Best of Roundups

12 Best Cardio Machines of 2021

I get asked a lot “Coop, what’s the best cardio machine for my home gym?” Well readers, I personally think that’s a very loaded question. There are so many different kinds of cardio machines – rowers, elliptical machines, motorized treadmills, non-motorized treadmills, air bikes, exercise bikes, and ski machines. It would be almost impossible for me to pick just one overarching best cardio machine because each one does something different.I picked my top 12 best cardio machines to give you a variety of options no matter what you’re looking for. I’ve tested tons of equipment and always strive to give you high-quality and honest reviews. I know that there are lots of options out there and it can get confusing to decide what’s best for you. I’m here to help you figure out what’s optimal for your budget, space, and wants.  Read more

Best Dumbbells for 2021: Top Picks for Rubber Hex, Iron and Adjustable Dumbbells

If you want to improve your home gym exponentially, add a set of dumbbells. While I generally recommend a barbell and a set of weight plates to start, I’m not sure my garage gym would ever feel complete without a rack full of hex head dumbbells. You can do so much with dumbbells, no matter if you choose rubber, iron, hex, round, or adjustable ones. Adding a set to your gym will no doubt result in strength and conditioning gains. In this roundup, I go over all of my picks for the best dumbbells and the best adjustable dumbbells so you can make your next favorite home gym purchase with confidence. Why You Should Trust UsTruth be told, there are so many identical dumbbells out there. Many of the products you see online from various retailers are produced in the same factories and simply rebranded over and over again. Because we’ve tested so many dumbbells, we know this for a fact. And we’ve sifted through all of the repeats to find the best dumbbells based on unique factors, manufacturing practices, warranties, shipping, and customer service. Read more

Best Exercise Equipment Memorial Day Sales

On Memorial Day, we honor those who have given the greatest sacrifice for our country. In the fitness world, many gyms, like CrossFit boxes, do workouts specifically commemorating fallen men and women.Over the weekend, several companies, like FringeSport, Titan and Fitbit, will offer some of the best exercise equipment Memorial Day sales. Included below are some of my favorite products from these brands as well as items to check out if you’re looking for a deal. Read more

Best Tube Resistance Bands for 2021

After using resistance bands from all of the major manufacturers in various settings with various workouts over the course of two months, we've determined that the X-Over Bands by FitCord are one of the best tube resistance bands available. Read more

Best Weight Plates for 2021: Top Picks for Rubber, Iron, and Steel Weight Plates

Weight plates are a staple in any home gym. With them, you can perform virtually any exercise you can think of. The best weight plates will resist damage, have minimal to no bounce, fit snugly on an Olympic barbell, and look good while you’re smashing PRs left and right. In truth, the “best” weight plates will be different for everyone and which plates are the best for you depends largely on your training style and goals, your home gym setup, and your budget. This guide to weight plates should help you make a smart decision.   RELATED: The Best Barbells for Your Home Gym in 2021 Read more

The Best 4th of July Fitness Equipment Sales in 2021

Summer is here, and the summer fitness equipment sales are hot! Leading up to and over the holiday weekend, shop for the best 4th of July fitness equipment sales, like these below:What to look for:Titan Fitness: Up to 10% off squat racks, plyo boxes and barbells Fringe Sport: Up to 20% off select itemsGarmin: Save $20 on select smartwatchesEchelon: Take an additional 15% offHorizon Fitness: Take an extra 5% off all home cardio equipmentMYX Fitness: Take $400 off Sole Fitness: Take up to $1,200 off the F80 TreadmillTempo: Take $400 off a Tempo StudioGet Rx'd: Up to 10% off Read more

The Best Adjustable Dumbbells for Home Gym Workouts in 2021

Adjustable dumbbells are one of the most versatile pieces of equipment you can add to your home gym. Not only are they an incredibly more space saving alternative to owning an entire dumbbell set in different weights, but they're also a most cost efficient option.Understandably, not every home gym owner is going to have the space or the budget for an entire weight set. That's where the adjustable dumbbell comes in. Within seconds, you can transform a 10-pound dumbbell to a 20-pound, 30-pound, or heavier to match your workout. Plus, you can easily store them away without taking up much space at all.Over the past eight years, I’ve used and reviewed 17 of the most popular adjustable dumbbell options and believe the Powerblock Elite Series are the best adjustable dumbbells for most people. Though if you have other features you're looking for or a tighter budget, you might like one of my other top picks more. Let's get into it! Read more

