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Gym equipment is expensive. Here’s how to find high-quality used equipment

home exercise equipment can easily add up. This is especially true if you’re looking to complement your gym with larger pieces like a conveyor belt, elliptical, dumbbells or even a drawbar. The good news is that you don’t have to buy all that new equipment. You can save money buying used parts and still get a perfectly good product. You can find used exercise equipment online, at thrift stores, or even at garage sales in your neighborhood.

But before you impulsively buy that used treadmill, there are a few things you need to know. We spoke to experts for advice on what to look for when buying used exercise equipment and which parts are best to buy new. Keep reading to find out what to keep in mind when buying used exercise equipment.

Look for simple and durable items

Dumbbells are generally safe to buy.

Johner Images/Getty

There are some pieces of workout equipment that are better to buy used than others. Cooper Mitchell, founder of Garage Gym Reviews, recommends buying items that are built to last and don’t break down. “Some pieces of equipment I would choose are dumbbells, kettlebells and weight plates,” he says, adding, “These items are basic and they’re cast iron, so they’re going to last a long time.”

If you’re looking for used cardio equipment, Caroline Grainger, an International Sports Science Association-certified personal trainer, suggests going with a stationary bike. “Stationary bikes, especially older ones with fewer electronics, are virtually indestructible and definitely worth buying second-hand,” she says. So if you’re not looking for the latest Peloton bike, this could be a good alternative to have in your home.

Matt Claes, founder of Weight Loss Made Practical also recommends buying a used rowing machine if you’re looking for another option in the cardio machine category. He says, “Rowers like the Concept 2 RowErg have a reputation for being great second-hand buys because of their durability. If you don’t know which brands of rowing machines to trust, you can use CNET’s Best Rower chooses as a buying guide.

Know how to avoid failures

used weight plates

Be sure to carefully inspect any used workout equipment you intend to purchase.


If you buy any of these items, you should do a few inspections before pulling out your wallet. “If you’re buying a used barbell, you want to make sure it’s not bent or the knurling hasn’t been worn out,” Mitchell points out. “If it’s a weight plate, I would bring a scale and make sure it’s accurate,” he adds. There is often a gap as parts can chip during use and you want to make sure that the product being used is always in the best possible condition.

Although many of these parts are built to last, they are not guaranteed to last the same. “There’s a big difference between a barbell that’s been used to do 250-pound back squats every day for seven years and a barbell that’s been used for 40-pound shoulder presses twice a week for three years. “, explains Claes.

You must be prepared to test the product and know the basics of the machine. “Look for the product name, specific model and year, as this will give you great customer reviews on how well this product will hold up over the long term, as well as any recalls or other important information to consider,” advises Grainger .

Also, if possible, don’t be afraid to ask the previous owner any questions you may have about the product. “Ask why they’re selling the machine and how many years they’ve had it, because if their answer is they’re just not using it, that’s good to know before you buy,” says Mitchell. However, if they tell you they’ve broken something on it or it’s not working properly, that’s a good reason not to proceed with the purchase.

Where to look for offers

Garage sale with sign

Getty/Daniel Grill

You can find used workout gear at garage sales or garage sales, or at some thrift stores. Nowadays, second-hand workout equipment is also often purchased on online platforms like Facebook Marketplace. You can even find used gear on Amazon and eBay. So which is the best?

“Real value tends to come from individual sellers in less visible marketplaces like the Facebook Marketplace or even garage sales,” Grainger says. Still, Claes warns that you need to be selective about the exercise products you buy online. “Depending on the websites reputation and return policies, you may consider buying relatively inexpensive used exercise equipment online,” he says, adding “But for more expensive equipment and sites Web or sellers whose history you don’t know, you’ll probably want to have a look in person before making any decisions.”

One of the advantages of buying used equipment from an individual seller is that the price can be negotiated. “You can always do a lowball and see what they offer you, because you can always increase the trading price after if needed,” says Mitchell. Another haggling tip he suggests is to be very specific in your prices. “It sounds a little weird, but if you say you’ll pay $207 versus say $200, the other party will think you’re well-researched and really know what you’re talking about.”

If you can’t find what you’re looking for on Facebook Marketplace, you can also check out retailers like Play-It-Again Sports, a second-hand sporting goods store found in some cities and known to provide fitness. equipment.

Avoid Buying These Used Machines

treadmill against gray wall

It is better to buy equipment like treadmills new than used.


There are certain pieces of equipment that you should be extremely careful of when buying used. This may be due to safety measures or the longevity of the machine. “Treadmills are hard to buy second-hand because the motors break down, they’re expensive and heavy, so they’re hard to transport,” says Mitchell. Another piece of equipment he advises buying brand new are cable machines. “Cable machines are used and abused and not well maintained in most garages,” he warns.

Claes agrees and says that most electronic cardio machines should be purchased new. “The reason for this is that these machines tend to have a limited lifespan and if someone else has used the machine for a few years a treadmill may seem cheap but they may not have left a lot of years.” Not to mention that used machine warranties can be tricky as some brands allow warranty transfer and some don’t.

At the end of the line

Most importantly, be sure to do your research on the used equipment you are looking to buy. Claes recommends visiting at least one garage sale before committing to buying used exercise equipment from a store. By taking the time to properly research the product, you will learn the average price and quality, which will help you determine whether you are getting a good deal or not.

“For example, dumbbells aren’t much cheaper when you buy them used,” says Mitchell. So in this case it might be better to buy the product from a website like Thug Fitness, REP Fitness Where TitanFitness. If you’re looking for new cardio equipment, you might want to consider sites like NordicTrack, Bowflex or even Platoon. These brands have a reputation for making fitness equipment that lasts.

Claes advises you to make sure you invest in at least some decent exercise equipment. “In the short term, the low price may seem attractive,” he says. “However, if you have to buy new equipment every few months, second-hand exercise equipment options can be uneconomical.”

The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute medical or health advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have about a medical condition or health goals.


Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.
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