Compact Home Gym Review

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Compact Home Gym Review

 

1st let me qualify myself….  I am a business owner with access to every home gym on the market.  After 28 years of trying, buying, selling and servicing, I felt it would be beneficial to offer my recommendations for compact home gyms.   Please understand I have no incentive to “sell” you on one make or manufacture nor will I “sell” you on the most expensive systems out there!  My company does not work with affiliates (companies that pay for good reviews) nor does my company receive discounts or even suggestions from suppliers as to how I should review the products you will someday buy.

The newer gyms such as Tonal, Mirror, and other business start up systems are not covered in this review as truthfully… I have never seen or used one of these “millennial gyms”.   These gyms do not use traditional weights (or weight stacks) so as a company we have decided not to distribute this type of product.   Our rule is:  If it can not be found in a gym, then we will not sell it.

 

I will rate every gym in the following areas:

 

SIZE:  A (Smallest)  B  (Small)   C   ( Medium Size)  D  (Colossal)

Ease of Use:   A (Best)   B (Easy)  C (Some Adjustments)  D  (You need your manual)

Price:   A  (Cheapest)  B (Affordable)   C  (Expensive)   D (Consider Financing)

Value for Price:    A  (Best Value)   B  (Good Value)   C  (OK Value)  D  (You got taken)

Functionality:   A  (Very Smooth)   B  (Smooth)  C  (Ok)  D (Department store feel)

Sturdiness:  A (Very Stable)  B (OK Stable)  C  (Move a little)   D (Feels as if bolts were not tightened)

 

Every gym will come with a summary explaining my grades and how I came to my decisions.   I will then rank my recommendations so you can reduce your time running from store to store trying out these gyms or even worse, getting one of these systems shipped to your home, building it, not liking it and then having to box it back up (in the original boxes) and shipping it back at your cost!    So, without further adieu… Here are the TOP 6 gyms I recommend and why:

#1

Inspire Fitness M1 Home Gym
Size:     L74” W34″ H84″
Ease of Use: A Just grab and go! Inspire even has an app for around $20/month that come with a
personal trainer and classes you can workout with.
Price: A MSRP of $1799 although we have seen
this gym sell for as low as $1599
Value for price: A You can perform exercises from 6 different pulley positions.
Functionality A Very smooth pullies from all positions.
Sturdiness B This is a stable gym that will satisfy the majority of users

#2
Tuff Stuff 6 Pac Trainer
Size: A L67” x W32” x H80”
Ease of Use: A Very similar to the Inspire M1 with 6 handles
You can work off of. No app to help you workout although they do provide you with
An exercise placard on the shroud showing you multiple exercises you can perform.
Price: C MSRP of $2999 although we have seen
this gym sell for as low as $2699
Value for price: B Great gym although the price point on
this gym is a little higher than we
would like to see.
Functionality A Very smooth pullies from all positions.
Sturdiness A Very solid gym that beats the M1

 

 

#3

Inspire M3 Home Gym
Size: A L72″ x W40″ x H82″
Ease of Use: B More of a traditional home gym with
a conventional bench press, Leg Ext/Curl
as well as dual high pullies.
Price: C MSRP of $3499 although we have seen
this gym sell for as low as $2999
Value for price: B The perfect gym for individuals that want a Image result for inspire m3 home gym
conventional press arm that doesn’t comprise the feel of dumbbells with its
Iso Lateral Bench press arm that work independently.
Functionality A Very smooth pullies from all positions.
Sturdiness B Very solid gym although not as heavy as
others available

 

#4
Tuff Stuff V4 Elite
Size: A L81″ x W48″ x H84″
Ease of Use: C A traditional home gym with a conventional bench press, Dumbbell
press handles, Leg Ext/Curl with a single high pulley.
Price: C MSRP of $3299 although we have seen
this gym sell for as low as $2999
Value for price: C The perfect gym for individuals that want a conventional press arm that doesn’t
comprise the feel of dumbbells with its Iso Lateral Bench press arm that work independently.
Functionality B Smooth gym although the dumbbell press
arms are a little “different” feeling.
Sturdiness A Very solid gym coming in at 609 lbs

 

 

 

#5
Hoist Mi5
Size: A L51″ x W53″ x H84″
Ease of Use: C A true “functional trainer” gym with adjustable
Arms to accommodate users of all sizes. We recommend purchasing an exercise ball or
bench to use with this gym ($30 to $450 extra)
Price: A MSRP of $2499 although we have seen
this gym sell for as low as $2250.
Value for price: B A Great gym if you know what you are doing!
Not much assistance from Tuff Stuff on how to use or exercises to perform.
Press arms work independently.
Functionality B Smooth gym although constant adjustments
are needed to set perform exercises.
Sturdiness B Very solid gym coming in at 442 lbs although
Adjustable arms have an adjustment knob must be tight for a solid feel.

