How to Create a Home Gym with Used Fitness Equipment
Are you tired of overpaying for new fitness equipment, only to sell it a few months later because you lack the motivation to continue training?
It's a vicious cycle that repeats itself every year for millions of New Year's resolutioners.
Instead of paying enormous sums for brand new equipment, most people should be looking at the used fitness equipment market for value priced essentials.
New fitness equipment prices can be astronomical. Look up a new Life Fitness treadmill, or Hammer Strength piece, premium fitness equipment and you will see prices ranging in the $5000-$10,000+ for brand new equipment.
Most often, those same gym pieces can be purchased for a fraction used, as much as a 90% decrease in total cost.
The used home gym equipment market is quite reasonably priced, with excellent value to dollar ratio. But how do you go about finding high quality, value-priced equipment?
Step 1 - Research Fitness Equipment
You do not want to jump into the used fitness equipment market headlong without having an idea of the type of equipment you want for your home gym or training facility. If you are into resistance training, a great place to start is with a barbell and free weights (such as Olympic plates, adjustable dumbbells, and kettlebells).
If you prefer bodyweight exercises, bands are a great way to increase resistance naturally without introducing heavy weights.
Choose the fitness equipment that is right for you. Make sure you set training goals and are choosing equipment that is versatile. Particularly if you have a small space to work with, you need to choose equipment that allows you to do several different workouts effectively with a single piece of used fitness equipment.
Products like a squat rack, adjustable weight bench, barbell, grip plates, and adjustable dumbbells all allow you to do multiple exercises with the same equipment, rather than switching constantly between equipment to complete a workout.
Single-use equipment like leg curls, hack squats, or chest press machines with weight stacks should generally be avoided unless you have a massive amount of space available. They take up a lot of room, are not very versatile, and unless you can find "combo" units (such as a leg extension/leg curl combo, or an all-in-one unit), they usually aren't worth it as your training needs will likely change over time.
Don't get stuck with equipment that you won't use. Buy wisely, and buy once.
Step 2 - Research Brands
Now that you have located where to purchase used fitness equipment, how do you go about choosing high quality gym equipment?
Start by making a list of reputable brands, and do some research to narrow your search to those manufacturers who are making excellent products.
There are value-brands, high-end brands, and mid-tier brands, all competing for your buying dollars.
For the purposes of this article, we will assume you are looking for home gym equipment for resistance training.
Here are a few affordable brand names to consider:
- Rep Fitness
- Standard Barbell
- Hammer Strength
- Hammer Clad
- Body Solid
These brands should last longer than normal residential grade brands, and can often be found at a steal compared to retail prices. Rogue is not mentioned here as their resale value is generally high compared to retail.
Generally avoid brands like:
- Cap Strength
- Gold's Gym
These brands are not known for making high-quality home gym equipment, and are made of thinner and lower-grade materials, including aluminum and low gauge steel.
As with all brands, there are exceptions to this rule, so do your research when purchasing! These
Other higher-end brand names are sometimes available used (Sorinex, Kabuki, Eleiko), but are normally quite expensive, even on the used marketplace. Feel free to research other brand names and products, but the above brand names should give you a good sense of what's available.
When does brand name not matter?
Generally you can throw brand names out the window when purchasing:
- Rubber coated dumbbells
- Cast iron olympic weight plates
- Accessories such as barbell clamps, ab straps, and/or lifting gloves
Most of these are manufactured in the same facilities overseas in China and are all about the same quality of material.
Step 3 - Find a Marketplace
Locate a reputable source for used gym equipment.There are tons of used fitness equipment stores in most major cities. However, online marketplaces can sometimes provide even more value. Choose the one that works best for you.
The benefit of a physical brick-and-mortar store location is that you can test and feel the equipment prior to purchase. A lot of stores will let you use the equipment, so you can determine quality and whether the functionality will work for your training needs. The key to buying used fitness equipment for a home gym is finding high quality, versatile equipment, that will last for years.
New to online marketplaces and/or used gym stores, and don't know where to start?
Here are a few options:
- Facebook Marketplace
- Nextdoor Groups
- Play It Again Sports
- Used Fitness Equipment stores (such as Freedom Fitness Equipment, or Buy and Sell Fitness)
Once you have located a reputable online or local marketplace/store to purchase used fitness equipment, take your time and browse around to see what kinds of fitness equipment are offered.
A lot of marketplaces allow you to set up search alerts so that when something pops up as available in your area, you will be alerted to the posting or product availability immediately via email, text, or phone notification. Take advantage of these notifications to get great deals!
Step 4 - Negotiate
The best part about used gym equipment is that you can always negotiate the final price with the seller. The worst thing that can happen is that they say "no", which just means you can move on and find another piece of fitness equipment.
Patience is key, so wait until you find something you like, and negotiate with multiple sellers along the way.
BE POLITE! Some buyers are extremely negative and sour during negotiations. A little kindness goes a long way when negotiating with a seller, as they may have multiple buyers vying for the same item. Your attitude can stand out in a sea of rude and unpleasant people.
Once you have agreed to a price, the last step is to pickup the equipment, put it in your home gym, and get to work!
Congratulations! You've taken the first important steps to building your home gym, and starting a healthy habit which will last for years! The convenience, accessibility, and time savings you are creating for yourself is something that keeps home gym enthusiasts motivated.
If you need tips or advice on how to build your home gym, feel free to reach out at https://freedomfitnessequipment.com/pages/contact-us.