The Best Home Exercise Equipment for Weight Loss: How to Select the Right Machine

We’ve recently wrapped up many of our exercise equipment buyer’s guides which you’re more than welcome to skip directly to using the “Buyer’s Guides” navigation button up above, but in this article (The Best Home Exercise Equipment for Weight Loss) we’re going to go through all the pros and cons of each piece of gear so you can make a more informed decision.

As always, if you have any questions at all, please feel free to use our Contact Form Here so we can directly help you make a more personalised decision or at least help answer any questions you might have. We’re always happy to help out.

There really are only a few key pieces of exercise equipment available for home cardio and weight loss, and we’d like to discuss each one with you today. What we’ll be talking about are the pros, cons, features, price-ranges and other things to keep in mind when choosing a specific type of equipment

There are pretty much really only 5 or 6 pieces of cardio equipment for your home (at least mainstream pieces of equipment) which are:

  • Treadmills Suitable for Brisk Walking and Light Jogging
  • Treadmills Suitable for Running
  • Exercise Bikes
  • Recumbent Exercise Bikes (with backrests)
  • Ellipticals
  • Rowing Machines

Each one of these pieces of equipment challenges your body in a different way and you’ll find out exactly which you will prefer by the end of this article.

Let’s get started!

Part I: Treadmills Made for Brisk Walking, Light Jogging and Full Out Running

When it comes to home cardio gear, one of the most popular choices would definitely be a treadmill. Anyone with a home exercise studio would likely have one there as their go-to source of cardiovascular activity during inclement weather conditions.

However, not all treadmills are created equal, and owning a treadmill does not necessarily mean that it is safe enough to run on it. There are two main reasons for this:

  1. The motor might not be powerful enough to withstand running for a long time without failing
  2. The actual size of your running surface might be too small to safely move your legs very fast (as in running)

Motor Strength

If you’ve had a chance to peruse any of our Treadmill Buyer’s Guides, you are probably familiar with the fact that you should aim to get at least a 3 CHP (Continuous Duty) motor for your treadmill if you wish to run on it. However, if your goal is merely some brisk walking and jogging, you don’t really need to worry about that too much as any cheaper option will suffice.

We recommend the more powerful motor for running because a weaker motor will just not be able to withstand that continued running load.

Imaging powering an automobile with a blender motor – it could only get you so far before it overheats and just overexerts itself to complete failure. Treadmill manufacturers generally don’t want you to know this information so this is why we’ve included this in here for you.

Running Surface Dimensions

Imagine running full speed on a tightrope – how far do you think you could run before you fell off of it? Exactly. Now, it isn’t this exaggerated with a treadmill but it’s still safe to say that the larger the actual treadbelt is, the larger your running surface is, therefore, making it much safer for running as your feet will have more room to maneuver around.

There really isn’t more to say here other than the fact that cheaper treadmills will have generally a weaker motor and a smaller treadbelt which make them generally unsuitable for running.

Related: If you want to lose weight fast, try strength training

Features, Programs, and Warranties

Obviously, as you go up in price, more features will become available to you such as wireless Bluetooth heart rate monitoring, more programs, device connectivity compatibility, and options to connect to your favorite workout apps.

However, you may not need all of the features available so make sure to read to the end of this section to find links to learn more about each option.

Treadmills are a Great Way to Get Up and Move Around At Home

Other than that, whether your plan is walking, jogging or running, treadmills provide a fantastic way to get up and move around all in the comfort of your own home.

Some models even have connectivity options for your favorite devices such as mp3 players, iPods, and Tablets making them perfect for you if you also want to stay on top of all your favorite movies and shows while you exercise.

Part II: Exercise Bikes and Recumbent Exercise Bikes (With Backrest)

Exercise bikes have a bit of a different technical approach than treadmills and aren’t really as clear-cut as treadmills are. There are a couple of features to look out for which we’ll describe below.

Any bike will suffice when it comes to actually riding it as fast as you can, but not all bikes are created equal and some of them will only be able to offer so much resistance before it just cannot provide any more for you to really advance much.