 

 

 

 

#6
Tuff Stuff SXT 550
Size: B L81″ x W44″ x H84″
Ease of Use: C A Hybrid gym that offers traditional bench press as well as 6 pully positions for functional training.
Price: C MSRP of $4099 although we have seen this gym sell for as low as $3600.
Value for price: B One of the best selling gyms in specialty fitness
stores due to its ability to accommodate both beginners and advanced exercisers. Probably the
best leg developer of all gyms sold.
Functionality B Smooth gym with minimal adjustments needed to perform exercises.
Sturdiness A Very solid gym coming in at 670 lbs.

 

 

Conclusion: I am 100% certain that all these gyms will satisfy all your needs. While there are other gyms on the market these 6 compact gyms are the most popular and customers are happy with the results achieved by using them. If you would like more information, please contact one of the following specialty fitness stores:
Busy Body
Winston Fitness
Fitness Unlimited

In the mean time, stay fit and eat right as you are only given one body so take care of it!!!!

Stan Terry – 28 Years in the fitness (retail and commercial) business.

 

Houston Obesity

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Houston, we have a problem.

Like most major US cities, the percentage of obesity has been climbing steadily for years. This rise goes hand in hand with increases in heart disease, diabetes, low back issues, knee and hip issues, and cancer.

The proliferation of restaurants, and their enormous serving sizes, all contribute to this obesity surge. When factoring in the increase in chemicals and hormones in our food supply, the apparent appetite for fried foods, and the mutation of typically healthy cuisine such as traditional Mexican and Asian, into the fat laden fare in most restaurants, it’s easy to see why Harris County obesity rates are above 70%.   http://www.houstonstateofhealth.com/indicators/index/view?indicatorId=56&localeId=2675

Everyone knows, on some level, that eating better, and exercising will improve your health.  This may include purchasing a treadmill for your home?   Houston is a diverse city and many people are now working from home so getting to a gym or even choosing the perfect day (not to hot, wet or cold) to head to Memorial Park are almost impossible.   Busy Body is one of those companies helping out by delivering and installing gym quality exercise equipment to your home.

The only option we have is to continue to educate our community. That must include methods of motivation, easy to implement dietary changes, and ongoing sharing of information. Somehow, the community at large needs to truly “get it” when it comes to their health and longevity of life. Obesity, and the myriad other diseases, have become commonplace to the point of acceptance.

While making lifestyle changes are not easy, they are definitely worth it.

Robert Reed- Store Manager – Busy Body Westheimer

Elliptigo, or Ellipti-no?

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 In this blog, I am going to go over what the elliptigo is and the different kinds of Elliptigos, why it is superior to a walk in the park, the different features an Elliptigo has, and what part(s) of your body the Elliptigo works out.  

SUB RedElliptiGO 8C BlackMountain Bike SUB Orange

 

The Elliptigo is a stand up bike that mimics that of an elliptical (clever name right?).  First off, I have to mention there are quite a few different types of Elliptigos you can buy.  There is the Elliptigo SUB, which is a more affordable alternative to some other kinds of Elliptigos.  The SUB has eight gears on it and it has a quick-release lever making it easy for users to transport in a car.  Another type of Elliptigo is the MSUB. The MSUB has 27.5 inch tires making it easy to glide over bumpy surfaces.  Aside from the SUB bikes, Elliptigo also has compact-stride bikes. One of the three compact-stride bikes is the Arc3.  The Arc3 provides a fast and effective leg workout due to its compact stride of 9.4”-11.8”. The Arc3 also has a pivoting foot platform, Each platform pivots independently with the angle of your foot to provide comfort and versatility for different riding styles.  The last type of bike that Elliptigo sells is the long-stride elliptical bike, my personal favorite. The long-stride elliptical bike is the entry level long-stride model.  The long stride length can be adjusted up to 25”, allowing for a full range of motion and balanced muscle activation. These features are just a few key features of each bike!  Compared to a regular, seated bike, riding an ElliptiGO allows the rider with an upright riding position that improves visibility with an elevated line of site. The supported foot platforms of ElliptiGO bikes provide a stable, more comfortable ride. By standing and pedaling, a user is demonstrating balance, thus, engaging the core muscles.  The motion of the elliptigo is patented due to its ability to reduce stress on ankles and knees, while also allows the rider to resemble running, jogging, or walking. Due to the neutral riding position of the Elliptigo, neck, back, and seat pain are eliminated, as the user is not sitting hunched over. If these features of the Elliptigo won’t sell you on one, check out the site to get even MORE awesome information about the bike.  I think that after researching, examining, and riding an Elliptigo, I have to say the elliptical bike is definitely a GO! Try one out and see for yourself!

