The selection and purchase of fitness equipment can often be a painful, anxiety producing expensive trial and error process. Now, with the help of this guide you can make a quick, easy, simple efficient and effective process. Follow this 8 step program  for long term fitness equipment buying success and fitness/lifestyle program compliance.

First Things First

Steps One and Step Two represent the “benefits” analysis stage of the process.

STEP ONE           Perform an objective needs assessment to differentiate between  real needs and perceived or                                           preconceived wants.

STEP TWO          Develop a realistic set of fitness goals to achieve

Steps Three through Step Five represent the “feature” analysis stage of   the process.

STEP THREE      Determine a realistic budget for this acquisition, future acquisitions as well as maintenance and                                       repairs.

STEP FOUR         Determine a suitable space and location of the fitness equipment taking into consideration the                                        equipment footprints and safe ingress/egress. 

STEP FIVE          Determine the suitability of the equipment to meet the above criterion with equipment type analysis                                 criterion as follows:

Design, Construction and Fabrication 

  1. Does the product look and feel solid, durable?
  2. Doe the product function with fluid and precise movement?
  3. Does the product perform smoothly, with minimal friction and noise?
  4. d) Does the product have a high quality durable finish and upholstery?


  1. How long has the product been on the market?
  2. What is the history of the manufacturer and its principals?
  3. Does the manufacturer sell direct or through distributors or dealers?
  4. Does the manufacturer/distributor/dealer provide delivery/installation and setup?
  5. Doe the manufacturer/distributor/dealer provide in-service instruction?
  6. Are major components built by the manufacturer domestically or offshore?
  7. Are there any pitfalls to offshore products?
  8. h) Does the manufacturer carry product liability insurance?

User Features

  1. Is the product easy to use, easy to learn and comfortable?
  2. Is the product fully adjustable and adaptable to different anatomical sizes?
  3. Are the adjustments sensibly engineered and user friendly?
  4. Is the product self-instructing of does it come with a comprehensive and well written instruction manual?
  5. e) Is the product aesthetically pleasing and space efficient?

Safety Features

  1.  Are there any obvious design flaws that increase the risk of injury or

compromise user safety?

2.  Are there value added safety features such as range of motion limiters, safety

stops and protective covers?

3. Do electronic products have safety startup and emergency stop features such as lanyards?

Guarantee/Warranty Features

  1. Is the product warranty comprehensive and for what term?
  2. Does the manufacturer provide a written warranty or is it provided by the dealer?
  3. Who covers what?
  4. Does the dealer provide its own written value added warranty over and above the manufacturers?
  5. Does the dealer directly provide warranty service on the product and stock warranty parts? Or, is it provided by third party subcontractors?
  6. f) Does the manufacturer/dealer offer a value added extended warranty?

Service/Repairs & Maintenance

  1. Who performs emergency service and repairs during and after warranty?
  2. What are the qualifications and experience of these service providers?
  3. What are the program offerings of these service dealers?
  4. d) What are the known replacement parts costs and associated service rates?

Marketing Features 

  1. Is there inherent brand name value in the product?
  2. Is the product faddish, clone-teching, potentially shortly to be obsolete or can it be upgraded/retrofitted by the manufacturer or dealer?
  3. Have you had personal experience with the product previously?
  4. Will the dealer or manufacturer provide references on users of the product?
  5. How does the product rate by these user references?
  6. Does the price of the product fairly match the findings on all of the above?


Price Features

  1. Does your rating of the product based on the preceding criterion match the

purchase price of the equipment?

2. Does the price and rating diminish or change your buying decision?

Steps six and seven represent the “feature/benefit” comparative stage of the process.

STEP SIX             Perform a cost/benefit analysis

STEP SEVEN      Make a strategic buying decision

Step Eight represents the “SUCCESS” stage of the process.

STEP EIGHT       Have the equipment delivered/installed/setup and get started!!!