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)

Are you after the best home gym equipment deals this Black Friday? You should be so lucky, as we expect to see the best Black Friday deals to include many fitness equipment deals. After all, who wouldn't want to save tons of cash on a cheap treadmill or a bargain Bowflex deal on or around the biggest shopping event of the year?

Don't be fooled, though, as all that glitters is not gold, especially on Black Friday. Discounts that look too good to be true are just one of the many things you need to look out for when buying home gym equipment. Offers are literally everywhere, and stock levels don't seem to be an issue this year, either, so it's more likely you'll come across some dodgy sales events online.

Best fitness sales on Black Friday/Cyber Monday

As there is still some time left until Black Friday, there aren't any deals listed here. We'll populate this section closer to the event – expect to see many home gym equipment deals from the best brands to appear here!

Tip #1: Make sure the price is right

You are casually browsing Amazon and come 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 no-name treadmill offer 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, unlike the experts who curate T3's best dumbbell and best adjustable dumbbell guides. The former group – randos reviewing the products on Amazon – 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 mixed reviews, 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 for $1 with $9 shipping. Considering that when items get refunded, companies usually don't refund the shipping costs, you're better off opting 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 it is 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
Fitness Editor

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 content creators in the past, such as Garage Gym Reviews (opens in new tab). When he isn't working out, he loves roaming the countryside and trying out new podcasting and content creation equipment, including microphones, cameras and more.