Choosing Commercial Gym Equipment
In short, the choice of equipment you buy comes down to three factors: Because you need to; Want to; Or you just have the money to do so and always buy the best. But do you understand why pieces are classed as commercial, rather than home use, and why this may influence your decision?
Commercial gym equipment is any equipment that is designed and manufactured with a commercial environment in mind. That means the quality of the components used is designed to handle a higher level of use, and abuse, that would quickly wear out any home models. As you would expect this additional quality is reflected in the price you pay. That's not to say if you can afford it, you should overlook the commercial models - as they often come with far superior technology, features and of course longevity.
Why do you think footballers often choose £15,000 treadmills for their home gyms - because they expect the tread to work when they need it - and for it to have every conceivable functionaility under the sun that's available at the time. This is where manufacturers MUST keep up with the pace of technology and advances in training - as features and versatility will command attention.
So this following guide just outlines why, even if you're a home user, commercial equipment could be right for your needs.
We stock both commercial and home ranges for almost all equipment - from cardio machines to selectorised and plate loaded machines and functional rigs and multigyms. The beauty of using GymEquipment.co.uk is that we only work with companies we believe manufacture equipment that is "fit for purpose". There are usually commercial and home versions of equipment you are thinking of - so if you're unsure about anything, we can help you with that with a quick call to 01494 952182.
With the above in mind, commercial equipment nearly always offers users that little extra. Whether it's a better console, more features to the machine or little things like more adjustability so you are properly set for your exercise, you get what you pay for in many cases. Cardio is definitely one area where the commercial models excel - but they then cost a lot more as the parts are usually more expensive like motors and bearings. Remember you will be buying exactly the same machine that you'll find in your local David Lloyd, Virgin Active or Pure Gym. However, strength machines we stock are nearly all commercial only models. That's because very few companies for selectorised or plate load machines offer a home model - there's no need.
In plain English, whilst your home gym equipment may take a 'battering' 3 or 4 times a week (depending on your dedication), commercial equipment could be used constantly for 12-16 hours a day for 7 days a week. The level of use far exceeds the home gym environment, so manfacturers build accordingly. From a slightly different steel grade that could be used for the frame, to commercial bearings for things like rollers or pedal cranks. This higher quality of manufacturing is especially important for things like console boards and motors - the things that take the most use.
What is often classified "home gym equipment" is actually way better than you may think - and it's more than adequate for 99% of the users that buy it. Not everyone is an Olympic athlete, has excessive use needs or needs the re-assurance that their treadmill or bike will last more than 10 years.
This is not to say you shouldn't have commercial gym equipment for your home. If you weigh up the following :
- Intended usage
- Must-have features (Physical and Digital)
- How much can you afford
- Importance of the machine always working (professional sports users/medical needs)
- After sales support
You can see that there's an argument for home users to also pay the premium, to get a premium machine. Is buying commercial a "wise" financial choice? Depends on how much you rely on your equipment.
As discussed above, initial cost is not the end of the story. Commercial fitness equipment may also include some huge advantages over home fitness equipment for a number of reasons. It's also highly probable that home users are more likely to treat their machines with care and make some attempt to keep them clean and in good working order.
But have you ever thought that your use of the home machine may actually be too excessive with out you even knowing it? For example on a treadmill, if you end up walking or running for say 2 hours a day 3 or 4 times a week (yes lots of people do!) then you will be putting solid work through all the moving parts of your treadmill (think rollers for the deck, motor to run the belt, frame to handle your weight and use). The parts like motors and rollers should be absolutely fine for this sort of home workout, but if you're heavy (think 100kg+) then this is a further stress for the frame, motor and bearings - especially if you use incline features.
Therefore, there's some other factors to think about when weighing up the value of home vs commercial :
- What length workouts?
- How often will it be used?
- How much do you weigh?
- Do you use incline?
Commercial Vs Home Situation
Goes without saying if you are setting up a commercial gym, a PT studio or if you are a school or college gym, you MUST buy commercial equipment. This is not only from a health and safety point of view, but a practical point of view. Users in commercial environments will not treat the equipment as they would if it was their own. Secondly, if they expect equipment to be there and working, then you better ensure it's working 100% or face complaints and credibility issues.
So thinking about all the factors that are important to you is crucial if you're a home user and considering the investment in commercial equipment. The following are always useful to consider :
- Longevity of machine
- Functionality (Physical and Digital)
- Feel - sturdy
- Post sale support
- Warranty length
Ultimately, commercial machine parts have been designed and manufactured to be able to withstand incredible amounts of use. One good example of this is a treadmill motor. Commercial motors have been designed to run hot, as they will not have time to cool down between users - so whilst this may not be your top priority at home - if you know you are going to have family using the machine as well as yourself, then this is a great feature that you weren't probably aware of.
Which Manufacturers to Trust?
When you are paying a premium, how do you know the premium goods come from a premium company? Whether you're an experienced commercial buyer, a new entry to the world of commercial gyms or a home user, the reason you are looking at commercial gear is primarily the durability and reliability of what you're buying. This means not only how good the equipment is, but how good the supplier is during installation and post sale? Customer support is vital, because even the best equipment in the world is going to have problems, and at that point the speed of response of the supplier will be crucial.
Using GymEquipment.co.uk should help you get a sense of companies that we trust. Check our gym brand partners page for an idea of the companies we choose to work with because they offer high quality equipment and offer good post sale support when the need arises. Both our home and commercial providers offer high quality machines and equipment. We don't work with companies that we feel do not offer any support or service post sale.
Choosing commercial gym equipment over home gym equipment may seem either a given (if you're a commercial business it is!), a likely choice (you are a pro athlete and want that little extra, or you have the money and just like to buy the best out there) or finally, an option (you know you will use a lot or in specific ways where you need the durability and longevity).
Home gym equipment is not the poor relation. Gym equipment labelled as home use is still of very high quality, it may just not come with all the features you're used to in the gym. Secondly, it will also not use the same commercial-grade components because it shouldn't be subject to the heavy workload of 14 - 16 hours a day use.
Whether an essential purchase, or something you choose to purchase, buying the right gear is all important for what you need. We always suggest that you don't try to cut corners with the spec based on price alone, be honest about your needs from the outset and then be prepared to pay the right price for the equipment that suits you.