The number of people working out at home has skyrocketed in the past few years.
As gym goers trade in their memberships for home-based options, they’re looking into smart gym equipment as a substitute.
But first, what is smart gym equipment?
Smart gym equipment is any gym equipment that can record your workouts, adjust automatically, track data, and provide feedback. Examples include exercise bikes (Peloton), treadmills (NordicTrack), and rowers (Hydrow) that monitor your heart rate and estimate calories burned during a workout.
This article will explain what smart gym equipment is, some examples, and how they work.
I’ll also discuss pricing, the pros and cons, and my personal favorites.
Smart Gym Equipment Explained
Smart gym equipment is equipment that can track your training and store any relevant health data.
Just about any standard gym equipment that you can think of has a smart alternative.
Many popular devices like smart bikes and treadmills include digital displays that allow you to stream workout videos, listen to music, or watch television while training.
This is an ideal option for active individuals, as studies show that more people are working out at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
While you work out, the smart gym tracks data like your calories burned, miles run, reps, and individual workouts completed.
This information is then compiled and stored within an application and used to suggest workout routines or to keep you motivated on your current plan.
What Are the Different Types of Smart Gym Equipment?
There are countless types of smart gym equipment.
In fact, there’s most likely a smart counterpart for every type of standard gym equipment that exists. This makes it easier to track your training from start to finish.
From smart dumbbells to smart mirrors, there are endless possibilities, here are just a few examples of the smart gym equipment you may come across:
Smart exercise bikes are perhaps the most popular smart workout equipment right now; they’re easy to use and offer a total body workout.
These bikes feature large digital displays and allow you to participate in live or recorded streams of workouts, listen to music or watch television.
Like exercise bikes, treadmills come with digital displays.
You can use them to stream workout videos on or off the treadmill or simulate running trails through beautiful landscapes.
Some also include a cooling fan for added comfort.
These sophisticated treadmills can track your heart rate, count calories burned, and — of course — how many miles you’ve run.
Some of them even can automatically adjust your incline and speed according to your workout history.
Smart rowing machines are another great option for individuals looking to get a full-body workout.
It can include a touch screen display or a placeholder for a smart device like a tablet to use with the machine’s application.
All-in-One Home Gym
All-in-one smart home gym equipment includes a life-size digital display that streams your workouts and helps you get the most out of a session.
They also offer personal training in the comfort of your home.
These systems can be purchased with essential equipment like dumbbells and usually have a place to store them.
How Does Smart Gym Equipment Work?
Smart gym equipment has built-in sensors to check your heart rate and the number of calories you’ve burned during a training session.
Some equipment also features built-in artificial intelligence that can sense your body movements to help perfect your form.
The systems are powered by the internet and work together by connecting to a Wi-fi source.
How Much Does Smart Gym Equipment Cost?
Due to the sophistication of smart exercise equipment and the high demand, they can get pretty pricey.
Dollar amounts can range from a couple hundred bucks to thousands easily.
If you’re looking for a machine that’ll last, you’ll more than likely be investing $1,000 or more.
However, many companies offer financing options or 30-day money-back guarantees.
Is Smart Gym Equipment Right for You?
You should never purchase anything because other people are doing it.
This is particularly true for smart gym equipment.
Because this equipment will cost you thousands of dollars, it’s not something that you want to sit around and collect dust.
The best candidates for smart exercise equipment are computer savvy and committed to consistently working out at home.
If you’re not confident that you’ll use it, it may be better to delay the idea for now.
Pros & Cons of Smart Gym Equipment
Smart exercise equipment is revolutionizing the way we think about and participate in the exercise.
However, it still has its quirks, just like anything else.
It’s important to weigh the facts on both sides before making your decision to buy.
- No commute to the gym
- More time for recovery
- Tracking your workouts
- Workout guidance
- Cheaper than a personal trainer
- 24/7 access
- High equipment cost
- Subscription fees
- Takes up space
- Limited, if any, gym comradery
- Responsibility for repairs and maintenance
Top Picks: Smart Gym Equipment
As smart gyms become more popular, there are even more options to choose from, leaving many uncertain of where to begin.
I’ve compiled a list of my top picks for smart gym equipment to give you an idea.
Best All-In-One: Tempo Starter Home Gym
The Tempo Starter Home Gym package is an easel-like smart gym that has a large digital display on the top and a weights cabinet on the bottom.
It has been featured in top-tier news outlets like Forbes, where the CEO spoke of its ability to turn any room into a fitness studio.
It’s powered by AI technology that takes notes of your movements during your workouts to provide instant feedback.
This home gym stands at 6ft (1.83 m) tall and includes personalized training, weight guidance, and rep counting.
Best Exercise Bike: Peloton Bike
The Peloton Bike is purchased with a subscription to the Peloton App.
As a result, it opens up a world of live and on-demand classes to take while on or off your bike.
The bike is Bluetooth compatible and is whisper-silent so that you don’t disturb anyone else in the house.
When buying you can choose from 4 packages which may include shoes, weights, water bottles, heart rate monitors, bike mats, or headphones.
Best Treadmill: NordicTrack Commercial Series
The NordicTrack Commercial Series includes access to trainer-led workouts and simulated outdoor workouts powered by Google Maps.
Its AI technology allows you to enjoy a hands-free workout as your trainer adjusts your incline, decline, and speed as needed.
Your purchase comes with a 12-month subscription to iFit, an interactive personal training application from some of the best trainers.
Best Rower: Hydrow Connected Rower
The Hydrow Rower’s large touch screen simulates rowing adventures on real waterways.
The handle’s drag mechanism is computer-controlled and creates the feeling of rowing on the water.
These workouts will engage up to 86% of your muscles compared to other at-home exercises.
Additionally, your purchase comes with an extensive library of workouts, and the machine has attached wheels for portability and gently folds away to be stored vertically.
Smart gym equipment is ideal for tracking and monitoring your workouts.
It can be a great way to get the in-gym experience and results without ever leaving home.
There are many smart alternatives to standard gym equipment, with the most popular being exercise bikes, all-in-one home gyms, treadmills, and rowers.
Before deciding which one is right for you, consider the price, how often you’ll use it and what kind works best for your training needs.