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Remanufactured commercial fitness equipment (treadmills, ellipticals, etc.) is a great way to save money and still get high quality equipment for your home or gym. What follows is a guide to finding the best remanufactured equipment out there.

Remanufactured Treadmills, Ellipticals and Fitness Equipment -- Why and How to Buy It Without Getting Ripped Off

Remanufactured Treadmills, Ellipticals and Fitness Equipment -- Why and How to Buy It Without Getting Ripped OffA few days ago I testified a bit on how to properly choose a home / residential grade treadmill. This time, since it has been a quiet day at the DOJO, I am going to ramble a bit on the ins and outs of remanufactured commercial equipment. This guide can be used not only for cardio equipment like treadmills and ellipticals, but also for strength equipment...although I get more than enough of a strength workout every day lifting and moving heavy treadmills around the DOJO.Remanufactured equipment (sometimes called refurbised or reconditioned -- it all depends on which company you are dealing with) has taken off quite a bit in the last few years as gym owners and home buyers both have realized they can purchase ultra high quality commercial equipment, in great condition for a fraction of the cost. Most remanufactured equipment with sell for 30-70% off of the original price! If you've ever wanted to have a Precor Elliptical or Life Fitness treadmill in your home, now you can!The single most confusing thing about remanufactured equipment is just what it means...and what the difference between a remanufactured treadmill, a refurbished treadmill and a reconditioned on is. Unfortunately for buyers and poor service techs like the Treadmill Sensei, there are no industry standard definitions for these terms and what you get will vary from company to company. If you are going to buy remanufactured (or refurbished or whatever) equipment, make sure to ask what a companys definition of what they are selling you is because you might be surprised at the answer. Some companies will just wipe a unit down, touch up the paint and then send it out the door as "remanufactured." Beware of these companies! Lets go over the life of a piece of gym equipment destined for remanufacturing...this is something I do nearly every day for my repair clients so I know of what I speak! Most larger gym chains lease their equipment instead of buying it. This allows them to trade in their equipment every few years. Once that equipment has been returned the the manufacturer, it is then resold to a remanufacturer (or reseller who then turns the unit over for remanufacturing to someone like your Treadmill Sensei). A quality remanufacturer will then strip the unit down to the frame, sandblast it to remove any traces of rust (a number of less reputible vendors will just paint over rust) and then repaint it using the same high end paint ($250-300/gallon!) used by the manufacturers themselves. We do powder coating here at the DOJO, but the regular repaints can be almost as good. At this point, all wear items are replaced -- bearings, grips, rollers and so on. Diagnostics are then run on the electronics to make sure they are up to snuff and then cleaned up or replaced. On most equipment (treadmills and ellipticals, for example) the majority of problems will, luckily, come in the form of the control board. I say "luckily" because the boards can generally be replaced for $30 or so and take almost no time to reinstall. Also, most structural problems with a treadmill or elliptical will pop up in the first 30-60 days. Once you've made it past that point you should be in the clear and have a fine piece of equipment on your hands.In my personal experience, and this may be because the DOJO turns out great work, remanufactured units tend to have a much lower rate of problems or defects when done correctly. This is because the treadmills and ellipticals (or strength equipment) are gone over with such a fine tooth comb and service so completely that any defects or problems which might have been missed by the manufacturer are caught and fixed as part of the servicing. With a little bit of research, going the remanufactured route will allow a smaller fitness facility to compete with larger chains by offering competitive fitness equipment while saving money. In fact, many fitness trainers and gyms are finding they are able to reach a profit much earlier by taking advantage of the lower cost and high reliability of remanufactured equipment. For home buyers, remanufactured equipment lets you purchase the same high end commercial equipment you work out on at your local gyms for a fraction of the price. And, if you've ever tried to go from working out on a Life Fitness, Matrix, Star Trac or Landice to working out on a crappy Proform machine, you're already familiar with the disappointment a lot of wind up experiencing when they try to make the transition. Buying remanufactured lets you stick with what you know. A quick tip on where to buy remanufactured equipment: places like Megafitness, Big Fitness, Fitness 909 and Fit4Sale sell it, but the highest quality units seem to be coming out of Treadmills Central right now. I've seen a number of their Precor 544 and 546 units, as well as quite a few Life Fitness 9500 Rear Drive Ellipticals, Star Trac Treadmills, and Matrix Ellipticals at a recent Fitness Trade Show, and I've been impressed every time. Good luck with your purchasing and feel free to drop me a line if you have any questions or comments. The DOJO is always open.-The Treadmill Sensei