For a basic rider with basic needs and someone who just wants to get a little movement at home, any bike will be great. You don’t really have to spend much at all if that’s your goal, and there really isn’t anything special to consider.

However, things change when you need a little bit more power. If you’re an advanced cyclist with the requirement for a pretty intense workout, buying the el cheapo spin bike just won’t suffice – and spending a little bit more will be required.

Altogether we must admit that exercise bikes along with their recumbent exercise bike counterparts are excellent methods of exercising at home especially since they provide a no-impact experience to your joints and knees. This makes them exceptionally useful for anyone needing something much more gentle than a treadmill.

To learn more about the various options we recommend when choosing an exercise bike, feel free to peruse our two exercise bike buyer’s guides – one for regular upright bikes and one about recumbent bikes (bikes with a backrest).

See our post on the benefits and drawbacks of spinning with exercise bikes to determine if this equipment suits you.

Related Post: Home exercises for men and women to keep  you in shape

Part III: Ellipticals or Elliptical Machines

Ellipticals are probably one of the most popular exercise machines because they essentially take up the least amount of room out of all exercise machines made for your home.

Although they stand pretty tall and take up quite a bit of vertical room, they don’t take up very much horizontal space such as a rowing machine.

As well as the smaller footprint, the expectations from an elliptical machine aren’t exactly the same as exercise bikes and definitely not like treadmills. You’ll be getting a slightly lower quality machine the less you pay, but ultimately you will be getting a pretty decent workout no matter what price range.

In our elliptical buyer’s guide for this year, we offer elliptical machines across a few different price ranges, and the lowest price range is still fully capable of offering up an impressive workout for the money. You can’t spend any less than around $700 for a quality machine because you just won’t be getting the reliability or durability for that amount of cash.

As well as providing a good workout and having a small footprint, these machines are fantastic at getting you a very low impact workout to keep your joints safe and to keep you free of aches and pain. Treadmills are known to cause knee and joint issues because your feet slam into the ground while running which just isn’t an issue on elliptical machines.

For all of the above reasons, we think you’ll love owning an elliptical machine and if you want to learn more about the various options, please feel free to check out our elliptical machine buyer’s guide for this year down below.

Related: The benefits of a standing desk for weight loss

Part IV: Last But Not Least – Rowing Machines

In addition to ellipticals and exercise bikes, rowing machines also offer a great low-impact exercise experience, however, they do take up probably the most room in your house when considering their overall length.

Generally equipped to accommodate rowers of up to 7 feet tall, rowing machines can take up considerable horizontal real estate in your home. Something else to consider when thinking of looking at rowing machines is their unnatural and sometimes uncomfortable position to get in and out of and their unnatural position if you have a painful lower back.

In some instances, rowing machines can help alleviate lower back pain but we would not recommend using a rowing machine if you have a fragile back, hips or other joints. This is just a safety precaution to consider when thinking of making a purchase for a piece of exercise equipment.

Rowing machines provide a great exercise for your home that are both challenging and pretty well silent, and it would be a piece of equipment you could happily use for years.

To learn more about the various features and options available to you when considering a rowing machine, feel free to check out our rowing machine buyer’s guide down below. We’ve outline several rowing machines across varying price ranges and you’re sure to find some useful information in there!

Related: Shoulder Impingement injuries and exercises to help out

Conclusion and Final Thoughts

  • When considering an exercise device for your home, make sure to select a device that fits in your home in terms of the size of the unit.
  • Some devices such as rowing machines, exercise bikes and ellipticals provide a no-impact workout experience to keep your body healthy and your joints safe.
  • Treadmills have the most impact on your joints especially when running on them vigorously.
  • Different price tiers cater to different skill levels, and you may not always require the most expensive piece. Alternatively, you may not be getting the best bang for your buck if you choose the least expensive device.

Thanks so much for stopping by today and make sure to leave us a comment with your favorite exercise device! 

Also, if you have any questions, feel free to leave them below or you can also use our Contact Form Here

For personalised equipment selection services, you can also use our contact form and we’ll be more than happy to help you out!

