I have worked in the health and fitness industry, specifically the fitness equipment industry, for over 20 years. I have worked with health clubs, hospitals, universities, and physical therapy studios on solutions for their fitness equipment needs. And, I have worked with homeowners on their unique fitness equipment wish lists. Fitness equipment comes in many shapes and sizes. Some are commercially built for heavy usage (15 to 20 hours a day) in a health club, personal training studio, or fitness center. While other pieces of fitness equipment are made for residential use, with the user exercising more like a few times per month.
Commercial facilities such as health clubs buy only commercial grade equipment for a number of reasons. Primarily because commercial grade equipment is built to withstand a serious amount of work, which health clubs need from their machines. Health clubs do not want the headache of fixing something that is not commercially built because that often leads to disgruntled members. There are other factors as well including warranty, interactive electronics, and other more expensive features that make purchasing commercial fitness equipment a no-brainer for a health club or heavy use facility.
Homeowners, on the other hand, can elect to purchase commercial or residential pieces of equipment. I recently installed a commercial gym into a home here in Rhode Island. I have sold commercial treadmills, bikes, ellipticals, and steppers to homeowners for years. Purchasing a piece of commercial fitness equipment for your home is a great investment. Even if you are purchasing a used machine, that machine was once being used in a facility for hours upon hours each day. You may use that machine a few hours a week. The durability angle of purchasing commercial fitness equipment is a smart one.
Now, hold on one moment before you hand over that check or credit card. There are a few physical differences you need to be aware of before you get all excited about your pending purchase. Let’s go over a few of the objections and how you can overcome them so you can make that purchase with confidence.
First, the physical makeup of a commercial piece of fitness equipment is far different than a residential piece of fitness equipment. One aspect is size. Another is weight. A residential treadmill may sit on a floor space that is roughly 3 feet by 6 feet. And, that treadmill may also fold up. Both great features for a space starved home gym setting. Also, it weighs on average less than 200 lbs., with some residential treadmills weighing plus or minus 50 lbs of that number. Now here is your commercial treadmill. It is 3 feet or so wide but can be almost 7 feet in length. And here is the best part, it can weigh in upwards for 400 lbs., give or take 100 lbs. And most commercial treadmills do not fold up. So, measure your space in your home first to make sure you have the room for that larger commercial piece of equipment.
Second, along the same point, most commercial pieces of equipment are large, heavy, and do not disassemble into tiny, manageable, and movable pieces. Most are built to go through a garage door, or double door, or straight in through a large opening of which commercial facilities like health clubs can accommodate. Consider the weight and size of a piece of commercial fitness equipment and its potential destination in your home carefully. If an item has to go downstairs to your basement, measure the entryway into the basement – bulkhead stairs, the door at the base of the bulkhead stairs, the turns and twists from that point to your workout room. If a large piece of fitness equipment is being asked to travel through a small door, guess what? It may not fit. Better to measure the path that the piece of equipment will take ahead of time. Measure doorways, entryways, widths, heights, take good notes and compare it to the specifications of the machine you are about to purchase. Otherwise, you may be disappointed on your day of delivery to find out the machine was too big to fit in your home.
Third, the electrical requirements for a commercial machine tend to be different than a residential machine. I see this mostly with commercial treadmills vs residential treadmills. Most residential treadmills have a standard size plug, similar to one you have on your computer or toaster. This is because most residential treadmills have smaller motors which require less power to operate. Commercial treadmills have larger more powerful motors which require an upgraded electrical situation. In fact, I recommend if you are purchasing a commercial treadmill for your home, you consult an electrician and ask him/her to install a dedicated outlet just for your commercial treadmill.
Last, but not least, consider having this piece of commercial fitness equipment professionally installed. No matter where you live, there is a fitness equipment dealer not too far from you that offers services such as delivery and installation. I have a lot of customers who pick up their machine from my warehouse. I help them lift the machine onto their truck. I help secure the machine and tie it down so it is safe for them to travel with. And then, they realize that they are going to have to lift this machine off their truck, up their driveway, into their home, up stairs, down stairs, take this off, loosen this. It is not a comforting feeling for most. Pay the extra to have it professionally delivered and installed, especially if you are on the fence about whether or not it will actually fit. Professional fitness equipment installers have tools, dollies, and manpower to transform a very difficult delivery to a successful delivery.
So, if you are in the market for commercial fitness equipment – new or used – congrats. You are making a smart choice and investment. Now, get out your rulers, measuring tape, and track the path that piece of equipment will take. Measure the ceiling height in the room where the machine is going. Measure the size of the height of the bulkhead stairs. Measure all of the doorways, entryways, and access points that machine will need to travel through. Consult an electrician for commercial machines that require additional power. And, price out professional delivery and installation. These are just some of the steps I would recommend if you are considering commercial fitness equipment for your home. If you need assistance with these and other questions about installing commercial fitness equipment in your home, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free consultation. Or fill out the contact form here and I will get back to you with solutions.