The Best Air Bike for 2021

After researching 18 air bikes, using 11 of them, and legitimately testing 8 of them, we've determined that the Rogue Echo Bike has dethroned the previous victor, the Schwinn Airdyne Pro as the best air bike for most people. Factoring in price, warranty, performance, durability, and ease of use, the Rogue Echo Bike offers the best performance and least amount of maintenance among all its competitors including the ever-popular Assault Bike. Read more

The Best Budget Home Gym Equipment for 2021

Just about everyone loves the idea of walking out of your garage door or into your basement or even into a bedroom and having a place where you can hone your physical and mental abilities. Unfortunately, many people have the idea that a home gym or garage gym has to be expensive; we’re here to crush that notion. Here is the best budget home gym equipment for those on a budget so you can start training at home on your time without breaking the bank. Read more

The Best Bumper Plates for 2021

After researching over 70 bumper plates and using 32 of them, we've determined that the best bumper plates for most people are the FringeSport Bumper Plates. The best competition bumper plates for most people are the Rogue Black Training Bumper Plates. Taking into consideration rubber used, durability, noise, appearance, price, warranty, and availability, these bumper plates will work well for any home gym, commercial gym, or CrossFit Affiliate. Read more

The Best CrossFit Equipment for a Home Gym in 2021

CrossFit requires constantly varied movements performed at a high-intensity. Therefore, a home gym designed for CrossFit will require varied pieces of home gym equipment made of high-quality (due to the intensity and work required.) These are the pieces of equipment and our suggestions for each to build the ultimate CrossFit home gym. Read more

The Best CrossFit Shoes for 2021

After wearing and testing nearly every current shoe designed for general training and CrossFit type workouts, my team and I determined that the best CrossFit shoes for 2021 are the Reebok Nano X1, with the Nike Metcon 6 close behind. Although this is a fierce debate and our runner-up could easily hold the top spot depending on preferences, we had to go with one.There are so many factors to take into consideration when looking at shoes, like durability, cushioning, if they are breathable, if they fit your foot. Honestly, it’s pretty subjective because what works for a wide foot won’t be great for a narrow foot. I had several people try out all kinds of shoes to bring you the best picks for what you should put on your feet.Why You Should Trust UsFirst of all, it’s me, Coop, who lives, eats and breathes fitness equipment (I don’t actually eat the equipment … all the time). I started training for CrossFit nearly a decade ago and have competed multiple times. I also had several other people on my team–including a CrossFit L1 trainer and CrossFit box owner Kate Meier, who happens to be on our expert panel here at Garage Gym Reviews–test the shoes you’ll find here (along with many, many others). We actually put these shoes on (along with our CrossFit-friendly gymnastics grips) and wore them for all kinds of metcons, lifting sessions, runs and jumps. The shoes go through an eight-point testing methodology where we evaluate everything from construction and performance to delivery and other user reviews. That’s how we rank and score each pair you’ll find on this page. Read more

The Best Ellipticals for Your Home Gym

For a great cardio workout that’s easy on the joints, the elliptical machine tops the list. Running on pavement or even the best treadmill can be problematic for many people because of the pounding it creates on knees and hips. Using an elliptical trainer forces the body into more of a gliding pattern as opposed to picking up the feet and putting them down on a hard surface.I personally tested some of the best ellipticals on the market to determine which could work best for you, based on your needs. While these are often large and expensive machines, they do offer significant benefits for those looking for a low-impact workout at home. Also, the best fitness trackers on the market today have a setting specifically for elliptical workouts, so you can sync your progress.Below are my recommendations for the top ellipticals you can buy right now.  Read more

The Best Fitness Trackers on Today's Market

Fitness trackers are not a new invention. For decades, people have been counting their daily steps with things like primitive pedometers. Today’s wearables have much more to offer in terms of durability, aesthetics, and technology.I personally tested some of the best fitness trackers on the market to analyze a variety of features including activity tracking, GPS, sleep data, and recovery information. In this roundup of best fitness trackers, I’ll talk you through the positives and negatives of each to help you get the most out of your hard earned dollars.  Read more

