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Workout Equipment

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

I had said a week or so ago that we were thinking about getting a treadmill and was looking at the various consumer reviews. None of the treadmills we were looking at got raving reviews. So I decided to get on this runner's forum and look to see what they were saying. I found this forum where several people on their had treadmills that they ran on and one or two of the people repaired treadmills for a living. I figured that people who owned treadmills and ran on them would know because they probably need a good treadmill to run on and theirs probably get beat up more per se as apposed to the people who just walk on treadmills. So, after doing lots of research it seems that, like with most things, you get what you pay for. The cheaper the treadmill the quicker it's going to break down. First, most treadmills are made by a company called Icon. Second, they can make treadmills cheaper with LOTS of plastic parts. Also, Nordic Track treadmills are not like they used to be. They were sold to Icon, if I remember correctly, and therefore the quality of the treadmill isn't there anymore. When it comes right down to it, several people on this runner's forum said you should plan on spending a minimum of $1,000 for a treadmill if you plan on having it for more than a year. Of course, some of the best ones you can buy are $5,000! While $1,000 may not seem like that much it's more than what we wanted to spend on any fitness equipment right now. The people on the runner's forum also said that if you didn't want to spend $1,000 for a good treadmill you'd be better off buying a used treadmill that had originally cost a minimum of $1,000. I live in a rural area and most of the people in this area (100 mile radius from where I live) aren't into exercising. I looked on Craigslist just to see if I could find a good used treadmill and I couldn't. Most of the treadmills were low end models (i.e. less than $1,000) that were being sold. For right now, we've decided to hold off on buying a treadmill. Also, just FYI, Precor is one of the better treadmill brands if you are thinking of buying a treadmill. I don't recall what other brands were good so you'll have to do your own research if you still want to get a treadmill after what I said.

Since we aren't going to buy a treadmill we decided to get some exercise mats that will cover the entire floor or most of the floor in our exercise room in our basement. Jumping around and even walking around on concrete floors takes it's toll on you after a while. DH even suspects that I might have had some microscopic stress fractures in my leg before I broke it. Anyway, the mats we bought are interlocking puzzle piece type mats and are about an inch thick. We also decided to get a heavy bag that we can use for kickboxing. DH had a black belt many years ago in Taekwondo. He's not at that level anymore because he didn't keep up with it. So, researching heavy bags it seems as though the heavy bags that are filled with water that have an outer layer of foam are much better on your bones and joints than the ones that are filled with sand. Also, this way the water isn't going to eventually settle into the bottom of the bag like the sand does. We figure that the kickboxing will give us the cardio workout we need besides the strength training we do.

This is what the mats look like.

DH doesn't think I need boxing gloves. He said that when he was taking taekwondo lessons before I met him he said that they never used boxing gloves. So, I'm going to hold off on them for now to see how much it hurts or doesn't hurt to hit the bag without gloves.

Finally, I wanted to share what I believe to be the worst brand of workout equipment. We have / had several Gold's Gym brand of fitness equipment and they are cheap!! The quality is very poor! We have a couple of sets of dumbbells by them. They look somewhat similar to these.

There is a spring like clamp on each end of the dumbbells that are "suppose" to keep the weight's on the bar. The clamps don't always stay on both of us have had one of them not hold and the weight's fell off while we were in the middle of lifting the weights. Thankfully they didn't fall on our feet while this happened. Also, they spray painted the bars black and the paint is chipping off. We also bought an elliptical machine by them and I think it might have lasted a year before the motor died on it. I will never buy a piece of exercise equipment that has the Gold's Gym brand name on it!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Check out the treadmill ratings on It's worth the subscription, especially for such a big investment.

    1838 days ago
    I have mats like that in our exercise area. They are nice!
    1838 days ago
    Thanks for the info. Yeah, Gold's Gym is garbage. I have had nothing but problems with anything of theirs I've gotten. I agree 100%
    1839 days ago
    Helpful info...thanks for the research results! emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1839 days ago
    I agree about that brand.
    1839 days ago
    We bought our treadmill from Craig's List and have been fairly happy with it. It doesn't get heavy use, though.

    When you do think about getting one again, you might try Play It Again Sports.
    1839 days ago
    Thanks for sharing what you found out. The gym I go to has Precor equipment and I think it's great. It's just too bad the good stuff has to be so expensive. I hope you post pictures of your workout space. I love seeing how people create a space for them!
    1839 days ago
  • JUSTME29
    Thank you for sharing you research. I have a treadmill that we bought for about $300 a few years ago but it hasn't seen heavy use so I can't speak to the long-term quality.
    1839 days ago
  • BEFIT018
    Yeah, GREAT info!
    I have those interlocking mats under my weight machine & bike.
    1839 days ago
    This blog entry was full of good information. Thank you. Fellow users give the best reviews of all. Exercise equipment is an investment and is not to be purchased lightly. It sounds as though you have a good routine and a terrific place to workout. Good luck.
    1839 days ago
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