When I’m talking in social situations the first question I get is what I do for a living. After a short explanation, a quick second question that I get is where the person that I’m talking to should go to buy their treadmill or elliptical. Besides the fact that I just want to drink whatever adult beverage that I have in hand at the time, I usually launch into a series of questions about what the individual is looking for. So, I decided to write the blog post, in a moment of alcoholic haze, to relive one of these experiences so I can help you the reader with my mountains of experience in this area.
The questions I ask are these: 1) How much do you want to spend?; 2) Have you ever used an elliptical before?; 3) Do you have an idea of where do you want to buy? So, let’s focus on the third of those questions today. This is a simpler question today than it was 10 years ago. Back in the dark ages you had many more options to purchase your equipment than you do today. Small specialty fitness stores, bike shops, sporting goods stores, Sears, club warehouse stores, and the internet. Since the collapse of traditional retail stores, I would estimate that you have approximately 2500 fewer physical locations that you can go to today to look at fitness equipment. That really limits your options when you are starting from scratch.
Gone are the days that you can go view multiple ellipticals and try them out to find which one feels the best and then start shopping online to see if you can get a better price. Now I tell people to go to a local club, gym, or YMCA to try out multiple types of machines and then start shopping online. Hotels are also a good place to try out your equipment as well. When you find one you like then you have a couple of options.
Make sure you remember where the main drive wheel on the elliptical you tried out is. It usually is in the front of the machine or in the rear. Rarely you won’t be able to find the wheel easily…in those cases you have a mid-drive machine you were using. Those are usually True Fitness machines in club or hotel settings. Once you have done this and decided on whether or not you like front or rear drive machines, then go online and buy one. This is the simplest way to do it. I would recommend that you don’t buy from Amazon when you actually purchase. They don’t do a good job of delivery and assembly. Precor, LifeFitness, True Fitness, NordicTrack, Proform, Pacemaster, Matrix and many others do a good job of taking care of their customers so I recommend buying directly from the manufacturers website.
Unfortunately for some, the good old days of buying equipment in the store is nearly over. In my opinion I’m glad that it is. If you ever had to assemble and deliver a piece of exercise equipment, you’ll never want to do it again.