The Best Gymnastic Grips for CrossFit for 2021

After researching nearly 25 Gymnastic Grips and legitimately testing 8 of them over the course of 35 workouts, we've determined that the best Gymnastic Grips for CrossFit currently available are the Leather 3-Finger Gymnastic Grips by Victory Grips. Read more

The Best Home Gym Flooring for 2021

The foundation of every home gym is quite literally what’s on the floor. I bought and tested the best home gym flooring options (as well as some obscure mats) to determine what works best for most people. The thing is, no two home gyms are alike. Some people lift weights in the garage, some do yoga in the living room, some turn an upstairs bedroom into a high-intensity cardio studio.There are a number of different options for the DIY home gym fanatic. I’ll break down the best gym floor mats, tiles and even vinyl planks so you can determine what works best for your workout space. Read more

The Best Home Gyms on the Market

In the last year, an overwhelming number of people finally realized what I’ve known for a long time: working out at home rules (thanks, COVID). More than ever, exercise enthusiasts are building gyms right in their own houses. The best home gyms around have barbells, exercise bikes, dumbbells and more.If you’re looking for a home gym, specifically, for your home gym, there’s a lot on the market. A “home gym” could refer to an all-in-one squat rack, a cable cross machine, an interactive screen and any other piece of equipment that essentially works the majority of your muscle groups. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with the multitude of options available, so I put together the list of the pieces I like best. Read more

The Best Kettlebells for Your Home Workout

When it comes to blending strength and conditioning, the kettlebell might be the most versatile piece of equipment there is. We recommend some of the best adjustable dumbbells and best Olympic barbells, but nothing quite compares to swinging a kettlebell. The tricky part about the search for the best kettlebell is that many of them look and feel the same. However, there are differences, be it price, coating, durability, different weight increments, or the width of the handle. I have personally tested dozens of bells and can verify that the Rogue Fitness E-Coat is the best option for most people. However, your needs for your home gym may be specific, so read on to find the different kettlebells I like and why. Read more

The Best Olympic Barbell Collars for 2021

After researching over 87 barbell clamps, using 46 of them, and legitimately testing 32 of them by using them for workouts like squats, bench press, deadlift, and snatches, as well as dropping them, throwing them, and seeing the max weight they can hold–we believe the Rogue USA Aluminum Collars are the best barbell collars for most people. However, they aren't the only collars worth considering. Read more

The Best Olympic Barbells for 2021

A barbell is the most versatile tool in any commercial or home gym. However, thanks to the exponential growth in both barbell training and home gyms, there are now hundreds of companies producing thousands of different barbells. This is both good and bad. It's good because you have a plethora of options to choose from to improve your squat, deadlift, bench press, as well as Olympic lifts and general training movements. It's bad because it's suddenly that much harder to decide what the best Olympic barbell is and which to spend your hard-earned money on.That's where we come in. In this guide, we want to help you find the best Olympic bar for 2021. For more specific suggestions, we have a best powerlifting barbell guide as well as a best Crossfit barbells guide. Why You Should Trust UsFor starters, I’m big into barbells. They’re kinda my thing. I have personally researched more than 150 barbells and used around 85–including specialty bars. Additionally, I have a team of people here at Garage Gym Reviews who regularly use and evaluate barbells according to our multi-point testing methodology. We squat with the bars, deadlift them, snatch them, turn them into landmines, drop them and load them with tons of weight to see how they perform. Additionally, we look at things like their value for the price, warranty and customer service.Barbells top my list of home gym essentials, and for good reason: They are king. Let’s dive into which ones I and my team like best: Read more

The Best Powerlifting Barbell for 2021

After researching over 50 power bars and legitimately testing 11 of them, we've determined that the Rogue Ohio Power Bar is the best power bar for most people. Considering the price, tensile strength, warranty, performance, knurling, availability, general consensus, and durability, the Rogue Ohio Power Bar offers the best quality for the price of any powerlifting barbell currently on the market. Read more

The Best Rowing Machine for 2021

After researching more than 65 rowing machines, using 13 of them, and legitimately testing five of them, I’ve pulled together a list of the best rowing machines on the market today. I took into account durability, performance, warranty, price and availability when assessing each item. Although the Concept 2 Model D Rower came out on top, there are still some great picks here depending on what you’re looking for. Read on to learn more about each one, find out exactly how I tested these, and also what to look for when buying a rower.  Read more

