9 pieces of basic gym equipment essential for all age groups

Dec 23, 2019 - 6 min read
Woman using exercise equipment

If you’re a fitness pro, it can be easy to forget that some basic gym equipment might intimidate or put off some of your clientele. While having heavy weights and the latest gadget is a must in staying ahead of your game, using hardcore exercise machines fit for the Olympics could mean that your gym scares off beginners or seniors.

Similarly, if your gym just has basic gym equipment that is only utilized by the less experienced or older, the seriously dedicated gym-goers will simply pick another gym that is stacked with the latest and greatest gear. To maximize profits and get more people through the door, a mix of equipment should be used to attract and keep customers.

Pro tip: consider wholesale fitness equipment to get access to the best deals nearby.

The basic gym equipment mentioned in the list below are suitable for:

  • beginners
  • young athletes
  • seniors

working out in a gym red leggings arms workout

When picking the best equipment for newbies you should first ask what their goals might be, in the same way that you might do with seniors. A person wanting to join the gym might aim to lose weight or maintain a healthy physical appearance, which means they’re more likely to engage in cardio. Someone older might aim to undertake exercises that will help them maintain muscle mass and a healthy heart. They are also likely to use equipment that is kinder on their joints.

To make sure you keep everyone happy (but without spending a wild amount on fitness equipment), integrate these nine essential things for your gym or studio.

1. Training bench

A basic but multi-purpose training bench is a must-have in your gym. Definitely suitable for beginners, the training bench is a diverse piece of equipment that serves its purpose for seniors and young athletes as well. It is used for performing weight training exercises or even sit-ups. You should be able to adjust the backrest so you can move it from the flat position to an incline. You’ll find a range of benches online but look for a well-constructed and easily adjustable bench. A personal training studio may need at least two of these.

training bench kettlebell working out lilac and black leggings

2. Dumbbell set

Also an important necessity for beginners, young athletes and seniors. The dumbbell set should range from light to heavy in order to accommodate for everyone. Dumbbells come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and materials these days, from plastic-coated to colourful to straight-up metal, so take your pick. Get a set with a rack and save time and space, too.

3. Treadmill

For beginners who are looking to lose some weight, the treadmill is the way to go. A fantastic form of cardio exercise, your gym should have a treadmill that has varying inclines, speeds and provides heart rate monitoring. Get a sturdy, commercial gym-standard treadmill if you can afford it, and check out the machines with virtual tracks or other add-ons if you’re willing to spend more later on.

treadmills in gym running equipment

For young aspiring athletes, the gym equipment somewhat varies. Instead of focusing on the basic gym equipment, these people might choose other machines to use to help themselves with cardiovascular exercises and also aid them in strength training as well.

Check out the machines with virtual tracks or other add-ons if you’re willing to spend more later on

4. Stationary bicycle

Also a great form of cardiovascular training, the stationary bike is an alternative to the treadmill for working cardiovascular endurance. The nice thing about the bike is that it provides a low-impact way to get the heart rate elevated. Looking at it as a sort of upgrade from the treadmill, this cycle is a must-have for younger athletes.

5. Barbell Set

Younger athletes also tend to focus on heavy strength training and do not just aim for simple weight loss. They aim to tone their bodies with weight training. The barbell set has several options: the Olympic bar (that’s a 55-pound bar for men and 45 for women), squat rack, bench press rack and removable plates or a set of fixed or easily adjustable barbells with a smaller bar will serve you well, along with a rack for storage. This also comes in handy for beginners who want to begin strength training and seniors who wish to increase their bone density to prevent fracture by lifting.

6. Rowing machine

Athletes can do a lot with a total-body rowing machine, especially a strong aerobic workout. Unlike the bike and treadmill that focus more on the lower body, the rower offers a head-to-toe workout, engaging the legs, core and upper body. Plus, it helps burn a ton of calories and is also a low-impact way to get in some cardio exercise. Having a rowing machine in your gym is therefore highly necessary.

A rowing machine offers a lower resistance workout for those that are suffering from join injuries

For seniors and people of older age, these machines are suitable when not used too strenuously. However, it is important to have certain machines in your gym specifically targeted for such an age group.

7. Low-impact treadmills

This type of treadmill is a must-have for seniors who come to your gym. As a gym owner, it is common to know that as you get older normal treadmills, running on concrete and tracks can prove to be hazardous for the knees. Low-impact, pressurized treadmills are designed to spare vulnerable joints, which means they’d also be a great machine to keep in your gym.

8. Ellipticals

Ellipticals are also non-impact in nature which means the back, knees, and ankles will all be protected. This is very important when considering seniors at your gym as older people tend to stay away from equipment that could further harm their joints. Stepping into elliptical pedals, climbing on a stationary or standard road bike or using a rowing machine all let you work out without pounding your joints. All in all, this type of machine is really good for people who have any sort of lower-limb discomfort or osteoarthritis.

cycling indoors gym working out women fitness class

9. Balance trainers and resistance bands

Although these are not necessarily machines, many beginners, young athletes and seniors enjoy using these accessories in their daily workout. Resistance bands and tubes are simple, inexpensive, portable fitness items for gently building strength, which is great and convenient for seniors. Elastic resistance training is effective for increasing muscle strength in a low impact way.

The below equipment can all be used to help improve balance and body control, increase ease of motion and decrease the risk of falls for seniors, which also prove to be a must-have in the gym to accommodate seniors.

  • Agility ladders
  • BOSU balls
  • Step benches
  • Step cones

The best thing to do for your gym is to consider the audience and carefully observe which age group is mostly present. Buying equipment according to that will save money and you can slowly increase different types of equipment according to the people that join their gym in the future.

For more ways to improve retention and keep your clients happy, check out Virtuagym software .

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Parisa Hashempour