Elliptigo Van.jpg

In fact, if you are in the Houston area there is now a mobile dealer that will bring Ellptigos to your home or office and you can try them at your leisure.    This is a free service and if you decide to purchase, he has them on the van for you to keep!   Pretty cool.

Image result for carris terry

Carris Terry – Fitness Specialist

Fitness – Time to start working out?

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Fitness…  

What do you think of when you hear the word fitness or working out?  Do you think of sweat, pain, a burden, etc? How does it make you feel?  Maybe intimidated, a desire to be lazy, for some maybe it’s even motivated.  What about diet? All of these words bring about different emotions. If you’re not a gym junkie, these words can bring about shame or intimidation.  Why? Society has this weird influence on us and makes us think they must look a certain way, eat certain foods, and work out on a daily basis to be considered pretty or attractive.  Well, society needs to WAKE UP, that’s definitely NOT the case. Each individual is unique, and each individual has their own body type. There are many influences that contribute to body types.  Genetics, fast metabolisms, slow metabolisms, gender, and many other things. Some of these things are uncontrollable. No one should feel intimidated, or shameful, when it comes to working out and being healthy.  Becoming ‘healthy’ is a process. Not only is it a process, but if you want to make a lifestyle out of being healthy it can be a slow, dreadful, and unpleasant task. What? I’m just being honest with you! Don’t stop eating that sugar or those carbs if you don’t want to, start small and work your way up.  Don’t give up ALL sugars and carbs at once. It’s a process. Start out by cutting out soda, or maybe you have a habit of stopping at McDonalds every morning for breakfast, swap out the pancake platter for an egg white delight. You don’t have to change your habits all together, just make small improvements to make ‘healthy’ become a lifestyle.  By implementing little changes here and there you will begin to see a difference, not only in your body but your mental health as well. If you’re feeling a little ‘extra’, a great motivational challenge is to write 5 positive things on an index card and tape it on your mirror and simply read them each morning while you’re getting ready for the day.  I typically start my morning by brushing my teeth, if you start your morning doing the same, read those 5 body positive statements while doing a routine every-day action. If you don’t brush your teeth (slightly judging, but you do you) then pick a regular morning routine to read the statements in your head or out-loud. Now that you’re getting the hang of ‘healthy’ start stretching while you binge-watch your favorite Netflix show.  Or, if you’re like me and don’t pay for the premium Hulu subscription, do some jumping jacks during the commercials! Today you even have the choice of watching Netflix, Hulu or listening to Pandora on your treadmill, elliptical or bike!  Fitness doesn’t have to be intimidating, or scary, only if you make it that way and psych yourself out about it. Start slow, take a deep breath, and get those endorphins pumping! Work your way up to it, I mean… what’s the rush? You should be getting healthy for YOU, no one else. Summer is just around the corner, go outside, ride a bike, do those squats outside!  Rainy? NO excuses! Remember those Hulu commercials? No? Okay, well, don’t brag if you didn’t even know Hulu has a cheap version with commercials. Want to go the extra mile? Pun was definitely intended. Set up your TV in front of your treadmill, or preferred piece of cardio equipment, and watch your series while you walk. Not that you asked, but my favorite cardio machine is the elliptical. Check those bad boys out at Busy Body in Houston TX. Anyways, be the best you you can be. Not because someone told you to lose weight or get ripped, but because why wouldn’t you want to be the best version of yourself?  So, what are you waiting for? Start implementing those small daily changes to be the best YOU, for YOU!

Cool workouts/equipment to check out!

Elliptigo – Exercise outside with no impact!

TRX Training

Precor TRM 211 Treadmill

Schwinn AD Pro 

Water Rowers

Carris – Fitness Specialist @ Busy Body

Image result for carris terry

Importance of using Heart rate training

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Heart rate training is important for two main reasons, that is, to make sure your workout is safe for you, and to measure your progress.  It isn’t a good idea to workout and have your heart rate in an unsafe zone.  Then, as you progress, you will be able to get your heart rate up, and even though that zone was previously unsafe, it is now safe.  The only way to monitor your heart rate is with a monitor.  Try to find one that accurately measures your heart rate, and you’re on your way to having a stronger and healthier heart.  By the way,  It might be said it’s better to have a stronger heart than stronger arms or legs, or great abs.

