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Best Home Gyms - 8 Key Features That Make Up The Best Home Gym For You
Author: Kathryn Oneill

Looking for the best home gym? Home gyms come in many different sizes and varieties - so much so that it can get confusing.

While there's never been a better time to buy - you want to make sure you choose a home gym that will get you where you want to go, without wasting your time or money.

Everyone is different and needs different things in a home gym.

This article will lay out the 8 key features that make up the best home gym for you. Keep these things in mind when shopping and you'll easily be able to select the optimal piece of equipment for your needs.

The best home gym has these features:

1) Meets Your Goals

Not every type of home gym will get you where you want to go - you need one that will give you the results you want. For example, if you're looking to get ripped and build an Arnold-type body, you might want to consider plate-loaded machines or even leverage machines like the Powertec brand.

If you're looking to simply tone up and burn fat, you might want a power rod machine like a Bowflex.

If you're somewhere in the middle - you want to build muscle but don't necessarily want to go into bodybuilding, you might want a traditional weight stack machine like those made by Bodysolid or Bodycraft. The best home gyms will help you reach your personal goals quickly and efficiently.

2) Fits Your Workout Space

Gyms come in all different shapes and sizes. When shopping for a home gym, consider how much room you have available. Note the length, width and height of the room where you plan to place your gym. Some gyms are quite high or have a large footprint.

Also, when you look at the footprint of a piece of equipment, make sure you add at least 2 to 3 feet on either side of it for room to move, and an additional 12 to 18 inches in height (if it has a stationary chin up/pull up bar).

If the machine has a low pulley row station (particularly those gyms with plate stacks or free weights) and does not have a sliding seat (like some of the Bowflex machines), note where it is located. If it's located on the outside of the machine (so you are sitting away from the machine), you will need to add at least 6ft to that size of the machine for workout space.

3) Lightweight/Easy To Move

If you're going to be moving the gym equipment around, you'll want to look for a home gym that is either foldable and/or lightweight. Many weight stack machines and plate loaded machines are not lightweight.

However there are other gyms like the power rods gyms that may fold up or are lightweight and easy to move around. These would be ideal for small spaces like condos, apartments or a smaller home gym.

4) Number of Exercises

When looking at equipment, keep in mind the number of exercises it can do. If you are a beginner, it's important that the machine can give you a good total body workout (chest, shoulders, back, arms, legs), and the number of exercises isn't as important.

But as you become more experienced, you will need to change those exercises and workout routines to prevent your body from plateauing (adapting to your training, and stop growing), as well as to fight off boredom.

5) Workout Routines

Some home gym manufacturers provide complete workouts for beginners, intermediates and advanced. As a minimum most of the manufacturers provide you a basic guide for each exercise. Some even add in DVD workouts to help you get started on their machines.

6) Weight Resistance

If you are new to strength training, you may find a typical 200lb stack or resistance more than enough to train with. But as you become stronger, you will either have to increase the number of repetitions (the number of times you do a particular move) or increase the weight.

That's why it's usually a good idea to pick up the additional weight if a manufacturer offers it.

7) Cardio Station

Does the home gym have a cardio station (usually a row station)? If you want a complete body workout (cardio and strength training), either make sure it has a row station, or look to adding either skipping, running, or a cardio session (kickboxing, etc) in your workout.

8) Warranty

A good warranty gives you an idea of the quality of the parts used in construction. This is important especially if you have a lot of moving parts, or parts that might not be available easily.

As machines become more digital, pay attention to the warranty. If they run on a digital system this piece of machinery may breakdown and make your equipment useless, unless you get it fixed. So you want to make sure the digital portion of the machine is covered by a lengthy warranty.

So those are 8 key features that make up the best home gym for you. Keep these things in mind when buying a home gym and you'll save time, money and loads of frustration.

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