Losing Weight With an Elliptical Trainer

Losing Weight With an Elliptical Trainer

Lets face it, trying to lose weight is a bitch. So if youre serious about losing weight and keeping the weight off, you need to exercise on a regular basis. An exercise machine that is recently surging in popularity is the elliptical trainer. There are two factors that make an elliptical trainer so attractive. It offers low-impact exercising, and it works out both the upper and lower body simultaneously. The low impact function of an elliptical trainer reduces the strain and stress on your body, particularly your ankles, knees and lower back. Your legs work in an elliptical motion. They never leave the foot pedals and there never is any reverse action. In contrast, when you walk or run your feet impact on every stride. For runners that impact can be as much as 2.5 times your weight. For people who are overweight, the impact from just walking can be very detrimental and result in injuries and strains. Elliptical trainers can substantially reduce the potential for injuries. Weight Loss Benefits from Upper and Lower Body WorkoutThe other appealing feature of elliptical trainers is the upper and lower body workout. There are two benefits from working out your upper and lower body simultaneously. Not only do you build muscle density throughout your body, but you also burn calories more efficiently.When you exercise on an elliptical trainer you utilize the chest, back, quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, triceps and biceps. There is no other machine that offers this benefit. You are not only exercising more muscle groups, you are also optimizing your energy expenditure. That means it takes less time to achieve more results, like burning calories and increasing your cardio capacity. It has also been suggested by certain experts that this dual action process reduces the perceived rate of exertion. In other words, you are burning more calories without a noticeable difference from a less strenuous workout.Of course, it is important that you apply a reasonable amount of resistance when you exercise. It is also necessary to equally divide the exercise between the upper and lower body. There is a tendency to let your arms follow the motion of the handlebars, and let your legs absorb most of the resistance. It is important to transfer some the resistance load to your arms and distribute the exercise more evenly. This once again will result in more efficiently burning calories and reducing your weight.If you havent had the opportunity to try out an elliptical trainer I suggest you get to your local health club or fitness equipment store and give it a spin. Youll be amazed how easy they are to use, and with regular use youll not only reduce your weight, but keep it off.

