Today’s home gyms are a whole lot more than a workout bench and some weights, or a treadmill in the garage. High-tech gym equipment can offer personalized workout advice, track real-time stats as you go, and help you feel connected to a wider community even if you aren’t visiting a gym. It’s also a great investment for beginners, since lessons can teach proper form and help explain a wide variety of workouts so you can find the regimen that’s right for you — while more advanced stat tracking is perfect for those training to meet specific goals. Let’s take a look at some of the smartest gym equipment around!
Note: Most smart home gym equipment requires a subscription to fully unlock all the features. You should keep this in mind when figuring out the true cost for most of these models. Wi-Fi connections are also required, so think about placement in your home carefully.
Best smart home gym equipment at a glance:
- NordicTrack Commercial X22i Treadmill
- NordicTrack Commercial S221 Studio Cycle
- Hydrow Essentials Package
- Bowflex Max Trainer M9
- FightCamp Personal
Treadmills can be excellent cardio tools, but many people find them boring to use. High-tech models work to fix that problem, and this NordicTrack is an excellent example. Through the iFIT program, the treadmill offers a variety of interactive experiences via the 22-inch touchscreen, courtesy of trainers from around the world. It offers both indoor and outdoor settings, workout leaderboards for competitions, and live sessions where you can text with your trainers.
The Commercial X22i Treadmill is also adept mechanically: It features speeds up to 12 mph, an impressive 40% incline limit, and even up to a 6% decline for accurately simulating real-world runs or walks. If it seems a little expensive, take a look at NordicTrack’s ProForm brand, which tends to be less pricey but with similar subscription benefits.
Exercise bikes offer many of the same advantages as treadmills, except there’s a lot less impact, making it easier on the knees and ankles. If that interests you, this bike will have everything you need when combined with the iFIT subscription. Like the NordicTrack treadmill, the bike also includes a 22-inch touchscreen display with a variety of workout programs including many outdoor sessions to keep things interesting.
The Commercial S221 Studio Cycle also supports up to a 20% incline and a 10% decline to match real-world hills, along with a wide range of resistance choices. Whether or not you pick a live session, you can track things like distance, heart rate, calories burned, and a lot more — all updated in real time on your screen. You can even combine it with some lightweight training to even things out, thanks to the included barbell holder.
Tonal is a home gym mirror, a product that’s designed to be mounted on a wall and provide detailed information for your workout and to help maintain proper form, as well as walkthroughs for specific exercises. What makes Tonal unique is that it’s not just a mirror with bodyweight exercises: It’s a full resistance system that can be set up for all kinds of serious strength training to target specific muscle groups.
Tonal’s strength training videos are top-notch if you want to try a new exercise, and the system can intelligently increase resistance strength as you improve. You can also track all kinds of stats over time to measure your progress. There’s not much focus on live workouts, but if you want a home gym to make you stronger, there are few better picks.
Rowing machines are famous for getting your heart rate up while giving you an intense workout: The Hydrow isn’t just a beautiful example, it’s also very smart. The Essentials package includes a fitness tracker wristband and other accessories so you can get detailed information on your heart rate and other stats. The 22-inch touchscreen program provides both workouts and data about your speed and calories burned. There are both guided and unguided rowing options, and with the included map you can switch to yoga afterward to cool down.
Ellipticals are designed for whole-body cardio workouts, and can often save a bit of space compared to treadmills or similar options, making them popular home gym picks. This Bowflex model gets straight to business with an excellent design made to alternate intensity for HIIT-like workouts. You can pick from a variety of programs on the touchscreen, as well as specific world locations, or simply choose one of the recommended options. The screen can also stream classes, give awards for specific achievements like calories burned, and even streaming from popular apps like Netflix — but you’ll need a subscription to enable all of this.
Home boxing may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of high-tech workouts, but the FightCamp experience is on a whole other level. The smart gloves and smart punching bag combination can track punches, speed/rate, and overall output. You can choose from a variety of programs and styles based on what you want to practice while keeping an eye on both the timer and your goals with a nearby screen to show information from the app (you’ll probably want a TV nearby for this one).
Trainers are available for whatever style you prefer and your level of experience. We recommend the Personal package, which is geared toward a home gym setup, although you may want to add a couple more accessories depending on how you plan to use FightCamp.
CLIMBR doesn’t exactly simulate the climbing experience — it won’t feel like tackling the rock wall at the gym or bouldering courses. But it will train similar muscles in an elliptical-like workout that focuses more on strength training, and is an excellent option for building up a sweat. That makes an innovative option for preparing for climbing season, or simply for getting an intense workout while saving space (CLIMBR says it engages over 86% of the body’s muscles). There’s both a built-in screen for tracking tempo, reach, and power, as well as a companion app for tracking your workouts, plus a variety of workout options to pick from.
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