The following are letters I have received over the years. They are printed as received.
I just happened to start looking at bowflex because I saw a newspaper ad for them.
I've been doing PT for muscular imbalance, I have degeneration in my neck and lower back pain. I constantly have knots in my shoulders, I have them all over my body, but most of the pain is in my neck and shoulders and up my head. Unfortunately I work on a computer all day. I've been using cybex machines at PT, but it ends soon and I really need to continue the exercising at home. Joining a gym won't work for me now, I am a single mother (widow), so I have no help, my son just turned 5, I have to pick him up and drop him off every day at day care so I can work. I can't go to a gym and get him in time, he has 9-10 hour days as it is. I can work out at home though.
The machines I've been working on are: bike, arm bike, back extension, rotary torso, lat pull down, rotary hip, roman chair, leg press and seated row.
Can you please tell me which home machines can provide exercises from all of the above or the closest? I do have aerobic rider machines that I just pulled out of storage.
If you give me some suggestions, I can then go read reviews of just those things, otherwise it's very overwhelming.
Thank you for any help you can possibly give me,
Her price range was up to $1000 because she gets a $550 fitness credit from work!
The Nordic Track Futura 2600 is $1200 but I like it so I thought you might be able to stretch your budget. It is basically the same as Weider's Crossbar and a year old so it is possible you'll find it on eBay at a good price. There are no bows.
For $850 the Powertech Workbench Leverage Gym is great but it uses plates which you may not want to lift. Then again you will probably be lifting light ones so that won't matter. They don't come with the machine so that's an added cost.
The Health Max Pro Home Gym is not a well known machine but it costs $400!!I gave it 4 stars but the overall rating is 2 1/2. Everything else that I've reviewed in the home gym area is either more money or I don't care for it i.e, the Total Gym. You have plenty of machines. I am thinking you'd just like them housed together? You won't get a rotary torso on a universal piece nor will you get a back extension.
Think about what you want to accomplish; how often you will use the machine; and if it is a good investment rather than making do with what you have and adding some inexpensive pieces.
We are interested in purchasing some exercise equipment. Do you have a recommendation? Or is it better to get several different pieces? We are almost 60, average weight, good health, small home, but we do have an exercise room.
Thank you for your help.
The answer will depend. If you have the money and space I would certainly go for a couple of different pieces. The "universal" type equipment called home gyms are great. They are an economical and space saving way to get a lot of body work done in a corner. I do like the Weider Crossbar. It isn't cheap but it is a nice piece for a universal.
I would recommend a treadmill. I love elliptical machines and the arc trainer but you they can be expensive and if you have never used one you may not like it. A treadmill will work your heart and lungs and allow you to incline it so you can walk uphill which will give you a super workout. If you want to work your upper body you can add moving arms.
Once you have a cardiovascular piece of equipment and a universal machine you will be all set. I really believe age is just a number however our bodies do change as we age. I would like to see you using a universal machine because it is the safest type of equipment and the easiest to use.
My general recommendations:
I liked to individualize workouts and what exercise equipment is right for clients when I worked as a Personal Trainer. What is right for you may not be right for someone else. There are a lot of variables to consider. If you are already working out and prefer to buy individual pieces I would suggest you invest in a bench and dumbbells. You will be able to get the most for your money and work every part of your body. When you are ready you can buy a bar and plates.
If you are new to working out no matter what your age a universal piece will be easier to learn than dumbbells. If you like the idea of dumbbells perhaps you can find a trainer who will come to your house. You can also buy a book or two but proper form is essential.
You will want a mat so you can stretch and do abdominal work. You don't need a piece of equipment unless you really want one. I've reviewed many pieces of abdominal equipment. They have their pros and cons. If you can get down on the floor, in my opinion, you don't need any kind of machine. However at this point my #1 recommendation is The CoreMaster. Even if you don't go with ab equipment I would add a stability ball to my gym. They are inexpensive and will give you a change from your ab work.
You can add some resistance bands for variety if you like. Men rarely use resistance bands but they are very popular with women, are quite versatile and effective. Women also might like to add ankle weights if they are buying individual pieces rather than a home gym.
There are so many option from which to choose. I am well aware of that. You have to think about:
1. Your goals - do you want to build muscle, tone and what kind of cardiovascular activities do you like?
2. What is your budget?
3. What kind of space do you have?
4. Will you use what you buy?
5. What kind of experience do you have with equipment?
6. Have you spoken with your doctor before starting an exercise program? If not please do.