Product selection tips
Before selecting your home exercise equipment it is worth to take some time to study its technical parameters, which determine its functionality. Knowing these details will help you make a conscious choice and prevent your new equipment from being set aside. Your next step should be defining your needs and future workout plan. If you intend to use the product by yourself only, it is reasonable not to spend your funds on a professional model for fitness gyms, but rather to purchase a lighter version designed for home use instead. Our H-Class (for home use) equipment will be the perfect choice for you.
It is the most important parametre in the case of training bikes (traditional, horizontal or spinning ones), elliptical machines and rowing machines. The most frequent mistake in this scope is the choice of a machine based on the weight of flywheel. Its structure, which determined the way of generating resistance, is much more important than the weight.We distinguish 6 types of resistance:
mechanical– it is generated by a strap by means of friction it creates.
– it is generated thanks to magnets located outside a small section of a flywheel.
Provides mid-level smoothness and durability.
– in this case, the magnets are located on the inner side of the whole circumference of the flywheel; it operates smoothly and it is very durable. The resistance is generated – like in the above case – in consequence of the magnet approaching and distancing itself from the flywheel.
– there is no permanent magnet here. The role of a braking factor is performed by a magnetic field created by an electromagnet whose core is fixed with respect to the flywheel and the change in the resistance force value is affected by the change in the value of current in the coils of the electromagnet, which translates proportionally into the value of amperage of magnetic field influencing the said flywheel. This solution undoubtedly has its advantages such as the absence of moving parts (it is basically failure-free), generated resistance is uniform as regards its value on the whole circumference of the flywheel and its control is very fast and smooth.
– occurs in new bikes and elliptical machines. It is generated by means of two-sided metal blades located in the metal frame. The resistance force depends on the speed of movement.
– occurs in rowing machines. It is generated by means of blades located in the tank. Resistance adjustment consists in adding or removing water from the tank.
In the first three solutions, the resistance is controlled by means of a knob (from 1 to 8 levels of resistance) or computer (from 1 to 32 levels). In the fourth case, it is done by the computer. In the case of air resistance, it is the speed of performed movements, and in the case of water drag it is determined by the volume of water in the tank.
Determine which additional functions, add-ons or accessories you will need to keep your motivation at a high level and take full advantage of the time invested in your workout. Depending on your personal preferences you can choose the equipment that will help you sustain motivation for a very long time.
Display feedback– usually shows duration, speed and distance. Some consoles also provide body fat information and heart rate control.
Built-in workout programs
– may be fixed or customizable. The more options you have for your choice, the more tailored to your needs your exercise will be.
– usually located on the handlebar or on special, dedicated handles. Less often used are telemetry straps offering much better comfort and full freedom of movement, which is especially appreciated by treadmill users.
– indicates the rider’s power output while turning the pedals during a workout, which enables a much more accurate count of burned calories. Fitted in high-end equipment.
– may be manual or electronic. If you are looking for smooth adjustment and operation, the electronic regulation with the right type of flywheel will be the best choice.
– such as seat, height, handlebars, stride length – depending on equipment type. A proper body position during training enables you to extend workout time and avoid injury.
Speed and incline (applicable for treadmills)
– should be adjustable according to your preferences and physical possibilities. The incline is adjusted manually or by computer and is always stated in percentage points or levels – remember that these values are not equivalent. The speed is measured in kilometers per hour (km/h), and motor parameter in horsepower (HP).
– enrich your workout experience with Google Street View and help manage training data. It is the perfect solution for everyone wanting to keep track of their results. Mobile applications are supported by the latest, high-end equipment.
Tablet / smartphone holder
– pay attention to placement in regard of your comfort and the size of your mobile device.
Bottle and towel holder
– obvious features and therefore often forgotten; especially useful during longer workouts.
– music can be a great motivator – if you can’t imagine training without your favorite pieces, make sure that your fitness equipment offers this feature. Speakers are currently fitted in most treadmills.
Unfair business practices
Finding the perfect piece of home exercise equipment doesn’t have to be a difficult task. It is helpful to determine your needs and expectations and possess some basic knowledge about technical parameters and available features. It is also good to consider the following points, which can help you make the right choice without losing your health or money.
Brand name mattersFrom time to time new brands appear on the market. Some of them will most likely develop, however, there will also be ones which had been created for a one-off sales campaign. In such cases we can’t be sure about the quality of the equipment, but what’s more important – about its safety. If you decide to buy such product, read the warranty terms carefully – they may prove to be utterly unfavorable.
Weight of flywheel
It is unfortunately a very common practice to overstate this parameter. Unfair sellers take advantage of the fact that most customers are unaware of the basic rules regarding this component and its influence on other technical parameters of the equipment. As has already been explained, the construction of the flywheel is much more important than its weight. Numbers can easily be manipulated and we often succumb to the thought that a higher parameter equals higher quality. Enquire about details and clarify your doubts – it is the only way to save money and get the product you really need.
Service and repair
The cons of purchasing unbranded / one-off fitness equipment have already been mentioned. Additionally, in such situation spare parts are often unavailable and the service is insufficient. For this reason it is highly advised to check the product’s technical support prior to purchase. Proper customer service is also important after the warranty period.
We are programmed to believe that price and quality are interlinked, but this is not always the case. Overstating the weight of flywheel is only one of the methods used to increase the price of exercise bikes and elliptical trainers. Another can be a misleading classification of fitness equipment with power cord as having electromagnetic resistance. The fitness equipment might in most cases need to be plugged in only to make the console work and not to generate electromagnetic field.
Applicable EU Norms
According to EU regulations, all fitness equipment must meet specific and mandatory safety standards. Treadmills, for example, fall under the European Norm PN-EN 20957 and are divided into 3 classes – A, B and C – according to their technical parameters. The size of the running surface is correlated with the maximum speed of motor – the higher the speed, the wider the running surface should be. Worth noting is also the accuracy of parameters measured during workout: class A comprises treadmills whose accuracy is the highest, class B – equipment with satisfactory accurateness, and class C – the least precise products. Unfortunately not all sellers follow all these requirements strictly, so for your own safety and comfort, make sure that your product of interest meets the obligatory safety standards. The current requirements are presented in the table.