Hitting the gym is an important part of building speed and preventing injury, but the coronavirus pandemic has forced many of us to re-evaluate how we work out. While bodyweight exercises can do the trick for a while, you might be ready to create your own home gym space and upgrade your equipment.
Fortunately, home gym equipment has come a long way from the basic (and boring) machines of the past. Now, you can choose from high-tech options that feature specialized software for streaming live workouts and on-demand classes or that leverage artificial intelligence to customize your experience. This increased interactivity makes working out more engaging, more effective, and most of all, more fun.
So, if you’re planning to skip the gym for the foreseeable future and are ready to take the plunge and build your own smart home gym, here are some of the most popular options you need to know about.
Complete with a 32-inch touchscreen, this treadmill offers on-demand and live classes bringing the studio to you. If you’re not a fan of the group exercise experience, you can choose from outdoor workouts, too. The treadmill utilizes iFit programming platform, and you can access coaches such as experienced runner Camille Fiducia. And rather than having to stare at a wall or watch your metrics tick by on the screen, you also have the option to run on scenic trails. The machine automatically adjusts the incline and speed to make the experience feel as realistic as possible.
Price: $3,799 (includes one year of iFit family membership)
Peloton Tread+ or Tread
If you want to bring a competitive edge to your runs, adding the Peloton Tread+ or Tread to your gym is the way to go. During live and on-demand classes, you can access the leaderboard, which compares your output to the output of other runners, based on the machine’s speed, incline, and output. The Tread+ has the same belt technology of more expensive machines. And rather than buttons, the Tread uses dials mounted on the side rails, making it easy to adjust your speed and incline without reaching in front of you for a button. You can also enjoy Peloton’s wide array of classes that come with the membership via the large touchscreen, so you won’t miss out on important cross-training, such as strength, stretching, or yoga.
Price: Tread+ Basics: $4,295 (price varies based on package), plus additional $39/month membership
Tread Basics: $2,495 (Available March 30, prices varies based on package), plus additional $39/month membership
You can read our full review of the Tread+ here.
Apple Watch with Fitness+
If you already use an Apple Watch to track your runs or workouts, Fitness+ will be a seamless addition to your home gym. The service offers virtual studio-style workouts with trainers that you can access on your iPad, iPhone, or Apple TV. Fitness+ uses metrics from your Apple Watch, like your heart rate, to help personalize your workouts with real-time feedback. You’ll find high-intensity interval training (HIIT), yoga, core, strength, treadmill (walking and running), indoor cycling, rowing, dance, and mindful cooldown workouts ranging from 5 minutes (like quick cooldowns) to 10-, 20-, 30- or 45-minute options from 21 trainers.
If you need some extra motivation, you can activate a “Burn Bar” to see how your performance compares to others in the class you’re taking. This platform is a great option for beginners or those who are looking to get back into it after some time off.
Price: $9.99 per month or $79.99 per year plus the cost of an Apple Watch. A three-month subscription to Fitness+ is included free with the purchase of a new Apple Watch from September 15, 2020 through March 31, 2021, or one month free for current Watch owners.
Read our full review of Fitness+ here.
Read our full review of the latest Apple Watch Series 6 here..
If you have a small space, or don’t like the look of bulky equipment, the Mirror is a sleek way to smarten up your cross-training and bring studio-style classes to your space. When not in use, it looks like—well, a mirror.
But when you’re ready to use it for training, you can access live and on-demand fitness classes, including HIIT, stretching, and yoga. Plus, a built-in camera allows you to get instant feedback on your form and compare your form on-screen to the instructor’s. For an additional fee, members can also opt for one-on-one personal training.
Price: $1,495, plus $39/month subscription
You can read our full review of the Mirror here..
If you love working with a personal trainer at the gym, but want to do so at home, you’ll want to check out Tonal. The platform has hundreds of trainer-led workout programs so you can find one that will help you meet your goals. Though the setup looks minimal—no clunky weight racks—you can actually lift up to 200 pounds of digital weights, dialed in with resistance. Tonal’s tech learns from your workouts and automatically adjusts resistance as you lift, meaning it can automatically increase the weight you are lifting. Additionally, the system measures reps, sets, range of motion, time under tension, power, and volume as you go, so no more counting in your head or hoping that you’re using the correct form.
Price: $2,995 plus $495 for smart accessories and $49/month membership
The thought of strength training at home may be intimidating, especially because you don’t want to risk injury with improper form. That’s where Tempo comes in. The system uses 3D mapping of your body to check and correct your form. As you go, the platform will count your reps for you and remembers what weights you’ve been using so you can keep getting stronger.
