The latest fitness gear designed for the at-home athlete combines state-of-the-art workout equipment with cutting edge technology. Home gyms have been very popular for decades, but now they’ve really come of age. From Wi-Fi enabled to Internet synchronization, these products are a far cry from the home gyms of the past.
When they were first introduced, ellipticals were adored by some fitness experts and scorned by others. The new generation of elliptical machines has features that make them an attractive option for the home workout enthusiast. They have a small footprint and are long on current technology. For instance, in the past, there was only one stride pattern, and you were stuck with it. True Fitness’s new CSX model lets exercisers step to the side and adjust the stride length as the machine is running. The machine can also be used strictly for an upper-body workout alone when the user stands on fixed side pedals and works the handles only. The Gsycle is a hybrid combination of elliptical machine and stairclimber that also comes with resistance-adjustable handles so that you can get a total body workout. Naturally, you can hook up your iPod or other MP3 player to the machine and listen to your favorite tunes or audio books as you exercise. That feature is practically mandatory with any workout machine these days.
Life Fitness, the manufacturer of the original Life Cycle, has bikes, stairclimbers, ellipticals and almost any kind of cardio machine on the market. Your workout data can be loaded onto a USB drive and transferred to a website that monitors your workout’s distance, duration and degree of difficulty. You can even download your music library directly into their machines from your iPod or flash drive. All the Life Fitness gear has pre-programmed routes for users from weekend warriors to daily fitness maniacs.
Star Trac‘s E-Series cardio equipment and their Koko strength-training hardware runs software that you buy on pre-loaded USB drives from your gym. The software tracks your progress and motivates you to keep improving.
Johnny G has upgraded his mega-popular Spinner exercycles. His new Krankcycles are cranked with your arms to provide a total upper body workout, burn calories and improve cardio fitness. It is a perfect machine for people who may have lower-body limitations, such as amputees or paraplegics.
The most prevalent e-fitness company across the board is iFit. It creates fitness tracking software to integrate with treadmills, stationary bikes, ellipticals and stairclimbers that are connected to the Internet via Wi-Fi. Exercisers can map out a route, link up to Google Street View and watch it on the machine’s dashboard. The resistance is synchronized to the topography of the selected route. Bikers can experience the twists, turns and brutal climbs of the Tour de France. Runners can run a simulated Boston Marathon.
Many people who work at home wish there was some way to exercise while toiling at their desk. There is a series of under-the-desk bike simulators, stairclimbers and treadmills, but the Lifespan desk model TR1200-DT7 is the ultimate. The user stands at the desk and walks on the treadmill while working. An average speed is about 2 miles per hour. You can burn up to 1,000 calories a day if you walk for seven hours. That equals some 20,000 steps. Users say they refrain from things like banking or paying bills while they walk, but they have no problems with everyday work while they exercise. Walking while working is a pure form of multitasking.
From Internet synchronization to real-world simulation, home workout machines have matured exponentially. Modern home gyms really take advantage of all that technology has to offer.