Related: Best unisex bodyweight workouts that work


How Many Calories Do I Need to Eat to Lose Weight? The Answer Might Surprise You

Renegade Rows

Hey guys, thank you so much for coming by the site today. I really hope you can get some value from this article because I see so much wrong information out there when it comes to weight loss. The one and only thing that’s important is making sure you’re eating less than your body is burning and we’re going to discuss this today.

Many people think a bunch of nonsensical things lead to weight loss – and oftentimes it isn’t their fault that they think this. People think low carb diets are the key. People think quitting sweets is it. People think that a ketogenic, paleo or some other crazy diet will lead them to weight loss.

I want you to understand that this is all nonsense. Even if these diets DO work (which sometimes they do) the underlying principle that is at play here is the fact that you’re inadvertently eating fewer calories than you’re burning! There are a couple of ways you can induce a calorie deficit. 

So, let’s dive right in and take a closer look at how many calories you need to be consuming to lose weight based on your weight, goal weight, current body fat levels, dietary preferences, meal timing preferences and gender.

We’ll also be looking at how quickly you can lose X amount of weight which I think is really going to help you get a grip on this whole idea of weight loss. 

So let’s get started.

Calorie Deficit/Restriction on a Weekly Basis = Weight Loss!

Let’s get things started off on the right foot, why don’t we. I want you to understand this important point:

A calorie deficit is the only thing that will lead to weight loss!

Since you’re already here on this article I am going to assume that you’re already aware of this.

You can head over to this article from the National Centre for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) explaining that a calorie deficit is the only indicator of weight loss. This is peer-reviewed information and the scientific evidence is there to support you all the way to your goal weight.

With that being said, however, the reason so many people have bought into all the crap information out there is because yes, sometimes other methods do work – however, the fundamental function of these other methods is still to induce this calorie deficit.

Related: How many calories are there in a banana?

You are probably thinking of various diets at this point or doing tons and tons of cardio in order to burn more calories. What sometimes people fail to understand is that it’s not the diet or cardio that’s making you lose weight, it’s the negative energy balance that you’re inflicting on a weekly basis.

As a matter of fact, you can have days where you’re eating more and days you’re eating less and at the end of the week you’ve still lost a couple of pounds! This is evidence and this is the only way to lose weight.

You might be thinking at this point, “Ok, so how do I know how many calories I need exactly to lose weight?” This is a great question and I want you to keep reading the article as it has everything to do with determining your maintenance calorie requirement.

What your maintenance calories basically means is the amount of energy (calories) your body requires to neither gain nor lose weight. It’s your baseline and this is going to affect everything you do.

Related: Best Low carb snacks to help your hunger cravings

So How do We Determine Our Baseline (Maintenance) Calorie Requirement?

What I want you to do at this point is think of your body in terms of the amount of weight you would like to lose. If you are somebody that is pretty lean and just needs to lose another 15-30 pounds, you can use your current bodyweight to determine your maintenance calories.

If, on the other hand you are more than about 40 pounds out from your goal weight, I want you to use your goal or target bodyweight for the next part of this article which we will cover below.

Let me give you a quick example. If you’re 160 pounds and you would like to lose another 15-30pounds, just use your current bodyweight to calculate your maintenance levels.

If, however, you are 160 pounds but you should be 90-100, you need to use your target bodyweight. Make sense?

Before we get started, I want you to be fully aware that determining your maintenance calories is a game of trial and error – and you will need to test it out for a few weeks to make sure you aren’t gaining weight. Our bodies are not robots. Adjustments will be necessary from time to time.

Related: What are the Benefits of Intermittent Fasting?

Don’t be fooled by all the formulas out there. They are all estimates anyway and the method I am about to show you is as straightforward as it gets. All you need is a calculator (unless your brain is good at maths, which mine is not!)

I want you to consider the following 3 numbers that are indicative of your activity levels.

13: You are pretty sedentary. You work in an office and otherwise don’t do much activity outside of maybe the gym 2-3 times per week.

14: You are mostly sedentary and sometimes walk for 30 minutes per day plus your gym days 3-4 days per week.

15: You are considerably active. You walk everyday for 30-60 minutes, you work a demanding standing job and you work out 3-5 days per week.

