Home gyms have come a long way since the days when bodybuilding was shunted to the basement or garage, cold and ugly space primarily outfitted with weights and benches. Now that more people are prioritizing wellness – a lifestyle made up of more than just fitness, but a healthy diet and a positive outlook –home gyms have become showpieces and places that foster overall psychic and physical health. (See “The New Age Gym” to learn more about building a home gym.)
Today, home gyms feature libraries, juice bars, seating areas, saunas and other details that encourage wellness and make people want to spend time in the space. Gym equipment has gone through a similar transformation, far away from the steroid-pumped and clunky equipment that once squatted ugly in the corner of the basement. Indeed, it has become more important to homeowners that the equipment they invest in is not just state-of-the-art in terms of its performance, but is also aesthetically pleasing and capable of blending in with a stylish home.
When Barbara Siegler was selecting equipment for the home gym she was installing in a pool house adjacent to her home in Indian Creek Island, Florida, she recalled the equipment she had used at a five-star hotel in the south of France. She saw the same brand of equipment, made by an Italian manufacturer of high-end fitness equipment called Technogym, on a friend’s yacht. It was beautiful and sleek in design, but also functional. And with two teenaged children who are both nationally ranked tennis players and constantly training, she wanted to outfit the gym with equipment that would work for her whole family.
A smart choice. Technogym is a favorite of architects, designers, and homeowners who rank design as high as functionality. It can be found in such luxury resorts as Las Ventanas al Paraiso in Los Cabos, Mexico as well as the Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas. The company is not just a manufacturer of the equipment, it is also a provider of wellness training and education through an open digital platform.
“Technogym offers the best look and best use for a home gym,” says Siegler, who invested $40,000 to purchase a selection of Technogym equipment including a Kinesis Vision, a wall-mountable piece that allows users to perform over 200 exercises to build flexibility, strength, and coordination; a multifunctional bench called the “Unica”; a “Run Personal” treadmill; and a set of chrome dumbbells.
Technogym’s Personal Line –including a treadmill, bike and elliptical – connects to the firm’s “Mywellness” cloud that enables users to track their workouts on any Technogym equipment around the world. The Mywellness cloud also enables users to choose from the wide range of pre-programmed workouts and instructional videos, to improve their results day after day and keep them motivated and on track, while also providing personal trainers information to plan and guide workouts.
“Today, people are looking for more than just a workout—they are looking for an experience,” says Nerio Alessandri, the Italian equipment-maker’s chief executive. “Technogym is constantly innovating ways to integrate cutting-edge technology and enhance interactivity.”
Want to outfit your gym? The firm recommends five essential pieces of equipment. They should be capable of being used by people with different strength levels, but be relentlessly focused, according to Mike Zieminski, Technogym Master Trainer, on the “fitness triangle” of strength, cardio, and flexibility. “You must cover all three sides, not just one or two of them,” he says. The five recommended pieces are:
“Even if you do not enjoy running or sprinting, walking on an incline burns many calories,” says Zieminski.
- Kinesis machine
The firm’s Kinesis Personal Vision is a multi-functional, tri-dimensional cable system with concealed weights “that allows you to train any way you want, improving your strength using power, functional, and corrective exercises,” Zieminski says. The wall-mounted system enables users to perform movements with resistance, such as tricep extensions and lat pull-downs.“The Kinesis targets the total body with literally hundreds of exercise possibilities. On the Kinesis, there is no such thing as getting bored.”
The firm’s Unica multi-function machine enables users to do over 25 strength-building exercises, including chest, leg and shoulder extensions. It has an adjustable seat, anatomical backrest, a weight stack, and both pulley handles and standard handles. A good multi-function machine enables a user to work for their largest muscle groups and perform complex joint movements, according to Zieminski.
- Posterior and anterior flexibility
“If your home gym has the space for a posterior and anterior flexibility machine, then that would be a smart investment,” Zieminski advises. Users lie or kneel on the Flexibility machine to stretch and lengthen the posterior and anterior chain muscles. A brake system enables them to safely maintain a position without causing excessive muscle tension, while an integrated feedback system tracks progress and results. “If not, stretching straps and blocks will help you stretch those hard to reach, but necessary stretches,” he adds.
- Kettlebells, medicine balls, stability balls, step-up boxes, balance disks, and free weights
“These are all great for your floor, core, balance, and stability work,” he says. Free weights can be used in multiple exercises and can target several muscle groups, but they are not necessary if the home gym includes other strength building pieces of equipment.
The entire package of Technogym equipment will cost in the region of $42,500. Steep but consider: Boutique fitness classes cost up to $40 each and monthly gym memberships and personal trainers can easily cost as much as $3,000 per month. A well-equipped home gym is more convenient than traveling to a gym or fitness studio, and that means for those with busy schedules, it’s more likely they are going to get their routine in, which means the cost of the equipment is quickly recouped through a healthier and more balanced existence.