Give me recommendations for home exercise equipment
April 2, 2004 10:45 AM   Subscribe

Need recommendations for home exercise equipment (male, mid-20s). My requirements are (1) cost, (2) compactness, and (3) targeted toward a cardio workout with the ultimate goal of losing weight. I saw this on TV last night, and while it's marketed to a thighs-and-butts demographic, the size, concept, and price range is kind of what I'm looking for. Anyhow, I'd appreciate hearing any advice from happy or unhappy consumers of these types of products.
posted by PrinceValium to Health & Fitness (11 answers total)
Take a look at eliptical machines. They are cardio units, but offer the upper body a bit of excersize too. Nothing as small as you posted though.
posted by a3matrix at 11:15 AM on April 2, 2004

Do you have a Playstation 2? Instead of some sort of stand-alone exercise device, might I suggest Dance Dance Revolution, which is a serious cardio workout. It starts out easy enough for beginners, but at the higher levels of play it's more intense than jumping rope. I've played a half-hour a day for about 2-1/2 months now, and these days I can climb several flights of stairs pretty quickly, with no trouble at all. The game will set you back $40, and a high-quality pad (link goes to the model I use) is another $50-$60 (though you can get a cheapo pad for as little as $20). As for compactness, you can either fold the pad up into a little bundle, or shove it under a couch to get it out of the way. If you're living in an apartment and you're not on the first floor, though, DDR is a no-go--too much noise.

There's an open-source clone of DDR called Stepmania for Windows, Linux, and OS X Macs, but I don't know much about that. If you don't have a PS2, it might suit your needs though.
posted by Prospero at 11:20 AM on April 2, 2004

i've got a nonmotorized stairmaster like thing that i bought at target a few years ago. it works on a pulley for resistance, but the arms resistance doesn't work well at all. it does fold-down so i could keep it under the bed, but i have a closet available.

i get a pretty good work-out from it, i think. when i bought it, i changed some dietary habits and did the stepper 3-4 nights a week for 30-45 minutes. ultimately, i lost around 20 pounds. i only use it about 2-3 times a week now, and only about 20-30 minutes anymore. but i haven't put any of the weight back on.

i'm pretty happy with it. it didn't cost too much money, doesn't take up too much room, and is quiet so i can watch the teevee or listen to a book on tape while i do it. therefore, i'm more likely to do it.
posted by crush-onastick at 11:47 AM on April 2, 2004

I think a decent exercise bike is a good way to go, and cheaper than a good treadmill or elliptical trainer. Watch out for the gimmicky crap on tv. (I'm suspicious of the machine you link to.)
posted by callmejay at 12:10 PM on April 2, 2004

Don't forget there's some cool stuff you can do with no equipment at all.

See here and here for example.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 12:26 PM on April 2, 2004

They're a little pricy, but the Concept 2 rowing machines are very compact (they split in half and stand on end. when assembled they're long but very narrow). They are a really really good workout though. They also come with workout plans and performance tracking stuff.

The equipment-free route is also a good option, but buying something as seen on TV sounds pretty sketchy.
posted by whatzit at 2:17 PM on April 2, 2004

Gym equipment is all a joke.
posted by the cuban at 2:20 PM on April 2, 2004

You can get great results from videos, for both cardio and strength training. Takes up very little room.
posted by JanetLand at 3:26 PM on April 2, 2004

If you want to lose some weight without spending much money, buy some cheap jogging shoes, jogging pants (or shorts) and..... go for a jog. If you are self conscious about your weight (like I was) and don't want to run in public, look at it this way, dont give a fuck. You doing this for youself. If your not self conscious, then why do you want to pay for something that is free and gives you nice scenery?
posted by Keyser Soze at 4:25 PM on April 2, 2004

A good (moving!) bicycle. I'm serious. Best buy I ever made & got me fit as anything.

Use it instead of a car for short to medium journeys or just pleasure rides (inc. off-road). You can also get training rollers for inside use & can even hook 'em up to a PlayStation II game.
posted by i_cola at 4:37 PM on April 2, 2004

FWIW: I got one of these a few months ago for $249 -- took 45 minutes to assemble, works as advertised, and I began noticing differences in muscle tone, energy/alertness, and attitude in two weeks. Weather is extremely variable here, so always having an indoor option is a good thing. And the price was just a few bucks more than the registration fee to the local fitness club.

There are several Gazelle models to choose from, from under $200 up to $400+ models. Good luck.
posted by davidmsc at 6:29 PM on April 2, 2004

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