Treadmill Ratings - What Most People Don't Know About Treadmill Ratings

Treadmill Ratings - What Most People Don

If you're buying a treadmill, chances are you'll want to research before you buy. Everyone wants to get the best deal for a discount price. They also want to find the best treadmill to suit their workout needs.So you'll probably be interested in looking at various treadmill ratings or reviews. But why are there so many different ratings and which one is the most accurate? Here's a few things most buyers don't know about treadmill ratings.There are really 2 types of treadmill ratings:1) Consumer Ratings2) Expert RatingsUser Treadmill Ratings:Consumer treadmill ratings are done by the layperson who has bought and used the specific treadmill. Many websites allow anyone to go online and post a review of their treadmill. Customer reviews and ratings can be very valuable when searching for a treadmill - however keep in mind several things:#1) No treadmill has a 100% perfect track record. Even the BEST treadmill manufacturers sometimes make a dud. And it's usually the people that have had BAD experiences that leave negative reviews of their treadmills, not the many that have had good experiences with the same treadmill. They have every right to do this and hopefully the treadmill manufacturers read these reviews and do something about them. Just remember that one bad review doesn't prove it's a low quality brand.#2) The treadmill industry is growing more competitive each year. And marketing is a huge portion of the treadmill industry since treadmill manufacturers KNOW you're going to research treadmill ratings before you buy. So while I'm not making any accusations, I have read 'customer reviews' that are clearly NOT written by the average buyer. They sound like they're written by somebody working for the competition - someone well versed in the art of sales psychology and who knows more about treadmills than the average person. Again, not making any accusations here - just keep this in mind when reading user ratings online.Rule of Thumb: Use common sense. If it sounds like it's written by a treadmill salesperson, take the treadmill review with a grain of salt.Expert Treadmill Ratings:There are also expert treadmill ratings. These are the ratings written by the experts in the fitness industry. People like Consumer Reports, Runner's World, Consumer Guide, Men's Health, Prevention Magzine are just a few out there. These people rate and review various treadmills at various times in the year. While these ratings are much less likely to be tainted by biased reviewers, here are a few cautions to keep in mind while reading them:#1) Each rater has a different rating system and may rate treadmills on such factors as price, cushioning, stability, quietness, belt area, warranty, console, electronics, programs, incline and quality of parts. So while one reviewer may put more emphasis on cushioning the other may put more emphasis on warranty. It's nothing to get confused over - just understand that different experts value different features. They'll usually have an area where they list exactly how they rated the treadmills and which features they valued highly in their review.#2) Expert ratings also usually don't have time to look at EVERY treadmill brand on the market. Nobody does. We've been reviewing treadmills for over 3 years and we still haven't covered all the brands. So just because a certain brand isn't in the ratings, doesn't make it a poor quality brand. Try to find other reviews on a brand if you can't find it in your favorite expert ratings list.One last thing: Many treadmill ratings are also based on comparison to other similarly priced treadmills on the market. So if you have a $1000 treadmill that gets 5 stars - that doesn't necessarily mean that it's better than a $2000 treadmill that gets 4 stars. It means that compared to other $1000 treadmills it is one of the best values.By remembering these things when sifting through treadmill ratings, you're less likely to be confused. And it will be easier to choose the best quality treadmill for your needs.

What you need and what you get from a Pilates mat exercise

What you need and what you get from a Pilates mat exercise

Youve probably heard of Pilates mat exercises, and have probably heard that it works great, or you probably heard that it sucks because its so hard. Pilates mat exercises, are the bare basics of the Pilates exercise invented by Joseph Pilates in the Early 1910. First of all, your idea of Pilates must have included something with machines that have springs and bands, but Pilates can also be done without machines, just a simple mat, and this is called Pilates mat work, or simple Pilates mat.Pilates Mat exercises have been considered very beneficial, especially for those who want stronger abdominal muscles and a stronger core. By core I mean the abs and the lower back. Pilates, as Joseph Pilates made it to be, is a low intensity groups of exercises that supposed to strengthen your muscles. Usually, exercises are done with Pilates machines, but "Pilates Mat" exercises however, have more challenging exercises simply because your body doesnt have to rely on the support of the machine to do the work, making it shoulder the work that you are making it do. These results in a variety of developments, more so, on the abs than any part of the body, and we all know that that piece of fat under the navel is really hard to get to.The other benefit of a Pilates mat exercise is its sheer lack of exercise equipment. Unlike other Pilates exercises, this only requires you, as the name says, a Pilates mat. And youre ready to go, of course every Pilates exercise requires you some sort of instructor, either a real one, or a video, to tell you what to do, or if what youre doing is correct, which brings us to the question of do I really need an instructor? And the answer is yes, every exercise needs an instructor, even something you might think as simple as a Pilates mat exercise wont look very simple once youre in a hospital bed. Pilates mat exercises can be very advanced body work, and doing it wrongly can as with every type of work out, give you injuries. A Pilates mat instructor has to be certified by a qualified school make sure that your instructor has real qualifications before you take Pilates mat classes.So when we touch the issue of a Pilates mat instructor, we ask what would be best. A DVD or a real one? Essentially, most Pilates experts recommend a real instructor, an instructor can point out what your doing wrong, can position you correctly if you dont have the right posture, and can personalize the exercise youre doing specifically for your bodys needs. However, there are lots of Pilates mat exercise videos out there that have been getting good reviews recently. Some people might have gone on to saying that its as good as the real instructor, well to each his own, but my suggestion is, if you can afford a real instructor, then get one. Thats the problem with real instructors though, the price, youll have to pay for classes monthly for that, but with a DVD, youll only have to buy it once and then you can use it for years to come. Whats also good with a Pilates mat exercise DVD is its convenience, you wont have to travel to the gym or to class you can just spread your mat on the floor, turn on the DVD and the youre good to go.

