Can I Really Get a Great Home Workout?
Is it possible to achieve total fitness at a high level with a single in-home system? Many believe it's possible and the choices that are opening up to consumers are growing exponentially. That means the scams are on the rise, too. Let’s take a look at some of the more reliable models.
The complete workout system has to offer a competent cardiovascular challenge and top-to-bottom strength training: upper body, lower body, and core exercises as an all-in-one program.
Bow-flex is the modern-day granddaddy of the complete gym idea. Its flexible tubing system has been the inspiration for many band-based resistance-training programs. Many people swear by it but I know of others who use it as nothing more than another over-priced coat rack in their home. As usual, you get out of it what you put into it.
If you want to go this route, be sure and invest in a new machine (as opposed to a craigslist deal) so you get the full warranty and money-back guarantee if you or your bank account have a change of heart and you want to return it.
Total Gym has a strong share of the all-in-one market and not for nothing. Chuck Norris and Christine Brinkley are its two long-time spokespersons and they walk their talk when it comes to endorsing this machine. If you’ve ever seen Christie on a talk show, you’ll know that she says Total Gym is one of the few machines she uses to keep fit.
Want more proof of its effectiveness? Total Gym is used in many rehab facilities and they have a commercial product line called Gravity for use in health clubs. They have quite effectively grown beyond the "As Seen on TV" stigma.
Again, with home models priced from $599 for the low-end model, Total Gym and its price tag are not for the faint of heart. The 30-day trial offer is definitely tempting and worth taking advantage of if you're serious about a long-term commitment to fitness. If, however, you are the kind of person who has many projects around the home left unfinished, you would probably do better with a less pricey option.
Resistance Bands are becoming a staple in every gym. With a standard set of Dyna-band resistance bands you’ll need to get a little creative with your workouts to work every muscle. These are good if you're just starting out but once you get rolling, you might want to leave them in your desk at work for a quick muscle-building lunch break.
I thought the SPRI brand was good until a woman at my gym brought a broken band up to the manager. The manager had a fit since she had just ordered the bands.
Bodylastics come in various strength systems with the MMA® Training System rocking over 100 different levels of resistance that soar up to 328 pounds. I like the lifetime warranty and that Bodylastics includes workouts on their website to keep things fresh. If you can't get a full workout with this system, you're just not trying.