Strength building equipment comes in many shapes and sizes. Here’s help narrowing your selection.

 

How To Buy Strength Building Equipment

Whether you want to lose weight, increase your strength, boost your endurance or maximize your flexibility, you can find the right exercise equipment to meet your goals. In fact, selecting the right equipment hinges on determining your goals first.

 

Determining your goals

To get the right strength training equipment, you must first decide what’s important to your fitness goals.

Strength training

  • Builds muscles, which will contribute immensely to a healthy and active lifestyle
  • Besides improving strength and endurance, weight training preserves bone density and reduces the risk of osteoporosis
  • It also has the added benefit of weight control, strength training burns more fat

Anaerobic exercise

  • Weight training provides an anaerobic workout because it demands short bursts of energy while resting between exercises
  • Weight training improves your body’s anaerobic capacity

Flexibility

  • By working various muscle groups weight training can improve your overall body flexibility
  • Increased flexibility reduces the risk of muscle pulls and back pain

 

How to buy free weights

Sets

  • Buying a barbell, weights, and a dumbbell set is a good, inexpensive way to get started on strength training
  • This allows you to you add to your weight collection as your needs grow and your goals change or increase

Types of weights

  • Metal weights
    • Have the advantage of durability
  • Plastic-coated or rubber-coated weights
    • Provide a little less wear and tear on your floor if you should drop them

Benches

  • Size
    • Determine how much room you have for a weight bench
    • Many benches fold up to economize your space
  • Capacity
    • Different benches are designed to hold various amounts of weight depending on the exercises you need to achieve your goals
    • Find a bench that fits your strength-training needs
  • Crutches
    • These are the 2 supports that hold your weight bar
    • Generally speaking, the wider the crutch, the more weight it can bear
      • Standard size of 28″ for 5- to 6-foot bars
      • Mid-width size of 40″ for 6- to 7-foot bars
      • Olympic size of 48″ for 7-foot bars
  • Movable benches
    • Some benches can be adjusted for an incline or decline for more options
    • Provides for other activities such as sit-ups to further strengthen your abdomen
  • Attachments
    • Many benches either come with or offer add-ons for leg curls, extensions, and arm curls
    • These are good options to consider for extending your strength training to both your upper and lower body

Accessories

  • Gloves–to avoid calluses and blisters
  • Weightlifting belt–to help minimize back injuries
  • Mats–to protect the floor from dropped weights

 

How to buy a home gym

There are a number of factors that determine what type of home gym you should purchase.

Resistance

  • Cables and pulleys
    • The most familiar are those that use one or more weight stacks attached to cables and pulleys to provide the resistance
    • These use a pin put into the stack at the preferred weight you wish to lift
    • Also called “selectorized” machines
  • Elastic bands
    • Use a variety of elastic-type bands to provide various levels of resistance
  • Free weights
    • Used for major strength training and toning

Amount of weight

  • Choose a home gym that has the right amount of weights in its stack or stacks to fit your goals
  • If more than one person will be using the home gym at the same time, you may also want to select a home gym with two or more weight stacks

Types of lifting

  • Your goals will help in determining the home machine that suits your needs
  • Different machines offer a variety of exercise options from bench presses to curls, from sit-ups to squats
  • Some machines also have add-on options for leg lifts and presses

Number of stations

  • If you will primarily be working out by yourself, a single-station gym with various attachments is sufficient
  • If more than one person wants to use the home gym, consider a model that offers multiple stations
  • You can also find gyms with dual stacks to allow two users to use the gym simultaneously

Size

  • Obviously, the more stations and exercise options, usually the bigger the home gym
  • Determine how much area you have for a home gym and buy a set that fits in that space, or folds up to store in that space