Buying home gym equipment on Black Friday: what to watch out for

Planning on upgrading your home gym this Black Friday/Cyber Monday? Avoid the common pitfalls by following our handy guide

person lifting a kettlebell in a gym
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Not sure if anyone has noticed, but there are plenty of Black Friday fitness deals knocking about this year all across the globe. In the UK, for example, the best Bowflex deals include a fantastic SelectTech 552 offer which is as great of a deal as it sounds. But don't let this fool you; there are loads of fake discounts at every major retailer to trick you into buying something during the biggest shopping event of the year.

Discounts that look a little too good to be true are just one of the things you need to look out for when buying home gym equipment on Black Friday or even Cyber Monday. Deals are literally everywhere, and stock levels don't seem to be an issue this year either; in 2020, you were lucky to find a Bowflex knockoff for as much as a new Bowflex costs you now.

Fancy upgrading your home gym? Shop the best Balck Friday deals, and best Cyber Monday deals cautiously. Here are some tips and tricks to consider before spending your hard-earned cash on new adjustable dumbbells and weight benches.

Best fitness sales on Black Friday/Cyber Monday

UK

  • 🌎 Amazon UK
  • Bowflex, Bluefin and more: (opens in new tab) up to 40% off exercise and fitness products
  • ProForm and NordicTrack (opens in new tab): up to 30% off treadmills and exercise bikes
  • Adidas, Reebok, Sunny Health and more (opens in new tab): up to 48% off cardio machines
  • 🏋️ Home Gym Equipment
  • Mirafit: (opens in new tab) home gym equipment for cheap
  • Hydrow: (opens in new tab) Save £500 on a new Hydrow rowing machine
  • BLK BOX: (opens in new tab) barbell, weight bench and dumbbell deals
  • JTX Fitness: (opens in new tab) save big on treadmills, exercises bike and ellipticals
  • Echelon Fitness: (opens in new tab) save £389 on smart exercise bikes and rowers
  • Peloton: (opens in new tab) save £300 on Peloton Bike+ bundles
  • Decathlon: (opens in new tab) bikes, running shoes and watches for cheap
  • Sweatband.com: (opens in new tab) home gym equipment for cheap
  • Apex Bike: (opens in new tab) save £448 on a new Apex Bike
  • Again Faster: (opens in new tab) bars and weights from as cheap as £50
  • Wattbike (opens in new tab): Get a free heart rate monitor with every Wattbike purchase
  • TRX: (opens in new tab) 30% off everything sitewide
  • 👕 Apparel/shoes
  • Gymshark: (opens in new tab) up to 70% off on gym apparel
  • Adidas: (opens in new tab) shoes, apparel and more
  • Nike: (opens in new tab) 25% off sitewide!
  • Reebok: (opens in new tab) up to 50% off on gym apparel, workout shoes and more
  • Under Armour: (opens in new tab) up to 40% off, extra 10%/20% off orders over £100/£150
  • 💊 Supplements
  • Bulk: (opens in new tab) up to 80% off protein powder, supplements and more
  • Grenade: (opens in new tab) up to 50% off protein bars, snacks and BCAA drinks
  • 🚲 Other
  • PROMIXX: (opens in new tab) up to 50% off protein shake blenders

US

  • Walmart: (opens in new tab) literally everything fitness on offer
  • NordicTrack: (opens in new tab) premium cardio machines for less
  • Horizon Fitness: (opens in new tab) up to $1,000 off on treadmills
  • Titan Fitness: (opens in new tab) garage gym equipment deals
  • FightCamp: (opens in new tab) up to $500 on FightCamp packages
  • Tonal: (opens in new tab) save $250 on the Tonal smart mirror
  • Tempo: (opens in new tab) $500 off Tempo Studio Starter Package
  • MYX Fitness: (opens in new tab) Save $600 on a new MYX II Plus
  • CAR.O.L: (opens in new tab) Save $250 by using the code 'BLACKFRIDAY250'
  • ONNIT: (opens in new tab) 25% off supplements, 10% home gym equipment
  • Best Buy: (opens in new tab) save $$$ on home gym equipment
  • Amazon
  • Fitbit: (opens in new tab) Up to 40% off Fitbit Charge 5, Luxe, Sense and more
  • Garmin: (opens in new tab) Up to 37% off select Garmin watches and navigation products
  • Suunto: (opens in new tab) Up to 28% off select Suunto watches
  • PINROYAL: (opens in new tab) Bumper plates from $29.99 (save 40%)

shopping bags in a car

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Tip #1: Make sure the price is right

You are casually browsing Amazon and came across a fantastic treadmill deal. Gosh, better buy it straight away; it's 50% off RRP after all!

Hang on: is it actually 50% off? Frequently, Black Friday deals are not as cheap as they seem to be at first. Worse still, there isn't always a way to double-check how much is the real discount.

What can you do? Our advice is to think through what you were after in the first place. If you see an exercise bike model you were already eyeballing before Black Friday and the deal looks okay, you might as well buy it. Chances are, even if it's just a little bit cheaper than usual, it's still as cheap as it gets, so you can save some extra money by getting it now.

If it's just a random cheap treadmill deal that you accidentally stumbled upon and looks okay, but the reviews are mixed, you might want to give that a miss.

Tip #2: Read the reviews

Speaking of reviews: it's worth having a quick look at them, especially if you're unfamiliar with the brand. Of course, most big online retailers' sites are full of fake reviews, but you can easily spot made-up feedback by actually reading them.

Another thing to keep in mind about reviews is that most of them are written by people who aren't experts in the field and might have never seen another dumbbell in their lives. They have nothing to compare the products against, so they will either write about them in generic terms or mention other things in the product review, such as customer service or packaging.

If the gear you're thinking of buying has reviews that are mixed, it's best to give it a miss. If the reviews are good and there are more than five of them, it might be safe to buy them.

person holding shipping boxes in their hands

(Image credit: Amazon)

Tip #3: Check the shipping and return policy

Big home gym equipment such as multi-gyms, barbells and weight plates are heavy and can cost a lot of money to ship. Worse still, it can cost you even more money to return them, even if you change your mind.

The age-old question is whether you should get a product for £10 with free shipping or £1 with £9 shipping. Considering that when items get refunded, companies usually don't refund the shipping costs, you're better off opting in for free shipping, which will help you get more money back if you return stuff later.

Shipping times can also be longer than usual around Black Friday, so if you need your gear sooner, have a look at how much extra is it to have your new rowing machine express shipped to you.

Tip #4: Think about what gear you need

After the lockdown, building a home gym is on everyone's mind: "What if this happens again and we'll be without means of working out at home?" You're right; there is no guarantee lockdowns won't happen again, but just like in most cases in life, there is no need to spend all your life savings on a new hobby just because workout gear is available.

When building a home gym, always consider what your fitness goal is. Do you want to do more cardio but have limited space? Buy a folding treadmill. Want to build muscle? Maybe get a kettlebell or dumbbell first, not a squat rack.

You should always consider versatility when investing in home gym equipment. Free weights are ideal as home weights as you perform a range of exercises with them and take up very little space when not in use. Cardio machines are generally larger, but an elliptical will always take up more space than a small foldable treadmill. 

Matt Kollat
Matt Kollat

Matt is T3's Fitness Editor and covers everything from smart fitness tech to running and workout shoes, home gym equipment, exercise how-tos, nutrition, cycling, and more. His byline appears in several publications, including Techradar (opens in new tab) and Fit&Well (opens in new tab), and he collaborated with other fitness content creators such as Garage Gym Reviews (opens in new tab).