I’m not a doctor, but I do practice common sense!

Rick Combi – Busy Body

Former Mr. Texas gives his quick version of “Lifting Heavy vs Lifting …

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Former Mr. Texas give his answer as to what is better!
The only real benefit of lifting heavy is it makes you stronger. Lifting heavy activates more fast twitch muscle fibers giving you more explosive strength which is great for power lifting and Olympic lifting. I recommend lifters train in both the lower and higher rep ranges to active fast and slow twitch fibers. The low rep range will help build strength while the higher reps will help with hypertrophy ( building the muscle).
*There is a bazillion videos and articles with PHDs arguing on what type of lifting is better. The general answer is different strokes for different folks.
Kevin Kubeczka – Store Manager – Busy Body

Doing cardio on a piece of strength equipment

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A cardiovascular workout can be achieved while doing muscular training. My personal favorite way to do this is what I call super sets. This is when you are working 2 muscle groups at the same time. Begin with a set of reps on the first exercise, but during the “break” or “rest” portion, knock out a set of reps on exercise #2. Do not allow yourself to take more than 15 seconds between sets. This rapid pace elevates your heart rate, which in turn, increases blood flow to your muscles. This helps alleviate soreness and promote recovery. At the same time, the strain of repeatedly and quickly moving from exercise to exercise is not giving your heart the chance to slow down, which promotes cardiovascular endurance.

Another popular way to incorporate cardiovascular endurance training into anaerobic training is to do circuit training. This is when you incorporate strength training into your cardio workout. For example, one could do 2 minutes on an elliptical, hop off and knock out a set of wood chops, then get back on the elliptical for another 2 minutes, and so on. This method is primarily geared towards cardio training, but the increased blood flow is still very beneficial to strength training.
Whichever method you prefer, the idea is the same: keep your heart rate elevated while lifting weights by resting no more than 15 seconds (so long as you are safely and medically able) between sets. This helps sculpt hard muscle and burn fat in the most effective way possible.

Recumbent Bikes vs Upright Bikes

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As the store manager of a Specialty Fitness store, I always get the same question:  Why would I purchase a recumbent bike over an upright bike?   Here is my take on which bike is best for you!

Recumbent bikes.

Recumbent bikes are easier on the lower back (lumbar spine) due to the way you sit on the bike. It’s gentle on you joints,your lower back is supported by the bucket style seat and you knees and ankles are protected from potential injurious impact. Recumbent bikes are generally safer because you can not stand up on the pedals, this eliminates many of the injuries that occur when using an upright bike. A recumbent bike is a good choice for most people with neurological conditions since the bike provides a workout for individuals of all ability levels.
Upright bikes
An upright bike gives you a more consistent workout when relating to outdoor riding. Upright bikes also ensure you’re working the same muscles that you are using with outdoor riding, which is more of a whole body exercise. Where as a recumbent mostly requires use of your glutes, quads, hamstrings, calves and tibilais anterior muscles. The upright bike works the abdominal muscles since you are keeping the body upright and supporting your workout. Since you are in a reclined position on a recumbent bike there is little to no use of the abdominal muscles. Thereis also more of an upper body arm workout since you are engaging the biceps, triceps and shoulders in the upright position.
I hope this helps and if all else fails, come see me!
Bradley “Tank” – Store Manager

Specialty Fitness Store vs Big Box fitness stores

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Why shop at a Specialty Fitness over Big Box store?
Shopping at a Specialty Fitness store like Winston Fitness, Busy Body and Fitness Unlimited means that you can shop confidently knowing that the fitness industry’s leading manufacturers have chosen us as their partner to sell their high quality gym equipment, we will have these same brands you see in real health gym facilities or your favorite pro sports team. We know that purchasing quality fitness equipment is an investment in your health. Which is why we carry a lineup of the best fitness equipment for you to test, touch, and try in store. It’s important that we only partner with manufacturers who share the same commitment to the same high level of quality and service.

Can you check online for reviews good or bad, yes? Big box stores, online only retailers and infomercials usually don’t have in house tech service they out source there service needs to a 3rd party and generally carry brands that don’t care if the store dealer can or can’t meet warranty service.   Online reviews are typically paid by “affiliates” that pay for click to direct you to their preferred site that will kick them back money for the review!