Price: $1,995 (you can purchase heavier weights) plus $39/month membership
If you want to get the full variety of a gym but have limited space, you’ll want to check out the NordicTrack Vault. Complete with dumbbells, kettlebells, yoga, pilates, and strength-training equipment that all stores inside of the mirror’s vertical storage, you can put this smart gym virtually anywhere. The 60-inch mirror allows you to see the moves being done with proper form and provides immediate visual feedback for workouts including yoga, strength training, pilates, lifting, HIIT, and interval training.
Price: $2,999 (Vault: Complete) or $1,999 (Vault: Standalone). Includes one-year iFit Family Membership
Pre-order now, ships February 12.
If you’re looking to turn your living room into a fitness studio, but don’t want to add any actual workout equipment (or already have a 2020 Samsung Smart TV), by upgrading your TV, you can access 5,000 hours of free workouts ranging from HIIT to barre to meditation via Samsung Health. The workouts are already there for you, and you can access them through the TV’s apps.
Over 250 sessions are available to stream right in your living room and can be downloaded for free in the Samsung Smart TV app store.
Price: Prices vary depending on model, workouts included free.
Echelon Smart Rower
Indoor rowing is a great form of cross-training for runners. This rower comes equipped with a 22-inch HD screen that allows you to take on-demand classes or immerse yourself in a scenic row. The middle of the handlebar has a toggle for adjusting the resistance, so you don’t have to stop and manually adjust it. Plus, with your membership, you get access to a multitude of classes from meditation to stretching to boxing and strength.
Price: $1,599 plus $39.99/month membership (prices vary—three subscription options monthly, annual, and two-year—available)
This rower brings live workouts filmed in Miami and taught by world-class athletes to your home gym. You have access to live and on-demand classes, and can choose from high-intensity rows to meditative, restorative options. You can also opt for yoga, pilates, and strength training classes off the rower. The machine is designed to be silent so you won’t disturb anyone around you, and it can be stored in an upright position if you’re working with limited space.
Price: $2,270 (starter package) plus $456 for one-year membership
This bike gives you access to live and on-demand cycling workouts and, similar to the Peloton format, allows you to compete with other riders on a leaderboard. The bike features a 22-inch HD screen and rotates so you can easily view off-the-bike workouts. Plus, with your membership, you get access to a variety of classes from meditation to stretching to boxing and strength. Bonus: You can use the bike to charge your phone or tablet while you ride.
Price: $1,640 plus $39.99/month membership (prices vary—three subscription options monthly, annual, and two-year—available)
Peloton Bike or Bike+
Last fall, Peloton announced an expansion of its at-home bike line and now offers two bikes at two price points. The upgraded features on the Bike+ include a 23.8-inch HD touchscreen, which can rotate 180 degrees left and right to more easily see the screen during off-bike workouts; a four-speaker surround-sound system so you can get pumped up by the playlists; an auto-follow feature that automatically adjusts the resistance according to the trainer instruction; and integration with Apple GymKit so Peloton members can sync workouts with their Apple Watch.
However, if you’re just in it for the ride, the lower-cost “Bike” is still a great option. You can access all classes and off-the-bike workouts on either model, plus fight for a top spot on the leaderboard or a shoutout from your favorite instructor.
Price: $2,045 (Bike Essentials Package), $2,695 (Bike+ Essentials Package) plus $39/month membership
SoulCycle At-Home Bike
If you’re not as focused on the metrics or a leaderboard and instead want to ride because it makes you feel good—or you loved tapping back at SoulCycle in-person—this might be the bike for you. You can stream live, in-studio sessions or choose from a library of on-demand classes. Each class offers a brief synopsis, so you can choose between classes full of Soul’s infamous choreography, that include upper-body strength, or you can opt to just ride. Major bonus—there is a free-ride option so you can ride to your own music and you can also pedal while streaming Netflix or Disney+ (subscriptions not included).
Price: $2,500 plus $40/month membership (free if you’re an Equinox member)
If you’re really looking to shake up your at-home workouts, knock them out with this at-home boxing setup. FightCamp brings boxing and kickboxing to your living room. You can access prerecorded classes on demand at any time of day, with new workouts available weekly. The device’s trackers calculate your output based on your speed, intensity, and technique so you can compete with others. Workouts include a mix of punches, defensive moves, sprints, and bodyweight exercises.
Price: $1,219 plus $39/month membership (currently only available for iOS devices)
Not all products have been tested by our editors. Runner’s World will update this list as we find more smart home gym products or review them.
[Watch] Now, Try These Workouts
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