There’s no better feeling than that post-workout high. You feel great, look great, and know you’ve done something positive for yourself. But getting there isn't always easy. While some folks need nothing more than a pair of running shoes to work out, some of us need a bit more guidance, assistance, or inspiration.
The right gear can help. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many people resorted to building home gyms and equipping them with everything from total gyms to smart fitness mirrors and even smart boxing gear. The market responded with high-tech gear that measures performance, interacts with the user, and is built to last. The worst of the pandemic may be behind us, but the availability of luxury fitness gear is still strong.
So which gadgets are worth the splurge? These are some of our favorite items to splash out on in order to get your workout to its peak level.
The original at-home workout program
- Energetic instructors
- Multitude of classes to fit your needs
- Awesome music selection
- Solid piece of hardware
- Can't do much without a subscription
- Funky ergonomics
If you’re looking for a smart bike, Peloton has become the standard for its easy setup, access to enthusiastic trainers, and great metrics. It's a phenomenal piece of hardware, but as we found when we reviewed it, you're really paying for the top-notch instructors that will motivate you to show up, push harder, and keep coming back.
Hydrow Connected Rower
An immersive experience
- Convenient vertical storage
- Videos improve rowing form
- Diversity of workouts
- Can row with friends
- Limited workouts without subscription
If you’re looking for a rowing machine, consider the Hydrow, a solidly built rowing machine with a screen to stream workouts, and tutorials to master the form if you're brand new to rowing. We also appreciated its quiet operation, live classes, and the ability to store it vertically when it's not in use.
- Stunning looking design
- Diverse range of workouts
- Offers 1-on-1 personal training
- Simple installation
- Heart rate monitor disconnects
- You'll need to supply your own workout accessories
If you don't want a steel behemoth hulking in your guest bedroom when it's not in use, consider The Mirror, one of the most discreet home workout devices we've ever tested. It looks exactly like its shiny namesake, but comes alive with a screen and speakers to guide you through workouts from weight lifting to dance, yoga, and even barre.
Fitbit Charge 5
- Stylish and comfortable design
- Solid battery life
- Loaded with advanced health metrics
- Onboard GPS with multiple modes
- Supports Fitbit Pay
- Sometimes slow to swipe inputs
- Lacks some basic fitness/wellness tools
- Some features require Fitbit Premium
A smartwatch is the best way to measure your workout or run and get lots of great stats and metrics. Watches like the Fitbit Charge 5 (or the Pixel watch with Fitbit built-in) can measure so many different aspects of your health that it’s almost wrong not to wear one while exercising. Similarly, the Apple Watch has become the go-to for Apple users, and while it’s great for providing that seamless Apple experience, it’s not a dedicated fitness device. We’ve found Fitbit to be more accurate at tracking, and for that reason, we love either the Fitbit or Google Watch experience.
Bose SoundLink Flex
Boom to fill any room
- Highly portable
- Great audio quality
- Space-filling acoustics
- Not exactly pocket sized
A Bluetooth speaker is the perfect way to bring your music with you to a workout if you're not in a public gym or on a hiking trail. Investing in a high-quality version like the Bose Soundlink Flex or the Bose Revolve II will mean not only great sound quality, but it will have the ability to fill space even outdoors. Plus, a good Bluetooth speaker can be easily carried with you and set up where you need it to provide that 80s montage (Chariots of Fire, anyone?) while you get your sweat on.
Apple iPad Pro (2022)
The Mac-daddy of tablets
- Sleek and modern design
- Bright, vivid, gorgeous display
- Wild performance from the M2 chip
- Apple Pencil hover feature
- iPadOS 16 is super robust
- Stage Manager needs more work
- Lackluster, awkward front camera
- Prohibitively expensive
If you’re putting in a lengthy stretch on a fitness machine or want access to video guides to perfect your form, using a tablet is a great idea. It can connect to any number of fitness apps or YouTube for guided workouts and trainer-centric assistance. Or simply set up something like the new 10th-gen Apple iPad and stream your favorite show or movie (you can send the audio to your Bluetooth speaker or headphones).
Google Pixel Buds Pro
Our favourite earbuds
- Compact and comfy
- Very good sound quality
- Very effective ANC/transparency
- Wireless charging
- Bluetooth Multipoint
- No real EQ adjustments
- No high-quality/low-latency codecs
- Still no iOS Pixel Buds app
If you’re the sort of person who loves to have input all the time, consider investing in a great set of water- and sweatproof headphones. Gone are the days of bulky ear cans and wires getting snagged on a machine. These days, you can buy a quality set of earbuds like the Pixel Buds Pro or Jabra’s Elite Sport earbuds, designed with the athlete in mind, meaning they’re sweatproof and stay put.
Banish gross water bottles forever!
- Keeps water cold
- Uses UV light to keep bottle clean
- UV tech needs regular recharging
Remember to hydrate! A smart water bottle, like the LarQ Bottle, does a lot more than just hold H2O. It neutralizes up to 99% of bacteria and self-cleans every two hours to keep your water and its bottle fresh and odorless. Just plug it in keep those UV rays shining into your bottle. Adding a carrying sleeve makes the bottle more portable too.
There are so many great products designed to help you improve your workouts and to measure your progress. We hope we’ve inspired you today to splurge on some of these. Best of luck, keep moving, and don’t forget to hydrate.
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