More and more frequently you hear people spewing out buzz words related to training. You know the words I’m talking about: core, functional, blah blah blah. Of course these are important ideas to address; however, more often than not way too much time is spent on movement theory and less and less time is spent on moving weights and getting results. While proper alignment and conditioning of the body as a whole is of the utmost importance, moving serious weight is how you change your physique and put on lean powerful muscle. It doesn’t matter if you can stand on one foot on a BOSU ball, hold a resistance tube in one hand, balance a medicine ball on the other foot, all while texting your girl friend with your free hand. What does that really accomplish?
It only gets you one step closer to getting picked up my Barnum and Bailey as you keep your significant other in the loop. If your goal is to be a circus clown while communicating with your little lady electronically keep up the good work. If you are into getting stronger, more powerful, and putting on muscle you MUST set down the phone and MOVE WEIGHT. Using a home gym that allows you to do traditional lifts is a great way to accomplish this. The question then becomes, “which gym?”
There are literally tons of different lines of equipment out there. So, how do you pick equipment for your home? First and foremost you must be sure to invest in equipment that you will use. There are a few main things to consider when trying determining if you will use your choice for the months and years to come.
1. Quality of Movement – the equipment must have a ROM (Range of Motion) that is natural for your body while the strength curve matches up well with the biomechanics of the human physique. Buying the cheapest piece out there is often a way to get a rickety piece of “equipment” (I use the term generously because many of the pieces I see are hardly worthy of being called “equipment.) If your choice is rickety and shaky you will quickly become discouraged in its ability to handle the weight necessary to get you to your desired results. On the other end of the spectrum, some home gyms are around $10,000. Let’s be honest…for $10,000 you should be able to buy a home gym, a motorcycle, a new designer suit, and all the $5 Hot and Ready Pizzas you can eat in a year!
2. Quality of Machinery – the equipment must be made of top quality materials and components so that every time you are ready to train it is there and ready to go just like you. Nothing is more frustrating than sitting on your gym to do a press and a pulley pops off or the selectorized weight track is rubbing on the rails and it sticks with each rep. (Actually more frustrating would be when you’re at the Gym and have to wait on cell phone guy as he greases up the equipment just hanging out chatting on the lat pull down like it is his private Lazy Boy). The point here is choose a piece for your home that operates smoothly and can handle the weight you can do today and the weight you will be able to do in 1, 2 and 3 years from now. You will get stronger so be sure to make sure your gym can handle it.
3. Quality versus Cost– while there are many options available, it is often a challenge to find a brand that manages to supply high quality movement and machinery while keeping the overall cost in check. Although I don’t believe in skimping when it comes to investing in your body, there comes a point that it can be overkill. You and only you can determine what it the right amount to invest into your physique when choosing a home gym.
When first checking out the Powertec line I wasn’t sure what to expect. The only thing I knew about Powertec previously was that Jay Cutler was in their advertisements in Muscle and Fitness Magazine years back and the equipment was yellow.
As I was shooting the 2011 Catalogue, I had a chance to really try out the machines and was pleasantly surprised. This is equipment that can handle serious weight and feels solid. The Powertec line can handle any weight I can.
Powertec has done a great job at addressing the main concerns when it comes to purchasing home equipment.
- Quality of Movement– each piece of equipment goes through a full range of motion on numerous exercises. The movement is smooth and stable. You get the “gym quality” feel you should look for in a home unit.
- Quality of Machinery– the Powertec design crew goes to great lengths to check and recheck each piece to be sure that what they put out with their name on it will be an accurate representation of the Powertec name.
- Quality versus Cost– I have been workout out since 1993 and have been on nearly every brand of equipment out there at all price levels. From personal experience (buying a competitors products years ago) I can tell you that Investing, within reason, in a solid piece of equipment like those put out by Powertec is the way to go. A $100 piece of equipment will not last or get used and a $10000 is just plain over priced for a home unit. Powertec has hit the sweet spot. Great Quality at a Very Reasonable Price.
Depending on your price range and available space Powertec has a unit that is the ideal home gym for you. They offer complete gyms that allow multiple users at one time such as the Workbench Multi System. If you are dealing with a smaller space but still desire awesome capability the Workbench Levergym is a great choice. Other designs and individual pieces are available but these are two of my personal favorites for the complete Home Gym option. Pick the home gym that’s best for you and get started creating the physique you deserve!
-Ian Lauer CSCS, Team Powertec