Benefits Of Elliptical Machines

In the history of fitness and aerobics, elliptical machines are the only aerobic products who made a breakthrough. Almost all gyms, fitness clubs and even homes have already acquired their own "elliptical machines" . Elliptical machines continue to be popular. Users and buyers of these machines even reached 2.8 million in 2005.Why are elliptical machines popular? What do users get from them? There are many benefits that can be enjoyed by using an elliptical machine.Elliptical machines are able to provide healthy bodies by maintaining a healthy bone density. Researches have shown that the bone density has an impact on how healthy the person would become. A person is healthy if he has a healthy bone density. The exercises needed to maintain a healthy bone density include running, aerobics, weight lifting and exercises where the person remains on his feet. However, these activities may cause jarred bones, which is very dangerous.With the elliptical machine, all exercises to maintain a healthy bone density can be performed. Using an elliptical machine, the person will be standing on his own feet on a platform wherein he will be bearing weight. Stepping up and down the platforms causes pedaling with an oval movement. This is very similar to the movement done when walking or running. This only means that the elliptical machine is able to provide the same benefits people can get with these exercises. Plus, they do not experience harmful stress that can impact the bones and muscles.Safety is ensured with elliptical machines. Using the machine will allow a person to perform exercises smooth and flowing. This minimizes the risk of being injured when performing workouts. The muscles are safe since the pressure is evenly distributed on all the muscles of the body. This will prevent the person from stressing and harming a certain muscle group.Elliptical machines were also proven to provide workouts best for the cardiovascular system. This is because of the many movements that can be made using the machine. All the muscles of the body are working which is good for maximizing the cardio impact in the body.Many people would like to maintain a healthy body or even lose weight the easier way. However, they would not like to risk the benefit they can get in doing harder exercises. With the elliptical machines, users are able to do exercises the easy way without sacrificing the amount of weight they would lose. Many manufacturers have developed elliptical machines and incorporated high technology with them. Many were designed to provide natural motion of body when using the machine. They may be priced higher than other aerobic products but people can be assured that the physical benefits they would like to get will not be neglected.Buyers can choose from a wide variety of elliptical machines that are now sold in the market. They may come in different forms, in prices and most are incorporated with the highest technology there is in aerobic products. People may still opt to buy the more traditional elliptical machines, which continue to be bestsellers. Elliptical machines will continue to develop and provide optimum workout for its users. These machines will continue to grow in popularity since they appeal to almost all users. Anyone who uses the machine can be assured of a total workout and the same time will allow burning of fat and calories.

Why aren't you using a treadmill?

