Brand recognition goes a long way toward influencing consumer behavior, and can sometimes weigh more heavily than actual product performance when it comes to purchasing decisions. This is the main reason why so many companies pour millions of dollars into national advertising campaigns while simultaneously skimping on product quality. For them, making the initial sale is all that counts.
The fitness equipment industry is not immune to this problem, which is why extensive research is required before buying a treadmill, elliptical, exercise bike, or home gym for your home. If you simply choose the first brand name that pops into your mind because you’ve seen it over and over again on late night TV, you will most likely suffer from buyer's remorse at some point down the road… most often when the machine you purchased on impulse over the internet breaks down and you can’t find a tech to service it or parts to replace what’s broken down. At the end of the day, what those brands don’t want you to know is that their machines were meant to be sold, not used.
Instead, we recommend taking the following approach to researching the best brands to own:
STEP 1) Look at what's being used in health clubs
One of the best indicators of a particular brand's overall quality and reliability is how extensively it is used in commercial health clubs. After all, these clubs are for‒profit businesses that cannot, and will not, tolerate excessive equipment downtime due to malfunctions, defects, or mechanical breakdowns. Moreover, commercial gyms want to keep members happy, which means they must select equipment that is user‒friendly and contains all the latest features designed to enhance workouts. So the first step in your research project should be to visit several health clubs in your area and take note of which brand names pop up again and again. (Tip: none of them have ever been advertised in infomercials!)
STEP 2) Ask the experts for their opinion
Nobody spends as much time around exercise equipment as personal trainers and specialty fitness equipment experts. These professionals are fully aware of the top brands to own (as well as the ones that tend to be duds) and they are always willing to share their opinion to help you make the right decision. If you don't have immediate access to an expert, you can always stop by your nearest Push Pedal Pull retail location to speak with one of our knowledgeable and specially‒trained staff members.
STEP 3) Find out who's winning awards and receiving the strongest testimonials
Much like cars, computers, and other big‒ticket items, fitness equipment is subject to endless testing and analysis by unbiased third parties. These groups then publish their findings for the benefit of all consumers, and often bestow coveted awards on the top products. As you shop, keep an eye out for Best Buy and Best of designations, such as those found on the Precor EFX 5.31 elliptical fitness crosstrainer, the Precor 9.31 home treadmill, and the 3G Cardio 6.0 Vibration Machine. Similarly, be sure to read user testimonials and reviews online ‒ preferably on third‒party websites ‒ to determine which machines live up to expectations in real‒world conditions.
Researching and evaluating quality fitness equipment will likely require more time and energy than you're used to expending for comparable purchases. However, taking the thorough approach outlined above will help ensure you end up with the best quality product for your money rather than just the most recognizable name.