When you want to purchase fitness equipment it is similar to a car purchase. You’d first check the brands in which experts review well (like consumer reports that dies not take money from the clicks). You may talk to friends about who and what they trust. Then you’d search for a reputable dealership for those brands.  Look for one with a top-notch local service department, rave reviews, competitive prices, and one you felt would stand behind the purchase. Then, take it for a test drive, making sure it fit you and your needs, and performed well compared to the cars you’ve driven before. Most likely you would not purchase a car from a brand you’ve never tried, sight-unseen, from an online source that can only promise you it is just as good as what you’ve heard of or driven.

Purchasing home gym equipment is no different. The best brands are the same ones you’ve seen and used in the gym. We sell high-quality fitness equipment, allow you to test drive it before you commit to it.

Additionally, purchasing from a specialty fitness store or better yet an authorized dealer means your equipment is protected with a solid warranty, carefully delivered, properly installed, and serviced by professionals trained by manufacturers to remedy any issues and to maintain your equipment with the correct preventative maintenance. (Yes, fitness equipment, like automobiles require some routine maintenance.)

Only an authorized fitness dealers can meet all of those needs.

John Lopez – Store Manager Winston Fitness – 15 Years

Wake Up, its time to start working out!

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What do you think of when you hear the word “fitness” or “working out”?  Do you think of sweat, pain, a burden, etc? How does it make you feel?  Maybe intimidated, a desire to be lazy, for some maybe it’s even motivated.  What about diet? All of these words bring about different emotions. If you’re not a gym junkie, these words can bring about shame or intimidation.  Why? Society has this weird influence on us and makes us think they must look a certain way, eat certain foods, and work out on a daily basis to be considered pretty or attractive.  Well, society needs to WAKE UP, that’s definitely NOT the case. Each individual is unique, and each individual has their own body type. There are many influences that contribute to body types.  Genetics, fast metabolisms, slow metabolisms, gender, and many other things. Some of these things are uncontrollable. No one should feel intimidated, or shameful, when it comes to working out and being healthy.  Becoming ‘healthy’ is a process. Not only is it a process, but if you want to make a lifestyle out of being healthy it can be a slow, dreadful, and unpleasant task. What? I’m just being honest with you! Don’t stop eating that sugar or those carbs if you don’t want to, start small and work your way up.  Don’t give up ALL sugars and carbs at once. It’s a process. Start out by cutting out soda, or maybe you have a habit of stopping at McDonalds every morning for breakfast, swap out the pancake platter for an egg white delight. You don’t have to change your habits all together, just make small improvements to make ‘healthy’ become a lifestyle.  By implementing little changes here and there you will begin to see a difference, not only in your body but your mental health as well. If you’re feeling a little ‘extra’, a great motivational challenge is to write 5 positive things on an index card and tape it on your mirror and simply read them each morning while you’re getting ready for the day.  I typically start my morning by brushing my teeth, if you start your morning doing the same, read those 5 body positive statements while doing a routine every-day action. If you don’t brush your teeth (slightly judging, but you do you) then pick a regular morning routine to read the statements in your head or out-loud. Now that you’re getting the hang of ‘healthy’ start stretching while you binge-watch your favorite Netflix show.  Or, if you’re like me and don’t pay for the premium Hulu subscription, do some jumping jacks during the commercials! Fitness doesn’t have to be intimidating, or scary, only if you make it that way and psych yourself out about it. Start slow, take a deep breath, and get those endorphins pumping! Work your way up to it, I mean… what’s the rush? You should be getting healthy for YOU, no one else. Summer is just around the corner, go outside, ride a bike, do those squats outside!  Rainy? NO excuses! Remember those Hulu commercials? No? Okay, well, don’t brag if you didn’t even know Hulu has a cheap version with commercials. Want to go the extra mile? Pun was definitely intended. Set up your TV in front of your treadmill, or preferred piece of cardio equipment, and watch your series while you walk. Not that you asked, but my favorite cardio machine is the elliptical. Check those bad boys out. Anyways, be the best you you can be. Not because someone told you to lose weight or get ripped, but because why wouldn’t you want to be the best version of yourself?  So, what are you waiting for? Start implementing those small daily changes to be the best YOU, for YOU!

 

Cool workouts/equipment to check out!

Elliptigo

TRX Training

Precor TRM 211 Treadmill

Schwinn AD Pro

Water Rowers