Now, what I want you to do is either take your current weight or your target weight IN POUNDS (as described above) and multiply  this number by one of the numbers above that you think best describes your activity level.

This means you will take 160 pounds and multiply this number by either 13, 14 or 15. Let’s say for example you fall under the 14 category.

So, 160 x 14 = 2240 calories per day to maintain your bodyweight. This is how you figure out your maintenance caloric requirement and we can move onto the next steps.

Related:How many Calories are in a Banana?

Click below to learn more about how
==>This program for males or this one for females <==
will teach you how to lose the right amount of weight and
get the perfect proportions

Now That We Have Our Maintenance Calories, We Can Add a Deficit (subtracting calories)

As I have described above, you might fall into one of 2 categories: You are close to your goal weight 15-30 pounds out, or you are more than 30 pounds away.

I want you to look at the picture above of myself. I was a classic category 1: About 30 pounds overweight and I wanted to get absolutely ripped up and shredded to the bone.

I was weighing in at around 195 pounds and shredded up to an astonishing 162 pounds! Like I explain down below, however, I looked frail, weak and not very muscular – but I had lost weight at least!

For the first situation, if you’re pretty close to your target weight, you will want to induce a weekly caloric deficit of 20-25 percent. This means multiplying the above number (2240 calories from the previous section) by 0.75.

Related: Can a standing desk help weight loss? Find out how

This would look like this:

2240 calories x 0.75 = 1680 calories. Multiplied by 7, over the course of the week would be 11,760 weekly calories.

Some people prefer to induce the deficit daily, some people like to calorie-cycle and do it weekly but as long as you are eating 80-75% of your maintenance calories on a weekly basis you can expect weight loss like clock-work.

Like I said, however, most people like to do this every day. In this case, simply eat 80-75% of your maintenance calories every day and you won’t have to worry about a weekly deficit if it’s too much of a hassle for you.

For the second situation, if you are more than 30 pounds away from your target bodyweight, you can get away with a slightly more aggressive fat loss approach. This would mean inducing a 25-35% caloric deficit in order to lose weight more quickly. 

However, BE CAREFUL with this aggressive strategy! You need to be very very careful to track your weight loss every week because you cannot sustain this in the long-term. Once you are about 15 pounds away from your target, go a little more easy on the deficit.

You can switch to eating at about 80-75% of your maintenance calories once you are within 15 pounds of your target weight. If you continue to eat at a massive deficit expect some damage to your metabolism. This could lead to rapid relapsing.

Related Post: A fast and simple way to lose weight

Let’s Get to the Most Important Thing You’ve Been Waiting For

At this point you might be thinking, “this is great but how much weight can I lose and how quickly can I lose it?

Very good question.

Remember the two scenarios above? You’re either 15-30 pounds away from your goal weight or more than 30 pounds.

If you’re in the first category, and, if you’re doing everything right, and you’re actually eating at the correct 80-75% of your maintenance caloric requirement, you can expect to lose 1-2 pounds of weight per week.

If you’re not following a weight lifting program to go along with your weight loss efforts you can expect half of your weight loss efforts to also include muscle. This can and will leave you looking frail, weak and overall unhealthy.

Keep reading the article if you want to learn how to avoid this problem.

 Related: Fasted Cardio – Benefits of training on an empty stomach

However, if you’re in the second category and you have 30+ pounds to lose, you can and will lose about 2-4 pounds per week! If you’re more than 60-70 pounds overweight you will lose more and if you’re less than 60 pounds overweight, you will lose slightly less per week.

As you lean down, your weight loss will slow down which is to be expected as your body switches to starvation mode.

This is all very exciting for you because you now have the knowledge to lose as much weight as you want!

Remember I said that you might look frail and weak if you just lose weight without doing at least a basic strength training program? Well here’s what I did to make sure I didn’t look like a concentration camp survivor: 

Related: Is a Low Carb Diet good for Weight Loss?

Alright guys, that covers it. This article will get you as lean as you want – and make sure to implement these strategies!

Make sure you get yourself a food scale to measure exactly how much food you’re eating and make sure to leave a comment or any questions about any of this down below!