If you are in the market to buy a piece of fitness equipment for your home gym you had better be well informed or you could waste $1000's. If you are looking for some home gym equipment these few tips will help you when you try to pick your way through the maze of
fitness equipment and hopefully save you money.

Things you should look out for include...

1. Range of Motion

One of the biggest problems that I've found with home gym weight training machines is that a lot of them don't offer full range of motion movement. In other words, they don't let you fully contract or extend your muscles, which limits the benefits of your workout. There are plenty of machines available that offer good range of motion, but it's important that you try out the equipment before you buy it so you can make sure that you're comfortable with the motion it provides.

That being said, if you choose to purchase free weights for your home gym, you don't need to worry about range of motion. Some dumbbells, barbells and a sturdy adjustable bench are really about all you need. Because free weights don't restrict your motion to a pre-designated path of movement, you won't have the range of motion concerns with free weights that you will with machines.

2. Stability

Another concern with weight training equipment designed for home use is stability. Because home gym weight equipment is less expensive to buy than it's club quality counterpart, often you'll find benches that wobble or pulleys that stick. When you set up your home gym equipment, make sure that you follow the directions so you'll be sure to create the most stable platform possible. Also, when you're testing out the equipment at the store, if something doesn't feel right, talk to the sales rep to determine if the problem is the equipment design or if it was set up incorrectly.

When you're looking at barbells and dumbbells, don't be shy about asking for a scale to put the weights on to check that they weigh what they claim to weigh. Barbells should also be checked for the quality of their collars (the part that keeps the weight from slipping off the ends of the bar). You certainly don't want to have weights crashing through your living room floor because the collars weren't strong enough to hold the weights on your bar!

3. Adjustability

Any movement that you do "under a load", meaning any weighted movement can cause injury if not performed properly. If you're using equipment that doesn't adjust well enough to fit your frame, you could put yourself at risk for injury. Additionally, if a machine doesn't offer a wide range of adjustments, you may find yourself limited by a restricted range of motion.

Whether you're looking at machines or weight benches it's important that you can position the equipment the way you want it. You're investing far too much money in your home gym to get your equipment home and discover that you can't get the quality of workout that you expected.

On machines, make sure that you can adjust angles of motion and heights of the equipment wherever it's applicable. For benches, ideally, you'll be able to adjust the height of the bench as well as the incline. You should be able to use one bench for incline, decline and flat bench exercises - this will maximize your space while providing you with more options for your investment.

If you're in the market for weight training equipment, do an honest assessment of how dedicated you'll be to your training program. Look at what you want out of your weight equipment and shop around. There are many, many different options available for home gym junkies wanting to put some weight equipment in their gyms.

"Do your research, establish your goals before you buy it”

Your weight training investment will be one of the best things you could have done for your home fitness program.