Basically, don’t do it. There’s a lot of reasons for why we say this, but the core is something we’ve learned as a retailer of 30 years in the business: you should be able to really test out any fitness equipment you buy. If you’re interested in our reasoning, read on.
Fitness equipment is different from a lot of other products. At a wide glance, the quality of a machine that costs $100, $1,000, and $10,000 can all look the same online. Sure, you can read the specifications, to find out the horsepower of a motor or the tensile strength of the steel, but specs don’t tell the whole story.
In the fitness world, how a machine feels is different for everybody. For a treadmill, the deck might flex too much for some, and not enough for others. An elliptical trainer might have a rotation that doesn’t fit your stride length. A strength machine might not match the range of motion in your shoulders — and so on.
And when you actually finally install a piece you bought online (installing it by yourself, don’t forget!), it will be such a giant effort to return it that you’ll never do it. Disassemble, repackage, and re-ship that giant box? You’ll think “oh well, I’ll get used to it” and that Bowflex will sit there and collect dust and laundry instead of doing anything to help you reach your fitness goals.
So that’s why our strategy is different — our website is meant to serve as a catalog, and our showroom is meant to serve as a hands-on area to give you a real perception of quality and fit of everything we sell. And of course, our staff is here to give you the advice you’ll need to find exactly that right piece, and probably crack a few jokes along the way.
Even if you don’t shop with us, we encourage everyone to try fitness equipment before you buy it. It’s a lot more permanent of a fixture in your home than you may think at the outset, which is why we spend all-day-every-day working to make sure our customers are truly getting the right thing for them, regardless of their space, budget, or starting point.
So in short, don’t buy fitness equipment online, even from us. Go try it first — you’ll be glad you did.
Thanks for reading, and as always, Train Hard.
P.S. If you absolutely must buy fitness equipment online, be sure you understand the complexities of shipping and receiving large heavy items, especially if Delivery & Installation is not available for your area or from that vendor. See our Shipping Policies for more info on how we handle that.