Just because it gets a little cold or wet outside doesn’t mean you should retire to your couch and slack off, or grow a new love handle with each latte. There’s always the gym, but getting there can be a struggle all on its own. So, if you’re considering building a home gym, this indoor fitness gear is a good place to start.
You’ll need more than just weights to keep fit, though. Cardio is a must, and being able to track your progress is just as important and easy to do. Even the scale can help manage your exercise profile. The post that follows covers what you need to reach the next level of physical fitness without leaving the warmth of your house.
Withings Smart Scale ($98)
Scales can do so much more than point out how many pumpkin lattes you’ve had in the past month. Withings’ offering is much more than a scale; it’s a “Smart Body Analyzer” that can tell you BMI, lean and fat mass, and even heart rate, in addition to the expected poundage. It connects to an iOS or Android app via Bluetooth, too. You can connect the scale directly to your Wi-Fi network and your My Fitness Pal account.
Once connected, you change and track your body measurements and progress via the Web or app. The scale is not just for one person, either — You can add as many as eight people to the mix. Step on the scale barefoot, and it recognizes you based on weight. For users who weigh nearly the same, the scale will show an image of the possible users, and let you choose a profile with a subtle shift in weight. The Web version of Withings and the app display your goals, graph your weight and mass changes, as well as showcase heart rate and air quality. An recent update added local weather forecasts, step counting, and — probably most importantly — the freedom to change the data display order. With this wealth of features, the Withings Smart Body Analyzer is a good bookend for any daily workout regimen.
Fitbit Aria ($110)
Smarter than the average scale, the Aria is as smart as Withing’s Analyzer, with the added benefit of working with Fitbit. It tracks weight, body mass index, fat percentage, lean mass, and all the next-level metrics we expect from a next-level scale. Stats sync wirelessly over Wi-Fi in a similar setup to other top-notch scales. However, other scales don’t necessarily connect to Fitbit.
If you already use a Fitbit to track your daily activity and you’re looking for a smart scale, Aria is a natural choice. The results sync to your Fitbit dashboard, giving you a more complete picture of your health and physical changes than a smart scale or activity tracker can provide on its own.
Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE ($1,337)
Not every piece of fitness equipment has to connect to the cloud. Bowflex’s home gym is a solid setup for the house with the variety of exercises it offers. With an angled lat bar and a leg extension, no part of your body is left out. The multiple pulley system means no changing cables for different workouts, or having to hassle while keeping your heart rate up during your routine.
The Bowflex is about as compact as a full home gym gets, but it’s still a hefty beast. It takes up an 8 x 6-foot area and weighs in at 185 pounds. Unless you have a really large living room, you’re going to want to put this behemoth in its own dedicated space.
Tacx Neo Smart Trainer ($1,600)
The Neo won best accessory at Eurobike 2015. It’s one a fold-up direct-drive setup. You remove your rear wheel and attach your bike directly to the trainer. This direct attachment lends itself to higher torque, so that you can recreate the feeling of hitting a hill. Another benefit of this setup is that it’s as quiet as a whisper – or at least, as quiet as your bike. You’re going to hear shifting and the noise of your chain, but that’s about it. No pissing off the new neighbors.
No new trainer would be complete without some sort of connectivity, and the Neo Smart doesn’t disappoint. Equipped with both ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart, it can simultaneously display data on sports watches and bike computers, with the option to connect to Tacx apps. You can even ride real routes you’ve actually done outdoors, or just rock to a particular setting and follow a pre-made workout. Of course, you don’t have to connect it to anything, and it will still give you good exercise. It won’t, however, speed up on simulated downhills the way it will when connected.
Wahoo Kickr Snap ($700)
This is one of the best options for a trainer that keeps your wheels on. It uses a high-inertia flywheel to turn your bike into a trainer, so it’s a good option if you still want to ride your bike indoors and out. The Kickr Snap connects to the Wahoo fitness app, Zwift, Velo, and a slew of other fitness apps available from the App Store and Google Play.
You can also control the resistance and check your measurements using your PC or Mac, along with the iOS and Android device of choice. If you use Wahoo Fitness, the app brings together your data from external runs, and lets you send data to Strava, RunKeeper, MapMyFitness, Garmin Connect, Nike+, and more. This includes data from an external heart rate monitor.
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