipment and do exercises which work the entire body. This is how you burn calories quickly and get results.
You Don’t Need To Be First
While Early Adopters are some of the coolest, most fun people to hang out with and learn from, you don’t have to be one of them every time. Don’t buy a product without first reading about it, seeing what other people have to say, learn its pros and cons, discover if anyone had any problems with its customer support, etc.
Reviews can be found on numerous consumer sites such as Amazon, HSN, etc. You can also learn about the business behind the product by searching for reviews on the Better Business Bureau website.
Will You Use It?
Finally, you need to ask yourself one key question: Are you going to use this product? I’m not talking about the occasional try. I’m talking about regular, committed use of it.
If you’re not completely sure that this is a product that you will exercise with regularly, do NOT buy it. I don’t care if it’s on sale, I don’t care if it comes with a limited time bonus. It has no use for you if you’re not prepared to make use of it.
Simple Is Often Better
I’m not a fan of big and cumbersome exercise equipment. Some big fitness machines are great but I wouldn’t want them in my home. I prefer simple gear that I can use in a variety of ways. Give me some dumbbells, a jump rope, and a stability ball and I’m good to go. I can work my entire body which cheap equipment that takes little space.
Some fitness products are great but you need to be able to use them comfortably in your home. Don’t buy on impulse and always ask yourself whether you will actually make use of what you buy.