Home gyms are becoming increasingly popular as we like to workout in the privacy and comfort of our own home, plus with the rise in popularity of functional training, such as Crossfit, building a home gym gives people the option of adding whatever equipment they want into their gym. This gives rise to the questions: Is commercial gym equipment useful for home gyms? and also is commercial gym equipment worth the extra cost when using it at home? Let's explore these questions.
Commercial Gym Equipment - The Difference
Commercial gym equipment is designed and built very differently to home gym equipment. For starters it's designed to be used at much higher intensities, by a very wide group of people, who vary in height, weight, age and ability. It is therefore designed to be very adjustable and built to stand up to usage from the heaviest, strongest and most capable users.
Secondly it's designed for very frequent use, by people who won't treat it like their own, so generally it's built to expect regular abuse.
Generally commercial equipment comes in two grades. First there's full commercial equipment, which uses the best materials, strongest construction and most durable design. This equipment is the most expensive as it's purposed for use in full commercial facilities, such as paying gyms.
Secondly there's light commercial equipment, which is very similar, but designed for use in non-paying environments, such as school gyms, hospitals, staff gyms etc. This equipment is still built to high specifications, but isn't expecting the same level of regular use or abuse.
Is Commercial Gym Equipment Useful for Home Gyms?
So we've explained the difference, but irrespective of the build quality and price, can commercial gym equipment actually be useful in a home gym? The simple answer is yes. This simply comes down to how much more you can achieve with commercial grade equipment.
As an example, if you compare commercial cardio equipment to home cardio equipment, you'll see the vast increase in the amount of programs, the levels of resistance and speed, plus the adjust-ability of the commercial equipment. Therefore in some cases, depending on your body size, shape and ability level. You may not actually be able to use home gym equipment effectively.
If you compare commercial and home weight training equipment, again, if you are heavier, stronger and larger you may simply need commercial equipment. Home gym equipment has much lower safe weight limitations, so if you're lifting more weight than the average person, you may not be able to use the equipment.
Keeping this in mind when selecting equipment for your home gym is critical, if you don't want to out-train your kit too soon.
Is Commercial Gym Equipment Worth the Extra Cost When Using it at Home?
This largely depends on the equipment and your needs, but here's a very good example: If you look at our standard 1" barbell, it's fantastic for most basic weight training, however it can hold a maximum of 125 KG. This is well below most people's maximum dead-lift and some way below the one rep max squat for many. On the other hand if you look at our most basic 2" Olympic training bar, which is only an extra £34, it raises the maximum total weight to 340 KG (including the bar). That's more than enough capacity for most people's max reps in any exercise, at a very economical price. This is a clear example of how considering commercial equipment can transform your home gym options for a minor difference in cost.
Of course not many people need to spend several thousand on a full lifting platform and power rack at home, but there's many cases when looking at fundamental equipment, where using commercial equipment is by far better value for money.
Another small consideration is the resale value of your equipment. If you ever decide to sell your equipment, then the scarcity value of commercial equipment is far higher, meaning it'll retain a higher relative value.
So hopefully this answers the main question of this blog that yes commercial gym equipment can be useful for home gyms. Just bear in mind when choosing your equipment, it's simply worth considering commercial or light commercial equipment at the same time, you may be pleasantly surprised at the differences in both build and cost.
One final thought when considering commercial gym kit for your home gym, is space. Generally commercial kit is larger and takes up more space than home gym kit. Make sure you look at the product specifications and not only plan out the space for the equipment, but also think about the practical space needed around the equipment. For example we recommend at least 1.5 meters of clear space behind a treadmill and half a meter either side of other cardio equipment to safely and comfortably enter and exit the kit.
If you're interested in commercial cardio equipment we've put together two fantastic discount codes (valid until 31/03/20) for the following commercial cardio products:
Use the code: COMCARDIOXTRAIN for a huge saving on the 7000 series cross-trainer.
Use the code: COMCARDIOROWER for a huge saving on the 7000 series rowing machine.