With so many possibilities for equipping a home gym where do you start? It really depends on the availability of space, your budget and what your trying to get out of your exercise program. For me, space was a concern and I was wanting to find exercise equipment that would provide an overall workout at a reasonable price. I was in an apartment but was living alone. After many hours of reviews I decided on purchasing an elliptical trainer. An elliptical trainer provides an excellent cardio, lower body workout, a decent upper body workout and there is no impact to your body. Many fitness trainers believe that you burn more calories on the elliptical than a treadmill. I bought a mid range machine that linked up with IFIT. IFIT provides electronic workouts that control your machine. It provides variety. I purchased a tape with a workout located in Hawaii. So as I exercise I actually take a hike through one of the Hawaiian islands. The only problem with my machine is that it does not have a motorized incline adjustment. I now believe that this is really an essential feature, if you can afford it.
The elliptical served my well for 6 years. I got remarried and moved into a larger house. My wife did not care for the elliptical. She found it hard to get used to it and she really liked treadmills. We decided to get a treadmill. After my experience with the elliptical, we bought a feature rich treadmill. One of the features I would highly recommend is a large motor. A high HP motor will pay for its self by providing many years of reliable service. The other feature to look for is a belt system that is comfortable to walk on. You really need to try different treadmills out before you buy one. You can do this in any major sports store. Bring your running shoes and try it out for 5 min at a time. We purchased one that folds up and rolls out of the way. We do not need that feature at this time however we will in the future. Right now the treadmill is in the foundation. We are going to finish the basement next year and plan on enclosing an exercise room. The room will be smaller than the area we currently have it in and its a great feature to fold it up out of the way providing more floor space for yoga or other floor exercises. Turns out that the treadmill gives a nice break from the elliptical. Again it provides variety, variety keeps you interested in exercising.
The only item missing from our home gym was weights. There were two choices, free weights or weight machine. We chose the weight machine. We purchased a gym quality weight system that provided just about every exercise that we could think of without having to change equipment in and out like the old machines I was used to. All you needed to change was bar position, seat position and put a pin in the weights you want to lift. This speeds up the process. I can not think of anything else you would need to complete a home gym. We have both weight training to build strength and cardio equipment to build stamina. The best of both worlds. If your on a tight budget I would recommend the elliptical trainer and free weights. If you have the money go with a good weight machine and either a treadmill or elliptical. Whatever is more comfortable for you. No matter what you decide to do, research and try out the equipment you want before you buy.