Treadmills have become extremely popular over the years. They are specifically designed to enhance the most popular form of exercising - running and walking. Treadmills are built on the idea that the more effort you put in, the more you get out. As other fitness equipment fads come and go, treadmills gain popularity and get results. The two most popular forms of exercising are running and walking. Whether you are a casual walker or a serious runner, a treadmill can accommodate your exercise needs. Set the speed and incline to suite your desired cardiovascular goals. You can do a power walk up an incline or a heart pumping run at high speed.The treadmill is unsurpassed for a cardiovascular workout. It works the large muscles in your body. According to a recent study calories burned on the treadmill for 60 minutes averaged 865 - 705. Contrast that with; The stair machine (746-637), rowing machine (739-606), stationary cycle with levers (709-509), cross-country ski machine (678-595) and the stationary cycle (604-498). As you can see from the figures the treadmill is unmatched for burning calories.Ecercise treadmills wil give a good workout whatever the weather. In warm or wet regions, you don't need to be concerned about heat exhaustion in hot and humid weather.Injuries that plague runners and walkers due to the constant pounding of joints on asphalt and concrete are eliminated or drastically reduced by users of treadmills. Injuries are less common and stress is reduced on those critical joints. Achilles tendons, knee joints, back muscles, ankles, thighs take less of a beating, which guarantee that you'll continue to walk or run into your old age. As treadmills become more sophisticated so does the versatility of the workout. Speed and incline have always been a feature on motorized treadmills, but now your workout is enhanced by a variety of preprogrammed computerized exercises. Simulate running up and down hills, focus on cardio exercise, concentrate on burning calories, or work on speed training. Often treadmills have preset programs with various levels of intensity. In addition you can program your own workout, combining speed with incline. A good treadmill is a balance of power, stability and fun. Your ability to find the right machine will depend upon why you want one and how much you can pay. Buy the best machine you can afford paying attention to the following features: Frame: High alloy steel is usually more durable than aluminum, however they are heavier and must be coated to protect the treadmill from rust. Get on the treadmill, if it feels wobbly and flimsy, then it is. Selected a welded frame over a bolted one and avoid all plastic frames. Hand Rails: The location of the hand rails is a matter of preference. Whether you desire a handlebar in front or two side rails, be sure they are sturdy and don't get in the way of your arm swings. AC or DC Motor: Most home units are DC, but commercial treadmills may have either AC or DC. AC motors tend to be noisier and generally require a dedicated power line. Horsepower: Check for the continuous-duty rating for the motor's true horsepower. Anything less than 1.5 continuous-duty horsepower can quickly be worn out. Speed: Most treadmills run from 0 to 10 mph. A good machine will match the pace you feel comfortable walking or running. A safe starting speed of 0.5 mph or less is also very important for safety reasons. Belt: Be sure the length of the walking/running surface is long enough for your longest stride. The width of the belt should be no less than 16" from a wear and tear standpoint as well as comfortable striding. Be sure you can comfortably reach the treadmill controls without stepping on the motor housing as well. Deck: This is one of the critical quality elements of the treadmill. Quality decks shouldn't need much maintenance and they operate at a low temperature. Impact Resilience: This is the treadmill's ability to absorb the force from the impact of your feet. The lower the impact on your body, the better. Incline Adjustment: There's a variety of ways to adjust the incline of a treadmill, from the automatic incline which changes depending upon your heart rate, to pushing a bottom on the console, to the less sophisticated methods of a manual hand crank or manually setting pins. Quality electronic incline adjustment shouldn't be noisy or cause the machine to shake at any grade. Control Panel: Generally computerized panels are standard thesedays. They range from basic and simple to the complex and fully programmable. It all depends on what features you require. Various control panel options can push up the price so purchase only what you will regularly use.Heart Rate Monitors: This is generally an optional feature. Accuracy varies widely with the ear and finger clips being less accurate than the chest strap monitors.Price: As with most things in life, you get what you pay for. You're going to invest $1,000 and up in a good quality motorized machine. Spending this kind of money ought to motivate you to do your homework and purchase wisely. It is important to get yourself on a regular routine. The more time you spend on it, the more calories you burn and the more weight you lose. Find a fitness program that works for you. Depending on your preference, you could combine your workout with music, television or videos.If you would like to learn more about exercise treadmills, visit www.treadmilladviser.com where you can obtain more detailed information.

Summary

Remanufactured commercial fitness equipment (treadmills, ellipticals, etc.) is a great way to save money and still get high quality equipment for your home or gym. What follows is a guide to finding the best remanufactured equipment out there.