From bikes and rowers to treadmills and ski ergs, there’s a ton of variety to choose from when it comes to cardio machines. Which is tough, because working out on one type of machine is a unique experience from the next, and most people don’t have room to store multiple cardio machines at once (let alone the $ to drop on them). So, even though we’ve narrowed it down to the cream of the crop, you might still not know what you want—we get that. Here are a few key factors to consider:
Technology: Are you a fan of interactive programming, or do you prefer doing your own thing? Some machines offer fantastic interactive features (i.e., Peloton), like classes and workouts, while others cater to those who like to chart their own course. ‘Smarter’ machines will often run up the price, take care not to pay for a feature you aren’t going to use.
Price: Prices of cardio machines can vary significantly, ranging from $600 to $4,000.+ It’s essential to set a budget first, or explore financing options if needed. Make sure you’re comfortable with the investment you’re making.
Your goals: Clarify your fitness objectives with yourself before committing to a machine. Need a treadmill for intense sprinting intervals, for example? You’ll need a powerful motor (3.0 CHP or higher) like those used in manual curved treads. Knowing your goals will guide you to the machine that best aligns with your fitness journey.
Space considerations: Measure your available space carefully before purchasing. You wouldn’t want a machine to show up just to realize it overwhelms your home (or worse, doesn’t fit). If you’re tight on floor space, consider vertical options like the SkiErg or Connected 2, which have a significantly smaller footprint than a treadmill or rower.
Enjoyment: Don’t overlook the fun factor, please. Find a machine you genuinely enjoy using, or you won’t use it much. Think about the investment in terms of cost-per-use. The more you enjoy using it, the more times you’ll use it, driving the cost-per-use down. Math, right?