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When the first shut down happened earlier this year, I was really worried about losing my fitness progress. I was going to the gym anywhere from 5 to 7 times a week, doing a mix of personal training sessions and using the machines on my own. Even though gyms reopened, I haven’t felt comfortable going back and I know I am not alone.
Due to the pandemic, it was nearly impossible to find appropriately-priced dumbbells anywhere online for months (At one point, I saw a single 10-pound dumbbell going for $65 on Amazon). I soon realized that the best quality investment was to buy an actual at-home fitness a machine – ahem, I mean studio.
All of the fancy fitness machines on this list are more than just a tool to use. Each brand offers its own take on advancing your fitness journey with cool classes, advanced exercise technology, or both. If you were previously paying top dollar for a gym membership or personal trainer (I was spending $200/month), most of these products are less than the annual cost of a freal gym. And they are right inside of your house, no driving required.
These at-home fitness products can work as a gift to a loved one, or just a gift to yourself for getting through this year.
Tempo is the brand I’d recommend most to anyone who was working with a personal trainer in a gym. The home studio has a 42″ HD screen where you’ll follow an instructor for each class. Tempo offers classes between five to 60 minutes. Unlike doing a YouTube fitness video, Tempo monitors your movements t0 make adjustments and recommendations. If you’re bending too far over while doing squats, the machine will correct you. If you’re moving too fast during a workout, it’ll recommend adjusting your weights to a heavier setting for a future workout.
The Tempo Studio comes with:
- 4 10-pound plates
- 4 5-pound plates
- 4 2.5-pound plates
- 4 1.5-pound plates
- 2 7.5 dumbbells
- 1 25-pounds bar
- 6 collars/clips
- Workout mat
- Foam roller
- Heart rate monitor
You can either pay in full for the machine, or you can opt to pay $55/month with 0% APR for 36 months. A Tempo Studio membership is $39/month.
The MYX is a budget-friendly competitor of the Peloton. If you want to know more about the differences, you can read my review after ride a MYX bike for 3 weeks straight. This bike is great for people interested in getting a studio cycling bike, but also want classes. MYX Fitness drops new classes weekly, include bike classes, floor classes, a hybrid of the two, plus mindful classes for digestion and pain.
The MYX Plus bike includes:
- A Stationary Star Trac bike
- A Polar heart rate monitor
- An XL exercise mat
- A stabilizing mat
- A kettlebell Three sets of hand weights (available in light, medium, and heavy)
- An SPRI stretch band
- A foam roller
To access those wonderful classes, it is $29/month for a MYX Fitness membership. When you order today, your bike can possibly arrive before Christmas. Depending on where you live, this will take three to five weeks for delivery.
The Mirror is a Lululemon product that brings a virtual coach right into your home. You can take fitness classes in your living room, following the skilled Mirror trainers. Because it’s literally a mirror, you’ll watch yourself as you workout. It can be leaned against any blank space you have in your home, whether you’re in a tiny apartment or have converted your office into a workout room. And when you’re done, it turns back into a mirror.
You can take classes ranging between five to 60 minutes, in 50+ different genres. You can choose from live weekly classes or on-demand classes, depending on your comfort level.
You’ll be able to track your heart rate and progress during every workout, and you’ll get a recap of the highlights to see where you excelled. This tracked progress is part of Mirror’s algorithm, which sets you up to compete with yourself by rewarding you with points when you beat previous records.
You can try out the Mirror for 30 days and if you don’t love it, you can return it risk-free. They’ll also let you finance the mirror for $42/month for 36 months. The membership subscription cost is $39/month to access all of Mirror’s classes.
NordicTrack T 9.5 S Treadmill
Let’s get back to the basics here. You cannot go wrong with having a treadmill in your house. It is much easier than going outside and running, especially when there is inclement weather. If you want a treadmill that will really push you, a NordicTrack is the way to go. The brand is the best in the game when it comes to incline and decline (on select models).
This treadmill has a 14″ HD touchscreen, that ou can either ignore or use to take iFit treadmill classes. If you really like to get personal with a trainer, you can even opt to take one of their live classes where the trainer controls your machine, thus forcing you to actually raise the incline on your treadmill, instead of pretending you did.
Of all the fitness tools on this list, this NordicTrack is possibly the best bang for your buck. Many NordicTrack machines come with a free 1-year iFit membership ($468 value). And most machines can be used without a membership, so ideally, if you don’t ever want to pay for a membership, you don’t have to.
Due to high demand, this will not ship until December 23rd. But that is right in time for those New Year’s resolutions!
Echelon Row-s Rower
If you’re looking for a low-impact cardio machine, a rower is right for you. This rower model is equipped with a 22″ monitor you can use to take classes or just enjoy a nice, scenic row.
This rower is estimated to ship on or around 12/11. You can also finance this rower for $42/month, with $0 down. Echelon’s FitPass offers a free 30-day trial and varies in price between $19.99 and $39.
If you want a cheaper option, the Smart Rower is $600 less but does not come with a built-in tablet. If you have a tablet already, you don’t honestly need one and can opt for this instead.
ProForm Carbon EX Elliptical
Similar to a rower, an elliptical offers a low-impact workout, but with a heavier cardio punch. When working between resistances, you will drip in sweat whether you’re flying fast on a low resistance of dreading through mud on a high resistance.
This ProForm elliptical offers an iFit membership with interactive training sessions where your trainer can control your resistance during your ride. You can also stream global and studio classes, so you’ll have plenty of variety to keep you from getting bored.
While this is one of the least expensive machines on the list, you can still opt to finance this for $56/month for 18 months. You can get a month free of an iFit membership, then it starts at $15/month.
BowFlex Treadclimber TC200
A treadclimber is like an elliptical and a treadmill had a baby. But this baby is anything but soft. Even on the lowest setting, this machine will still kick your butt. At a moderate pace, you can burn over 200 calories in just 10 minutes. This isn’t a machine that you need to sprint on, BowFlex literally markets it as a way to “walk your way to a more fit body, a calmer mind and a reenergized spirit.” I don’t know about your spirit, but you’ll definitely be on a great fitness journey with this machine.
You can finance this for $112/month for 18 months. There’s no membership required for this product, so you’ll just be paying for the machine.