The Best Safety Squat Bar for 2021

After researching 14 Safety Squat Bars and testing 7 of them during training sessions featuring squats (regular, box, and front,) good mornings, lunges, JM Presses, and more, we think that the Titan Safety Squat Bar V2 is the best Safety Squat Bar for most people. Our previous pick was the EliteFTS SS Yoke Bar; although we still love the SS Yoke, version two of the Titan SSB is almost identical at a much lower price, especially when shipping is considered. It features heavy-duty steel, removable handles, thick padding, and chrome plating. There isn't a warranty which is unfortunate, but we doubt you'll ever need to use it. Read more

The Best Squat Racks for 2021

The squat rack is the centerpiece of just about every home and garage gym in the world. As such, it should be versatile, durable, useful, and fit the space it will be used in. I have tested countless of today’s best options, putting them through heavy squats, bench presses, pull-ups (when applicable) and a number of other exercises. Based upon my use, experience, and community input, I’ve compiled the best power rack, half rack, squat stand, and fold-away squat rack for most people—including recommendations for various budgets. Read more

The Best Trap Bars for 2021 [Buying Guide]

After researching and using nearly 30 trap bars, we've determined that there is still much to be desired in a trap bar we'd recommend for most people. Despite this, currently, for 2021, our Top Pick for the best trap/hex bar is the Rogue TB-1 Trap Bar. It offers the best value among the trap bars currently on the market, although there's still much room for improvement. This said, many would be just fine choosing one of our more budget-friendly recommendations. Read more

The Best Treadmills for a Home Gym

Last year brought an onslaught of at-home workout demands. Consumers ran themselves ragged online in search of the best treadmills and fitness equipment. I have personally unboxed, assembled, researched and tested countless running machines to bring you the best of what 2021 has to offer. Whether you’re new to exercise or a seasoned runner, there is a treadmill on the market for you. For each of our nine machines below, I’ll let you know what I liked and what you should be aware of before you run head first toward such a sizable purchase. RELATED: The best ellipticals for 2021 Read more

The Best Weight Benches in 2021 for Home Gyms

After researching more than 100 weight benches, using more than 50 of them, and legitimately testing 23 of them for bench press, dumbbell work, and other movements, I’ve determined that the REP Fitness FB-5000 Competition Flat Bench is the best flat utility bench for most people, and the REP Fitness AB-5200 Adjustable Bench is the best adjustable bench for most people.It is rare for the same company to take two of the top spots, but these are the best weight benches in 2021 on a value basis for those training in a home gym.There are four necessary pieces of home gym equipment: a barbell, squat rack, weight plates, and a weight bench. These are the essentials and because of this, each one of these categories has thousands of different options to choose from. For weight benches, in particular, there are adjustable benches, FID Benches, flat utility benches, and then a myriad of unique benches for certain movements. In this guide, I will be distilling all of the options that I’ve tested and reviewed over the years and giving you my recommendations for the best weight benches for every price point and strength level.  Read more

The Best Weighted Vests for 2021

Weighted Vests are one of the best value pieces of equipment you can add to your home gym. They’re relatively affordable compared to barbells, racks, and plates yet can be used for a wide variety of movements. After researching more than 50 weight vests and evaluating 19, we believe the Rogue Plate Carrier is the best weight vest for most people. It’s a minimalist vest that does everything you want right and leaves out the rest. If you want to go heavier than 40 LB, our runner-up the Kensui EZ Vest may suit you better. Read more

The Best Weightlifting Belts for Powerlifting, Olympic Lifting, CrossFit, and More (2021)

After many years of training with and without a belt—and fielding questions about the best weightlifting belts and when to wear one—I decided to put together a guide to the best belts for weightlifting, plus everything you should know about how and when to use a weightlifting belt.Why You Should Trust UsIn the name of blatant honesty, this is one of the hardest product roundups I’ve ever created. I thought our guide to the best barbell was tough, but this guide to the best weightlifting belts takes the cake. This category might have more products than any other home gym equipment category we’ve covered yet—seems everyone and their mother is making (or importing) some sort of weightlifting belt.But we’ve tested dozens and used many for years on end. We’ve consulted with some of the strongest athletes in the world and observed elite competitors and the belts they use. Between our expertise in the fitness equipment industry and our hands-on testing process, we’ve created the most thorough guide to weightlifting belts you’ll find online.  Read more